HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
   
 
Newest Articles
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
   
 
  Lady in the Lake First Person Folderol
Year: 1946
Director: Robert Montgomery
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully, Leon Ames, Jayne Meadows, Dick Simmons, Morris Ankrum, Lila Leeds, William Roberts, Kathleen Lockhart
Genre: Drama, Thriller, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Here is private eye Philip Marlowe (Robert Montgomery) to explain about his latest case, which began when he decided to try and sell one of his stories to a magazine publisher which specialised in the lurid end of the market. On arrival at their offices, he was greeted by Adrienne Fromsett (Audrey Totter), who was an editor there, and told him she was very pleased with what he had submitted, yet Marlowe was immediately cynical, telling her bluntly that she was only interested in him because of his profession. There was a missing person case that the head of the company was involved with as it was his wife who had disappeared, and Marlowe was keen to investigate...

There was one aspect to this adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel Lady in the Lake that everyone who saw it remarked upon, since it was impossible to miss: it was entirely told in the first person, that was, director and star Robert Montgomery used subjective camera throughout, meaning everything we saw was through his eyes. This extreme point of view cinema was not a style often returned to, indeed there was not much precedent for it other than, most famously, the opening of Rouben Mamoulian's version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde back in 1932, though in the twenty-first century the action movie Hardcore Henry adopted it and referenced this film too.

It's a difficult technique to sustain, not least because the approach was in danger of becoming monotonous, and that was a problem here, as though Montgomery broke up the action with shots of him seated at a desk and addressing the audience to fill in the gaps in the plot, most of it featured the other cast addressing the camera with his voiceover for them to talk to, his visage occasionally glimpsed in mirrors. Not helping was that since this was technically tricky, much of the film was noticeably studio-bound, and those offices and apartments grew to look mightily samey after about half an hour of this. That was not to say Montgomery was not above being ambitious, however.

There was a sequence where Marlowe got involved in a car chase, for example, which offered an idea of what this style could achieve, especially when our hero is forced off the road, crashes and has to crawl from the wreckage of his vehicle. This indicated Montgomery had at least some notion of the potential of what he was attempting, but the fact remained much of the film noir detective genre was concerned with people having intense conversations in rooms, and the dialogue was a big reason they were so compelling. Here the dialogue, aping that of Chandler's text (he went uncredited because he was so offended his work was not being filmed in a conventional manner), simply sounded silly, and the star came across as bad tempered and intolerant rather than wisecracking and wry.

The cast aside from the director did variously well, though you had to fight the urge to watch if they were reading off cue cards by paying attention to the movements of their eyes. Totter was the most fun, delivering one of her bad girl performances that may not have graduated her from the B-movies and supporting roles in A pictures, but was highly amusing to witness: you tended to miss her when she was not around, as she had plenty of personality. Lower down the rankings was Lila Leeds as the receptionist who catches Marlowe's attention, better known for her upcoming scandal where she was arrested for smoking marijuana with Robert Mitchum; his career quickly recovered, hers was tarnished and that was that for her Hollywood prospects. As for the plot, it was a little easier to follow than the book, streamlining Chandler's famously convoluted plotting, but that first-person business was more distraction than novelty. A curio, nonetheless - and an eccentric Christmas movie, to boot. Music by David Snell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1757 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: