November 26, 2017

"If you want to be tough about it — okay, it's a pretty silly yarn and it is played in a manner no less fatuous by the sundry members of the cast."

"But Mr. Lang is still a director who knows how to turn the obvious, such as locked doors and silent chambers and roving spotlights, into strangely tingling stuff."

Wrote the movie critic Bosley Crowther in 1948 about Fritz Lang's "Secret Beyond the Door," which I'm reading about because I saw this fabulous screen grab:

21 comments:

Ralph L said...

"The film recorded a loss of $1,145,000."
That was a lot of money in 1948.
I'm mercenary.

james james said...

That door is amazing.

Especially when you think how slow computers were back then to do the CGI.

-jj

james james said...

Did Althouse find this picture as a result of searching for images about 'Male Gaze' in the earlier post?

Because that's pretty good gaze.

-jj

james james said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

Never seen that one. Fritz Lang is awesome, though. The Big Heat is the coolest cop flick ever made. Glenn Ford makes Dirty Harry look like a little wuss.

I'm a huge fan of his last film, 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse. Great conspiracy yarn.

Fantastic silent films include Metropolis and Spies.

(I think M is boring and over-rated. Guilty man rightly accused. That's the wrong formula!)

Fritz made several great anti-Nazi flicks, including Ministry of Fear and Man Hunt)

Also I dig Blue Gardenia

He's not in Hitchcock's class--nobody is--but he's right up there in the next class.

EDH said...

Women hiding from their husbands behind doors in movies. Mostly bathroom doors.

Raging Bull: "Why'd you fuck Joey?"

The Shining: "Here's Johnny!"

Dawn of the Dead: "Louis, what are you doing?"

james james said...

The photo lighting made me think of this picture of Ed Wood.

He made movies in black-and-white, too.

-jj

William said...

Wang shot the man whom he believed was his wife's lover two times: once in the hip and once in the groin. He did this in front of his wife, Joan Bennett. She denied that the man who was her agent was actually her lover. Wang pleaded temporary insanity. He got a four month sentence at a prison farm. Don't try this at home unless you're the head of a major motion picture studio.........On the plus side, there is, at this time, no information that he ever wanked off in front of his stars and the agent was the only man he ever shot. I'm not sure if this indicates that Hollywood has gotten better or worse or has always been a septic tank. I'm also not sure if this was Althouse's oblique way of drawing attention to a Hollywood scandal.

David Begley said...

Sen. Franken appreciates that screen grab.

John Smith Smith said...

In the movie-lobby poster for the movie, the dress the star is wearing is pale emerald green. I have not seen many 1948 movies. I look forward to all of them being colorized some day, then I will watch. Seriously. People ramble on about how the "cinematographer" was an "artist" who "thought in black and white". OK, maybe they were good at getting good effects out of black and white (actually, in all but the best prints, various tones of dull silver and dull white and dull gray and dull charcoal). But there are people out there today who are almost as talented and understanding of color as Titian and Van Gogh, they would turn these black and white movies into something like vintage wine and champagne instead of the black and white burgers and a milkshake that they are. Only movie I can think of that doesn't need colorizing is Cat People (1942) and maybe - just maybe - Citizen Kane. And the beginning and end of Wizard of Oz (1939). Well, also the Three Stooges' Oscar nominated "Men in Black" (1936) and "the Bank Dick."

EDH said...

William said...
"Wang shot the man whom he believed was his wife's lover two times: once in the hip and once in the groin."

Reminded me of the demise of Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer:

Stiltz later testified before the coroner's jury that Switzer had banged on the front door, saying, "Let me in, or I'll kick in the door." Once inside, he and Stiltz began to argue. Switzer said, "I want that 50 bucks you owe me now, and I mean now." When Stiltz refused to give it to him, the men began to fight. Switzer allegedly struck Stiltz with a glass-domed clock, which caused him to bleed from his left eye. Stiltz retreated to his bedroom and returned with a .38-caliber revolver. Switzer grabbed the gun, resulting in a shot being fired that struck the ceiling. Switzer forced Stiltz into a closet, although Stiltz had regained his revolver. Switzer allegedly pulled a switchblade knife and screamed, "I'm going to kill you!" Fearing Switzer was about to attack, Stiltz shot him in the groin. Switzer suffered massive internal bleeding and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

buwaya said...

Thats a very nice piece of studio photography and darkroom magic.

Jack Wayne said...

We need a cafe to talk about the Koch brothers buying Time, Inc. All that winning! Inga and Toothless hardest hit.

William Chadwick said...

Jack Wayne:Inga and Toothless can console themselves that most of Big Media remain in the hands of "liberals" who are as addicted to government sniffing and State-humping as they are
the

William Chadwick said...

That was supposed to be "as they are" period.

Quaestor said...

...I saw this fabulous screen grab...

Quaestor saw those fabulous contours on Miss Bennett's gown. She was almost Hedy Lamarr. (That's Headley...)

BTW Joan Bennett went on to play the tediously mysterious Elizabeth Collins Stoddard on TV's gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. Fortunately for her and the whole crew, the show was rescued by the arrival of Barnabas Collins.

bozonomous said...

Doors played large part in all Fritz Lang's movies

traditionalguy said...

A closed door is a wall. Men keep secrets behind walls...until someone with the key opens the door. Thus spake Zausthrustra.

chuck said...

Ah, volcanic boobs. The forties and fifties had the best geology.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken B said...

Almost certainly NOT a screen-gab btw. They didn’t use them back then, they used still photos, often recreating a shot from the movie. Frames lacked the sharp definition.