avant-noir #7

Lady in the Lake (1947)

As the publicity for its French release put it, “ROBERT MONTGOMERY and YOU” star in this murder mystery shot entirely from the detective’s viewpoint so that you never see his face but only–as the Times reviewer reported–“a hand reaching toward a door knob, or lighting a cigarette or lifting a glass, or a door moving toward you as though it might come right out of the screen.” The same technique was used later that year for the opening of Dark Passage, in which a wrongly convicted Humphrey Bogart escapes from San Quentin and with the help of a friendly plastic surgeon alters his face beyond recognition into that of Humphrey Bogart.

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