The Films of Robert Mulligan, Part 2

This is Part Two of a four-part series that looks at the career of director Robert Mulligan. You can find Part One here.

After the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, Robert Mulligan and producer Alan Pakula made five straight films together to close out the 1960s, before Pakula departed to become a director himself. Using Mockingbird as a template, the duo chose projects that dealt with hot button issues (Love With the Proper Stranger and Up the Down Staircase), or were prestigious literary adaptations (Baby the Rain Must Fall and Inside Daisy Clover). Their final collaboration, The Stalking Moon, with a story taken from a Western novel, is the exception. Regardless of their middlebrow origin, these are films sensitively attuned to the social and geographic landscapes of their subjects, to the ebb and flow of urban overcrowding and the oppressive emptiness of the open plains. These films also continue Mulligan’s interest in outsiders adapting to new realities, in “dramas of experience intruding upon innocence”, as Kent Jones eloquently put it.

Love With the Proper Stranger was filmed in March, 1963, just as To Kill a Mockingbird was opening nationwide, and was released that December by Paramount. The original script by Arthur Schulman is a downscale romantic comedy, about two struggling New Yorkers, one the out-of-work musician Rocky Papasano (Steve McQueen), the other Macy’s cashier Angie Rossini (Natalie Wood), who are thrown into a relationship after a one-night stand. Angie is pregnant and confronts Rocky, but only wants him to help pay for her abortion.

The musician role was originally offered to Paul Newman, but he turned it down to play the title role in Martin Ritt’s Hud. McQueen doesn’t look the part (he’s more Celtic than Italian-American), but his impassive, slightly hunched interpretation of his character’s protective cynicism is effective and affecting. He walks uncertainly, as if he depended on the city’s walls to hold him upright.

The movie came out a year after Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the Single Girl was published (and was filmed a month after The Feminine Mystique came out), and the film channels some tenets of this embryonic feminist text. Angie, when she learns she is pregnant, initially decides to get an abortion, and repeatedly refuses Rocky’s request to get married. Above all else, she wants to live on her own and have financial independence, one of Gurley Brown’s main tenets. Natalie Wood plays Angie with a childish impudence, her stand on women’s rights emerging out of foot-stamping temper tantrums. As the film progresses, and the power roles shift, Wood is able to direct McQueen’s actions with the power of her gaze.

Mulligan has Rocky and Angie continually navigate densely populated spaces (most of which were shot handheld, on location in NYC), going with and against the flow of crowds. In the opening, in which the musicians’ union hall is shown slowly filling to capacity, Angie has to squeeze through to track down Rocky, who doesn’t even remember her. Angie’s apartment is a jungle of mattresses, loud-mouthed brothers and spiteful mothers. Rocky is only seen in his mistress’ place, filled with a half-dozen dogs and cardboard cut-outs of her burlesque act. The world only empties out when they head to the Meatpacking district and meet the black-market abortionist on an abandoned street corner. The world subsides, and decisions must finally be made.

Mulligan re-teamed with McQueen for Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965), a Southern melodrama made for Columbia Pictures about a Texas rockabilly singer and his relationship with his estranged wife. Horton Foote, who wrote the To Kill a Mockingbird screenplay, adapted his own 1954 play, The Traveling Lady for the screen version. The film follows Georgette (Lee Remick) and her daughter as they travel to the small town of Columbus, TX, to see her husband Henry (McQueen), recently released from jail. He is a talented singer-songwriter and a dedicated drunk, unable to resist the lure of the juke joints. An orphan, Henry was raised by the dictatorial Miss Kate (Georgia Simmons), who beat and belittled him as a child. Henry has to overcome his personal and family demons to have any chance at a decent life.

Shot in B&W by veteran Ernest Laszlo (Kiss Me Deadly), the look is the drab grays and hard-edged realism of WPA photographers like Dorothea Lange, while Mulligan opts for contrasts of wide landscapes and looming close-ups. Henry and Kate are connected in the opening bus ride by match cuts on their faces looking off-screen, and their relationship is closed by looking away from each other in the final shot.

The visuals are reliably elegant, but the story is a bit overwrought, with the deeply felt story of Henry and Georgette’s relationship getting overshadowed by the bizarre Southern Gothic subplot of Miss Kate, whose arch-villainy provides a too-pat explanation for Henry’s self-destructive behavior. It’s better to shut your ears and just watch Mulligan and Laszlo go to work.

Mulligan and Pakula went to Warner Brothers for their largest project to date on Inside Daisy Clover, which Natalie Wood was eager to make. Wood had known author Gavin Lambert because of his association with Nicholas Ray, who had directed her in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Lambert was a young film critic for the British magazine Sequence who later became Ray’s assistant and co-screenwriter on Bitter Victory (1957). Wood contacted him to adapt his own book, and the project started up.

Wood had a personal interest in the satirical tale of Daisy Clover, the young girl plucked from obscurity and groomed into a major studio star, a trajectory largely similar to Wood’s, who gained fame as a little girl in Miracle on 34th St.(1947). The story tracks Clover’s ascent from a celebrity photo stand in Angel Beach, CA, to the heights of Hollywood glory. Along the way she loses her mother and any sense of personal identity. Molded by Swan Studios head Raymond Swan (a deliciously supercilious Christopher Plummer), she becomes a sexless child-star into her late teens, a Mary Pickford of the ‘30s (when the film is set).

It was an odd project for Mulligan to take on, a campy, deeply ironic text put in the hands of an earnest, old-school dramatist. If directed by someone as gifted at caricature and exaggeration as George Axelrod, it would undoubtedly be funnier and more ruthless, however Mulligan does elicit fine performances from Wood, Robert Redford and Ruth Gordon (who received a Best Supporting Actress nomination as Daisy’s ditzy mother). Wood’s transition from smart-aleck street urchin to trembling neurotic is pitched at the same manic level, as if Daisy were hoping that if she kept moving she would never collapse. Redford’s Wade Lewis is the dashing leading man who marries Daisy and breaks her heart. Lewis was originally written as homosexual, although Redford didn’t want to play it that way:

“I wanted to play him as a guy who bats ten ways – men, women, children, dogs, cats, anything – anything that salves his ego. Total narcissism.”

He is Valentino-suave, a nimble seducer who can back men and women willingly into any corner. It is a impressively eroticizied performance for the young Redford, who was singled out for positive notices in the generally hostile reviews. It was also one of the few depictions of a homosexual, or bisexual, character in the 1960s that was not killed in the last reel (as Vito Russo writes in The Celluloid Closet).

Manny Farber described the film as a “thoroughly soft Hollywood self-satire”, but rightly points out the tragic heart of the film, the scene in which Daisy breaks down during a dubbing session. “One scene that is dynamite as anti-Hollywood criticism and the only scene in which Natalie Wood, snapping her fingers to get in time with a giant screen image of herself, is inside the Daisy role with the nervous, corruptible, teenage talent discovered years ago by Nick Ray.” With her image duplicated up on-screen, Daisy repeatedly tries to fill that screen icon’s mouth with her own words, but she can’t do it. The image up there no-longer represents the woman in the booth, and she breaks down, the first step in breaking free.

Inside Daisy Clover was Mulligan-Pakula’s first big failure at the box-office, so they retrenched with a smaller-scale movie, again at Warner Brothers. The two Bronx boys returned with a small high-school drama set in East Harlem, Up the Down Staircase. It was based on the novel by Bel Kaufman, and adapted for the movie by Tad Mosel. It was filmed in Benjamin Franklin High School (now the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics), and uses what looks like real students as extras.

In a return to the style of Love With the Proper Stranger, Mulligan uses a lot of mobile handheld cameras to get right into the chaotic flow of teenagers rampaging through hallways. He follows Sandy Dennis through the chaos, playing a teacher straight out of grad school and thrown into the English department. The movie, which opens in the morning herd, is all about organizing the herd into an efficient shape. The routine of the school is expertly plotted by Mulligan and his DP Joseph Coffee, looping in and around the main office as Dennis picks up the endless paperwork and adapts to the quick, repetitive rhythms of a NYC bureaucracy. Mulligan rarely slows down the speed, but when he does, it’s a stunner. He singles out one of Dennis’ students, Alice, for a particular investigation.

As in Proper Stranger’s Meatpacking District, the world empties out, and Alice wanders the hallways with a love letter in her hand. Keeping a respectful distance behind her, Mulligan follows her progress into the office as she drops it off, exits to the middle of the school, hesitates, and returns. She is aghast to see the “unpublished writer, and therefore dangerous” Paul Barringer (Patrick Bedford) holding her letter in his hand, with a smug smile on his face. This simple scene has psychological ramifications that radiate throughout the rest of the film. It is a sequence that tracks Alice’s movements as well as her thoughts, the hesitation revealing the worlds of emotion weighted beneath her surface.

The idea of “moving-as-thinking” is key to The Stalking Moon (1968), a spare Western with no social significance or literary pedigree (it was based on a book by Theodore V. Olsen). For their final collaboration, Mulligan and Pakula make a film that is simply pure cinema, a chase between reluctant hero Gregory Peck and the vengeful, displaced Salvaje (Nathaniel Narcisco). In 1881, Peck is working his last day as an Army Scout, but finds an American, played by Eva Marie Saint, who had been a captive of the Apaches for 10 years. Peck, after much harrumphing, agrees to help Saint and her child travel to Columbus, OH. When he discovers that the legendary Apache warrior Salvaje is the child’s father, he invites them to stay at his cabin, and protect them the best he can. It is an extended chase film, in which one side (Salvaje), is barely seen. The perspective is restricted to Peck, whose looks and hesitations express more than the minimal dialogue he is given.

There is a moment in the cabin, in the low-light of the room shot by DP Charles Lang, in which Peck sits and stares, waiting for Salvaje to enter. Everything is dark except for Peck’s face, the only point of contemplation, in this frame-as-sensorium, where every little movement or sound gives one away. In the end it is a sliver of light that marks Salvaje’s downfall, and the beginning of a new, protective family unit, awake to the world around them.

I am very indebted to Kent Jones’ article on The Stalking Moon in Film Comment.

0 Response The Films of Robert Mulligan, Part 2
Posted By Kingrat : February 7, 2012 3:02 pm

Thank you for another great installment of the Robert Mulligan story. I’ve actually all five of these films without putting them together as Robert Mulligan films. Respect for Horton Foote’s dialogue really hurts BABY, THE RAIN MUST FALL, where there’s tons of dialogue about peripheral matters and very little about the McQueen/Remick relationship. This is perhaps the film where McQueen plays the least confident and most insecure of his screen characters.

Although I remember INSIDE DAISY CLOVER as not being all that good, the scene in the dubbing booth is unforgettable.

Posted By Kingrat : February 7, 2012 3:02 pm

Thank you for another great installment of the Robert Mulligan story. I’ve actually all five of these films without putting them together as Robert Mulligan films. Respect for Horton Foote’s dialogue really hurts BABY, THE RAIN MUST FALL, where there’s tons of dialogue about peripheral matters and very little about the McQueen/Remick relationship. This is perhaps the film where McQueen plays the least confident and most insecure of his screen characters.

Although I remember INSIDE DAISY CLOVER as not being all that good, the scene in the dubbing booth is unforgettable.

Posted By Adam Zanzie : February 7, 2012 7:22 pm

The only film here I still have yet to see is Love With the Proper Stranger. I’ll probably watch it on YouTube soon, since it’s not on DVD yet. Needless to say, I’ve heard nothing but good things.

We’re definitely in agreement on Baby, The Rain Must Fall. It’s a cold, static movie with not much going on. I can’t into Horton Foote’s characters here; they’re so distant. Remick’s performance is fine, but McQueen seems miscast, which I’m sorry to say because I tend to like him in almost everything (I’m sure he’s much better in Love With the Proper Stranger).

In terms of Mulligan’s weaker films, it seems to be like the polar opposite of Come September. If Come September was too loud and unsubtle, Baby, The Rain Must Fall is too ambiguous and uninvolving. Mulligan’s best films have a visceral effect to them — they draw in you in emotionally. Maybe I need to watch Baby, The Rain Must Fall again just to be sure, but when it was over I remember that it didn’t really make me feel any different than I had when it began. It made no impression on me.

Inside Daisy Clover, however, is pretty good. That’s another one I’ve only seen once, but I liked its satiric edge. It gets a pretty unfair beating in Jerry Brown’s biography of Alan J. Pakula, for whatever reason. Brown basically charges that the movie is one big pointless exercise and that Redford’s homosexuality is badly handled. While I somewhat agree with the latter (Mulligan/Pakula themselves apologized to Redford when they made the decision to change his character from bisexual to gay — without telling him in advance), I do believe the movie is way more interesting than Baby, the Rain Must Fall, perhaps because it’s all one woman’s story. A big problem with BTRMF was that it has a badly fractured narrative. But Inside Daisy Clover focuses entirely on Daisy’s experience with the cruelty of Hollywood, which is why I think it works rather well. Some argue that the ending, with her blowing up the beachhouse, feels contrived, but I see it as her attempt to escape from the system, and disappear. Apparently Mulligan was always happy with the finished film, although Pakula had a more negative opinion of it in later years.

Up the Down Staircase is even better, probably one of the best movies ever made about teachers in general. Ebert wrote a glowing 4-star review of it when it came out. I doubt he would be so enamored with it today, since the formula of the idealistic-teacher-trying-to-reform-the-system has been bludgeoned to death nowadays. Still, Up the Down Staircase is by far one of Mulligan’s most entertaining films, as familiar as this sort of story may be. You mention here the DP work by Joseph Coffee, which I’ve never forgotten; the filmmakers breeze through those hallways, always keeping the movie fast-paced. It is never, ever boring. I’d only say the movie disappoints in the final scene, when Ms. Barrett decides she’s going to stay at the school after all. If I were her, I would have gotten the hell out of there — who would want to teach forever in the company of such a nasty faculty? Never mind if the graduating students have taken a liking to her.

And yes, The Stalking Moon is, simply put, masterful. Pure cinema. The only other Western I can think of that captures suspense so well is High Noon, but whereas Zinnemann was all about blood, sweat and tension in his film, Mulligan is all about the darkness, the horror, the doom, the silence. Originally, Mulligan and Pakula wanted Foote to write the script, but didn’t like his draft, so they brought on Sargent — he’s the one who stripped out all of the dialogue (and, apparently, didn’t even read the book when he wrote his own draft). Whatever the case, the finished film is beautiful, and I can’t think of a scarier Western. Kent Jones is correct, though, when he suggests it flopped because it was all about the defense of a homeland, which went against the antiwar sentiments of the late 60′s.

Pauline Kael really hated it because she thought it was racist (if I remember correctly, Ebert did, too), but frankly, I don’t see the racism charges as valid. Robert Forster’s characterization of Nick Tana, a half-Indian, is fairly well-rounded, after all, and he’s always aware of the bigotry of his and Sam Varner’s jobs. I love the scene where he’s trying to teach Salvaje’s son how to play poker, as well as his witty remark, “If you’re going to grow up like a white man, you should learn white man’s game.” The movie is clearly aware of the racism of those times. And Salvaje himself is barely an Indian, let alone a human being: he’s more like a manifestation of evil itself.

In fairness, the movie might have dodged Kael’s racism charges if Nick Tana had lived at the end. Maybe Kael was bothered by the fact that the movie ends with two white people living in harmony under one roof (with a little Indian boy who, indeed, is going to grow up to be just like them). Perhaps if Nick hadn’t been killed off, there would have been a little moral equvalency there, since he would have still been there to supervise Sam’s “white” parenting of the boy.

All the same, Nick’s death scene is beautifully delivered, and very sad. You can see at that moment that Sam has lost a very good friend. And people didn’t see that very often in American movies before the 70′s (white heroes befriending Indians). Ethan Edwards was accompanied by a half-Indian in The Searchers, but that relationship wasn’t nearly as eloquent as Sam’s relationship with Nick.

It’s really at this point in Mulligan’s career (his parting from Pakula) when his career seriously took off. I truly believe his early 70′s output is full of nothing but near-perfect works, so I’m eagerly awaiting next week’s post!

Posted By Adam Zanzie : February 7, 2012 7:22 pm

The only film here I still have yet to see is Love With the Proper Stranger. I’ll probably watch it on YouTube soon, since it’s not on DVD yet. Needless to say, I’ve heard nothing but good things.

We’re definitely in agreement on Baby, The Rain Must Fall. It’s a cold, static movie with not much going on. I can’t into Horton Foote’s characters here; they’re so distant. Remick’s performance is fine, but McQueen seems miscast, which I’m sorry to say because I tend to like him in almost everything (I’m sure he’s much better in Love With the Proper Stranger).

In terms of Mulligan’s weaker films, it seems to be like the polar opposite of Come September. If Come September was too loud and unsubtle, Baby, The Rain Must Fall is too ambiguous and uninvolving. Mulligan’s best films have a visceral effect to them — they draw in you in emotionally. Maybe I need to watch Baby, The Rain Must Fall again just to be sure, but when it was over I remember that it didn’t really make me feel any different than I had when it began. It made no impression on me.

Inside Daisy Clover, however, is pretty good. That’s another one I’ve only seen once, but I liked its satiric edge. It gets a pretty unfair beating in Jerry Brown’s biography of Alan J. Pakula, for whatever reason. Brown basically charges that the movie is one big pointless exercise and that Redford’s homosexuality is badly handled. While I somewhat agree with the latter (Mulligan/Pakula themselves apologized to Redford when they made the decision to change his character from bisexual to gay — without telling him in advance), I do believe the movie is way more interesting than Baby, the Rain Must Fall, perhaps because it’s all one woman’s story. A big problem with BTRMF was that it has a badly fractured narrative. But Inside Daisy Clover focuses entirely on Daisy’s experience with the cruelty of Hollywood, which is why I think it works rather well. Some argue that the ending, with her blowing up the beachhouse, feels contrived, but I see it as her attempt to escape from the system, and disappear. Apparently Mulligan was always happy with the finished film, although Pakula had a more negative opinion of it in later years.

Up the Down Staircase is even better, probably one of the best movies ever made about teachers in general. Ebert wrote a glowing 4-star review of it when it came out. I doubt he would be so enamored with it today, since the formula of the idealistic-teacher-trying-to-reform-the-system has been bludgeoned to death nowadays. Still, Up the Down Staircase is by far one of Mulligan’s most entertaining films, as familiar as this sort of story may be. You mention here the DP work by Joseph Coffee, which I’ve never forgotten; the filmmakers breeze through those hallways, always keeping the movie fast-paced. It is never, ever boring. I’d only say the movie disappoints in the final scene, when Ms. Barrett decides she’s going to stay at the school after all. If I were her, I would have gotten the hell out of there — who would want to teach forever in the company of such a nasty faculty? Never mind if the graduating students have taken a liking to her.

And yes, The Stalking Moon is, simply put, masterful. Pure cinema. The only other Western I can think of that captures suspense so well is High Noon, but whereas Zinnemann was all about blood, sweat and tension in his film, Mulligan is all about the darkness, the horror, the doom, the silence. Originally, Mulligan and Pakula wanted Foote to write the script, but didn’t like his draft, so they brought on Sargent — he’s the one who stripped out all of the dialogue (and, apparently, didn’t even read the book when he wrote his own draft). Whatever the case, the finished film is beautiful, and I can’t think of a scarier Western. Kent Jones is correct, though, when he suggests it flopped because it was all about the defense of a homeland, which went against the antiwar sentiments of the late 60′s.

Pauline Kael really hated it because she thought it was racist (if I remember correctly, Ebert did, too), but frankly, I don’t see the racism charges as valid. Robert Forster’s characterization of Nick Tana, a half-Indian, is fairly well-rounded, after all, and he’s always aware of the bigotry of his and Sam Varner’s jobs. I love the scene where he’s trying to teach Salvaje’s son how to play poker, as well as his witty remark, “If you’re going to grow up like a white man, you should learn white man’s game.” The movie is clearly aware of the racism of those times. And Salvaje himself is barely an Indian, let alone a human being: he’s more like a manifestation of evil itself.

In fairness, the movie might have dodged Kael’s racism charges if Nick Tana had lived at the end. Maybe Kael was bothered by the fact that the movie ends with two white people living in harmony under one roof (with a little Indian boy who, indeed, is going to grow up to be just like them). Perhaps if Nick hadn’t been killed off, there would have been a little moral equvalency there, since he would have still been there to supervise Sam’s “white” parenting of the boy.

All the same, Nick’s death scene is beautifully delivered, and very sad. You can see at that moment that Sam has lost a very good friend. And people didn’t see that very often in American movies before the 70′s (white heroes befriending Indians). Ethan Edwards was accompanied by a half-Indian in The Searchers, but that relationship wasn’t nearly as eloquent as Sam’s relationship with Nick.

It’s really at this point in Mulligan’s career (his parting from Pakula) when his career seriously took off. I truly believe his early 70′s output is full of nothing but near-perfect works, so I’m eagerly awaiting next week’s post!

Posted By Juana Maria : February 7, 2012 9:54 pm

I can’t hardly believe I have seen all the films you have listed and until just now I had no idea that they were all directing by the same director! Great writing, especially for writing about a little talked about Western,much like “Welcome to Hard Times” article awhile back on MoviesMorlocks.com. I think Gregory Oeck is wonderful in “The Stalking Moon”. Though when is he NOT great? I’m such a fan. Anyway,both “Welcome to Hard Times” and “The Stalking Moon” have a horror film feel.Probably a little known fact is that one of the writers of “Once Upon a Time in West” is a horror writer,Dario Argento. Just thought you might like to know. I have often felt Westerns include more thatn a little of the horror element,certainly suspense. You can find this in “the Searchers”,”High Noon” my personal favorite and its second runner up “The Man who Shot Liberty Valance”. The scene where Mr. Peabody comes into the newspaper office and it is all dark. Then, he lights a lamp and there are Liberty Valance,Reece and Floyd. Looking very much like horror movie scene. They were waiting in the dark! That is what bogey men in Horror moives do!! I do not appreciate Native Americans being portrayed as the evil villians or super human stalking monsters. That is why “The Stalking Moon” and a very many shoot-em up Westerns will never be my favorite. No Native Americans(Indians)are killed in either “High Noon” or “Liberty Valance”. I personally like Martin Pawley(Jeff Hunter) in “the Searchers”, I too am of Native American blood and not just a little bit either. I don’t count it in fractions; I’m not a fraction I’m a person. Anyway, I’ve greatly digressed,however these blogs give me such a good outlet to do so. Muchas gracias.

Posted By Juana Maria : February 7, 2012 9:54 pm

I can’t hardly believe I have seen all the films you have listed and until just now I had no idea that they were all directing by the same director! Great writing, especially for writing about a little talked about Western,much like “Welcome to Hard Times” article awhile back on MoviesMorlocks.com. I think Gregory Oeck is wonderful in “The Stalking Moon”. Though when is he NOT great? I’m such a fan. Anyway,both “Welcome to Hard Times” and “The Stalking Moon” have a horror film feel.Probably a little known fact is that one of the writers of “Once Upon a Time in West” is a horror writer,Dario Argento. Just thought you might like to know. I have often felt Westerns include more thatn a little of the horror element,certainly suspense. You can find this in “the Searchers”,”High Noon” my personal favorite and its second runner up “The Man who Shot Liberty Valance”. The scene where Mr. Peabody comes into the newspaper office and it is all dark. Then, he lights a lamp and there are Liberty Valance,Reece and Floyd. Looking very much like horror movie scene. They were waiting in the dark! That is what bogey men in Horror moives do!! I do not appreciate Native Americans being portrayed as the evil villians or super human stalking monsters. That is why “The Stalking Moon” and a very many shoot-em up Westerns will never be my favorite. No Native Americans(Indians)are killed in either “High Noon” or “Liberty Valance”. I personally like Martin Pawley(Jeff Hunter) in “the Searchers”, I too am of Native American blood and not just a little bit either. I don’t count it in fractions; I’m not a fraction I’m a person. Anyway, I’ve greatly digressed,however these blogs give me such a good outlet to do so. Muchas gracias.

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : February 9, 2012 5:03 pm

Adam, let me know what you think of LOVE WITH THE PROPER stranger when you see it. It’s a shame it’s only viewable in a cropped version on YouTube, but it’s better than nothing.

Thanks again for your comments. I think we’re in general agreement on the films this week, although I have no qualms about the ending to UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE. The student at the end who recognizes her influence, even if it’s just one boy, justifies to herself her collaborative style of teaching. This is the culmination of one of the major subplots, the introduction of the suggestion box. And after Paul Barringer’s departure, the faculty is all rather charming (if harried).

I will be taking two weeks off from the Mulligan project to cover a couple of time-sensitive items, but will return to the 70s work on 2/28. I hope you’ll come back then to contribute your thoughts.

Posted By R. Emmet Sweeney : February 9, 2012 5:03 pm

Adam, let me know what you think of LOVE WITH THE PROPER stranger when you see it. It’s a shame it’s only viewable in a cropped version on YouTube, but it’s better than nothing.

Thanks again for your comments. I think we’re in general agreement on the films this week, although I have no qualms about the ending to UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE. The student at the end who recognizes her influence, even if it’s just one boy, justifies to herself her collaborative style of teaching. This is the culmination of one of the major subplots, the introduction of the suggestion box. And after Paul Barringer’s departure, the faculty is all rather charming (if harried).

I will be taking two weeks off from the Mulligan project to cover a couple of time-sensitive items, but will return to the 70s work on 2/28. I hope you’ll come back then to contribute your thoughts.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 10, 2012 9:54 pm

I have to see The Stalking Moon now. I had never had a real desire to see it until I read this article.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 10, 2012 9:54 pm

I have to see The Stalking Moon now. I had never had a real desire to see it until I read this article.

Posted By Juana Maria : February 12, 2012 10:44 pm

To R. Emmet Sweeney:I have seen “Love with the Proper Stranger” on both AMCtv and TCM(I think), it is about Natalie Wood getting pregnant out-of-wedlock adn trying to get an illegal abortion. She gets pregnant by none other than Steve McQueen,you think someone would want to keep a baby made by such attractive people kinda like the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt children. So cute! I know I get terrribly off topic, I can’t help it. “Up the Down the Starcase” has always been elusive for me, I’ll start to watch it and suddenly I have to go somewhere and I never think to tape it,so I’ve never seen the very end,yet. It really bugs me when I don’t see the ending after watching most of a film.
To:Duke Roberts:Yes,please watch the “Staking Moon”. I have left you several notes all around MovieMorlocks.com. Find them and write me back. Gracias!!

Posted By Juana Maria : February 12, 2012 10:44 pm

To R. Emmet Sweeney:I have seen “Love with the Proper Stranger” on both AMCtv and TCM(I think), it is about Natalie Wood getting pregnant out-of-wedlock adn trying to get an illegal abortion. She gets pregnant by none other than Steve McQueen,you think someone would want to keep a baby made by such attractive people kinda like the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt children. So cute! I know I get terrribly off topic, I can’t help it. “Up the Down the Starcase” has always been elusive for me, I’ll start to watch it and suddenly I have to go somewhere and I never think to tape it,so I’ve never seen the very end,yet. It really bugs me when I don’t see the ending after watching most of a film.
To:Duke Roberts:Yes,please watch the “Staking Moon”. I have left you several notes all around MovieMorlocks.com. Find them and write me back. Gracias!!

Posted By dukeroberts : February 13, 2012 12:24 am

Juana- I will watch it, especially upon your recommendation. I thought I had responded to your other posts. Did I not? If not, I apologize and will do better with future posts.

Posted By dukeroberts : February 13, 2012 12:24 am

Juana- I will watch it, especially upon your recommendation. I thought I had responded to your other posts. Did I not? If not, I apologize and will do better with future posts.

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