• brenkilco

    He was pretty good at that stuff.

    “…but for some men, luck itself, is an art.”

    • I’ve never gotten that line. It’s probably my favorite element in that otherwise partially unsatisfying, hit-and-miss film.

      • brenkilco

        Lack of genuine climax hurts. But some great scenes and dialogue The Forest Whitaker hustle, etc. Apropos your method post, look at how much of that self conscious, suffering method stuff Newman had deep sixed between The Hustler and Color of Money.

  • TheRealBadHatHarry

    Not a mention of his opening narration in The Grifters? In a piece dedicated to exactly such things? Unforgivably sloppy.

    • Dean

      No mention of his appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, either. Maybe not unforgivable, but certainly not completist.

  • AnnaZed

    I was recently reading this nice little piece about The Third Man. Scorsese describes himself as having been obsessed with Carol Reed’s film during the 1950s seeing it on TV. This was he says a formative time for him and his entire understanding of filmmaking. With Jeff like gob-smacked wonder I only just realized that the voice-over at the beginning of the film is not Orson Welles or even Joseph Cotton – and if you think of it, it would make no sense for either character to speak those lines. It was Carol Reed himself. Perhaps the budding filmmaker was simply taking a page from Reed’s (and Graham Greene’s) book on this one of his early films and arguably his first fully realized one. Jeff, I think it’s bit churlish of you to be snarky about the movie. I think of it now as mostly a beautiful early template for later, greater things to come.


    • brenkilco

      In the original American release version of the film Cotten does in fact speak the opening narration. But it’s not nearly as good as Reed’s cheeky delivery

      • AnnaZed

        Really? How fascinating. How on earth do you know that?

        Not even I, of the commenters on this board, am ancient enough to have seen the film in its time. I saw it several times in the 1970s in revival houses, on TV and in school, but can’t recall the voice-over at all. Back then you were lucky if had Halliwell to consult on this type of question if anything at all.

        Do you think that then they were showing the Cotten version and that might account for my being so piqued by the narration on my recent re-viewing? Watching it recently on Netflix caused me to look it up because I could certainly tell that wasn’t Welles (or Cotten) and I wondered what it was.

        What a great film it is in every detail.

        • brenkilco

          The old Criterion DVD has the alternate opening as a feature, which is how I know about it. But it’s virtually always the Reed version that plays on TV

          • AnnaZed