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quarta-feira, 19 de julho de 2017

Julie (1956)

Nós estamos acostumados a ver Doris Day feliz – e às vezes um pouco irritada com Rock Hudson. Por isso, a maioria das pessoas nunca imaginaria que ela fez um filme noir – mas ela fez, e em sua própria produtora. Com orçamento apertado, mas grande impacto, “Julie” é um filme em que, assim como em “A Teia de Renda Negra” (1960), Doris está em perigo, e o perigo está mais próximo do que ela imagina.

We're used to seeing Doris Day happy – and sometimes playfully angry with Rock Hudson. So, most people would never imagine that she did a noir – but she did, and in her own production company. Made cheaply but with a good impact, “Julie” was a film in which, just like in “Midnight Lace” (1960), Doris is in danger and the danger is nearer than she thought.
Você sabe que um relacionamento é tóxico ao passar dois minutes com o casal e ver a mulher reclamando que o homem fica com ciúmes quando ela conversa com outros homens, e a reação dele é pisar no acelerador e fazer com que o carro que ela dirija dispara em alta velocidade pela estrada. Ele toma o volante, para o carro, ela sai correndo, ele corre atrás dela e diz que sente muito. Eles se beijam. E é assim que somos apresentados a Julie (Doris Day) e Lyle Benton (Louis Jourdan).

You know a relationship is toxic when, spending two minutes with the couple, you see the woman complaining that the man is jealous because she was talking to other men, and his reaction is to step in the accelerator and make the car she is driving go dangerously fast through the road. He grabs the wheel, stops the car, she runs, he runs after her and says he's awfully sorry. They kiss. This is how we're introduced to Julie (Doris Day) and Lyle Benton (Louis Jourdan).
Julie é viúva. Seu primeiro marido, Bob, cometeu suicídio por causa de problemas financeiros. Mas o amigo de Julie, Cliff Henderson (Barry Sullivan) acredita que o corpo de Bob tenha sido movido para criar uma cena de suicídio – ele pode ter sido estrangulado e só então uma corda foi colocada em seu pescoço.

Julie is a widow. Her first husband, Bob, killed himself because of financial troubles. But her friend, Cliff Henderson (Barry Sullivan) believes Bob's death may have been staged to look like a suicide – he could have been strangled and then a rope was put around his neck.

De maneira cínica, Lyle confessa durante a noite que matou Bob, e que não pensaria duas vezes para matar Julie. Ela foge na manhã seguinte, e chega a uma delegacia em uma cidade vizinha – porque o casal Benton vive à beira-mar. Lá, os policiais dizem que uma esposa não pode testemunhar contra o marido – uma lei bizarra que ainda existe hoje nos EUA –, que se todas as ameaças que os maridos fazem às esposas fossem considerados crimes, as cadeias teriam de ser gigantescas, e ainda dizem a Julie e Cliff que acreditam que Julie é apenas uma esposa histérica em busca de vingança, sem evidências para o que acusa. São todas falas machistas, mas que infelizmente ainda hoje são repetidas.

In a cynical way, Lyle confesses during the night that he killed Bob, and he wouldn’t think twice to kill Julie. She runs away the next morning, and arrives to a police station in a neighboring town – because the Bentons live by the seashore. There, the policemen remind her that a wife can't testify against her husband – which is still a thing in 2017 –, that if all threats against wives were considered crimes, the prisons would have to be huge, and tell Julie and Cliff that they believe Julie is just a hysterical wife looking for revenge without evidences. All very sexist statements, but unfortunately they are still repeated today.
Ninguém pode negar que Louis Jourdan é charmoso – mas com seus olhos sem vida e parados no filme, ele é sinistro. Um motif recorrente é a música que Lyle toca ao piano. Depois de sua discussão com Julie, a música se torna mais macabra e é tocada com mais força. Mais tarde, ele grava a música para atormentar Julie.

Nobody can deny that Louis Jourdan is handsome – but with his lifeless, crazy eyes in this film, he is more of a creeper. One recurring motif is the piano music Lyle plays. After his first argument with Julie, his music becomes more macabre and it’s played with more strength. Later, he records the song in order to torment her.
O filme grita noir. Nós temos a fotografia em preto e branco, cheia de sombras e contrastes e a narração  - desta vez feita pela própria Julie, e devemos nos lembrar de que mulheres como narradoras no noir era coisa rara.

This film screams noir. We have the shadowy black and white photography and the voiceover narration – this time by Julie herself, and we must remember that women as noir narrators were the exception.
Nos primeiros minutes, o filme me fez lembrar “Rebecca – A mulher inesquecível” (1940). “Julie” também tem um casal problemático vivendo em uma mansão isolada, e o primeiro marido Bob é como a primeira esposa Rebecca – sempre mencionado, nunca visto, e fundamental para a trama. A única diferença é que Bob é uma figura menos sinistra e enigmática que Rebecca.

In the first few minutes, this film reminded me of “Rebecca” (1940). “Julie” also has a problematic couple in a far-away mansion, and first husband Bob is like first wife Rebecca – always mentioned, never seen, and fundamental to the plot. The only difference is that Bob is a less sinister and enigmatic figure.
O filme espelhava um pouco a vida de Doris Day. Ela estava reticente em aceitar o papel porque Lyle a lembrava de seus dois primeiros maridos. O problema é que seu terceiro marido, Martin Melcher, que também co-produziu o filme, mostrou o mesmo ciúme quando Doris conversava com Louis Jourdan nos intervalos das gravações. Além disso, ele não se importou com a saúde de Doris e, seguindo a doutrina da ciência cristã, disse para ela “ter fé” para ser curada de um mal-estar que depois foi descoberto ser um tumor maligno.  

The film mirrored Doris's real life a bit. She was reticent about accepting the part because Lyle reminded her of her two first husbands. The problem was that her third husband, Martin Melcher, who also co-produced the film, behaved with the same jealousy when Doris got along well with Louis Jourdan during shooting. Besides that, he didn't care for her sickness and, in Christian Science fashion, told her to “have faith” to be cured of an ailment that was later discovered to be a cancerous tumor.
Com toda a perseguição acontecendo na tela, há chances de que você não tenha visto o nome ‘Mae Marsh’, o último na lista de créditos iniciais. A donzela do cinema mudo Mae Marsh tem a honra de interpretar a ‘passageira histérica’ em “Julie”. Ela foi figurante em diversos filmes dos anos 40 e 50, e encontrá-la na tela se tornou um passatempo para mim.

With all the cat and mouse game going on onscreen, there are chances you missed the name ‘Mae Marsh’, the last one in the credits. Silent screen damsel Mae Marsh had the honor to play the “’hysterical passenger’ in “Julie”. She was an extra in several talkies from the 1940s and 1950s, and spotting her has become a favorite game of mine.
“Julie” é um filme tenso, embora longo demais, e os últimos 15 minutos são um pouco chatos – ou assustadores, dependendo da sua experiência com aviões. Eu diria que os últimos 15 minutos são desnecessários, mas o filme é interessante e pode ser considerado um noir singular.

“Julie” is a very tense film, although it is a bit too long and the final 15 minutes are kinda boring – or terrifying, depending on your experience with airplanes. I’d just say that the last 15 minutes are unnecessary, but the film is enjoyable as a singular noir.


This is my contribution to the ‘Till Death Us Do Part blogathon, hosted by Theresa at CineMaven’s Essays from the Couch.

7 comentários:

Silver Screenings disse...

Le! I've never even heard of this film! Thank you for the introduction.

Doris Day is a talented actress, in my opinion, and I bet she's fabulous here. The premise is really interesting, especially since it has a female narrator.

Thanks also for the tip re: Mae Marsh. I'm going to follow your lead and start watching for her too! :)

Walter Segundo disse...

Seguindo o blog.

O Planeta Alternativo

Quiggy disse...

Louis Jourdan was a very good actor, especially as a leading man in romances. I imagine him playing a slightly off kilter version of his romantic lead here is pretty good too, although I haven't seen it. Nice review.

Caftan Woman disse...

I haven't seen this in many years, but found it really an enjoyably creepy experience. It also makes me glad I haven't flown much.

PS: I saw Louis Jourdan live in a touring production of Gigi in which he played the Maurice Chevalier role from the film. Oh, he was lovely!

katrina Morrison disse...

I love Doris Day and her movies. Your review is detailed with very interesting facts about her and the film. I agree the movie was 15 minutes too long. I enjoyed reading your post😊

Lesley disse...

A very good piece, thank you, Le, on a movie I only know by title. Sounds better than Doris's other husband-wants-to-kill-you movie, which I found absolutely ludicrous. But Doris is always wonderful, no matter whether the movie is up to her standard or not. She was not just insanely likable, she was a fantastic actress in comedy or drama. Don't forget to read my post on Notorious, I hope you like it!

Michaela disse...

Great post! I've seen Julie before, but I'd like to see it again before making up my mind about it. I definitely don't think it'll be one of my favorites, but it is a thoroughly creepy film with great acting, especially from Day and Jourdan.

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