Monday, March 7, 2016

Pocket notebook sightings

Fresca pointed me to Where the Sidewalk Ends (dir. Otto Preminger, 1950) as a film rich in stationery supplies. Yes. I’d seen the film years ago but had little memory of it — until it began. And then the plot and its people kicked in. And the supplies.

Detective Sergeant Mark Dixon (Dana Andrews) carries a pocket notebook. Bad guy Tommy Scalise (Gary Merrill) carries what must be Benzedrine inhalers. That’s Karl Malden as Dixon’s boss, Detective Lieutenant Thomas.

[Click any image for a larger view.]

Dixon’s partner Detective Sergeant Paul Klein (Bert Freed) also carries a notebook. Useful when interviewing Morgan Taylor (Gene Tierney).

Then there’s a wonderful scene that Fresca mentioned, in which Scalise spells things out for small-time hood Willie Bender (Don Appell): “Take out a pencil and write this down.” Willie’s in a phone booth, the perfect place to take dictation with his no-name pencil.

Mark Dixon sits at a desk to write a letter to be opened in the event of his death. I think he’s using a military-clip Sheaffer.

I’d forgotten how much our household liked this film. Six years after Laura , it’s a Preminger-Andrews-Tierney reunion, with supplies. Thanks, Fresca, for recommending it.

More notebook sightings
Angels with Dirty Faces : Cat People : Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne : Dragnet : Extras : Foreign Correspondent : The Honeymooners : The House on 92nd Street : Journal d’un curé de campagne : The Lodger : Murder at the Vanities : Murder, Inc. : The Mystery of the Wax Museum : Naked City : The Palm Beach Story : Pickpocket : Pickup on South Street : Pushover : Quai des Orfèvres : Railroaded! : Red-Headed Woman : Rififi : Route 66 : The Sopranos : Spellbound : State Fair : T-Men : Union Station : The Woman in the Window

[Where does the sidewalk end? As the opening credits make clear, in the gutter.]

comments: 7

Fresca said...

I got to see this on the big screen at Film Noir series, and I kept thinking stuff like,
OCA would be interested in this pencil.

Nice screencaps!

Michael Leddy said...

I’m laughing to think that stationery has become a part of anyone’s moviegoing, mine included. How fortunate you are to have those big-screen city opportunities. (I had them for a few years in Boston — I even realized at the time that they were something not to take for granted.)

Frex said...

P.S. And wasn't that nasal inhaler creepy?
It put me in mind of Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet (a movie I hated, even way more than You've Got Mail.)

I read the character was supposed to seem gay, but I totally missed that...
The Turkish bath and his hunky henchmen are supposed to clue you in.
I guess I just was too focused on stationery supplies to think about it!

Michael Leddy said...

I thought there was something being implied about his sexuality. There’s at least one other movie with a Benzedrine-toting kingpin, I’m pretty sure. Maybe The Street with No Name with Richard Widmark? Or maybe he just has sinus trouble? There’s an incredible scene in which the kingpin lies across a bed as he talks with an aspiring crook (actually an undercover detective).

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, Richard Widmark’s character uses Benzedrine inhalers. (Good movie too.)

Fresca said...

Must put that on my list.
(My list of movies with nasal inhalants? No, not that one.)

Michael Leddy said...

It’s a good one. My favorite part: the matches. You’ll see what I mean.