Lovers and Other Strangers

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.”

Then there is the big wedding, with attendant hypocrisies.

Nevertheless, the star-cross’d lovers face facts, what else can they do?

The screenplay is so brilliant, a director had to be found equal to it, and a cast, etc.


Every Little Crook and Nanny

Howard’s nod to realism is a single light source giving one shadow to objects in his fully-lighted interiors. It’s a point of clarified concentration, his direction is as subtly and quietly conceived as his writing, and both tend to go unnoticed by critics and other casual onlookers.

The mobster’s son is helped up a ladder to his room on the second floor by a woman who falls off. The camera in a medium long shot watches them go up, follows her down and away in a tilt-and-pan, moves back up rapidly to the window for the boy’s reaction, then there’s a cut to his POV.

Austin Pendleton is giving a piano lesson with his back to his pupil. The wrong notes make him turn around rapidly and hit the keys correctly, several times, finally he ushers the boy out, stands alone in the room and raises his hands toward the ceiling in despair.

The technique reveals its efficacy when Victor Mature enters his son’s room wearing the same stylish red bathrobe as the boy earlier in the scene, the camera arranges to settle on the door amid other business, and in lazily walks the punchline.