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sábado, 6 de outubro de 2018

Coração Prisioneiro (1949) / Caught (1949)


Há muitas alegrias na vida de um cinéfilo. Uma delas é descobrir grandes atores, como James Mason, e atrizes subestimadas, como Barbara Bel Geddes. Outro prazer é rever bons filmes. Algumas vezes, nós – e isso acontece muito comigo – investimos tanto tempo em ver MAIS filmes que não gastamos tempo suficiente para apreciar bons filmes, e acabamos nos esquecendo deles com o tempo. Isso aconteceu recentemente com “Coração Prisioneiro”: eu já o havia visto com a turma da hashtag #BNoirDetour, mas me lembrava muito pouco dele.

There are many joys in loving movies. One of them is discovering great actors, like James Mason, and underrated actresses, like Barbara Bel Geddes. Another pleasure is rewatching good movies. Sometimes we – and I'm guilty of this – are so invested in watching MORE movies that we don't appreciate a good movie enough, and end up forgetting it completely with time. It happened recently with “Caught”: I had watched it with the #BNoirDetour gang, but remembered very little about it.


Você estudou na Escola de Charme de Dorothy Dale? Eu também não – e deve ser por isso que eu sou solteira e trabalho como freelancer. Porque nossa heroína, Leonora (Barbara Bel Geddes) estudou lá, e a escola a recomendou para um trabalho como modelo – quer dizer, como manequim de carne que deve usar um casaco de vison para que mulheres de nariz empinado e homens repulsivos possam apreciar o produto.

Have you attended Dorothy Dale's School of Charm? Neither have I – and that's must be the reason why I'm single and have an odd job. Because our girl, Leonora (Barbara Bel Geddes) has been there, and at the school she was recommended for a job as a model – which is basically serve as a flesh mannequin wearing a mink coat for stuck-up rich ladies and creepy men to look at.


Leonora é convidada para uma festa em um iate pelo repulsivo Franzi Kartos (Curt Bois), e pensa em não aceitar o convite. Sua colega de quarto a chama de antiquada e Leonora decide ir. Quando ela chega ao porto, o iate já zarpou, mas alguém está voltando em um barquinho: é o chefe de Kartos e dono do iate, o milionário Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan). Ele dá uma carona para Leonora, e ela não aceita entrar na mansão dele para ficar... mais confortável. Então, ao discutir o episódio com seu psiquiatra, Ohlrig impulsivamente decide se casar com Leonora para provar que o médico está errado. Será que esse casamento pode dar certo?

Leonora is invited to a yacht party by the creepy Franzi Kartos (Curt Bois) and is reticent to accept the invitation. Her roommate calls her old-fashioned and Leonora decides to go. When she reaches the harbor, the yacht has already sailed, but someone is coming back in a boat: it's Kartos's boss and the owner of the yacht, millionaire Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan). He gives her a car ride and she doesn't accept to enter his house to do... something else. Then, when discussing the episode with his psychiatrist, Ohlrig impulsively decides to marry Leonora to prove the doctor wrong. Can this marriage ever go right?


O romance é visto como um moderno conto da Cinderela pela imprensa – aliás, os colunistas sociais têm uma prosa incrivelmente machista. Leonora agora vive em uma linda casa, mas está infeliz. Ela e Ohlrig não passam tempo juntos, e ela precisa tomar remédios para dormir. Ela não pode visitar sua família e amigos, e o repulsivo Kartos é sua única companhia – e ele a chama de “mesquinha” por ela querer que o marido lhe dê atenção!

The love story is seen as a modern Cinderella story by the press – by the way, the social columnists are incredibly sexist in their prose. Leonora now lives in a beautiful house, wears only the best clothes and is covered by jewels, but she is unhappy. She and Ohlrigh don't spend time together, and she has to take sleeping pills. She hasn't seen her family or friends, and creepy Kartos is her only constant companion – and he calls her “greedy” because she wants her husband to pay attention to her!


Smith Ohlrig é um complete idiota – e o personagem foi baseado em Howard Hughes! Ohlrig insulta a esposa na frente dos amigos dele, e acredita que ela só está com ele por causa do dinheiro. Ele também tem pequenos ataques cardíacos sempre que não consegue o que deseja – o cúmulo de ser mimado. E obviamente ele tem um destes quando Leonora anuncia que vai arrumar um emprego que dê sentido à vida dela. E ela encontra mais do que sentido como secretária do pediatra Dr. Larry Quinada (James Mason).

Smith Ohlrig is just an idiot – and the character was based on Howard Hughes! Ohlrig insults his wife in front of his friends and thinks she is with him because of the money. He also has small heart attacks whenever he can't get what he wants – the climax of being spoiled. And of course he has one when Leonora announces that she will look for a job to give meaning to her life. And she finds more than meaning as the secretary to the pediatrician Dr Larry Quinada (James Mason).


O consultório é improvisado. A sala de espera tem todo tipo de cadeiras e sofás, para clientes muito simples. O consultório particular de Quinada também abriga uma pequena cozinha. Nos primeiros dias, Quinada dá bronca em Leonora, mas ela se esforça, melhora suas habilidades e até começa a auxiliar o médico em visitas aos pacientes. Em pouco tempo eles estão se encontrando fora do expediente, e Leonora está se divertindo como nunca – mas ela ainda é casada com Ohlrig, e esconde esta informação de Quinada.

The office is largely improvised. The waiting room has all kinds of chairs and sofas, for very simple clients. Quinada's actual office also has a small kitchen. In the first few days, Quinada is severe with Leonora, but she works hard, improves her skills and even starts helping the doctor when he visits his patients. Soon they are going on dates, and Leonora is having the time of her life – but she is still married to Ohlrig, and has hidden this info from Quinada.


Hoje falamos muito sobre relacionamentos abusivos, e vários filmes, séries e novelas tratam do tema. “Coração Prisioneiro” é também um filme sobre relacionamento abusivo. A maneira como Ohlrig trata Leonora é péssima, e depois que ele a maltrata, vem pedir desculpas, prometendo que aquilo nunca mais se repetirá... e quando ela o perdoa, ele a maltrata novamente. Um relacionamento abusivo existe neste ciclo.

Today we talk a lot about abusive relationships, and many movies, series and soap operas deal with the theme. “Caught” is also a film about an abusive relationship. The way Ohlrig treats Leonora is awful, and after he does that he asks for forgiveness, promises he will change... and when she forgives him, he does the same thing again. An abusive relationship exists in this cycle.


Barbara Bel Geddes era uma ótima atriz, mas tinha um grande defeito jogando contra ela no sistema de estúdio, que era tão obcecado pela imagem: ela não era uma beldade maravilhosa (ela me lembra da atriz moderna Jenna Boyd) – e não podia se tornar uma com maquiagem ou cirurgia plástica. Para Hollywood, ela tinha um rosto muito simples, comum, ordinário. Até em seu mais conhecido papel, o de Midge em “Um Corpo que Cai” (1958), sua característica principal é ser frígida e pouco desejável, e ela não tem tempo para mostrar seu talento.

Barbara Bel Geddes was a very good actress, but she had one big thing against her in the studio system, so crazy about the value of an image: she wasn't breathtakingly gorgeous (she reminds me of modern-day actress Jenna Boyd) – and she couldn't be made so by make-up or surgery. For Hollywood, she was plain-looking. Even in her best remembered role, as Midge in “Vertigo” (1958), her main characteristic is to be frigid and undesirable, and she has not enough time to show her skills.


“Coração Prisioneiro” foi o primeiro filme que James Mason fez em Hollywood. Ele seria originalmente o vilão, mas insistiu para trocar de papel com Robert Ryan, com medo de ficar estereotipado – ele havia interpretado muitos vilões na Inglaterra, como no excelente “O sétimo Véu” (1945). No fim das contas, o Dr. Larry Quinada se assemelha muito ao Norman Maine de “Nasce uma Estrela” (1954): aparentemente duro com a mocinha, mas fazendo isso para o bem dela, e também muito apaixonado.

“Caught” was the first film James Mason made in Hollywood. He was originally cast as the villain, but insisted on changing roles with Robert Ryan because he was afraid of being typecast – he had played many villains in England, like in the superb “Seventh Veil” (1945). In the end, Dr Larry Quinada is a lot like his Norman Maine from “A Star is Born” (1954): seemingly tough towards the lady, but doing this for her own good, and very much in love with her.


O diretor Max Ophüls, saindo do belo e triste “Carta de uma Desconhecida” (1948), faz outro trabalho brilhante e imprime toques de noir a “Coração Prisioneiro”. Apesar de menos conhecido na filmografia de todos os envolvidos – elenco e equipe – o filme é uma preciosidade que eu fiquei feliz de rever – e eu também fiquei feliz por nunca ter estudado na Escola de Charme de Dorothy Dale.

Director Max Ophüls, coming from the beautiful and heartbreaking “Letter from an Unknown Woman” (1948), does another great job and adds noirish touches to “Caught”. Although a lesser known film in the career of all the involved cast and crew, it’s a little gem that I was glad I revisited – oh, and I’m also glad I have never attended Dorothy Dale’s School of Charm.

This is my contribution to the James Mason blogathon, hosted by Maddy from Maddy Loves her Classic Movies.


4 comentários:

Caftan Woman disse...

Wonderful review of a very good movie.

I once got into an argument on the IMDb message boards with a fellow who said that Caught couldn't be film-noir because it had no crime. As if holding someone against their will isn't a crime!

PS: Thanks for reminding me of this film. I was having trouble recalling the title and on the IMDb they give it the title "Wild Calendar"! What is that supposed to mean?

Silver Screenings disse...

Terrific performances in this film, as you mentioned. And James Mason! He is dreamy!

I really like Barbara Bel Geddes here, and when I watch this film, I wonder why she wasn't a bigger star. I know you touched on that, and it's a real shame. She is a real talent.

P.S. I didn't realize Robert Ryan's character was based on Howard Hughes. Yikes!

James Brannan disse...

Dear Le,

This is a really good article. This sounds like a fascinating film. It's interesting to read about James Mason's first American movie. You are a very good writer!

By the way, I would like to invite you to join "The Second Annual Great Breening Blogathon." This blogathon, which will be taking place on October 12-17, is a celebration of the Code, its Era, and its enforcer, Joseph I. Breen. We are using this blogathon to honor Joseph Breen on his 130th birthday, which would have been on October 14. However, we are extending the blogathon to October 17 to celebrate the second anniversary of PEPS, which was founded on October 17, 2016. You can participate by breening a film that is not from the Breen Era (1934-1954) or by analyzing a Code films. You can also discuss an aspect of the Code, its influence on Hollywood, or Mr. Breen itself. You can find out more and join here: https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/announcing-the-second-annual-great-breening-blogathon/.

I would also like to invite you to join a blogathon which my sister, Rebekah, is hosting in November. On November 9-11, PEPS is hosting the Claude Rains Blogathon in honor of this marvelous actor's 129th birthday on November 10. You can read the announcements and sign up here: https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/five-minutes-everybody-the-curtains-going-up-on-the-claude-rains-blogathon/.

I hope that you'll be able to join! We could really use your talents.

Yours Hopefully,

Tiffany Brannan

The Metzinger Sisters disse...

I never heard of this title but your review makes it very tempting to watch! Good for James Mason for turning down the role of the villain. He did indeed play too many villains...it must be his dark eyebrows that makes him look shady. Robert Ryan had also played a millionaire tycoon in the excellent "About Mrs. Leslie" with Shirley Booth.

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