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2017-06-22 08:30 am (UTC)
This isn't a curate's egg, it's a dead-and-rotted rooster frappe.
It's just neck-snapping. Writing about it required holding two very different versions of the story in my head, the one where the racism was neutral to invisible and the one where it screamed at me. Considered in isolation, if you can mentally dissect it out from the matrix of racist douchecanoeing in which it is embedded, Josie and Johnny's romance is great. Everything that I described above the cut is real—the trust, the vulnerability, the matter-of-factness, Johnny's hands shaking as he determinedly buckles her shoes. That's what audiences in 1930 were supposed to see. It can still be seen. It's perfectly appealing. It's just that all the other stuff is real, too, and for me in 2017 it leaps out just as strongly as the romantic-heroic foreground, if not sometimes more so, and so I find myself writing things like "There are two long, back-to-back scenes in the second act that are wonderful because they are interacting only with each other and therefore there's no opportunity for RDC." It was a very strange experience.
My library has
Far Wandering Men
, if you're curious.
I'd love it. Thank you. Given the way story credits could work in this period, I'm very curious to see if the premises/plots are actually similar or whether there's just some firewalking that someone at RKO thought would make a great basis for a B-picture and quickly bought up.
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