Monday, April 18, 2011

Pocket notebook sighting

Union Station (dir. Rudolph Maté, 1950) stars William Holden and Nancy Olson in a story of kidnapping, surveillance, and enhanced interrogation techniques. Holden plays William Calhoun, a railroad detective intent upon protecting the sacred space of Los Angeles’ Union Station. Olson is Joyce Willecombe, a secretary who sees something suspicious on her train and does her civic duty by reporting it. It’s odd how little chemistry there is between these two: in Sunset Boulevard, released in the same year, they’re sexy peers, smoking and writing in the deep of night. Here Holden’s character is crankily middle-aged, and Olson’s is more or less a former Girl Scout. Very strange. Stranger still that the film turns into a love story.

I’m not joking about “enhanced interrogation techniques”: Union Station has a scene of police brutality that fits any reasonable definition of torture. How did it get past the censors? There are also long and quietly suspenseful episodes of surveillance in the train station, with plainclothes men sitting, standing, pretending to read.

Oh, and there’s a good scene with a notebook too.

More notebook sightings
Angels with Dirty Faces : Cat People : Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne : Extras : Journal d’un curé de campagne : The House on 92nd Street : The Lodger : The Mystery of the Wax Museum : The Palm Beach Story : Pickpocket : Pickup on South Street : Red-Headed Woman : Rififi : The Sopranos : Spellbound

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