[Parris Mitchell (Robert Cummings) writes home. Click on any image for a larger view.]
My dad has told me again and again that I should see King’s Row (dir. Sam Wood, 1942). I finally did. It’s a terrific film. That Ronald Reagan is one of its stars was no recommendation to me, but the principal players — Cummings, Betty Field, Claude Rains, Reagan, Ann Sheridan — are uniformly excellent. Another star of this film: James Wong Howe’s cinematography. King’s Row is one of the most luminous films I’ve seen. Look at the glistening ink above.
There’s a moment in King’s Row in which Howe pays tribute to fellow deep-focus stylist Gregg Toland. Here, from Citizen Kane (dir. Orson Welles, 1941), is Susan Alexander’s bedroom, foreground, middle ground, and background all in focus:
And here, from King’s Row , is Parris’s grandmother’s bedroom:
And now I want to see Transatlantic (dir. William K. Howard, 1931), Howe’s early effort in deep focus.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
By Michael Leddy at 8:40 AM