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crime of passion

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  • joe_mcelhaney
    I can t create a Ten Best list for 2003 since I didn t like much of anything this year. (The best time I had at the movies was watching CHARLIE S ANGELS: FULL
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2004
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      I can't create a Ten Best list for 2003 since I didn't like much of
      anything this year. (The best time I had at the movies was watching
      CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE, especially wonderful for Drew
      Barrymore's heavy metal flashback.)

      Much better than any film I saw in a theater in 2003 is the just-
      released DVD of Gerd Oswald's CRIME OF PASSION, which I strongly
      recommend to everyone in the group. At the risk of overselling it, I
      think it's an astonishing work and one of the most neglected major
      American films of the 1950s: Strong script (by Jo Eisinger) and
      performances (by Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr, Fay
      Wray, Virginia Grey)and good work by Joseph LaShelle. But Oswald's
      direction is something else again. Almost every shot is a small
      miracle of off-centered framing and use of multiple planes of action,
      none of it superfluous and all of it tied to the despair of
      Stanwyck's character after she makes the disastrous mistake of giving
      up her career as a journalist to marry a mediocre cop. Oswald may be
      the last in a line of major German emigree directors (even though, to
      the best of my knowledge, he did not direct in Germany until the
      1960s)and the point-of-view of a film like CRIME OF PASSION looks
      ahead to someone like Fassbinder as much as it looks back to Lang or
      Siodmak. The last shot of CRIME OF PASSION even anticipates the last
      shot of Fassbinder's MARTHA, in both cases elevator doors slowly
      closing on their heroines, decisively sealing their fates.
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