Les diaboliques

“The Meddler” made me think of what it would be like if I moved to Los Angeles and hung out at The Grove.  I’d be able to see some movie stars.  It didn’t rain, and so I took a break and went out for a slice of pepperoni pizza, and then I gave my class their first exam.  I returned home too late to go to the record store, and so I sat down to watch one of my Blu-ray discs, “Diabolique.”  I could see its ties to the Hitchcock movies “Vertigo” and “Psycho.”  Like “Vertigo,” there was the roundabout plot with trickery in the death and the two women, and like “Psycho,” there was the body submerged in the water.  I first remembered seeing Simone Signoret in “Madame Rosa,” so I never thought of her as a young woman.  I kept thinking that Christina was so weak and fragile that she was ripe for being the loser in this game.  She reminded me a bit of Joan Fontaine.  The bit at the very end had the feeling of “Fatal Attraction.”  It’s an absorbing film.  It’s hard to turn away from a murder plot that leaves you in the dark until the end.  Christina should never have gotten involved in a criminal act.  She didn’t have the heart for it, and she behaved foolishly at every turn.  She was supposed to be teaching English, but her thick accent would make her nearly incomprehensible to anyone who actually spoke English.  It looked like she was teaching geometry, too, so she was spreading herself thin, not unusual for these schools.  Henri-Georges Clouzot also directed “The Wages of Fear,” which I saw in its 1970s version as “Sorceror.”  One thing that struck was the quality of the sound in this film.  I’ve been so accustomed to seeing those French films with the obvious dubbing.  “Diabolique” was a good film, and Hitchcock was impressed with it.  I would still rather see “Psycho” again, though, because Anthony Perkins was so compelling, and I liked Janet Leigh so much.  I went uneasily during the night, as it started to rain again.  The morning news naturally focused on Donald Trump and his complaints about the media, which he kept describing as dishonest.  Some of the people who died on February 18 include Michaelangelo (1564), Andy Devine (1977), and Frank James (1915).  Today is a birthday for Molly Ringwald (49), Matt Dillon (53), Vanna White (60), John Travolta (63), and Yoko Ono (84).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 18, Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” was published in 1885.  In 1959, Ray Charles recorded “What’d I Say.”  In 1967, the Buckinghams’ “Kind of a Drag” was the Number One single.  In 1969, Maurice Gibb married Lulu in England.  In 1977, George Harrison released his single recording of Cole Porter’s “True Love.”

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