You Otto See It: Daisy Kenyon (1947)

An earlier Otto Preminger film, Daisy Kenyon is a film about a working artist, played by a too-old Joan Crawford, who finds herself caught in a love triangle. There is the married lawyer, played by Dana Andrews. He's suave, charming and tough but has a frustrated wife and two scared daughters depending on him. Then there is the vet/widower, played by Henry Fonda, who is doting and caring and available but tormented by his war past and the suddent death of his first wife. Shot in lots of darkness and soft focus (mostly to hide Joan Crawford's age), it's a romantic drama with a noir twist.


It's funny how a single moment in a film can have such a great impact. I was particularly struck by one scene. Maybe because it's a slice of life from the late 1940s. To set it up for you, Henry Fonda just stood up Joan Crawford who then was stood up by Dana Andrews. Fed up with the both of them, she takes her friend out to a picture. Fonda tries to make up for it by inviting her out but she refuses. He follows her to the movies and enters a restaurant right across from the cinema to watch for her (can you say "stalker"?). You can see in the image below that the marquee lists the pictures showing as Mr. Lucky, a Cary Grant film as well as the Edward G. Robinson classic Woman in the Window.



The scene goes...

Henry Fonda: Scotch and soda please.

Waiter: This isn't a bar. This is a restaurant or haven't you noticed?

Fonda: In that case bring me a steak sandwich and a glass of milk.

Waiter: Who's in there buddy? Your wife? I can give you the name of a guy, he's very cheap and will save you all this trouble.

Fonda: If I had a wife, it would be when she wasn't at the movies that I'd worry not when she was.

Waiter: [muttering to himself] Steak sandwich and a glass of milk.

I still don't get it. Why can't I get this scene out of my head? Before I go on ranting any more, I'll just say that you Otto see Daisy Kenyon!


And this is for Ginger. You're welcome.


6 comments:

  1. Why, thank you, Raquelle!! :)

    I'll happily add it to my 'personal collection"... ;)

    ...

    Didn't read this full review, though: DAISY KENYON is next in my Netflix queue, and I don't know anything about it except who plays the three leads, and that Preminger directs. (It's rare to go into a film not knowing anything...fun, though, when you're slowly running out of 'new' Dana films.)

    Have you seen all of Norma Shearer's, or Robert Mitchum's films yet? :)

    I remember an old post of yours where you were making a list...

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  2. Ginger - I love watching a film and not knowing anything about it. I did that with this film too. Let me know what you think when you see Daisy Kenyon.

    I can't possibly watch all of Shearers films because most are silents, some of which are lost forever. And Mitchum had a very prolific career. But I try!

    Have you seen Airport 1975?

    ~Raquelle~

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  3. "Have you seen Airport 1975?"

    Not yet. But my DVR is set to record it on Saturday. :)

    It's already got IN HARM'S WAY recorded for me: are you gonna be watching it for your Preminger study?

    ...

    "Mitchum had a very prolific career."

    So did Dana...what I do, is make a list of every film an actor ever made, and then I put a little box next to the films that are actually available (on DVD, VHS, TV, or by way of the bootleggin' internet), and I check 'em off as I watch 'em, and then I know if I've seen all the films I CAN see.

    I think Dana is at least in the mid-twenties now...about to up-seat Jimmy Stewart as The Man I've Seen in the Most Possible Amount of Films. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ginger - Let me know when you watch it. I cried buckets when I saw it.

    I use my copy of Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie guide to keep track of actors' films. Marilyn Monroe filmography is almost complete. I have only 4 to go. Mitchum is virtually impossible though, and I don't think I want to watch his Westerns. Are you working through Gene Tierney's list too?

    I have In Harm's Way on my Netflix but I'll have to watch it after the lecture.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Ginger - Let me know when you watch it. I cried buckets when I saw it."

    AIRPORT 1975?? I didn't cry a drop...I'm not a fan of disaster flicks. I watched it for Dana's sake (and wouldn't you know, they offed him pretty quick). I had to go watch AIRPLANE just to cleanse the pallet. ;)

    "I use my copy of Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie guide to keep track of actors' films."

    Yeah, Dana's not in it...but I do use it for Bogart, Cagney, etc. (the more famous ones, I guess).

    "Marilyn Monroe filmography is almost complete. I have only 4 to go."

    Have you seen her final, unfinished movie?? I was reading about it the other night.

    "I don't think I want to watch his Westerns. "

    Oh, I like westerns. :)

    "Are you working through Gene Tierney's list too?"

    Yeah, I'm gonna do her after I finish Dana, and Van Heflin.

    "I have In Harm's Way on my Netflix but I'll have to watch it after the lecture."

    When is this lecture?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I haven't watched "In Harm's Way" yet either.

    From what I hear, it isn't one of Otto's best films. It does have an interesting cast, though. I love Patricia Neal! It will also be interesting to see Dana Andrews in it after such a long gap since "Where the Sidewalk Ends".

    ReplyDelete

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