Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Favorite Scene in Film Noir

So I'm writing a term paper for my film noir class on fashion, the femme fatale, and women in the workforce during the post-war period.  It's quite fun - my only regret is that I only have a short window to write it.

But in reflecting back on the films we've watched this term, this scene has stayed with me since we first watched it.  It's a bit mature, but its also exceptional!  Noir like most film of the time has female characters that pretty much conform to a binary of the femme fatale and the nurturing home-maker.  But this clip of Bogart's Marlowe meeting a never-named character played by Dorothy Malone defies that binary...

I'm so impressed by this characterization.  She wears her desire openly - her face at 2:49! - and she isn't punished for it!!  She's smart enough to see through him and he's not threatened, he's impressed.  And can we talk about this fantastic early use of the "nerdy girl takes off her glasses" trope?  This is from the film that brought Bogart and Bacall together (and of course they do have fabulous chemistry), but its this scene that wins the "cold shower edit" as its known.  You go, Glen Coco! 

Hats off to Hawks, Bogart, and Malone!

...and now, back to paper-writing :)

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