Stepping Out Of Line

The Siren comes up big, real big, in this fantastic post of analysis about specific line-readings. It has set my mind spinning on line readings I am also particularly fond of, line readings I never get sick of. (“I was a fat-headed guy full of pain …” said by Cary Grant in the last scene of Notorious comes to mind, but there are so many more.)

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3 Responses to Stepping Out Of Line

  1. Nondisposable Johnny says:

    I like your choice Sheila…because on the page “I was a fat-headed guy full of pain” does not read (to me at least) like anything but the sort of line you write with the idea of coming back later and replacing it when you think of something better….But Cary Grant makes it work beautifully and every time I see the movie I find myself wondering if anyone else could have gotten away with it?

    My own small favorite is Vera Miles’ “Aren’t you proud?” at the end of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance…The way she says it, there’s no way to tell if it’s really a question or a taunt….or whether the question (or taunt) is really directed at herself or her husband…or, if it’s really a question for either or both, whether the answer should be yes or no….Great as “print the legend” is, I always thought that was the movie’s most profound and searching moment.

    And then there’s Hayley Mills in The Truth About Spring saying: “Tommy, if you shoot Ashton, I’ll never cook for you again!”…but that’s a whole other level of profound!

  2. sheila says:

    Good ones! I love that moment in Liberty Valance.

    Another favorite eloquent SEXY exchange is from Only Angels Have Wings:
    “When do you get some sleep?”
    “After your boat sails.”

    The amount of meaning, nuance, desire, and SEX gotten into that one exchange btw Jean Arthur and Cary Grant … I never get sick of watching it. And although Cary Grant’s tone is a bit harsh (like most of his tone in the movie – he’s cranky and blunt) – his eyes go soft. Not soft tender, but soft Sexy. Like he’s thinking about what he wants to do to her, and he is TELLING her what he wants to do to her.

    Grant is a sexy man but in that moment he’s downright primal.

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