Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pencil thin mustaches, black and white movies and other relics

I love black and white movies.

I love the feel of them. The deep focus. The fact that you can see that cigarette smoke (everybody smoked then, or so it seemed) as it wafts up out of the frame.

I dare say if I were to name my top 50 favorites films, at least a third would be in black and white. Course, I'm not like others. A girl back in high school said she doesn't watch anything filmed in black and white because "it's too old."

Ooooo kaaaaay. Don't get the logic. But to each his own.

Yesterday while home with a stomach virus, I caught Fritz Lang's last U.S. film, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." Dana Andrews played Tom Garrett, a reporter-turned-writer, who is convinced to plant evidence in a murder trial in order to be arrested to prove a point about capital punishment.

The film started off well. Andrews is a sympathetic character and one is quickly drawn into the plot as Garrett and his former boss, newspaper publisher Austin Spencer (Sidney Blackmer), set up the "evidence."

Just as things are getting interesting, things take a somewhat bizarre turn. In a terrible cliche, Austin Spencer is killed just as he is bringing the evidence that Garrett is innocent to the courthouse. From here, the plot shifts to Garrett's former fiance (Joan Fontaine) as she desperately tries to prove that Garrett is innocent.

The film includes a twist at the end, a la "Twilight Zone." Not a bad picture, really, but one that didn't quite live up to its promise.

Still, you gotta love that glorious black and white. It makes me wish I had a pencil thin mustache --- you know, the Boston Blackie kind.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A two toned ricky ricardo jacket
And an autographed picture of andy devine??
:)

12:08 PM  

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