Friday, May 6, 2005

Larry Cohen's PHONE BOOTH

I finally rented Phone Booth last night. Wow! what a great movie.

The best overtly "Hitchcockian" movie I've ever seen. (Yes, even more Hitchcockian than Wait Until Dark and Charade, which fall far short.) Stu, the lead character, was no hero by any stretch of the imagination. He was a sleazy, dishonest, inconstant PR hack. The villain was the faceless sniper who trapped him in the phone booth. And yet, when the Stu's wife and girlfriend are drawn to the crime scene -- and their life is subsequently endangered -- their lives are put in danger because of Stu's petty lies and general snakiness. Stu will be responsible, in part, for their death. Conversely, although the sniper is the identified villain, his character is somewhat redeemed when he forces Stu to face the true nature of his own sinful character. Stu was literally brought to his knees in humilty -- and, ala Rupert Cadell, he can thank the shadowy sniper for his shame. He saved Stu's soul.

In an Alfred Hitchcock movie, The good guys ain't so good, and the bad guys ain't so bad. They're just guys.

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