Dec 28, 2008
Holiday Affair

This is a 1949 film with Janet Leigh, Robert Mitchum, and Wendell Corey. Corey plays a lawyer who is in love with Janet, as any sensible man would be, and Robert Mitchum plays the man she ultimately falls in love with.

Some years back Michael Caine was talking to some television host about acting, and said something about the role of the eyes in conveying emotion and in acting. About 20 minutes in, when Mitchum’s character, Steve Mason, sees Leigh and her little boy interacting with Wendell Corey’s character he looks at the boy, and he looks at Janet, and his look lets us know that the boy doesn’t love Corey and neither does Janet. The same kind of thing is done in Gone With the Wind. Scarlet says that Rhett looks as though he knows what she looks like without her chemise on, and the look that Rhett gives her says that he does know what she looks like without her chemise on.

Corey’s character is not demonized. He would be a good husband and father for Janet and the kid. His problem is that he’s dull. It dawned on me that Corey is like a municipal bond fund while Mitchum’s Steve is more like an exciting glamour stock, such as Apple. Nobody gets emotionally attached to a muni. You do get attached to companies, particularly if you don’t work for them. If you use Black and Decker or Apple products, or own shares of a company that Howard Hughes once owned, it’s possible to get emotionally attached to that stock. It provides you with highs and lows and excitement that you don’t get with munis.