Whirlpool

Well, the election results were surprising to me.  I first saw the New York Times giving Hillary Clinton a 60% chance of winning, and when I came back later, it was 95% for Trump.  I heard people marching in the street outside chanting and yelling their displeasure.  Over the past 50 years, each Democrat president was followed by a Republican, and Johnson and Carter didn’t serve two full terms.  The media and the pollsters did a terrible job of forecasting.  They had no picture of the reality that was out there.  I don’t think the country will fall apart under Trump, although it’s frightful to think what’s going to happen with the Supreme Court.  I couldn’t stand watching any more election news after a while, and so I brought out the DVD of “Whirlpool,” the Otto Preminger film from 1949 starring Gene Tierney and Jose Ferrer.  I liked the black and white photography without the close-ups.  It was certainly a slicker production than “Night and the City” was.  Ben Hecht worked on the screenplay, and you can detect traces of “Spellbound” in this one, with the psychoanalysis and hypnotism.  Gene Tierney is Ann Sutton, a wife of a psychoanalyst.  She gets caught shoplifting, which brought back memories of Winona Ryder behaving suspiciously at the Beverly Center in 1988.  Jose Ferrer is David Korvo, a man who saves Ann from trouble but later gets her involved in a murder.  Ferrer is convincing as a villain.  He would become a Columbo villain years later.  Ann Sutton is one of the troubled characters that Gene Tierney played that wasn’t too far from what she was like in real life.  I did feel for her when she said that she couldn’t remember things and signed a statement for the police.  She was weak, and her marriage looked like it wasn’t the greatest, and she was left alone a lot without direction or much of anything to do.  Ann’s husband had a lot of records hidden away, and I thought at first that it was a collection of opera recordings or something like that.  The plot turns were not totally convincing, but I think the overriding concern is to see some kind of justice come out of this.  A vulnerable woman is being used, which is really heinous.  Some shots in the film have the film noir quality with the shadows.  Richard Comte played Ann’s husband William, and I’d have to rate his performance as unimpressive.  I thought he dragged down a couple of scenes.  Another writer credited with the screenplay is Andrew Solt, not the Andrew Holt who is still alive, but the one who wrote “In a Lonely Place” and died in 1990.  Otto Preminger and Gene Tierney worked together in three other movies, “Laura,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” and “Advise and Consent.”  Otto Preminger died in 1986.  I wouldn’t rate “Whirlpool” anywhere near “Laura,” but I would watch it again because of Gene Tierney and Jose Ferrer.  I think that the first time I saw Ferrer in a movie, at least in the theatre, was “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.”  I’ll always like Gene Tierney based on “Leave Her to Heaven.”  I kept the radio off as I went to sleep.  I didn’t want to listen to the news.  It seems that a lot of people are out of touch with things that are going on in this country.  One of the things about Trump that makes me shudder is how he is so loose with the facts.  It seems that a lot of people think we’re getting another Ronald Reagan in Trump, although Ronald Reagan was governor of California before he became president.  When I got up and walked around town this morning, everything seemed quiet, as if everyone was still in shock over the election.  Some of the people who died on November 9 include Edgar Kennedy (1948), Dylan Thomas (1953), Yves Montand (1991), Art Carney (2003), Ed Bradley (2006), and Stieg Larsson (2014).  Today is a birthday for Lou Ferrigno (65).

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