The Corpse Accuses (1946) watch online (quality HD 720p)
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The family melodrama was significantly modified from its original source due to pressures of the Production Code regarding its sordidness - namely, the incestual behavior of the dissolute playboy character named Monte. Cain was responsible for two sources for film noir classics - his novella for Double Indemnity and his best-selling work for Mildred Pierce The intriguing murder story is told with a flashback structure reminiscent of Citizen Kane Successful promotional copy for the film read: She went on to star in such films as Humoresque , Possessed , Flamingo Road - again with Curtiz directing, the self-produced thriller Sudden Fear , Johnny Guitar , a string of flops in the late 50s, and then What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
The title character is a hard-working, neurotically-devoted, long-suffering and determined mother who has a status-seeking, spoiled, detestable and mean-spirited, unloving daughter named Veda Blyth. Mirroring her real life, Joan Crawford supported herself as a waitress and saleswoman before she began making films.
Other films of maternal self-sacrifice for an insufferable child - before this one - include Imitation of Life with Claudette Colbert, and Stella Dallas with Barbara Stanwyck, and later would include Terms of Endearment with Shirley MacLaine.
This was symbolized in the film in movements from bright, daytime S. California scenes to dark, criminal, nightmarish scenes. The kind of woman most men want Cain story set in Depression-era Los Angeles.
The time period of the film extends over four years in the early 40s, including most of the war years. A gun fires six times in rhythmic tempo, killing thin-mustached owner Monte Beragon Zachary Scott. The murderer is unseen - a missing action shot in the film is not revealed until the end. The bullets shatter a mirror behind the victim. As the victim lurches forward, slumps over and falls to the floor in front of a flickering fire in the dimly lit room, the gun is tossed in front of the body.
As the camera pans up to locate the killer, it moves toward the bullet-pierced mirror. The car parked in front of the beach house pulls away with an unrecognizable driver. In a dissolve, on an almost-deserted, fog-shrouded oceanside pier at Santa Monica, California that same night, an unidentifed, fur-clad woman appears from the dark shadows and walks down to the end of the long pier. With a fixed look, she peers down into the swirling, dark ocean, illuminated by a few pier lights and moonlight.
As tears come to her eyes, a policeman appears in the scene and stands and looks at her. When she tightly grabs the railing and contemplates suicide by jumping over, the policeman raps the iron railing with his nightstick and shocks her back into reality. You know what I think? Never thought about that, did ya? Go on, beat it now. Go on home before we both take a swim. Mildred Pierce-Beragon Joan Crawford is encouraged to leave the pier and not commit suicide.
She walks back down the pier and wipes the tears from her cheek. From inside a dingy pier restaurant, Wally Fay Jack Carson recognizes Mildred and raps on the window to catch her attention. He comes out and asks: You sick or something? You know, buying this joint was the smartest move I ever made Know what I mean?
Circumstances are difficult for Mildred and she appears fearful or guilty. She suddenly consumes her drink, throwing it back down her throat and Wally notices: You know, I like good stuff. Maybe this is my lucky day. Is he, uh, being broad-minded all of a sudden? I wonder why you brought me here tonight. I mean, all of a sudden, voom!
Soft lights, quiet room. Maybe I find you irresistible, Wally.
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You know, you make me shiver, Mildred. You make love so nicely, Wally. Mimicking him You always have. As Wally leans over to kiss Mildred, she deliberately knocks his drink away and spills it all over. Apologetic, but feeling "sticky," she goes to change her dress and promises Wally: Frightened, Mildred huddles against the mirror in her room, planning what to do next.
She exits the beach house and runs along the beach. Realizing that he has been stood up after trying her bedroom door and finding it locked, Wally adds: The house is a maze of rooms and staircases. He frantically calls out for Mildred and searches for her and for a way to get out of the house.
His oversized shadow, reflected in giant relief on the wall, pounds vigorously on the locked front door. He is illuminated by a passing car with its horn blaring. He knocks over a floor lamp in the living room, causing it to fall directly toward the corpse where it illuminates the dead body of Monte Beragon.
Perspiring, Wally looks petrified with fear and desperately wonders what to do next. He approaches the telephone, identified in close-up - as he reaches for it, it begins ringing. Wally disconnects the cord, and then rushes into another area of the house to try another door.
Finding all the doors and exits locked, he breaks out the window panes of one door with a chair and kicks his way through to an outside porch, cutting himself in the process. A passing squad car shines its glaring searchlight on the house, illuminating the figure of Wally hurriedly running through the sand around the house.
What were you doing in that house, pal?
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Picking up a few souvenirs, maybe? You know, this is a pretty big night for you Oh, and I suppose you were running right down to the station to report it, huh?
In the next scene, a taxi drops Mildred off in front of her elegant house in Pasadena. She is summoned for questioning by one of the men: We only ask the questions. At this time of night? As they leave, Mildred asks again at the front door: The clock on the back wall reads: Ida always ready with a quick one-liner quips to the cop: A loud-ticking clock on the wall reads 2: The clock shows 2: Well, now we are sure. I thought you would ask me questions. Peterson explains the mechanics of how his detective work has succeeded: And we got him.
The case is on ice. You can go now. After learning that her ex-husband confessed to the killing, Mildred protests his guilt: To Peterson What about Wally Fay? Fay had no motive. Beragon, we start out with nothing. We look at the corpse and we say why? What was the reason? And when we find the reason, we find the man that made the corpse.
In this case - him. Peterson explains the undeniable facts of the case: In voice-over, Mildred first explains the end of the business real-estate relationship between Bert and Wally, and how she was always a traditional home-maker wife in her early 30s. He and Wally Fay were partners.
For a long time, they made good money. They built a lot of houses. Suddenly, everybody stopped buying. The boom was over Then one day, they split up. Wally was in and Bert was out. That day when Bert came home, he was out of a job We lived on Corvallis Street where all the houses looked alike.