Thursday, December 13, 2018

Lady in the Lake - 1947

(As a Christmas gift to me, Debbie is covering the blog for the rest of the year.  And it's a gift to you readers as well since she has written four great posts.  Thanks, again, Debbie.)  

The last film Robert Montgomery made for MGM is an interesting one.  (I must admit, it is not my favorite Noir film Bob made, "Ride the Pink Horse" is my favorite).  But, still an interesting film it is.  Montgomery not only starred in this one but directed it as well.  The entire film was shot in the viewpoint of the central character (Philip Marlowe, played by Bob).  You are only allowed to gaze on that oh so handsome face when the character is looking in a mirror, or in the opening and closing scenes.  The remainder of the story is seen through Marlowe's eyes.  We see what he sees.

                                    Bob and Audrey Totter

                        Marlowe looking at himself in a mirror

The film was adapted from a Raymond Chandler novel.  Chandler actually wrote a screenplay for the film in 1943, but a version written two years later by Steve Fisher was used.  The film's timeline was changed from midsummer to Christmastime.  The holiday themes were an ironic contrast to the grim story line.  The opening credits are shown on a series of Christmas cards that supposedly are concealing a hidden gun.  I'll admit I've never been able to find it.  Photographs of the credits are hard to come by and not that clear.

                                        Opening Credits

The film had a great supporting cast that included Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Leon Ames, Jayne Meadows and Tom Tully.

                     Production candid of Bob and Lloyd Nolan

If you have a chance, check it out.  "The Maltese Falcon" it's not, but still very interesting and Robert Montgomery is much easier on the eye than Humphrey Bogart.

Oh, by the way, most of the movie posters show Bob with brown eyes.  This is a picky observation, but one that drives Kathy and me absolutely crazy.  Here is a rare "Blue Eyes" poster.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

TCM is showing Lady this Monday, the 17th, at 10:00PM EST. At last, a show time for when I'm awake!