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I saw this one with [personal profile] lady_lugosi1313 and [profile] planet_andy at the Cottage Road cinema as one of their Classics, and thus accompanied by the usual vintage ads at the start and intermission part-way through, including a lady with an ice-cream tray.

I'm never going to be hugely set on fire by any crime drama - it's just not my thing. But I could see this was a good one. It's all very tightly-plotted, with lots of fine detail in the dialogue and characterisation, so that not a line or action is wasted and you need to keep on your toes to follow everything. The costumes are fab (especially on the ladies), and the cinematography is very effective - although since the effect it is often striving for is a sense of tension, unease or claustrophobia, it isn't quite accurate to call it beautiful. And it's always nice to enjoy the presence of well-beloved faces: for me here, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet in particular.

Apparently for Greenstreet, who is most famous as the proprietor of the rival bar to Rick's in Casablanca, this was his first screen role (though he was already well experienced on the stage), but he certainly seems well at home in front of the cameras. He absolutely owns the scene in his hotel room where he strings Sam along as a prelude to drugging him, as well as the one at the end when Sam finds him and his henchmen waiting in his apartment and they all pass a tense night of confrontation before he finally discovers that the falcon is a fake. I do love me a good villain.

I'm sure there's bucket-loads more which could be said about this film, but that's all I got.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2018 10:20 pm (UTC)
I'm very jealous of these retro cinema experiences; the Prince Charles did one recently with Barbarella, which I love anyway, but I missed it.

I don't think it's his best film (mostly because Raymond Chandler >>> Dashiell Hammett) but I will cheerfully watch Bogie in anything, especially if he's mooching around in a trenchcoat.
Jan. 30th, 2018 10:30 pm (UTC)
Ooh yes, Barbarella in a proper cinema would be ace. I've only ever seen it on TV, and even that was mainly back in my student days on tiny crappy cathode-ray sets. We are definitely lucky in Leeds for having a pretty regular supply of these opportunities.
Jan. 30th, 2018 10:42 pm (UTC)
I've seen it at the NFT, because they show all things good.

Hm, the Prince Charles has a Maltese Falcon screening soon; not in glorious Retrovision but I am tempted. I probably last saw it at the Phoenix in Oxford...
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