40′s movies marathon – part 133

Tension (1949, USA, Berry)

I love how they’re beginning to push the noir formula to its extreme: Here, the unfaithful wife is practically a prostitute, and the cuckolded husband is particularly pathetic – until the tension tears him apart, like the rubber band in the brilliant intro (above).  Watched it all.

Batman and Robin (1949 serial, USA)

Worst. Batmobile. Ever.  And worst Robin.  Batman’s not too bad, just very very dull.  I’m beginning to see what they were parodying in the 1960’s.  Watched: Half an episode, then fast-forwarded to see the hilarious cliffhangers, and to look for interesting villains.  There aren’t any, just some stupid guy in a mask.

The Third Man (1949) - Orson Welles

The Third Man (1949, UK, Reed)

However it may seem to naive American authors, with their pulp stories about gunfights at noon, real life isn’t like a western story.  Real life is more like film-noir, with shadows and desperate women and the kind of cafés Peter Lorre might hang out in, even though he isn’t actually in this movie.  Watched it all.  Even movies I’ve seen several times before appear in a new light as part of this marathon.  For instance, the plot here always was a little hazy to me, but after a decade’s worth of this sort of thing, it now seems quite straightforward.

The Great Madcap (1949, Mexico, Bunuel)

Luis Bunuel, isn’t he the Spanish surrealist who made incomprehensible movies with Salvador Dali in the early 1930’s?  This is decidedly unsurreal and comprehensible.  I guess everyone has a mortgage to pay.  Watched: 5 minutes.

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