Henry Fonda in The Long Night (1947, dir. Anatole Litvak) Photographer: Alexander Kahle
Alida Valli as Maddalena Paradine, the accused murderess in The Paradine Case (1947, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
Q. What was the Hollywood reaction generally to [The Lady From Shanghai]?
Welles: Friends avoided me. Whenever it was mentioned, people would clear their throats and change the subject very quickly out of consideration for my feelings. I only found out that it was considered a good picture when I got to Europe. The first nice thing I ever heard about it from an American was from Truman Capote. One night in Sicily, he quoted whole pages of dialogue word for word.
Q. I guess that’s called being ahead of your time.
Welles: It’s called being in trouble.
-excerpted from This Is Orson Welles
Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with Sara Davis [F/K/A David] Buechner on piano
“Not long after the film’s release Herrmann received an enthusiastic letter from a New York music student praising the concerto. Herrmann responded with a gracious thank you letter to 15-year-old Stephen Sondheim. Recalled Sondheim in 1986, “I can still play the opening eight bars, since they were glimpsed briefly on (Hangover Square’s lead actor) Laird Cregar’s piano during the course of the film, and I dutifully memorized them by sitting through the picture twice.” Herrmann’s influence can be heard in Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd, an English melodrama rich in brooding thematic material and dark psychology.”
-excerpted from A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann by Steven Smith
Lana Turner & John Garfield in publicity still for The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, dir. Tay Garnett)
“What did she have that makes me feel that way about her? I don’t know. She wanted something, and she tried to get it. She tried all the wrong ways, but she tried. I don’t know what made her feel that way about me, because she knew me. She called it on me plenty of times, that I wasn’t any good. I never really wanted anything, but her. But that’s a lot. I guess it’s not often that a woman even has that.”
-James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings Twice
Jane Greer in Out of the Past (1947, dir. Jacques Tourneur)
“Zzjjane, do you know what ahm-pahs-eeve mean?” [director Jacques Tourneur] asked the actress.
“No ‘big eyes’. No expressive. In the beginning you act like a nice girl. But then, after you kill the man you meet in the little house, you become a bad girl. Yes? First half, good girl. Second half, bad.”
“I get you,” she said. That was his direction, Greer recalled. “But I did throw in a few big eyes anyway. I couldn’t help myself.”
Tourneur also discussed with her his plan for the character’s wardrobe, something typical of his films’ subtle, insidious visual design. “At first you wear light colors. After you kill the man, darker colors. In the end, black.”
-excerpted from Lee Server’s Baby I Don’t Care