April 20, 2013

Hollywood law: Double jeopardy.

Here's the assistant district attorney, addressing a woman who has committed a crime:
"You see, there is a law that no one may be tried twice for the same wrong. I think it's a good law. In a way, you've been tried once, Miss Kelton, and you sentenced yourself to a bitter memory that only time can erase."
That is, the accused own self-torment is the trial and punishment that speaks in favor of a decision not to prosecute (assuming the victim of the crime wants it that way). I won't put in any further spoilers, because I highly recommend the 1949 movie "Not Wanted" about a young woman who falls for a piano player and gets pregnant. If you want to think about the problem of unwed mothers in the historical context predating birth control, abortion, and the normalization of single motherhood, this is just the thing.

This is a very cheaply made film noir, with many scenes in which 2 actors emote at and around each other. Patterns of light and shadow take the place of set design. It's melodramatic, but there's complexity to the characters. The piano player — who has what I'm just guessing is the single most common name for a character in the movies ("Steve Ryan") — is played by Leo Penn, the father of Sean Penn. Leo Penn — who's great in this movie — was later blacklisted after refusing to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

The credits for "Not Wanted" display Elmer Clifton as the director, but he had a heart attack midway through the project and Ida Lupino, one of the screenwriters, took over. Lupino was an actress who — Wikipedia says — turned to directing when she was on suspension for refusing a role.

We watched "Not Wanted" via Amazon "instant video," streaming it with a Roku 3, which worked really well. The Roku 3 is great, by the way. It has an earphone plug in the remote control.

34 comments:

Michael K said...

The LAPD officers who arrested Rodney King (and incidentally saved his life) learned about double jeopardy. They were acquitted by a jury of their peers and retried by the feds and went to prison.

ndspinelli said...

Sounds like an ED Wood flick.

edutcher said...

Both of them did massive TV work in the 50s and 60s.

Didn't know, thought, that Ida was a writer (or a producer or a songbird), too.

A quintuple threat.

campy said...

A pretty common attitude toward female criminals even today. "Oh, she feels so remorseful, she's been punished enough. Besides, the guy had it coming."

Freeman Hunt said...

I highly recommend Sennheiser wireless headphones.

Marshal said...

Leo Penn — who's great in this movie — was later blacklisted after refusing to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

I always wondered how Spicoli ended up such an idiot. Overreaction is a better excuse than scientology.

Howard said...

Sean's probably screwed up 'cause his dad hated Amerika. Here is proof:

Penn served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II as a B-24 Liberator bombardier with the 755th Bomb Squadron, 458th Bomb Group, stationed in England as part of the Eighth Air Force.

Howard said...

Sean's probably screwed up 'cause his dad hated Amerika. Here is proof:

Penn served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II as a B-24 Liberator bombardier with the 755th Bomb Squadron, 458th Bomb Group, stationed in England as part of the Eighth Air Force.

edutcher said...

A lot of guys in WWII were fighting to save the Soviet Union.

geokstr said...

Howard said...
Sean's probably screwed up 'cause his dad hated Amerika. Here is proof...


I assume this is an attempt at sarcasm.

So why is the fact that his father served in WWII against the GERMANS proof that he wasn't a far leftist? Most communists in the United States loved both Uncle Joe and Adolf until Hitler attacked Russia, then they had to choose between them. And every one of the Hollywood Ten who wouldn't testify either later admitted, or were eventually shown, to be communists.

He didn't have to "hate America" to be a communist, just another useful idiot (or worse).

ed said...

You know I really have a very hard time getting worked up over the fact that avowed 5th column communists in Hollywood got blacklisted from their cushy capitalist jobs.

Michael K said...

Sean's probably screwed up 'cause his dad hated Amerika. Here is proof:

Penn served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II as a B-24 Liberator bombardier with the 755th Bomb Squadron, 458th Bomb Group, stationed in England as part of the Eighth Air Force."

Yes, fighting as Stalin's ally. There were lots of temporary conversions when Hitler invaded the USSR.

Your point ?

Jeff Teal said...

Hollywood blacklist is just another way of reminding us that capitalists really do not like paying for nasty little vipers to bite us in the ass. Like docs writing fake excuses and now an admin squirreling away taxpayer money for uncontrolled purposes.

gadfly said...

Sean and Leo - like father, like son.

gadfly said...

Sean and Leo - like father, like son.

Emil Blatz said...

Ida Lupino was married to Howard Duff, but not permanently.

chickelit said...

A lot of guys in WWII were fighting to save the Soviet Union.

On the left, at the time, they framed it in simpler terms:

And so the issue is drawn. It is now a fight to the death between the nations dominated by the brutal cult of totalitarianism and the nations of free peoples left in the world. The battle is now joined between Naziism and Fascism on one side and democracy on the other.
~William T. Evjue, founder and editor of Madison's The Capital Times, in a signed editorial published after Pearl Harbor.

It just wasn't possible for us to fight both Hitler and Stalin at the same time. The Cold War had to wait. And when it came, Evjue led the way fighting McCarthyism. Leo Penn sounds a lot like Evjue.

Howard said...

At least you chickenhawks are consistent. It's OK to disparage the motives of US combat vets that don't adhere to the Joseph McCarthy narrative.

Thanks for making my point

chickelit said...

Thanks for making my point

Hey, I think Sean Penn wrecked his dad's reputation here. I know he's a big actor, rich and famous and all, but still he's pretty much a loser at politics.

campy said...

"Chickenhawk" argument = a leftard with nothing intelligent to say

TML said...

Professor, a little bit about the decision to go Roku over Apple TV if you would? We're trying to go that route but are torn between our pathetic Apple love and practicality. We think. The Apple TV might be just the thing.

Ann Althouse said...

"Professor, a little bit about the decision to go Roku over Apple TV if you would? We're trying to go that route but are torn between our pathetic Apple love and practicality. We think. The Apple TV might be just the thing."

I love Apple and would have leaned that way, but I wanted to use Amazon prime, which I already have for the free shipping. Nearly everything I want to watch is free, and it's streaming beautifully.

And I thought the new Roku 3 would work well with MLB, which Meade likes. Thought the earphone on the remote was cool and would be nice for us, where we are often in the same room but one of us is reading.

cubanbob said...

its time to rethink the welfare state to renormalize two parent families.

As for Leo Penn's war record, he served in a very dangerous position so whatever his motives were it doesn't matter. He served and he took the risk and that is that needs to be said.

Howard, your chicken hawk comment defines you for what you are: an ass. WW1, an unnecessary war brought to us by a progressive president. 50,000 KIA in just one year. Korea, a cluster thanks to a liberal president. Vietnam a cluster brought to us a liberal president and a defeat snatch from victory thanks to democrats. Iraq and iran turning out sour, all thanks to another progressive president. Maybe the left should stop getting the country into wars and sandbagging victory. Incidentally the left in this country was very anti-war until the Soviet Union was attacked then they became very pro-war. Just shows what unprincipled scum leftists are.

cubanbob said...

Ann if you are a movie buff also get the Apple TV. It's only $100 and between the Roku and the Apple TV you got everything pretty much covered. The problem with most streaming video such as Amazon Prime and Netflix is that a lot of what they offer isn't very good and often what is good is only on DVD.

Ann Althouse said...

What would I get from Apple TV that I don't have? I have a DVD player. I have AT&T UVerse with a dvr.

JAL said...

Loving Amazon Prime Instant videos. Lots of free stuff.

No cable, so we have watched some things we didn't even know were out here.

JAL said...

Leo Penn was a lucky / blessed man.

B-24s had major issues in the air.

Louis Zamperini's story [Unbroken] of the B-24 in the Pacific gave some horrific numbers.

Other than that ...

Surfed said...

Love Roku. Freedom.

gatorbait said...

One minor point , it was the House Committee on Un-American Activities .

Re Leo Penn,so what? For every Leo Penn, there were a thousand Jimmy Stewarts .

gatorbait said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RazorSharpSundries said...

Some Blacklist, according to imdb, Leo Penn had 22 acting credits during the 1950's, for an unknown character actor, pretty steady work.

RazorSharpSundries said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robert berlin said...

Really Sean and Leo - like father, like son.

robert berlin said...

absolutely right..... Sean and Leo - like father, like son.