Archive for October 6, 2008

Quote of the Day: Fishhead

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2008 by dcairns

“They’re like alleycats on a fish head!” complains Allen Jenkins of the heavy police presence in THREE ON A MATCH (1932), but one feels he’s really looking forward to his future as the voice of Officer Dribble, I mean Dibble, on TV’s Top Cat cartoon show.

This movie’s climax seems to be a nexus-point for cinematic influences. A grand suspense/shock sequence in its own right, it uses a plot idea replicated decades later in DIE HARD — a body thrown from a window with writing on it, delivering a forceful message to the outside world from an imprisoned character.

Furthermore, the climax involves what the IMDb would call the following keywords: mother and son jeopardy; trapped in room; mirror; lipstick. So the spectre of THE SHINING isn’t far off, although all those elements are used quite differently in Kubrick’s horrorshow.

Earlier in the movie the little boy plays with his toy yacht at a municipal pond. This reminds me of Polanski’s THE TENANT, which includes a basically irrelevant but very entertaining scene of the same action, and the connection seems to me to be clinched by the fact that both films climax with a figure in women’s clothing falling from a window and crashing through a glass awning, if an awning can be glass.

So this little-known, highly entertaining Warners pre-code melodrama seems to have somehow extended tendrils out in all directions, colonising films far removed from it in time and space…

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