375 Green for Danger

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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cdnchris
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#26 Post by cdnchris » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:05 pm

This was a blind one for me as well. Alastair Sim is what sold me on it. I hate that it's in the higher price point, but it really is a fun little murder mystery, a genre I am a sucker for. I've watched it a few times and got my money's worth out of it.

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#27 Post by bennybizzle » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:00 pm

Did anyone else find Bruce Eder's commentary as painful as I did? I'm glad that criterion has commentaries on a lot of discs, but he was HORRIBLE! I thought that this was a terrific movie overall and could have benefited immensely from a more relevant commentary.

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#28 Post by Narshty » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:24 pm

I'm guessing he gave a full rundown of all the participants and background on the film rather than a shot-by-shot analysis?

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#29 Post by starmanof51 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:28 pm

bennybizzle wrote:Did anyone else find Bruce Eder's commentary as painful as I did? I'm glad that criterion has commentaries on a lot of discs, but he was HORRIBLE! I thought that this was a terrific movie overall and could have benefited immensely from a more relevant commentary.
It's been a long time since I listened to it (I bought it on laser when it was new, so that's gotta be about 15 years), but I remember that particular commentary quite fondly. Lots of background information on Launder/Gilliat, the actors, the source novel, the studio - one of my favorite styles of commentary. I like Eder's stuff a lot generally.

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#30 Post by bennybizzle » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:37 pm

He basically just went through everyone's filmography. It didn't necessarily need a shot by shot analysis, but why should we have to pay a top tier price for an awful commentary that provides no real insight to the film itself? The extra interview is inconsequential, but for me they could have not bothered with the commentary or the interview and just made this a lower tier release. I'm glad that this disc was put out because I liked the movie a lot, it just seems like they said "hey we have this mediocre commentary sitting around from the old LD. Let's throw it on there and charge $40 for this!"

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#31 Post by starmanof51 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:44 pm

bennybizzle wrote: "hey we have this mediocre commentary sitting around from the old LD. Let's throw it on there and charge $40 for this!"
To each his own, but I would have been quite sad had they not ported over the commentary. I would have needed to keep the laser just for that. Really, this seems to be a matter of taste in commentary style as much as anything, rather than good versus bad. For me, this historical approach is good and exceptionally well executed here (it's stuck out in my memory all these years, I re-sampled bits when buying the DVD and was pleased all over again). I can certainly understand if the style is not to everyone's liking, but I wish there were more like it. Rudy Behlmer does/did this kind of thing a lot and I tend to like his as well.

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#32 Post by tryavna » Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:28 pm

I generally like Eder's commentaries, but some of them do suffer from having been recording in the days before IMDb. Now that we can look up an actor's or writer's filmography, we don't really need more than a few details of a person's career to remind us of their significance or the context of their career. (Eder's recent commentary for Thief of Bagdad does very little of this -- apart from giving an overview of Korda's biography.) The only one of Eder's commentaries that struck me as being weak was 49th Parallel. What I particularly liked about his commentary for Green for Danger was the information he provided about Launder and Gilliat's working relationship and complementary interests and strengths.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#33 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:05 pm

I saw this yesterday and thought it was fantastic... from some of the lukewarm responses on the first page I was frankly expecting something worth watching but just merely ambling along the middle of the road. I found it spectacular entertainment, with effervescent qualities in every department. I mean the film just sparkled all the way round... the unfolding of the narrative, the liveliness of the script, the solidness in every performance (who exhibits more professionalism and polish without prejudice towards any kind of material high or low? The british of course), the imaginative and moody cinematography, the dynamism of the sets and the life given everythng by the lighting.

I was engaged and having a blast from a to z, beyond the more obvious pleasure of watching Alaistair Sim show his bottom teeth with his jaw-jut while stalking around the set with his gangly self-- and listening to his narcotic-like delivery of the mother tongue. The guy could sell tickets just reciting the alphabet and counting to a hundred.

A near-perfect piece of fun entertainment that exhibits extreme professionalism in performance and visual craft.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#34 Post by cdnchris » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:51 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:I saw this yesterday and thought it was fantastic... from some of the lukewarm responses on the first page I was frankly expecting something worth watching but just merely ambling along the middle of the road. I found it spectacular entertainment, with effervescent qualities in every department. I mean the film just sparkled all the way round... the unfolding of the narrative, the liveliness of the script, the solidness in every performance (who exhibits more professionalism and polish without prejudice towards any kind of material high or low? The british of course), the imaginative and moody cinematography, the dynamism of the sets and the life given everythng by the lighting.

I was engaged and having a blast from a to z, beyond the more obvious pleasure of watching Alaistair Sim show his bottom teeth with his jaw-jut while stalking around the set with his gangly self-- and listening to his narcotic-like delivery of the mother tongue. The guy could sell tickets just reciting the alphabet and counting to a hundred.

A near-perfect piece of fun entertainment that exhibits extreme professionalism in performance and visual craft.
Agree pretty much on everything you say there. It's a wonderful little gem and one of the best surprises I ever got out of Criterion. It's a great murder-mystery with a great cast, but I think it's Sim in particular who makes it something even more special.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#35 Post by GringoTex » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:42 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:the imaginative and moody cinematography, the dynamism of the sets and the life given everythng by the lighting.
All of which the more acclaimed Kind Hearts and Coronets has none of. Love this film and love when Criterion introduces me to something I would have otherwise never touched in a million years.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#36 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:26 pm

I watched this last night, and like most people here, thought it was delightful. Enough has been said about Allistaire Sims great performance (and rightfully so- the opening bits of the movie felt a bit clunky, as if they were just filling time until Sims showed up), but one thing that stuck out at me was Gilliat's introduction to each of the characters- we get a typical "pan around a table" scene (though in this case, its an operating table) while the narrator provides the names and professions of each of the main characters, except for some reason Gilliat has this scene occur while the protagonists' faces are obscured by facemasks and surgical headwear! It took us about 15 or 20 minutes before we were able to retroactively fit faces and hairstyles to the descriptions given early on in the film. I'm also guessing this film held the title of "best crazy nun" until Black Narcissus came out a year later!

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#37 Post by Jack Phillips » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:36 pm

There are no nuns in Green For Danger.The term "sister," as applied to nurses in the UK, has no religious connotation.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#38 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:52 pm

Ah, I did not know! That explains the fling she and Mr Eden had prior to the film!

Speaking of which, why is the surgeon "Mr" Eden rather than "Dr" Eden?

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#39 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:06 pm

Also, what separates a "sister" (as Marion is termed in the credits) from a "nurse" (as the other three are called?)

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#40 Post by zedz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:57 pm

jindianajonz wrote:Speaking of which, why is the surgeon "Mr" Eden rather than "Dr" Eden?
I don't know if this is the convention in the US, but in the UK and elsewhere, you're only called "Doctor" until you achieve your surgical qualification, then you revert to Mr, Mrs, Miss etc. Calling a qualified surgeon "Doctor" would be an insulting gaffe.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#41 Post by Moe Dickstein » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:59 pm

In the US once you become Doctor you stay it - it would be equally insulting to the man here to call him Mr.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#42 Post by domino harvey » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:03 pm

That is totally bizarre, zedz. "Doctor" is the single most flattering prefix to attach to someone's name here, period, to the point that those with non-medical doctorates use it because it inspires instant confidence and respect

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#43 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:18 pm

Thanks, Zedz! As others have said, the US definitely sees Doctor as being all around superior to Mister- to the point where my parents were once introduced to a "Mr" So-and-so at a party, only to have him rudely retort "That's DOCTOR So-and-so! I didn't spend 12 years in medical school to be referred to as 'mister!'"

Needless to say, they didn't chat with him very long.

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Re: 375 Green for Danger

#44 Post by zedz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:18 pm

domino harvey wrote:That is totally bizarre, zedz. "Doctor" is the single most flattering prefix to attach to someone's name here, period, to the point that those with non-medical doctorates use it because it inspires instant confidence and respect
. . . and attracts requests to try and help dying passengers on longhaul flights.

The 'Mister' thing revolves around being a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, but I don't know that it's a stipulation of theirs or just a convention. My guess is that in a society as hierarchical as England's, title reversion was a convenient status marker in a working context in which everybody's a doctor. Maybe it's the "you think I'm a fucking dentist?" factor.

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Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946)

#45 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:56 am

DISCUSSION ENDS MONDAY, December 21st AT 6:00 AM.

Members have a two week period in which to discuss the film before it's moved to its dedicated thread in The Criterion Collection subforum. Please read the Rules and Procedures.

This thread is not spoiler free. This is a discussion thread; you should expect plot points of the individual films under discussion to be discussed openly. See: spoiler rules.

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I encourage members to submit questions, either those designed to elicit discussion and point out interesting things to keep an eye on, or just something you want answered. This will be extremely helpful in getting discussion started. Starting is always the hardest part, all the more so if it's unguided. Questions can be submitted to me via PM.

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Re: Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946)

#46 Post by Drucker » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:52 pm

So any fans of the film? I tried watching it tonight but couldn't get that far in and was not too interested (I'm a bit tired and have had a busy weekend, admittedly). That said, there were a few things that bugged me.

For one thing, the tone of the film felt a bit all over the place. There are scenes with light-hearted Britishness, serious domestic issues, World War II in the background, and a hospital drama. There are a lot of characters, and we get a sense of what their issues are, but never spend enough time to make us trust or care for any of them. At the outset of the film, the camera feels like we are evesdropping in their lives, as we move about the film's location and get a little look at everybody. But the camera never seems to get near enough to people to do anything but observe events. When that first kiss happens, and the doctor's girlfriend observes it, we know they've done something wrong, but that just feels like...it. We weren't particularly invested in anybody's relationships at this point anyway, so what's the big deal if an affair takes place?

Anyway, I admit I didn't finish the film, but it was doing absolutely nothing for me. Trying to do too much and left me disinterested.

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Re: Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946)

#47 Post by domino harvey » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:58 pm

This is exactly why you should never give up on a film early on and bemoan it out of hand, because it sounds like you have not made it to the part of the film where a well known actor shows up and his character upends everything we thought we knew about the dynamic and what kind of film we are watching

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Re: Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946)

#48 Post by Drucker » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:00 pm

I believe I turned it off right at that point, when the detective gets in and basically starts the murder inquest. I will try to give it another shot this week or next weekend. As I admitted, I probably wasn't in the right frame of mind to watch today, and considering the lack of discussion over the last two film clubs, I figured any post to try to get discussion going was better than nothing!

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Re: Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946)

#49 Post by MichaelB » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:46 pm

As Domino says, you turned it off at precisely the point where the film makes a completely unexpected swerve - it's been an utterly conventional murder mystery up to then, but it's when the detective turns up that things start to get interesting on all sorts of levels.

I do mean to post something about Green for Danger at some point, and I'll try to hold myself to it before the deadline.

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Re: Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946)

#50 Post by Drucker » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:18 pm

Well I finished the film today and am happy to eat a little bit of crow. Inspector Cockrill's character was absolutely delightful, and as the film went on, I came to enjoy more and more Trevor Howard's worrisome character. Cockrill's scenes are the clear standout, and his character steals the show whenever he's in. I had found the cut from a murder to him entering the film a bit odd at first, but upon revisiting that moment it irked me less.

With that said, would love to hear from one of the film's admirers, especially in what, if any, ways this really subverts the murder mystery genre, and where it stands against other films of its time, which seems far more lighthearted than other WWII murder mysteries I can imagine!

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