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Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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RedRiver
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby RedRiver » December 5th, 2012, 5:26 pm

As the subject of this unpredictable director's work has come up on two threads, I'll share my own feelings. Some lean toward "Anatomy" as his definitive acomplishment. That scintillating legal drama is a clear second for me. ADVISE AND CONSENT, a fascinating and thrilling political story, is my favorite. It's the best movie of its kind; sharply scripted, with thoroughly drawn charaters. A story that grows and turns in ways that are a little dated now. But that simply adds to the excitement. Imagine if this happened in 1962?

I'm pretty sure I saw SAINT JOAN as a child, and liked it. But that was so long ago (I actually went to school with Joan of Arc), I may be confusing it with another movie. "Golden Arm" is a harsh, gutsy kick in the face. THE COURT MARTIAL OF BILLY MITCHELL, while not a great movie, is quietly exciting. I guess LAURA is the cream of the psychological suspense crop, though I'm not as enamored of that film as some fans. As for the string of similar films that followed it, I prefer FALLEN ANGEL to the others. Not that that's particularly similar to LAURA, but the tone and the attitude are of the same family.

But there's a more important issue at hand. BATMAN! I have much respect for the Austrian's portrayal of Mr. Freeze. But the role was also played by Mr. George Sanders. In my book, it's hard to top anything by that elegant performer.

Konway
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby Konway » December 6th, 2012, 1:52 am

I haven't seen Advise and Consent (1962). But I will try to watch it when I have a chance. I know Gene Tierney was greatful for Preminger, because he wanted her in this film. This was the time period when she was in extreme depression. But Preminger's encouragement brought her back and also helped her to survive.

SPOILERS (Laura)

I like Anatomy of Murder. But I like Laura a lot more better. One of the reasons has to do with its ending. I like how Waldo's beliefs become so alive at the end of the film when he dies. Waldo says "And thus, as history has proved, love is eternal. It has been the strongest motivation for human actions throughout centuries. Love is stronger than life. It reaches beyond the dark shadow of death."

When Waldo says "Good bye, Laura." Laura and McPherson goes near to Waldo. At that moment, we hear the last tick of the destroyed clock. After the last tick of the destroyed clock, Waldo says his last words - "Goodbye My Love." Through these words, We learn that Waldo's love for Laura goes beyond "time" and Waldo proved that his love for Laura is stronger than his own life and it reached beyond the dark shadow of his own death.

I think this idea must have created when Otto Preminger worked with Poet Samuel Hoffenstein and Betty Reinhardt on the script. I myself found 2 characters the most interesting. One of them is Laura. Other one is Waldo Lydecker. Others were interesting too. But these 2 characters were written in a very unique way. I will talk about it when I have time.

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JackFavell
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby JackFavell » December 6th, 2012, 8:22 am

That was very well put, Konway!

I agree in some ways with your thoughts about Waldo in Laura, his love had the power to kill, just as love has been the strongest motivator for murder throughout the ages except for maybe religion. But that power turned inward on Waldo, killing him instead. It twisted his heart and made him a maniac. I suspect that his great "love" for Laura was maybe not love at all, but a longing for power over her, which his brain then perverted into a kind of love, as a rationalization for his actions. Then again, one could say that all love is a wish for power over someone else.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby charliechaplinfan » December 6th, 2012, 1:41 pm

Another movie to rewatch, that's a great thing about our favourites. I don't think Waldo ever loved Laura, it was the power that he craved which he recognised as love. I'm going to have to disagree, I don't think love is ever about having power over another person but I think the power can be mistaken as love by the person wanting to wield the power and sometimes the recipient. There you go I'm a complete romantic believing in the overwhelming power of love :wink:
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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JackFavell
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby JackFavell » December 6th, 2012, 2:03 pm

It's sweet! I like to believe it too.

You are making me want to watch Laura again, it's such a joy to watch a perfect movie.

Konway
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby Konway » December 6th, 2012, 5:29 pm

SPOILERS (Laura)

I want to share this to both of you. I am interested in hearing both of your opinions about this.

I thought Waldo was in love with Laura. As you know, Waldo gave her a wonderful career through his endorsements and other important contributions. We see that Laura was very happy with Waldo. Waldo became concerned about their relationship only after Laura "repeatedly" cancelled their dinner which happened only twice (tuesday and friday) a week. So Waldo became disturbed about it. He found out that Laura is having an affair with Jacoby. Waldo got the impression that Laura "completely" replaced him with Jacoby. So Waldo wanted Laura to understand his deep inner love for her.

Waldo hated the fact that Laura loved men based on their physical appearance. Waldo wanted to prove that his "inner love" for Laura is far stronger than any handsome young man (Jacoby, Shelby, and Mcpherson) by showing their "flawed" actions through evidences he collected. Waldo was able to prove his deep love for Laura through his own death.

Like Waldo, McPherson tries to get Laura for himself by showing infidelity of Shelby Carpenter through the evidences he collected. Ann Treadwell is similar to Waldo. She is in love with Shelby just like Waldo is in love with Laura. Both Waldo and Ann Treadwell are capable of murder. Ann Treadwell did think about committing the murder. Unlike Ann, Waldo had a weak health (epilepsy) which "may" have pushed him to commit the crime.

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JackFavell
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby JackFavell » December 6th, 2012, 6:45 pm

I have to think on this a bit.

I thought that Waldo was a mentor to Laura, and set up their relationship as such since he was the more powerful at the beginning of their friendship. He provided her with contacts and work situations that would benefit her, but I don't believe he ever made any loving feelings known to her outside of his actions. I am pretty sure that they did not start out having a mutual love relationship in any way shape or form, but they did get along as friends, or more accurately as student and teacher.

He became testy over her other relationships, especially when they infringed on his time with her. As she moved away from him (and I'm tempted to say above him in skills and talent), he became jealous and more controlling, because he saw Laura as a possession, a creation a la Pygmalion and Galatea. She began to not need him, and this was anathema. He was no longer able to sway her judgment or control her anymore, especially over her private life and romantic choices. Waldo initially thought that Laura would see the error of her ways, that she would come back after her fling, realizing that Shelby was weak and a bad choice, but this did not happen. What really galled him the most was a real love interest.He became inflamed over the thought that a lesser man would own her heart and her potential. He was driven to kill her because of his inability to control her any more. Not his deep love, though he probably thought it was love, because it hurt.

Konway
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby Konway » December 6th, 2012, 9:53 pm

I agree with you that Waldo was a mentor to Laura and we know that her career started with Waldo's endorsement and also with his several contributions. But it must be noted that they had a very close relationship. As we both know, they dined together at Waldo's home on every tuesday night and every friday night. But the below information shows the close relationship between Waldo and Laura.

We also know that one table at the restaurant was specifically reserved for both Laura and Waldo. This is the same table where Waldo talks about Laura to McPherson. We know Waldo and Laura spent many quiet evenings together happily at the restaurant. We know they dined the day before her 22nd birthday happily making plans for the future. Through Waldo, we learn that his relationship with Laura started when she was around 17 years old. We know that they had a close and happy relationship till when she was 22. If Waldo was a dominating man, then Laura would have mentioned about it. But instead, we see Laura blaming herself for the death of Diane Redfern and saying that she is as guilty as Waldo is.

We know that the beginning of trouble rose only after Laura partly lies to Waldo about not being able to come dinner on Tuesday and Friday. When Waldo found out that she is having an affair with Jacoby, he got the frightening notion that Laura will abandon a lonely and physically unattractive Waldo for a physically attractive man. So he fought every skills he got to get Laura back. But the argument between Waldo and Laura rises only after Laura's relationship with Shelby Carpenter. In a way, we can agree with Waldo, because Shelby did have affairs with Ann Treadwell and Diane Redfern.

Despite all these conflicts, what makes the character Laura great is how she deeply cares about Waldo and how she blames herself for the death of Diane and Waldo being a murderer. I think Laura ends her relationship with Waldo at the end, because she had a frightening notion that Waldo was the murderer. It was confirmed when McPherson finds the gun. In the end, we can see her consideration towards Waldo even when he is dying.

What is so interesting to me about the argument between Waldo and Laura is that Waldo tries to get Laura back by showing the infidelity of Shelby. This is same thing McPherson did. McPherson tried to get Laura by showing the infidelity of Shelby.

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby charliechaplinfan » December 7th, 2012, 3:36 pm

I'll have to watch it again to give you an answer you deserve and I'm looking forward to it.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

Konway
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby Konway » December 7th, 2012, 3:46 pm

charliechaplinfan, I know you love Cluny Brown. Poet Samuel Hoffenstein and Betty Reinhardt wrote the screenplay for Cluny Brown. They are the same writers who wrote the screenplay for Laura after Preminger worked with Jay Dratler on an early draft. With Preminger, Samuel Hoffenstein and Betty Reinhardt developed Laura as we see in the film.

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JackFavell
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby JackFavell » January 3rd, 2013, 4:11 pm

I just watched Bunny Lake is Missing for the first time, and I enjoyed it immensely. I liked it almost as much as Bonjour Tristesse, which is my second favorite after Laura.

The film kept me watching, even after I guessed the plot twist. And this is one of Olivier's greatest performances to me, he's so offhand and plain spoken, that I just fell in love with him. I felt Preminger's hand strongly here, It felt as if he did everything he wanted to with this film. To me it was a total artistic success, though I thought I had read that this was a failure of a film. I got the impression that he was able to get just what he wanted from the two young people, Carol Lynley and Keir Dullea, there is a chilling oddness about Dullea at the best of times, and it SO worked here. Lynley is very fragile so it really does seem as though she might have imagined Bunny. I only wish there were more of Martita Hunt in the film I would gladly have watched her sit at her table playing with her things for two hours. She had a line that made me laugh out loud, I wish I could remember it. The hint at an incestuous relationship was perfectly played.

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MissGoddess
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby MissGoddess » January 3rd, 2013, 4:16 pm

I really like Olivier in this film. He's simply superb as the detective, I only wish there were more of him. And Finlay Currie was marvelous in a small role. It's a very chilling film.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers

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JackFavell
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby JackFavell » January 3rd, 2013, 5:58 pm

That's right I forgot Finlay Currie who was a national treasure. He was wonderful as the doll doctor. I love these mad characters like the doll doctor and Martita Hunt's character, the ones who were so used to being around children that they were childlike themselves and seemed a little off? This is where the movie's charm lay for me, and it got me through the scary parts. I hated the school teacher, who was played by the great Anna Massey, but then she was just harried I guess. I liked all the little set pieces, like Keir in the swing and all the games as they reverted to their childhood. And the big house as opposed to the up and down school. The only problem with the story was you would think Lynley would have known it was her brother all along, but I let it slide because the rest of the movie was so good.

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CineMaven
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby CineMaven » January 3rd, 2013, 7:05 pm

Ahhhh "Bunny Lake..." I watched it the other day with a friend. Well...we watched, but we weren't in the same room. We texted each other throughout the movie. She's a school teacher who had lesson plans to do. I talked her out of it:

SHEILA: "I wanted to watch 'Bunny Lake Is Missing' but I have schoolwork to do."

THERESA: "Watch it. You can do your lessons later."

SHEILA: "Okay on your say so, I'll watch Bunny. I didn't intend to watch anything else."

THERESA: "Yay."

SHEILA: "This is a weird movie."

THERESA: "Stick with it. It's Brtish. They're weird."

SHEILA: "Ahhh there's Sir Larry. Was that Noel at the beginning of the movie?"

THERESA: "U got it. Dotty old bugger - Noel.

SHEILA: "L0L. Ok."

THERESA: "No wonder she was missing. She was illegitimate."

SHEILA: "L0L. No one even uses that phrase anymore."

THERESA: "Ha. They made that 'condition' normal. Good old-fashioned British methodical police work."

SHEILA: "L0L."

THERESA: "Great Xpectations. Miss Haversham's Martita Hunt. I don't care if he's knighted. Noel Coward's chewing up the scenery."

SHEILA: "Really weird."

THERESA: "Hang in there."

SHEILA: "I'm trying."

THERESA: "U'r more 'n half way there & u'll never have to see it again."

SHEILA: "L0L. The British are strange."

THERESA: "U said it, Gov'nor."

SHEILA: "I guess Anthony Perkins wasn't available."

THERESA: "Did you ever see 'David & Lisa'? Keir's a nutjob."

SHEILA: "She's not too bright."

THERESA: "What mom is. I mean....."

THERESA: "It pays 2 b an only child. U'r lucky. See the finish and then get 2 work. If you don't finish...Noel Coward's the father."

SHEILA: "Was wondering if Noel would surface. What an ending for so much talent."

THERESA: "Where could he go but down."

SHEILA: "I hate kid actors."

THERESA: "Ha. Including Shirley Temple & Elizabeth Taylor? Lynley needs a cellphone..."

SHEILA: "This is like the Marx Bros. Stupid. Scene is too long."

THERESA: "I hear ya. Well, it's Otto. Did that kid have a British accent?"

SHEILA: "Otto? That explains it. The kid is emotionless."

THERESA: "If she freaks, her uncle'll brain her."

SHEILA: "That kid had to be someone's relative."

THERESA: "Nepotism. I'll never get a break in show biz."

SHEILA: "Now she tells him he's sick."

THERESA: "NOW wasn't a good time."

SHEILA: "That was it? Damn British."

THERESA: "Haaaaaaaa."

SHEILA: "Back to work. It was worth watching. Particularly the company."

THERESA: You're welcome."

Sheila and I texted through the movie that came on earlier, "IT HAD TO BE YOU" with Ginger Rogers and Cornel Wilde. The movie could have been good if they hadn't tried to force the comedy. I'll say this: Ginger Rogers had a most gorgeous head of hair. And Cornel has a nice body. My friend thinks Cornel Wilde is more attractive than Dana Andrews. She thinks Dana is bland. I'll have to have a good long talk with my friend. She's sooooooooo wrong.

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JackFavell
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Re: Otto Preminger (1906-1986)

Postby JackFavell » January 4th, 2013, 7:22 am

WHATTT? Cornel over DANA???

And she thinks the British are weird.


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