Monday, December 14, 2015

At the Queen Street Police Station


[O Canada! Click for a much larger view.]

Elaine and I both loved this glimpse of office life from Niagara (dir. Henry Hathaway, 1953). Map. Advertising calendar, I think. Rolling chair. Outgoing Mail. And those file drawers. The desk may be a shared one: there’s a framed picture facing away from Sam. Yes, his name is Sam. He’s played by Sean McClory (uncredited), whom I know as Mr. Grace in John Huston’s The Dead (1987).

Niagara is a gripping film, even if its trajectory is easy to foresee. Vacationers George and Rose Loomis (Joseph Cotten and Marilyn Monroe) are a horribly mismatched, tragically fated couple. Fellow vacationers Polly and Ray Cutler (Jean Peters and Max Showalter) are all daylight, laughter, and healthy sexuality. I think of Cotten as a cool, composed presence on screen: but not so here. The early scene in which he pauses in his model-car building to finger an empty Chesterfield pack (as Monroe showers) speaks volumes.

Thanks to Chris at Dreamers Rise for mentioning Niagara .

comments: 2

Diane Schirf said...

Isn't there a window on a brick wall? That seems to have been standard in the era. :)

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, it looks like a window with bars.