Hangover Square (1945)
Reviewed in February 2010
Director: John Brahm. Cast: Laird Cregar, Linda Darnell, Faye Marlowe, Alan Napier, George Sanders, Glenn Langan, J. Farrell MacDonald, J.W. Austin, Leyland Hodgson, Frederick Worlock, Michael Dyne, Francis Ford. Screenplay: Barré Lyndon (based on the novel by Patrick Hamilton).

Photo © 1945 Universal Pictures
Thundering Bernard Herrmann piano over credits - plus La Shelle and Wheeler!; unconvincing POV stab, plus gaslamp fire; stumbling around wiht head injury, smeared POVs of bystanders he bumps into; "black little moods"; discordnat sounds as triggers?; LC and LD go to GS for expert counsel re: killing, knife, moods; sYard: one of his governesses!; get away from your music - mingle with "ordinary people" - a fey twist on class-mus teror Gaslight, 7th Victim, et al; GS alterantely annoyed by LD and flirtations: "I can make a few steps go an awfully long way"; 3448; 3724; Netta Longdon in "Gay Love"!; Guy Fawkes Day! 1903; Paper hawker sing-songing the news of missing LD; The Siamese cat; fingering the curtain cords while they inspect; EVERYONE knows about the "periods of forgetfulness"; LC in gleaming white vs. GS as silhouetted black - Manichean but weirdly doubling; at 1:04:00 - "You have vague memories of eerything I'm saying" - knotted curtain-tie, singed cuff; Excitingly swoopy camera, dark visual biases with high-constrast gleams, low and growling concerto in final sequence; Convergence of arresting officers; Smeared, low-contrast, light-gray flashbacks to distressed moments - sawing violins and leering overheads on piano keys; Barbara finishes playing concerto when he can't finish - flashbacks + convergence of arresting officers; Another conflagration, as concerto keeps barreling through the soundtrack; a despondent high-angle look from LC in the (curtained!) loge; (almost Rupert Everett); He insists on finishing amidst the blaze; FM trapped with him; Sir Henry: "Why didn't he try to get out?"; GS: "It's better this way, Sir"; Crane back in blazing sympony space at the end, as light gray smoke and white fire occludes LC; Cmusic isn't just a mark of those who drive you mad (Gaslight) but actually drives you mad - though discordant ntoes do the same; Radio version with Vincent Price; B

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