It’s that time again! The What I’ll Remember posts are a Top Ten By Year trademark; a fun, engaging, and personalized way of collecting movie memories that represent my time with the years chosen for this project. It’s something I work on gradually while making my way through the watchlist, whether it’s writing down observations, grabbing screencaps, or making notes of what to include. When I look back on these long afterwards, I find countless things I would have otherwise forgotten (despite the name of this feature!) and am always so grateful for having made them. What we take from movies should be more than the, understandably, ‘big picture’ way we tend to evaluate, enjoy, or talk about them. Hopefully this does a little to parse out all the different ways that film, whether taken individually or as a group, can be memorable!
I started 1949 one year ago. The Top Ten By Year: 1949 Poll Results went up in October (almost 300 people voted for ove 250 films!). You can also enjoy 100 (or so) Images from the Films of 1949 which went up last week. The Top Ten By Year: 1949 write-up should go up within a month’s time. And then after that: 1990!
(Note: I am posting this without having actually seen Le Silence de la Mer. It is the last one on my watchlist and I will update this post with anything I need to afterwards)
Raoul Walsh saying everything he needs to say with masterful shot compositions & blocking in Colorado Territory
Max Ophüls saying everything he needs to say with his masterful shot compositions & blocking, his fluid camera constantly recalibrating the characters & their relations to each other, in Caught & The Reckless Moment
UK murders done drolly
(The Hidden Room, Kind Hearts and Coronets)
The sandy desolation of Une si jolie petite plage (Such a Pretty Little Beach)
The peppy and shamelessly horny women of On the Town
Julien Duvivier’s Au royaume des cieux (The Sinners), so unseen & unavailable (only 39 votes on imdb & 13 views on letterboxd!), & so completely essential. The lost girls reformatory film of your dreams
The thrilling ball sequence in Madame Bovary, a 360 degree manifestation of delirium in which Emma’s inner ecstasy and social fantasy are externalized by a sudden & urgent call to “Smash the windows!”
“Begone Dull Care” is really cool. Somewhat less cool: its flickers and sputters almost triggered a panic attack
Harry Lime’s self-satisfied entrance in The Third Man, even better when you realize he never meant to be seen and had seamlessly pivoted into it for the theatrics
Celeste Holm as the all-seeing yet unseen homewrecker Addie Ross in A Letter to Three Wives, an arsenal of sumptous half-whispered poison. The filmis good and all, but give me The Addie Ross story over drunk Jeanne Crain stressing about entering society life any day
Needing Gene Kelly to calm the fuck down in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Level of Ham: Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins
In recent years, Joan Crawford has gone from someone I’ve always casually enjoyed to a pivotal personal icon. The very underrated Flamingo Road, part of her Mildred Pierce stretch of playing tenacious & sexually mature women, illustrates why. Through these roles, her gorgeously soft-lit turmoil & determination are a constant through the barrage of bad luck or bad choices her characters battle
The Fantasia-esque visuals of “Inspirace”, where droplets and the like morph into a transluscent fairy-tale
Post-WWII Americanization abroad (Late Spring, Bitter Rice, Rendezvous in July)
Joan Greenwood’s voice is like some majestic creature that is going to lull you into an eternal sleep. She is a kind of infuriating opiate in Kind Hearts and Coronets
The Wizard of Oz-esque use of Technicolor for the garden sequences of The Secret Garden
Brunhilde Esterhazy: best character name or best character name? (and best character!) (On the Town)
The amusingly superficial posters on the walls of Dorothy Dale’s Charm School, such as the Personality Recipe (the components are appearance based), and the Which Shape Is Your Face? chart, filled with geometrics such as the very not face-shaped triangle (Caught)
Turns out that French films from 1949 with less than 300 views on letterboxd are my jam (Une si jolie petite plage, Rendezvous in July, Au royaume des cieux)
Four characters locked in by glares & jewels & power plays (oh my!) in Bitter Rice
Two show-stopping costumes presented as spectacles in their own right: Madame Bovary’s whimsical ballgown confection & Delilah’s opulent peacock ensemble (surely a greatest of all-time contender) (Madame Bovary, Samson & Delilah)
The sing-off turned brawl (recalling 1956’s “Lucy’s Italian Movie” which would use this film as inspiration) in Bitter Rice
The outré existence of Jose Ferrer’s astrologer/hypnotist character in Whirlpool. He casually outs a party guest as having recently tried to commit suicide (to the amusement of everyone including the man!), hypnotizes himself into post-surgery painlessness, warns his enemy of the alignment of Mars, and says things like “I bow to your abysmal scruples”
That huge plate of spaghetti in House of Strangers
The harrowing post-rape sequence in Bitter Rice. Rain, rice fields, and pain externalize the just-past
That all-too-brief moment when we’re treated to Jean Hagen & Judy Holliday looking really hot in drag in Adam’s Rib
A Letter to Three Wives basically invented auto-tune! (“Why th-hh-hh-ee bl–uuu–eeee ssuuuu-itttt?”) (Courtesy of Sonovox!)
The whip-pans of Au royaume des cieux
Coming around to Richard Conte in a big way with rewatches of Whirlpool and Thieves Highway, and a first-time viewing of House of Strangers
“Setting the Scene” opening narrations
(Beyond the Forest, Border Incident, Flamingo Road, A Letter to Three Wives, Abandoned, The Reckless Moment)
Title cards! Some favorites!
The ache of seeing Gene Tierney try to keep her projected congeniality together for her husband in the face of a murder charge & a muggy mind. She has never been more available to us onscreen (Whirlpool)
The metaphoric horror show of Blood of the Beasts, catapulting me into a meltdown that can only be described as unhealthily distressing
Max Ophüls making 2 (TWO!) films that interrogate what it means to be an American woman. While Leonora has to face the worth of her ideals head-on, Lucia faces the challenge of remaining Steadfast Mother Hen in the midst of violent crisis
(Caught and The Reckless Moment)
The shot of the dam breaking in Au royaume des cieux
The borderline surreal climactic heist-in-the-smoke of Criss Cross
The way James Cagney plays the I-talk-to-my-dead-mother confession to Edmund O’Brien. So intimate and watchful; a critical test that, if he passes, promises the rareness of trust (White Heat)
Semi-documentary trends popping up in films one wouldn’t entirely categorize as such (1949 is in the midst of the semi-documentary procedural craze yet there aren’t many any from this particular year)
(Border Incident, Follow Me Quietly, Abandoned)
The Third Man, a sweet spot masterpiece. How corny but true to say but every time you watch it it’s like “wow, people made this & now we have it & it’s a thing that exists, how beautiful is that?”
The terrible grotesquerie of Beyond the Forest which I can honestly say is one of the worst films I’ve seen (worth watching for how weirdly bad it is, I’ve never seen anything quite like it)
All those two shots with Francesca and Silvana in Bitter Rice
The famous sewer chase in The Third Man, even better than you remember, even greater than you know it to be. Cinema’s apex? Food for thought….
The central boxing match in The Set-Up. An absence of humanity, just hungry faces barking for blood, and one man’s committment to redemption
The canted & cluttered off-kilter world of post-war Vienna in The Third Man
The bold 1st act of Pinky which, Jeanne Crain casting aside, depicts remarkably honest dilemmas and scenarios about race that are actively confrontational towards white audiences, especially for its time. And then…it ends up being about the film’s one uninteresting story thread!
Seeing Setsuko Hara’s fortress beam of a smile disintegrate as Late Spring unfolds
The dead vigilant eye of Dame Edith Evans, in death her knowing glower locks onto Anton Walbrook for life in The Queen of Spades
I remember being a teenager when I saw White Heat for the first time, and being shocked by the emotion on display when Cody finds out his mother is dead (“She’s dead.” “She’s dead.” “She’s dead.” etc). It still shocks. A totally unrestrained feral piece of acting by James Cagney
The “ok byeeee” nature of Harry Lime’s exit (“So long Holly!”) immediately following the cuckoo clock speech in The Third Man. Also, Orson’s delivery of this speech and all of the rest of it. Nobody else would say Harry’s lines in his perfectly natural offhand way, with a rhythm that is its own kind of music. It makes you love the character. There is an urge to shout “No, wait, don’t go, you just got here!”
Geraldine Brooks in The Reckless Moment making me wish it didn’t take until the 50s for us to see teens with modern gumption onscreen
Elizabeth Taylor playing her first adult part (Conspirator), while still shaking off now-awkward kiddie roles like Amy in Little Women
The first halves of Tension and I Was a Male War Bride. Before the detective enters the scene, Tension is the best kind of lurid noir. And then there’s the sexy outdoors slapstick of I Was a Male War Bride, before it gives way to pleasant but ho-hum bureaucracy humor
(The Rocking Horse Winner, Too Late for Tears, Caught, Thieves Highway)
Anna’s forthright walk through the autumnal street; past Holly, past us. Through two funerals, she shuns the living through her loyalty to the dead
(The Third Man)
The height of the social problem film trend of the late 1940s, which would emerge as a mainstream trend in the 1950s
(Pinky, Intruder in the Dust, Home of the Brave, Lost Boundaries, The Lady Gambles, Never Fear, Not Wanted, Knock on Any Door)
The surrealist wall paintings in Audrey Totter’s apartment in Alias Nick Beal
Time, As a Factor
(On the Town, The Set-Up, D.O.A.)
Silvana Magnano’s face and body in Bitter Rice. Just go see for yourself.
Samson & Delilah: DeMille still kinking it up with incredible costumes, scope, & Technicolor. I loved it.
(The Fan, The Accused, Beyond the Forest, Champion, Criss Cross, Knock on Any Door, Twelve O’ Clock High, Edward, My Son, A Woman’s Secret, Black Magic, House of Strangers, Not Wanted, Kind Hearts and Coronets. A Letter to Three Wives, The Passionate Friends). These last two feature particularly intricate flashback structures, which confused some audiences at the time
The beautiful and sensual closing scene of I Shot Jesse James. They are outside but you’d never know it. They are faces emerged from blackness, a woman soothing her man in his final moments
Francesca’s character arc in Bitter Rice, from tossed aside moll to solidarity among hard-working women
The dance-hall scene in Caught; freedom in a crowd. Ophüls’ roving camera canvasses the outskirts. Two characters connect with their guards down, making room for candid and infectious laughter
Claude Rains unmatched ability to humanize characters who might otherwise not have been (The Passionate Friends)
We don’t meet the son in Edward, My Son!? We don’t learn why the confession happened in A Woman’s Secret?! These might work if the films were any good but they aren’t so it’s just nonsensical and very frustrating
This shot from Easy Living (1949, Tourneur), so full of longing. The film is barely regarded, even by Tourneur enthusiasts, in part because it was one a “one for them” of his. But it’s got a Daisy Kenyon vibe in that it’s a refreshing drama from the late 40s about complicated adults with complicated adult problems
A hill of tumbling apples & a fiery truck. A man burns for capitalism, but capitalism doesn’t burn for him (Thieves Highway)
Women in conflict with their desire for the finer things in life and for true love. Two different choices are made in The Passionate Friends and Caught
Kirk Douglas’ final scene in Champion; some of the most nakedly raw pre-Brando acting out there. Between him & James Cagney’s similarly animalistic outbursts in White Heat, 1949 features really powerful moments showcasing the vulnerability of male monsters
The Tale of the Countess Ranevskaya in The Queen of Spades
This particularly hot Burt Lancaster look in Criss Cross
The way The Passionate Friends illuminates interior lives & times past
One of life’s great joys: watching Anton Walbrook become untethered onscreen (The Queen of Spades)
The German Professor Bhaer in Little Women being very obviously Italian (played by Rossano Brazzi). Actually, most Professor Bhaer’s aren’t German now that I think about it!
The end of Easy Living; a shocking, nakedly misogynistic action, and a truly bold storytelling choice. I’ve rarely felt this kind of disappointment in a character
Feeling immediate worship and loyalty for Audrey Totter based on this early moment from Tension (delivered like “Drrriiiffffffttttt”)
The remnants of an apple peel and their heartbreaking significance in Late Spring
Apartment life at the end of the Chinese Civil War in Crows and Sparrows, only released at the end of the Chinese Civil War because it dared to be in opposition of Chiang Kai-shek’s corrupt government
A special shout-out to Lt. Kitty Lawrence, a bit character in I Was a Male War Bride whose short time onscreen is used for explicit kink-wishing. (“He could leave marks on me anytime. I’d bring the stick!”)
Flights of Fantasy (films that break with reality in different ways)
On the Town, My Dream is Yours, The Passionate Friends, Alice in Wonderland
The funky car-boat in Rendezvous in July, whimsically floating down the Seine, and featuring eye illustrations that reappear on costumes & decor throughout the film
The stale taste left in my mouth as I watched scenes from The Shop Around the Corner (presumably from its source material) lifelessly recreated word-for-word by the cast of In the Good Old Summertime
Dan Duryea’s nickname for Lizabeth Scott in Too Late for Tears (“Don’t ever change, Tiger. I don’t think I’d like you with a heart”)
Adaptations using badly dated, and entirely invented, framing devices with the authors as characters (Black Magic, Madame Bovary, Alice in Wonderland)
Toshiro Mifune finally allowing himself to release all of his pent-up emotions in The Quiet Duel
The faceless mannequin in Follow Me Quietly, and that chilling time we are fooled by it
With Jour de Fête as my 4th Tati, it might be time for me to admit he’s just not for me
Lizabeth Scott completely and unapologetically owning her roles as the most materialistic of women in both Too Late for Tears and Easy Living
Deborah Kerr’s bitter drunken hag performance in the last act of Edward, My Son. Is it good? Is it bad? Hell if I know, but it’s something
Hoping that one day Lou Bunin’s Alice in Wonderland can be seen in better condition. It’s not good, but the stop-motion animation & sets are quite imaginative. Fuck Disney for going out of its way to successfully squash this (they are even responsible for the subpar color film stock they ended up using)
Whirlpool & The Reckless Moment: two very different 1949 women’s noirs exploring the masks projected by married women at the sacrifice of themselves. In the former the turmoil is internal, about the psychology and relationship. In the latter, things spiral externally; noir and family are inextricable as Joan Bennett puts a brave face forward in juggling it all alone (the husband is away). They each even write letters to their respective spouses that are either thrown away or not completed
The # of films across genres from western to sports drama to fantasy to noir that are just about nuanced humans with palpable lived histories & relationships. These films transcend their genres & feel primarily identifiable and connceted by this instead
(Colorado Territory, Rope of Sand, Easy Living, The Set-Up, Alias Nick Beal, Caught)
Audrey Totter and the boxing ticket. To tear or not to tear? (The Set-Up)
Traces of gay!
(“Christmas USA”, “Puce Moment”, Such a Pretty Little Beach, Au Royaume des Cieux)
The evocative autumn backgrounds in the otherwise pretty dreadful The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
David Brian aka: The Pits. As if Hollywood thrust a crusty newscaster into leading roles (romantic opposites with Joan & Bette, the nerve! Bette is cheating on Joseph Cotten with this bag of sand in Beyond the Forest) showing a total disregard for audiences everywhere
(Intruder in the Dust, Beyond the Forest, Flamingo Road)
The age of Pseudo Psychoanalytic films winds down with Whirlpool. Preminger’s characteristically sober touch makes an unconventional approach for this kind of story
The Set-Up as a collective conduit for all the souls who inhabit the film. Such vivid empathy and consideration for the various crushing predicaments and hopes of these characters
The unlikely focuses of Thieves Highway. A roadside breakdown patiently unfolds as a life is saved and a bond is formed. You expect it to have bearing on the plot. It doesn’t. But it has plenty on the story
Confirmation upon rewatch that I still don’t care for Adam’s Rib
“Puce Moment” becoming a literal aesthetic board when I got prints made of screenshots and now have them taped to my sides of my vanity
Montgomery Clift’s inherent tenderness complicating his performance & putting him intriguingly at-odds with his character in The Heiress
Van Helfin’s suppressed & then unstable guilt in Act of Violence, initiating the film’s left-turn segue into the underworld
Father and daughter on opposite sides of the road in Late Spring; change is already here
The deep affection I developed for Christine in Rendezvous in July. She is maligned by her friends for her mean streak & envy, but her actions, driven by insecurity & mediocrity, are easy to understand. The more unforgiving the film & its occupants are toward her, the more I came to empathize and love her
Facing imminent death straight-to-camera in the final moments of Criss Cross
Orson goes to Europe
(The Third Man, Black Magic)
The brutal historical noir of Reign of Terror, courtesy of Anthony Mann. Invasive close-ups, tight spaces, paranoia, double agents, and plenty of beheadings
The hypnotizing hypnotizing sequences of Black Magic!
The sympathetic eye that Ida Lupino lends Sally Forrest in her social issue melodrama Not Wanted. Nobody is an archetype, there is no “don’t do this & you’ll be fine” angle. It’s all refreshingly light on didactics
Adult Amy’s outfit entrance. Autumn-as-dress; magnificent (Little Women)
Favorite Performances of 1949:
Silvana Mangano in Bitter Rice, Doris Dowling in Bitter Rice, Joan Crawford in Flamingo Road, Gene Tierney in Whirlpool, Judy Holliday in Adam’s Rib, Claude Rains in The Passionate Friends, Audrey Totter in Tension, Virginia Mayo in Colorado Territory, Celeste Holm in A Letter to Three Wives, Juano Hernandez in Intruder in the Dust, John Ireland in I Shot Jesse James, Lucille Ball in Easy Living, Gerard Philipe in Such a Pretty Little Beach, Dan Duryea in Too Late for Tears, Orson Welles in The Third Man, Barbara Bel Geddes in Caught, Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress, Toshiro Mifune in The Quiet Duel, Setsuko Hara in Late Spring, Chishû Ryû in Late Spring, Richard Basehart in Reign of Terror, Anton Walbrook in The Queen of Spades, Doris Day in My Dream is Yours, Mary Astor in Act of Violence, Lee J. Cobb in Thieves Highway
Favorite Characters of 1949:
Lane Bellamy (Joan Crawford/Flamingo Road), Christine (Nicole Courcel/Rendezvous in July), Claire Huddesen (Ann Miller/On the Town), Brunhilde “Hildy” Esterhazy (Betty Garrett/On the Town), Francesca (Doris Dowling/Bitter Rice), Silvana (Silvana Mangano/Bitter Rice), Claire Quimby (Audrey Totter/Tension), Sadie Dugan (Thelma Ritter/A Letter to Three Wives), Jane Palmer (Lizabeth Scott/Too Late for Tears), Vivian Martin (Eve Arden/My Dream is Yours), Anne (Lucille Ball/Easy Living), 1st Lieu. Catherine Gates (Ann Sheridan/I Was a Male War Bride), Harry Lime (Orson Welles/The Third Man), Sgt. Paine (Bernard Lee/The Third Man), Connie (Arthur Kennedy/Champion), Addie Ross (Celeste Holm/A Letter to Three Wives), Martha Gibson (Doris Day/My Dream is Yours), Lt. Kitty Lawrence (Marion Marshal/I Was a Male War Bride), all the girls in Au Royaume des cieux, Rui Minegishi (Noriko Sengoku/The Quiet Duel), Beatrice ‘Bea’ Harper (Geraldine Brooks/The Reckless Moment), Fouché (Arnold Moss/Reign of Terror), Joe Parkson (Robert Ryan/Act of Violence), Ed Kinney (Millard Mitchell, Thieves Highway)
Least Favorite Characters of 1949:
Kip Lurie (David Wayne, Adam’s Rib), John Gavin Stevens (David Brian, Intruder in the Dust), Titus Semple (Sydney Greenstreet, Flamingo Road), Midge (Kirk Douglas, Champion), Walter (Vittorio Gassman, Bitter Rice), Eddie O’Brien (Gene Kelly, Take Me Out to the Ball Game), Hester Grahame (Valerie Hobson, The Rocking Horse Winner), Sibella (Joan Greenwood, Kind Hearts and Coronets), Andrew Delby Larkin (Van Johnson, In the Good Old Summertime), all the kids in The Secret Garden, Hon. Charles Adare (Michael Wilding, Under Capricorn), Lizaveta Ivanova (Yvonne Mitchell, The Queen of Spades), Mr. & Mrs. Manleigh (Florence Bates & Hobart Cavanaugh, A Letter to Three Wives) everyone watching the boxing match in The Set-Up, Arnold ‘Red’ Kluger (Charles McGraw, The Threat), Mademoiselle Chamblas (Suzy Prim, Au royaume des cieux), David Harper (David Bair, The Reckless Moment), Masa Taguchi (Haruko Sugimura, Late Spring), Robespierre (Richard Baseheart, Reign of Terror)
Actors I saw the Most in 1949:
Robert Ryan, Jeanne Crain, Janet Leigh, Richard Conte, Robert Mitchum, Van Johnson, James Mason, Audrey Totter, Joseph Cotten, Lizabeth Scott, Robert Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, Arthur Kennedy, James Mason, Victor Mature, Kirk Douglas, Margaret O’Brien, Claude Rains, Gene Kelly, Orson Welles, Virginia Mayo, David Brian, Sally Forrest, Barbara Lawrence, Van Helfin, Sydney Greenstreet, George Sanders, Dan Duryea, Doris Day, Jack Carson, Trevor Howard
The consistently gorgeous dissolves & compositions of Døden er et kjærtegn (Death Is a Caress)
The last major year of Margaret O’Brien’s career, capping at age 12 with lead roles in two major adaptations of beloved classics (Mary in The Secret Garden, Amy in Little Women). She’d appear in other films & TV, but there was no place made for her as an adolescent
Bette Davis saying “I’m Rosi Moline” over and over again in Beyond the Forest, while I just kept hearing Nomi Malone
Of Mankiewicz’s two films from 1949: House of Strangers > A Letter to Three Wives
Betty Garrett openly lusting after an atypically girl-shy Frank Sinatra in both Take Me Out to the Ball Game and On the Town
Loretta Young’s wardrobe in the hyper-slight but genuinely pleasant Lloyd Bacon Technicolor comedy Mother is a Freshman, in which everybody wants…..Van Johnson…
The Miss Turnstiles Ballet sequence, the perfect example of my (and Kelly/Donen too!) penchant for abstract monochromatic sets from studio-era Hollywood. Vera Ellen gets to show off her talents and be the perfect hyper-faceted non-existent fantasy woman, all in just a few minutes.
The “Cool Girl” equivalent of its era.
(On the Town)
How did it take me this long to love Doris Day?
Sincerely, A Former Fool
(My Dream is Yours & It’s a Great Feeling)
On the Town, the first musical shot (very much in-part) on-location, the bulk of which is the film’s opening number. It’s a thrill seeing these actors buoyantly hit every major tourist spot in the fantastical time-compress only the movies can provide
Finally having context for that oft-used all-timer Judy Garland gif
(In the Good Old Summertime)
🎶🎶”The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down”🎶🎶
(On the Town)
The bonkers part-animation dream sequence that comes out of nowhere in My Dream is Yours. Ever wanted to see Jack Carson hop around in a bunny costume? Well, here’s your chance
Loving three-strip Technicolor as much as Two-strip Technicolor!
(It’s a Great Feeling, In the Good Old Summertime, Little Women, Mother is a Freshman, My Dream is Yours, On the Town, Samson and Delilah, The Secret Garden, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Under Capricorn)
The screaming match between Mary (Margaret O’Brien) and Colin (baby Dean Stockwell) in The Secret Garden, two of the most abrasive minutes in cinema!
Joseph Cotten’s in-the-moment choice not to give Ingrid Bergman the rubies in Under Capricorn. Such a sympathetic moment as he awkwardly hides them behind his back
The stone-cold hardening of Catherine’s (Olivia de Havilland) soul through heartbreak in The Heiress
Seeing one of the glass figurines that Karel Zeman used in his stop-motion short “Inspirace” at the Karel Zeman Museum, and finally getting around to watching it!
Joan Crawford giving Sydney Greenstreet what for in Flamingo Road with a couple of swift and much-deserved slaps…….an action she lampoons in It’s a Great Feeling, one of cinema’s best cameos!
(Jack Carson: [after being slapped]: What was that for?
Joan Crawford: Oh, I do that in all my pictures.)
S.Z. Sakall’s delivery of “and anyways she-she’s a dog” in My Dream is Yours
*** QUOTES ***
(littered, of course, with The Third Man)
“Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly!”
(The Third Man)
Aunt Penniman: Can you be so cruel?
Catherine Sloper: Yes, I can be very cruel. I have been taught by masters.
“Hell is other people…”
(The Reckless Moment)
“I don’t want people to like me. Nothing pleases me more than when they don’t like me. It means I don’t belong.”
(Beyond the Forest)
Claire: How’d you feel if someone broke your dinosaur?
Ozzie: Never had one. We were too poor.
(On the Town)
“Men are no good. They’re devious. Before marriage they only show their good side, but once they have you, everything awful comes out. Even if you marry for love, you never know what you’re getting”
“Death’s at the bottom of everything Martins. Leave death to the professionals”
(The Third Man)
“I bow to your abysmal scruples”
“Smash the windows!”
“Mariah: bolt the door”
“No part of marriage is the exclusive province of any one sex.”
Louis: [after murdering his cousin along with his cousin’s mistress] I was sorry about the girl, but found some relief in the reflection that she had presumably during the weekend already undergone a fate worse than death.
(Kind Hearts and Coronets)
Amanda Bonner: And after you shot your husband… how did you feel?
Doris Attinger: Hungry!
“A person doesn’t change just because you find out more”
(The Third Man)
“This is it. I’ve been waiting for it, dreaming of it all my life – even when I was a kid. And it wasn’t because we were poor, not hungry poor at least. I suppose, in a way, it was far worse. We were white collar poor, middle-class poor. The kind of people who can’t quite keep up with the Joneses and die a little every day because they can’t.”
(Too Late for Tears)
“The most dangerous thing about completely immoral women is their tremendous unused and unpredictable reserve of honest feeling.”
(Rope of Sand)
“Do you think women live in vaccum-sealed containers like tennis balls?”
(House of Strangers)
“I’m being constantly disillusioned. Has money completely lost its power? Is everyone motivated now by love?”
(Rope of Sand)
Lucia: You don’t know how a family can surround you at times.
Martin: Do you never get away from your family?
(The Reckless Moment)
Martins: I was going to stay with him, but he died Thursday
Crabbin: Goodness, that’s awkward.
Martins: Is that what you say to people after death? “Goodness, that’s awkward”?
(The Third Man)
“If you ever tried to get away from me, I’d follow you ’til I wore the earth smooth.”
(Rope of Sand)
Alan Palmer: This money’s like poison, it’s changing you, it’s changing me.
Jane Palmer: I wish it were that easy, I’ve always been this way.
(Too Late for Tears)
Capt. Henri Rochard: My name is Rochard. You’ll think I’m a bride but actually I’m a husband. There’ll be a moment or two of confusion but, if we all keep our heads, everything will be fine.
(I Was a Male War Bride)
“You’ve rejected your place in the world and I hate untidiness”
(The Spider and the Fly)
“Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t. Why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs – it’s the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I.”
(The Third Man)
“I’ve been rich. And I couldn’t get a breath of fresh air or feel the ground under my feet” (Colorado Territory)
Deborah: Why is it that sooner or later no matter what we talk about… we wind up talking about Addie Ross?
Addie Ross: [voiceover] Maybe it’s because if you girls didn’t talk about me you wouldn’t talk at all.
(A Letter to Three Wives)
“Always looking for a new way to get hurt from a new man. Get smart, there hasn’t been a new man since Adam”
(House of Strangers)
“Even getting hit by Reno was all velvet”
“You were born to be murdered”
(The Third Man)
“You going legitimate is like a vulture going vegetarian”
Sheriff Titus Semple: Now me, I never forget anything.
Lane Bellamy: You know sheriff; we had an elephant in our carnival with a memory like that. He went after a keeper that he’d held a grudge against for almost 15 years. Had to be shot. You just wouldn’t believe how much trouble it is to dispose of a dead elephant.
“Right from the beginning you might say she had a–well, she just had a voice with hormones”
(A Woman’s Secret)