Showing posts with label Lionel Barrymore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lionel Barrymore. Show all posts

Monday, November 6, 2017

Since You Went Away (1944)

Jennifer Jones, Claudette Colbert, Shirley Temple in Since You Went Away (1944)
Jennifer Jones, Claudette Colbert, Shirley Temple in Since You Went Away (1944)

"This is a story of the Unconquerable Fortress: the American Home..."

During WWII, producer David O. Selznick was searching for a way to contribute to the war effort. He was offered two opportunities by the government. The first was to produce a radio program, an idea he flatly turned down. Then the Navy approached him about starting a bureau of photography. Selznick took interest in this proposal but the project never materialized. Instead Selznick would produce a movie. But he didn't want to make a war movie. He needed to tell the story of WWII as it was experienced on the home front by those left behind. Fearful that he would be forever known as the producer of Gone With the Wind, this was an opportunity to not only make a great movie but to move from under his own shadow of fame.

The year was 1942 and Selznick was looking for a WWII home front story to be produced at Selznick International Studios. It took him more than a year to find just the right story. Author Margaret Buell Wilder had written a column in the Dayton Journal Herald called "Letters to a Soldier from His Wife." Wilder was a mother of two teenage daughters and while her husband was off at war she made ends meet by taking in boarders. The column proved popular and was even picked up later by the national women's magazine Ladies Home Journal. The letters were compiled into a book and published with the title Since You Went Away. Once Selznick discovered Wilder's book he knew this would be the film he wanted to make. At first Wilder adapted the screenplay but the final result was unsatisfactory to Selznick who would dominate every aspect of the making of the movie. He took Wilder's screenplay, broke it down and rebuilt it from the ground up.

The end result was the 3-hour family melodrama Since You Went Away (1944). The movie stars Claudette Colbert as Anne Hilton. Her husband Tim has gone off to war leaving her behind with their two teenage daughters Jane (Jennifer Jones) and Brig (Shirley Temple). The Hilton family face hardships ahead including rationing, cut backs, opening their home to boarders to make ends meet and worried about the family patriarch when they get the news that he is MIA. In their circle is Lieutenant Tony Willett (Joseph Cotten), Anne's former flame who still holds a torch for her. Then there is retired Colonel William Smollett (Monty Woolley), the crotchety old boarder who likes his breakfast a certain way and has unrealistic expectations for his shy grandson. Corporal Bill Smollett (Robert Walker) is said grandson. He wants nothing but to make his grandfather proud and to spend every waking moment with the object of his affections Jane Hilton. Helping keep the Hilton household together is Fidelia (Hattie McDaniel) who pitches in to help the family even when they can't afford to pay her. Threatening to break the resolve of the Hiltons is uppity socialite Emily Hawkins (Agnes Moorehead). To her the war is an impediment to her expectations of a proper social life. The saga follows the family as Anne, Jane and Brig journey through the tough months ahead and deal with major sacrifices, death and the unknown.

One of the aspects about WWII that fascinates me is life on the home front. What was it like for those left behind? The anticipation of the safe return of their loved ones who are fighting overseas. The struggle to keep the family going through a time of uncertainty. The rationing, the cut backs, the housing shortage, the buying and selling of war bonds and more. Since You Went Away is on the surface a sappy melodrama but explores all of the aspects of home front life in a profound way.

Cast of Since You Went Away (1944)
Cast of Since You Went Away (1944)

The movie was mainly directed by John Cromwell but he also had help from Andre De Toth who worked on some of the scenes and Selznick who stepped in as director when Cromwell fell ill. Max Steiner produced the score which includes an overture and an intermission. Since You Went Away features a grand cast of players. Lionel Barrymore has a small role as a preacher. Guy Madison makes his film debut as a rival for Jane's affections. Alla Nazimova appears in the final role of her career. A sharp eye will spot Dorothy Dandridge, Butterfly McQueen and Rhonda Fleming in certain scenes. Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker were married at the time of filming but separated. Jones and Selznick would later marry.  Selznick had coaxed Shirley Temple out of her early retirement for this film. Actress Katharine Cornell campaigned for the role of Anne but lost out to Claudette Colbert who was a bigger star.

Since You Went Away (1944) proved to be a success. It struck a chord with contemporary audiences who flocked to the theaters to see it. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards and Max Steiner won for Best Score. A newspaper announcement prior to the film's release proclaimed that Since You Went Away would be four hours long noting that it was longer than Selznick's Gone With the Wind. The film was edited down several times and the final version is just a few minutes shy of 3 hours.

I had avoided this film for years mostly for fear of watching Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker together. The way their marriage ended has always pained me. I'm glad I overcame that to finally watch the film. Since You Went Away is a favorite of my good friend Jessica of Comet Over Hollywood  who encourage me to see it. I fell for the story hook, line and sinker and was a sobbing mess at the end. It's overly long and sentimental but if you want to immerse yourself in the history of WWII especially the films of that era, it's not one to miss.

Since You Went Away (1944) is coming out from Kino Lorber on Blu-Ray later this month. The disc includes the Roadshow edition featuring the full overture and intermission of Max Steiner's score as well as a selection of trailers as well as closed captions. The Blu-Ray will make a great present for the classic film enthusiast and WWII history buff in your life.

Many thanks to Kino Lorber for sending me the Blu-Ray to review!

Google Newspaper Archive
Hollywood Enlists!: Propaganda Films of World War II by Ralph Donald

Monday, January 19, 2015

On Borrowed Time (1939)

Sometimes a film comes into your life at the exact moment you need it. And other times it's inconvenient or painful. My grandfather passed away Friday night. When I woke up Saturday morning I turned on the TV to watch TCM. Classic film as emotional therapy has always been a way for me to cope with what life throws at me, both good and bad. What I didn’t expect to see on TCM is exactly what appeared: a movie about a dying grandfather. It was the last 30 minutes of the movie and I wasn’t sure if I should watch it. In fact, I was pretty sure watching it was a bad idea. I watched it nonetheless and found a new set of tears streaming down my face. It helped me work through some more of my emotions and appreciate the meaning of “family”. After watching the ending, I went to Watch TCM to watch the whole thing. And I'm very glad I did.

On Borrowed Time (1939) stars Lionel Barrymore as Gramps (Julian Northrup). He's a lovable old curmudgeon who is taking care of his newly orphaned grandson Pud (Bobs Watson). What he doesn't know is that Mr. Brink (Cedric Hardwicke) is coming for the Northrup family. First he took Gramps' son and his daughter-in-law and Gramps is next on his list. Mr. Brink's name is a play on the term "brink of death". He's the personification of death and only people who are close to death or whose time to die has come can see him and hear him. You might ask, what's the difference? Some folks who are very ill can see Mr. Brink even though it's not their time to go. An example is given very early on when a coughing man stops to give Mr. Brink a ride in his car. He thought Mr. Brink was waving to him. This encounter is the personification of a near-death experience.

Mr. Brink's arrival is incredibly inconvenient for Gramps who is in the middle of sorting out things for his grandson Pud. Pud and Gramps are as thick as thieves. Despite the age difference, they both have youthful spirits and find much in common. Pud idolizes Gramps and his devotion to Gramps and Gramps' undying love for his grandson heightens the emotional drama of the story.  Things become even more painful when Aunt Demetria (Eily Malyon) threatens to take Pud away from invalid Gramps and Mr. Brink threatens to take Gramps away from them all.

Gramps recently made a magical wish that comes true: anyone who climbs up Gramps' apple tree won't be able to come down until he gives them permission to do so. This scenario adds a bit of magical realism to the story and a way for Gramps' to fend off death. He tricks Mr. Brink into climbing the tree. Anyone who touches the tree will die instantly however as long as Mr. Brink is stuck there he can't come for Gramps. This gives Gramps an opportunity to spend more time with Pud and to settle some issues.

Bobs Watson and Lionel Barrymore in a promotional photo for On Borrowed Time (1939)

A death always shakes up family dynamics. The true nature of certain family members comes to light and their actions betray underlying motivations. The best example of this is Aunt Demetria as played by Eily Malyon. She's Pud's aunt and the Northrup's in-law. Her motivations for taking Pud away from Gramps are selfish and dishonest. It's clear she's after her brother-in-law's inheritance. Gramps couldn't care less about money and only wants to protect young Pud. Demetria and Gramps are polar opposite and she serves to highlight Gramps' good character and genuine motivations.

Lionel Barrymore's performance is the best part of this film. Barrymore was quite ill at the time and confined to his wheelchair. Yet his physical hindrances did not affect his performance. Barrymore is simply charming and the Gramps character is the grandfather we all wish we could have.

Cedric Hardwicke, Lionel Barrymore and Bobs Watson in On Borrowed Time (1939)

Spoiler alert

In the end, Gramps can only keep death away for so long. Dr. Evans (Henry Travers) becomes the voice of reason and convinces Gramps that death is necessary for life to go on. It takes Gramps quite a while to convince others that he death is really stuck up in his apple tree. They think he's crazy and plan to take him away to the loony bin and put Pud into the care of Aunt Demetria. The film suffers at this point. Three-quarters of the way in, the plot line loses steam and doesn't pick up until events escalate in the last 20 minutes or so.

What's the solution to keep Pud and Gramps together forever? To have them both die. Mr. Brink tricks Pud into climbing the fence that protects the now poisonous apple tree. Pud suffers a fall and a near-death experience. He's paralyzed and in a lot of pain. Gramps takes Pud out to the tree and asks Mr. Brink to bring both of them to heaven. We see both Gramps and Pud come out of their paralysis and walk with Mr. Brink. A double was used for some of the shots of Gramps walking since Barrymore couldn't in real life. In one side shot of Barrymore, he seems to be walking but he's really just standing, propped up by something hidden his jacket with a moving background simulating motion.

In this story, death is seen as the reliever of pain. Mr. Brink is feared because he separates people from their loved ones. However, he's also seen as merciful, only after death though, because he relieves their physical and emotional pain and reunites them with lost loved ones. It's a tricky topic to cover. For those of us, like myself, who don't believe in an afterlife, the thought of death is especially grim. Why take Pud with Gramps? No matter what Gramps did in life, it was inevitable that Pud and Gramps would be separated. By dying together and going off to heaven, they'll be together for ever. This is a rather satisfying ending even though Pud is so young and hasn't experienced life yet. However, the accident he has qualifies the ending because we know if he had lived on it would have been a life filled with pain, suffering and lost opportunities.

Spoiler ends

On Borrowed Time was based on a novel and successful Broadway play by the same name. The opening credits refers to Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The Pardoner's Tale, a story about the battle with death, is most likely the inspiration for the story.

Even with the main theme of death, the film is filled with funny and heart-warming moments. Gramps has some great lines, my favorite one is:

 "Well, I'll be dipped in gravy."

The film has a wonderful supporting cast including Beulah Bondi as Nellie (Granny), Una Merkel as Marcia Giles (the local girl they hire to help around the house), Nat Pendleton (Mr. Grimes, a representative from the state insane asylum) and Henry Travers, of It's a Wonderful Life fame, as Dr. Evans. However, none of these actors are given roles sufficient enough for their talents. For example, the normally spunky Una Merkel plays a quiet and meek character. She has one glorious moment in the film when she stands up for Gramps, however her talents are mostly wasted in the film. Cedric Hardwicke as Mr. Brink and Eily Malyon as Aunt Demetria are the only characters who have significant screen time, interesting story lines and several moments to shine.

On Borrowed Time is truly a Barrymore-Watson vehicle. You can tell there is a great bond between the Pud and Gramps characters. The more curmudgeonly Barrymore's representation of Gramps is, the more we know much Pud means to him because the child is truly his soft spot. Also, Bobs Watson, a child actor known for effectively turning on the water works, was meant for the role of Pud. He has all the enthusiasm and emotion necessary for such a role.

Beulah Bondi, Eily Maylon, Lionel Barrymore and Bobs Watson in On Borrowed Time (1939)

I really enjoyed watching On Borrowed Time. It was difficult at first because of what had happened in my life. My relationship with my grandfather wasn't as close or endearing as the one Gramps and Pud have with each other but it was still very painful to lose him.

The film reminded me of two similar stories: Make Way For Tomorrow and Punky Brewster. In Make Way for Tomorrow, an aging couple is forced apart because of family dynamics and in Punky Brewster, Punky is abandoned by her parents and taken in by an elderly man, Henry Warnimont. Both stories meant a lot to me. Punky Brewster was an important part of my childhood. Make Way For Tomorrow traumatized me. I've always thought one of the greatest injustices in life is when two people who love each other are kept apart; whether it be a familial love like Gramps and Pud, or a platonic love or a romantic love. All of these stories remind me of that injustice and the importance of valuing relationships.

On Borrowed Time is a new treasure for me and I'm so glad I gave it a chance. It's a delightful film which imparts to viewers the importance of family, to treasure your loved ones and the time you have on earth.

I watched On Borrowed Time on TCM and Watch TCM. It's also available on DVD-MOD through Warner Archive.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ Dr. Kildare Movie Collection

The good folks at the Warner Archive Collection have released a stupendous 9-film, 5-Disc Collection of all of the Dr. Kildare films starring Lew Ayres as Kildare and Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie.  I was knew very little of the Dr. Kildare films so listening to George, Matt and D.W. talk about it on the Warner Archive podcast, watching the films and doing a bit of research online was a very satisfying way to approach this unfamiliar territory.

The films in the Dr. Kildare Movie Collection include:

Young Dr. Kildare (1938)
Calling Dr. Kildare (1939)
The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939)
Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940)
Dr. Kildare Goes Home (1940)
Dr. Kildare's Crisis (1940)
The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941)
Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (1941)
Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942)
Bonus: unaired MGM-TV pilot for Dr. Kildare from 1960 with Lew Ayres

Lew Ayres stars as the young Dr. James Kildare. He's just finished medical school and is on the brink of a fantastic career as a doctor. He's the son of a small town practitioner, Dr. Stephen Kildare (Samuel S. Hinds) whose footsteps he should have followed but instead chose to become an intern at the fictional Blair General Hospital in New York City. He shows promise as a diagnostician and the ornery but visionary Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore) takes Kildare under his wing. While Kildare only makes a measly $20 a month at his new job, he has access to a top facility, a big medical library, labs and a wide of variety of patients and cases. Dr. Kildare is rebellious and ambitious but at the same time has a generous and kind heart. He truly believes in helping people get better. His rebelliousness gives him an edge but at heart he's the same sweet wholesome doctor his father is. A common thread throughout the entire series finds Kildare breaking hospital rules and regulations in order save his patients.

It's almost unfair to call these the Dr. Kildare movies because what makes these films so special is the cast of unique characters that make up the world of Blair General Hospital and Kildare's hometown.

Samuel S. Hinds as Dr. Stephen Kildare and Emma Dunn as Mrs. Martha Kildare

At home there is Dr. Stephen Kildare (Samuel S. Hinds), Dr. James Kildare's father and the patriarch of the Kildare household. He's very proud of his son even if he is a bit disappointed that he didn't join him in his home practice. Dr. Stephen Kildare is a sweet and patient old man who is well-respected as the community's doctor but isn't as brilliant as his prodigal son.

Mrs. Martha Kildare (Emma Dunn) is the wise mother and matriarch. Nothing gets past her and she's always around to give good advice to her son. Her husband might be oblivious at times but she never is. Most mother characters in these types of serials are often homebodies whose worlds don't extend much past the household and who can be a little flighty and easily confused. Mrs. Kildare is not that type of character. She's as smart as she is charming and easily became my favorite character of the series.

At Blair General Hospital there is Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore), a crusty old man with a bad temper and gruff personality. However, he has a big heart and is passionate about what he does. Each film features a tender scene in which Dr. Gillespie gives some health and life advice to patient. Dr. Gillespie is so well-respected at Blair General Hospital that his influence gets Dr. Kildare out of hot water on more than one occasion and his stool pigeons are always on the look out for juicy gossip and insider information to bring back to him. While the focus of the series is on Dr. Kildare, Barrymore's portrayal of Dr. Gillespie steals the spotlight. His character is always on the verge of death because of a melanoma on his left hand and elbow. Perhaps this was a convenient plot point in case wheelchair bound Barrymore could no longer continue the series. But Barrymore's Dr. Gillespie continues on through the whole series and beyond (more on that later).

Other characters at Blair General Hospital include:

Laraine Day (left) as Mary Lamont and Alma Kruger (right) as Molly Byrd

Nurse Mary Lamont (Laraine Day) - She's the nurse assigned by Dr. Gillespie to spy on Dr. Kildare in Calling Dr. Kildare (1939). Kildare and Lamont fall in love and become engaged. The climax of their relationship can be seen in Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day. Throughout the series, Kildare grows to rely on her talents as a nurse and as a confidant and trustworthy supporter.

Nurse Molly Byrd (Alma Kruger) - Byrd is the tough no-nonsense head nurse that keeps Blair General Hospital and all of its orderlies, nurses and doctors in check. She's the only person who can put Dr. Gillespie in his place. Byrd and Gillespie are a couple without the romance and rely on each other in matters both personal and professional.

From left to right: Conover (George Reed), Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore),
Nurse Parker (Nell Craig) and Dr. Carew (Walter Kingsford)

Dr. Walter Carew (Walter Kingsford) - Dr. Carew runs Blair General Hospital and is the enforcer of its rules and regulations. He often butts heads with Dr. Kildare, who doesn't care for hospital rules, and on a couple occasions even fires or suspends him. Carew greatly admires and respects Gillespie. His character's main purposes to contrast with Kildare's.

Conover  (George Reed) - Conover is Dr. Gillespie's personal orderly and his right-hand man. He loves gambling, maybe a little too much. Conover often has to trick Gillespie for the doctor's own good.

Nurse Parker (Nell Craig) - This bug-eyed nurse lives in constant fear of Dr. Gillespie who loves to bark orders at her and confuse her from time to time. She's the polar opposite of Molly Byrd.

A scene from Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day (1941) includes Sally, Mike Ryan, Maisie, Vernon Briggs,
Conover plus other minor characters.

Wayman (Nat Pendleton) - Paramedic who assists Dr. Kildare on emergency cases. When Dr. Kildare takes the rap for Wayman's neglect of a particular patient, Wayman feels he owes a lot to Kildare. When Wayman isn't flirting with Sally, he's often found helping Dr. Kildare out of a jam. He's in the first 6 films then mysteriously disappears only to return in the three Dr. Gillespie films that followed.

Sally, the telephone Operator (Marie Blake) - Sally is the wise-cracking dame who fields hospital calls (mostly complaints or propositions) as well as the amorous attentions of Wayman and orderlies. She and Dr. Gillespie have the funniest lines of dialogue in the series.

Mike Ryan (Frank Orth) - Mike Ryan is the Irish bartender at the convivial Sullivan's Hospital Cafe who strikes a friendship with fellow Irishman Dr. Kildare. Ryan eventually takes over the cafe and rebrands it with his own name. He loves to flirt with Mrs. Martha Kildare and is always trying to get the interns and orderlies to eat his special Irish grub.

Nurse Maisie (Gladys Blake) - Nurse Maisie is Sally's back-up and manages the hospital intercom. She's Sally's rival for the orderlies' attention and is a big flirt.

Vernon Briggs (Red Skelton) - Skelton provides comic relief in two of the series most dramatic films. He's the orderly who thinks he's a wise guy but is always getting fooled. I wish they had introduced Skelton earlier and kept him longer in the series. Every scene he's in is a delight to watch.

Notable guest appearances include Tom Conway, Bonita Granville, Nils Asther, Robert Young, Lana Turner and Gene Lockhart.

The Dr. Kildare movies were always meant to be a series. At the end of the first film, Lionel Barrymore and Lew Ayres come out and announce that there will be many films to come. The Dr. Kildare series ended in 1942. Lew Ayres was a conscientious objector to WWII and because of public outcry did not appear in films during the war. The series was popular enough that they continued on without Ayres and what followed was three Dr. Gillespie films:  Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942), Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942) and Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943). The second film introduced Van Johnson as Gillespie's new assistant. I really think that Warner Archive should have either included those three movies in this set or at least followed up quickly with a single Dr. Gillespie set. One of those films includes Susan Peters, one of my favorite actresses.

The Dr. Kildare movies are a delight to watch and Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore are a dynamic duo. There are some outdated notions about medicine and treatment including a controversial approach to epilepsy and insulin shock therapy. However, the theme of the entire series focuses on preventative care and mind-over-body which still applies today. The overall gist I got was that medical science has advanced in leaps and bounds but there are still improvements waiting on the horizon.

This series isn't perfect though. I don't want to spoil things for you but one of the later films in the series is a shocking let-down. Also, I found the Dr. Kildare character difficult to connect to. He comes from a privileged situation. If anything goes wrong during his internship at Blair General Hospital, he has a cozy position at his father's home practice waiting for him as a fall back plan. This allows Dr. Kildare to take some risks. Not all of us have this convenience. I think his character would have been much more interesting if he had everything to lose.

I thoroughly enjoyed these films and would watch them again. In addition to the 9 Dr. Kildare films and their trailers, there is also a 26 minute unaired 1960 MGM-TV pilot for a Dr. Kildare show starring Lew Ayres. It features a very young Robert Redford which is probably the main draw for contemporary viewers. Lew Ayres portrayal of an older Dr. Kildare is charming. He's kind of half Kildare, half Gillespie. This pilot is bittersweet to watch. Lew Ayres was all set to play Dr. Kildare but made it clear that he wouldn't continue if the network was going to show cigarette ads during the commercial breaks. This unfortunately was a deal breaker and Ayres was dropped. The series was re-fashioned with Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare. While I couldn't connect with Dr. Kildare as a character, I find Lew Ayres as an actor and as a man endlessly fascinating! The recently published biography Lew Ayres: Hollywood's Conscientious Objector is now at the top of my wish list.

The Dr. Kildare Movie Collection is available in a 5-Disc DVD-MOD set from Warner Archive. You can also purchase it at the TCM Shop.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. I received the Dr. Kildare Movie Collection from Warner Archive to review.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Key Largo (1948)

Key Largo (1948) is a fine film indeed because of it's acute attention to detail. It's character and plot development are straight on. We learn so much from so little. Let's take a look at some details that really stand out:
  • Dual storms - There is a hurricane outside and an equally dangerous storm brewing inside the hotel. This duality increases the tension and makes for great suspense.
  • Ridiculous Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) - He's in the midst of unforgiving tropical heat, spends his days in a tub of cold water with a fan oscillating next to him. Yet he'll still don a full-on robe complete with pocket square, scarf and lit up cigar even though it's the most ridiculous ensemble to wear in such heat. He also refuses to bring in his boat during the hurricane and eventually loses it. To top it all off he brings his drunk girlfriend Gaye (Claire Trevor) who foils his plans every which way she can. For such a smart conniving gangster, Rocco becomes a complete idiot in Key Largo and that says something about his future.
  • Conflicted Frank McCloud (Bogie) - He survived WWII through his cowardice. He doesn't know whether he's coming or going or whether he should be brave and take action or whether he should just let things happen as they will. You can see the conflict in his eyes. The desire to be a better person but the debilitating fear that grips him.
  • Native Americans - Perhaps this is a John Huston touch. The camera focuses at one point on a group of Native Americans and Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall) spends a considerable amount of screen time introducing us to a 100+ year old woman. The camera adores her wrinkled constitution focusing on it so closely that her face takes up the whole screen. It humanizes the story in many ways.
  • Lionel Barrymore in a wheelchair - How can this not tug on your heartstrings? If you are familiar with Barrymore's earlier work, you'll understand that it's difficult to watch him in this state towards the end of his career. It's not just the character in the wheelchair it's the actor too.
  • Lush versus Widow - Juxtaposition of two opposing female characters adds a lot to the story. It makes us understand each of the two characters and their interactions with both Rocco and McCloud help us understand those male characters too.
  • Uncomfortable - Those goons at the beginning of the picture made me terribly uncomfortable. They made the other characters uncomfortable too. The way they spoke, their restlessness and their short fuses made me scared of what was to come. It was tension before the real tension even started.
You can see this film in many ways. As a Bogie film. As a Bogie-Bacall film. As a Bogie-Robinson film. Or even as a Bogie-Trevor film. But what anchors the film is Bogie himself. He's what all the plot points depend on even when he seems to be lurking in the background. In the end, this is really a Bogie film.

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