Double Exposure (1944)

March 27, 2007 § Leave a comment

Double Exposure

If you’re going to be at war and in 1944 to boot, this is a pretty good flick to spend your time with. Such nice people ! From Nancy Kelly as Pat Marvin to the soft-spoken Ben (aka Phillip Terry) to wolf-turned-lamb Larry (Chester Morris), such gentleness, such respect for careerist desires, for other people’s feelings — and then no one really dies (Ben who survives the torpedoed convoy) (By the way, what is Larry, able-bodied Larry, doing in an office in 1944?). Even in the straighforward B people care for each other in ways that are not as obvious in other cinemas. It’s a major attraction of American films, as corny as it sounds. The play on female independance is also quite funny though the final resolution (she does marry her boss after all) may not be to every feminist’s taste. Yes she is in the kitchen with apron and all — but she’s cooking pictures, not cakes.

And how about this dialogue as he takes her in his arms:
– Pat: “Just because I’m in your kitchen, that’s no reason to take advantage.”
– Ben: “Jee, Pat, I wish you’d stay here for always.”
– Pat: “Where ? In your kitchen ?”

Plenty of obvert narration too here as character after character looks straight at the camera: exhibit A:
kissing cheeks
“If I get kissed more on the cheek…”

Exhibit B, as Mr. Tucker offers some posture advice and a turnip:
chin up

Nothing revolutionary for a goofball comedy of this type, but still, it’s always pleasant to find reminders of how rich and resourceful Hollywood narration could be within the classical paradigm…


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