Sunday, February 3, 2019


Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in
The Lady from Shanghai
The Lady from Shanghai
This Orson Welles's late 40's film noir is definitely not his most accessible film. The plot involves Irishman Michael O'Hara (Welles) who falls hard for a tasty blonde who is married to a jealous husband and gets caught up in a game of deception and blackmail. The film is full of plot twists and includes a memorable finale set inside a hall of mirrors of an abandoned amusement park. Orson's wife of the time Rita Hayworth is quite good in an unusual and challenging role for her.

Everett Sloane in
The Lady from Shanghai

And the Elisha Cook Jr. supporting player award goes to…Everett Sloane. Sloane is best know as Kane's worshipful associate Bernstein in Citizen Kane. With that character in mind, it is interesting to see him in The Lady from Shanghai as Hayworth's jealous lawyer husband who grows to detest and tries to set up Michael O' Hara. He plays a brilliant attorney with bad legs and and unfortunately beautiful wife. It's film noir and those dames will always lead to your downfall.

Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man

The Third Man
Director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene's The Third Man, a film noir set in post WWII Vienna, where the black market is running amuck. I wonder how a largely English film make the AMERICAN Film Institute list top 100 list, whether deserving or not? David O'Selznick was one of the producers, and it does have American stars Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, so I guess that was enough. Regardless, this film should be seen no matter what list it pops up on. The score features nothing but a zither, which I thought was great. Opinions on the zither differ.
Trevor Howard in The Third Man

Elisha Cook Jr. supporting performer award:
to Trevor Howard as the dedicated and relentless police inspector. He's terrific, but so are Orson Welles as the mysterious Harry Lime and Joseph Cotten as the Western pulp fiction writer who is always one step behind.

Favorite The Third Man quote:
Harry Lime: "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
or Holly Martins: "Hey, satchelfoot! Who's your boss?"

Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles in
The Third Man

I don’t know why I like this second quote so much. It’s what Cotton says right before he finds out Harry Lime is still alive. If I am calling out to someone and don’t know who it is, I like to yell out, “Hey Satchelfoot, who’s your boss?” Don’t you? No? Well, lets move on then.

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