erik lundegaard

Scene of the Day posts

Thursday January 13, 2022

Comparing Shots: 'The Secret Six' and 'The Godfather'

I was watching the 1931 MGM gangster film “The Secret Six” the other day when we got the following scene. The Al-Capone-like figure Louis “Slaughterhouse” Scorpio (Wallace Beery) has finally been picked up by the cops, and from behind bars he sees them sweating Metz (Murray Kinnell, Putty Nose from “The Public Enemy”), an operative who has long pretended to be a deaf-mute even though he's neither. And as Slaughterhouse realizes what's going on, the danger he's in, the door between him and Metz closes. 

What did it remind me of? The great end shot of the first “Godfather” movie, of course: Kay's realization of what's going on, what her husband has become, and the danger she's in. 

If “The Secret Six” sounds interesting to you, well, let's just say it's full of missed opportunities. Or the version I saw on Amazon Prime is one of those pre-code flicks that got re-released post-code and got chopped up and never put back together. Plus the version I saw on Amazon is soft and blurry. Fucking shame, really. We know who the crooks are now. 

Posted at 09:40 AM on Thursday January 13, 2022 in category Scene of the Day   |   Permalink  

Sunday October 19, 2014

The Second-Best Scene of David Ayer's 'Fury' is One of the Best Scenes of the Year

Here it is:

Bye-bye, John Wayne.

Patricia and I saw the movie last night. Review up soon. 

Posted at 08:10 AM on Sunday October 19, 2014 in category Scene of the Day   |   Permalink  

Tuesday February 07, 2012

Scene of the Day: Design for Living (1933)

“It's true we have our gentleman's agreement. But I unfortunately am no gentleman.”

—Gilda (Miriam Hopkins) to George (Gary Cooper) after the departure of Tom (Frederic March) to London in Ernst's Lubitsch's “Design for Living” (1933).

The gentleman's agreement referenced above was that all three could live together—both men in love with her and she in love with both of them—only if there was no sex. That fell apart with Tom's departure to London. But the movie ended happily, if not traditionally, with the three reunited and ready to make another go of it ... so to speak. The movie, which should‘ve been called “A Gentleman’s Agreement,” is one of the pre-code Hollywood films that have been resurrected in the last two decades, and which remind us that, yes, Virginia, people did talk sex and have sex before 1962.

scene from "Design for Living" (1933)

Gilda, soft “G,” suggesting softness.

Posted at 08:34 AM on Tuesday February 07, 2012 in category Scene of the Day   |   Permalink  

Wednesday July 07, 2010

Scene of the Day: “Quai des Orfèvres” (1947)

Inspector Antoine (the incomparable Louis Jouvet) is investigating the murder of a lecherous old man and is closer than he may realize as he talks with Dora (Simone Renant), a photographer, who is covering up something for the woman she loves. The conversation is effortless, deep, and sounds better in the original French. Written and directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot.

Antoine: Say. A 2.8

Dora: You a connoisseur?

Antoine: I do some Sunday photography. Nothing exciting. I shoot houses, old shops, small streets. Barnivel got me hooked.

Dora: Barnivel?

Antoine: Don’t remember him? A terrific old guy. (Blows nose) But he had a thing about poison. He wiped out his whole family. Wife, two daughters, brother-in-law. He photographed them on their deathbed. A real artist. I missed him after he was booked. We’d become friends.

Dora: That happen often?

Antoine: Befriending the clientele? Sure. We keep company. It’s good for our education. We don’t have much schooling. We move in all kinds of circles, meet all sorts of people. I learned engraving from a counterfeiter, accounting from a swindler. A taxi dancer tried to teach me the tango. But nothing doing. It wasn’t up my alley.

Antoine: (Offers his hand.) Shake my left, it’s nearer the heart. A pleasure.

Oui. Un plaisir.

Posted at 06:23 AM on Wednesday July 07, 2010 in category Scene of the Day   |   Permalink  
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