Friday, June 9, 2023

Untidy thinking

John Wilson refers to two of my favorite films:
One of the most memorable lines in Murder, My Sweet, the 1944 film based on Raymond Chandler’s novel Farewell, My Lovely, is delivered by the insidious psychic healer and blackmailer Jules Amthor, speaking contemptuously to the protagonist, private detective Philip Marlowe: “Your thinking is untidy, like most so-called thinking today.” Amthor is played by the actor Otto Kruger, whose role here recalls his performance in Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942). In both films, he expresses a sophisticated, sneering disdain for the untidy quality of what we can without sentimentality describe as “ordinary life.” Reality is messy rather than tidy. ....

Though it hasn’t been that long since Wendy and I re-watched Murder, My Sweet (with its terrific cast), we just might revisit it again soon. And a reread of Chandler’s canonical novels (not including the sadly diminished work from his last years) will also be due fairly soon....
John Wilson, "Messy Reality," Prufork, June 9, 2023.

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