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Framed (1947)

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Framed (1947)

Postby moira finnie » August 25th, 2009, 5:11 pm

Image
Framed (1947) with a good performance from Glenn Ford, a steamy one from the mysterious Janis Carter, a reptilian Barry Sullivan and Edgar Buchanan as a would-be fall guy, was one of the movies shown on Ford's SUtS day, but I know several people have seen this in a real theater on the big screen and it is one of the movies that Dewey is showing as part of his upcoming Roxie program too. Not quite an A picture, this movie toys with fate and the dichotomy between appearances and reality making this a prime piece of noir.

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The only other movie that I can recall seeing Janis Carter in, (even though she was in several well known movies, such as Flying Leathernecks, The Woman on Pier 13 and the like), was Night Editor (1946-Henry Levin), a small scale story in which Janis gets her jollies by seeing a girl murdered. She is so turned on, she seeks out the murderer for an affair.

SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

It doesn't get quite so twisted in the more mainstream Framed. Carter, playing a posh looking waitress in a cheap bar in a small town is so blonde in this story, which was clearly drawing on The Postman Always Rings Twice for inspiration, she makes Lana Turner look swarthy. The filmmakers also have Carter wear white during the initial scenes introducing her seductive, self-assured presence into the film, and she wears progressively darker clothes in the second part of the movie, as the Lana Turner character did in the movie based on a the James M. Cain novel. Janis Carter also makes Lana look highly principled as she goes to extremes to get her manicured, white-gloved mitts on some loot, first by hatching a scheme to find a man who looks a bit like unhappily married bank v.p. Barry Sullivan in height, build and coloring. Then, she tries to manipulate events to her advantage, regardless of the consequences for others. Btw, other than the hair color, Carter, who radiates a considerable spark of intelligence as well as an awareness of her sexual allure, also reminded me a bit of Leslie Brooks, another small time femme fatale who enlivened Blonde Ice (1948) and a few other movies (though none of Brooks movies had as big a budget).
Image
Janis Carter and Glenn Ford get cozy.

All Janis does in this one is entice a clueless, down-on-his-luck mining engineer (Glenn Ford) into an arrangement that leads to another murder and theft. Btw, in a moment that made me think of Barbara Stanwyck's expression in Double Indemnity in the car, and of Janis Carter's odd moment of rapture in Night Editor, in this movie, as a car holding her alleged beloved careens off a cliff and burns to a crisp, the director Richard Wallace has the camera hold on her face as something like fascination, and arousal passes across it. Carter's schemer does have her redeeming qualities. She doesn't conk Glenn Ford on the noggin and push him over the cliff as originally planned, nor does she off him with some poisoned coffee, so I'm guessing that when she meets St. Peter at the pearly gates, she will have a few marks on the right side of the ledger. Not many, but a few. If you'd like to see a good piece about Janis Carter's life and times, you might want to read this obit from The Independent, which is one of the better sources I found
Image
A peeved Glenn Ford in a gambling sequence reminiscent of Gilda, but this time it's in small town America.

Glenn Ford plays this role that has hints of the same weaselly character he played so well in Gilda, (complete with a crapshooting sequence and a bad temper on display), but he is much closer to other "nice guy" roles he often played. His cynicism is of the school of hard knocks variety, and doesn't seem to spring from a belief that he is more clever than others. Though it takes quite some time for the truth to dawn on Junior, er, Glenn, and he shows some poor impulse control (especially around bottles of hooch), I really like the way that the character is literally careening out of control of his life (and his truck) from the moment we meet him as he crashes into town behind the wheel of a truck with no brakes.
Image
A weary, cynical Glenn Ford tries to straighten out his life in Framed (with Janis Carter in the background observing his interactions with John Law and friends.) Can anyone please provide me with the name of the bartender here? He is the bald guy over Ford's right shoulder and he was in a kajillion movies.

The character of the out of work engineer has his moments, especially when he has a hangover. Particular actions that are not necessarily scripted but are true to life and fit his character are one of the things that I enjoy about Ford's work when his performance is good (don't ask about his poor performances, 'cause some of them are humdingers). Here, there is a long sequence when he awakens in a cheap hotel after blacking out from drinking. His posture, expressive face and the agony that he seems to feel as he speaks to the desk clerk (the wonderful Art Smith) conveys his befuddled state and self-disgust perfectly. When he is given a note with Janis Carter's name an phone number on it with the 'come hither' message written on it, you can see him struggle to remember her and what he might have done. Interestingly, even as the movie segues into the next scene when he goes into an assay office to ask about jobs in his field, the aching hangover is carried over into the scene he plays there as he struggles to make a good impression. Fumbling with a paper cup, he finally finds a way to get some water down his dehydrated throat. It's a nice, unobtrusive bit of acting that I normally don't notice, but I liked it.

Ford, who manages to convey a puppyish confusion and a lingering guilt throughout the movie, is a tentative hero, who might go either way, into indifference or evil. His sudden commitment to the newly formed friendship he forges with mine owner Edgar Buchanan is one of the few less than credible elements in his character's development--at least to me. Ford's last scene, when a bank guard tells him he'll get a big reward for what he has done, is also beautifully done. As he turns away and walks down the street, muttering "you can keep it." with a mixture of self-revulsion, disenchantment and some guilt, you sense that this guy may not stay in this burg to take that promised job with Buchanan at his silver mine.

The cinematography by Burnett Guffey is exceptionally well lit and the print used by TCM was exceptionally fine. I particularly like the bar scenes, the scene at the mine and when Ford is on the run from the police in the rail yard. Carter gets the lioness's share of the closeups, but the cameraman had a great time recorded the mug of Edgar Buchanan throughout this film as well. Btw, cheapskate that Harry Cohn was, Columbia used the palatial "shack in the hills" where Carter and Sullivan met for their assignations in more than one other movie. You'll recognize the exterior and the interior from The Dark Past (1948), where psychiatrist Lee J. Cobb analyzed William Holden's personality disorder(s) while Cobb and friends were being held hostage. It was a great house set, might as well get your money's worth from it!
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby Dewey1960 » August 26th, 2009, 10:21 am

Moira, that was one sterling write-up on FRAMED, a film that more than deserves its growing reputation. I came to FRAMED somewhat late in life---I saw it for the first time a few years ago and was struck by how lean and tough this film plays, much more so in fact than many more upscale noirs from the same period. Over time I've grown to enjoy it even more and find new things to savor with each new visit.
Janis Carter truly does add a measure of spice, giving B goddesses like Ann Savage and Jean Gillie a run for their well-earned money. Next time TCM drags out The Whistler films, check out POWER OF THE WHISTLER which features another interesting Carter performance.
Thanks again, Moira for a fascinating and thorough discussion of one of my favorite B noirs!

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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby MissGoddess » August 26th, 2009, 11:36 am

Hi Moira!

moirafinnie wrote:SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT

It doesn't get quite so twisted in the more mainstream Framed. Carter, playing a posh looking waitress in a cheap bar in a small town is so blonde in this story, which was clearly drawing on The Postman Always Rings Twice for inspiration, she makes Lana Turner look swarthy. The filmmakers also have Carter wear white during the initial scenes introducing her seductive, self-assured presence into the film, and she wears progressively darker clothes in the second part of the movie, as the Lana Turner character did in the movie based on a the James M. Cain novel.


OK, I will have to watch this again because I did not catch that Janis' clothes got darker---I just know they got better, ha. What made her switch from brassy waitress back to her "real" self so interesting to me is that in many ways, her put-on as the waitress represented her true nature better than the polished princess, which seemed more of an act---more like what she wanted to believe she was or could be with enough dough: a real lady and a rich one.

Janis Carter also makes Lana look highly principled as she goes to extremes to get her manicured, white-gloved mitts on some loot, first by hatching a scheme to find a man who looks a bit like unhappily married bank v.p. Barry Sullivan in height, build and coloring. Then, she tries to manipulate events to her advantage, regardless of the consequences for others.


You've made me appreciate that the whole "appearances are/can be decieving" aspect of this film goes deeper than I thought. Poor Barry Sullivan, I seldom saw him play the sucker like that. And don't forget the very talented Karen Morely (the story seemed to forget her, once she made her single appearance as the put-upon wife of Sullivan). Where the movie had me fooled was in thinking that Sullivan and Carter were going to kill Barry's wife, and then put the blame on Mame..I mean Glenn. I like when a movie can surprise me like this one did. Of course, it just may be that I wasn't sharp enough to figure out what was going on.


All Janis does in this one is entice a clueless, down-on-his-luck mining engineer (Glenn Ford) into an arrangement that leads to another murder and theft. Btw, in a moment that made me think of Barbara Stanwyck's expression in Double Indemnity in the car, and of Janis Carter's odd moment of rapture in Night Editor, in this movie, as a car holding her alleged beloved careens off a cliff and burns to a crisp, the director Richard Wallace has the camera hold on her face as something like fascination, and arousal passes across it. Carter's schemer does have her redeeming qualities. She doesn't conk Glenn Ford on the noggin and push him over the cliff as originally planned, nor does she off him with some poisoned coffee,


Hmmm, well, Barry might disagree with you there. :P


Glenn Ford plays this role that has hints of the same weaselly character he played so well in Gilda, (complete with a crapshooting sequence and a bad temper on display), but he is much closer to other "nice guy" roles he often played. His cynicism is of the school of hard knocks variety, and doesn't seem to spring from a belief that he is more clever than others. Though it takes quite some time for the truth to dawn on Junior, er, Glenn, and he shows some poor impulse control (especially around bottles of hooch), I really like the way that the character is literally careening out of control of his life (and his truck) from the moment we meet him as he crashes into town behind the wheel of a truck with no brakes.


I like that..."like a truck with no brakes." Terrific! I have to watch it again, now.

Interestingly, I actually do not see Glenn Ford's character as at all clueless or slow to catch on, at least not slow to smelling something wrong in Denmark. What I appreciate about the film besides it's relative unpredictability is that Ford is not really playing the usual dumb sap. He is tripped up by his weaknesses and by the fact he's new in town, but he never really is either of those oh, so annoying film noir "sap" types that I loathe: The sap so besotted he willingly and consciously becomes a pallbearer at his own funeral; or, the sap who is just too dumb to know any better. Ford's character seems neither of these. He's very "street wise" and seems to know the score when it comes to people trying to pull a fast one or take advantage of a guy when he's down.


Image
A weary, cynical Glenn Ford tries to straighten out his life in Framed (with Janis Carter in the background observing his interactions with John Law and friends.) Can anyone please provide me with the name of the bartender here? He is the bald guy over Ford's right shoulder and he was in a kajillion movies.


According to Imdb.com his name is Sid Tomack.

The character of the out of work engineer has his moments, especially when he has a hangover. Particular actions that are not necessarily scripted but are true to life and fit his character are one of the things that I enjoy about Ford's work when his performance is good (don't ask about his poor performances, 'cause some of them are humdingers). Here, there is a long sequence when he awakens in a cheap hotel after blacking out from drinking. His posture, expressive face and the agony that he seems to feel as he speaks to the desk clerk (the wonderful Art Smith) conveys his befuddled state and self-disgust perfectly. When he is given a note with Janis Carter's name an phone number on it with the 'come hither' message written on it, you can see him struggle to remember her and what he might have done. Interestingly, even as the movie segues into the next scene when he goes into an assay office to ask about jobs in his field, the aching hangover is carried over into the scene he plays there as he sturggles to make a good impression. Fumbling with a paper cup, he finally finds a way to get some water down his dehydrated throat. It's a nice, unobtrusive bit of acting that I normally don't notice, but I liked it.


Excellent observation of a well crafted and acted scene, Moira! I did notice a touch of naturalism but it didn't register that he was still suffering the morning after effects.

As to the reaction to Carter's note, this to me was a sign that he was wise enough to know that it would mean nothing but trouble if he called that number. He knew a dame who'd go to all that "trouble" for him had to have an angle. The derisive look on his face told me that, as I read it. Too bad he didn't stick to his resolve after everything. :D

Ford, who manages to convey a puppyish confusion and a lingering guilt throughout the movie, is a tentative hero, who might go either way, into indifference or evil. His sudden commitment to the newly formed friendship he forges with mine owner Edgar Buchanan is one of the few less than credible elements in his character's development--at least to me. Ford's last scene, when a bank guard tells him he'll get a big reward for what he has done, is also beautifully done. As he turns away and walks down the street, muttering "you can keep it." with a mixture of self-revulsion, disenchantment and some guilt, you sense that this guy may not stay in this burg to take that promised job with Buchanan at his silver mine.


I liked his last moment, too, though the whole ending was a little bit "neat". I like Eddie Buchanan's role and only wish they had shown him again---he was just basically left to rot in jail! I know he got off because they caught the real villain but he needed to be seen again, to be more than just a "plot point" to me.

I still think Ford is a wonderful variation of the "sap" because he's tough and cynical on the outside, and yet vulnerable because of his friendless and "naked" circumstances. He must trust and reach out to someone, and Janis is mighty pretty....

My favorite scene is the "tea/coffee" scene when you see Ford and Carter really playing hide-and-go-seek. He knows she's up to no good and she's not sure how much he knows and...so it goes. I thought that scene rather Hitchcockian (Hitch seemed to like women who "sweetened" their men's coffee with arsenic. :) )

Btw, cheapskate that Harry Cohn was, Columbia used the palatial "shack in the hills" where Carter and Sullivan met for their assignations in more than one other movie. You'll recognize the exterior and the interior from The Dark Past (1948), where psychiatrist Lee J. Cobb analyzed William Holden's personality disorder(s) while Cobb and friends were being held hostage. It was a great house set, might as well get your money's worth from it!


So that is where I saw that "shack" before? Puts me in mind of the scene in How to Marry a Millionaire, when Betty Grable is sure that Rory Calhoun's "mountain shack" must be one just like this showplace.
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby Ollie » August 26th, 2009, 5:20 pm

A week after seeing this film, now I read all of these and have to plug it back in. Thanks for the great writing!

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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby moira finnie » August 26th, 2009, 9:02 pm

Dewey1960 wrote:I came to FRAMED somewhat late in life---I saw it for the first time a few years ago and was struck by how lean and tough this film plays, much more so in fact than many more upscale noirs from the same period. Over time I've grown to enjoy it even more and find new things to savor with each new visit.
Janis Carter truly does add a measure of spice, giving B goddesses like Ann Savage and Jean Gillie a run for their well-earned money. Next time TCM drags out The Whistler films, check out POWER OF THE WHISTLER which features another interesting Carter performance.


I think most of us saw this only within the last decade, Dewey. I may be wrong, but I believe that the Film Noir Foundation was instrumental in restoring and bringing Framed to light for most of us when they added this to one of their annual Noir City festivals.

I'd read that Janis Carter did some Whistler films, and I'm not sure if I've seen Power of the Whistler. If I did Carter did not make as vivid an impression on me in that movie as she did in Framed and Night Editor. From looking at her bio, it looks as though her two marriages to rich, older guys took up most of her time, but she really had some talent. Too bad she came along just as things were falling apart in the studio system. She might have made a bigger mark.

Miss G.,
Sid Tomack!! Thank you so much for identifying him. I've always wondered about his name. He always looks somewhat bitter and disappointed in life, but seems sort of resigned to his lot in this movie. At least he let Ford buy his watch back from him...for a price! Here's a brief bio of his life and times.

moirafinnie wrote:All Janis does in this one is entice a clueless, down-on-his-luck mining engineer (Glenn Ford) into an arrangement that leads to another murder and theft. Btw, in a moment that made me think of Barbara Stanwyck's expression in Double Indemnity in the car, and of Janis Carter's odd moment of rapture in Night Editor, in this movie, as a car holding her alleged beloved careens off a cliff and burns to a crisp, the director Richard Wallace has the camera hold on her face as something like fascination, and arousal passes across it. Carter's schemer does have her redeeming qualities. She doesn't conk Glenn Ford on the noggin and push him over the cliff as originally planned, nor does she off him with some poisoned coffee,


Miss Goddess wrote:Hmmm, well, Barry might disagree with you there. :P


Please, won't you tell me why Janis Carter's character had no redeeming qualities?

Btw, I barely recognized the lovely Karen Morley as Barry Sullivan's wife and you're right--they dropped her and Edgar Buchanan like hot potatoes from the plot of Framed once they'd served their purpose.

Couldn't we have had a scene with Morley learning of her husband's death and some indication that she had mixed feelings about it? I think that Buchanan was also owed another scene or two establishing his growing bond with Glenn Ford's character. I also wondered how it was that Glenn Ford knew the way to the mine so readily, when he never seemed to have been there before. The ending did seem a bit rushed and "neat" as you put it, but I suspect that Framed may have been part of a double bill originally, and needed to be trimmed to fit a time slot for exhibition. Something tells me there was some hamfisted editing at work, perhaps?

Speaking of hamfisted, when glancing at the prose of mine that you quoted in your reply, I noticed that I wrote "sturggled" when I meant "struggled". Yes, my lifelong wrestling match with the Queen's English continues. You can't suddenly get dyslexic in midlife, can you? :oops:

Ollie wrote:A week after seeing this film, now I read all of these and have to plug it back in.

I got more out of this movie when I watched it the second time, Ollie. I hope that you'll write your impressions of it too.
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby Mr. Arkadin » August 26th, 2009, 9:19 pm

I recorded this and it's in the "to watch" pile, but reading all these great posts (nice article Moira!) I've been enticed to jump it ahead in the stack. 8)

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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby MissGoddess » August 27th, 2009, 8:56 am

Please, won't you tell me why Janis Carter's character had no redeeming qualities?


Ha! I'm not sure why, maybe a case of spare the rod, spoil the child when she was little? :P

Janis reminds me of Stanwyck in DD, Jean Gillie in Decoy or Jane Greer in Out of the Past---
very "mechanical" women, with cash registers where the hearts should be. Lana in Postman was at least human,
she conveyed a sense that she could be weak and give in to her emotions. She was opportunistic, but she wasn't that cold.

We're never given any insight into what makes Janis the way she is, except that she wants the good life,
like Jean in Decoy. It's all about the gold.
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby moira finnie » August 27th, 2009, 10:06 am

MissGoddess wrote:
Please, won't you tell me why Janis Carter's character had no redeeming qualities?


Ha! I'm not sure why, maybe a case of spare the rod, spoil the child when she was little? :P

Janis reminds me of Stanwyck in DD, Jean Gillie in Decoy or Jane Greer in Out of the Past---
very "mechanical" women, with cash registers where the hearts should be. Lana in Postman was at least human,
she conveyed a sense that she could be weak and give in to her emotions. She was opportunistic, but she wasn't that cold.

Agreed. Turner's character really does little that will gain her money, except kill her hubby and then have the good taste to feel guilty about it.

MissGoddess wrote:We're never given any insight into what makes Janis the way she is, except that she wants the good life, like Jean in Decoy. It's all about the gold.

Yeah, isn't it great? :? Just like real life, we never know the whole story about why people do what they do. Many noir aficionados prefer their femme fatales and bad guys without the psychological subtext, since this renders them more mysterious. Me, I like a dash of background, though it irks me when their illegal behavior is keyed by one event or simply "their environment" as children.

I guess we shall have to surmise a background for the character played by Janis...let's see now...maybe she was born into a lower middle class family in the mid-1920s, father was a clerk at a bank who lost his job after the Crash of '29, (this may explain her attraction to money and to Barry Sullivan). After that, Mom took a job as a barmaid, Dad took to drink. While she had once been the cossetted apple of her parent's eyes, now she was neglected and began to hang around the wrong sort. While working in a drugstore in the late '30s, she discovered peroxide and fashion magazines during the slow times.

Soon, no one had blonder hair or bigger shoulder pads (did you see those flat boulders masquerading as shoulder pads even in that white bathrobe with the big PAULA emblazoned across the left breast?). Just before WWII, much to her own surprise, Paula/Janis fell hard for a guy who drove a truck. Soon drafted, he was killed driving as part of the Red Ball Express near Chartres before they could spend his allotment check together. In her grief, Janis shut down emotionally, assuming that the only thing she could count on was money. Then she started to love 'em and leave 'em, marrying and divorcing several servicemen--after cashing that allotment check. Following the war, she found herself stranded in the burg where Barry Sullivan seemed to be the only live prospect in sight, though she did have to fend off Sid Tomack for some time. Sullivan and she soon concocted the wildest scheme...but you know that!

Alternative imagined backgrounds for Paula/Janis are welcome!
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby MissGoddess » August 27th, 2009, 10:35 am

Ha!! Great scenario, Moira. It sounded like an ideal vehicle for Joan Crawford.

which brings me to a few noir femmes that were just as calculating but, in different ways,
brought enough conflict and complexity to their characters that they didn't have me cheering
for their comeuppance.

------------------------------SPOILERS--------------------------

Joan Crawford in The Damned Don't Cry and Flamingo Road. Both
characters are similar to me, both are on rugged paths and have never known smooth going.
Unlike Janis, who acts like she's always just looking for the next guy to sponge off of and
hasn't really ever had it too hard. Joan's characters at least tried the straight and narrow at
some point, and it failed spectacularly to their way of thinking.

Linda Darnell's "Stella" in Fallen Angel. We aren't shown her background though it's fairly
obvious and she makes it clear it's been rough going---but most importantly, Stella looks
as hurt and bruised by life as it's possible to be. It's like you can read her story in her
eyes and it's not just about cash, it's about knowing too young and too soon that love
isn't going to be the answer to everything. You still can end up alone and starving after
love and the figure are gone. (Darnell is so good in this movie that the whole shebang
falls flat for me once she...departs.)

Joan Crawford's characters are shown backgrounds that mitigate and entice our sympathy
for what she becomes. The actress herself comes to the story trailing years of similar
characters and her inseparable aura of climbing up the hard way.

Linda Darnell, by virtue of her essence as an actress, conveys a sense of hurt and vulnerability
underneath the iron will to never let emotions cross up her future plans.

Two ways of making otherwise unpalatable characters sympathetic. I don't get either from Janis Carter.

I will say that in a discussion of this film at TCM, a couple of members saw sympathetic
aspects to Janis Carter as well, so all this is ultimately subjective.

Just like real life, we never know the whole story about why people do what they do. Many noir aficionados prefer their femme fatales and bad guys without the psychological subtext, since this renders them more mysterious.


Yes, I've heard that claim before. Hmmmm....but then why do the aficianados, commentators and critics write reams
of analysis on the characters and read into them all these things that are not in the movie or even the dialogue? I think
those that say they don't need "background" may be a little full of it. They then would have to concede that film noir
features several pretty shallow and one-dimensional characters, something I don't see them doing. :D

Me, I like a dash of background, though it irks me when their illegal behavior is keyed by one event or simply "their environment" as children.


I agree---here is where I think you have to have the right actor/actress who can do the unexplainable: convey pages
of exposition by the look in their eyes, their body language...their very essence.
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby moira finnie » August 27th, 2009, 12:46 pm

MissGoddess wrote:
Just like real life, we never know the whole story about why people do what they do. Many noir aficionados prefer their femme fatales and bad guys without the psychological subtext, since this renders them more mysterious.


Yes, I've heard that claim before. Hmmmm....but then why do the aficianados, commentators and critics write reams
of analysis on the characters and read into them all these things that are not in the movie or even the dialogue? I think
those that say they don't need "background" may be a little full of it. They then would have to concede that film noir
features several pretty shallow and one-dimensional characters, something I don't see them doing. :D

I think that the reason the lack of obvious motivation appeals to some people is because it implies that a certain lack of detail is indicative of the moral chaos that lies just beyond one's elbow.

Me, I like a dash of background, though it irks me when their illegal behavior is keyed by one event or simply "their environment" as children.


I agree---here is where I think you have to have the right actor/actress who can do the unexplainable: convey pages
of exposition by the look in their eyes, their body language...their very essence.[/color][/quote]
That's a good point. Some actors suggest so much by their mien--often this is the product of experience as an actor and a human being. Two "small time" actor who conveys a lifetime in just a gesture or a look no matter what role he plays: Jay Adler and Art Smith. By "small time" I mean by Hollywood's warped standards.
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby MissGoddess » August 27th, 2009, 1:58 pm



Hi Moira!

I think that the reason the lack of obvious motivation appeals to some people is because it implies that a certain lack of detail is indicative of the moral chaos that lies just beyond one's elbow.


Ohhh....well, that I'm not sure I would know moral chaos if it sat on my elbow, ha. I guess I am just
confused when on the one hand I'm hearing the noir protagonists are complex and on the other hand they
don't care if we don't really know anything of their inner life.


That's a good point. Some actors suggest so much by their mien--often this is the product of experience as an actor and a human being. Two "small time" actor who conveys a lifetime in just a gesture or a look no matter what role he plays: Jay Adler and Art Smith. By "small time" I mean by Hollywood's warped standards.


I'll have to look up Jay Adler---agree about Art, he's one of my favorites.
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby Ollie » August 27th, 2009, 3:09 pm

I'm still overwhelmed by Janis' looks - the way she carries herself, her looks, everything.

I like a lot of Glenn Ford's dialog, especially when his suspicions let him erupt into the tirade where he understands "she doesn't look like a waitress".

Glenn Ford's handed a pretty great set of lines, in total. His drunken binges that he refuses to adjust but manages to use them ultimately.

And again, Janis' well-rehearsed "hand in cookie jar" scene - the actress has a choice on how to speak those lines. "Does the character have a chance of pulling another fast one over on Glenn Ford by sweet and calm, or could she moan regretfully and hope he'll help her out of quasi-guilt?"

Janis chooses sweet and calm. It was a tough call, and even as she's led out with cops at her elbows, that calculator is still whirring. She still doesn't look like she's given up.

Edgar Buchanan's "If I'm not back, well, sorry..." speech is well done, too.

Maybe my least favorite segment of dialog is Glenn's getting into the bank secretary's house and her hubby causing problems. I wish they could have reconsidered alternative behaviors - the husband could have just sat there, and let the tale unfold, as it did. Glenn could have ended up with allies instead of bruised knuckles and needing to look over his shoujlder.

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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby moira finnie » August 27th, 2009, 3:42 pm

Ollie wrote:Maybe my least favorite segment of dialog is Glenn's getting into the bank secretary's house and her hubby causing problems. I wish they could have reconsidered alternative behaviors - the husband could have just sat there, and let the tale unfold, as it did. Glenn could have ended up with allies instead of bruised knuckles and needing to look over his shoujlder.


Yeah, that scene was sort of forced. I wonder why they had such a clumsy moment like that at the secretary's house? It seemed almost comical and yet heroically foolish when Glenn Ford bopped the hubby, turned around and said "sorry" to the sec'y before running away. Wouldn't the police have asked her to recall every call she took that day? Didn't secretaries keep call logs for their boss in those days? Wouldn't it have been more effective if Ford overheard that tidbit of info by eavesdropping on the police when he visited Buchanan in jail? After all, they were a small town police force and probably weren't used to being canny about keeping info from being leaked.

Ollie wrote:I'm still overwhelmed by Janis' looks - the way she carries herself, her looks, everything.

So, Ollie, does this mean that you don't see Janis' character as at all insecure about herself, with her meticulous grooming and carriage indicating that she had studied her presentation to the world and that it wasn't necessarily second nature to her since childhood?
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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby Ollie » August 27th, 2009, 7:09 pm

so...you don't see Janis' character as at all insecure about herself, with her meticulous grooming and carriage indicating that she had studied her presentation to the world and that it wasn't necessarily second nature to her since childhood?

Honestly, I haven't applied those observations with such an elongated brush. I am unwilling to, as well, because that would give this fictional character some basis in real life, and I'm fairly unwilling to ever cast a film-character into "reality".

BUT... that being said, I do believe when she hears Glenn's voice in the bank's anteroom, she quickly wiffs thru her list of optional behaviors and makes a decision on one. Has she rehearsed it? It would be remarkable if she hadn't, let's say. She seems to be playing a game of chess with none of her opponents aware that they're even parts on her board. But I could probably argue that - she does think these men ARE parts on her board, and she's looking for some power to wield so she can manipulate them. That look - as she's led away by the police - has some resignation in it, but her chin pops up slightly, too! Mighty Casey might strike out, but she may be thinking she's got a game tomorrow!

As for reality's case... well, when women kill as many men as Men kill Women, then I'll start degrading women for manipulating men using THEIR powers.

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Re: Framed (1947)

Postby jdb1 » August 28th, 2009, 8:55 am

It's been very interesting and enlightening to read this thread. I've never seen Framed. I really cannot bear Glenn Ford, so I've avoided it. I wonder if I could sit though it just to see Janis Carter's performance, and maybe close my eyes and cover my ears whenever Ford is in the picture.

It's so fascinating to know that we have such very different reactions to the actors we see on the screen. I'm amazed to read comments about Ford's sizzling performance -- I think he's a passive and exceedingly unremarkable block of wood in every single thing he's ever done. I get absolute zero from him onscreen. Even looking at that poster in the first post -- he looks like such a sheepish, ineffectual goof to me. I've always found him to be a screen performer who looks so uncomfortable and uncommanding in lead roles -- I'll never think of him as anything but a character actor who should have been playing shoe salesmen, but was constantly miscast.

To each her own, I guess.


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