April 05, 2009


I think I missed my epoch. I would have liked to live in the 40s and early 50s, I'm sitting here watching a half decent procedural called Down Three Dark Streets, and I think I missed my calling. I should have been an old time movie detective.

1. Snappy dialogue, witty repartee
2. Everything looks cooler in black and white
3. Dames saying things like, "You boy scouts got names?"
4. Men in suits, pointy women in dresses
5. Unwavering faith in the law=good equation
6. Voice-overs to provide helpful context
7. Smoking and drinking

But it wouldn't work. I'd never fit in ... and it's all because of the beard. Bearded people barely exist in these films, and if they do, they're suspect at best. It's the kiss of death (if you will), like having a too-wide tie, an accent or an Italian surname. Any ONE of these makes you a suspect ... two or more and you're a marked man.

Fun film, by the way. Grandpa Fred from Sixteen Candles is in it, and so is Claude Akins of B.J. and the Bear fame.


Rosemary said...

Y'know, I almost watched that yesterday morning on TCM--now I wish I had!

We watched _Mildred Pierce_ in a detective-fiction class I taught once, and I opined then that I wanted to be Eve Arden when I grew up. Still do. Sassy, no-nonsense, and smart.

They don't make 'em like that anymore, even though they seem to be trying to re-fashion Julia Roberts in that mold.

Anonymous said...

"pointy women in dresses"

Pointy how, exactly?

My first love used to pretend he was BJ McKay. Sometimes I was the truck-stop waitress and sometimes I was Bear. It's not that weird -- we were four.

What were we talking about? Oh right, secret word -- best one yet:


I don't know if that's just the gangster way to spell spies or some kind of Italian fish dish.

Sorry... grading papers ... making comments... have a nice evening

JB said...

Pointy how? Let me quote my all time favorite movie, Double Indemnity:

"I wonder if I know what you mean?"

"I wonder if you wonder."

Other cool thing about being cop in 50s: selective word omission while talking on radio. Repeat: selective word omission while talking on radio.

Rosemary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosemary said...

Or my favorite (Eve Arden) line from _MP_. A guy walks into a room where she's standing on a ladder and looks her up and down. She quips, in a deadpan voice, "Leave *something* on me. I might catch cold."

That is damn cool pointy.

Michael said...

I'm also thinking pointy women in pointy dresses, pointing every which way. I, too, almost watched that movie but didn't. I, too, think the noir world is a damn cool place, but like our Wordshed Host, I'd be in a world of hurt since gay characters never fare very well, either (if you can even read through the heavy coding to figure out which ones are gay).

JB said...

And for the record, when I said "pointy," I was referring first and foremost to the bras.

Michael said...

Well, yeah, pointy bras, but I just watched a 1951 SF film called Flight to Mars in which the women (well, one woman, the slutty Martian) had not only a pointed bra but comically pointy shoulders.