Director: Robert Montgomery
I've now made it an annual tradition to at least put on Lady in the Lake (1947), the incredibly bizarre adaptation of a Raymond Chandler-penned Philip Marlowe private detective classic.
Parts of this movie have a chill that you only get when you're not in the warm embrace of home and hearth on Christmas. Some parts are very badly conceived, pushing the conceit of the 1st Person POV to the breaking point of usefulness, and no one who worked on the movie seems to care much about the actual plot of the novel - they reduce major scenes from the book to minor exchanges of expository dialog, and it's incredibly confusing unless you're aware of the book or listen super hard. The idea is that the characters are so great, you want to spend time with them, and it's not an entirely misplaced notion.
But, holy cats, for being the director, Montgomery has no idea how hardboiled dialog is delivered. I understand not wanting to imitate Bogart or Powell, but he adds a weird, wry laugh to lines that don't make any sense at times. It's... not great. Especially since you only hear and don't see him.
Anyway - you have to spend some time with Audrey Totter every holiday (her 105th birthday anniversary is the 20th), and this is a pretty good way to do it.
A while back, Jamie and I podcasted the film. Give it a listen!
|we should all look so good woken up at 3:00 AM|