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    Madam must have absolute quiet

    Eric posts about the wonderful movie villainy of Claude Rains; he mentions The Invisible Man, and a commenter mentions his most famous role, in Casablanca. But for my money, his most chilling performance is in Notorious, especially in the scene at the beginning of this clip, with help from the wonderfully named Leopoldine Konstantin. Watch out for that innocent-looking coffee:

    I’m not usually one to sit around pissing and moaning about how the movies have declined, but I’d be hard pressed to think of a recent movie that achieved anything like the quiet, oppressive horrifying-ness of that scene (even if the YouTube clip begins at a somewhat odd point). Maybe it’s not surprising that Rains once had to battle a speech impediment: his enunciation is always a little too purposeful to seem natural or sincere. (I mean in the movies, of course—he may have been the most forthright and jolly person alive off-screen.)

    2 Responses to “Madam must have absolute quiet”

    1. Veeshir says:

      Most movies these days don’t have “plot”, they have special effects. They also don’t have “dialogue”, they have one-liners.

      It’s depressing and why I prefer AMC, TCM and Fox Movie Channel to HBO.

    2. Sean says:

      Yeah, the conversations that seem to consist of nothing but snappy comebacks drive me berserk, too.

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