Signs and Meaning in Cinema #43

Signs: Sweet Smell of Success
(Alexander Mackendrick; 1957)


Tempest said...

'Sidney, conjugate me a verb. For instance, "to promise." '

Robert Fiore said...

I don't have to computer chops to capture this, and I don't see an e-mail link in any case, but if you're looking for a sign in cinema, I noticed while watching The Killing again that Kubrick slips a billboard for Lenny Bruce at a burlesque house into the background at about 1:15:16 of the DVD. It would be interesting to know if this was a serendipitous found object or something Kubrick engineered. It definitely falls within Kubrick's hipness quotient. The exterior appears to have been shot in Los Angeles.

Tommy O'C said...

"I call him the boy with the ice cream face...Come here, Sidney, I want to chastise you..."

A Lenny Bruce billboard in The Killing? That's subversive and far-sighted.

Tempest said...

The dialogue in SSOS is so hmmm

Sidney Falco: The cat's in a bag and the bag's in a river.

Robert Fiore is right the Lenny advert in 'The Killing' is there when Sterling Hayden picks up a suitcase from a pawn shop. I to wondered about it.

Oh how I wish that Hayden character met up with the SSOS detective. Absolutely No Prisoners.

Tom Sutpen said...

The Lenny Bruce poster had to have been happenstance. In the first place, at the time Kubrick made The Killing, Lenny Bruce was still emceeing strip joints; and if he was known at all outside of LA it was as an Impressionist who was semi-famous for five minutes back in 1950. He was just beginning to do the kind of material that would get him into legit joints, but the fullness of that transition was still a year or two away.

There isn't a line in SSoS that isn't quotable; that doesn't represent Clifford Odets at his florid apex. This is just one of my favorites:

"Susie has her girlish secrets. But in her heart of hearts, Dallas, I imagine that she fancies you in an uncommon way"

Lancaster almost sings that one; and the only word for it is Sublime.