Saturday, January 14, 2006


The title sums up my level of alertness this morning after I overslept, due to staying up too late. I was watching a movie, North by Northwest with the adorable Cary Grant and James Mason. Can’t resist those two!

I’ve seen the movie before but after clicking trough two hundred satellite channels and discovering there’s still nothing on (!) I settled on seeing it again. Except, it isn’t like I remember. Most old movies are full of gentlemen being gallant and ladies being demur – but there wasn’t nothing demur about the heroine! She totally threw herself at Cary’s character, with lines that would put many modern girls at shame (at least me!). But that wasn’t the strangest bit. No the bit that had my jaw dropping, is when – hang on, I may need to explain some of the story…

Cary’s character is mistaken by a bad guy (Mason) as an undercover government agent, then the baddy kills someone and Cary is in the frame with a hoard of cops chasing him. His face is on the front of every newspaper and boarding a train he nearly gets caught, but the baddy’s mistress helps him on the orders of her lover. After saying outright she knows he’s wanted for murder, she offers him sex and …

shares a kiss with him.

Well of course she knows he isn’t a murderer, because she’s sleeping with the real murdering mastermind. But she knows he doesn’t know that, and so plays along and says ‘How do I know you aren't a murderer?’ He points out she doesn’t, and she makes a bland attempt at guessing he might kill her there and then, while planting dainty kisses dressed up as passion, all over his face. So he asks her if he should (kill her, there and then) and – this is the bit that’s bothering me – she says, ‘Please do.’

Please do?

And then they carry on with their half hearted kisses. Is it me? I can almost get my head around her coming across as some weird femme-fatale who digs murderers – but shouldn’t HE be a bit bothered, being that he isn’t a murderer?! I mean if I was kissing a virtual stranger who said they were up for me killing them, I’d think twice about getting hot and steamy with that person. Maybe the kisses are supposed to be such a distraction she doesn’t know what she’s saying, or maybe he’s so hot he doesn’t have the ability to think about what she saying, or if he does, doesn’t taken her seriously because he’s so irresistible he’s used to women becoming incoherent and requesting such bizarre things. But honestly the kisses weren’t so hot (I swear I could do better! (with an ALIVE Cary Grant!!)).

Anyways the whole thing has left me wondering at the naivety of society at that time. I always imagine things were more innocent then, but after the chat-up lines, I was thinking if it’s me who’s naïve. But then the ‘please kill me’ line puts me right back at square one, because really, would anyone be so foolish as to say it today?!

Oh, and then I had a flat battery (this morning I mean).


Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Remember, they could only get away with suggestive language back then. I suspect "kill me" was a reference to le petit mort. It has been a while since I've seen the movie, but betcha that's what Hitchcock had in mind.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 12:09:00 am  

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