The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Seminal Image #488

Leave Her to Heaven
(John M. Stahl; 1945)


Vanwall said...

Boy, do I love this film - possibly the best color film ever for outdoor visuals, and a lot of interior shots, as well; even evil scenes like this are rich and beautiful - Shamroy was at the top of his game. Not to mention Gene Tierney and Jeanne Crain at their prettiest - damn, they were heartbreakingly lovely in this film, sigh, and more than a match for their surroundings.

This particular episode, with Tierney sitting quietly in a rowboat, her sunglasses masking what must only be a sadistic joy, her gorgeous face still and un-emotional, watching Darryl Hickman - a handicapped character, no less! - floundering about, may be one of the most wrenchingly evil scenes ever - and it looks so damn beautiful while it's happening!

I don't know where Tierney's at on some people's lists, but she's up at the top of mine for beauty, and her portrayal of Ellen Berent makes it one of the top villians, ever, IMHO - she was a great actress here.
Poor Cornel Wilde - not pretty enough to carry off the gender-reversal end of this one - he just looked pussy-whipped. The film loses steam when Tierney's character is not there, proof that she was the dominant aspect to this one.


Mike D said...

a truly stunning scene once seen, NEVER forgotten.

as for tierney - my word she was beautiful. here is a nice photo for anyone interested

Richard Gibson said...

Very well put Rob. Another good Seminal Image would be as you intimate Tierney's reaction.

Tierney is top of my list right now.