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 #860

I Married a Communist
(Robert Stevenson; 1949)


Flickhead said...

As the story goes, staunch anti-communist Howard Hughes set out to make a film that would blow the lid off of pinkos and reds…without knowing who they were or what they stood for. He put his people at RKO to the task, but even they had no idea how to tackle the subject. In the end, weighty and elevated political ideology was scrapped for the relative convenience of cops and robbers: if commies were a threat to American values, then they must be gangsters, right? Hughes test-screened it under the title I Married a Communist, but, like him, the public was confused and nonplussed. Not one to let profit slip by, he retitled it The Woman on Pier 13 and sold it as a crime picture.

More commies as gangsters: Sam Fuller’s Pickup on South Street, and Edward Dein’s remarkable Shack Out on 101 (1955), the latter featuring Terry Moore as ‘Kotty’ and Lee Marvin as ‘Slob.’

Tom Sutpen said...

I thought the film actually went out to theaters back in '49 as I Married a Communist and was changed during the theatrical run (nice work, RKO).

I'd say Hughes' management of RKO was a little too hands-on (just ask Jane Greer).

My favorite Commie Noir of the period: William Cameron Menzies' The Whip Hand with Elliott Reid (??) taking on Red Menace Gangland for (again) Howard Hughes.

Kreisler said...

AKA 'Beatiful But Dangerous'. Even with Robert Ryan, it's junk.