… was the year that overblown behemoth Titanic rolled over all the competition at the Oscars. (This is the movie that should have won.)
Noir is the word that keeps coming up in reviews, and in my own mind, when thinking about this movie. It’s time people stop insisting that film noir must be in black and white, even though noir is black. This is as noir as it gets, and it is gloriously colorful. Visually, it ranks up there with The Godfather and Chinatown in terms of getting the period feel right. In content, it draws heavily on the Los Angeles of Raymond Chandler.
We loved it the first time, and we rented it again because shortly after we moved into this Hollywood apartment we became aware that our street was in the film. Get the DVD, go to scene 6. Danny DeVito emerges from some shrubbery and hurries down a driveway to the street. Today, if you walk up that driveway to the end and then turn left, you will be in the parking lot of the building next door to us. Keep going a few feet and you’ll probably find our car, parked in the second spot to the north. The house Danny has been snooping on is two doors down from us!
As the camera follows him we see, at the end of the street, a brightly lit building with a tower and a theater marquee. A huge sign announces the premiere of When Worlds Collide. That building isn’t, and never was, a theater. The marquee is phony. It’s still there, empty, and we haven’t been able to determine what it was originally. But we use that tower like a bookmark when we’re driving down Hollywood Boulevard. That’s where we turn to get to our place. Neat, huh?
And remember, this is all off the record, on the Q.T., and very hush-hush!