About what we were speaking

I’ve been watching a bunch of 40s and 50s Hollywood classics at Méliès. Some trivia:

I’ve been watching a bunch of 40s and 50s Hollywood classics at Méliès. Some trivia:

  1. The Laura (1944) theme uses the same basic harmonic progression as the standard, It’s a blue world, which plays as a medium fox at some point in The big heat (1961) to remind Bannion of his murdered wife:
    1 A Ab G
    2 D Db D
    3 Bb Bb A
    4 F E C
    5 G C F

    In Laura this is repeated a tone lower, while It’s a blue world hoiks it a fourth higher, and then they both go their way. All this is, however, of absolutely no interest, because this progression is a standard rhetorical device signifying longing in 40s and 50s films. (It is too modern for the 30s, and sounds archaic in the 60s.)

  2. The plot of All about Eve (1950) is the same as that of the Maruja Torres novel, Mientras vivimos, although the former is handled with much more subtlety and has a couple of devices that Ms Torres could have used to her advantage. All this is, however, of absolutely no interest, since cuckoo-in-the-nest plots have been around ever since man met cuckoo.
  3. The funniest (some would say the only funny) line in Gentlemen prefer blondes (1953) comes when Marilyn Monroe, who has given herself three minutes to convert her fiancé’s father to the cause of their matrimony, says to him, “About what we were speaking.” My instantaneous reaction was that this was a proto-Yoda-ism, then that it was a missing preposition cunningly disguised as a pre-dangled on, but I actually can’t figure out how to describe it. I’m in the ridiculous position of being reasonably fluent in half a dozen languages without being able to say anything sensible about the mechanics of something as simple as this. This would worry me if it weren’t so damn hot.

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