Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2013-04-30.

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042854/00001

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Title: Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2013-04-30.
Physical Description: Book
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: English thesis, Ph.D.
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Statement of Responsibility: by CAROLYN A KELLEY.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Turim, Maureen C.
Electronic Access: INACCESSIBLE UNTIL 2013-04-30

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Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042854/00001

Material Information

Title: Record for a UF thesis. Title & abstract won't display until thesis is accessible after 2013-04-30.
Physical Description: Book
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: English thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Statement of Responsibility: by CAROLYN A KELLEY.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Turim, Maureen C.
Electronic Access: INACCESSIBLE UNTIL 2013-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042854:00001

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2 2011 Carolyn A. Kelley


3 To my mother and father, Elaine and Thomas Kelley


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I want to thank my parents, Thomas and Elaine Kelley, for their unwavering love and support. You are the kindest, most generous pe ople I know. I am proud to be your daughter. To my sister, Christine Kelley Connors, thank you for always making me and Stuart Sheets, for always listening to me and for gi ving me excellent advice. I thank Ted Kingsbury for introducing me to classic Hollywood films through his Thursday night Jean Chambers, and Steven Abraham of Oswego State Uni versity, and Julian Wolfreys of Loughborough University, I thank you for your support, friendship, advice and generosity in sharing your knowledge. Thanks also go out to Professors Pamela Gilbert, Kenneth Kidd, and Chris Snodgrass of the University of Flor ida for your thoughtful guidance, wisdom and patience. To my dissertation committee members, Robert Ray, Marsha Bryant, and Louise Newman, I appreciate your generous devotion to helping me shape this project and your helpful, insightful input. And, to my D issertation Director, Maureen Turim, I thank you for your guidance, patience, intelligence, and kindness. Finally, to everyone listed on this page, please know this project would not have been possible without you, and I am extremely grateful to you all.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 4 TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 5 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 15 CHAPTE R 1 INTRODUCTION: REJECTED WOMEN IN FILM NOIR ................................ .............. 19 Citizen Kane : Characteristics and Prototype of Rejected Women in Film Noir ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 19 Female Character Types in Film Noir ................................ ................................ .............. 23 What is Film Noir? Why Does It Produce Rejected Women Character Types? ....... 29 Film Noir is a Cycle ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 29 Film Noir Exists ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 32 Film Noir is July Fifth ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 36 The Films ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 38 Methodology: Three Risks ................................ ................................ ................................ 40 .......................... 41 Risk Two: Repairing the Rift and Renewing Psychoanalytic Film Theory .......... 54 Risk Three: The Gaze of Descriptive Movie Group Practices .............................. 68 Chapters ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 70 2 (NOT) BE LOOKED AT ... 80 Invisibility and Agency in Rejected Women ................................ ................................ .... 80 Invisibility and Sexual Longing in Rejected Women ................................ ...................... 84 Clo se Readings: Specific Examples of Rejected Women of Film Noir as Invisible ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 89 Gaye Dawn in Key Largo ................................ ................................ ............................ 89 Selma Parker in The Big Heat ................................ ................................ ................... 97 At Victory Auto Wrecking ................................ ................................ ..................... 97 ................................ ................................ ........................... 105 Effie Perrine in The Maltese Falcon ................................ ................................ ........ 107 The Lush in Criss Cross ................................ ................................ ........................... 115 3 AMBIVALENT RESISTANCE: THE IMMOBILE AND WRITTEN UPON BODIES OF REJECTED WOMEN ................................ ................................ ................................ 139


6 The Body of the Rejected Woman: Passivity and Ambivalent Resistance .............. 139 Immobile Bodies of Rejected Women and the Telephone ................................ ......... 141 Effie and the Telephone in The Maltese Falcon ................................ ................... 141 Norah, Crystal and Sally and the Telephone in The Blue Gardenia .................. 143 The Blue Gardenia and passivity ................................ ................................ ..... 143 The Blue Gardenia and resistance ................................ ................................ .. 157 Written Upon Bodies of Rejected Women in The Big Heat ................................ ........ 167 Lucy Chapman ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 171 Doris the B Girl ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 174 Debby Marsh ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 178 Last Shot of The Big Heat ................................ ................................ ........................ 184 4 FILM NOIR ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 204 Mama Ochobee as the Gaze in the Picture ................................ ................................ .. 204 The Optic Whi teness of Film Noir ................................ ................................ ................... 206 Othered Persons in Film Noir ................................ ................................ .......................... 213 Othered Women In Film Noir ................................ ................................ .......................... 218 ................................ ......................... 227 5 REJECTED WOMEN ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 246 Lacan: the Gaze of the Sardine Can and Petit Jean ................................ ................... 246 Rejected Women of Film Noir and Encounters with the Lacanian Gaze ................. 248 Example One: The Oyster Fountain as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia: ................................ ................................ ..................... 249 Example Two: The Whirlpool as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia: Rape ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 255 Example T hree: Popping Meat and Mustard as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia ......... 264 Example Four: Velda and the Gaze of the Magazine in Kiss Me Deadly ................ 268 Summary of the Film ................................ ................................ ................................ 268 Analysis of the Magazine as Gaze ................................ ................................ .......... 270 Example Five: The Tel ephone as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia ................................ 278 6 REJECTED WOMEN OF FILM NOIR AS THE GAZE ................................ ................ 292 Mimicry and The Gaze ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 292 Abjection ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 295 Examples of Rejected Women as the Gaze ................................ ................................ 297 Yvonne in Casablanca ................................ ................................ .............................. 297 The Lush in Criss Cross ................................ ................................ ........................... 310 Velda in Kiss Me Deadly ................................ ................................ ........................... 317


7 7 AND THE NUCLEAR BOMB ................................ ................................ ........................... 334 In the Shadow of the Bomb ................................ ................................ ............................. 334 Context: Brief History of Nuclear Bombs ................................ ................................ ....... 342 Rejected Wome n as Nuclear Bomb ................................ ................................ ............... 347 The Big Heat and Atom Bomb Maidens ................................ ................................ 347 The Blue Gardenia and the Hydrogen Bomb ................................ ........................ 349 Kiss Me Deadly ................................ ...................... 352 Invisibility, Rejected Women, and the Atomic Bomb ................................ ................... 357 in Film Noir ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 360 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 369 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 378


8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Upon Texts in The Big Heat (in chronological order) ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 188 3 2 Upon Texts in The Big Heat (in chronological order) 189


9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 ................................ ................................ ..... 75 1 2 Triangular space occupied b y memory of Kane ................................ ........................ 75 1 3 ........................... 76 1 4 "July Fifth": Velda and Mike ................................ ................................ .......................... 76 1 5 Enticing the "male gaze" of the audience in Kiss Me Deadly ................................ .. 77 1 6 Commutation Test: Could Velda and Mike switch roles? ................................ ........ 77 1 7 Gabrielle's gun = Mike's penis in Kiss Me Deadly ................................ .................... 78 1 8 Criss Cross ................................ .......................... 78 1 9 The Ambassadors ................................ ................................ .............. 79 2 1 Introduction Shot of Gaye Dawn ................................ ................................ ............... 123 2 2 G ................................ ................................ ................... 123 2 3 Gaye fades into background ................................ ................................ ....................... 124 2 4 Close up: Gaye gives the gun to Frank ................................ ................................ .... 124 2 5 shot ................................ ................................ ...................... 125 2 6 ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 125 2 7 Victory Aut o Wrecking mise en scne Selma in background ............................. 126 2 8 Selma's fingers reaching for Dave ................................ ................................ ............. 126 2 9 us emphasizes her smile ................................ ..... 127 2 10 "Parker. Selma Parker" Selma looks down while telling Dave her name. ........... 127 2 11 Selma framed with in a frame narratively framing Larry ................................ ......... 128 2 12 Eye rhyme, part I: Selma's walking away from Dave at Victory ............................ 128 2 13 Eye rhyme, p art II: Selma's walking away from Dave at Larry's apartment ........ 129 2 14 ................................ ................................ ..... 129


10 2 15 Effie's phalli c brooch ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 130 2 16 Sam licks cigarette closed while Effie holds it ................................ ......................... 130 2 17 Sam touches Effie's thigh ................................ ................................ ............................ 131 2 18 Effie "cross" with Sam ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 131 2 1 9 Effie denied access ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 132 2 20 Effie's non dramatic exit from the film ................................ ................................ ....... 132 2 21 First shot of The Lush in Criss Cross ................................ ................................ ........ 133 2 22 The Lush's marginal look of desire for Steve ................................ ........................... 133 2 23 The Lush looks lustfully at Steve ................................ ................................ ............... 134 2 24 The Lush waves enthusiastically at Steve; he looks ambivalently at her. .......... 134 2 2 5 Long shot of Lush with her back toward the camera ................................ .............. 135 2 27 ................................ ................................ 136 2 28 The Lush visually wounded by Steve's words ................................ ......................... 136 2 29 Steve picks on the Lush ................................ ................................ .............................. 137 2 30 Th e Lush cut out of the frame except for her hand (screen right) ........................ 137 2 31 Last shot of the Lush ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 138 3 1 Effie's gesture toward Iva Brigid and/or Sam ................................ .......................... 190 3 2 Crystal staring into space ................................ ................................ ............................ 190 3 3 Crystal "rejected" by Casey ................................ ................................ ........................ 191 3 4 Telephone Operators ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 191 3 5 Rose on telephone ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 192 3 6 Crystal on telephone/Sally on couch -Deep Focus ................................ .............. 192 3 7 Sally bounds off couch wire visible ................................ ................................ ......... 193 3 8 ................................ ................................ .......... 193 3 9 Immobility: line of switchboard operators including Sally ................................ ....... 194


11 3 10 Norah unable to entangle herself from man at elevator ................................ ......... 194 3 11 Mise en scne ................................ .... 195 3 12 ................................ ............................. 195 3 13 ................................ ................................ ................. 196 3 1 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 196 3 15 Intimacy in bathroom: S ally's bare arm in mirror and Norah at sink .................... 197 3 16 Mise en scne: Kitchen scene opening shot: Mom, Mom and Baby ................... 197 3 17 Cryst ................................ ................................ ................ 198 3 18 Last shot of Crystal, Sally and Norah A man blocks their exit; Casey in the background ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 198 3 19 Casey tossing his little black book to Sleepy ................................ ........................... 199 3 20 ................................ ........... 199 3 21 First shot of Lucy Dave [screen left] approaches Lucy at the bar ...................... 200 3 22 Lucy in overlap dissolve joins Bertha and Dave ................................ ...................... 200 3 23 M ise en scne at the Retreat prior to public burning of Doris' hand .................... 201 3 24 Vince burns Doris' hand; Debby's arm reaches into the frame ............................. 201 3 25 Doris' burned hand. Deep focus encourages eye to focus anywhere ................. 202 3 26 Mise en scne: boiling coffee between Debby and Vince ................................ ..... 202 3 27 Debby's face as written upon text ................................ ................................ .............. 203 3 28 Last shot of the film Note items in Hugo's hands ................................ ................... 203 4 1 Cl ose up of Mama Ochobee ................................ ................................ ....................... 238 4 2 Wenoka boat passing under lines of Temple boat ................................ .................. 238 4 3 Medium Shot of the Osceola Brothers ................................ ................................ ...... 239 4 4 take at the boxing gym ................................ .......... 239 4 5 Juxtaposition of Nick's car and Mike's fancy sports car ................................ ......... 240 4 6 Ong appears to own a fancy car ................................ ................................ ................ 240


12 4 7 Yet, he drives out from among them in an old jalopy ................................ ............. 241 4 8 Comfort with phallic reflection on her chest ................................ ............................. 241 4 9 Comfort in Long Shot ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 242 4 10 Mis match of Comfort in the mirror ................................ ................................ ............ 242 4 11 Mise en scne: Nat King Cole and band ................................ ................................ .. 243 4 12 Casey and Joe at the bar and the black mark han ging over the two of them .... 243 4 13 Velda's neckerchief ties her to Nick ................................ ................................ .......... 244 4 14 Nick's neckerchief ties him to Velda ................................ ................................ .......... 244 4 15 Claustrophobic close up of Nick and Sam ................................ ............................... 245 4 16 Homoerotic potential of this overlap dissolve ................................ .......................... 245 5 1 Norah hesitates before answering telephone ................................ .......................... 282 5 2 Overlap dissolve from Sally to Prebble ................................ ................................ ..... 282 5 3 The gaze of the oyster fountain with Prebble behind it ................................ .......... 283 5 4 Prebble leers at Norah in suggestive mise en scne ................................ ............. 283 5 5 Prebble looming over Norah; his weapon, the coffee cup, present in the mise en scne ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 284 5 6 Medium shot of Norah and Prebble. Prebble sweeps Norah off her feet. .......... 284 5 7 Initial whirlpool image: Norah's rape: Prebble's penetration ................................ 285 5 8 Pulsating lines representing Prebble's orgasm ................................ ....................... 285 5 9 Whirlpool rests on Norah's crouch. Her helpless posture and fragments of mirror imply rape. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 286 5 10 Prebble talks to Rose (off screen). He is uninjured and holds the poker. ........... 286 5 11 Norah smiles as the meat pops out of her sandwich ................................ .............. 287 5 12 Visual clue that Velda does the legwork ......................... 2 87 5 13 Velda in long shot with the first unknown (and replaced) magazine. ................... 288 5 14 Physical Culture magazine ............................ 288


13 5 15 Cover of Physical Culture magazine issue read by Velda ................................ ..... 289 5 16 "Dreifachgn ................................ .............................. 289 5 17 The touchtone telephone ................................ ................................ ............................ 290 5 18 Prebble looking at drawing of Norah ................................ ................................ ......... 290 5 19 Overlap dissolves into Norah ................................ ................................ ..................... 291 6 1 The crustacean caprella acanthifera ................................ ................................ ......... 321 6 2 The Briozoaires Ectoproctes ................................ ................................ ...................... 321 6 3 Initial shot of Yvonne ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 322 6 4 ..... 322 6 5 Yvonne turns the barstool. Rick keeps his back to her. ................................ ......... 323 6 6 Ilsa's outfit entering Cafe for first ti me with Lazlo ................................ .................... 323 6 7 Patriarchal condescension: Rick grabs Yvonne's arm ................................ ........... 324 6 8 Inz's crossed gaze in Pp Le Moko ................................ ................................ ...... 324 6 9 Yvonne looks at Rick while walking with past his table with the Nazi officer. .... 325 6 10 s gaze. ................................ ............... 325 6 11 ................................ .... 326 6 12 Ilsa in "prison" outfit similar to Yvon ................................ ........... 326 6 1 Deep focus shot of Yvonne in profile, and in foreground, screen left. ................. 327 6 14 Shallow focus shot of Ilsa. Shot immediately follows similar shot of Yvonne. See Figure 6 13. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 327 6 15 Shallow focus close up of Ilsa ................................ ................................ .................... 328 6 16 Close u ................................ ......................... 328 6 17 Medium Shot of the Lush ................................ ................................ ............................ 329 6 18 Close up of Anna in contrast with the Lush ................................ ............................. 329 6 19 The Lush at the bar as Steve walks in ................................ ................................ ...... 330 6 20 Anna in slacks eating ice cream ................................ ................................ ................ 330


14 6 21 Steve snickers at the Lush ................................ ................................ .......................... 331 6 22 Nora: gesture hand to hair. ................................ ................................ ...................... 331 6 23 Gaye: gesture hand to hair ................................ ................................ ...................... 332 6 24 Velda sweats during the ballet sequence ................................ ................................ 332 6 25 shot one ................................ ................................ ...... 333 6 26 shot two ................................ ................................ ...... 333 7 1 ..................... 367 7 2 hibakusha ................ 367 7 3 Ray Diker as hibakusha ................................ ................................ .............................. 368 7 4 Close ....................... 368


15 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy REJECTED WOMEN IN FILM NOIR By Carolyn A. Kelley May 2011 Chair: Maureen C. Turim Major: English My dissertation, Rejected Women in Film Noir, brings an innovative approach to a well studied cycle of films in terms of character type and methodology by concentrating on a female character frequently pictured, but rarely discussed, which I Rejected women characters include: the faithful and taken for (Noir code for fallen woman) fettered to a bar stool, who is used and discarded by the Noir hero, and the lonely spinster, who has a dull, unglamorous job like bookkeeper or telephone operator. She desires (positive) attention from the noir hero, yet only receives it in a negative form, culminating in either active or passive rejection through dismissal or indifference. This story line of rejection is mirrored in the physical and psychological pain she often endures. the mise en scne. It relegates her to the background of shots. Frames chop off body that her last appearance on screen is non eventful. She walks into a darkened abyss, strolls unceremoniously out of frame, or fades out of a frame like a ghost. Reflecting her


16 ch has not seen fit to isolate her as a character type or study her sufficiently. My dissertation corrects this oversight. When Film Noir texts foil, the fresh faced Woman of Film Noir. My methodology begins with close filmic readings and broadens to consider a numb er of ideological questions. I try to avoid a priori applications of ideological assumptions, and instead conduct detailed examinations of filmic textuality. I primarily utilize Mi The Four Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis (Seminar XI) confusion in derision in film theory discourse. I recommend that we consider Laura Seminar XI needed, as well as in examining film generally and Rejected Women of Film Noir specifically. Some feminist scholars believe Mu prescription. Feminist film theory needs to re visit critical theoretical feminism and reinvestment in the insights of its p ioneers. By reading the rejected woman through


17 the rejected woman exists as a paradoxical locus of power. She is antinomic; simultaneously encompassing pain and pleasure, vi sibility and invisibility, movement and immobility, text and writing instrument. For example, Gaye Dawn in Key Largo (not) be lo oked at grants her power unavailable to other characters, yet she uses this power solely for the benefit of the Noir hero. Because male character do not pay attention to approach Rocco, steal his gun, and give it to Frank, which he will use to save his life. Despite risking her life, Gaye gains nothing from this act. She uses the power endowed by her invisibility solely to edify Frank. the gaze and how objects in the film gaze at her. I argue that these gazes register as moments functions as the gaze because she reminds us collectively of traumas we may not wish to acknowledge consciously, such as racism and the invention and use of the atomic bomb. Object s in the diegesis gaze at her and tell the stories of her personal traumas (rape, prostitution, and death by horrible physical pain) as well as signify her attempts to create a world where fantasy and imagination provide a respite from her dull, dreary lif e and help her cope with the rejection she faces, most notably from the Noir hero. For instance, the gaze of an oyster shaped fountain and a hamburger patty signify the rape


18 and impregnation of Norah in The Blue Gardenia and the gaze of a fifteen year old magazine functions as a refuge of fantasy for Velda ( Kiss Me Deadly) who must sell her body for her pimp as mimicry to explain how Yvonne ( Casablanca ) operates as the gaze in her role a s a Because my project involves close and detailed readings of specific filmic scenes, it focuses on a small selection of Film Noirs: The Maltese Falcon (John Huston 1941), Casablanca (Michael Curtiz 1942), Key Largo ( John Hu ston 1948), Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak 1949), The Big Heat (Fritz Lang 1953) and The Blue Gardenia (Fritz Lang 1953), and Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955). I chose films using two criteria: ing they contained several examples of this figure, and 2) films that covered the fifteen year time frame of the Film Noir cycle: 1941 1955. I also include some outliers, focusing on them as precedents that prefigure the Rejected Woman character type, suc h as Pp Le Moko (Julien Duvivier 1937) The Letter (William Wyler 1940), and Citizen Kane (Orson Welles 1941).


19 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: REJECT ED WOMEN IN FILM NOI R In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/ male and passive female. [I]n the scopic field, the gaze is outside, I am looked at, that is to say, I am a picture. Jacques Lacan, Seminar XI Still, my experience is that most texts, like most live s, are underread, not overread. Stanley Cavell, Pursuits of Happiness Citizen Kane : Characteristics and Prototype of Rejected Women in Film Noir Within earshot, Jed e know when I was a y oung man there used to be an impression around that nurses were expression upon hearing these words a mixture of anger, sadness, and acceptance [Fig 1 Leland implores Thompson to smuggle in cigars on his next visit, suggesting ways Thompson can camouflage them. She exchanges a look of disgust with another nurse, which reflects not only her annoyanc e with her recalcitrant charge, but also the lingering pain of his cutting remarks about her physical appearance. The nurses then lead Leland into the blackened background, an abyss from which none of them resurfaces again. In Citizen Kane (Orson Welles 19 41) Nurse One, 1 as she inhabits, embodies and is treated in this short scene, encapsulates the character type I am calling The Rejected 1 Nurse Two [Coy Danz] because Nurse One is the more prom inent figure in this scene.


20 Woman in Film Noir. 2 In a fitting coincidence, Edith Evanson, whose performance as The Big Heat (1953) figures prominently in this project, plays Nurse One in this small, uncredited role. Citizen Kane serves as a pre cursor of Film Noir, and Nurse One functions as a pre cursor or proto type of the Rejected Woman in Film Noir who will occupy the Film Noirs to come over the preceding seventeen years (1941 1958). Despite the ubiquity of rejected woman figure throughout the Film Noir cycle, scholars have not identified it, nor discussed how and why it informs Film Noir. By closely analyzing scenes o f rejected women characters, and filtering them through the critical lens of psychoanalytical film theory, I demonstrate why rejected women matter to film theory, how they help us understand the cultural, social and political situation of mid century women and how their existence echoes and haunts contemporary society. If pressed to pick one word that best characterizes the Rejected Woman of Film Noir, I would choose the word pain, because she suffers terrible physical and/or psychological pain. The word p ain, however, feels inaccurate, because encircled in horrific moments of suffering, the rejected woman simultaneously experiences pleasure. Out of her pain, she siphons strength, which endows her with power, and she finds pleasure in this power. For exampl e, the rejected woman is marked by an invisibility that only is rivaled in Film Noir by the marked absence of people of color, another issue I will discuss in this project. Film Noir renders her invisible, in that characters in the diegesis 2 Although not every scholar agrees Citizen Kane would fall under the many rubrics that define Film Noir, the film, at the very least, falls within the established period of the cycle and bears a family resemblance to Film Noir with its stylistic similarities, flashback heavy narrative, and under pinning of corruption. For example, J. P. Telotte writes: many critics see Citizen Kane as a seminal influence on the film noir. Its shadowy images, unbalanced compositions, and strang e camera angles clearly prefigures much of the


21 do not notice h er, yet she uses this invisibility to accomplish extraordinary tasks that the femme fatale, home girl, and noir hero cannot. She also finds pleasure in her superior intelligence, which also goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Despite her rejection from the n oir hero, she finds comfort through unconventional social channels or through a re connection to her nationalist pride. Furthermore, her own experiences of rejection give her the empathy necessary to soothe the pain of others, and she takes pleasure in her ability to help. In all of these ways, her rejections, and the pain they cause, simultaneously injure and edify her. Film Noirs reject, discard and ignore her both formally and discursively. In relation to the former, she often inhabits the margins of the frame, relegated to corners, backgrounds, or if foregrounded, lost in a sea of deep focus busyness, or shallow focus blurriness. Many times, she exits films by walking unceremoniously out of the frame, or the frame chops her off in order that the camera m ay follow the noir hero. Physical props, like the telephone, entrap, bind and confine her body. For example, Citizen Kane for the first ten seconds she is on screen. Second, in the full ninety seconds she remains on screen, her face never emerges from the shadows. At one point, a dark the same enhancement. Although her body stands cen ter screen, this usual position of prominence is undercut by shadows and by her juxtaposition with the large figure of Leland, whose size dwarfs her, and whose eccentric outfit, in particular, his white visor and white rope belt, draws the eye of the spect ator [Fig 1 1]. The mise en scne coaxes us to look at Leland. We must be careful and persistent readers in order to take in the


22 In her opening shot, she emerges from an abyss of darkness, signifying her place of nothingness in the film. She has, however, some pleasure encircled in her pain. She will drag Leland with her into this abyss at the end of the scene, and we can be certain Leland will never see a cigar. Throug h these two small acts, one formal, one (imagined) discursive, she finds and capitalizes on the little agency the film grants her. Discursively, the Rejected Woman in Film Noir possesses distinct characteristics, such as her physical appearance, her narrat ive position in the film, her vocation, and her relationships with other characters. Rejected woman character types include the faithful, indispensable, taken for woman) fettered to a bar stool, who is mistreated and/or sexually used and discarded by the noir hero, and the lonely love interests to help the noir hero. The rejected woman often works in difficult, dull, or unglamorous professions, su ch as switch board operators, bookkeepers, nightclub hostesses, and secretaries. She usually loves and/or is strongly sexually attracted to the noir hero, who does not reciprocate her feelings. At times, she doubles as a travesty or an inferior copy of the femme fatale or home girl. Nurse One evinces many of these often neglect the rejected woman in relation to screen time given other characters. Second, she performs an ung lamorous, dull and thankless job, in this case, nurse to an intractable, unappreciative, and insulting patient. Third, because the rejected woman does not possess the classic Hollywood attractiveness found in most women on the screen, the film suggests she is less valued, a situation she resigns herself to, despite


23 enamored with a leadin g male character, yet her character either is metaphorically neutered in that her sexual desire is foreclosed (as is often the case of non while males in Film Noir, which I will also discuss), or these male characters prey upon her feelings in order to use her and then discard her. Even though no evidence of this attraction exists between Leland and Nurse One, I would argue that the utter contempt she shows toward him functions as a kind of inverse of romantic attention. In regard to Citizen Kane, this argu ment is bolstered further because Evanson emerges out of the visual screen space that, only seconds earlier, Kane had occupied. The triangular overlapping as Nurse On e emerges from this same location [Fig 1 2]. Leland has a love/hate as a visual correlative for him. Female Character Types in Film Noir In my analysis, I characterize thre e major female characters figures in Film Noir: the rejected woman, the femme fatale and the virginal home girl. Many film scholars have defined and analyzed the femme fatale and the home girl. Classic illustrations include of Film Noir femme fatales inclu de Phyllis Dietrichsen in Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder 1944) and Kathy Moffat in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur 1947 ). Classic home girl characters types include Ann in Out of the Past and Nora in Key Largo (John my definitions of these two characters in relation to the rejected woman character, and I compare my categorizations with those of another feminist scholar, Jans Wager, who


24 also examines female character informative, although, we differ on our naming, categorizing, and analyzing these female figures. I see the femme fatale functions as a kind of evil twin of the virginal home girl, who does not have t pushes him toward destruction; his attraction to the home girl pushes him toward marriage, and/or societal stability. His attraction to the femme fatale is the more powerful pull of th e two. Whereas the femme fatale and the home girl form a pair, the rejected woman stands outside this paradigm of (heterosexual) longing in Film Noir. The r for castration, because she enchants and captivates him to the point that he can no longer think clearly In Pp Le Moko (Julien Duvivier 1937), the eponymo us hero tells police inspector Slimane that the women in his life will not get control of him because he gives them his body, but he keeps his head for himself. Even though the home girl does not possess the wild, animal like sexuality of the femme fatale she is also sexually alluring to the Noir hero. Unlike the femme fatale, the Noir hero can control or tame her. He usually does not lose his head around her, however. In fact the opposite usually occurs, in that her stabilizing presence causes him to thi nk more clearly. For instance, in Casablanca (Michael Curtiz 1942) Rick initially loses his head over home girl Ilsa. 3 He sits in his room over his bar, overcome by 3 Ilsa qualifies as a home girl because she represents the goodness and purity of a woman who supports her man. Although Ilsa resembles the femme fatale because she uses her sexuali ty to ensnare him (One


25 emotions, which he drowns with liquor. He tries to change this emotional pain into the phy sical by pounding the table. At the end of the film, however, he realizes that Ilsa loves him, and he has essentially tamed her, he regains his power to think and does the thinking for the three of them (him, Ilsa and Lazlo), thereby establishing his posit ion as hero. At the end of the story, Ilsa becomes a passive object of exchange between Rick and Lazlo. Rick essentially gives her over to Lazlo, like a father giving away his makes it confronting and beating the castration threat, ultimately saves the world. In every Film Noir discussed in this project, the femme fatale who stirs up the lust o f the male characters receives punishment. In The Maltese Falcon (John Huston 1941), Sam Criss Cross (Robert Siodmak with hot coffee (The Big Heat). Rejected woman characters usually do not produce lustful feelings in the noir hero, despite their intentions to do so. The text neuters her desire because she possesses neither the standardized physical features valorized by the patriarchy, nor the charisma of the femme fatale and home girl. Occasionally however, if a Rejected Woman of Film Noir happens to produce any arousal in the noir hero, she faces punishment. For example if rejected women characters stir up feels of l ust, especially, if Rick, or anyone else A formal hint that she is a home girl exists in her appearing outside in the sunshine (in the shopping scene). The home girl often is pictured outside and in sunlight. Norman Holland writes about his experience watching Ingrid Bergman. His comment also place her in the category of the home In my Casablanca, would have worn for a date on a summer day. She even wears a sunshade hat with gloves, no less. (26).


26 these feelings distract the Noir heroes from the work, they face harsh punishment. For example, rejected women Norah ( The Blue Gardenia Fritz Lang 1953) Debby 4 ( The Big Heat) and Velda ( Kiss Me Deadly Robert Aldrich 1955), experience e xtreme acts of violence. Velda is kidnapped and will (almost certainly) die from nuclear related burning, Debby is burned, and Norah is raped by Prebble. In her two books, Dangerous Dames and the subsequent Seat, Wager discusses how s he categorizes and analyzes female characters of Film Noir. While I define the three main women character roles into femme fatale, home girl and rejected woman, she places the women of Film Noir into two categories: femme fatale and femme attrape. Wager e least forgiveness), asks very little in r 60). Wager takes this archetype as the basis for the femme attrape, or woman trapped, who buys into patriarchal ideals and is trapped not only by the patriarchy but also by her own (whether conscious For Wager, the iconic example of a femme attrape is Ruby from Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis 1950). Ann in Out of the Pas t or Nora in Key Largo attrape character. These women totally accept their place in the patriarchal structure without questioning it and are ultimately rewarded by the text for their acquiescence. 4 read to suggest he has lustful feelings for her (his nervous thrusting of his hand into his pocket as he stands over Debby on the bed, for example).


27 Ann ends up with the local police s heriff who loves her, while her counterpart femme fatale, Kathy Moffatt dies in a hail of bullets. Nora gets her happy ending with Frank, while her counterpart, the rejected woman Gaye Dawn slinks out of the text into e an identifiable descriptive name for characters like Gaye Dawn, Effie Perrine, or Selma Parker, who all fall into my definition of rejected women. Wager would probably classify some of my rejected woman characters as femme attrapes, such as the women op erators in The Blue Gardenia. Wager also redefines the classic femme fatale character. First of all, she defines Marsh and Velda Wickman function as femme fatale s because their actions ultimately endanger themselves. Neither of these characters fits my definition of a femme fatale because Debby and Velda are not sexually irresistible or deadly to noir heroes Dave Bannion and Mike Hammer respectively. Under my rubr ic, Debby and Velda are dependent on their relationships to male characters. Her definition of the femme fatale, for example, focuses on her own status and agency independent o f her relationship with the noir hero. Although I applaud this effort, the patriarchal structure and the power of the active male gaze that Mulvey delineates, make it impossible to define these figures independent of the male characters.


28 I am hesitant to a characters is positive, even if that agency leads to her destruction. For example, Wager argues that femme fatales (Wager puts the three major female characters, Christina, Velda, and with intelligence and curiosity directly at what the male protagonist cannot decipher . in Kiss Me Deadl y suffering, death, and destruction to herself and everyone else, trumps having no agency at all. This idea s trikes me as profoundly sad in that it speaks to how little agency women actually have in the patriarchy. It shows that their sources of power are so scarce that any power they obtain and use is then positive. Mike Hammer, for all his odiousness, is compas sionate enough about humanity to close the box when he had but a pernicious type of entrapment that only finds an outlet in causing misery for others. Despite this dif ference in outlook and codification of female figures, Wager and I seem to be concerned with many of the same issues, primarily how women circulate and are represented in Film Noir. The major difference between my approach and hers is that I define the fem ale characters of Film Noir in relation to the male characters. This might lead Wager to define me as a femme attrape (!), but I think we have to take Film not only in terms of its male controlled production (male d irectors and male screenwriters), but also in terms of its androcentric diegesis. The only womanly aspect of Film Noir is that women play the female roles. Western


29 society in the post World War Two period was androcentric and continues to be in contemporar y society. What is Film Noir? Why Does It Produce Rejected Women Character Types? Film Noir remains difficult to categorize, and entire series of books have attempted to explain what makes a Film Noir in relation to its discursive elements (investigation/ mystery murder stories occurring in metropolitan areas and convoluted plots told out of chronological order) or its stylistic elements (heavy use of shadows, extreme close ups, and physical compositions that chop up human bodies and make them look small an d insignificant). Scholars argue whether Film Noir is a genre, movement or cycle, or whether it exists at all. Usually in scholarly works involving Film Noir, the author dutifully repeats the on among the canon ical principal players. I am not going to repeat that move, as you can find it in almost every book written about Film Noir. I do not mean to signify that these debates are not useful (they are), and that they have not enhanced Film Noir scholarship (they have), but they have already been done often and well. Instead, I will highlight three major ideas concerning Film Noir that have not been discussed with such frequency as other topics: 1) Film Noir is a cycle, 2) Film Noir exists as a legitimate way to gr All three of these concepts relate to Rejected Women in Film Noir. Film Noir is a Cycle In Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity, Edward Dimendberg proposes a superior de scription and definition of Film Noir: Until recently, film noir scholarship remained trapped in a quagmire of attempts to define its object of study. In what now appear as dryly academic (if not quasi theological) debates, scholars argued whether film noi r was a


30 genre, a tone, a mood, a style, or a moment in film history. Yet space cannot be comfortably assimilated to any of these categories and suggests both their limitations and the possibility of a new optic through which to approach film noir. In this study I refer to the film noir cycle, a locution first introduced by Raymond Borde and tienne Chaumeton, and by which I understand a historically circumscribed group of films sharing common industrial practices, stylistic features, narrative consistencies and spatial representations. (11) project involves correcting a blind spot he noticed in Film Noir scholarship, namely the More Than Night (n 14, 263). 5 Naremore, like Dimendberg, com ments on the difficulty in defining this enigmatic collection of films: Unfortunately, nothing links together all the things described as noir not the theme of crime, not a cinematographic technique, not even a resistance of Aristotelian narratives or happ y endings. Little wonder that no writer has one of the first attempts to 1955 book Panorama du Film Noir Amricain as a cycle, that encompasses history, style, tone, and theme re presents one of the best ways of trying to capture and name, what, as Naremore points out, is difficult and the nature of 5 In this same note, Dimendberg lists all the essential scholarly texts written on Film Noir that argue its codifications and definitions, which is accura te and helpful.


31 Noir cycle also is predicated upon the idea that these films were unaware of belonging to this cycle, because of its a posteriori construction. Of cour se, we can make Kiss Me Deadly, which Paul Schrader notes is I also define the boundaries of this cycle as beginning in 1941 and ending, for the most part in 1955. This time frame corre categories: the wartime, post war realistic, and psychotic action and suicidal impulse periods (12). Schrader also defines Film Noi r as a style, and argues that American critics fail to see this fact because they are accustomed to categorizing films by themes cycle Dimendberg proposes. Dimendberg spaces play out in Film Noir, and his reading of Film Noirs as centripetal until 1949 and centrifugal post 1949 insightfully speaks to American fears about the population and commercial density in relation to ato mic bomb threats. Although I agree that the city is an important component of Film Noirs, I would argue they can be set outside of the city, on the condition that they refer to city space as an elemental part of their discourse. For Key Largo occurs on the eponymous island, yet it refers continuously to the gangsters being integral to the city. At one point, Mr. Temple even Ziggy travel to Key Larg o from Miami. Dimendberg also chronicles the equation of the


32 city with the feminine. 6 with the Rejected Woman of Film Noir both have been ignored by Film Noir scholarship, and both bear the scars of this neglect. Naremore discusses how the French conceptualization of Film Noir relates to their own nostalgia to a pre war cinema of national identity that echoes in post World War II American films (15). Film Noir seems forever fettered to the notion of nostalgia for the past, pain, and loss. The rejected woman too seems tied to these factors, particularly pain and loss, and occasionally nostalgia for her own lost past. For example, Gaye Dawn in Key Largo longingly talks about her past days as a performe were gorgeous. Always low egacy and an idea we character. For instance, rejected woman Velda flips through a fifteen year old magazine, partially because she wishes to return to the past in order to forget her present situation, in which she prostitutes herself in order to please her boss and (sometimes) boyfriend, Mike. Film Noir Exists If, as Dimendberg notes, the discussion of what constitutes Film Noir borders on Vernet represents a modern day Penelope, daily tugging at the threads that hold 6 The Naked City utmost intimacy. Even in slumber he is responsive to her. In sickness and in health he will take his camera and ride off in search of new evidence that his city, even in her most drunken and disorderly and 54].


33 together the garment that is Film Noir; he keeps unraveling until finally, in his view, Film Noir disappears. Of weaving at night: film noir has no clothes. the classical list of criteria defining film noir is totally conclud es: As an object or corpus of films, film noir does not belong to the history of cinema; it belongs as a notion to the history of film criticism or, if one prefers, to the history of those who wanted to love the American cinema even in its middling product ion and to form an image of it. Film noir is a Vernet claims that only the rare Film Noir scholar or critic has the courage to reveal this secret. 7 Along with his dismissal of the Film N 8 essay, however, perhaps undoes itself: by trying so hard to prove Film Noir does not exist, he only makes its existence that much more in evidence. Two points made by film noir is loved for representing a past that it in fact occults, a past that the enthusiast Annie Hall (1978). The director tries to tries to capture the late 7 Vernet lists Paul Sc lengths to argue for the existence of Film Noir as a style and not a gen re. Schrader claims American critics are too quick to valorize themes over style, and that because of this prejudice, American critics misunderstand Film Noir. Schrader does not, at least in my reading of his essay, in any imaginable way, denies that Film Noir exists. 8 Anxiety of Influence proposes the thesis that male authors, try metaphorically to kill their literary fathers by disproving their theories or denigrating their ideas in an effort to promote their own. He bases this thesis on the Freudian Oedipal complex.


34 decade narcissism of southern California. No viewer, however, can assume The Great Gatsby invokes a past of the roarin g 1920s with gin soaked parties and flappers dancing the we experience the shinier, simpler, and more easily codified version of history that Fitzgerald presents. The ult reader that the past not only cannot be repeated; it never can be adequately remembered or recovered. In relation even for Ver net. and, even for Vernet, the perception of at least a minimally sufficient historical coalescence (if not coherence) to suggest that nist scholars like Sobchack because his attack on Film Noir is partially based on an attack of feminist concept for feminists and historians, and in which the resulting criti cal work ends up attempt to tie this rejection to the study of feminism puts Film Noir into the position of the Rejected Woman Film Noir becomes a thing that the dominant male of the


35 patriarchal society does not know quite how to deal with a thin By denying, or occulting the rejected woman, one avoids having to deal with what she represents. Her status as the less than beautiful woman reminds women of the comes with it) remains evanescent and evaporates with age. Western culture teaches women that becoming or remaining beautiful will give them power. The rejected woman cha racter lacks this standardized physical beauty. In some cases, she had it once, but lost it through the act of physical violence (Debby Marsh in The Big Heat) or through abuse of drinking or the process of aging (Gaye Dawn) or perhaps she never had it to b egin with (Selma Parker in The Big Heat ). These Rejected Women do not have access to the type of power distributed and recognized in patriarchal societies. Because they lack this power, they are punished, rejected, and subjected to dull, dreary lives, yet, they do manage to find ways to undermine the system by acquiring power in the limited ways available to them. For example, think about the way Fritz Lang depicts the cramped, sparse and dreary living space of the three telephone operators in The Blue Gard enia (1953). Could we imagine this same space being shared by beautiful and glamorous femme fatales, such as Kathy Moffat ( Out of the Past), Anna Dundee ( Criss Cross) and Phyllis Dietrichsen (Double Indemnity) ? Despite their dreary surroundings, the women of The Blue Gardenia make themselves a home, a safe haven where they support and care for each other in a world that reminds them repeatedly of their rejected status. Why is the Rejected Woman in Film Noir ignored and or discarded with impunity? Historical ly, she seems to embody many of the fears usually associated with Film Noir


36 angst. The Rejected Woman is dismissed because in her very existence, she serves as a reminder to the patriarchy of its own unfair power structures. Her kindness and self sacrifice create a sort of collective Noir guilt that manifests in its dismissing her or often white males, who, I will argue, occupy the same position as the white rejected woman in Film Noir. Film Noir is July Fifth accompanying euphoria of the victorious Allies, and the succeeding economic boom exists as the American July fourth holiday. This time of excess ive and intoxicating joy sailor grabbing a random nurse and passionately kissing her [Fig 1 3]. Film Noir, then, cleaning up after the party, and the day of remembering and accounting for the excesses made the previous day. 9 On the day of the hangover, we often are sick physically and emotionally. We are angry with ourselves for self inducing our own physical pain, a nd wondering if what we did and how we behaved were somehow less than honorable at best, and dangerous, self of July celebrations, the post war era of Film Noir be comes the hangover, when the its actions, a term that takes on a particular malevolence in relation to the atomic bomb. 9 Arnold Weinstein created this analogy of July Fourth versus July Fifth in his discussion about The Great Gatsby. Weinstein argues that The Great Gatsby analogy, because I t


37 s, intoxicating romance of the July fourth, then the picture of July fifth romance could be Velda and Mike in Kiss Me Deadly. In one shot, [Fig 1 4] Velda kisses Mike, but he is totally engrossed in his work; the post war malaise, the hangover from too much celebration. To make this shot even more disturbing (and less romantic, if that is even possible), Velda has a trail of spit that s neck, reminding the audience of the realism (not romance) involved in kissing the exchange of spit. Velda, as a rejected woman of Film Noir serves as a reminder of atomic horror in her final scene in the film in which she huddles in the surf with Mike as beach house erupts in an atomic ball of fire. If Gabrielle functions as the Pandora of the film (Dr. Soberin actually tells her that the name Pandora suits her more than her own), Velda is its Cassandra. She constantly warns Mike to end his Film Noir as a reminder of the damage of the atomic bomb. She exists as the gaze in the film in relation to the bomb, reminding us that her burning (wh ich I will explain later potential promise of victims burning in the future. The Rejected Woman of Film Noir is a fascinating blend of indifference and terror; she se ems harmless because she often is ordinary, and does not attract (patriarchal) attention, yet she also embodies fear and terror because of her potential power. The Rejected Woman of Film Noir also represents fallout; the text often treats her as though she were radioactive, distancing her, cordoning her off. She represents the fear/awe of the bomb and its aftermath. In the


38 world of Film Noir, the femme fatale and the home girl are July fourth the heady, dizzying feeling one gets when intoxicated by attrac tion. In fact, exploding fireworks often stand in as a trite symbol of romantic love and sexual attraction. In contrast, the rejected woman represents July fifth the day of the hangover, the regret, and taking measure of the damages done in the excesses of the July fourth celebration. The Films Although hundreds of Film Noirs exist, this project concentrates primarily on seven films. Focusing closely on only a handful of Film Noirs allows for closer description and analysis of specific filmic moments as t hey relate to the rejected woman discursively, formally, and contextually. I chose depth over breadth, or if put in musical terms, pitch over range. This choice does not suggest that rejected women do not exist in other Film Noirs than the ones mentioned h ere. I picked films that provide a particularly archetypal portrayal of this character, such as Casablanca Key Largo and Criss Cross I also use the two films that bookend the cycle, The Maltese Falcon from 1941 and Kiss Me Deadly from 1955. I chose films mostly from the post war period, as I investigate the connections between the rejected woman and the atomic bomb, yet I include two pre 1945 films, both coincidentally, starring Humphrey Bogart, The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca to demonstrate the charact mention the proto noir, French realist film, Pp Le Moko because of its construction of Inz as rejected woman and how she prefigures the characters of Effie in The Maltese Falcon and Yvonne in Casablanca and the noiris h melodrama The Letter (William Wyler 1940) because of its portrayal of race through the character of Ong, who pre figures the rejected woman like character Nick in Kiss Me Deadly.


39 I also concentrate heavily on the two Film Noirs by director Fritz Lang in 1953, The Big Heat in The Blue Gardenia because they are rejected women heavy (each film The Blue Gardenia s eems towa rd his audiences, both disdaining their lazy reading and inattentive attitude, yet creating films that constantly challenged them to watch closely, to think, and to dream of what existed in these worlds he created. Pye argues that in The Blue Gardenia, the characters remain blind, in that they do not pay attention to the clues offered them, and thereby make foolish mistakes. The Blue Gardenia sets up a similar scenario for its reading, discuss The Big Heat, his astute analysis applies to this film as well. The stoicism of The Blue Gardenia reflects that of the rejected women characters in all the se Film Noirs. They take risks to make positive changes, often times putting their own personal safety in peril. Also, they are strong, dignified and true to themselves despite the fact that hardly anyone in either the diegesis or the audience notices or a ppreciates these qualities. The Blue Gardenia like the Rejected Woman herself, has Blue Garde nia


40 challenge creative and careful viewers to look at them in multitudinous ways that cannot be exhausted. Despite the copious amount and high quality of scholarship produced on many remain so complex, nuanced, and well made, that they open themselves up to continued analysis. Stanley Cavell writes: in my experience people worried about reading in, overint erpretation, or going too far, are, or were, typically afraid of getting started, or reading as such, as if afraid that texts like people, like times and places mean things and moreover mean more than you know. my experience is that most texts, like most lives, are underread, not overread. (35) remain so, even after my efforts here. Methodology: Three Risks heoretical risks in the hope established feminist methods of trying to understand sexual difference (210). I take a big risk in presenting a quote by Stanley Cavell as one of my opening epigraphs. Cavell 10 and one of my goals of this project is to remind scholars of the he Cavell epigraph, I 10


41 theory, 11 and I w which looking and activity often equals power and not looking and not moving equals impot ence. Although her essay is thirty five years old, the paradigms she delineates are still in play. I doubt Mulvey imagined in 1975 that her ideas would still hold validity in the 21 st century. In a world that is still sick with sexism, we still need Mulvey films through of looking. Women remain in the passive positio n of receiver or object of the male gaze, and when they attempt to co opt this power, the film often subjects them women function in Film Noir because it delineates the way s power operates in cinematic texts based on the three ways of seeing film encompasses: the look of the male ntroversy and disagreement The Four Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis The Seminar of Jacqu es Lacan Book XI (1964). 12 11 Lynn Spiegel announced in an essay in 2004 that she recently relocated all of her old feminist film 12 From this point forward, I will refer to this text as Seminar XI.


42 I 13 Seminar XI, or La John Berger as it does to Jacques Lacan. historical feminist artefact. Scholars have (rightly) criticized the essay for its critical blindspots, in relation to ahistoricity, hetero normativity, lack of ethnic diversity, and over generalizations in its lack of close readings. Nevertheless, what these scholars which has resulted in the blossoming of critical explorations that it has been condemned which provided paths for other critics to imagine how other (and Othered) films and its spectators intersected, which how these intersections explain racism, classism, and out (Spigel 1212). This contemporary dismissal of her work is at best short sighted and at worst dangerous. 13 From this point forward I will refer to this text as the Mirror Stage essay.


43 The over shadowed by its radical polemics, and thereby not given the proper critical attentio n they deserve. The essay first appeared in Screen magazine in Autumn, 1975. It had a polemic thesis: to destroy the pleasure involved in the cinema because this be destroying pleasure, she could end a form of female oppression, which she located in narrative mainstream Hollywood cinema in which men actively looked at women, and women cinema has turned off many critics, who venture no further than this statement on the pleasure, on e must consider the historical context of her essay. First, it grew out of heady revolutionary times. The radical student uprisings in the late 1960s both in the United States and Europe and the impact of second wave feminism fueled the notion that women c ould end patriarchal oppression. Mulvey, Screen which immediately followed Chri spectatorship. In the spirit of this utopian hope to end patriarchal oppression and the spectator, Mulvey appears to have been perhaps over enthusiastic at best and reckless at worst. Destroying pleasure does not


44 provide the answer to ending oppression, because pleasure cannot be destroyed. Perhaps pleasure functions as a broken bone, and breaking it only results in its becoming stronger as it re knits itself together. This one polemic line caused a backlash, which acted like the re alienated those who might have found her observations use ful and interesting, but it also reinforced the patriarchal opposition to feminist film theory. Mulvey appeared to some (mostly male) critics as a castrator, desiring to chop off their pleasure in watching films. Her own work in psychoanalysis should have suggested to her that pleasure cannot be destroyed because destroying it would also result in a type of pleasure that Beyond the Pleasure Principle. 14 notion that pleasure exists only in displeasure, in the fact that we continually long and strive for objects we can never obtain, also makes it impossible for any kind of destruction of pleasure to occur. rectly refers to and uses as a basis of her argument, is founded on the concept that the pleasure we receive at recognizing ourselves in the mirror is immediately imbricated by the displeasure received from mis recognizing [Mconnaissance] ourselves in tha t image. The Mirror time and realize our position as separate beings from our caretakers. Yet, cognized ourselves in the mirror, we are bound to go through life looking outward for evidence of 14 Freud observed a young child (his grandson) playing with a wooden reel attached to a string. The boy ing and say child for upcoming losses or displeasure because through his making the object disappear he was rehearsing for upcoming experiences of loss. ( Chapter II, 10 17).


45 who we are. We will seek out ordinary mirrors (which deceive if only by reversing left and right) and we look into the mirroring gaze of others which will jus t as surely distort, mirror stage: Recognition [in the Mirror Stage] is thus overlaid with mis recognition: the image recognised is conceived as the reflected body of self but its misrecognition as superior projects this body outside itself as an ideal ego. Hence it is the birth of the long love affair/despair between image and self image which has found such intensity of expression in film and such joyous recognitio 15 programmed into pleasure. Neither can be destroyed as the at tempted destruction of either one automatically produces the other. This puzzling disjunction between her radical mission to destroy pleasure and her own understanding that psychologically this plan is not possible suggests an alternative reading of the fa mous line quoted above about destroyed pleasure: What if she were being deliberately ironic (and perhaps said that analyzing pleasure, or beauty, destroys it. That is the intent the the 15 Some Lacanian scholars have a different interpretation of the Mirror Stage: the child recognizes itself gmented, which leads to a healthy development of the split subject, or the subject being a multiplicity of selves that is necessary for operating in the world. For example, we are ror Stage essay is written in such a way that it can be interpreted either way.


46 throws the sentence in flux and leaves its meaning up for grabs. For example, I think of The Great Gatsby that Myrtle tells Tom and Nick that her sister Catherine is said to be beautiful (32 my emphasis). This word introduces doubt. Is she beautiful, or is that just something people say about her? The er audience, whom she could imagine were well versed in Freudian and Lacanian notions ure inform the film making and film viewing processes in ways that subjugate and objectify unconscious to her, serving as a Freudian paraprax I (18). This line opens the possibility for the question: Why would women have regret of any ki nd, especially not sentimental regret, for a system that only oppresses and harms them? Certainly, women exist who so completely identify with the patriarchy that they enable a system that abuses them. Unless a majority of women falls into this category, n o regret would exist whatsoever, much less sentimental regret, at the passing of an


47 cl course of action would obliterate her own pleasure in watching these types of films, and becomes, ultimately, self destructive. five years a go, for a new type of cinema did not materialize. Conventional narrative cinema remains the dominant form of cinema, and feminist film scholars still return to classic Hollywood films, like Film Noir, not, I hope, for a healthy dose of masochism, or for a co opting of patriarchal oppression, but to understand how and why these systems exist, and what they signify in relation to the lives of women. It is here that Mulvey makes her most valuable insights, and why, despite its shortcomings, the essay remains v aluable for film theory today. The most most fecund insights and colossal misunderstandings: In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on the female figure which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for the strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to be looked at ness. (11) She identifies the underlying power paradigm operating in most narrative cinema. Men look. Women are looked at. These two sentences, the former grammatic ally written in active voice, the latter in passive, represent the active versus passive roles assigned to men and women in western society which Hollywood cinema reflects and regenerates. For example, in Kiss Me Deadly, Aldrich opens up the shot at Carl E house literally on the back of a scantily clad cocktail waitress [Fig 1 5]. The screen begins in black (issuing from her bathing suit) as she walks out from the camera. By


48 filming this opening shot this way, the film works off the back of this woma n, using her body to create interest for the non diegetic male spectator. Ways of Seeing, was first that ran in the sa Ways of Seeing deals with the way Western society sees and perceives women. He begins by establishing the surveyed: She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to others, and ultimately how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being appreciated as herself by another. (46) men act and women appear. similar to be looked at ness herself into a n object


49 Weste rn art (64). 16 is different from the masculine develo ps this idea in her quotation of director Budd Boetticher, who said, in relation to ma ke the following experiment: Choose from this book an image of a or by drawing on the reproduction. Then notice the violence which that transformation does. Not to the image, but t o the assumptions of a likely viewer. (64) test 17 in relation to sex does violence (traumatizes) the way we see the world. To perform the commutation test on Film Noir, could we i magine a sex change between noir heroes and femme fatales? Or noir heroes and rejected women? In the iconic still from ballet scene, could we imagine a switch between Velda and Mike [Fig 1 6]? One in which Mike hangs on the ballet pole in a skimpy outfit, perhaps bathing trunks and a tank top, with his stomach heaving to catch breath. Could he 16 European traditions in Indian art, Persian art, African art, Pre Colom bian art nakedness is never supine in this [women as object] way. And, if, in these traditions, the theme of a work is sexual attraction, it is likely to show active sexual love as between two people, the woman as active as the man, the actions each absorb 17 Elements of Semiology, and applies it to film studies. Thompson asks us to imagine what would happen to a film if another actor had played a role How would that The Shootist. gine (194).


50 become a vision for the female gaze of the audience and for Velda (who would take ganizing of our ideas of gender roles? 18 xplain how the cinematic experience captivates its audiences in a way that resembles how children first recognize sexual difference. While the child looks whole and coordina ted in the mirror, in his corporeal reality, he 19 ambitions outstrip his motor capacity, with the result that his recognition of himself is joyous in that he imagines his mirror image to be more comple te, more perfect than his acting as a mirror, allows the male spectator to continue this illusion of superiority because he identifies with his male likeness the hero on th the story can make things happen and control events better than the subject/spectator, such as Clint Eastwood, John Wayne or Cary Grant: cool, brave, in control, and able to get the girl. some of its (sexist) blind spots. Metz theorizes that cinema is different fr om other forms 18 19 section as well.


51 of art because its signifier simultaneously is present (we see the screen; we are not imaging it) and absent (the profilmic event we watch occurred long ago and is forever his dual character of its signifier: unaccustomed perceptual wealth but at the same time stamped with unreality to an unusual degree. More than the other arts the cinema involves us man experience: The day dreams and fantasies. The Symbolic is made up of language; it allow s human beings to communicate with one another. The Real is that which the first two registers cannot capture. The Real is trauma that horrifies and simultaneously fascinates that words cannot express. 20 he child in the Imaginary register, and Metz and Mulvey, using this essay as a touchstone text, housed in the Imaginary. In situating the cinematic spectator and the Mir ror Stage child in the Lacanian 20 The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag to present an excellent illustration of the Lacanian Real in Looking Awry. art is the creation of some mysterious artistic beings will be quickly repaired in the next f ew hours. He instructs Randall and Cynthia that as they drive home they must not, under any circumstances roll down their car windows. On the way home they witness a child being run over by another car, and when they then see a police officer, they roll d no cops, no kids (Heinlein qtd in 14). s mist, pulsating slowly as if with inchoate But what is crucial for us here is that the place from which this real erupts the very borderline separating 15)


52 spectator, unlike the child in the mirror, cannot recognize himself 21 as an object, as he always the other who is on the screen start for him until he enters the theater (825). Metz connects cinema with voyeurism, which produces a lack because the desired object does not exist in the same spatial or time continuum, cutting off any chance of obtaining the object of desire, as opposed to the theater in which the subject has a slight opportunity of obtaining this object of desire voyeurism and the desire of the voyeur, ultimately reminds men of another lack, castration, experienced in t in a decisive metaphor all the losses, both real and imaginary, that the child has already stays in the pre produced by metaphorical genital castration, which occurs during the Oedipal phase. This inability to take castration into the realm of sexual difference opens the door for Mulvey to r and issues of castration. 21 I use pronouns associated with the male, as Metz only imagines a male spectator in his theory.


53 ge. Mulvey explains that the central paradox of phallocentrism [of which the cinema an, male spectator. Castration anxieties keep the male spectator from fully enjoying his woman as presentation/image that crystallizes this paradox (11). Women, in their ing not only for the males in the audience but also for the males in the film in their frequent appearances as showgirls in classic cinema. They are pleasurable to look at, yet they continually remind the male of the threat of castration. A shot in Kiss Me Deadly serves as a (humorous) illustration of male castration fears. When d etective Mike Hammer visits the treacherous Gabrielle, she points a gun at him that aligns directly with his penis [Fig 1 7]. Mike Hammer, the super macho man here visually becomes the castrated male. The mise en scne creates the illusion that as a femme fatale, Gabrielle represents the threat of appears decapitated in the shot, another repres Gabrielle will penetrate him with a bullet reducing him to the position of the feminine. embodying the threat of castration death by nuclear meltdown.


54 Mulvey asserts that the assuage this castration anxiety: he can choose to punish, or punish and then redeem e substitution 14). These two avenues are not exclusive they can be undertaken simultaneously. The former is usually associated with Film Noir through the character of the femme fatale (as noted in the e xample of Gabrielle fetishization, involves the over valuation of the female star, which occurs less frequently the female star gets broken down into body parts so she appears less threatening. Close lips, breasts, legs and buttocks chop up their bodies, reducing them to a series of specific parts to be over valued by the male spectator. This strategy is seen in Film Noir Double Indemnity) she dances in the scene in which Steve first sees her when he returns to Los Angeles ( Criss Cross). 8]. ale gaze. Risk Two: Repairing the Rift and Renewing Psychoanalytic Film Theory Lacanian film theory presently (and woefully) is under used in film analysis. Joan issues of our time are scarcely articulable outside the concepts it has forged. While some blas souls argue that we are already beyond psychoanalysis, the truth is that we


55 sees us, we inaugurate innovative approaches to analyzing and understanding texts that can teach us about ourselves, our community and our historicity both in terms of our contemporary moment of spectatorship and the moment in which the film was made. Presently, the state of psychoanalytic film theory is in disrepair because of a four letter word GAZE this wor claimed by Copjec and Todd McGowan; she simply does not address it. Her unfortunate choice of the avalanche of m Seminar XI. demonstrate how bot h approaches are fruitful in yielding innovative readings of the Rejected Woman in Film Noir. They complement, not contradict each other. Part of this confusion over the look and the gaze resides in the fact that the words gaze and look are near synonyms i n English. Mulvey perhaps chose the word gaze because of its strong connotations of looking intensely and longingly, which inadvertently fettered a connection between these two terms, which for Lacan, are unrelated. Another part of the problem comes into p 22 In Seminar XI Lacan uses le regard for what h as been translated into English 22 complex theories. For example, Annette Kuhn notes that many scholars are relieved to see that the field is moving away from Lacan


56 le regard 23 in the Mirror Stage essay. objet petit a us to speculate if much of the confusion surrounding his gaze theory might have been avoided had he insisted that le regard remain untranslated as well. Copjec and McGowan explain the difference between beholding (looking with wever, I how power circulates in films through the act of looking. In other words, in their attempt to explain the psychological misunderstandings, they have ignored t he psychological One wonders if perhaps Laura Mulvey presently functions as a Rejected Woman of Film (Noir) scholarship. Even if the work of work need as objects for these looking eyes matter. If one of the major criticisms of psychoanalytic Lacanian f ilm theory moved in the direction of specifying spectators in their particularity, graduate student s of the 1980s were intimidated by Gaze Theory (1238). A close friend and film scholar 23 As noted by Todd McGowan in The Real Gaze (5)


57 d of seeing film based on sociological and political aspects that tie int o the Imaginary of deny that this Imaginary stage takes place in relation to film, which has been foundational to psychoanalytic film theory since the 1970s. McGowan object s to this necessary component of the process, and the Lacanian gaze does not work in this d located in the object, does work in the realm of the Real, to dismiss that gaze also rei that the gaze is housed in the Imaginary. In Seminar XI, Lacan suggests that the gaze exists in the picture as well as in the thing is articulated between two terms that act in an antinomic way on the side of things, there is the gaze, that is to say, things around the time had received a copy o f Maurice Merleau posthumous book, The Visible and the Invisible. ometral perspective is simply the mapping of


58 space, not sight. The blind man may perfectly well conceive that the field of space he 87). A scene The Paradine Cas e Latour testifies about the way Colonel Paradine looked at him (although the Colonel was blind) upon hearing that Latour had an affair with his wife: n He looked at me for a film, Mrs. Paradine notices a police officer Lacan w this is for us the split in which the drive is side from our own split involving what we can see. For example, I can never see mysel f is profoundly unsatisfying and always missing is that You never look at me fr om the (103). In other words, when I look at my beloved in a lovingly way, I can never see how that look goes out from me to the other person. I can no more see this look than can Colonel Paradine my being sighted in no way br ings objet petit a.


59 The gaze is forever lost to us because we can never see ourselves seeing ourselves or seeing anything else. concentrated on the Imaginary, and he does not totally abandon it in his later work in Seminar XI. Contrechant, 24 with which he opens his lecture on Anamorphosis, connects id eas in Seminar XI with those experience an encounter with the Real the trauma of lost love ju st as he has. The what it sees; the speaker has no means of entering his beloved. His connection with her remains on the surface and unsatisfying. Turim believes that that specifically employs a mirror, yet his neglect in mentioning the mirror in his stage theory is with all that follows in The Four Fundamental Concepts [ Seminar XI ] the Tuch, the automaton, the eye and the 24 Turim co rrects a mis


60 Jacqueline Rose sees this connection as well, and puts forward the theory th at Seminar XI, Lacan uses a series of models and anecdotes to prove that the subject cannot see itself seeing itself, except, as Rose argues, if the subject sees itself as an Other, wh ich can only be done in the Imaginary. As subjects, we are endlessly pictured and photographed, which make us objects at the source of light. We are, as Lacan says, drawer, I was taken by a photograph of you. You were turning around to see who was behind you. And I took your childish laughter by surprise. And in the moment that my camera happ beloved. He catches her just as she turns around; the camera taking her by surprise noticed. Looking at the photograph, he sees (gains enlightenment) her sorrow or her dissatisfaction with their relationship. The photograph, then, takes him, because it the two superimposed triangles, each pointing in the opposite direction from Seminar XI to explain how the midd le of these intersecting triangles (the line that would cut the diamond formed by their superimposition) becomes the screen. Desire acts like an over intense light which we blinds us through its glaring, so we cannot see any objects in this


61 hen we introduce a screen, however, we can then discern the objects (Rose 190 194). Imagine the screen as a pair of sunglasses. When the sun glints off an object, we cannot see it. If we put on sunglasses, however, we then can see the object clearly, becau even with the screen in play, the object still looks at us; we just temporarily blind ourselves to this fact by erecting the screen (i.e. wearing sunglasses). The screen then, has a dual function. First, it is the place of the image where the subject plays at an attempt to control the way the object captivates him/her. Second, the screen serves as a sign of the elusive relationship between the object of desire ( objet peti t a) and the spectator. By placing a screen that allows us to see the object, it escapes from us. In other words, when we want something, we cannot see it; yet, when we do whatever is necessary to obtain it (fashion a screen that allows us to see the objec t), it escapes us. We can never truly see this objet petit a symbolizes our desire to control the captivation of the object. The scre en then, like the mirror in the Mirror Stage, becomes a locus for play and experimentation as we continue to experiment with the ways images can be manipulated by the mirror and/or at I can manipulate by moving the position of the mirror or changing its magnitude. Rose reminds us that the look of the object does captivate us, and our donning a screen is only an illusory attempt to control the object; a lesson we originally played out in the Mirror Stage as infants and continue to play with throughout our lives.


62 Imagine the screen is a movie screen. The flickering objects of light from the movie projector are made controllable through the interaction of a screen the movie screen we n ow see the objects and pretend that we can control these objects that always the other who is on the screen; as for me, I am there to look at him. I take no part in the p erceived, on the contrary, I am all perceiving. All perceiving as one says all (823 ). Yet, at the same point, this control is only an illusion. As Metz also apparatu s and also because pincers on the imaginary plane mark our relation to the but he also acknowledges our relationship with the Imaginary keeps these pincers in plac e, playing a role in our captivation with the play of light that produces the figures on the screen. register, Copjec (like McGowan) argues that the gaze operates in the Real. Copje c traces her reading of the gaze through the work of Michael Fried, who argues that the shift from theatricality (the self sufficiency located in the diegetic world of the painting, or n (which followed more fascinated by paintings than they had beforehand (111 112). She comments on es in film: paintings draw in their beholders 25 more intensely by refusing to acknowledge the beholders exist. 25


63 quately explain what causes ( Susanna and the Elders to which asserts that Susanna is seen but does not exhibit herself to th e beholder. If Susanna were to look directly at the spectator, she would then be exhibitionistic; her looking would remove the beholder from the absorption in the scene and produce anxiety in him/her. Lacan believes that picture knows we look at it, but do es not want to Copjec uses the eponymous character in the film Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock 1964) as parallel to Susanna. Early in Marnie, Marnie looks at her image in a mirror after dyeing her hair. This mirror is located only a few degrees off from the camera lens. She almost, but not quite, looks directly at the lens (the audience). Likewise, in exposing her nakedness to the beholder, Susanna flirts with the transgression of never looking directly at the audience as a means of reinforcing it (Copjec 113). Thes e characters know they know we look at them, but we must never indicate that we know they know, or the spell of absorption dissipates. For Lacan, the distinction between the look and the


64 gaze is that the beholder can and must look at the presented world; w hat is prohibited, seeing, but not exhibitionistic it does not p rovoke our gaze. This strangeness experienced by the spectator could also be expla ined by The Ambassadors [Fig 1 9]. Lacan points out the strange blob of an object that stands What, then, before this display of the domain of appearance in all its most fascinating forms, is this object, which from some angles appears to be flying through the air, at others to be tilted? You cannot know for you turn away, thus escaping the fascination of the picture. Begin by walking out of the room in which no doubt it has long held your attention. It is then that, turning round as you leave you apprehend in this form. What? A skull. (88) although these two men have all the privileges life can offer them, their attempt to hold on to the material possessions, the security of their position society, in the end, remains but a futile effort to stave off death (represented by the skull). When we look at the p uses to describe it. Something about it sticks at us, however. Lacan breathe and swallow, but the little bone just will not go down. When we look at it straight on however, we cannot see that this object actually looks at us. When we look at it


65 an encounter with the Real; death really exists in all our metaphorical pictures of our lives, because it is our ultimate fate, and our attempts to distract us from this inevitable outcome, with possessions, education, and with our going about living our everyday lives in no way mitigates our ultimate date with death. The skull in this p icture is the the positive and negative sense of the word: it catches us in its snare and precipitates an encounter with the Real, a trauma. Yet, the gaze also traps us in that we are captivated by it; much like the child is first captivated by his image during the Mirror Stage, which ties the gaze to the Imaginary. Copjec argu es film theorists mistook anamorphosis for an occasional rather than The Ambassadors becomes anecdotal instead on intrinsic to Lac risk an encounter with the Real. If we look for the gaze, only in literal anamorphosis, which is what the Ambassadors supplies, we lose what the Gaze signifies; and according to Copjec, th is error has caused psychoanalytic film theory to get off track, an idea shared by McGowan. In Looking Awry, Richard II, act II scene II to explain anamorphosi s: the King has left for war and the Queen feels a sense of tries to console her by pointing out the illusory, phantomlike nature of her grief. He tells the Queen she canno t see clearly because her eyes are filled with tears. The tears


66 distort the reality of what is happening and make it appear worse or other than it is (9). opposing realities. We have the common sense reality that if we look at something 26 however, is that Bushy is wrong, and the opposite of what he says is true: of factly, disinterestedly, objectively, we see nothing but a formless spot; the object assumes clear and distinctive features only (11 12). In other words, from our looking awry, we are able truly to see. In the example from Richard II, the Queen only can see the situation fro refers to is objet petit a. The paradox of desire is that it posits retroactively its own cause. For example, objet petit a can be perceived only by a look distorted by desire; it does not exist as an object when one looks objectively at it. I experienced this phenomenon as a young child. I remember an incident as that I received a spanking from my mother. I started to cry profusely, and tears clouded my vision. I remember looking at the Christmas tree lights, and I noticed that through my tears, the colors began to run and they took on a new beauty; my fascination with the running colors of the lights stopped my crying, which was also good for another reason, as my mother had threatened me with another spanking if I kept crying. Looking at the 26


67 running colors of the Christmas tree lights was an antinomic moment: I was overcome by sadness, having j unloved in that moment, but simultaneously, my tears created a situation in which I looked awry, and I experienced the lights in a way that would have been unavailable to me had I only looked at lights before, and their beauty was made available to me only through the running colors produced by my tears. I had to go through a trauma, the spanking and the scolding, in order to see the lights as truly beautiful. Hence, the double edged sword of the object cause of desire, objet petit a, is revealed as an exquisite melding of pleasure and pain, and fascination and terror. Pain and pleasure are not antinomic but dependent upon each other. This theory also gives us another avenue for exploring the Rejected Woman in Film Noir. She embodies both pain and pleasure. At first look, she seems pleasure -or wi thin powerlessness, power. The Rejected Woman of Film Noir often experiences encounters with the Real through object with a gaze, most notably, the gazes of the oyster fountain, the whirlpool and pregnancy in The Blue Gardenia. with the Real and that it belongs not to the spectator, the camera or the characters, but to the film itself. solely on the film itself and (x). If the gaze belongs in any way to the Real as opposed to the Imaginary, as


68 McGowan argues, then an encounter with the gaze needs to address the individual spectator as well as the collective spectator that would form as the result of historical events. For example, one collective encounter with the R eal that post war American spectators share is the fear/fascination of the atomic bomb, so they may see a gaze that represents the bomb in a shared or collective way. Individually, the gaze has the ability to affect a spectator on an individual level based on his/her own experiences and background. For example, what captivates me about certain events, objects, activities or movements in a film may not catch another viewer the same way. Risk Three: The Gaze of Descriptive Movie Group Practices psychoanalytical methods with those practiced by the descriptive oriented scholars, sometimes referred to as the Movie group. 27 Critics who employ the descriptive method of film criticism guard agains t the over generalization that can evolve when we can no longer see the film, the metaphorical tree, through the ideological forest. If film scholars reach a point where they can write about films that they have not seen (based solely on reading plot summa ries or screenplays of films), they lose the art and skill that is film analysis. Films are not merely moving plots; their status as film requires that we always consider the form as well as the discourse. Throughout my project, I rely on close, descriptiv e readings to bolster my theoretical and ideological interpretations. Movie critics base their readings on describing what they see on the screen and put meaning 27 This Movie group refers to: (1) the scholars/critics who wrote for the film magazine Movie, which premiered in June 1962, (2) their students who keep up this detail reading approach to film, and (3) Stanley Cavell, who did not write for Movie but agrees with Movie


69 218). In ot her words, they look for small moments in the film that personally captivate the critic, and then move from that point to understand how the significant event, object or issue teaches us about the film. For example, in his analysis of In A Lonely Place, V. F. Perkins isolates the same gesture discusses how this same gesture has a dissimilar pretense (from patronizing to intimacy of emotion, a story of passion dogged by mistrust in which only the strength of feeling Movie critics encourage readings artists, in a sense, to create analyses of films that best describe their stylistic and narrative concerns. Through use of the techniques employed by the Movie critics, I way of conjuring up presence, of touching us in the dark theatre, of mag netising a range to (most likely) another film scholar. The descriptive method techniques infuse my work tiply the signifiers, to not which at times is playful. For example, in Seminar XI, he jokes that one way we can comprehend anamorp hosis by watching a tattoo on a penis as it changes from flaccid to erect (88), or as I will discuss in Chapter Six, the way he depicts the way mimicry works


70 as the stain in the picture by using an example of an animal that mimics the anus of another anima essay and persuades scholars to imagine the ways a more poetic Lacan could bolster its fundamental duality. We must comprehend more subtly how the mirror stage speaks to fascination, identification, empathy, aggression, and desire. Its poetics need to be appreciate This project employs the idea of play in relation to my reading of the films. I have taken some imaginative leaps, some might say, perhaps too imaginative or too big. Still, the Movie (and Seminar XI) encourage play and imagination, which I bring into my theoretical approaches to and readings of these Film Noirs. Oscar Wilde contends that the critic art in some new relation to our age. He will always be reminding us that the great works of art are living things -are, in fact, the only responsibility to make our su bjects live and breathe. My task is to bring the Rejected hope bring freshness to some already well studied ideas and films. The critics and the artist are not so far apart as we might sometimes, in film scholarship, place them. Chapters Women, and


71 Woman functions as the gaze in Film Noir, and how her function as the gaze, identifies her as a stain in the picture that reminds viewers of her oppression. Chapters Two and Three analyze po wer structures at play in Film Noir in relation to rejected women. Chapter Two looks at how Film Noir renders rejected women invisible, they connote a (not) be looked at on how the power di chotomy of active looking versus passive being looked at extrapolates into other power paradigms, such as mobile versus immobile and writer versus written upon text. Chapter Four uses theories of both the look and the gaze to examine the way non white bodi es in Film Noir operate and how the rejection of non white bodies, through invisibility and lack of power often echoes the experiences of the (white) rejected women of Film Noir. Chapter Five deals with the ways objects in Film Noir function as the Lacania n gaze in both the Real and Imaginary registers. This chapter examines the way inanimate objects can emit a gaze that signals either delight or, most often, terror in relation to the rejected women. Chapter Six continues the analysis of the gaze in the pic ture, only instead of looking at how objects emit a gaze in relation to the rejected woman, this chapter focuses on the way the rejected woman herself becomes the stain or the gaze in the picture through mimicry. I also show how the rejected woman function s as gaze in her role as an abject object, which will ultimately tie into Chapter Seven, in which I connect the rejected woman as the gaze in the picture to the nuclear bomb, the historical gaze that haunts many Film Noirs and signifies the ultimate clue t development of the nuclear bomb.


72 My approach to this project was heuristic. I started with the character type, and theo ry that I infused with the descriptive practices of the Movie group. I discovered that the Rejected Woman of Film Noir is inherently antinomic: she simultaneously encompasses pain and pleasure, visibility and invisibility, movement and immobility, and writ ing instrument and text. Her fluidity ultimately reflects her attempt to find sources of power in a culture and society that constantly forecloses her access to power. In the end, however, she finds that the sources of power she accesses are ultimately amb ivalent and not helpful to her personally. In her status as a rejected woman, she often experiences the trauma associated with rejection, which we can chart through her encounters with the Lacanian Imaginary and Real. She uses the Imaginary to escape the h arsh realities of her life. In relation to the Real, her rejected status leads her to scholars because by acknowledging her, we must confront our own realities about the in justices of patriarchal society: the unfair distribution of power between men and women and the way women who do not fit the paradigms of beauty in our society are often rendered invisible by a patriarchy that often values women for their physical appearan ce. These conditions push the Rejected Woman to the margins of Film Noir, not only in terms of the discursive and formal elements of the film, but scholarly and audience reception of her. My comparing the (white) rejected woman of Film Noir to non white pe ople in Film Noir further shows that the dichotomy of center/margin that informs power structures and sets up the traumas (Lacanian encounters with the Real) that develop from rejection.


73 In this project, I examine how patriarchal society rejects the reject ed woman character and how she bears up under this rejection. Rejected women struggle against a patriarchal power system, which Film Noir anthropomorphizes into the character of the noir hero. They seem to be captivated totally by its (his) power, yet they manage to accomplish minor feats of resistance, and make sacrifices that only they are in a position to make. These sacrifices are noble and cause significant changes, yet the rejected woman never seems to gain these sacrifices, which only benefit the pat riarchy (noir male hero). A profound ambivalence surrounds their existence in Film Noir, which is why they probably remain largely un discussed and ignored by people in and outside the diegesis of the film. Their gaze makes us uncomfortable; we should have a better answer concerning what they signify, and be able to codify how and why the sacrifices they make are worth it for them. In an early scene in Kiss Me Deadly, detective Pat Murphy begs Mike to stop his investigation because it will lead to danger an d horror. always stability and security). The rejected woman never asks this question, l eading us to wonder, why she does not. Although women (and minorities) have made advancements since the 1950s, overall women still lack power in a patriarchal society and the rejected women serves as a reminder of this problem. In a crucial scene in Adrian Fatal Attraction (1987) Rejected Woman in (Neo) Noir Alex Forrest tells her ex lover Dan Gallagher, a married man who discarded her after an intense weekend ignored, y the end of film into a knife


74 wielding, bunny boiling psychopath, this one scene allows her some dignity and clarity, in Film Noir, like Alex, has been spectator, and most significantly, for my project, by film scholars. By defining rejected women, showing how they are rejected and by whom, and explaining what this rejection signifies, I hope to ensure they are not ignored, and we will all be the better for it.


75 Figure 1 Figure 1 2. Triangular space occupied by memory of Kane


76 Figu re 1 Figure 1 4. "July Fifth": Velda and Mike


77 Figure 1 5. Enticing the "male gaze" of the audience in Kiss Me Deadly Figure 1 6. Commutation Test: Could Velda and Mike switch roles?


78 Figure 1 7. Gabrielle's gun = Mike's penis in Kiss Me Deadly Figure 1 8. Criss Cross


79 Figure 1 9. The Ambassadors


80 CHAPTER 2 INVISIBILITY OF REJE (NOT) BE LOOKED AT Debby Marsh, The Big Heat This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper Invisibility and Agency in Rejected Women Debby Marsh loves to look at herself in the mirror. When she first enters Dave's hotel room, she loo ks in the mirror, taps on her already perfect hair, moves back, tilts her head, moves back in to tap her hair again, this time turning sideways to admire her profile. Debby performs this last gesture earlier in the film when e stops to admire herself in the mirror instead of to his boss. She looks at herself not to fix her hair or her make up. She knows she looks perfect; She believes she i s beautiful, and just to make sure she knows for sure, the mirror assures her, that yes, she really is that beautiful. Debby is not yet a Rejected seed for that transformat ion. Vince douses her face with scalding coffee because Debby enters the ranks of the Rejected Women of Film Noir. For Debby, like reading the stock cannot rely on th


81 also means that a woman receives good (long, intense, desirous) looks from men. When Debby (i visits upon most Rejected Women in Film Noir. Because she is ignored, the rejected cloak of invisibility. Although obviously she can be seen she appears on the screen her lack of being seen registers in the way characters in the film and viewers in the audience do not seem to notice her. For example, when I tell people I am incorporating Casablanca into this project, they usually respond by telling me how much they enjoy ook, with the corresponding question, discards, and then they remember her. Although Yvonne is present in Casablanca, many people who claim to know the film well cannot reca ll her. As a Rejected Woman in gaze (desire). and when they train this look on a woman, she becomes an object. What happens, then, when men do not look at a woman or do not want to look at her? One possibility is


82 be looked at (not) be looked which renders her invisible. This invisibility, however gives her access to a kind of power and agency not available to the femme fatale, the home girl, or even the noir hero. She exercises resistance against the power paradigms by showing how easily be looked at utilizes the power she gains from invisibility, however, not for her own edification, but to promote the agenda of the noir hero. The rejected woman is also marked as invisible in the way she exits the text. Whereas the femme fatale leaves Film Noir with a bang, the rejected woman leaves with a whimper. The film pays little to no formal or discursive attention to her exit she merely slips away, eclipsed by darkness, or chopped out suddenly by a quick cut of the camera, never to appear again. Sometimes, she hovers for a moment as an overlap dissolve befor e floating away or is neatly is tucked under who see in her their own potential futures of being alone, forgotten and i nvisible. In a scene from the television series Six Feet Under, Ruth and Bettina, two middle aged women, are shopping in a high end department store. Bettina sees a $200 scarf she likes but cannot afford. She rips off the tag and stuffs the scarf down her pants. Ruth is mortified and fears getting caught. Bettina, along with her moral justification that the Bettina uses her


83 against a power structure that values women solely for their physical appearance: namely their attractiveness and youth. Since they are not looking she seems to say, [not] be looked advantage of the disadvantage they try to saddle on me. Interestingly, this scene follows ch the teacher tells her she mimics the art she has already seen because she does not trust the vision she sees inside herself. In a sly way, Bettina keenly is aware o f her inner eye in that she knows act the gaze of the male, and how that gaze turns her into a passive object. If a woman is not looked at, does this signify she does not become relegated to the passive position? My project shows that the Rejected Woman of Film Noir exists as a symptom of a sexist society. Because our society is controlled by a patriarchy, and men like to look at (attractive) women, women who are deemed less than attractive do not have access to this brand r seem to have they know they are invisible. In fact, noir villain, or do it themselves. Because of their invisibility the y can perform these acts. invisibility. Gaye Dawn of Key Largo and Selma Parker of The Big Heat use their


84 invisibility to get things done that no other characters can or are willing to do. In the end, however, for both women, this power is ambivalent: it gives them a sense of accomplishment and whatever satisfaction can be found in self sacrifice, but ultimately their acts put them at great personal risk, and do not benef it them directly. Invisibility and Sexual Longing in Rejected Women The other question we can ask in relation to invisibility involves sexual longing. Film Noir neuters the rejected woman by foreclosing on her sexuality. She often harbors lust and sexual a ttraction toward the noir hero, yet he does not respond to or even notice these feelings. Occasionally, she captures the attention of the noir hero, but it is always ephemeral. In Casablanca, Yvonne beds Rick, but he soon rejects her. Velda has an intimate husbands. At least in these two cases, the rejected women had some chance to satisfy their sexual wants. The three women I analyze here, Effie from The Maltese Falcon, the Lush (the film only provides this name for her in the credits) from Criss Cross, and Selma from The Big Heat, all want their noir heroes sexually, but their longings are shut h the spectator does not regardless of the actual sex of any real live movie theorizes the role of female spectators (or anyone who approaches the film from a


85 so out of ke masculinisation with a h Duel in the Sun to show that like this character, Duel in the Sun, the female spectator developme nt of her sexuality according to Freud]. Rather than dramatizing the success female spect purposes with itself, restless in its between masculinity and femininity in their role as spectators. Doane, using both of Mulve female spectatorship. She too, uses a two avenue approach, suggesting that women watch films by employing two possible positions, which can be held simultaneously, the get distance from their own bodies by performing these roles, because the act of spectatorship requires fetishization, which requires distance from their own fetishized


86 bodies. In the position of the transvestite, 1 (discussed in Chapter One). In the masquerade position, a female spectator wa tches a film via the position of hyper femininity in an effort to distance herself from her own 76,). The masquerade makes fetishism poss ible and allows the female spectator to avoid the reprisals that derive from being a woman who looks. The masquerade: in flaunting femininity, holds it at a distance. Womanliness is a mask which rchal positioning would therefore lie in its denial of the production of femininity as closeness, as presence to itself, as precisely, imagistic. (Doane 81 2) By donning the mask or disguise of femininity, she ironically gets the distance necessary from he r own feminine body to become the voyeur. On the screen, the female spectator assumes th e masquerade in watching film to get something she wants: the ability to look without the fear of (male) punishment. The rejected woman also assumes the positions of the transvestite and the masquerade in order to look without risking reprisals from the no ir hero. 1 Doane provides an example of the transvestite position in this essay through her analysis of Robert Un Regard Oblique. she looks at a painting, which gives her male companion the opportu nity to look at a picture of a naked woman. it can give her pleasure (87 ). In other words, in order to understand the joke, a female viewer of the photograph must look at it like a man.


87 to be the looker not the one who is looked at. Doane also comments on the ma le dislike certain excessiveness, a difficulty associated with example of Ellen Berent in Leave Her to Heaven (John Stahl 1945) who se desire for Richard Harland channels itself through excessive looking: she stares openly and intensely at him while sitting across from him on a train. Doane argues that this intense provides other examples from classic Hollywood, but this case of women being punished for active looking continues beyond the 1950s. For example more recent films, one from 1978 and another from 1994 both depict terrible punishment for active looking. The Eyes of Laura Mars (Irving Kershner 1978) features a woman photographer, the eponymous Laura Mars, whose close friends are murdered by a serial killer who di slikes her photographs. Laura falls in love with detective John Neville assigned to the case only to learn that he, suffering from multiple personality disorder, is the actual murderer. One reading of the film suggests Laura is punished for her role as an active looker. She owns the look of the camera as photographer and several shots of the film feature her 2 Another example of a female character who is punished for openly looking is (Quentin Tarantino 1994) 2 An interesting aside: the Sept/October 1982 issue of Screen female spectatorship has a photograph of Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) on its cover. Also, I think the name of this heroine who looks being Laura


88 femme fatale Mia Wallace. Mia looks with total control at Vincent Vega when he enters directs his actions through an accompanying sound system. Mia pays f or her open and intense looking with a near death experience in which she just barely survives a heroin overdose. Vincent saves her by slamming a needle packed with adrenaline into her heart. The penetration serves as payback for her feminizing Vincent thr ough her controlling look in the earlier scene. hide their active looking through the guise of either of masquerade or the transvestite. Laura Mars is coded as hyper feminine through her long hair, high pitched voice and wardrobe of silk blouses and high boots. Her mannerisms are feminine as well as her desire to be saved by the hero. Mia Wallace, in turn, appropriates the role of the tra nsvestite. She wears a masculine white Oxford button down shirt and black slacks. She has short hair and a deep voice. Despite their attempts at appropriating the disguises of the masquerade and the transvestite, their efforts fail because their acts of lo oking are so blatantly and openly transgressive (Laura and Mia both take ownership of the camera) in relation to the prohibition of women appropriating the male gaze. In the case of the rejected woman, as opposed to female characters coded as attractive li ke Ellen Berent, Laura Mars, and Mia Wallace, the irony remains that her looking does not register as excessive because it is never noticed. Ellen eventually marries Richard, showing her longing is at least acknowledged. Detective Neville sexually wants La ura, and Vincent wants Mia.


89 The Rejected Woman in Film Noir is perhaps the one type of female character, because of her invisibility, who could get away with looking, in that her active looking would not agitate male anxiety or ire, yet, she still uses the covert methods of looking through the lens of the rejected woman, we notice that she assumes these two positions in relation to her sexual longing for the noir hero. I n attempting to disguise the fact that she looks at him and to avoid arousing his anger, she may don the role of the transvestite: she either tries to become his male buddy, or helper, as seen in the case of ecomes more complicated when we factor in the many masculine reference codes endowed with this character, and the potential of her lesbian desire. Or, the rejected woman can put on the mask of the masquerade to become hyper feminine in an attempt to disgui se her lustful looking. For example, the Lush in Criss Cross becomes hyper feminine as seen in her hairstyle, clothes and girl ish gestures in an attempt to hide the fact that she longs for Steve. Ironically, the noir hero never sees her in the first place Her effort to hide the fact that she looks is sad, because the object of her longing never notices her. The rejected woman then, has the power to stare as openly at she wishes at the noir hero without the threat of male anger and its successive punishmen t. She could look as Ellen. Laura and Mia do, without punishment, but, she does not use this potential power to her own best advantage, which once again highlights her ambivalent relationship with power and agency. Close Readings: Specific Examples of Reje cted Women of Film Noir as Invisible Gaye Dawn in Key Largo To briefly summarize the story, noir hero Frank McCloud comes to Key Largo to visit the father (James) and widow (Nora) of his army friend, George Temple. Frank was


90 with George when he died during the Italian campaign of World War II. Frank finds other guests at the Temple Hotel when he arrives, and Frank automatically feels something is not right. He meets Gaye Dawn, the girl friend of gangster Johnny Rocco along a few of Toots, and Curly in the lobby. Rocco remains in his room unseen. A bell rings, and the men all jump: Rocco wants something in his room. Toots drunk, puts on lipstick and rushes upstairs. A few minutes later we hear her screaming with them so he can tell them mor e about George. Frank agrees; he obviously had a pre disposition to like Nora and Mr. Temple because of the many stories George told Frank about his family. Two local men, the Osceola brothers, have broken out of jail after being arrested for public drunke nness. Sheriff Wade and his deputy Sawyer interview Mr. Temple, because the Osceola brothers trust Mr. Temple, and Wade the Osceola brothers, they leave. Sawyer returns, ho wever, feeling that something about the guests at the hotel is off. Sawyer recognizes Rocco and tries to arrest him, and soon Nora, Frank, Mr. Temple and Sawyer become host ages. Frank also recognizes Rocco, who was deported, but has snuck back into the country. He has a counterfeiting scheme worked out and waits at the hotel for another gangster, Ziggy, to come and buy his phony money. Rocco also has to wait out the impendin g hurricane


91 When Frank expresses his distaste for Rocco, he offers his gun to Frank, goading Frank to shoot him. Frank takes the gun but does not shoot. Sawyer grabs the gun a nd goes to shoot Rocco, but the gun has no bullets, which Rocco knew. Rocco guns down Sawyer and the gangsters dump the body in the ocean. Rocco calls Frank a coward for not firing the gun, a sentiment echoed by Nora, who later apologizes for this comment Americans from entering the hotel during the hurricane. He coaxes Gaye to sing, when she clearly has lost her talent for doing so with the promise of drink, and then reneges after she humiliates herself by singing off key and out of tune. He also frames the Osc eola boys killed Sawyer. Ziggy arrives and the money exchange takes place, but sweet assume, as do the characters, that Frank will not survive this trip. As they prepare to leave, Gaye asks if Rocco will take her along. He says no, and she jumps into his arms begging hi arms. Her actions are a pretense to get her close enough to Rocco to take the gun out of his pocket. She does and gives it to Frank. A forlorn Nora, Mr. Temple and Gaye mourn the pree minent death of Frank. Gaye leaves with Sheriff Wade right before the phone rings. It is Frank. He managed to out gun Rocco and all his men on the boat, and although wounded himself, he heads back to Key Largo.


92 Key Largo introduces Gaye Dawn in a way that presages her invisibility [Fig 2 1]. In her first appearance, Gaye is relegated to the background. She appears as a small figure in a busy mise en scne, invisible to all but those viewers who intentionally look for her. She faces away from the camera. Fra nk, in the foreground, is also shot from and by having Frank in the same position, the film suggests their connectivity. They are both outsiders. She sits at a bar stool, solidifying her relationship to the bar; she is a creature of bars, a B girl and as we will soon learn, her alcoholism is a key component of her life. She sits with only one buttock on the seat, her other leg stretched out to the floor. This posture and h er tight fitting dress enhance the feminine curves of her body. In her past, this curvy body was her means to power, which at one point cemented her be looked at answer. Her invisibility is reinforced by her inability to be heard by the men in the room. or needs, these first lines of dialogue set up the final scene between them in which Gaye will make sure Frank gets what he needs (a gun) to save himself from Rocco. Frank thanks Gaye and sits next to her, the camera capturing them in a two shot. With only a brief cut to the radio itself, the camera remains on the two of them as Gaye cheers on her horse in an alcohol


93 more bou ntiful or fulfilling life than the one she now leads. It also serves as a They h on a board showing the room from which the buzz generated. Huston uses a quick panning shot to swoop back to the bar, signifying the energy that emanates from that tells Frank she always plays the long shots, and they usually come in for her. She explains to describing himsel f in horse breeding terms reinforces his function, metaphorically, as the prize right male partner as the film unfolds we discover her relationship with Rocco has untied to any job, place or person since the war in a position, we could describe in a


94 time in the first five minutes of the film) in long shot as she walks unsteadily toward the stairs while applying lipstick. The color of the background blends with her dress, and she appears to fade into the background, another nod to her invisibility as a rejected woman [Fig 2 3]. By shooting Gaye from behind in two of her first appe arances on screen, Huston sets up the paradigm of how Gaye will be deserted and forgotten by the diegesis and its characters. Gaye realizes over the course of the film that Rocco no longer desires her. She witnesses his making crude passes at Nora and regi sters his disdain when he tells her renders her invisible. She becomes a pest he must shake off. As Rocco and his gang prepare to leave the hotel with Frank as their hos tage, the camera shows Rocco change his gun clip, and then it immediately cuts to a close up of Gaye to show she registers this change. Her head does not turn, but her eyes move screen right, a gesture that indicates that she is thinking. The camera cuts b ack to Rocco as he places the gun in his coat pocket. Gaye then stages a masterful performance that erases her previous my els off bills from a wad of cash, es to free himself from her grip. Gaye only performs this charade in order to get close enough to Rocco to steal his gun. She can only accomplish this act if she knows ahead of time, that he does not want her. If he


95 wants to join them, he would not have pu shed her away, and she would not have been be looked at lack of invisibility could never pull off what Gaye manages to do. Nora could get close to Rocco, but Rocco would not push Nora away, as he does to Gaye. In the close up of the gun exchange [Fig 2 4], it looks like Frank and Gaye hold hands, but they do no t; her hand is closer to the camera than his, creating the optical illusion that they touch, 3 but she receives no affectionate touches, such as holding hands. Earlier in the film, Frank makes a loving gesture in which, to ter the storm has ended. This gesture of tenderness he strokes her hair in the same gentle, loving way. Gaye is present in both scenes, but receives no warmth or tendernes s. The only touches she receives in the film come from the strong arming from Curly and pushing away from Rocco. As Rocco pushes her at which time she deposits the gun sh during their embrace. Huston shoots this exchange of the gun in a close up of Frank provocative manner, her red nail polish accentu ating her grip on the phallic like object that gives power to whomever possesses it [Fig 2 4]. Gaye takes this power from Rocco, but cannot keep it for herself; she only passes it to another man. Yet, because (not) be looked at her in invisibility, she can take the gun 3 In t his close up, Gaye and Frank eventually do touch when she puts the gun in his hand, but this touch is motivated by necessity, not tenderness.


96 she must pay. Gaye has agency available to no other character through her ability to to herself (if Rocco caught her, he would have killed her) and with no personal gain or benefit, besides the few dollars R occo throws her way. The film highlights her invisibility in her exit from the film, particularly when viewed in comparison with the last shot of Nora. The end of the film makes clear that Frank will return to Key Largo and live with Mr. Temple and Nora, w hile Gaye accompanies Sheriff Wade to Georgia to identify Ziggy, never to return. Formally, Gaye gets cut out of the film as she heads for door with the sheriff. Just before Gaye leaves, she does get a medium close up that she shares with Sheriff Wade [Fig 2 5]. Shadows Temple hotel and out of the film. Immediately after Gaye leaves, the telephone rings announcing that Frank has survived and is heading back to Key Largo. Gaye made his return possible, yet she does not get to even know that her sacrifice has allowed Frank to live. As a rejected woman, she is even denied that satisfacti on. After Nora tells Mr. Temple the news, she opens a window; her body is bathed in sunlight as the scene home girl surrounded by sunlight, which reflects her purity and go odness [Fig 2 6]. In as a B girl, reinforcing the idea that she is not pure, good, or attractive enough to


97 partner with Frank. The dark shadows of this shot also reflect her being left in the dark; they reinforce her ignorance in that she never realizes the outcome of her sacrifice. Selma Parker in The Big Heat Like Gaye Dawn in 4 Selma Parker takes a large personal risk solely for the benefit of t he noir hero. She risks her life twice for Dave. doing this, she certainly risks her job because her boss would immediately fire her if he found out she spoke to Dave. A lso, if Larry, a hit man who has already killed Katie Bannion, found out that Dave had his name, he could easily trace the name back to remains unrequited and unnoticed. Second A t Victory Auto Wrecking ng. He writes: office the image I think everyone retains is of her hobbling on her stick between the rows of wrecked cars toward Bannion, who is on the other side of a chainmail fenc e. She defends her boss (who, out of fear, has refused to give Bannion information) would employ a woman like herself? before risking her own life (we know that she could easily join Lucy Chapman in the morgue) by telling Bannion understated, almost thrown away : Selma is the one character if the film whose motives are absolutely pure 104 (my emphasis) of the Rejected Women in Film Noir in general. Selma exhibits compassion, bravery and 4 See Chapter Three for a plot summary of this film.


98 and the characters in the text who do not significantl physically alluring in a way that would code her as desirable to men. Wood also describes her as the only Katie Bannion She suggestivel motivations reflect how she exhibits references codes that make her readable as a spinster librarian type; a woman who is uninterested in sex because she is not viewed s exual desire or passion. While a sense of good citizenship provides one motivation for Selma, she also has a more personal and passionate investment in Dave. McArthur impris during their conversation in the Victory auto yard (66 68). In the original script, hostil


99 Intere stingly, or perhaps ironically, Mc Arthur writes that she acts because she is and angry p her sexual attraction to and desire for Dave. name ironically, if not slyly, implies that within th a subjective establishing shot of Victory. The mise en scne appears bleak and dismal. The metal, twisted carcasses of dead cars stand in the foregr ound, obscuring the building. Telephone wires thread the dismal sky in the background. This tangle of telephone wires figures prominently in a subsequent long shot of Dave walking into Victory, ing the cut up and criss crossed space of film noir. Dave enters the shop amongst mounds of auto litter, making him appear small; the broken auto parts tower over him, reflecting his overwhelming cked car. The first interior shot, overstuffed and cluttered with junk, extends the messy chaotic and claustrophobic owner, the portly Mr. Atkins, sits screen left, with his back to the screen that wordlessly expresses his unwillingness to help Dave. Selma, his bookkeeper, sits screen right, a this first shot of Selma in the film, Selma i s already invisible to Dave.

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100 shot to Selma intimates that she has important information for Dave. She quickly looks up upon hearin g his words and slowly lowers her head down, returning to writing her figures. Selma is a middle aged woman, conservatively dressed in a corduroy jacket and a high collar blouse. She wears glasses and her hair is neatly ensconced in a bun. She is harshly l it, which enhances her plainness. The rejected woman often is harshly lit and filmed in unflattering angles, as we will notice is also the case with the Lush and Effie. out your writ small. The threat of isolationism is no longer the fate of the w orld at large, as the war is over. The camera follows Atkins as he grabs another cola, pulls back, revealing a three shot of Dave, Selma and Atkins [Fig 2 7]. Atkins, in the foreground and screen right, is enveloped by darkness, reflecting his inability to of assistance. Dave stands screen left in the middle of the depth of field. He is half in shadow, half in light, hinting that he is not doomed to the darkne cooperation. Selma sits between the two men in the background under a large, round, hanging light. Although the farthest figure from the camera, deep focus allows the audience to see Selma clearly. The spotlight over her head connotes her ability to enlighten Dave with her information, yet even with this spotlight, he does not see her.

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101 direction; she opens her mouth as if to say something. By the time Atkins re turns to his stool; however, Selma looks down and returns to her writing, almost like the passing of Atkins large body across the screen has dimmed her courage. Atkins tells alks out of frame, and we assume, out of the shop entirely, unable to bear the reminder that he, unlike Atkins, has suffered the destruction of his family. Dave walks out of Victory and beyond the perimeter of its wrecking yard when he attention to the voice. from the other side of the chain link fence, Selma walks toward Dave between two smashed up automobiles that are, like Selma, disabled and marked by misfortune or acciden t. She glances over her shoulder to make sure she is not on the links of the fence. Her f ingers are outstretched toward Dave in a gesture that reflects a desire to touch or caress Dave [Fig 2 barrier during their entire excha nge. The choice to shoot both characters from behind the chain link fence in shot reverse outside world. She is inside the fenced in yard; he is outside. Yet, both characters must see and communicate with each o ther through this barrier, which itself suggests a number of dichotomies: 1) Male/Female, 2) Physical prowess (Dave easily out boxed

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102 t unanswered)/Physically challenged, 3) Accepted/Rejected, and 4) Unattainable object of desire/Desiring subject. inadequate or lacking. The tone of her voice implies that she not only supposes herself as undesirable for employment but also for romance. Her words underlie her unrequited as a conduit for information. points out that women in Film Noir rarely have a family life, and that Film Noir style emphasizes the absence of family life as well as d not only at the level of plot and narrative resolution that lovers are not permitted to live happily ever after, but it is at the additional and perhaps more important level of mise en scne or visual style that the physical environment of the lovers is presented as represented by the visual obstruction of the fence, signifying her inability to connect with Dave on this intimate leve interpretation that the chain link fence is a visual metaphor for imprisonment under Selma by showing how her per formance suggests another level of imprisonment and a desire to escape it.

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103 co worker involved in the Bannion bombing who has since died of a heart attack] about two weeks ago. Th reverse shot, with the camera constantly remaining behind the chain link fence. The audience sees the characters as they see each other separated by a teasingly porous yet discrete barrier that discourages answers as she gazes gesture, associat her with an excuse to look over his entire body and she does not waste it. Her not being experience with the corporal male body. Selma assures Dave she would be able to recognize the man if she saw him again. He continues firing questions at her, Slim. Selma answers his questions quickly and accurately, her left hand becoming up of Selma. She looks small and frail. The cameo she wears a t her throat is now prominent, cementing her reference

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104 says, putting her hand to her mouth. Lang cuts to a close Lang cuts to Dave, who wears an enigmatic slight smile that reflects relief, joy, and gratitude, as he knows she refers to The Retreat where he had earlier met Lucy. Dave the lamp bulb over her head in the previous scene. The camera returns to Selma. light bulb appearing over the head of someone who has an illuminating thought. Indeed, S elma is an agent of illumination here. She is ephemerally bright and happy; however, she only smiles for this one instant in the entire film. Shallow focus places emphasis on 9]. Then Dave, in close iss Selma looks down at her feet. Her smile is gone, and her face is heavy and sad as she 10]. Her movements and tone attention to her as an individual. so slig ht condescension toward her, which also digs at her emotional pain and damage the trauma written on her psyche for believing or perhaps being taught that she lacks value

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105 mos retreats toward Victory, giving the viewer another chance to see her labored gait before the scene ends with a close up of Dave. An overlap dissolve turns the frame into a shot into this scene through the doll, and the kiss it receives symbolizes the kiss Se lma desires. a partment The scene begins with a close buzzing doorbell. Larry picks up the gun and deposits it in his pocket (just as Rocco did in Key Largo). The gun manifests the mortal danger facin g the person at his door. With the camera positioned behind Larry in an over the shoulder shot, he opens the door to he answers and slams the door. This shot captures Selma her body well lit, yet looking status as threatening and dangerous [Fig 2 11]. Selma is featured in the center of the frame as well as positioned in the frame of La within a frame shot wears a long cloth coat and a collared blouse buttoned at her throat and carries a cane in her right gloved hand. The cane links her to the earlier scene, which prominently and the earlier assistance she gave D ave. Once more, she risks her life to help him.

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106 Selma helps Dave trick Larry into answering the second doorbell buzzing, which he assumes is Selma returning to ask another question. After Larry tells Selma she has the wrong apartment, he slams the door, an d the camera follows Selma. Her back toward the audience, she walks down the hall with the same limp she displayed earlier at the chain link fence of Victory Auto Wrecking. By concentrating on her body in motion and by shooting her from behind, the film rh ymes easily remembered by her disability than by her face or other features [Fig 2 12 and Fig 2 13]. Selma has identified Larry, and her appearance at the door distracts him. No w, has returned, so he does not take his gun, which allows Dave to overtake him. Before buzzing Larry, Dave waves Selma away [Fig 2 14]. Lang uses deep focus in order to cl early feature Dave in the foreground and Selma in the background. Selma turns to background and the light from her white shirt are the strongest light source in the shot, connecting light and Selma visually and Selma to en light enment because her Selma is an ambiguous gesture that can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, it is paternal, demonstrating his desire to protect her, waving her away from danger. On shot mirrors her abruptly cut off relationship with Dave. With a wave of his hand, Selma dis

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107 Like Gaye, Selma confronts a trigger happy psychopath in order for the noir hero to gain something he desperately wants. Larry easily could have shot Selma, had he co worker. Larry had seen Selma before at Victory, and Selma materializes. The narrative, recognizing her. Selma probably did not even entertain the idea that Larry might recognize her. Neither does Dave, the ace detective, worry about this potential danger to Selma, showing that he too dismisses her after using her to get what he needs despite her being an extremely valuable person in his investigation. The film shows things done other characters cannot. In addition, her invisibility takes on a second dimension in her appearing invisible in terms of her sexual longing, as evidenced in the scene at the chain link fence. Effie Perrine in The Maltese Falcon Like most Film Noirs, this one has a compli cated plot: the beautiful Miss Wonderly contacts private investigators Sam Spade and Miles Archer to find her sister who has run off with a man named Thursby. Archer agrees to meet Brigid that evening to confront Thursby at his hotel. Instead, Miles gets s hot, and Sam learns that Miss real story involves her criminal enterprise with Thursby who was her partner, but Brigid claims, now wants to kill her. When Thursby ends up sho t as well, the police suspect Sam thinking he was avenging the death of his partner, as they all assume Thursby shot Miles. Sam begins to investigate both deaths under the pretext of having Brigid as

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108 murder and clear his own name. Sam becomes sexually involved with Brigid, but knows not to trust her. Sam finds out she is part of a motley crew of criminals who are all trying to steal a valuable artifact, the Maltese Falcon. Sam gets caught up with Brig id and her interactions with Gutman, a criminal who has been obsessed with the Falcon for over twenty years, along with his partner Joel Cairo. Apparently Gutman, Joel, Brigid and Thursby all were partners, but each try to double cross each other to get th e Falcon for him/herself. Sam gets involved in this search for the Falcon as well, forming an uneasy partnership with all them; Sam pretends to be interested in money, but his interest really lies in solving the murder of his partner, because he does not b elieve Thursby shot Miles, because Miles would never go into a dark alley without his gun drawn, and certainly not with a man he knew was dangerous, like Thursby. The only person Sam trusts is his faithful, much put upon secretary Effie Perrine. She takes recently docked in town that carried the Falc on. The ship catches on fire while in port, drops dead. Sam hides the Falcon, and manages to gather all the principle players in his apartment. He has Effie retrieve the Falcon and bring it to them. The Falcon turns out to be counterfeit. Gutman and Cairo leave, as they resign to once again, pick up the

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109 along, but did not want to believe it because of the attraction he feels toward her. She confesses and promises she loves him, and she begs him not to turn her in. Sam does When Tom asks him what the Falcon is The first time we see rejected woman Effie, Huston shoots her from behind we know he is looking down and not at her. Her hair is neatly groomed, and she wears an attractive dress with a distinctive brooch; a sharp, curved sword with two tassels hanging down from the sword, which takes on phallic dimensions Effie, in effect, possesses a penis and tes ticles [Fig 2 woman, presages the violence that Brigid brings with her. The slang phrase itself has imbedded in it the power of the femme fatale; her beauty and sex appeal are so overwhelming, the noir hero f In my reading of the film, Effie is in love with Sam, and all of her motivations involve this love. She has remained unmarried and living with her mother because she holds on to a secret hope that he will finally real ize how wonderful she is; as opposed to the completely un wonderful nature of the woman he does sleep with, the ironically

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110 the way masculine and feminine reference codes make E ffie a sexually ambiguous character: The Maltese Falcon mannish features: the square jaw, short hair, and sparse make up. Yet, the scream, the near faint adhere to the cultural stereotypes of feminine squeamishness. (241). A lesbian reading of Effie adds an intere sting dimension to the text, and it would explain why she was so willing to have Brigid stay with her, and why she felt compelled to touch supports a reading that Effie is in love with Sam. Effie wants to do whatever she can to please Sam, even if it involves his losing his head to a knockout. Effie checks out that she is his buddy or his comr transvestite; she appears to him in a similar way a male companion would in order to disguise the fact that she looks and harbors an attraction for him. The masculine reference codes suggest her transvestism in re lation to keeping her desire for Sam unknown. Hence, her rolling cigarettes, phallic brooch, and accepting of comments like is selfless. In Effie, we see shades on an other rejected woman created a few years earlier Inz in Pp Le Moko Inz keeps Pp from running out of the Casbah in a drunken stupor (and into the hands of waiting police officers) by telling him that ignores her own feelings of rejection in order to selflessly save Pp, for as she told him, she knew he would not stay for her,

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111 so she says whatever she must to keep him from making a tragic mistake. Whereas Inz finally succumbs to jealousy (she informs later in the film when Pp attempts to The scene in which Effie rolls a cigarette for Sam reinforces the implication that she longs for him sexually. The scene occurs the morning after Arch She has moved around to his desk and sits on top the desk in a gesture that suggests intimacy or familiarity. They touch two times during this scen e: The first time she reaches into his hands and takes the bag of tobacco; their fingers touch. Effie pours the tobacco into the paper roller and closes the bag with her mouth the same way Sam ag, they have kissed their mouths have both touched the tab of the tobacco bag. This kiss is subtle, much subtler than if she had licked the cigarette closed, as Sam does in the opening scene. outh so he can lick it closed [Fig 2 16]. The sexual imagery of her holding the cigarette while he licks it represents She craves physical contact with Sam and wants to kiss him, but she will do nothing to overstep her bounds. She can get away with closing the bag with her mouth, because her hands are full; but if she licked the cigarette closed, this gesture would cross a boundary, and she might scare Sam off; she knows he scares easily. could have killed him [ hand on her thigh [Fig 2

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112 translates those verbal gestures into the physical he gives her a little pat on the thigh, Effie that she belongs to him, and thus, he can pat her wherever or whenever he chooses. Effie shows absolutely no reaction to this intimate touch, suggesting that this type of touching probably has happened many times before. Her lack of reaction could i ndicate that she enjoys it. Perhaps this touch produces a thrill and increases her hope that if she hangs in long enough, one day he will be hers. The gesture could signal that she knows her job depends on this man, so she has to let him touch her and list en to his condescending drivel. She keeps on her poker face, not letting him know the touch secretly thrills her. Sam and Effie play a sadistic/ masochistic game. Sam leads Effie on with his small touches, his tiny brushes with intimacy, and uses her sexua l attraction for him so that she will continue to do his agreeing to hide Brigid at her house. This sadistic/masochistic game doubles the active/looking/sadistic ver sus passive/ being looked at/masochistic dichotomy Mulvey proposes. Effie cannot let Sam know she looks at him with desire, so she disguises her longing by playing the role of male buddy. So far in the film, Huston shoots Effie only from unflattering angle s in medium shots or close ups with the camera always below her, as seen in her opening medium shot and again in the shot in which Effie crosses her arms after she asks Sam if the police really think he killed Thursby [Fig 2 18]. She looks frustrated; Sam has just touched her more than once, and her crossed arms and angry countenance could represent her sexual frustration

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113 her home for a few days. Physical strength often is equated with the masculine, so perhaps Sam asks her to assume to position of the buddy in that she has to be strong to handle Brigid. Also, as Brigid is his lover, by asking Effie to take her in, he forec loses the by having Sam cup or cover his genitals through this entire conversation with Effie, as if to remind her that she is denied access to him [Fig 2 19]. In the be ginning of the scene in which Captain Jacoby delivers the Falcon to Sam, Effie beams at Sam beatifically as she takes care of his bruise (Wilmer kicked him Effie tells Sam and Effie screams loudly, in voice cries from offscreen, the viewer can never definitively connect her to that sound; in fac t, therefore, remains an abstract feminine code (danger + scream = woman) rather than scream reinforces her status as a rejected woman. She is not seen or heard fully oscillates between damsel in distress and smart tough not faint, and he

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114 When he gives her complicated instructions about how to interact with the police She is clear headed, and despite having just seen a dead body, she follows his instructions perfectly. She is the only character in the film that Sam t rusts completely enough, in fact, to have her pick up, possess for a short time, and then deliver the Falcon to his office a task he could never trust with any of the other characters. Sam calls Effie and tells her where to find the claim check to pick up the Falcon. At any time, Effie could run off with the Falcon. Her love for Sam keeps her from doing so. Sam, e package containing the Falcon. He does not invite her in. Their conversation is clipped: Effie: Not the first one you spoiled. Anything else? Sam: No, no thanks. Effie: Bye, bye then. And with that l ine, she turns and walks away out of the film; her exit represents the typical Rejected Woman in Film Noir non dramatic exit. Effie is at the elevator, and we see her as Sam is about to close his door. We see her from behind and from under 10]. She is under his control as she is visually under his arm in this closes the door and Effie vanishes from the film. She heads down the same elevator that soon will

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115 of sight just as there is always an off screen. Out of sight canno t be entirely out of mind: we may not know what lies beyond the horizon but we do watching this film is imagining this space beyond the screen in relation to Effie. After s he leaves, we learn the Falcon is a fake. I like to imagine that Effie absconded with the real Falcon and left Sam and company holding a copy, a lead bird, a scenario in which on of the gaze in the Imaginary register, as a spectator, I delight in the idea of an Effie who patting arrogant personage far behind. When I really dream, I imagine she heads fourteen years into the future and picks up Velda Wickman, another put on her way to paradise. The Lush in Criss Cross In the entry on Criss Cross 5 the character Joan Miller AFI ). This derogatory moniker reflects her marginalized position in the film as a rejected woman. The first time the Lush appears in to enter the restaurant to s ee Dundee and Anna [Fig 2=21]. Siodmak shoots in deep focus, so she is clearly visible over his shoulder. She stares straight ahead with a blank expression. She receives no introduction, and no one ever refers to her by name. Steve faces her but does not l ook at her. She obviously eavesdrops on their conversation. She 5 See Chapter Six for a summary of this film.

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116 looks in their direction, yet her look is occulted by the masquerade in her hyper feminine behavior and appearance that she uses throughout the film, which allows her to look at Steve in a way that he does not see her. The film does not move chronologically, so this first scene of the Lush chronologically takes place in the middle of the film. She already has met Steve, and her look tells us she is interested in him. She dresses in a feminine f lower laden top. She wears heavy jewelry and pays much attention to her hair style in an attempt to attract Steve. When the film flashes back in time, we see when the Lush first meets Steve. He returns to the bar for the first time since returning to Los A Steve enters in the background of the shot. As he opens the door, he brings a shaft of light into the film. The Lush sits in the foreground. She is not dressed in the overtly feminine outfits she wears after meeting Steve. Sh e wears comfortable looking slacks and a low cut shirt with a busy design. When Steve enters the bar, she looks up almost mechanically, reacting to the light, but not able to see Steve because of it. Steve 6 the shaft of light looking at her, functioning as her object of desire, objet petit a. screen between Steve and herself so that she is able to fantasize about him. One manifestation of the screen she erects could be her mask of the feminine masquerade. The masquerade serves as a type of metaphorical sunglasses, in that they screen out hide her look of longing from Steve as he m oves past her, just as she notices him. The camera cuts her out of the frame at this moment. She is eclipsed from the frame, which 6 See Chapter

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117 visually demonstrates that the narrative forecloses her desire for Steve; she notices and admires (lusts after) him, but he w ill not return these affections [Fig 2 22]. When Steve walks back to the bar, her eyes follow him. Siodmak uses standard shot reverse shot to capture their conversation: Lush: Are you looking for some special party? Lush: Then what are you? A checker? The bartender and the Lush are concerned that Steve is a from the state liquor license board, and they are suspicious of his questions (he is trying to find out if Anna perhaps spy on people. She calls Steve out for what he is he is a checker not an employer of the stat e liquor licensing bureau, but he is at the Round Up to check on scene. Siodmak features her again in long shot as Steve asks for nickels for the phone. The camera follow s him as he heads to the phone booth. The Lush looks at him lustfully 23]. Although her look does not center the frame, that position belongs to the bartender, shallow focus puts her loo k in focus and foregrounds it. She looks far out of the right edge of the frame, reinforcing the marginalization of her look and indicates that her chances of having a wa y the narrative will eclipse her sexual longing.

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118 Later that evening Steve returns to the Round Up. Siodmak repeats the earlier shot of Steve entering the bar in the background screen left, but now the bar is crowded. The Lush still remains in her usual sea t. She wears a dress with a flower print and she has large accessories, including a bracelet, ring and necklace that make her look much more feminine than earlier that day. Outside the world of the film, we know she has gone home and changed into an outfit that codes her with excessive femininity. She may have usually changed into fancier clothes for sitting at the bar at night than in the daytime, but we also can imagine she makes these changes for Steve, because he gave the impression in his earlier visit that he would be returning. She sees Steve and waves at him enthusiastically. He gives her an indifferent glance [Fig 2 24]. He does not stop to speak with her; he goes directly to the dance floor. The band begins playing a rumba. The camera follows Steve the beat [Fig 1 8]. The camera does not return to the Lush, but we can imagine her disappointment and her wish that Steve would look at her the way he looks at Anna. In her final scene, the Lush obviously has paid great attention to her physical appearance. Her hair is styled in an elaborate up do. She wears an attractive shirt and sweater set and high heels. Siodmak shoots her from behind, and the camera stays on her back for several seconds as if to accentuate her appearance [Fig 2 25]. Steve sits at the bar to her left. This shot is similar t o the one in which Huston shoots Gaye Dawn from behind while sitting on a barstool [Fig 201]. These two rejected women have a lot in common; they drink heavily and long, unrequitedly, for the noir hero. The shot from

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119 behind indicates a lack of awareness, o r not having the ability to see something coming at her. Perhaps the Lush fantasizes that now that Anna has married Dundee, she has a chance at romance with Steve. Unfortunately, she cannot see what awaits her vicious verbal attack. Chronologically, this scene takes place the evening after Steve sees Anna at the train station and finds out Dundee has beaten her and that his friend Ramirez had threatened to have Anna arrested if she did not stop seeing Steve. Ste ve displaces his anger onto Frank the find her, unlike Anna, who is unpredictable. In this scene her eyes once again are on Steve. Her conversation with Steve reveals her as kind and well intentioned, but not smart. She is nave and the text abuses her for having this quality. Mulvey argues that male anxiety concerning castration leads the noir hero to punish the femme fatale. In contrast, the Rejected Woman in Film Noir i s often punished for her navet. Shooting the Lush with her back to the camera also connotes vulnerability. In addition, her back is When the camera cuts to a close up of the Lush, we see the lo ok of love in her eyes [Fig 2 26]. She also is coded as very feminine. She has manicured her nails and decorates her flowered blouse with two brooches. Her hair is well coifed, and her make up is more elaborate and obvious that in past scenes. In short, sh e gussies up in order perhaps to figure out what to say to him to capture his attention. After a few seconds ironically. His luck has been bad since coming back to Los Angeles. By asking if he bet

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120 wrong, the Lush reminds Steve of something he does not want to face: his lousy luck since he has returned home. Being nave, she has not picke d up on the clues that he is volatile right now. He has just verbally lashed out at Frank, who very gingerly told him to to look out for his interests. The Lush looks 27]. She smiles broadly for the only time in the film. Most of the time, she wears a wounded look because she is often the butt of jokes. This smile, however, will soon disappear. Steve alleged difficulty when he asked for a roll of nickels earlier in the film to use a phone booth that people often use for placing bets. Here, the L cuts of a long shot of the bar, showing that Steve visibly hurt [Fig 2 28]. Her hyper femininity demonstrates her adopting the masquerade in order to allow her to look without punishment. But in this case, she is punished,

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121 because she does not masquerade enough; her look of longing is so intense here it becomes transgressive despite her elaborate efforts of the masquerade. In this one instance, her look crosses the line and she is punished for its active intensity, as were the non rejected women characters mentioned earlier, Ellen, Laura and Mia. d not have to bet if you is flustered. But to say he should not have to bet, instead of saying what would make of compulsion, which she correctly reads in Steve, but his compulsion is not for gambling, but for Anna. Steve becomes angrier. She has unintentionally hit a nerve. He 29]. The Lush can say absolutely nothing to quell his anger because her words do not matter. Steve wants a fight, and he will pick out individual words that have to do with his own situation, and twist them around to pugnaciously stands ready to burn her [Fig 2 29]. Her hands are down in a gesture of surrender. She the film. The camera moves screen left as Ramirez enters the Round Up. The camera cuts the Lush out of the frame almost entirely, only her hand, palm down, and a small

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122 her as well, only leaving a small piece of her in the frame [Fig 2 30]. Siodmak puts the with Pete. The last shot of the Lush is a blurry background shot with Steve in focus in the foreground [Fig 2 31]. In t his last shot, she looks at Steve. This shot is similar to her last blurry image of her reflects the way the text blurs her as a person and puts her desire for Steve out of focus, out of reach, and out of sight. She then vanishes from the film.

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123 Figure 2 1. Introduction Shot of Gaye Dawn Figure 2

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124 Figure 2 3. Gaye fades into background Figure 2 4. Close up: Gaye gives the gun to Frank

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125 Figure 2 shot Figure 2 6

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126 Figure 2 7. Victory Auto Wrecking mise en scne Selma in background Figure 2 8. Selma's fingers reaching for Dave

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127 Figure 2 e Figure 2 10. "Parker. Selma Parker" Selma looks down while telling Dave her name.

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128 Figure 2 11. Selma framed within a frame narratively framing Larry Figure 2 12. Eye rhyme, part I: Selma's walking away from Dave at Victory

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129 Figure 2 13. Eye rhyme, part II: Selma's walking away from Dave at Larry's apartment Figure 2

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130 Figure 2 15. Effie's phallic brooch Figure 2 16. Sam licks cigarette closed while Effie holds it

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131 Figure 2 17. Sam touches Effie's thigh Figure 2 18. Effie "cross" with Sam

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132 Figure 2 19. Effie denied access Figure 2 20. Effie's non dramatic exit from the film

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133 Figure 2 21. First shot of The Lush in Criss Cross Figure 2 22. The Lush's marginal look of desire for Steve

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134 Figure 2 23. The Lush looks lustfully at Steve Figure 2 24. The Lush waves enthusiastically at Steve; he looks ambivalently at her.

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135 Figure 2 25. Long shot of Lush with her back toward the camera Fig ure 2 26. The look of love in the eyes of the Lush

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136 Figure 2 Figure 2 28. The Lush visually wounded by Steve's words

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137 Figure 2 29. Steve picks on the Lush Figure 2 30. The Lush cut out of the fr ame except for her hand (screen right)

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138 Figure 2 31. Last shot of the Lush

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139 CHAPTER 3 AMBIVALENT RESISTANC E: THE IMMOBILE AND WRITTEN UPON BODIES OF REJECTED WOMEN Is the pen a metaphorical penis? Gilbert and Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic The Body o f the Rejected Woman: Passivity and Ambivalent Resistance technologies would they exist as the other of words and printed matter 214). Rejected rejected women of The Blue Gardenia work as telephone operators, but do not control the system they operate. The rejected women in The Big Heat serve as the written upon texts. Men write on their bodies through scarring, maiming and torture. In terms of By keeping women in the position of the page and not the pen, the female body is kept under control. Both the reje cted women characters of The Blue Gardenia and The Big Heat function as examples of how a patriarchal society controls women through the telephone and the pen. The concept that men look and women are looked at addressed ts active versus passive dichotomies that long have existed in patriarchal societies. Helene Cixous, another feminist thinker whose ideas have fallen out of fashion, especially her work concerning 1 points 1 The movement looked at how women were forced into male patterns of writing, which include driven narratives (climbing action, climax and dnouement) which mimicked male sexual responses, theory argue that women who strayed from these patterns (writi ng narratives not focused on moving aggressively through a dashes and exclamation points) were derided by male critics and not taken seriously. A larg er discussion of this movement is out of the scope of this project, but the major criticism leveled against it is its potential essentialism.

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140 ects the entire conceptual organization to man. A male privilege, which can be seen in the opposition by which it sustains itself, between activity and passivity. Traditionally, the question or sexual difference is coupled with the same opposition: activit (one feminist recovery per project is enough!), her work in spotlighting these dichotomies needs attention, because society still places women as a bitter tasting pill, a prescription needed in a society that still is with the disease of sexism. power c irculates in Film Noir. In their occupations as secretaries and operators, the telephone literally fetters them to a given location limiting their mobility and agency. In their role as passive text (their bodies) to the active pen of the men, women are act ed upon, assuming the passive position. In each of their encounters with these power structures, however, rejected women also manage to foment a resistance against their placement in the passive position, and try to assume their own agency. Just as in the equivocal relationship also exists in their efforts of resistance in regard to the telephone and the pen. They make attempts at resistance, but it has little to no effect on their situations. The first half of this chapter deals with the telephone, the second, with the pen. In the first part, I explore how these rejected women are fettered to the telephone in their occupations as secretary (Effie in The Maltese Falcon) or as telephone operators (Norah, Crystal, and Sally in The Blue Gardenia .) In both the telephone and

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141 pen segments, I show how rejected women attempt resistance, with less than stellar results. Still, the way the telephone operators of The Blue Gardenia crea te a separate world from the repression of the patriarchy is extraordinary and reminds us that rejected women can find comfort, companionship and safety among themselves. The second half of the chapter focuses on rejected women characters in The Big Heat a nd their status as written upon texts. These women resist as well, some more than others, and the results again, are ambivalent, a point which visually is punctuated by the remarkable last shot of the film. Immobile Bodies of Rejected Women and the Teleph one Effie and the Telephone in The Maltese Falcon Several times, The Maltese Falcon 2 presents Effie as only a voice on the telephone. Sam calls Effie, yet her voice comes across as only feminine, inarticulate ng bits of Effie off screen, either as a presentation of Effie first occurs when Sa this errand for Sam. He calls her an Angel. film does not explain why she is standing, but this posture makes her prominent in the mise en scne. She taps the desk with her middle finger [Fig 3 1] as she spe aks to Iva, 2 See Chapter Two for a summary of the film.

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142 who is calling the third time that morning for Sam (Iva was spying on Sam and saw him s numerous phone with Iva the night before. Effie has completed this laborious task, and now must deal with Iva on the phone while Sam canoodles with Brigid in his offic 3 in a film in which everyone obsesses about getting the bird (the Falcon). It also presages the later scene in which Effie will literally give the bird (the Falcon) to Sam. The gesture also serves as an ac t of defiance or resistance. Effie spends the night babysitting Iva while Sam has sex with Brigid. To add insult to injury, Sam now romances Brigid while Effie must clean up his messes by placating the jealous Iva. Sam then asks Effie to take Brigid home w ith her for a few days. He returns enters his office, Brigid remains romantically invisible to Sam. The next time Effie appears in the film, she remains unseen and on the other end ns has resulted in 3 Huston shows his sense of humor when inserts the poster for one of Swing your Lady in the background of the Archer murder investigation (Ray 221 1), and the shot in which Sam cups his genitals as if to give Effie the message that she is denied access (discussed in previous chapter).

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143 firing of the in the scene in which Effie talks to Brigid on the telephone after Captain Jacoby delivers the Falcon to Sam. The telephone rings, and despite the intensity of the moment, Effie is compelled to answer it, because in her role as secretary, she answers the phone, not Sam. Brigid gives a (phony) address and then begins to scream into the receiver. Effie the phone, in this case, only m akes her out to be as foolish about Brigid as Sam is. supports a queer reading of Effie, as her ejaculations come while she talks to Brigid. Although I do not discount this Norah, Crystal and Sally and the Telephone in The Blue Gardenia Through their occupations as telephone operators, Norah, Cryst al, and Sally interact with the telephone extensively throughout the film. In addition to their occupational interaction, the telephone also plays a significant role in their personal lives. The film opens at a telephone company and ends on a medium shot o f Sleepy reading a book of telephone numbers. Because of the intense focus on the telephone throughout the film, I split this analysis of The Blue Gardenia into two sub sections: passivity and resistance. The Blue Gardenia and p assivity In one of The Blue Gar first post credit shots, newspaperman Casey Mayo, interviews telephone operator Crystal Carpenter. She stares blankly into space,

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144 signifying the boredom associated with her occupation, while flirting with Casey by identifies her as one of the many faceless female voices associated with the telephone. Gunning writes that the phone system reduces the identities of the three main female characters, Norah, Crystal and Sall telephone operators, all three women literally have their hands on the switchboard, yet their proximity to this control center works not to affirm their power, agency and identity but to deny them. Yet, wi thin this place of oppression, the three roommates fashion a safe house the apartment they share to shelter them from the oppressive patriarchal storm. And in The Blue Gardenia, the patriarchy does not rain, it pours. The male characters are despicable an d treacherous at worst and obtuse and carelessly cruel at a misogynist who cruelly uses and discards women, and (as I will argue in Chapter Five) rapes Norah. E husband, come off poorly: Sleepy as a lazy mouth breathing, lascivious goon, and Homer as an obtuse lug with a wandering eye. In The Blue Gardenia, the telephone not only carries information, but also rejection, pain, boredom, and terror for its female characters. As part of the mise en scne, the telephone binds and restricts female bodies, while simultaneously showing how male bodies negotiate the telephone witho ut becoming encumbered or entrapped. The Blue Gardenia shows that women are tethered to ringing telephones both discursively and formally, and in doing so, reminds its audience of the difficulties that face women in an androcentric society. These difficult ies are augmented by the fact that the sanctuary

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145 created by the women temporarily comforts, but ultimately does not sustain them. This small fort of resistance falls away under patriarchal pressure, thereby, once again suggesting that the ways rejected wom en find and keep power remains tenuous. The plot, like most Film Noirs is complicated: Telephone operator Norah, with Prebble, who gets her drunk and then attempts to hav e sex with her in his apartment. She fends off his advances by striking him with a fire poker and then blacks out. She later runs out of his apartment with no memory of what happened after she struck him. Prebble is found dead the next morning, and Norah a ssumes she has killed gives the murderess because of the blue gardenia corsage left at the murder scene, agrees to help the still unidentified murderess if she gives him an exclusive story. Norah meets Casey and eventually reveals herself as the Blue Gardenia, although she has no memory of killing Prebble. She learns Casey never intended to help her and disingenuously made the offer only to get a story. The police, who have b een following Casey because of a tip, find them together, and they arrest Norah. Casey discovers a body, not the one Norah said was playing when she lost consciousness ), and Casey tracks down the actual murderess, a woman named Rose, who Prebble impregnated playing hard to get, telling his photographer Sleepy that he and Norah will soon b e

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146 Lang contrasts the shot of Crystal in her headgear with the preceding shot, in which Casey walks toward the elevato r of the West Coast phone company. A an idea further reinforced by the credits sequence of th e film, which shows him driving on the freeway. Casey has mobility through his occupation, which contrasts with the turns screen right to answer Casey, making the cumber some quality of her headset left twenties. Nationality: Chicago. agile sidestepping of it speaks to the emphasis on fem ale shelf life. As Sally will later d becomes visible, and the audience realizes Prebble, a man endowed with massive physical bulk, (the large and husky Raymond Burr plays this role) assumes the position of power in the frame. He sits on top of the desk where Crystal poses, indicating his freedom of occupying any space he fiddles with the plug end of her head set. Her hands are not free, but enc umbered with the equipment that keeps her literally fastened to the phone, reinforcing her entrapment. Casey (screen right) and Prebble (screen left) flank her. Her hands betray what the rest of her has not figured out. She feels free, as she openly flirts and smiles with Casey, but

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147 she is imprisoned not only in the mise en scne but also by her position as a woman, following exchange: Prebble: What is it about you newspaper men four six six. Casey, featured in a two shot with Crystal, puts his hand out toward Prebble in a gesture suggesting his munificence 3] as she looks down, then back at Casey. Her humiliation is obvious; she has been rejected by one man and publicly passed o ff to another. Crystal recovers quickly. She saves face by from Prebble he writes her phone number on his drawing of Cryst standing in the background of a shot foregrounded by rows operators (all women) wearing head gear, their hands busily plugging wires into holes [Fig 3 4]. They remain at the hub of communication, doing t he physically demanding, dull and repetitive work of connecting callers, but they make no calls for themselves. The switchboard serves as a larger metaphor: Keep women in place physically at work, and they remain in their proper place in society. In contra st, Casey, as a newspaper reporter, Sleepy as a photographer, and Prebble as an artist have occupations that allow freedom and mobility. The film further illustrates the dichotomy of immobile women versus mobile men when Prebble is called into the supervis

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148 telephonic stud. Rose, the woman Prebble has sexually used and now wants to discard, is on the line. Lang shoots this p physical domination. He sits on a desk and his large body looms in the foreground of the shot. His back is turned to the audience. The telephone cord is looped, suggesting the loopholes and double talk Prebb le will employ to get Rose off the telephone. We telephone in The Maltese Falcon). he draws a picture of Norah which he conti nues throughout his phone conversation. The camera cuts to a medium shot of Rose at a pay telephone, indicating that she must pay to talk with Prebble. It also signifies the heavy price she already has paid for knowing him, because she carries his child, a nd he has no intention of marrying her and the price she will pay in the future, because that evening, she will murder him, and later attempt suicide when the police arrive to question her. She clenches her right hand tightly on the telephone cord, which r eflects her intense emotional state [Fig 3 5]. Perhaps she hopes that if she grasps the wire tightly, she can somehow touch or metaphorically, she only gets a busy sign al, for Prebble cannot be reached. Rose begs:

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149 with the technology of the telephone The absence of a reaction shot of Rose after up further emphasizes her marginality and powerlessness. Instead, the camera cuts to a close she wears a medium length black cocktail dress. An overlap dissolve transforms to a shot of Norah wearing an identical black dress and striking the same pose that Prebble had drawn. Prebble has never seen this dress Norah wears it for the first time that ng of Norah in this dress, which he will see later that evening, presages the way telepathy eerily moves through this film, a point I will discuss in detail in Chapter Five. Norah twirls, modeling the birthday dress for her roommate Sally. The telephone ri ngs and Crystal runs out of the bathroom to answer it. Crystal pops into the shot, grabs her unlit cigarette and races to the phone. She poses seductively with the cigarette dangling from her mouth, purring 6]. Deep fo cus allows Sally to be visible in the background, as Crystal in the foreground huddles near the right edge of the frame, suggesting the way she buys into the patriarchy by allowing herself to be so invested in men. Her inability to answer the phone without getting into (feminine) character with her hopes a man has called) keep her dependent on men. The phone call is from a man; the drug store clerk calls to inform Sall y that the new Mickey Mallett mystery is available for rental. As Crystal drags the phone over to Sally, we see that it has a long cord, strike. Peter Bogdonovich calls The Blue Gardenia

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150 like a venomous snake slithering across the bottom of the frames, striking and poisoning each of the roommates throu gh her interactions on the telephone: Crystal gets no call from Casey; Sally gets a call from the rental library about a murder mystery Crystal calls it. The telephone will soon deliver its most powerful strike at Norah because it will bring Prebble, poison personified, into her life. As Sally bounds off the couch, eager to obtain her new book, the wire is clearly visible in the frame [Fig 3 7]. Crystal chastises Sally for her over it was a The wire still remains visible, hovering at the bottom on the screen, reminding us of its power and presence in the lives of the women. The camera then follo ws Norah capturing her entanglement with the telephone line and the extra steps she must take to free herself from its grip [Fig 3 8]. Narratively, this gesture serves as a visual rhyme to what Norah says as she negotiates the wire. She tells Crystal that ironically funny. The milquetoast Homer has no discernable good qualities; he even hits a vis vocation, and soon through its ability to facilitate her encounter with Prebble. The

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151 wire. Th e wire affects and controls the women even though it deceptively remains in the margins of the frame, like a venomous snake in the grass poised to strike. The film goes out of its way in deep focus long shots to display and document the dimensions of the l iving space of these women, which serves a dual purpose. It highlights its utilitarian qualities and emphasizes the importance it plays in the lives of these women. 4 We also realize that the major living room /dining room space converts into sleeping quart fianc is ruined when she reads his letter and learns he plans to marry another woman. The telephone then rings. Prebble has called Granite 1466 to invite Crystal to meet him at the Blue Gar on for a sexual encounter, which Crystal would have understood, but Norah, with her judgment impaired by grief and her lack of sexual experience, does not. She accepts ation without telling him that she is not Crystal. When questioned by Sally, as a n instrument that fails to get its message across on either end: Prebble hopes for a quick sexual liaison with Crystal and Norah hopes for a new Prince Charming to rescue her from the pain and rejection of her present life. Norah arrives at the Blue Garden ia restaurant and a waiter escorts her to the right number shows up at his table, Prebble initially is nonplussed but soon adapts, 4 See Janet Berg n the film.

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152 feels terribly hung over and sick but has no memory of her date with Prebble or his attack. 5 Norah goes to work alongside the other operators, who like her, are literally bound to the switchboard by wires [Fig 3 9]. The audience sees Sally wearing an expression of sadness on her face that contrasts with her happy go lucky personality shown at home. The deep focus of this shot als o reveals Captain Haynes, who looks over the operators as he decides which ones he should question due to the fact that next to Norah. Hazel drops and shatters her compact. N orah stares at the fragments, before. The film cuts from this shot to a close up of a blue gardenia in the hand of Mae, the blind woman who sells corsages at the Blue Gar denia restaurant. Prebble bought one for Norah the previous evening, and Casey interviews Mae for his newspaper article on the murderess. Casey questions Mae about what she remembers about the woman with Prebble in the restaurant. She tells him the mystery shot, smiling, perhaps because she helped Mayo, or perhaps she was remembering the pleasure of the sound of taffeta. Like Selma, she too is physically challenged and provides clues that help the male protagonist. She also shows the gaze is not limited to the sighted, as pointed out, by Lacan in Seminar XI. Mae sees Norah through her 5

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153 le of her taffeta dissolves to Norah at her switchboard, interacting with customers in of women Kittler 57). When Hazel returns, she says the police asked her if she was out in the rain without her shoes, and Norah becomes increasin gly agitated. Norah leaves her shoes behind, which provides a clue for the police. She asks her supervisor position of h er occupation. Norah and Hazel only can converse intermittingly, because they need to keep connecting calls through the switchboard. Norah exits her chair at the switchboard, and the film dissolves to her exiting an elevator. As she attempts to alight, an unknown man impedes her. She ends up tussling with him as she tries to get past him and their interaction resembles, for a few seconds, an embrace [Fig. 3 10]. This visual, which is not in any way necessary to the narrative, tells us what we already know: Norah is not good at negotiating men. She has not handled the rejection of her fianc well, which made her vulnerable to Prebble. Furthermore, she did not negotiate Prebble well either; she was unable to see that he was dangerous. Very soon, she will not h andle Casey well, mistakenly trusting him with her life. The fact that she seems to be embracing the man reinforces her inability to pick proper romantic partners. All of

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154 (George ) or future (Casey), or encountered in the Real (Prebble). This one short tangle Norah sees a headline from The Daily Tribune about the murder, and she assumes sh e is the killer. Meanwhile, Casey is displeased that he has not been able to uncover the identity of the Blue Gardenia murderess (the headline Norah sees in the lobby is from a competing newspaper). He runs out of time when his boss assigns him to cover th e H headline the following day. The letter her life already is heavily tied up with the telephone through her occupation. Her trouble with Prebbl e started with a telephone call and Casey disingenuously offers a source of relief through this same invention. Casey sets Norah up for her third rejection by men in wants to help the Blue Gardenia and his subsequent rejection of her when he thinks she bble, but turned off by the possibility of her being a fallen woman than a murderer. cuts to a me dium shot of the telephone and its surrounding objects, creating a mise en scne that simultaneously suggests comfort and danger [Fig 3 11]. The shot seems

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155 strangely balanced, with the comforting elements of the home the books, the lighted lamp and the vas e of flowers situated screen right, which oppose the menacing elements the dark telephone 6 and the strange done up in heavy make up, whose large black bow makes it appear as if she cradles a telephone receiver uncomforta bly in the crook of her neck. Dark, ominous shadows also A place that once served as a safe haven from the everydayness and boredom of her job, where she and her roomm ates share chores and laughs, now is infected by the betrayal and menace she experiences at the hands of the patriarchy. This same night, Casey works in his office. He has installed an extra phone line to handle the flood of responses he receives from his letter. He juggles two calls at the unknown murderess has garnered more attention than he expected. After many unrelated phone calls, Norah calls Casey from a tele phone booth. She identifies the approaches. In her haste, she drops the handkerchief she u sed to muffle her voice, place between Norah and Casey. Norah calls Casey back, bu t her voice is different without the handkerchief. She creates subterfuge claiming that she knows about the 6 sk Set Model was available (Stern and Gwanthmey 34). The fact that the roommates have the older model also suggests the low paying nature of their jobs in that they could not afford the newer model.

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156 earlier call, but is not same woman, but a friend of hers. She buys a new handkerchief at a local drugstore and goes to meet Casey in his darkened n ewspaper office. Other Chronicle office. 7 Casey sees her arrive, and shuts off the lights in his office so that he can watch her walk through the maze of desks, which make her look like a trapped rat in a maze, a common formal as a male spectator watches a woman on the screen. Norah and Casey have dinner at a local beanery, and Norah agrees to bring her 8 The next day, the police arrest Norah during her meeting with Casey. He has just confessed that he had no inte ntion of helping the Blue Gardenia suspect; he only wanted a story. Her arrest is facilitated by a telephone call from Bill, the owner of the restaurant, who in the restaura remembers this record wa 9 He meets Captain 7 8 I discuss this scene in detail in Chapter Five. 9 Sound plays a large role in cinema as well as sight, as this scene indicates. The investigation of sound is beyond the scope of this project, unfortunately.

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157 by cutting her wrists. The scene overlap dissolves to a medicine drip from a hospital he let her in. Prebble appeared u did not hit him. Rose did not realize Norah lay passed out a few feet away. Norah neither saw nor heard, thus a fact reflected in the way Lang shoots the part of the scene involving Rose and Prebble in long shot from 12]. barrage of flashes from the local newspapers meets her and her roommates. Casey emerges from the crowd and Granite I did just like you rules necessary to get a man. Like most Rejected Women of Fi lm Noir, these three women get an uneventful exit from the film. They walk out of the frame, screen left, leaving the men to have the final scene in the film. The Blue Gardenia and r esistance The camaraderie among these women and their support of each other i s evident

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158 place where the women can be comfortable and relaxed among themselves. No males penetrate it physically (except for the inept Homer). Men enter the apartment only through the conduit of the telephone (and newspaper). The domestic space as a whole bathroom and kitchen flouts Hollywood conventions of Film Noir. The first bathroom scene features Norah quickly opening the bathroom door, striking Crystal in the derriere [Fig 3 ns, shape making it sexier. This joke alludes culturally to the myth that women must suffer to be beautiful. Crystal has endured the pain (the door knob hitting her back), which creates a better figure. A two inch shit south in the sacroiliac bones would cause the coccyx, or tailbone, to pop through the open space of the pelvis, making the coccyx protrude from the groin area forming a penis. 10 Perhaps behind Cryst comes with it. Out of the three women, Crystal is the alpha female. She instructs Sally and Norah on how to behave in relation to men. She tells Norah that Blue Gardenia murderess had to be a m orally inferior or stupid woman because only these two types 10 Of course I am speaking metaphorically not medically, as this type of alternation is medically

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159 that suggest that the woman who killed Prebble was of easy virtue. Sally reads the article about the unknown mu rderess and the clues the police have put together, such not because she has murdered behavior with men, however, Crystal defies these same rules. She divorces husband Homer because she prefers dati the duality of her role as wife/girlfriend as well as the inverted choice she makes in relation to Homer. Crys martial state (living with her girlfriends), and divorcing only to date her ex husband can be interpreted on many levels. First of 11 It also rei nforces a common trope in Film Noir the destabilization of the nuclear family. stable institution of marriage, the point about film noir, by contrast, is that it is str uctured the nuclear family emerges in Film Noir, as in The Big Heat, it quickly gets blown apart, in the case of this film, literally through the bombing of the Bannion family car with mother Katie inside. A third possible explanation for this arrangement is that Crystal, Norah and Sally form a healthy family unit that nourishes all of them and defies the societal pressure to marry. 11 An interesting and fruitful endeavor, but beyond the scope of this project, which examines heterosexual dynamics at play in Film Noir.

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160 As a family unit, the women function ve ry well, as evidenced in the first domestic sequence shown in the film that begins with Norah trying on her birthday dress for Sally and ends with Norah leaving the apartment to meet Prebble. Norah and Sally playfully squabble about sharing household chore s, such as ironing and cleaning. Crystal kisses her absent fianc). Sally looks forward to a night of a reading a Mickey Mallett mystery novel (another man who is not p hysically present), and Crystal prepares for a date with favor of Sally and Norah). All three women take steps, either consciously or unconsciously, to secure their own f amily unit by creating relationships with absent men. In this safe space, Sally acts our her fantasies and play acts as being one of Mickey headed debutante who gets hit in the head, stabbed in the back, shot in the stomach Pow! Pretty badly hurt, she like delight that not only shows her innocence and immaturity, but also eerily depicts the violence to come in the film. Sally represents the rejected woman who chooses to live her life in the Imaginary to avoid pain. Her books are a form of protection, a barrier that keeps her from realizing the quiet desperation of her drab life her low paying dull, repetitive job and her lack of social interaction outside of her connection with her roommates. When treatment of his death anchors in the Imaginary she cannot imagine his death other than in

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161 morning The camera pans out to include Crystal in bed, as she slaps the clock and orders it to boredom and rote repetition associated with their occupation. The camera pan s over to Sally, who rises out of bed. She eats a few kernels of stale popcorn out of a tin and heads toward the bathroom [Fig 3 14]. She wears a very short pajama top with no bottoms, and her legs are bare from her feet to the top of her hamstrings. Sally are shapely and sexy; however, they are not coded for titillation. Sally, with her child like parents. The male gaze appears not to be interested in her, whi ch frees her to dress provocatively on her own terms, and not as a prisoner of male voyeurism. As Sally heads to the bathroom, Crystal reminds Sally she gets the bathroom first on Thursdays black taffeta dress crumpled on the ground and teasingly rouses Norah from her hung over sleep. When she asks, and Norah confesses she cannot remember getting home or getting into bed. Crystal tosses Norah a robe, and when Norah has trouble putting it on, Crystal lovingly

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162 ibing particularly Norah and places a glass of orange juice in her hands. Sally unbuttons her top, steps into the shower and throws the top out of the shower stall as Norah approaches the 3 15]. The scene provides a look into the intimate world of these wome n where they are scantily clad and show no modesty among themselves, suggesting a sort of sisterhood, in which nudity and various levels of undress are seen as everyday events. This omen. The night following the Prebble murder, Lang shoots the women in the kitchen [Fig 3 Norah do the dishes. The opening deep focus shot of this scene features Sally in the fo says. Out of the three women, only she is dressed for bed, signifying her immaturity the grown ups remain dressed in street clothes. Also, Mom and Mom take care of the chores. Crystal washes the dishes and Norah dries and puts them away. Sally paints her nails, murder out loud to her roommates. This scene marks the only time a woman wears feminine cultural constrictions. In addition, the trousers imply a kind of empowerment,

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163 ting on an d of that scene as one way to show that this film is unique among the androcentric world of Film n most noir films, where women are seen only within the male discourse, here that discourse is scene makes Norah its center of consciousness, allowing the viewer to disjunction between Norah, whom we experience as a gently, warm and honest person, Kaplan also notes the intensity of the double standard in that no one in the diegesis t fresh with her, how Crystal delivers this line illustrates the dichotomy that has haunted the spectre of ed resign of one who has learned to accept her place as Other. She rests her (dishwashing gloved) hand wearily on the counter, and her shadow looms large, reflecting the dark culturally constructed

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164 language show pain, fear, and perhaps a trace of anger. She presently experiences the inherent unfair nature of what being a woman means in patriarchal culture: you will be judged for your sexual behavior, and if you are sexually ass aulted, well, perhaps you were asking for it. 12 The next kitchen scene indicates that Crystal at least, comes to see the mistakes she has made in maligning the Blue Gardenia murderess. Norah comes home from her meeting with Casey. Crystal waits for her in the kitchen and lets Norah know she figured out that Norah is the Blue Gardenia murderess. Crystal is not judgmental, but supportive and loving. When Norah begins to cry, Crystal gently and lovingly rubs her head [Fig 3 17]. Crystal also supports Norah by going with her to turn herself into Casey the next day. This reconnected solidarity continues when Lang shows the women women then exit the film, arm in arm and smiling, indicating their solidarity of functioning as a family unit in resistance to patriarchal conformity. Yet, this act of resistance and solidarity is eclipsed by the fact that the last minute of the film belongs to the men. An unknown man in the foreground obscures their exit, so we do not even see them leave the film [Fig 3 18]. Casey appears center screen. He nifying the end of his ever 19]. The film began at the telephone company with Casey refusing a phone number 12 Last year, I had a conversation with a male peer (a well educated, intelligent, graduate film student) really think that if a woman was raped while drunk at a fraternity party that it was her own fault, beca

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165 from one operator (Crystal), and now ends with his refusing all the telephone numbers lephonic codes, categorized and catalogued for male pleasures. Earlier in the film, Sleepy flips through t contains suggests these numbers are objects that can readily pass on from one (m ale) owner to ld (women) pass from brother to brother in the patriarchal society. The film demonstrate s how men circulate freely both in their professional and personal lives. Their jobs allow them movement; in their personal lives they pick up and exchange women. In contrast, the women professionally are physically fixed geographically to one spot, an off ice, and in the case of the operators, literally tethered to their machinery. Socially, they must also stay fixed to a spot by the telephone getting into character to a nswer the phone, and her chastising Sally for her

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166 roommates also hint at the way the patriarchy views them as interchangeable objects. They are about the same size and share the same facial features and hairstyles. Prebble easily interchanges Norah for Crystal when Norah mistakenly answers a telephone call meant for Crystal. Homer implies he would like to exchange Crystal for Norah, and Crystal does not seem readily upset by t his suggestion. Sally is happy invites her to visit The Blue Gardenia restaurant where Crystal wants to sit in the same seat Norah had occupied. This coding of the women as interchangeable, however, exists solely in the way the patriarchy defines these women. As mentioned in the introduction, I examine rejected women through this same lens by posit ioning their rejection in terms of their relationships with men, with particular focus on the noir hero. Indeed, men reject all Prebble and Casey. Casey and Homer reje ct Crystal. Men in general reject Sally. She gets no male attention and retreats into a fantasy world. All three women function as rejected women through their dull, repetitive and unglamorous jobs as telephone operators. Among themselves, however, these w omen form a protective unit, and insular bubble in their apartment, away from the patriarchy and its demands, showing the resourcefulness of rejected women and their ability to take care of, and love one another, and their subtle resistance to its power. S till, as we have seen through this and

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167 other examples of rejected women throughout this project, the resistance of Rejected Women never becomes strong enough to make any significant changes in their lives. Written Upon Bodies of Rejected Women in The Big H eat The Big Heat begins with scene of writing. The first shot of the film is a close up gun. His hand moves off screen, followed quickly by the sound of a gunshot. A puff of smoke appears on screen, signifying the off key, high she has cast over her husband and that will loom large over the film; Bertha will control the letter that serves as the lynchpin in making or breaking the syndicate. The close up of the revolver, along the pens and envelope, all instruments of writing, co nnect Tom to of his own death by suicide, putting gun to body. In The Big Heat, human bodies, most particularly the bodies of three rejected woman characters Lu cy Chapman, Doris the B girl, and Debby Marsh function as texts bearing violent marks of metaphorical pens thus setting up the importance of writing as marking and cle arly delineating the role of The Madwoman i n the Attic (3) In many ways, The Big Heat Many scholars argue Dave bears responsibility for the deaths of every woman in the quest is littered with the bodies of dead

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168 on of his text, but structurally the need to contain and destroy women informs the noir angst of The Big Heat. his work that (102). therefore expendable (102). Fixing the deaths of these two rejected women, along with the deaths of Katie and Bertha, however, solely on the shoulders of Dave, gives h im far too much power as well as blame, and implies that the women of The Big Heat exercise not even a modicum of control over their destinies. That being said, each woman experiences rejection and acceptance of Bannion, not necessarily in that order, whic h profoundly affects her. In addition, every female body in The Big Heat becomes a written upon text, marred by violence and destruction. Their damaged bodies exist as sites of ambivalence, giving off mixed signals in relation to power structures. Througho ut the film, Lang pays a kind of curiously inattentive attention to the rejected women that highlights their inner strength, beauty, intelligence, honesty and courage th ese rejected women and their continued quest for agency in a society that seems invested in denying it to them.

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169 To briefly summarize the film, police officer Tom Duncan pens a suicide note to the police commissioner explaining all of his corrupt activities involving Mike Lagana, blackmail Lagana. Sergeant Dave Bannion investigates the Duncan death and closes ts him and swears Duncan was not suicidal. She plans to go to the newspapers. Dave mistakes her grief vestigation upsets Lagana, who orders his top henchman, Vince Stone to kill Dave. Vince arranges to have death. He quits the police investigation leads him back to the Retreat, the seedy bar where he first met Lucy. Dave sees Vince burn a B girl with a cigar, and connects burned corpse. Dave kicks Vince out of the club, and treats the burned B girl with kindness, Debby follows Dave to his hotel room and makes a pass at him, which Dave re buffs. He wants Debby in his hotel room so he can ask her questions about Vince and Lagana. Vince finds out Debby was with Dave and punishes her by throwing scalding r oom where he takes care of her. Dave, with the help of Selma Parker, a bookkeeper at He tries to get Bertha to confess, but she treats him with contempt, and she tells him

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170 automatically goes to the District Attorney. Dave is tempted to kill Bertha but gains arrives in time to arrest Vince, and to talk to Debby until she dies in his arms. The last scene of the film shows Dave back at work as a police officer. Tables 1 and 2 [see penetrated, burned and damaged bodies of The Big Heat Only Dave and Lagana emerge untouched, physically. Corpulent (male) bodies, like those of Atkins and Tierney serve as metonymies for the clogged heavy, ill functioning body of the city of Kenport. men dies in ord er to save the city. Tom Duncan dies, but the marks written upon his extended to the women. With t unnamed B girls, every woman is physically marked. Most women are burned, marks Bertha with bullets and Vince with scalding coffee. 13 13 y does.

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171 The Big Heat and The Blue Gardenia hold an ambivalence for rejected woman characters that suggests a mixture sympathy and contempt, as especially evidenced in eriences of marginalization in relation to him with an appreciation for being in the Othered, passive position that women occupy in patriarchal societies. Tracey is a bit har sh in labeling Lang as misogynist. Instead, I a man who identified with and liked women more than he might have wanted to admit consciously. This conscious/unconscious di chotomy could explain his equivocal portrayal of rejected women characters who are admirable and likable, but nonetheless, must be ignored, punished or destroyed. Lucy Chapman Re writing, but does not write herself. The shot dissolves to an interior of The Retreat [Fig 3 20]. The perspicuous viewer will notice that Larry Gordon, the man who later mu rders Katie, is playing dice with Doris the B girl who Vince later burns. The juxtaposition and tonk quarters of the Retreat marks not only his change of location but also a metaphorical time warp. He enters what Sobchack calls lounge time, 14 a chronotope far removed from the pleasure of home. We 14 diner or roadside caf, the bar and the road house, the cheap motel -these are the recurrent and ubiquitous spaces of film noir that, unlike the mythic sites of home and home front, are actual common places in wartime and post war American culture. Cinematically concretized and foregrounded they both constitute and circumscribe the temporal possibilities and life world of the characters who are constrained by them

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172 can no more imagine Mrs. Bannion in the Retreat than we can Lucy Chapman in a pinafore apron cooking steak for Dave. When Dave meets Lucy, he enters lounge time the only time and spatial dimension in which Lucy Chapman appears in the film. Lucy first appears on screen in a medium shot, screen center, sitting at the bar, absent mindedly holding an empty wine glass [Fig 3 21]. She appears lost and despondent. Her face shows neither the greed nor dishonesty of which Dave will accuse her. She wears a low cut off the shoulders dress that shows a lot of skin, which soon will become La ng places the camera behind the bar, using it as a visual obstacle between the viewer represents her livelihood and the barrier between her and middle This a newspaper article from her purse and hands it to Dave. Lucy, in her role as text, passes the writing on to an authority figure. She merely functions as a transf erring vessel; she does no writing herself. The camera frames them in a medium two shot. Dave sits fairly close to Lucy, but as their conversation continues, he moves further bo urgeois smoke screen Dave erects in relation to Lucy. It also prefigures the numerous cigarette burns Vince will place on her body. The bar scene transitions with an overlap dissolve to the Duncan home. Dave decides to follow up with Bertha to ask about th e summer house in Lakeside and to

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173 between Bertha (screen left) and Dave (screen r ight) [Fig 3 n this scene because she has the more legitimate whom Dave will point to and identify as Tom Duncan, rests between Lucy and Bertha, symbolizing their rivalry. Tom inhabits th is scene as well, both present in the photograph and absent in his death. The overlap dissolve allows Lucy to linger ghost like between Bertha and Tom, and it presages her death, which will occur shortly after this meeting, and will be announced with a sce and maimed by cigarette burns before Vince Stone strangles her. window watching Dave leave to a Teletype machine pounding out the words: TTENTION: HOMICIDE DIV. shot of the police station without revealing the name of the victim, emphasizing her anonymity and unimportance. A clerk gives the Teletype printout to Dave, and the audience reads i t, along with Dave from a subjective camera angle. Colin Mc Arthur Lakeside fashion shop, allowing the viewer and Dave to puzzle out at the same time that Lucy is the unidenti death:

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174 Lang conflates image s of an on and offscreen cigarette to link the unseen images cigarette Bannion butts his cigarette in an ashtray and tells the coron er that he saw cigarette, Lang slyly suggests that Bannion is guilty for the torture and burns that Lucy experienced. (122) stop bec ause he feels guilty over patently rejecting Lucy, which contributed to her fate. Lucy fights the power structure forced upon her by standing her ground when talking to Dave; she does not buckle under his bullying. Her plan to give her story to the newspap and honest, ultimately has no positive effect on her own life. Her death does serve as a catalyst to prompt Dave to investigate the corruption of Kenport, which eventually cru mbles, but Lucy pays the ultimate price for this positive change Doris the B Girl Doris the B girl has no last name. She represents one of the many bar girls who, along with Lucy Chapman, frequents the Retreat. Vince Stone burns Doris, because she is lucky D [Fig 3 23]. Lang shoots mainly in deep focus, which allows the audience to see the exp ressions and reactions of people at the bar. Vince and Doris have money in front of gar.

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175 Obviously, she had a lucky turn of the dice, and Vince blames it on the way she picked them up. Her tone and her words indicate her deferential actions toward Vince; she appears to fear him, yet seems excited to be playing with him. The camera pushes in as Doris picks up the dice, framing the pair tighter, and cutting their hands out of frame. As she glances at Vince and licks her lips. The camera moves in tighter, building up tension writing about this scene, both Gunning and McArthur recollect that Vince had a cigarette instead of a cigar, an interesting oversight, and perhaps an almo st unconscious effort to e (Gunning 424, Mc Arthur 123, out, implying that the new throw also favors her. Vince jumps off his stool and burns 24]. Doris ye animalistic sound that signifies unbearable and unspeakable pain. Debby projects skin. Doris puts her hand to her mouth and runs to a nearby table, in a gesture resembling that of a wounded animal with an injured paw. A woman is victimized, and another woman (Debby) immediately comes to her rescue. The men behind Doris a phrase Dave uses earlier to descri be the complacent citizenry of Kenport. They watch the brutal act but take no action, which suggests either

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176 selfishness. Debby, who has the most to fear in helping Doris, takes action. Yet, she disavows this brave action and Dave ignores it as well, almost as if neither she wants to admit it nor acknowledge it. When Debby follows Dave to his hotel room in the next still when Stone burned women. It post figures his torture of Lucy and Doris and pre figures his torture of Debby. nds out in sharp contrast to the darkness of text (her words). The dichotomy of the two (visual/words) provides another example of how ambivalence encompasses the resis tance of the rejected woman. Debby does something no one else in the bar will do, yet she will not speak of doing it. Vince nervously twirls his pinky ring, visually registering his fear of Dave. The camera cuts to a shallow focus close off cries of pain

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177 he approaches Doris. He peels a few bills from his stash and throws them on the table in front of her: baby. This is for you. Get yourself something nice. No hard never looks at Vince. She alternates pressing a handkerchief to her wound then to her she mostly relies on Dave to fight her battle. Her positi on as a B girl does not give her much choice he can write on the bodies of men inscribing them with physical impairmen t and pain. Vince walks out of dark, round wound is featured on screen in the foregro und as she examines her hand [Fig 3 25]. This long shot does not draw attention to the wound, as a close up would. As a rejected woman, Doris has to compete for attention in a busy mise en scne. The viewers must have their eyes fixed on Doris to notice he r injury. Dave approaches Doris and touches her tenderly on three different parts of her body. First he puts his arm around her back. Then, he lightly takes her fingers in his hand, in a gesture reminiscent und is located precisely where such a kiss would land) and examines her injury. He gently touches her arm, stressing the ning notes that Lang added the Doris

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178 involves not grasping for air, but burning with fire, exerted primarily by the gangsters is scene registers another rejected woman as a written stoicism and her capacity to survive. Th e scene also allows for Debby to show her concern and her willingness to help another woman in need. As seen in the example of the telephone operators, and repeated here, Rejected Women in Film Noir, when given the opportunity, support each other often whe n no one else does. Debby Marsh Of all written upon rejected women in The Big Heat, Debby Marsh is writ upon most large. Debby does not begin the film as a rejected woman, but she evolves into s violent act. Debby is an interesting conglomerate of several female characters. She is sexy and alluring, but not to such an extent that men are completely entranced by her sexuality. Debby, unlike the femme fatale, does not serve as an impetus for the n does he find her sexually irresistible. She is also funny and witty, two traits not usually elaborate worshipping bow, when Lagana first call s. She tells Lagana she enjoys when perfume attracts mosquitoes and repels men. When Vince says it does not repel him, t realize the insult. She calls out Vince and Larry, in front of Lagana, for the circus animals they are, jumping through Eisner points out that D ebb

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179 sighted, and honest, even about post disfigurement. Her humor though, is passive ly aggressive, partially aimed at embarrassing Vince, which it does, and at her own self hatred for settling for Vince. She the most part, because she possesses inner st rength and the sagacity of knowing her own mind although her Dave related motivations are obvious, Debby also kills Bertha and mutilates Vince for her own reasons. Like Selma and Gaye in Key Largo, she is able to get things done the other characters, incl uding the noir hero, cannot. Admittedly, figuring Debby as a rejected woman is somewhat problematic in terms of the amount of attention her character receives. Debby is a memorable character who lacks attention neither inside the diegetic world of the film nor or outside release in Britain, Mc Arthur notes that film at came to be remembered, often by people not particularly interested in cinema, as the film in which remembered scene; however that marks Debby as a Rejected Woman of Film N oir. Debby sees her physical attractiveness as her main asset, confirmed by her constant appraisal of her looks. The violence transforms Debby in terms of the way the patriarchal society sees her. She mutates from desirable to undesirable solely because of the disfigurement of her face. This immediate transformation marks not only her body

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180 njury are the subject of extensive critical discourse. My discussion of Debby focuses on some of the smaller filmic moments involving her before, during and after her disfigurement. Although I would not define Debby as a femme fatale, the moment in the fil m when she exhibits femme fatale qualities occurs during the scene when she exits the femme fatale Gilda in the film Gilda, that, perhaps non coincidentally, stars Gle nn Ford. street in the direction of the recently departed Dave. The mise en scne resembles an up had George Bailey not been born, with its array of clubs and bars. Both streets feature er in addition to come to life under the evil despotism of a greedy, soulless monster. In Kenport, Mr. nary; he exists as Lagana. Perhaps Violet Vick would have grown up to be Debby Marsh, peeling off the world war II America, George Bailey gives way to Dave Bannion a man who lives by a violent, almost Darwinian hard edged cynicism that Bailey could never imagine. partment, confidently

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181 shot of Vince walking toward Debby. The camera pans screen left following Debby as she walks with a compact case to the mirror, revealing for the first time, the ominous pot of furiously boiling coffee. Stone sits on the couch; the coffee pot remains between them, center screen [Fig 3 26]. Their brief conversation sinisterly hints at the violence involved merely an incorrect handling of dice. What violence would he visit upon a woman he believes betrayed him by the bar owner, the customers, and Larry all wit nessed her following Dave out of the bar. face. A close up of Debby has the audience see her mirror image as she puts lipstick on an already perfectly made up mouth. She tel will soon receive. The quick flash of fear in her eyes is also visible in the mirror she realizes her mistake How would she k now what Dave thinks unless she spent time with him? As Vince peppers Debby with questions based on the information given to him by eerily auguring her own fate of bein g literally hit in the face with the coffee. Vince rises, and the camera follows him as he stands behind Debby. The coffee is featured intermittingly behind Stone, and we can see the steam rising from it, signifying its own

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182 left side of her face. Debby tells Vince that Dave dropped her off at the Gayety Club, which he knows, based up features boiling liquid penetrates the mise en scne. Stone looks screen right then left, as if looking for the source of the sound. A close up of the coffee, clearly boiling, follows. lingual enunciations. The coffee pot shot visually rhymes with the opening shot of the film. A weapon (gun/boiling coffee) appears in close up, alone on the screen. A hand reaches in, takes the weapon, followed by a sound ( gunshot /scream) indicating the act of violence as a scene of writing, the the boiling coffee scald transferred, When she reveals her scarred and deformed face to Vince at the end of the film, we see in it the ugliness and deformity visited on Kenport by La gana [Fig 3 27]. In

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183 upon texts that tell the story of Kenport and its embodies Bertha, Lang presents this act of violence as an inversion to the Tom suicide/Debby body being penetrated by the bullets and falling to the ground, on the spot, not coincidentally, where her husband earlier took his life. Debby, off camera, throws the face, Lang shoots the results of the action --and his reaction. A reverse shot of Debby shows her holding the weapon, the coffee from to the ground. Lang uses visual inversions in filming these two sets of scenes In Tom upon text (Bertha shot/Vince scalded). This inversion suggests a healing or a suturing. The emotional and physical as writer (righter) of wrongs ultimate price. And, like Selma Parker, her reward for this sacrifice is under valued. She spends her last minutes alive listening to Dave talk about his family. Even in her last minutes,

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184 Debby still helps Dave, allowing him to talk about his wife and daug hter in a therapeutic way that strengthens him. As Debby grows weaker, Dave grows stronger. Last Shot of The Big Heat Lang ends both his Film Noirs in an enigmatic way that allows for more than one ems readily available in the final determination of the women of The Blue Gardenia or The Big Heat. In The Blue metaphorical exclamation point on the text, signifying th e dominance of male power, despite female strategies of resistance. The ending of The Big Heat is even more ambivalent; its last visual image is remarkably multivalent, yet, its ultimate message confirms the patriarchal power structure as well. Why does th is film create sympathetic female characters only to destroy (or in the case of Selma Parker, profoundly disappoint) them? As written upon texts, do rejected women have any agency, or practice resistance to power paradigms? The answers to these questions a re both yes and no, and this is what makes the text so rich and complicated. It provides no easy solutions. And, this complexity carries into the last image of the film. The last scene holding an array of pencils between his fingers like an anachronistic Freddy Krueger. n the desk, as it began, with a scene of writing tied to violence. As he heads t o the door with his

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185 fades to black just as Dave exits the frame, leaving Hugo, who answ standing in the margin of the frame with a cup of hot coffee in one hand and the pencils protruding, claw like, in his other hand [Fig 3 28]. cautionary tale about the da ngers of nuclear weapons, writes: If anyone should know the ghastly effects of "coffee" (i.e., atomic radiation), it should be Bannion: it vaporized his wife and it brutally scarred the face of Debbie, the only other woman in the film about whom he cared. Given the with a sort of disgusted contempt Bannion could be read as delivering an ironic commentary on the drama we have just watched. To again reinforce the human effects of this nuclea r warfare, the film ends on a written rebus. The sign "Give Blood Now" produces the grimmest reminder that the cost[s] of the projected war are always human: the sign is the film's way of reminding us that humans bleed blood, not coffee 62). The reat in the however, because as Metz points out, people bleed blood, not coffee. The spilling of coffee releases the big heat in a way that only is made possible through the spilling of blood. gue differs from which reflects his pleasure at being back at work. These different readings may be ions in

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186 hear what we want, so that we end up finding what we went looking to find in the text, normalcy. Dave is back at his job as a sergeant, and like any ordinary day, Dave plans to have a cup of coffee. His plans are interrupted by the need to investigate a crime, job is to make sure the coffee is still hot (enjoyable) when Dave returns to the station. Reading the mise en instrument of writing, hot coffee, the specific instrument of writing used on Debby, in the this film. Hugo stands in the margin of the fra me, so his pencils and coffee do not Can a reading The Big Heat, both in terms of its forma l and discursive elements, resistance employed the rejected women -ultimately do nothing to better their own lives? I

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187 cheerfully after witnessing its baleful effects on Debby, invokes a patriarchal privilege and subjugation of women that hovers throughout the film. Gunning asks his readers: enforcer of law and order but also reminds the audience of the price paid for his ascension the written upon bodies of the rejected women in this text.

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188 Table 3 Upon Texts in The Big Heat (in chronological order ) Character as written upon text Character who writes on her body Writing Instrument Type of bodily injury as writing Does (s)he also function a s a writer on other bodies? Is Lagana indirectly responsible for injury? Is Dave indirectly responsibl e for injury? Lucy Chapman Vince Cigarette Burns Cigarette burns on skin No Yes Yes Katie Dave Larry Bomb Burns Car bomb and fire No Yes Y es Selma Parker Unknown Unknown Limited mobility of leg No No No Doris B girl Vince Cigar Burn Cigar burn on hand No No No Debby Marsh Vince Coffee Burns Scalding coffee in face AND Penetration (bullet) Yes Yes Yes Bertha Duncan D ebby Gun Penetration (bullet) No Yes Yes

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189 Table 3 Upon Texts in The Big Heat (in chronological order) Character as written upon text Character who writes on his body Writing Instrument Type of bodily writing Does (s)he als o function as a writer? Is Lagana indirectly responsible for injury? Is Dave indirectly responsible for injury? Tom Duncan Himself Gun Penetration (bullet) No Yes No Atkins Himself Syndicate Soda Obesity No Yes No Tierney Himself Syndicate Ba r Snacks Obesity No No No Larry Gordon Vince Gun Penetration (bullet) Yes No Yes Vince Stone Debby Coffee Burns Scalding coffee in face Yes No No David Bannion No One NONE NONE Yes N/A N/A Mike Lagana No One NONE NONE Yes N/A N/A

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190 Figure 3 1. Effie's gesture toward Iva, Brigid and/or Sam Figure 3 2. Crystal staring into space

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191 Figure 3 3. Crystal "rejected" by Casey Figure 3 4. Telephone Operators

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192 Figure 3 5. Rose on telephone Figure 3 6. Crystal on telephone/Sally on couch -Deep Focus

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193 Figure 3 7. Sally bounds off couch wire visible Figure 3 8. entanglement with the wire

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194 Figure 3 9. Immobility: line of switchboard operators including Sally Figure 3 10. Norah unable to entangle herself from man at elevator

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195 Figure 3 11. Mise en scne Figure 3

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196 Figure 3 Figure 3 14 bare legs

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197 Figure 3 15. Intimacy in bathroom: Sally's bare arm in mirror and Norah at sink Figure 3 16. Mise en scne: Kitchen scene opening shot: Mom, Mom and Baby

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198 Figure 3 ess of Norah Figure 3 18. Last shot of Crystal, Sally and Norah A man blocks their exit; Casey in the background

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199 Figure 3 19. Casey tossing his little black book to Sleepy Figure 3 20. Overlap

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200 Figure 3 21 First shot of Lucy Dave [screen left] approaches Lucy at the bar Figure 3 22. Lucy in overlap dissolve joins Bertha and Dave

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201 Figure 3 23. Mise en scne at the Retreat prior to public b urning of Doris' hand Figure 3 24. Vince burns Doris' hand; Debby's arm reaches into the frame

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202 Figure 3 25. Doris' burned hand. Deep focus encourages eye to focus anywhere Figure 3 26. Mise en scne: boiling coffee between Debby and Vince

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203 Figure 3 27. Debby's face as written upon text Figure 3 28. Last shot of the film Note items in Hugo's hands

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204 CHAPTER 4 THE OPTIC WHITENESS OF FILM NOIR AND REJ M NOIR The world brightens as it darkens. W.E.B. Du Bois Our whi Mama Ochobee as the Gaze in the Picture In an early scene in Key Largo, 1 as Nora and Frank secure the lines of a boat in Every Indian around here is a descendant of Mama Ochobee. She admits shoots a number of close ups of Mama Ochobee. In one, she smokes a cigarette (given to her by Frank) in which her fa ce, creased and lined, reads like a map of her life [Fig 4 1]. Her eyes stare focused at an undetermined spot, and in those eyes, one reads pain and oppression. The close up of Mama Ochobee functions like the Lacanian gaze. As the stain in the picture, she represents an encounter with the Real of racism and oppression. This close up encourages the audience to behold this woman and consider the life experiences that went into creating that extraordinary face. The close up also reinforces the pain and misfort une endured by the Wenoka family. Huston shoots their small rowboats approaching the dock from under the ropes used to tie the expensive watercraft of the white people [Fig 4 2]. A young man bails water, depicting the inadequacy of their boats, which strik 1 See Chapter Two for a summary of this film.

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205 opulent yacht. The poverty displayed by the Wenoka family becomes more conspicuous because Nora has just told Frank that Charlie is the descendant of a Seminole prince, relies on white tourists for their meager income. In these few shots, Huston suggests the colonization and oppression of Native Americans by European settlers, a theme he will thread throughout the film culminating in the wrongful shooting deaths of the Osceola brothers, Tom and Johnny. If the Seminoles represent one way the United States has gone wrong through its h e is a ruthless bully, a man who will step on anyone in his quest for wealth. Rocco, Wen okas, although he does not hesitate to complain about his position as Other. He smarts over, yet he has no empathy for the suffering of others, as judged by his abominable treatment of the Native Americans in this film. The showdown of Immigrant versus Native American is played out most acutely in the scene where Rocco tells Sheriff Wade that the Osceola brothers murdered Sawyer, which eventually leads to the Osceola brother the word of another white man (who is a stranger to him) and automatically assumes the Native Americans are guilty. l prominence (the close ups of Mama Ochobee) and discursive elements (the sub plot of the Osceola

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206 brothers) people other than Caucasians. Films of the classic Noir cycle are, in many ways, films about white people doing dark things in dark places. Manthia Diawara th relentless cinematography of chiaroscuro and moral focus on the rotten souls of white folks constantly though obliquely invoked the racial dimension of this figural play of by the black deeds of white people, which marginalizes people of co lor [here I am stretching a bit in including all non relation to how Film Noir utilizes non whites] in two ways: First, black is associated with evil, and second, white bodies usurp both colors, leaving n on whites out of the picture for the most part, or reducing non whites to marginal roles. In this chapter, I will analyze three aspects of how non white bodies function in Film Noir. First, non white bodies white women are practically non existent in Film Noir almost as if the film cycle erases their existence. Third, non white feminization. I also address the problem of compa ring non white men to white women. The Optic Whiteness of Film Noir The Invisible Man, the eponymous hero spends a short time working at the Liberty Paint Factory after he is expelled unjustly from college. At Liberty Paints, he l

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207 go to as white as po associa tions of that word with the eye and ways of seeing. We use an optical device to better see. Optic also refers biologically to the function of seeing the eye operates with the way of seeing is dominated by whiteness. The notion that a few drops of black help to non whites to further their own cultural projects as well as increase their col onial wealth. Roland Barthes explores this idea in Mythologies in which he deconstructs the image of colonizing influence. In that cover of Paris Match, the picture of the bl ack soldier works to make the magazine more white (116 paint. Using Optic White paint as an analogy for Film Noir, we ca n see the way this cycle of films feature a few non white characters, whose sparse appearance in Film Noir paint. Their appearance in Film Noir only serves to make it m ore white. The Film Noir white people. African y Paint Factory,

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208 non white people seem to exist in the basement of Film Noir, emerging only long enough to reinforce the whiteness of the society they inhabit. This phenomenon is seen discussed by James Naremore, Jans Wager and Philip Wegner. The white noir character co scenes of white noir heroes frequenting African American night clubs, such as Jeff M maid Eunice in a New York City jazz club ( Out of the Past, Kiss Me Deadly hor for the white black bodies get lost in the sea of white bodies, which work to make the American culture portrayed in Film Noir more white. Manthia Diawara and Eric Lott argue that African Americans in Film Noir make white people black by associating African American characters with crimes committed by white characters. This argument is the inverse of mine: I argue that Film Noir makes black people white; whereas they believe that F ilm Noir makes white people black. play oppresses non white (263). Film Noirs made by black people, or as Diaw ara calls them in the title of his and crime by turning these films through their own control as makers into something positive a form of film that shows how Western society oppresses black people and

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209 and the light shed on them is meant to render them visible, not white. In a broader sense, black film noir is a light (as in da ylight) registering black people of Film Noir as invisible echoes my own thesis that rejected woman characters are invisible. This invisibility is a common trait which ties these two character types together and is, I will argue, conflated in the way Film Noir turns black and non signify the shadows of white American Richard Dyer discusses how o ften white people do not view films as being about white people when only white people populate the screen: if invisibility of whiteness colonises the definition of other norms class, gender, heterosexuality, nationality and so on it also masks whiteness as itself a category. whiteness secures white power by making it hard, course, also makes it hard to analyse. It is the way that black people are marked as black (are not just relatively easy to analyze their representation, whereas white people not there as a category and everywhere everything as a fact are difficult, if not impossible, to analyse qua white. (46) opti colonization process. These Othered people work in order to enrich the dominant structure. The one Film Noir that does not seem to make this move is Key Largo. The plot of the film does not turn upo n the inclusion of the Tom and Johnny Osceola sub plot or these scenes involving the Native Americans demonstrates the negative effects of post villain mistreats the Seminoles by denying them entrance

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210 into the hotel. Huston features a shot of them huddled, cold, wet, and frightened on the porch metaphorically represents the relationship between the white immigrants and the indigenous peoples that scene in which the sheriff automatically takes the word of a white stranger that the Osceola brothers murdered Sawyer, when he, like Mr. Temple, has known the Osceola brothers their entire lives and knows they are not violent, demonstrates the racist society at work. The film presents this subplot in a way that laments racism and shows the violence it visits on non white people. Still, the film can be read to suggest some inculcating of the racist involving the Seminoles, the background music plays a stereotypical Native American tribal type of music, whi ch appears patronizing and condescending. of their colonized condition that ultimately proves fatal to them. Unlike other Film Noirs, the non white people in Key Largo do not s erve to make the white Noir hero cooler. They exist on some part to show the compassion of Mr. Temple. Nevertheless, the film Osceola brothers. He shows concern for Gaye wh en he believes Curly hurts her, he shows love and sorrow in relation to his dead son, and he is kind to Frank. Overall, the film shows the Native Americans in a way does not make them appear as stereotypical

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211 one dimensional characters, nor do they exist so lely to bolster the image of whites. Another way, formally, that Huston encourages the audience to identify with these characters is through the assignment of camera time and close up shots. Robert Stam and Louise Spence argue that affording close ups and camera time to characters allows the audience to identify with them. They discuss how Hollywood Westerns often depict features a scene in which the white cast is surrounded by a hostile Native American presence. Stam and S pence also explain how The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966) undermines this standard paradigm by suturing the film through the use of close ups, point of view and camera time. The close ups of Mama Ochobee, and the medium shots of the Osceola brothers [Fig 4 3], develop audience sympathies with these characters. In contrast to Key Largo, most Film Noirs use non color. Dan Flory belie films based on classic Film Noirs. The main difference among the approaches of Flory, Lott and Diawara is that Flory sees something positive in the classic Film Noir, namely the way it uses sub versive tactics to highlight the experience of the marginalized film noir hero. Where Diawara and Lott see darkness in the classic Film Noir cycle, Flory sees a potential positive influence in terms of subverting white power structures in place. Flory cont ends that contemporary African American filmmakers work in relation to

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212 the tradition of Film Noir and how it deals with heroes who feel marginalized and trapped by society. They take these feelings of entrapment and marginalization to films in which the African American heroes experience marginalization due to race tensions and prejudice. Classic Noir has a subversive viewers knowledge and perspectives meant to change how they believe, think, perceive fantasyland (quoting Charles W. Mills) that undergirds white dominance and social whites from perceiving reality and effects of their own beliefs concerning racial American male sc holars, each in his own way, are looking for ways to understand how African Americans function in both the classic Film Noir cycle and presently, in Neo Noirs made by African American filmmakers. Their different positions on how power circulates in these t exts in relation to marginality parallel the power related issues that plague the Rejected Woman in Film Noir: namely her invisibility, her lack of mobility and agency, and use of her body as a few drops of estrogen seems to work to make Film Noir more male. What happens when Film Noir conflates these drops? When, for example, Film Noir attempts to oppress male non white bodies by feminizing them? Quite often, non white men end up occupying t he same position as

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213 the Rejected Woman of Film Noir. The film renders him invisible 2 (formally and discursively) despite his invaluable contributions to the noir hero, and immobile. His position as written riarchy wishes to place upon him. Othered Persons in Film Noir Many scholars have discussed scenes involving non white actors in Film Noir. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder 1944) proves that non white characters function hours in the darkened Pacific All Risk Insurance Company office building tended almost wholly by black janitors and custodians, Neff now inhabits the racial space Double Indemnity constantly links he first hatches the plot to murder Mr. Dietrichsen), to the use of Charlie as an alibi, the film fetters Afric illustrates this point using a scene from In A Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray 1950) signifies Steel and otherwise abused; Steele atones by sending his black double with white (and characters, Jeff Markham ( O ut of The Past ) and Mike Hammer (Kiss Me Deadly) are 2 James Naremore p (239 40).

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214 infused with coolness and hipness by visiting nightclubs in which all the patrons are African American: that he resembles what Kiss Me Deadly. when we first meet Hammer, he is listening to Nat King Cole on the radio; later, we discover that he is a regular customer at an all black j azz club, where his friendship with a black singer (Madi Comfort) and a black bartender (Art Loggins) helps to indicate his essential hipness. (241) stereotypes that blacks are closer to their bodies than whites [a prejudice also applied to white Negro. The White Negro then, usurp s whatever physical enjoyment he believes African American men have access to which the white Caucasian is denied. The white Negro enters into a sensual pleasures and get ting nothing in return. It mimics the parasitic relationship of most colonial arrangements. Jans Wager notes that flourish, a close up of a black horn player hitting a raucous high note before moving in to white male characters in Film Noir, also appears in an early scene in Kiss Me Deadly. 3 Aldrich 3 See Chapter Five for a summary of this film.

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215 opens a long take with an unusual shot from behind a punching bag. An African American man featured in medium shot punches the bag. His eyes focus solely on the bag, indicating the intense concentration the sweet science demands [Fig 4 4]. This dramatic opening of an African American man operating an instrument essential to his voc ation is similar to the shot in Out of the Past in which Tourneur features an African American trumpeter in medium close African American males in medium close ups puts them center stage, if only for a brief m oment. This boxer in Kiss Me Deadly like the trumpeter, remains unnamed. the space of a nightclub/boxing gym to do his job, yet at the same time, these scenes increase both men pictures the boxer in front of a wall of newspaper stories about boxers these stories promote boxers the same way the appearance of the boxer promotes the hipness or coolness of the film. During this same shot, a young African American man wearing a zoot suit, which has its own significant cultural code, 4 walks in front of the camera, and the camera follows him, with his back to the screen, as he heads toward a flight of stairs. As the man goes down the stairs, he passes Mike heading up them. The camera picks up Mike, and the shot continues tracking Mike through the gym. He passes the man hitting the punching bag (who we now see is coached by a white trainer) and 4 Mexican and African American men wore zoot suits as a form of protest in defiance of the War 551). Although the zoot suit controversy was over ten years old at the time Kiss Me Deadly was made,

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216 heads over to his friend, E ddie, a boxing promoter. The tracking shot establishes that an older African American man, has a large phallic looking cigar in his mouth, and he talks to Mike about hi plays with the id the Freudian limp in his mout h when Mike asks him if he ever knew a fighter named Lee Kowalsky. Although this boxing club scene works mostly to prove Mike is a cool hipster, it does exhibit subtle clues that suggest resistance, such as the zoot suit, the black man phallic cigar. In addition, we can re one that borrows on a similar trope of car as sign of oppression in an earlier film, Noir film The Letter (1940) Aldrich composes a shot in which Nick appears with his own broken 5]. This shot highlights the schism that often occurs in an oppressive culture. A new expensive sports car symbolizes the rich white man while an old junk heap jalopy symbolizes the non white, who has less acces s to economic prosperity.

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217 This shot is reminiscent of The Letter in which Ong Chi Seng drives away in his the social injustice and inequality in the distribution of wea lth. At first, we see the large expensive cars of the white lawyers [Fig 4 6]. We hear a motor start, and we assume that Ong owns one of these cars. We then see Ong driving out from among these large cars in his small jalopy [Fig 4 7]. This series of shots occurs immediately after Ong has informed his boss, Howard Joyce, that he will receive $2,000, or a 20% cut of the $10,000 blackmail money that Ong and his friends squeezed out of Leslie Crosbie in order to keep her murderous secret she killed her lover b ecause he left her for an against the racial oppression suffered by non whites in his city (Singapore). His car Kiss Me Deadly. me seething, just below the surface with an intense anger, signifies his outrage over the colonization of Singapore and the way the law bends to protect whites. The film is ambivalent about Ong; he is a loathsome blackmailer, yet it also encourages the audience to enjoy his private glee of getting the better of the white people who have colonized Singapore and who, literally get away with murder. By showi ng Ong driving motives are justified. By juxtaposing Nick between the two vehicles, one deficient, one exquisite, Aldrich too, visually reinforces the dichotomy of rich/pr ivileged white vs.

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218 Nick colludes with the dominant power structure and even loses his life in his quest to help Mike. Nick dies in part because he wants to be like Mike, and this includes having a car like Mike. The film implies that non whites who buy into the white power structure noir film, in which beating the white man at his own game is a thrill ing and winning proposition. On aligns him with the Rejected Women of Film Noir. Certainly, the film solidly illustrates m by having his death serve as the ultimate form of immobility he gets pinned under a car. He dies while working at his unglamorous job as car mechanic. Yet, Nick differs from the rejected woman prototype in that self sacrifice does not motivate him. While Nick, like the rejected woman desires the noir hero (see my argument below), Nick, unlike the female rejected woman character, also wants to be Mike and possess what Mike has (a glamorous life and an expensive car). Othered Women In Film Noir Scholars are mixed on whether or not the subjugated position of women and African American men warrants a comparison between the two. Lott talks about the that more attention nee ds to be paid to race (544). In contrast, E. Ann Kaplan sees a three groups share similar structure in relation to kinds of difference. That is, Hollywood puts different kinds of difference into the same position

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219 vis vis the imaginary white center all white people, and that oppression occurs even in groups that oppress others, such as white men oppressing white women. Hazel Carby will counter this argument (see below) by asserting that some white women oppress people of color, so for Carby the distinction of white center (men) and white women (margin) is unrelated to the situation of minorities. Diawara believes that formalist criticism used by feminism and Marxism formalist perspective, a film is noir if it puts into play light and dark in order to exci te a of familiar devices, feminist criticism [and Marxist criticism] exposes attempt nt agency, their self white woman black through the ir depiction of evil, but also through their invisibility black on black cannot be seen, and is therefore, invisible. If Film Noir depicts white women as black, it also paints non white men black by putting them in the position of the feminine in general and at times, specifically, in the position of the (white) Rejected Woman in Film Noir. Of course, as Carby points out, this alignment leaves non white women entirely out of the picture, which is problematic. She urges the white woman to argument, yet she does not instruct black men to do the same. Scholars Diawara, Flory, and Lott focus their concern on the ways race plays out in relation to

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220 black men in Film Noir. Rarely do they mention black women. 5 What these male scholars are finding albeit in slightly different ways, (Diawara does not see the subversive quality of Film Noir that Flory does) is that classic Film Noir provides motivation and inspiration for African American male filmmakers to tell stories about the African American (m ainly urban) male experience. In putting forth the argument that African American men (along with other non white males) assume the position of the white Rejected Woman in Film Noir, I am, in essence, repeating this same aporia in relation to non white wom en. Like Kaplan, however, I do see similarities between white women and Othered males, because Film Noir feminizes or neuters Othered males to reduce their potential masculine threats. This feminization may result in their assuming the role of the femme fa Noir. I want to acknowledge that I am aware in making this comparison, that I am leaving non white women out of this equation. The comparison of experiences of oppression between white women and non white men is apt in that both white men oppress both groups. woman putting it in the singular, she wants to make her appeal personal. She addresses each and every white woman as an individual, not as a collective group. She reminds white must also realize that issues of race, gender and class are at play as well, and the experience of oppression is mul tivalent. Carby writes: 5 Diawar A Rage in Harlem) (274).

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221 the her story of black women is interwoven with that of white women but this does not mean that they are the same story. Nor do we need white feminists to write our herstory for us, we can and are doing that for ourselves. However, w hen they write their herstory and call it the story of women but ignore our lives and deny their relation to us, that is the moment in which they are acting within the relations of racism and writing his tor y ( original emphasis). (223) Bell hooks echoes thi dismissing racial identity while the oppressed race is made daily aware of their racial identity. It is the dominant race that can make it seem that their experience is hite women then, when writing about feminism, isolate the experience as only a white experience? Might that create the conundrums suggested by involves the activation of ther apies which evolved within white culture to psychopathological conditions made possible by the colonialism and imperialism of that culture ? because whiteness is defined in terms of a universal norm, which makes delineating its doxes: Whiteness takes on a different semiotic value in texts produced from within a black culture which feels no imperative to define it as non specificity. [but] there is nothing essential about the racial identity of the white woman, nor is there anything in it to embrace or to invest with pride. There

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222 white racial identity at this particul ar historical moment is to align oneself universal norm, we could possibly be feeding into a system that colonizes the norm. nt illustrates this very conundrum facing the white feminist theorist. She worries that this identity with white roots could foreclose men writing on feminism, heterosexuals writing about homosexuality, whites writing about blacks, etc. Such a positi on threatens to collapse together experience, discourse, and ontology by transforming every type of writing before each use of woman in white feminists texts. The situation inste ad calls for a reexamination and reevaluation of the concept of experience in The non identity of whiteness makes it difficult to assert a position of being white, or making a film about white people. If Film Noir is defined as films about white people, would this statement be considered exclusionary, instead of it meaning that historically, almost all films of the Film Noir cycle feature white characters? By arguing that films about white people exist, does this gesture help break down the colonization of the norm to which Dyer refers, 6 or does it further inscribe exclusion? One of the problems of the gesture consigning the black woman in women in film, like the Rejected Woman in Film Noir, already are invisible, then my calling this trope the White Rejected Woman i n Film Noir only marginalizes non white 6 everything and nothing, i s the source of its representational power. On the one hand white domination ting the makers of the film Being White (45).

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223 women further, putting them in the impossible position of the more invisible than invisible. In other words, continually reminding readers that this trope consists of white women implies a centrality of whiteness tha t needs to be deconstructed, not reinscribed. Carby does not address the issue of black men documenting their own experiences with oppression and leaving out black women, yet she does speak very sharply about the way white feminists have left out the black does she adequately provide a space where white women can write in such a way that they are simultaneously non exclusionary and non racist. It seems that every step the white woman takes, she steps in a puddle of racism that many times, even with her best efforts to avoid it, lands right in its middle, which for many white feminists is a painful and sorrowful place to be. For example, I notice The Blue Gardenia were readily available, so she could not return to the film or to a website that would give her film credits information. O r, perhaps Kaplan is not a music aficionado, and her ack jazz artists, linked in the popular imagination with loose sexuality and drug abuse. Otherness is encoded into the music

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224 eventually moving toward connotations of murder and 9). The song never attaches to Norah, and it never becomes her leitmotif, because, as Gabbard anchored more to supposed guilt than to Norah her Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, or Hazel Scott, who could perform in these locales African Americans in films of the 40s and 50s resulted from social activists insisting the black characters be other than stereotypes, which resulted in the influx of African instead of cooks or mammies and black men becom e musicians and sophisticated well dressed customers instead of porters or servants, although many still worked as waiters read as a positive sign, the appearance of Afr ican Americans in nightclubs also can be read as perpetuating a type of oppression. Black chanteuses like Hadda Brooks in In A Lonely Place and Madi Comfort in Kiss Me Deadly both conform to white ideals of beauty. Both women possess light skin and have Eu shows anger at this rudeness, but she receives no apology or acknowledgement for this disrespect.

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225 Madi Comfort is subjected to even more disrespect than Brooks in Kiss Me Deadly 7 express. Aldrich claims the way Comf ort held the microphone in this scene caused more trouble with the censors than any other part of the film (Silver and Ursini, quoted in sexuality in the film. The micro phone is phallic (at one point its shadow reflects on her skin) [Fig 4 8], and Comfort caresses the microphone in sexually charged way. This hyper sexuality crosses the race line to all women in the film, such as the opening shot sexual come on to Hammer. Aldrich shoots Comfort in close up for fourteen seconds, and moves to a long shot, which he intersperses with reaction shots of Mike watching her and shots of Mik not appear overly sexual in the close up, but in the long shots, she caresses the instrument and puts it very close to her mouth, connoting fellatio [Fig 4 9]. This scene also contains con tinuity errors. The two reactions shots of Mike do not her, she appears to be seated at a piano and her mouth is not moving [Fig 4 10]. Of course, in reality, her mou th does not produce the sounds it makes, because she is lip synching, so this mis matching make be a sly joke on that account. The off kilter reaction of seeing the character standing/singing in direct shots, and sitting/not singing in the shots of her in mirror that take place in the same diegetic time of the film is 7 Jans Wager reports that Jazz singer Kitty White provided the actual vocals; Madi Comfort lip synched

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226 main audience, wh ite people, will not really be paying attention to this scene, so the error will go noticed and not worth the re shooting required to fix it. The fact that the error can only be read (seen) in the mirror signifies the kind of backwards world the mirror pro see the real Velda at first, but then realize we only see her mirror image.) The error in the mirror signifies the inverted and contorted reality that Film Noir reflects to its a udience in its absence of non white bodies. The chanteuse and the bartender have close ups and these characters are portrayed as theory of spectator suturing, these for mal choices help the audience identify with these characters. 8 The bartender gently wakes him out of his drunken stupor, and the the news that Velda has been kidnapped. This scene, along with the one in the boxing gym, indicates the film wants to be inclusive, as neither of these scenes mentions race. use of Nat Cole applies to Kiss Me Deadly plays on the radio during the opening credits as Mike and Christina ride into the the white audience that this film wil l be about sex and murder. And in the end, this bar 8 See the discussion on colonial suturing discussed earlier in this chapter.

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227 scene reinforces Mike as a hipster who is welcome in all places; his being the only white patron in the Pigalle gives him a patina of cool. Film Noir rarely in cludes non white men. When these men appear, often they exist, as previously discussed, to give the noir hero street credibility or hipness. Other times, when not used to amp the street credibility of the Noir hero, non white men exist in positions similar to those occupied by women in Film Noir, such as the rejected woman. These men mirror the rejected women position in their low status occupations, the feminization of their appearance, and the neutering of their sexual desire. Occasionally, as in the case of Selma Parker in The Big Heat, they undergo a total sex change, turning from black male into white woman. The information Selma gives Bannion was originally supplied by a non physically challenged African American male character named Ashton in the nove l by William P. McGivern (Mc Arthur 13, Metz 49). The original screenplay by Sidney Boehm included the physically challenged Selma, but extensive changes to the script, transfo cracking disabled woman and finally, to the stoic Selma speaks to the equation made by the adaptation of the novel: African Ameri can man equals physically challenged woman. This equation not only aligns the position of black men and white women, but also implies that blacks are less than whole (the physical challenge serving as a metaphor for less able). In the case of The Big Heat, the African American male presence was not neutered but completely erased. Other non white male characters, are not erased, but become invisible in the way Rejected (White) Women of Film Noir do.

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228 Nat King Cole and the Unnamed Waiters in The Blue Gardenia In The Blue Gardenia, the non white men at the restaurant are feminized in their appearances. Their low status occupations, as lounge performers and waiters mirror the unglamorous jobs of the three female rejected women characters. The desire of these Othe red male characters is neutered or cut off, which also ties them to the rejected lizard extraordinaire in the Blue Gardenia restaurant. Immediately after Prebble purchases a blue gardenia corsage camera shifts to a long shot of Nat King Cole at the piano, accompanied by three additional African American men on guitar, violin and upright bass [Fig 4 11]. During the song, the camera stays primarily on Cole, holding him mostly in medium shot with no feminized by the lei of flowers around his neck, as are the members of the band. The positioning o f a mirror above Cole, suggests the double consciousness 9 of the African American experience, which is further highlighted by a long shot of the exclusively white audience clapping and smiling. The mirror reflects the back of Cole, the side he does not pre sent to his audience. The mirror completely exposes him to the audience, leaving no place of privacy while on stage. The mirror allows the diegetic and the non diegetic audience full access to Cole, putting him doubly on stage. Lang cuts away from Cole onl 9 I refer to the The Souls of Black Folk: peculiar sensation, this double d that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One every feels his two ness, an American, a Negro: Two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideas in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn

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229 blue gardenia o n his piano. In the last chorus of the song, Cole stands and sings to the flower itself, an hour/What more can I tell?/Love bloomed like a flower/Then the petals fell and tam ed (and burned) by lye, reinforcing how he had to conform to white ideals of physical appearance. The feminization of Cole and the band shows the changes black performers had to undergo s away from that Mailer describes as available to African American men. Instead, the end of his song. the waiters and bartender also function as rejected women characters. When Norah enters the Blue Gardenia restaurant, she speaks with the and tells him she is

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230 Ong in The Letter table indicates his co opting the power struc ture that denies non white men the status of being men. The term boy infantilizes the man, stripping him of sexual agency that comes with adulthood. The film displays repressed sexuality or neutering of non white males in the scene that begins with Prebble fountain) and ends on Casey at the bar. The Asian bartender greets Prebble by calling signifies the potency of (white) male sexuality, as these two wolves prepare to hunt: Prebble looks forward to his encounter as he finishes his conversation with Joe the b artender. After Prebble leaves, Joe Prebble (and Casey), the black book of the white man captivates him. He wants to enjoy the valorized status of the white males of the film, and he can only accomplish this enjoyment by proxy. Because Joe is coded as a Pacific Islander, through his physical

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231 appearance and his accent, these reference codes suggest the history of the plantation. I am thinking of the system in Hawaii in particular, in which the white plantation bosses pitted the various minority groups against each other (such as Korea ns, Chinese, Japanese, Native Hawaiians and Filipinos,) and further encouraged them to create their own racialized hierarchies among themselves in order that they become so busy antagonizing each other, that they do not notice they all suffer exploitation from their dominant white bosses. Joe, in his willingness, to co opt the subjugation of women despite his own oppression, operates under a sort of sexualized plantation mentality. 10 He also attempts to identify with the dominant category of white men by sug gesting he is one of them in that he, like them, objectifies women. Joe participates in the Othering of the Other in which one minority group (non white men) oppresses another minority group (women). Joe, unlike the other members of the wait staff does not wear a lei, although he wears a similar, highly stylized shirt. This de flowering of him further expresses his t lower than the maitre d, who wears a suit and tie. Joe hopes that by co opting the ways of the white male, he will gain power in a society that uses him through his own prejudices, (his objectification of women, for example) to divide and conquer people in the minority. book are punctuated by the black mark of the film stock [Fig 4 12], indicating the changing of the film reel. This black mark, however, also represents, per haps, 10 All I Asking for is my Body describes this plantation phenomenon in depth.

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232 unconsciously, the black mark placed on women and non white men, whether through co opting Othered men to colonize women, or metaphorically as the dot at the end of book has a code that uses exclamation points). The black mark reminds the audience that both the bodies of women and non white men are marked by male white privilege. blo nd woman approaching the bar. Casey leaves the bar and heads to the phone booth occupation (like the telephone operators in this film) lacks the mobility of Casey. He only can watch Casey, along with the audience, as the camera follows Casey, leaving Joe behind. Nick in Kiss Me Deadly 13] that strongly resembles a scarf that Velda wore in an earlier sce ne [Fig 4 14]. This visual repetition ties Velda and Nick together as (feminine) playmates for Mike, who flirts with and sexually teases both of these characters throughout the film. Like Velda, Nick functions as a Rejected Woman in Film Noir. First, he ha s a low paying, menial job (like Selma in The Big Heat and Norah, Crystal and Sally in The Blue Gardenia) Second, the noir hero uses him to further his own personal gain (like Mike does with Velda; Mike flirts and teases both Nick and Velda shamelessly to get what he wants). Third, Nick The Big Heat and Gaye in Key Largo), and Nick dies in his efforts to help the noir hero achieve success (like Debby Marsh and Lucy Chapman in The Big Hea t). Like Debby, the noir hero, who

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233 scene, he greets Mike with unbridled joy. Mike repeats the gesture he just enacted earlier with Pat: he takes the cigarettes out of tries to inject robust male heterosexuality into this scene by telling Mike that the way to up a couple of cute little Greek gi rls! You know what I mean? Va va va may appear to be a random exclamation, but it needs unpacking for the various ways it codes Nick as feminine and Other. Firs va century. It often was used to signify the presence of a sexually Crime Commission describes Velda va fetters him to the feminine in that it becomes a way for characters to identify Nick. Velda va position as a person of Me derogatory term for people of Mediterranean descent, usually referring to persons of Italian or Greek heritage. A.I. Bezzerides the screenwriter, being of Greek heritage probably had familiarity with th is slur, and his giving Nick this odd signature phrase, represented by the primary characters of the film.

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234 f Nick occurs in car scene, where he his apartment complex, stopping him just in time. Mike sa one of the two bombs Evello planted in the car. After Mike assures Nick the car is safe, nse regarding his incomplete grasp of his masculinity, By using the term moustache, a metonym for the male body, to describe masculine identity that is constantly being stripped away from him by Mike, either through his orders, or his attempt to feminize Nick by protecting him. Lott writes that th the Greekness of his yammering friend Nick, va like the automobiles with which the so does not indicate the feminization of Nick, or the homo erotic nature of their interactions.

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235 Mike tells Nick he can have Mik worth to him? What warning sounds like a parent man. The conversation has strange undertones, suggesting the relationship between Mike and Nick parallels that of Mike and Velda the sexual user and the sexually used. The unusual composition of the shot, in which Sammy and Nick are shot in close up, occupying an enclosed frame creates a claustrophobic and ominous mood [Fig 4 15]. The exaggerated facial gestures of Nick, especially his mouth in the way he pronounces one of his signature phrase th roughout the film: Voom Voom point, appearing as if he either holds his breath (a presaging of the way his breath will soon escape his body when he is crushed to death) or suggests his mouth is full perhaps insinuating, metaphoricall y, his sexually servicing Mike, which would give the stands in for the act of fellatio: The Voom Voom requires a humming or vibrating action of the mouth, followed by the o rgasmic Pow! This metaphorical act of fellatio is bolstered by the visual provided through the overlap dissolve which transitions from a with puffed cheeks, in the sam 16]. Although this framing may have been unconscious, Aldrich battled the censors throughout the making of this film, and for these reasons, Aldrich may have included shots, such as this one, that are open to be interpreted as sexually explicit acts. The AFI

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236 reports that a series of letters between Aldrich and PCA official Geoffrey Shurlock, dating from September 1954 through May 1955, chronicled the difficulty involved in getting the film approved by the PCA AFI ). Perhaps Aldrich included scenes that could be interpreted as highly suggestive as a of Madi Comfort and her microphon e have sexual overtone involving fellatio, so why ammer's fear, then, is not just a fear of women but of the woman (the feminine) in himself, and of Therefore, Mike acts out in sadistic ways as a means of occulting his own fears of his fear of homosexuality is so great that it is suggesting the two men bond over the fears about his latent sexuality are quelled by his relationship with Nick because he powerful than he (36). Lang uses the fact that Mike takes a package of cigarettes out of makes sense, it does not

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237 cigarettes off hi s body, the cigarette often read as a phallic symbol, becomes one more Noir.

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238 Figure 4 1. Close up of Mama Ochobee Figu re 4 2. Wenoka boat passing under lines of Temple boat

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239 Figure 4 3. Medium Shot of the Osceola Brothers Figure 4 take at the boxing gym

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240 Figur e 4 5. Juxtaposition of Nick's car and Mike's fancy sports car Figure 4 6. Ong appears to own a fancy car

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241 Figure 4 7. Yet, he drives out from among them in an old jalopy Fi gure 4 8. Comfort with phallic reflection on her chest

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242 Figure 4 9. Comfort in Long Shot Figure 4 10 Mis match of Comfort in the mirror

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243 Figure 4 11. Mise en scne: Nat King Cole and band Figure 4 12. Casey and Joe at the bar and the black mark hanging over the two of them

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244 Figure 4 13. Velda's neckerchief ties her to Nick Figure 4 14. Nick's neckerchief ties him to Ve lda

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245 Figure 4 15. Claustrophobic close up of Nick and Sam Figure 4 16. Homoerotic potential of this overlap dissolve

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246 CHAPTER 5 IN FILM NOIR: THE OB CTED WOMEN face in little bits. Damn you to hell. Wherever phones are ringing, a ghost resides in the receiver Friedrich Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter Lacan: the Gaze of the Sardine Can and Petit Jean Seminar XI, Lacan illustrates the concept that objects see us through his famous anecdote of the sardine can. Lacan desperately to get away, see something different, throw myself into something practical, day while waiting to pull in the nets, one of the men, Petit Jean pointed out a sardine can floating on th Jean was very amused by his joke, as were the other men, but Lacan was not. The incident provided an epiphany for the young Lacan on two fronts. First, he realized Petit Jean said to me, namely that the can did not see me, had any meaning, it was because in a sense, it was looking at me, all the same. It was looking at me at the level of the point o f light, the point at which everything looked at Lacan represented an encounter with the Real. Lacan realized that these

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247 fishermen lived difficult, and in many cases, sho rt lives. He tells us that Petit Jean died young of tuberculosis, as did most of his family members. The fishermen were poor, and their daily excursions on the sea involved life and death struggles, in contrast to Lacan, a wealthy, healthy, and bored young intellectual, looking for adventure. Lacan realized that he was out of place in the picture that was this fishing expedition; he was 96). Lacan ends the story here, but if we unpack this short anecd ote, we see the foundation of his thesis regarding the gaze. The sardine can, in essence, looks at both Petit Jean and Lacan and gives each of them a discrete message that is both pleasurable and terrifying simultaneously. The gaze for Petit Jean of the sa rdine can be because it reminds him (although probably unconsciously) of his harsh and difficult life. s enjoyable in that he experiences this thrilling robust adventure that takes him out of the classroom, but also terrifying because he sees phoniness in his pursuits. He can walk away any time these other men cannot. He realizes life can be short, difficul t and brutal. This short they do surface, they can provide us with the dual experiences of fascination and terror, although only one of these emotions may be consciously available to us. Also, like Petit Jean and Lacan, we each experience the gaze individually based on our disparate life experiences: where I see a gaze; you may not and vice versa. The gaze that the object throws our way registers as objet petit a the objec t cause of our desire.

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248 Rejected Women of Film Noir and Encounters with the Lacanian Gaze In The Blue Gardenia, 11 the telephone has a gaze. It looks at the women in the The Blue Garden ia holds both terror and fascination. An image of Norah from the film perfectly captures this dichotomy [Fig 5 cuts between Norah and the telephone. In the second cut, the phone is larger in the frame, accentuating its power and the psychological claustrophobia Norah feels. She does not want to answer it, but she feels compelled to pick up the phone. The look on her face captur es her terror she looks as though the phone is alive and that it will leap at least metaphorically, to bite her through its gaze and its ability to facilitate an encou nter with the Real. What Norah fears in the ringing telephone is her own death. She fears the police are calling because they have figured out she is the Blue Gardenia murderess. They will arrest her and she will subsequently be charged, tried, convicted a that refusal, it brings the rejection of the man she wants desperately to call he r. Her lover has promised to call at 5 pm. It is now 7 pm and she has received no call. The despair. 11 See Chapter Three for a summary of the film.

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249 In this chapter, I look at how the gaze functions as the stain or sp ot in the picture Seminar XI. The first part of the chapter looks at how objects function as the gaze in relation to rejected women. I look at many objects from The Blue Gardenia: an oyster fountain, a whirlpool, and a hamburger to make an argument that the gaze of these three objects indicate that Prebble rapes Norah and she is pregnant with his child. Next, in Kiss Me Deadly, I examine how a magazine cover functions as the gaze, and how this gaze can play out in both the Real and Imaginary registers. I return to the telephone in The Blue Gardenia to make an imaginary leap that requires us to suspend our disbelief and imagine the telephone possesses the ability to gaze into the future. Also the gaze of these object s reinforces my thesis that Rejected Women of Film Noir represent an ambivalent location of power in relation to the patriarchy. As seen is the preceding chapters, often the rejected woman resists the authority that binds her, but ultimately, her efforts f ail her. I use the theory of the Lacanian gaze, as covered in Chapter One. The objects studied in this chapter symbolize the pain/pleasure paradigm that is the Rejected Woman in Film Noir. She is oppressed (pain) but she rebels (pleasure). I argue that in the end, pain has the advantage, and by reading the way objects gaze at the audience, we can see that these objects show us the same result: the two Rejected Women I discuss in this chapter, Norah and Velda, both face an encounter with trauma the Real. Exa mple One: The Oyster Fountain as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia: The connections from oyster to pearl to the female body (the pearl symbolizes both a clitori

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250 social relationship with a man. When her fianc rejects her, she moves on immediately to another man, Prebble, 12 indicating the social pressure she feels in being a woman u nattached to a man. Norah, like other Rejected Women in Film Noir, gets things done by launching a counter attack on Prebble that allows her to escape from him, but not before, I will argue, she undergoes horrific trauma. The strangeness of the oyster foun into her hellish nightmare with Prebble. Prebble calls to ask out Crystal. He has read her entendres she throws his way as they flirt at the te lephone company. Norah answers the call meant for Crystal and accepts a date. By inviting who he assumes to be Crystal to join him immediately, instead of following the protocol of calling and asking for a date in the future, Prebble is, in essence, inviti ng her out so they can have sex. Crystal would have understood the subtext of this invitation, ithout telling him she is not Crystal. When questioned by Sally, Norah mysteriously tells her she has product of the many mystery novels she reads. After Norah leaves, she reads Nor from Sally to a close 2]. This shot underlines that Prebble is also confirms the 12 The sexual fluidity of the text suggested in the lesbian desire of Crystal is enforced further by the cast ing of Burr, a homosexual, as the hyper and Prebble open the text to a queer reading, that is, as I mentioned in Chapter Three, beyond the scope of this project.

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251 novels. Prebble also lives in the Imaginary he lives in a fantasy world where he is a encounter with the Real, a Tuch when Rose attacks him later that evening, and he facilitates a Tuch for Norah in his attack upon her. Prebble waits for Norah at The Blue Gardenia restaurant. He gives the waiter through the restaur ant and into the bar, where he encounters Casey. Lang shoots most of this long take in long 13 in action as Prebble leers at an attractive woman sitting at a nearby table. The shot also draws a curious attention to the oyster shell fountain that rests in the center of the main dining area [Fig 5 3]. Only this large, odd looking item grabs attention away from Prebble during the long take. The fountain appe ars in the center of the screen through much of this shot, at times obscuring Prebble. The foregrounding of this object in the shot as well as its strange appearance make it an object that does not seem quite right, or an object that sticks like On one level, the fountain may represent the power of the clitoris, a metonym for the woman and her sexual power. Th e fountain visually eclipses Prebble, 13 h cultural significance in the 1950s, evidenced not only in this film, but in other films of the 1950s as well. For example, in Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger 1959) defense attorney Paul Beigler successfully maligns the character of the late Barney Q uill by getting a witness,

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252 foreshadowing his soon to be permanent eclipse at the hands of Rose. Ironically, the on Welles), is tied to the clitoris. mise en scne foreshadow how female power and pass ion eventually will cause his word to transport, and Prebble also uses these drinks as a means of transportation: they will (he believes) get him to where he wants to go by getting his female companion drunk, hence his order to the waiter to make the drinks particularly potent. The long take ends on Prebble directly after his encounter w Whoever she is, but not until after he appropriates the role Casey has assigned to him earlier in the film. Casey had asked the telephone superv Lang connects both its mena ce and fascination to the subsequent scene between Lang makes a connection between the oyster fountain and the drinks. In this way, the gaze of the fountain lingers throug h the Polynesian Pearl Divers: these drinks shape the course of events and ultimately provide the transportation method for Norah to trauma.

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2 53 Norah functions as a Rejected Woman in Film Noir in that she has been rejected by her fianc, whom, the narrative i mplies, Norah saw as her means of escaping her focuses on pearls, bolstering t he idea that the oyster fountain leaves a trace in the waiter brings over two highly decorated Polynesian Pearl Diver cocktails, and Norah and Prebble have the follo wing conversation: Prebble: Have you ever seen a Polynesian Pearl Diver before? Norah: Not served as a drink! (She laughs and smiles). maiden bathing at the foot of a waterfall. suggestive way he delivers the line al so suggests that he is asking Norah if she is a virgin. Her response that she has not experienced one (as a drink) is coy and playful, alcoholic drink takes on many signifier s here. Prebble, memorizing a few cheesy lines from the Blue Gardenia menu page, classifies the drink as something warm, exotic, and appearances matter to her. If she spends h er birthday alone, she is on the path to her that she may become.

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254 opens the menu and reads the descri with a seductive rum that insidiously lulls the senses At which point, Norah catches maid maid en head. She smiles slightly and say comes to a person from a supposedly benign position, makes for a strange drink description in the menu, but i indicates that she sees herself as too smart to be the woman who would let a man take Prebble with harmless words of bathing in a moonlit lagoon, could not be insidious. because of her grief, certainly, but she also underestimates the potential dangers. shot, placing Prebble and Norah i n a tight claustrophobic space within the frame. As they drink, Prebble leers at her [Fig 5 4]. The sexually implicit table decoration, consisting of a lit phallic candle inside a womb shaped ging eyes, emphasized eyed countenance, emphasize his lascivious leer shoots her in close up: her eyes become wide and her lashes flut ter doe like making her

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255 look vulnerable. The netting of her hat across the face just below the eyes also heightens her look as innocent and virginal, like a nun who has taken the veil. Her doe like appearance and her misperception about the insidious poten cy of the drink (and also of Prebble) connote a feeling of uneasiness and menace, a carry over from the gaze of the oyster fountain. Watching the scene is uncomfortable Norah is vulnerable, and the audience is watching a young doe just before a wolf hunts her down and tears en ove r to touch Prebble, and he clasps her hand. Norah, with exaggerated hand gestures, suggests they should order four drinks instead of two, and as she speaks, she gestures he wedding tradition of throwing rice, as if this drunken meal serves as the ceremony, erry and popping it into her mouth, foreshadowing her soon to be lost virginity. Example Two: The Whirlpool as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia: Rape If the oyster fountain as gaze sets up the traumatic event about to visit Norah (and Prebble), the whirlpool featured in the scene after Norah hits Prebble with the is just

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256 by to be broken hymen and the Prebble appears attentive and considerate, he is dangerous in a way that mirrors her fianc both men reject Norah and leave her vulnerable to pain. She had earlier found out that er uncorking of the champagne on which she splurged for her birthday celebration with the before she drinks it. She never actually drinks it; she maladroitly throws her gla ss over they are body parts to be used for his pleasure. Ironically, the day Norah celebrates her birth is interlaced with death the death of her relationship with George, the death of her virginity, and the death of Prebble. through a close reading of this sequence. The camera movements, mise en scne and symbols evoked all validate this reading. Four well known film scholars discuss The Blue Gardenia in detail: Janet Bergstrom, E. Ann Kaplan, Douglas Pye, and Tom Gunning, an d none of them interprets the film in a way which suggests that Prebble rapes Norah after she becomes unconscious in his apartment. For example, Bergstrom, in summarizing this ireplace

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257 and then blacks out. Then next day she remembers nothing about the seduction or the raped, she grabs a poker and strikes out at him, fainting before we can see what she has done. Waking up some time later, she rushes out of the house without her shoes, and goes l effect to might have happened between the time Norah initially lost consciousness until the time hirlpool Despite, the general consensus that Norah passed out and then leaves un touched by Prebble, the film contains textual evidence that a rape has occurred, and later scenes support a reading that Norah has become pregnant as a result. This interpretation begins with seeing beyond the idea that the whirlpool, on which both Pye and Gunning comment, exists solely as a typical Hollywood device for loss of conscious, and consider it instead as an object with a gaze that causes Norah to have an encounter with the Real. th letter along with the hints, discussed above, such as the name of the drinks with which the large oyster fountain. These earlier images and scenes support a reading of rape that can be seen

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258 consciousness, and her subsequent fleeing the apartment. After Nor ah drops her living room area, the locus of the attack. She takes off her hat and its attached veil, and kicks off her shoes. Prebble reads these actions as an opening to make his move on located screen right casts a shadow over most of the living room a nd represents the and shoes, which Lang films in long shot, are performed in a clumsy, clunky way and do not suggest any kind of sexual seduction or strip tease on her p art. Her maladroit actions reinforce the reading that she is sexually inexperienced and innocent, unable to anticipate the message she sends, despite her role playing at the restaurant when talking about the drinks. Lang cuts between Norah and Prebble, who pours her coffee, to sober her up, he claims. Lang cuts back to Norah, now clutching a pillow and curled up as if to go to sleep, and then back to Prebble, screwing the top on a bottle of liquor and putting it back on the shelf. Although the audience does not see Prebble pouring coffee with liquor, which functions here as a date rape drug. By cutting between the two ere most of the

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259 scale as opposed to the threadbare apartment the women share). The similar layouts of the two apartments partment and bedroom, and their couches and chairs transform to beds at night. Norah may also r fiance, as obje t petit a because the object itself is of no importance she could be anyone. In fact, she stands in for Crystal, who Prebble objet petit a for whom either George or Prebble can function as a placeholder of her is far more treacherous. The fact that her several guests are waiting for them at his apartment in celebration of her birthday, colors his actions as deceptive and sinister. Formally, the low apartment with its strange dark clothing hovering over Norah reinforces the discursive elements that suggest Norah is in danger. For example, in Figure 5 overshadows Norah to the point of seemi ng to swallow her or devour here. The coffee

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260 appearing almost to have a gaze of its own, functioning as an auger of the Real. The cup also harbingers the larger gaze of th e whirlpool. In some ways, the cup (a pool of liquid) stands in as a mini whirlpool also function as weapons. P rebble uses the cup of coffee (laced with liquor) to he womb in Freudian psychology. The physical struggle with Prebble lasts for several seconds and Lang presents it with ten cuts: Long shot of Norah and Prebble Norah fights of Medium struggling against Prebble. Medium shot of the floor hinting place poker looms large in this frame, suggesting the power of this weapon. Norah will attempt to defend herself by swinging it at Prebble, and Rose will later use it to kill Prebble. Medium shot of Prebble and Norah from the waist up, still struggling. M edium shot of Prebble and Norah from the waist down [Fig 5 6]. The dark hulking shadow of Prebble overwhelms Norah. All we see of her is one airborne foot, showing that Prebble controls the situation; he is strong enough to sweep her off her feet. This col loquialism for being enamored with someone, takes on a and the coffee cup (screen right). This shot tells the story of what has and what will happen to Norah: the cup shows the past, her intoxication, and the poker shows on the tip of the fire poker accentuates its phallic quality. The composition of the shot implies the upcoming sexual act. By s hooting from the waist down, the shot emphasizes the crotch area of both characters. It also shows the intertwining of their bodies; they both wear black and we cannot tell where one body ends, and another begins, which foreshadows the soon to occur sexual union of their bodies.

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261 Medium shot of Norah and Prebble waist up: Norah and Prebble struggle and Norah pushes him out of frame. She lowers her head and reaches screen right (the location of the poker). We see her mirror image behind her. Close up of crac ked mirror as Norah hits the mirror with the poker. Close is striking at something/someone. Close fragments a way leaving only a black space. Medium shot of Norah grabbing her head and she falls to the floor. appear on film in the 1950s. Lang uses the image of the whirlpool as a visual met aphor 7]. As the whirlpool climbs up her body, before resting at her throat, Lang overla ps it with a 8]. The ensconced in fog. Lang superimposes circular images over her body to indica te her lack of consciousness or lack of consent for what Prebble does to her. Tellingly, the ad). The whirlpool reemerges at her throat before traveling down her body, again resting on her genital region, which emphasizes the idea of violation. The camera slowly pulls back tched out. The fragments of mirrored glass around her symbolize the shattering of her hymen [Fig 5 9]. The fallen gardenia is also visible (lower screen right), which also symbolizes her deflowering.

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262 At this point in the narrative, the audience does not kn ow that Prebble has sign Lang uses to communicate that what we are seeing at this moment should be questioned and the audience needs to check with automatic assumption that Norah killed Prebble (80). During the flashback in which Rose tells her story, Prebble appears totally uninjured by his encounter with Norah. (Rose visits Prebble after Norah and Prebble tussle in his living room). He holds the poker in his hand, suggesti ng that he wrestled it away from Norah. It also serves as a metonymical penis, with which Prebble has violated Norah [Fig 5 ing Prebble healthy enough for him to hit his. When Norah regains consciousness, she looks left, and Lang cuts to a subjective shot. The film sways and melts as Norah looks toward An of her gazing at the broken mirror. Norah staggers to her feet, with her purse in hand. She walks unsteadily, and Lang films Norah in long shot as does wear stockings. The seams running up the back of her calf are visible and crooked. Perhaps Prebble left them askew when he fumb led with her panties and garter belt. The soles of her feet are also dirty, a harbinger of her feeling she has an unclean soul (sole) because she believes she murdered Prebble. They also signify her being s release, even an audience member

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263 who is not attentive enough to catch the seamed stockings would know that no respectable woman in the 1950s would go around with bare (no stockings) legs. One need only to look at a contemporary film to The Blue Gardenia, Anatomy of a Murder, which came out six years later in 1959 to realize the scandal and negative connotations that accompany a woman appearing in public with bare legs. 14 She runs down the steps of his apartment and out into the pouring rain whe re she runs out of frame and the screen fades to black. While she has the presence of mind to grab her purse, she forgets her shoes. In order for the narrative to work, she needs to take her purse, or she would be immediately identified. The whirlpool that an eye that has fountain, the whir lpool is an object that looks strange and out of place. Certainly, as other scholars point out, the whirlpool is a visual short cut to show unconsciousness. The whirlpool, however, with its strange appearance captivates the audience and encourages the audi ence to look at it closer, or from different, and interested viewpoint, or to quote Norah loses a lot on this birthday: her fianc and her virginity. Ironically, she probably was saving the latter for the former, only to be tricked and then violated by the evil, ma ssive Prebble. Prebble is misogyny personified, a one man wrecking crew, greedily taking all that he can. The scene with the large oyster shell prefigures his large appetite 14 In this film, Frederick Mannion is accused of killing the man who raped his wife, Barney Quill. District Attorney Dancer interrogates Mannio a loose woman. One of the ways he does this is through getting her to admit she went to a local bar bare legged, which is code for being loose or of easy virtue.

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264 for women, as his eyes greedily gorge on the women in the room. He gorges on women film holds for him. Extrapolating the film forward, I believe Norah is pregnant with wom anizing, would feel upon finding her in this condition. He shows that he is unable to i would reject her yet again. Example Three: Popping Meat and Mustard as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia When Casey first meets Norah at the Chronicle, he does not believe her story th at she is not the Blue Gardenia murderess, until she passes his test. He deliberately spills an ashtray of cigarette butts in her lap and then feigns an apology and a feeble attempt to look for his handkerchief, and he waits for her to produce one. He want s to determine that Norah does not have one (the gardenia murderess he was talking to on the phone dropped it). Norah purchased a new one before she meets Casey at the Chronicle, so she can keep up her ruse that she is merely a friend of the Gardenia, not the murderess. The spilling of the hot ashes in her lap also insinuates that she has a hot Norah does not jump up, nor do the ashes burn her, which is unusual si nce both of them are smoking. Even though Casey has lit her cigarette, it appears unlit and unsmoked. At one point she grabs it in her hands and crushes it as she tells Casey her ut, but

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265 strange and unrealistic as her crushing her lit cigarette in her hand. The unrealistic interplay with the cigarettes mirrors the unrealistic nature of her story. Casey tells Norah break down this defense rather quickly. After Norah produces h er own handkerchief and wipes off her lap, the camera cuts to a smiling Casey who is relieved that she is not the Blue Gardenia because now he can feel better about the attraction he feels toward The scene overl heavy hamburgers that require clean up, mirroring the mess facing Norah, and her hope that Casey will clean it up for he her sandwich and the meat pops out of the bun. She lets out a whimsical giggle [Fig 5 11]. The popping out o symbolizing an erection. It also indicates that her stomach will be popping out because 15 This scene represents the second time in the film Norah eats food in a re staurant with a man who rejects her. In her first meal with Prebble, she cannot control her utensils and the rice flies off her chopsticks. In this scene with Casey, 15 We find further evid though Norah says she wants nothing. The milk suggests that somehow Cryst al intuits that Norah is pregnant. She also tells Norah she has figured out that Norah is (or thinks she is) the Blue Gardenia that women who had babie s later in life had children who were not intelligent. Along with telling us something about the self esteem issues Crystal might have, the mentioning of babies also could be

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266 she cannot control her food again, as the meat pops out of the bun. Prebble may be the lit eral rapist, but Casey metaphorically rapes her by deceiving her with his story that he want to help the Blue Gardenia, when in essence, he only wants to use her to get a headline. As with Prebble, Norah lets down her guard down and allows herself to laugh unaware of the danger she faces. Norah cannot control her food, and her open laugh allows Casey to read her as relaxed and letting him in, when in fact, she should know better and be on her guard. Her earlier relaxing and joking with Prebble in the restau rant led to tragedy, and Norah repeats the same pattern here, only with a different man and restaurant. Casey comments on the laugh: The meat that ju mps up at Norah and the messiness of her burger both reflect the messiness of her situation and the way the patriarchal structure of the law will jump up meat also serves as an object with a gaze. The shot of the meat popping up looks unusual, and may function as another point at which the film looks at us. Norah continues eating her hamburger. Casey rises and moves to the opposite booth to sit next to Norah. He clai made a mental picture of you. Boy

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267 he says he does not want to tell h The mustard, which is connected to the popping meat, operates as a literal stain on objet petit a, the stain in the picture. It is something not quite presently, are not quite right and signify the trauma in her life. First of all, if you accept Casey, confiding in him, but also lying to him by saying she is a friend of the woman who went to In addition, she is traumatized by her own personal belief that she had the capacity to kill another human being. Norah cannot see the stain, because she cannot see herself seeing herself, the circ umstance that helps form the gaze as a lost object. Her encounter with this gaze is not through sight, but through touch. Casey points out the stain, and Norah does not apprehend it by looking in a mirror, but by touching it and then looking at it on her f inger. In this example from The Blue Gardenia, the mustard its existence. Once she can transfer it to her hand, and she can touch it and absorb it, then she admits it exists as stain. At this point, she, as subject, wipes away this object. What this false mastery of possessing it (holding it in her hand) belies, however, is that the mustard stain, and the trauma it represents, controls her. In essence, Norah functions i n the Imaginary here. She dons metaphorical sunglasses that keep her from seeing the object (the mustard) from looking at her. By remaining in the Imaginary,

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268 which she firmly does by denying the existence of mustard on her face, she allows herself to play with the fantasy that Casey is her handsome prince, who will rescue her. can only reflect it back, and this reflection cannot ever be Norah). Casey also distorts he will tell you we know that he has not earned nor deserves her trust. Example Four: Velda and the Gaze of the Magazine in Kiss Me Deadly Summary of the Film Kiss Me Deadly is perhaps the most famous of all Film Noirs. Schrader refers to (12). Like most Film Noirs, the plot is difficult to describe and only describing the plot ignores the intense stylistic elements that give the film its masterpiece status. The film opens on a dark highway outside Los Angeles. A young woman, Christina Bailey, runs into the middle of the road and flags down detective Mike Hammer. He begrudgingly gives her a ride. They go through a police blockade, and Mike learns Christina es cryptically tells Mike to remember her if they do not make it to the nearest bus stop. They get high jacked by unknown assailants who torture Christina to death and send one character calls him. He gathers evidence in divorce cases primarily by using Velda to tempt the husbands (Mike tempt s the wives). When the government wants to

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269 question him, and his detective friend Pat is overly curious about this accident, Mike He starts by visiting Ray Dyker, a science writer who called Velda while Mike was in the hospital. Dyker appears horribly burned and very frightened. He provides Mike with Lily Carver. Lily is really Gabrielle, a woman involved with Dr. Soberin, the mastermind criminal of the scheme who tortured Christina to death. Lily pretends to be scared for continues his investig ation and discovers that gangster Carl Evello somehow is involved Mike drives forward hoping for a big pay day, because as Velda wisely observes, Velda does her own investigation by having drinks with Ray Dyker and an art collector, Wi lliam Mist. Velda tells Mike that there is a new kind of art in the world that people are paying large sums of money to own. Mike figures this art must be the valuable hi asks Mike how far he is willing to go in his investigation. He finds out later that night that the gangsters involved in this scheme kidnap Velda in an attempt to blackm ail Mike into curtailing his investigation. Earlier in the film, gangster Carl Evello hinted at bribing Mike, but he got the impression Mike wanted too much money and that Mike did not

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270 really know what he was looking for. Evello and his partner, Dr. Soberi n capture Mike and try unsuccessfully to get him to talk. Neither Mike nor the audiences sees Dr. Soberin he only appears as a voice. apartment. After Velda is kidnapped, Mike, with Gabrielle tagging along, locates the her namesake, Christina Rossetti. He end key Christina swallowed after strong first, but the man wanted more than Mike wanted to pay). The key opens a locker that metal box. Mike opens it and burns himself. He is frightened and locks it up, telling an attendant not to touch it. Gabrielle shakes loose of where Velda is being hel tracking down clues involving the art dealer. Gabrielle shoots Dr. Soberin because he refuses to give her half of the contents of the box. Mike enters, and she shoots him too. She opens the box, which contains an atomic bomb. As she begins to melt and burn, the injured Mike breaks down a door, rescues Velda, and the two of them stand in the surf as the beach house explodes. Analysis of the Magazine as Gaze he first time in the film, Aldrich opens the scene in a close up of the two embracing, which establishes the physicality of their relationship. They interject kisses between their talk about work. Mike says to Velda,

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271 realm of the physical she is body, not mind, and this body nourishes him or feeds him. their wives so Mike can get eviden ce for the wives, his paying clients. This line also body throughout the text by using her to nourish him both emotionally and financially. Mike, however, functions as z ombie as well as cannibal, in that he metaphorically 16 Many incidents throughout the film indicate that Velda is the brains behind the operation. She does much of the work of the Christina Bailey investiga tion, proving herself a detective on par with, or perhaps stretches, and she tells him of the progress she has made in the Bailey case [Fig 5 12]. Neither character comments on the gesture, nor does it interrupt the flow of their conversation about the case, but this visual wink to the audience indicates who does most of the leg work between t he two. Mike gives Velda none of the credit; however, he takes it all for himself. Mike constantly rejects Velda on many levels throughout the film. He uses her body to make money, he refuses to commit to her emotionally, and he devalues her intellectual p rowess. The film is very obvious about the first two modes of rejection, yet it is rather sly about the third. One of the jokes of the film seems to be that Mike, for all his claims to be the brilliant detective, is rather obtuse and perhaps even stupid. I n some ways, the film inverts the hegemonic dichotomy that Mike = brains and Velda = 16 I refer here to the trope that zo Night of the Living Dead (1968).

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272 body; another reading suggests that Mike = body and Velda = brains. The film suggests this reversal through the use of Physical Culture magazine. The magazine also functio ns as the gaze, objet petit a; it looks at the audience and tells us that many aspects at play in this film are not quite right. It also signifies the Real and the Imaginary registers in relation to Velda. Detective Pat Murphy breaks in on their embrace, l iterally; the d Velda Aldrich films her in long shot. She holds a magazine with a cover that clearly features 13]. Aldrich cuts away from Velda, but when he cuts back to a medium shot of Velda as she sits down in the chair, Velda holds a different magazine. This replacement goes beyond a simple continuity error because the magazine Velda now reads is clearly seen by the viewe r. It is the magazine Physical Culture. This magazine was out of print in 1955, and the issue Velda reads is dated September, 1940, fifteen years prior to the making of Kiss Me Deadly. When Velda sits down, Mike Velda nonchalantly flips through the magazine, and says, in ungrammatical English,

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273 Velda wants to sound casual and ligh t, and a bit playful, as if her casual reaction to this lost tape will act as a shield to protect her from the disgust she feels about her job. She darts her eyes in his direction and her entire body freezes. She holds the magazine humiliation at pl cover of Physical Culture [Fig 5 14]. Mike gives her directions to call the man again, update on the talks about Christina Bailey, she absent mindedly turns the pages of the magazine. magazine and marked that Mike likes to listen to on the tape recorder. The prominence of the magazine in the scene and its strangeness, given the fact that first, the magazine featured in an earlier shot is replaced by this one when Velda sits down, and second, the magazine is fifteen years old, places the magazine in the position of the gaze, objet petit a, or the lost object. This magazine first appears directly after Mike mentions another lost object the tape that featured Velda making love to Mike evokes trauma for Velda upon saying these words because she knows what comes next: Mike will ask her to repeat her session with the

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274 Physical Culture ironically points to the way her culture turns h er into a purely physical being a body. The government tech pimp, employing high living. Her flipping through the ma gazine is also her way of erecting a screen, where she can play out her fantasies that Mike will not say what she knows he will say: that she must repeat the trauma of being his prostitute. By casually flipping through the magazine, she can pretend that sh e and Mike are a casual couple, sitting down to an read the pain on her face as Mike tells her she has to repeat one of her staged sexual acts. particular magazine and issue remarkably suggests and experiences in the film as a rejected woman. Aldrich must have had to search for a fifteen year old magazine for Velda to use; the discontinuous substitution of Physical Culture for the previous magazine also indicates the importance of having Velda have this particular object, because she could have easily held and flipped through the magazine she held in the previo us shot. Physical Culture issue (September 1940) als Ball ). At this moment, Velma is all of

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275 girlfriend and a human being. I t also speaks to the glandular problem we see in Velda throughout the film, her excessive sweating which I discuss in Chapter Six. The magazine has the subscription block on the front cover over the word Physical indicating Mike subscribes to the magazine, 17 which he probably does to promote good health. In the opening scene of the film when Christina accuses him of being overly Velda also seems to value the benefits of good h ealth, as we see her exercising vigorously through her ballet practice. Velda is not merely pa rt of the physical culture of this film, or culture in general, but she large a dimension that the other characters (and perhaps the audience members) seem to miss. invisible to Mike. In this way, she shares the invisibility experienced by other Rejected Women of Film Noir such as Gaye Dawn and Selma Parker who also are invisible to the noir hero. 18 17 over by a subscription label, indicating this was the g eneral practice for labeling the magazine for subscription {see Figure 5 15). 18 See Chapter Two for an in depth discussion of invisibility and Rejected Women of Film Noir.

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276 Physical Culture magazine was founded by colorful and controversial editor tone pictures of naked or semi naked men in classical poses, demonstrating the evidence of a Physical Culture was controversial due to its illustrations and photographs of scantily clad women, as well as men, and its controversial articles about sex. For example, the issue Velda reads contains the article, of a literary correlative for the film itself which also pushes the boundaries concerning body unde 19 The magazine also printed confessional type letters from its readers about their personal lives. Mary Macfadden, wife of the editor, explain hearted women after they had done two hundred knee bends, twice a day, and had thrown away their girls w qtd in Gerbner 29). This description could apply to Velda. We can picture Velda as one of the Physical Culture magazine. The magazine funct personal trauma as a rejected woman and her site of Imaginary play, but also because 19 n health and fitness leaning politics might also have included this exists between Mike Hammer and Physical Culture magazine creator Bernarr Macfadden is that both men the couple had eight children (Fabian 54).

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277 it urges the audience to view this scene from a different angle (awry) to appreciate who Velda truly i s. What also makes this appearance of the magazine strange, out of place, or an object that metaphorically sticks in our throats is its chronological oddness. What is a fifteen year old magazine doing in this scene? The film dates itself as taking place in 1954 at the earliest, because the car Nick works on when Mike first visits him has a last issue was December 1951 ult ra magazine from the time before World War II 20 pre lapsarian utopia before the development of the atomic bomb, a time before, metaphorical The pre war issue of the magazine establishes a wish in the text for a more innocent that the p re nuclear age time is past, the bomb is real, and hanging onto the past is an illusion. Similarly, Velda, as she holds the magazine has a wish or an illusion, that being that Mike will stop using her sexually. Her contact with the magazine emblematizes he r wish for a time of her own innocence as well. In a last ironic twist, Velda closes the magazine in order to bring about a Physical Culture in Mike. She reminds him that she has a body she is alive not dead like Christina desires, however, lie elsewhere. Whether they manifest in other women, like his brief 20 The magazine is pre began on September 1, 1939 in Europe, the United States did not enter the war until December 7, 1941.

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278 ts, Mike does not desire Velda. The changing of the magazine from one in which a woman on the cover resembles her to Physical Culture, with a woman on the cover who looks e may possibly be interested in romantically, Gabrielle and Friday, are both blondes, like the woman on synch, and the interaction between these characters leads only to disappointment and disaster. They perish on a beach a few yards away from a nuclear blast. The incongruous objet petit as of Velda and Mike are presaged in the first exchange of Velda responds Example Five: The Telephone as Gaze in The Blue Gardenia In the final scene of the film, Lang shoots the three roommates as they emerge from an elevator in the police station [Fig 5 16]. Norah has just been released f rom prison, and they are smiling and ready to face the waiting newspaper reporters and photographers. This image of the three women is uncanny and telepathetic in relation to the telephone and its ability to signify the oppression of women. In this respect it functions as an object with a gaze in the film. Freud describes the uncanny as a feeling that something (a person, impression, event or situation) appears simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar, or comfortable and uncomfortable. 21 on of returning from an elsewhere, but limits the homely from within. It leeches familiarity from 21 I am summarizing (ver

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279 ic; something that creeps us out, while concurrently drawing us in. Freud lists examples of the uncanny, such as the appearance of the doppelgnger or the uncanny that emerges when certain repetitions do not register as merely coincidence, but seem eerily related. ratcheting up the uncanny factor of the doppelgnger by one. They are about the same size and share the same facial features and hairstyles. They even wear the same expression, an open mouthed smile. This shot, which occurs only minutes bef ore the end of the film, reinforces the interchangeability of the women already shown throughout the film and discussed in Chapter Three. design imprinted upon it that resem bles the touch tone telephone [ Fig 5 16], which will not be invented until 1964, nine years after the making of this film [Fig 5 dress functions as an uncanny harbinger of the future and as an object with a gaze. The ould predict the future both delights and horrifies us. Its delight, anchored the Imaginary, reinforces the idea the film screen is a place of play and of imagination. Watching the film in the present, we can enjoy seeing the connections that the film make s about a future it cannot know. This gaze can also function as the Real, however, because if this film really does predict the future; it harbors a presence in the universe that we cannot understand and it suggests that we may be more powerless

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280 than we al Mulveyan the site of her oppression (the telephone), which here is branded upon her chest. In his book Telepathy and Literature, a culture whi ch is still in the process of being articulated, and in this respect perhaps the The Blue Gardenia employs a kind of telepathy through the future incarnation of the telephone that eerily predicts a future it cannot gn. Admittedly, this interpretation requires a stretch of imagination, and one can imagine rejecting this hypothesis, much like Jacques Derrida, in The Post Card, rejects the call he received from the future. Derrida does not accept the collect call he rec eived in 1979 name (21). Derrida regretted dismissing the call as a prank, and one may be tempted to reject this reading as my trying to, in the words of Bordwell, push reca lcitrant data, into my thesis of how the telephone operates as a tool of patriarchal power and oppression Consider how the film uncannily deals with the issue of telepathy in the remarkable scene in which Prebble doodles the picture of Norah in which she wears a dress he has never seen [Fig 5 18], and how that drawing, through an overlap dissolve, turns into Norah in the same exact pose and dress in which Prebble draws her [Fig 5 19]. Prebble somehow channels this dress telepathically. The film itself does telepathy, so why should we close ourselves off to accepting its telepathic powers to

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281 telephone? Perhaps if we dismiss the notion of the telepathic moment of Sally as f uture telephone and close ourselves off from this interpretation, we reject Sally, reinforcing ers, we can argue that Norah, through her trauma of rape, signifies the Real. Crystal, through her man on the phone) symbolizes the Symbolic, the law and word of the father. And Sally represents the Imaginary. Sally is lost to fantasy, living her life through adventures in her imagination, a lifestyle choice that would be validated by the end of the twentieth century when computers afford opportunities create virtual worlds in which the Sallys of the world can live out lives on computer screens and in virtual reality scenarios as fictional characters. Future technology would provide Sally with more chances to live within the fantasies in her own head. It is interesting that the conduit for rejecting an the dress adorning her body. This situation sets her up for one more type of rejection rejected woman, Velda, faces this same kind of rejection by interpretation in relation to the past: if one rejects the interpretation that her reading a 1940 issue of Physical Culture an opportunity to accept a new way of looking at film in general and the Rejected Woman in Film Noir specifical ly.

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282 Figure 5 1. Norah hesitates before answering telephone Figure 5 2. Overlap dissolve from Sally to Prebble

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283 Figure 5 3. The gaze of the oyster fountain with Prebble behind it Figure 5 4. Prebble leers at Norah in suggestive mise en scne

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284 Figure 5 5. Prebble looming over Norah; his weapon, the coffee cup, present in the mise en scne Figure 5 6. Medium shot of Norah and Prebble. Prebble sweeps Norah off her feet.

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285 Figure 5 7. Initial whirlpool image: Norah's rape: Prebble's penetration Figure 5 8. Pulsating lines representing Prebble's orgasm

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286 Figure 5 9. Whirlpool rests on Norah's crouch. Her helpless posture and fragments of mirror imply rape. Figure 5 10. Prebble talks to Rose (off screen). He is uninjured and holds the poker.

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287 Figure 5 11. Norah smiles as the meat pops out of her sandwich Fig ure 5

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288 Figure 5 13. Velda in long shot with the first unknown (and replaced) magazine. Figure 5 nd Physical Culture magazine

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289 Figure 5 15. Cover of Physical Culture magazine issue read by Velda Figure 5

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290 Figure 5 17. The touchtone telephone Figu re 5 18. Prebble looking at drawing of Norah

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291 Figure 5 19. Overlap dissolves into Norah

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292 CHAPTER SIX REJECTED WOMEN OF FI LM NOIR AS THE GAZE And if I am anything in the picture, it is always in the form of the screen, which I ear lier called the stain, the spot. Jacques Lacan, Seminar XI (97) Mimicry and The Gaze myself in the picture as a stain an e xample to illustrate his point. The ocelli, an eye shaped design, mimics the appearance of an eye, and in doing so, emits a gaze. The ocelli also serve as stain or spot in the picture. Lacan makes this argument by referring to the work of Roger Callois, wh o believes that most cases of what we categorize as examples of ocelli in the animal world result from our anthropomorphism. In other words, because humans may think an ne cessarily mean a mouse will see it this way. Callois is puzzled, however, by cases of prey (Callois 7 like an eye? And, he wonders if perhaps the gaze works like ocelli, because objects have a gaze, nature of the gaze is difficult to pin down or define with physical certai nties. Lacan perhaps uses Callois because his own uncertainly about how some animals truly are experiences color her/his experience with the gaze. Using Callois as a starting point, Lacan tries to explain this stain or spot (the gaze) through the process of mimicry.

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293 In mimicry, one animal places itself as a stain in the picture. He gives the example of an obscure crustacean, the caprella acanthifera [Fig 6 1], and discusses ho w it positions itself among other marine life, such as the briozoaires ectoproctes [Fig 6 2]. The caprella resembles a part of the intestinal tract of the briozoaires, an animal ense of humor. He seems to be making a joke about how this crustacean chooses to become an asshole, or assume the position of shit, the ultimate staining device in the picture. Lacan discusses Callois of adaptation or survival. I am making the argument that the Rejected Woman in Film Noir takes on the position of the caprella in relation to metaphorical briozoaires If we consider the femme fatale or home girl as briozoaires, the rejected woman becomes the caprella. Often times she looks like the femme fatale or the good girl, but is an inferior copy of her in that she is coded as a being a slightly less attractive copy. She becomes, therefore, the model of mimicry Callois three types of mimicry are travesty, camouflage, and intimidation. At times, she employs ckground 2 camouflage reflects the discursive elements of the film, as discussed in Chapter Two (not) be looked at

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294 Lacan describes intimidation, the second of Callois (1 intimidation, although this would qualify as a very passive form of intimidation. I would argue that Rejected Women of Film Noir do not often employ this second type of mimicr y. Lacan explains the third category of mimicry as travesty, which he relates to a In other words, although these disguises are not necessary for sexual acts to occur, they seem somehow to be intrinsically tied to this process. I do not wish to conflate the word to describe a form of mimicry is strangely coincidental, but not much more. 1 What is interesting in the ca se of travesty in relation to the rejected woman is that this word also means inferior copy to the home girl or femme fatale. She mimics the femme fatale and home girl, an d her efforts may come close, but the rejected woman is always an inferior copy either looks like, dresses like, gestures like, or is positioned in similar ways in t he mise 1 (their) application to rejected women.

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295 en scne as the femme fatale or home girl. I would argue that this doubling places her as the stain in the picture. Here, she functions as the gaze in either the Real or the Imaginary register. In relation to the Real, she is often treated cruelly and rejected by the noir hero. In the Imaginary, her imaging a space where she can play at being the femme fatale or the home girl suggests a kind of screening produced in the Imaginary. In this chapter, I closely read scenes involving Yvonne in Casablanca to show how the film presents her as an inferior copy of Ilsa, and how, like other Rejected Women of Film Noir, she finds some solace from her rejection by the noir hero through resistance. In ighlight other moments of travesty in relation to rejected women, such as how the Lush and Gaye mirror (yet imperfectly) Anna and Nora respectively. Using the other metaphor Lacan discusses, each rejected woman serves as the gaze in her role as caprella to the femme fatale or ridicule at the hands of the noir hero. Abjection Three of the Reje cted Women of Film Noir discussed in this chapter, Yvonne, the Lush and Gaye, have one thing in common: they are all B girls, or bar girls. Thus, in their first shot on camera, all three of them appear on a barstool. They are fettered to their barstools in a manner akin to Effie and the telephone operators in The Blue Gardenia being tied to their telephones. These B 2 confinement is even mo re pronounced; she never leaves her bar seat. Casablanca is 2 See the discussion on Lounge T ime in Chapter Three, note 14.

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296 setting functions almost like a play the action taking almost entirely in the downstairs bar. Criss Cross opens up a bit, but many scenes are located in the R ound Up. Despite these confined settings, the women that the rejected women mimic all appear outside the space of the bar at least once. Ilsa shops at a bazaar in the sunshine of Casablanca, Anna meets Steve in a drugstore and on a sunny corner of Los Ange les, and Nora heads to the boat dock with Frank to moor hurricane sunlight. In addition to being confined to the space of the bar, all three women have a connection in relation to alcohol. The Lush and Gaye both appear i ntoxicated on screen; Yvonne drinks heavily to forget her pain with Rick. Each woman receives rejection, struggles with alcohol, and is fettered to a barstool, all of these traumatic issues, sickness, loneliness, and despair, links them to the Lacanian Rea l. They also encompass the realm of the abject. Julia Kristeva uses the term abjection to define the detachable parts of the body that create feelings of disgust. She provides examples of abject materials: A wound with blood or pus, or the sickly, acrid sm ell of sweat, of decay live. These bodily fluids, this defilement, this shit are what life withstands, harshly and with difficulty, on the part of death. There, I am at the border of m y condition as a living being. My body extricates itself, as being alive, from that border. (3) Elizabeth Grosz argues that in many cases, the abject is tied to the female rather than the male body. She does an in depth examination of the way menstrual blo od is defined as abject, yet seminal fluid is not (197 198). In Criss Cross, Frank the bartender e is particularly

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297 disturbing. The line insinuates abjection in the Lush in terms of her sticky or unclean genitals. Another Rejected Woman of Film Noir, Velda, is tied to abjection through her excessive sweating: Under the IMDB lars also have women serves as the stain in the picture along the lines of the way th e caprella mimic the anus or excrement of the briozoaires, we tie together her as the gaze in the picture as well as her status as abject. In many ways then, the Rejected Woman in Film Noir functions as the gaze in film both through her mimicry of the femm e fatale or the home girl, and in her role as abject. In this chapter, I will read Yvonne, The Lush and Gaye manifests the role of the gaze in Kiss Me Deadly. Examples of Rejected Women as the Gaze Yvonne in Casablanca Yvonne, the bar girl that Rick beds and discards, bears a striking resemblance to Ilsa, both in physical looks and costuming. Ilsa arrives in Casablanca with her husband, Lazlo unaware that her old lover, Rick, owns a popular bar in the town. The film takes place in December 1941, and the Nazis are winning the war. Lazlo is a resistance fighter who has escaped from a concentration camp. The couple heads to Casablanca in order to get the necessary papers to enter Europe. We learn through flashbacks that

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298 Rick and Ilsa had a passionate affair right before the Germans invaded Paris. Ilsa was married to Lazlo at the time but thought he was dead. On the day the two of them make plans to flee Paris, Ilsa gets word that Lazlo is alive. She leaves Rick without explaining to him what has happened. Rick is now callous towards women, as noted in his cruel insults her at first, and then, when she professes her love for him, he comes up with a plot to get Lazlo out of Casablanca. The Nazis cannot arrest Lazlo because he is on unoccupied French soil in Casablanca, but they watch him closely looking for any reason to capture him. Before the f ilm begins, the unctuous Ugarte has shot two German couriers, obtaining the unquestionable letters of transit they were carrying, which Ugarte hopes to sell for a large profit. He asks Rick to hide the letters before Ugarte is arrested and executed. Lazlo giving Lazlo the letters. Once he reconnects with Ilsa romantically, he decides to give the letters of transit to Lazlo and Ilsa. He insists that Ilsa stay with Lazlo because she is an walk off into the night fog, ready to join the French resistance against the war. Yvonne first appears on the screen in medium shot with Sacha, the bartender. She wears a low cut, V neck blouse, made up of white, shiny shingle like fabric, which her bar e midriff also connote her as sexually adventurous [Fig 6 3]. Her outfit flatters her attractive figure; her hair and make up are perfect. Sacha pours Yvonne a drink from

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299 6 4]. gaze is intense; she stares off screen looking for Rick. Yvonne gulps down her drink I love Yvonne keeps her eyes locked on him, but Rick does not look at her during their entire exchange. He keeps his back turned toward her, indicating her insignificance. She stands up, and places her left hand on the bar stool in front of her. She turns the stool about one half of a full rotation, counter clockwise [Fig 6 5]. This gesture, on one level, indicates her nervousness. She carelessly turns the stool to have somethi ng to do with her hands as she waits to see how Rick will treat her. On another level, her turning the stool counter clockwise represents her desire to turn back the clock to a time where Rick paid attention to her. Rick never makes eye contact with Yvonne even when he faces her as he walks into the frame. Instead, Rick focuses on Sacha, who says to Rick: briefly at the check, then tears it up, and throws it to the ground becau se it is worthless. Metaphorically this gesture parallels his treatment of Yvonne; he tears her up, (breaks her heart) and throws her away. his stutter exp

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300 Germans got closer and closer to Paris on the last day he spent with Ilsa, partially explaining his coldness toward Yvonne, who looks a lot like Ilsa. They have similar hairstyles and facial features. Both women wear white V neck blouses with silver brooches and large earrings when they first appear on screen. Figure 6 Casablanca introduces Yvonne before Ilsa, implying that she is merely the warm u p act. Rick indifferently poor treatment, she asks to see him again this evening. Yvonne functions here not only Woman in Film Noir, however, because she is not desirable to the noir hero, Rick. ipped answers and cruel treatment. She slides her brandy glass across the bar and orders multi layered meanings: enough liquor, enough rejection from Rick, and the line

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301 ce treatment, but Rick cuts her off mid ng you moves diagonally from the lower right corner to the upper left corner of the frame, arm, which finally becomes visible for the first time in this thirty five second take [Fig 6 7]. Rick remain in frame, Yvonne pulls her arm away, trying to regain control of her limb, she is drunk; the clues in the film, however, suggest otherwise. She speaks clearly and moves adeptly throughout the scene. She seems forlorn, not inebriated. Her silenced to compassion for Yvonne but his own personal and economic moti vations to get rid of in the bar is bad for business. His vocal tone, slightly sarcastic, and his gestures he dips his head slightly down and raises his right eyebrow sig nify false concern and patriarchal condescension. Yvonne and Rick walk to the left and out of the frame. A quick cut finds them in medium shot, in motion, at the threshold between the bar and the dining room. As Yvonne crosses this threshold, she shakes fr

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302 counter clockwise turn as she knocks over a chair with her left hand. Her pushing over the chair appears to be deliberate, instead of resulting from drunken stumbling. The knocked another chair at this table. Her knocking over the chair signifies her frustration that her times, the camera shows the waiter pick ing up the reserve sign after Ilsa is seated. Ilsa is lady counter clockwise turn visually rhymes with her half counter clockwise turn of the barstool, once m ore working on a second level, indicating her desire to turn back time. As Rick and Yvonne exit the caf, a search light captures and highlights them, as them, motivated b y their walking toward Sacha who has gone out before them in order her words, Still, the spectator can choose to read meaning into this asynchronicity, beyond the er codes of this hyper masculine world. For example, Rick knows the acceptable (masculine) way to deal with rejection. It involves the expression of physical pain, used to act out the unacceptable expression of psychic pain, dramatized by his hitting his f ist heavy drinking and stoically taking his pain like a man, signified by his commanding

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303 ws how to take her pain like a man. She takes it stoically and without feminine hysterics. She bangs her hand against the table knocking over a champagne glass to express her ears, but she never loses this sense of masculine control, yet another reason why the film seems emotional pain. The camera moves with Rick and Yvonne, keeping them in a mediu m shot. Rick only ck stands outside the caf after he dispatches Yvonne. The searchlight catches him in its moving spotlight. The camera cuts to a shot of the source of the roving light, a large watchtower, then to a long shot of Renault in the foreground (screen left) and Rick (screen center) but farther away from the camera. Renault has observed the entire t woman in an African frontier town. Pp Le Moko (1937) deals with the race issue implied by Renault. Pp lusts after Gaby because of her whiteness and specifically her connection to Paris. She tells him that her perfume smells of the Metro. At one point

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304 Pp tells Inz, the gypsy woman he lives wi th in the Casbah that he would never take her away with him, even if he could ever leave the Casbah, because she represents a portable version of the Casbah. Pp rejects Inz and does not appreciate her devotion and love for him. He callously courts Gaby in front of Inz without concern for her feelings. Ginette Vincedeau notes that Inz only gets one major close face [is] covered with dark criss crossing shadows Fig 6 8] (59). She also notes that 60). This sweating also ties Inz with abjection and her abject status as a rejected woman. The link between Yvonne and abject is subtle, yet exists in the next scene involving Yvonne. When Yvonne resurfaces later in the fi evident in his gestures as well as his words. Rick sits with Renault. His unfocused look screen right look at Rick.) Rick nods and raises his eyebrows twice as he says to into the caf with a Nazi officer. The dieg etic music immediately changes to an comment and his mocking gesture of raising his eyebrows serve both to tease Renault about his failure and to show how unaffected he

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305 responds to her with a cynical amusement bordering on apathy. This moment also shows how both men easily make Yvonne a source of ridicule. pinching she represents excrement. She is a consumed item, and the remainder of any consumption is excrement. Lacanian psychoanalyst ric Laurent writes about the ways men interact wit h women in relation to three of the four Lacanian lost objects: breast, he loves is red takes on the position of excrement. This argument also ties back to her figurative Yvonne is associated with excrement because in this arrangeme nt, the caprella mimics the excrement of the briozoaires. Yvonne also neutrality, disgusts Rick. As Renault later tells him, he always knew Rick was a patriot. Instead of havi indicates that he can clearly see Yvonne entering the caf from his vantage point, so pain ction cuts her deeply. The cut also emphasizes how Yvonne is separated ( cut) from the validity of her own convictions. By dating the Nazi officer, she

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306 becomes a collaborator with the enemy. Yvonne lets out a loud (and obviously phony) laugh and looks over her shoulder at Rick as she passes his table [Fig 6 9]. Rick does not return her gaze. He looks down, and places his hand up as to physically block her look [Fig 6 10]. Ilsa Yvo nne wears a gown with a striped top [Fig 6 11], reminiscent of the striped outfit Ilsa wears when she visits Signore Ferrari with Lazlo [Fig 6 showy glo like stripes reflect her prison attempt to make Rick jealous. Ilsa wears an elegantly tailored white suit access orized with white gloves, which connote a lady like refinement, and a square white purse. The shirt under her white vest is striped white and black, connoting a feeling of imprisonment, which reflects her experiences on this day She has endured a visit at obtain exit visas from Renault; they are imprisoned in Casablanca. Ilsa stays outside the Blue Parrot initially, as Lazlo goes inside to find out if they can illegall y obtain exit visas through Signor Ferrari.

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307 he is not the same man he was in Paris. him, a prisoner of an irretrievable pa st. Rick wears a striped tie, indicating that his heart mise en scne suggests imprisonment too, as shadows cut across Ilsa and Lazlo. When they sit with Ferrari at the table, a solid shadow cuts across their shoulders like a guillotine further demonstrating their dire situation. Ironically, Ferrari asks Lazlo if he knows he is being starting here and ending Yvonne punct uates the second here by clumsily gesturing with her large brash purse so that it almost knocks over a perhaps as a way of drowning her pain concerning Rick, or taking the edge off her own self closer to him and away from the French solider the Freudian connections between thereby reduc ing Yvonne to object status yet again. The French soldier chides Yvonne, in French, for her choice of companions. Yvonne, responding in French, tells him to mind his own business. The Nazi officer challenges the French solider, and their encounter metaphor ically represents the larger battle at hand. When Rick enters to break up the fight, Yvonne

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308 immediately looks at him. She watches him, perhaps hoping he breaks up the fight over motivate Yvonne and the Nazi together at the bar. In her penultimate appea rance in the film, Yvonne sits at a table with the German officer. This shot features Yvonne (screen left) in profile and her Nazi companion (screen right) in the foreground. The German has his back to the screen, watching his 13]. The use of deep focus in this shot allows the spectator to see the Germans singing with gusto, thereby giving him/her the option of focusing on Yvonne and her companion in the foreground, or the Nazis in the background. The open bottle in the ice bucket signifies that the drink Yvonne cradles in her hands is champagne, implying the wealth of the German and his willingness to spend it on her. Yvonne looks forlorn. She glances down at her glass and looks at neither the singing party nor her date. Perhaps she is upset because Rick did not display any emotion, jealousy or otherwise. Or, perhaps she is upset because as a French woman, she is ashamed to be out with a German, a shame recently awakened by the Germ This deep focus shot is followed immediately by a shallow focus shot of Ilsa, sitting at another table in the caf. Ilsa is approximately in the same location in the frame as Yvonne. Lazlo, out of focus, passes behind Ilsa and walks out of th e frame on turns so that she is in profile, then face forward to the camera [Fig 6 14]. The moment

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309 she is in profile, she assumes the same position as Yvonne did in the previous shot [Fig 6 13]. The camera moves in and captures her radiant face in close up. The similarly of these two subsequent shots suggests the doubling of these two characters, but with Yvonne as the inferior copy. Whereas Yvonne remains in medium shot, Ilsa gets a close up with soft lighting. The camera is slightly left off center, filming the right side left), while the remainder of her face bathes in a soft luminous light. Back and top lighting give her a haloed effect, implying her angelic persona [Fig 6 15]. In contrast, Yvonne gets no close up and shares her medium shot through deep focus. The audience can choose to look at Yvonne, or choose, as Rick did, to look elsewhere. up shots, her only ones in the film, before disappearing from the movie. Both close the first close streaked face fills the screen. Yvonne is shot exactly as Ilsa was during her close up discussed above. Yvonne also is lit from the back and top, giving her the same angelic effect as Ilsa. She has a shadow on her right cheek, and the light source emanates from the left [See Fig 6 16]. The camera focuses on Yvonne ldiers? They come right here into your midst.]. In the second close ups, which serves to remind the spectator of how similar they are in appearance. The extreme close

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310 ups. The camera catches Ilsa as she stares admiringly at Lazlo. Her eyes brim with tears and her mouth opens slightly, a gesture which helps express her extreme admiration for her brave husband. On the other hand, ups feature her face in unflattering, yet gut wrenching emotional contortions. During her first close up, Yvonne is so infused with emotion that s he appears on the verge of tears. She even slightly shakes from overwhelming passion. The experiences of the actress playing Yvonne, Madeleine LeBeau, also inform the intense display of emotion during these close Round Up the Usual Suspects discusses the harrowing journey LeBeau and her husband, Jewish actor Marcel Dalio, who plays the croupier in Casablanca, made to the United States. They escaped from Paris hours ahead of the Nazi invasion. They traveled to Lisbon, and then waited two month s to get visas to Chile. While docked in Mexico, they discovered their visas were forgeries. They eventually secured Canadian passports, and made it to the United States by the time shooting for Casablanca began in May 1942 (Harmetz 213 14). When we watch Yvonne singing La Marseillaise, we also see the real life pain and personal struggles of the actress playing her (LeBeau) reflected in the emotionally at Rick. In this scene, Yvonne has the opportunity to redeem herself. She makes the turn from B girl to French patriot. Yvonne learns that that her romantic troubles with Rick The Lush in Criss Cross The Lush functions as an inferior cop y of Anna, even more than Yvonne functions as the same for Ilsa. Yvonne is coded as sexually alluring and attractive, yet she wilts in the presence of the eternal brightness of home girl Ilsa. The noir hero also

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311 rejects the Lush, but she never is coded as sexually attractive or desirous. She does, like Yvonne, stand in as a travesty of the main female character, in this case, the femme the story, Steve Thompson returns hom e after a year away. He reconnects with his ex Dundee, who owns the local bar Anna and Steve use d to frequent, the Round Up. The Lush is a constant presence in this bar. Anna and Steve start spending time together again, and then, Anna abruptly marries Slim Dundee, leaving Steve heart broken. Steve returns to his job as an armored truck driver, and t ries to forget about Anna, until he happens to run into her by accident. Steve finds out that Anna married Slim because stop seeing Steve. Anna tells Steve that Slim abu ses her showing him her bruises. as they both know Slim will kill them if he finds out. When Slim does find out, Steve concocts an elaborate lie that he was seeing Anna in order to arrange a meeting with Slim so they could plan an armored car heist together. Steve is forced into planning and executing this robbery so Slim does not find out he and Anna are involved. They two lovers plan to leave town once they get their cut of the money. Steve realizes in the middle of the robbery that Slim plans to double fellow armored car driver, Steve tries to stop the robbery by shooting Slim (who lives). Steve is also shot, and winds up in the hospital, a nd is hailed as a hero for stopping the robbery of his truck. Pete figures out that Steve was in on the robbery, and Slim still is

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312 trying to kill him. Steve escapes to a secret hideaway where Anna waits for him with the money from the robbery. Soon after t hey reunite, Slim finds them and guns them down. They die embracing each other. The police sirens in the distance indicate they would not have gotten away, and that Slim soon will be caught as well. During her first scene, Siodmak films cuts to a medium sh ot of the Lush that shows her with a solemn tense expression on her face [Fig 6 17]. The lighting is unflattering and harsh; revealing the lines under her eyes. Her left hand is closest to the screen, showing she wears no wedding ring. Her left hand clench es a cigarette and is perched on an ashtray. Her right hand is about to grab a glass of beer. In front of the beer stands a chaser drink in a shot glass. In this one cut out medium shot, her reference codes signify her as a spinster and a heavy drinker. He r pained look could express the jealously she feels toward Anna. Her eyes look left, as she looks at Steve. Why Siodmak decides to cut to the Lush is curious, as she is not engaged in the conversation between Steve and Pete, which drives the plot. This cut out shot of her seems to exist only to code Steve as desirable and to show women notice him, which, is unnecessary and excessive because the actor playing Steve (Burt Lancaster) is very handsome, and as a trained acrobat, has an extraordinary physique. Th is shot, like other shots of her, and reminiscent of the shots of Effie, are particular unflattering. It hair. The Lush is flat xy figure. The previous close ups of Anna reveal no lines or wrinkles on her face [Fig 6 18]; Siodmak lights Anna so she appears almost dewy and moist, as opposed to the way the camera desiccates the Lush. In this scene, Steve tells Pete to mind his own bu siness in relation

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313 line also applies to the Lush who sits at the bar alone, eavesdropping on conversations of the glamorous, young and attractive people. The way the ni ghtclub is set up, the bar stands on its margin. The nightclub is a place with lively music where couples dance; it is a world of glamour and coupledom. This world exists just over the shoulder of the Lush. Her bar seat rests on the edge of the nightclub, but she has her back to the nightclub portion of the bar, almost as if she were denied entrance. She wears a solid necklace that resembles a dog collar; making her appear like a dog with an electrified collar if she strays into forbidden territory, she get s zapped. 3 The camera switches from Frank to medium shot of the Lush beaming with pride. She smiles, her finger is caught up in the air in mid tap on her cigarette; she is pr oud to be are in soft focus. The light catches her chest making it appear sunken in, again showing lived, as Frank delivers the very vicious line about her getting stuck to the bar stool. Frank says these words to Pete, not to the Lush directly, but certainly so that she can hear them. The camera cuts again to the Lush, with chaser in hand, and a look of sadness and disappointment crosses her face. The lighting is again harsh, emphasizing the lines of her face, and her hearing Jed e 4 This insult too cuts harshly, which is mirrored by the 3 technology existed in 1949. 4 In Chapter One

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314 way the lighting harshly cuts her face, making shadows gouge out lines and wrinkles through which we can read her pain. The Lush, the older spinster is not coded for desire, but even more perniciously, coded as abject. Although th is brief reaction shot comment is that throughout the entire film, the Lush never once leaves her barstool. The maximum amount of movement she undertakes is her turni ng around to look at Steve when he walks toward the telephone booth behind her. Even Frank in his position as bartender gets to move out from behind the bar. Her immobility mirrors that of the rejected women discussed in Chapter Three. The film flashes bac k in time to when the Lush first meets Steve. As he opens the door in the background of the shot, she sits in her usual seat at the bar [Fig 6 19]. She has a drink to her lips and an open book on the bar. She wears comfortable looking slacks and a colorful women have to be a sample size to be considered beautiful, the Lush would be considered overweight, as she displays roundness of hips, and full thighs and stomach. She is, however, only slig excess of flesh around the hips, thighs, and stomach code her as older and matronly. In a later scene, Anna sits on a drugstore stool eating ice cream, Steve tells Anna that she enjoying. This scene is also the only one in which Anna wears slacks [Fig 6 20]. Anna while wearing slacks, which ties her to the Lush visually and formally in the film as they both sit at counters in similar postures and both wears slacks. Anna consumes ice

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315 cream instead of alcohol, however. Still, the Lush serves as a cautionary tale for Anna. She represents what Anna might have become if she had lived that long. Like the Lush, Anna most likely would spend her middle aged years stuck to the seat of a bar. When Steve meets Anna at the drug store, she sits a counter, just like the Lush sits at her barstool. Anna screen right position, suggesting a kind of an inverse relationship between them, and highlighting how the Lush serves as a poor copy, or travesty of Anna. The next time the Lush app ears in the film, Siodmak contrasts her to Anna Lush. Steve jubilantly bounces into the bar looking for Anna. He is in a great mood because of his reconnect with Anna. He asks Frank if Anna has arrived yet; he says no. always find when you instead. By contrasting Anna the woman he looks for but does not find with the Lush, the woman he does not look for but can always find, again illustrates the inverse kind of quite like that. The innuendo. I think enjoys attention from Steve, but doe s not appreciate this negative interest. Despite all her time at the bar, we only see her visibly drunk and slurring words in this scene. The last time she was on film, she was waving wildly and excitedly at Steve, pleased at seeing him again at the Round Up. Since then, Steve spends all his time with Anna. He

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316 has rejected her for a younger woman, and this may explain why she drowns her same drinks in front of her we saw in the first shot of the film, her whiskey and beer chaser. Her face in this shot is lined with pain. She continues, obviously intoxicated: conclusions He teases her about calling him a checker when he first entered the bar. She tells him, 21], indicating his cruelty to her and his lack of attention to her feelings. Thi herself; an ability she will not display again. In her last scene in the film, she is heartbreakingly unguarded and Steve terribly wounds her (see Chapter Two for the discussion of this scene). Gaye in Key Largo 5 er in the film. Yvonne never meets Ilsa, and the Lush knows about Anna certainly, as vice versa, one may assume, but the two never speak. The link for both of these sets of women remains the noir heroes, Sam and Steve respectively. Nora, like Ilsa, is code d as a bound father. Like Yvonne and the Lush, Gaye is a B girl. The film often presents Gaye as an inferior copy of Nora. Physically the two women are similar. They both have low voices, far set apart 5

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317 eyes. Both are blondes with even features. The film visually connects Nora and Gaye through a shared gesture: both women repeatedly put their hand up to their hair [Fig 6 22 and Fig 6 23]. The noir villain Rocco also connects the two women. R occo ridicules Mr. Temple. In response Norah scratches his face. Rocco looks at himself in the mirror, dabbing at him of another young woman named and the name they have Velda in Kiss Me Deadly 6 Aldrich portrays Velda as sweaty early in the film. In her second scene, in which Mike kisses her in his apartment before Pat arrives. As they break away from their burnished in which she exercise s in tight pants and a bare mid drift [Fig 1 6]. Aldrich shoots the begins by shooting the mirrored image of the scene. We assume Mike enters screen left, when in fact, entered screen right. This visual disorientation hints to the audience that something is 6 See Chapter Five for a s ummary of this film.

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318 not quite right, and that something oddly is askew in their world, which of course becomes unavoidably obvious with the atomic explosion at the end of the film. We do not realize we are initially looking at a mirrored image of Mike and Velda until the camera pans away from theses mirrored images of the characters to the characters themselves. Velda practic es ballet, and Mike comes in, and he pulls the needle off the record. Velda looks at him and moves her leg to indicate her desire to keep dancing. Mike returns the needle and she continues dancing as he tells her they are staying Aldrich shoots Velda turning around a pole; she acts like a child playing. She swings toward and away from Mike all the while giving him a speech about the nature of find a thread, which becomes a rope from which you hang by the the center of the frame [Fig. 6 24]. She says the word in an exaggerated manner, to reinforce her meaning to Mike, that being that he has become involved in something big, but something dangerous. It also makes her exaggerate the opening of her mouth which makes her appear sensuous. Her face is aglow with perspiration from her ballet workout, but almost every time we see Velda, her face is w et, oily, and sweaty. This sweating emphasizes the corporeality of the character. She is, as Mike previously described her, a meal, something to gobble up. She always looks ripe and luscious, which the constant dewy, wet nature of her face continually emph asizes. The Christina

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319 7 like the delicious fruit sold by the decidedly grotesque Goblin men. Her face is a strange mixture of the sexually alluring and abject. She reflects the opposing impulses stimulated by the gaze, attraction and delight as well as repulsion and horror. In this scene, Velda is coded for sexuality and sex appeal, to entice the male gaze, to give the eye something to feed on. What the film slyly suggests however, is that by seeing If we watch carefully, we notice that Velda is perhaps the most intelligent character in the film, despite, her obvious, terrible choice in men. As mentioned in Chapter Five, she does a good deal of the investigative work. She follows up on Ray Diker and investi does that in continuing this investigation he is literally setting up his own execution. As she tells him, the thread he picked up the one he initially told Gabrielle had led him to her: eventually leads to a rope that literally binds him (Evello and Soberin tie him to a bed) and symbolically hangs him through his 8 so sets up the scenario in which Velda functions as the gaze. She stands in for the nuclear 7 Kiss Me Deadly: Textual Practice 18.4. ( 2004). 521 540. 8 According to the AFI website, in Au gust 1997, the Los Angeles Times and the LA Weekly reported that restored. Before the early 1970s, the film had ended with an image of the exploding be ach house. The restoration was conceived by editor Glenn Erickson and film historian Alain Silver, who writes about the Kiss Me Deadly: conceived as a way to punish Mike an d show no hope of surviving. The AFI reports that the film had a great deal of trouble getting approval from the censors.

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320 explosion at the end of the film. Her shiny face continually presages the ultimate shining at the end of the film, when Gabrielle releases the bomb from the box. Ve face becomes the gaze in the film, and encounter with the Real that reminds us of the this, represents the potential nuclear annihilation of the audience members as well. death. Velda automatically turns away from the light Mike has turned on to wake her. Perhaps she does not want Mike to see her in this unflattering light, but most likely she hides from the light because she is sleeping off a hangover after entertaining an art dealer who could provide Mike with some information about the gr eat whatsit. Her face appears particularly shiny and sweaty in this scene [Fig 6 25 and 6 26] ; the sweat stain in the picture through her sweat (stained) face. In the rema ining chapter of this project, I look at the gaze of the atomic bomb and how it relates to Velda, as well as other Rejected Women in Film Noir.

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321 Figure 6 1. The crustacean caprella acanthifera Figure 6 2 The Briozoaires Ectoproctes

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322 Figure 6 3. Initial shot of Yvonne Figure 6

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323 Figure 6 5. Yvonne turns the barstool. Rick keeps his back to her. Figure 6 6 Ilsa's o utfit entering Cafe for first time with Lazlo

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324 Figure 6 7. Patriarchal condescension: Rick grabs Yvonne's arm Figure 6 8. Inz's crossed gaze in Pp Le Moko

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325 Figure 6 9. Yvonne looks at Rick while walking with past his t able with the Nazi officer. Figure 6

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326 Figure 6 Figure 6

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327 Figure 6 13 Deep focus shot of Yvonne in profile, and in foreground, screen left. Figure 6 14. Shallow focus shot of Ilsa. Shot immediately follows similar shot of Yvonne. See Figure 6 13.

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328 Figure 6 15. Shallow focus close up of Ilsa Figure 6 16. Close

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329 Figure 6 17. Medium Shot of the Lush Figure 6 18. Close up of Anna in contrast with the Lush

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330 Figure 6 19. The Lush at the bar as Steve walks in Figure 6 20. Anna in slacks eating ice cream

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331 Figure 6 21. Steve snickers at the Lush Figure 6 22. N ora: gesture hand to hair.

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332 Figure 6 23. Gaye: gesture hand to hair Figure 6 24 Velda s weats during the ballet sequence

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333 Figure 6 25 shot one Figure 6 shot two

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334 CHAPTER 7 ND THE NUCLEAR BOMB In the shadow of the mushroom/Seconds tick the countdown/On the shadow sitting/ On some steps in Hiroshima/For the Age of Overkill Mushroom I am putting make up on empty space She died a famous woman denying/her wounds/denying /her wounds came from the same source as her power. In the Shadow of the Bomb Jerome F. Shapiro describes his 1984 visit to the spot that Cabral describes in I was dumbstruck by the dark silhouette of a body on stone steps, the surrounding surface having been bleached by the li ght of an atomic bomb. I have been unable to excise this image from my memory. It sits on my mind like a third eye looking inward, (1) description of his experience conveys f ascination and horror, and clearly establishes The Ambassadors. This particular image, however, also evokes the fascination, anxiety and terror of all people who now live in the shadow of the atomic bomb. Mark Osteen writes Kiss Me Deadly] kinds, but especially for the secret, concept of the bomb itself has a gaze: it stares at us and we contemplate the

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335 manifestations of its awesome power. Shapiro, a film scholar, openly discusses his captivated ambivalence about the bomb in his book Atomic Bomb Cinema. Shapiro relays an extended personal anecdote in which he discusses the political tensions that developed at a conference on the Atomic Bomb and American culture in 1995 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He asked prominent scholar, and an ti nuclear activist, Robert J. Lifton, how he reconciled the problem that the people at the conference had all built their careers on the suffering of others, and yet, they never talk about this fact (312). In asking this question, as someone struggling wi th his own ambivalent feelings about the bomb (fascination and horror), Shapiro demonstrates how the bomb produces a conglomeration of antinomic feelings. objet petit a, references to the bomb ge nerally, and specifically in the way Rejected Women in Film Noir symbolizes the atomic bomb and its surrounding ambivalence. 1 gaze in Film Noir has been well documented, perhaps the most obviously in Kiss Me atomic dnouement. Si Film Noir describes Kiss Me Deadly in atomic terms: series of disconnected and cataclysmic scenes. As such, it typifies the frenetic, post atomic bomb Los Angeles of the 1 950s with its malignant undercurrents; it records the degenerative half life of an unstable universe as it moves towards critical mass. When it reaches the fission point a beach cottage in Malibu becomes ground zero. (157) Schrader also comments on t he way the bomb overshadows Kiss Me Deadly: 1 My project only deals with the relationship of the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb in the few films on which I concentrate. Certai nly nuclear bombs inform many Film Noirs. As I mentioned in the Introduction, I have chosen to sacrifice breadth for depth as I am more interested in conducting close readings of a few films than glossing a large number of films.

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336 turns out to be the joke of jokes an exploding atomic bomb. The inhumanity and meaninglessness of the hero are s mall matters in a world in which The Bomb has the death was a less tangible but p erhaps even more unsettling source of anxiety: the at least in social and historical terms was Origin of Species that long as evidence of our existence remained intact. world where total obliteration is possible, the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb overshadows the notion that our lives could have meaning for future generations. We psychic havoc of [ .] the ato m bomb upon the unconscious mind of almost everyone generation was the first to live with th e knowledge that, in a single instant, everyone and everything we knew our family, our friends, our block, our world could be brought to bomb blast to reach her home in R ockville Centre if a bomb exploded in Manhattan twelve minutes ( qtd. in Montecito 150). ar

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337 death without warning, death en masse ettling source of the one hand there was a profound fear of death, on the other the re was a profound fear of life; a life that existed in the shadow of the bomb; a life filled with fear that instantaneous annihilation is now a possibility. Historian and social critic Lewis Mumford believes that even if the atomic bomb is never used again Th e Second Coming, Walker Percy writes, Shapiro disagrees with this notion that the bomb changed American life or even the world. He argues that the world always has had its apocalypses, and the bomb is moreover, the bomb has not been the only (10). Certainly, the world always has ha d evil and people bent on destruction, but nuclear bombs such as the atomic bomb and the hydrogen bomb, exist as great

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33 8 levelers in destruction: you cannot outrun or outsmart them. If they come for you, they will get you and no amount of resistance, intelli gence or will to survive will save you. In one of the last minutes of Kiss Me Deadly, a film, regretfully, that Shapiro does not been with us. What the atom bomb brings into the world is a new monstrous way of delivering evil. Never mind the evil itself, how can it now reach me more readily and totally? The existence of the nuclear bomb throws us into a futurelessness previously unknown to humankind. One way to chart the change in the world in the shadow of the bomb is by looking at the tw o Film Noirs that bookend what is considered the classic Film Noir cycle, The Maltese Falcon 2 and Kiss Me Deadly. 3 Comparing and contrasting the two films shows how the world changed during these fourteen volatile years in American history. The biggest his attendant horrors that accompany the war, such as the creation and use of the atomic bomb, the Holocaust and the fire bombing of Dresden and Tokyo. The July fifth 4 mentality of Post World War II certainly exists in the darker Kiss Me Deadly. As 2 See Chapter Two for a su mmary of this film. 3 See Chapter Five for a summary of this film. 4 See my introduction in which I describe how the Post War period serves as July 5 th in relation to the World War II period functioning as July 4 th ed out in the various literal hangover scenes in these Film Noirs: Norah wakes up with a hangover after her night with Prebble. experiences a hangover of sorts a fter Gutman drugs him.

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339 Kiss Me Deadly, s it a sense of detachment and thoroughgoing seediness it stands The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade refers to fourteen years, th The neg ativity and violence that percolated in the years that separate these films can be measured through the body count racked up by each of these objects. The dingus accumulates a body count of three. The great whatsit will have a body count that could reach t housands, perhaps millions. Both objects not only represent the quest for dream and nightmare simultaneously. Whether dingus or whatsit, noir heroes Sam Spade and Mike Hammer pursue this object, even though neither really understands nor even knows what the object actually is they pursue. Sam knows a little about the dark in relation to th ups Aldrich uses plans to sell the bomb to art collector, William Mist. Kiss Me Deadly intimates this fact through its major detective on the case, Velda. She has drinks with Diker and Mist, and

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340 people will pay a lot of money to own it. If the bomb is to be brokered as art, we can assume Soberin recovers it from Christina and her friends who had planned to sell it to Mist. Once more, we have a plot that mirrors the earlier Maltese Falcon in which rival gangs of criminals are trying to capture a valuable art object. One (the dingus) turns out to be a fake; the other, the great whatsit, could not be more Real. In this chapter, I look at the way Rejected Women in Film Noir operate as symbols of the n uclear bomb (both atomic and hydrogen) and how they remind the audience of the horror and fascination associated with the atomic bomb. I chose for my obviously deals with a is always implicated in the feminine. It is young; it is thingly. Thus every instrument of war is given a feminine name. The feminine, in whose way we are, does not arrive. She in the pl ace of weaponry, the technology of the bomb is implicated in the masculine. speaks to the lack based bomb (McKay 99). Wa

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341 night, the daughter of hanging night signifying, for example, the dark highway on which Mike first finds Christina, or the darkness that envelopes The Chronicle building as Norah enters it. The awakens Velda from a restless sleep, and Norah has a restless night as she listens to the radio for updates on the Blue Gardenia investigation with the covers over her head, or Lush never sleep s in her perpetual, nocturnal fettering (binding) to the bar stool, and Effie, who tells Sam to go easy on her because she had a rough (sleepless) night taking care of Iva. femini Rejected Women in Film Noir and the atomic bomb. I am not saying the Rejected Woman is evil or that she is out to cause doom and destruction. What I am arguing is that we can make con nections between the rejected woman and the nuclear bombs in four ways. First, her body stands in as a correlative for the bomb, as seen in Debby in The Big Heat, Norah in The Blue Gardenia, and Velda in Kiss Me Deadly. In Kiss Me Deadly, male bodies also embody injuries that represent the damage of the bomb, and the film in general, shows a valorization of the body, which, I will argue, exists in an effort to stave of nuclear fears, which is my second point. Third, I show that the rejected lity, in both its opaqueness and transparency, can be understood in

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342 qualities. In making t Interpretation of Dreams. Lastly, I end the chapter with a few final summarizing thoughts about the Rejected Women of Film Noir how I read her a nd what this reading demonstrates. Before discussing these use. Context: Brief History of Nuclear Bombs On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb, code named Trinity, ex ploded in Alamogordo, New Mexico at 5:45 am. Directly after the successful detonation of the plutonium nheimer quoted the Bhagavad Gita: 53). Edward Teller, another creator of this bomb, recounted his experience of based bomb on Hiroshima on a plutonium based bomb on Nagasaki. Japan surrendered unconditionally on August 14, 1945. About 120,000 people immediately were killed in Hiroshima, followed by 80,000 more deaths in the next five years. Fat Man initially killed 70,000 people, with an add itional 70,000 deaths occurring in the next five years (Shapiro 51). The United States announced in early 1946 it would conduct a series of atomic detonated above g round and proved to be a disappointment to the many spectators,

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343 including the number of reporters invited to watch the blast. The bomb fell two miles off target and on scene observers heard and saw very little. One observer likened it to a impressive visually and far more ominous in its long 63 4) in its legacy of contaminating marine life for many subsequent years. Yet, even this second blast was viewed as unremarkable and the public began to rapidly lose interest in the atomic bomb. It seemed that the lack of destruction at Bikini quelled the s fears of atomic nightmares at least a little while. Boyer notes that one person was dismayed that Test Baker did not uproot a single palm tree on land, and several This lull in concern over the atomic bomb is reflected in the number of bomb films made from 1947 through 1949. Only six bomb films were made in 1947 and 1948, and only three bomb films were made in 1949, for an average of five films per year. 5 In contrast the number of atomic cinema films tripled to fifteen films per year in the period of 1950 through 1953. Although this increase cannot be reduced to one factor, a major change occurred when the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb, named Joe 1, on August 24, 1949. The United States reported this successful launch on September 24, 1949. With Russia in possession of the atomic bomb, the world changed for Americans. 5 year (as well as total films made each year) from 1914 378.

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344 bo mb films, and only then do we begin to see images of America truly at risk or under 59). hydrogen bomb project, and the public overwhelmingly rallied behind that decis based super bomb that was a Oppenheimer, one of the chief architects of the atomic bomb was against the creation of t he Super. In contrast, Edward Teller aggressively campaigned for its necessity. Trinity 6 (Gleick 53), yet Teller still wanted them to make the super bomb. Teller got his way, and in the process, Oppenheimer lost his security clearance, and Teller became the father of the hydrogen bomb. The United States tested the fir st hydrogen bomb, nicknamed Mike, on November 1, 1952 at Eniwetok atoll (McKay 129 130). Teller was not present; because of the polemic politics involving the hydrogen bomb. He watched the test from a seismograph machine at his laboratory in California. H e recalled this event at the 1995 Bowling Green conference as well: The last shot I saw indirectly. It was the first test of a real hydrogen bomb. I went to the basement of the building in Berkeley that had the seismograph. There was the apparatus s howing a little green dot. If there were an earthquake, it would dance. My eyes were not so steady. So I took a pencil, held it up against the green dot and then I could see that the dot was at rest. The time of the planned explosion came and passed. 6 t the Bowling Green conference also reflected this green glass effect. He mentions thinking like substance (1).

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345 Nothing happen [sic]. Of course, the shockwave would take a quarter of an hour or a little longer to travel under the Pacific and reach Berkeley. Just about the time when it was supposed to arrive, I did see the point dance. .And there it was at the right time, at the right amplitude, just as predicted. (2 3) be anywhere else. Still, t he notion that one of the most deadly bombs on the planet ever tested was seen by its creator as a dancing green dot. Three years later, the Russians had successfully tested their own super hydrogen bomb on November 22, 1955. From 1956 through 1969, the ye average of 20 bombs films per year were produced, which reflects the cultural anxiety human consciousness. In th increase in nuclear war fear with the revving up of Cold War rhetoric and the urprisingly, the late 1980s saw an upsurge in bomb films during that time period as well. saw the flowering of Film Noir, Americans obsessed over all things atomic. For exa mple, the Washington Press Club offered a new drink called the Atomic Cocktail. Department stores began running Atomic Sales. A jewelry company offered the 12). If it is true that a picture represents a thousand words, the 1946 photograph of Vice Admiral

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346 to celebr ate the Bikini Island blasts speaks volumes as to the depth of atomic obsession In the years after the bomb exploded, the country had a whole new vocabulary of buzz words that reflected the people, places and products of the atomic age: Lo s Alamos, Trinity, plutonium, uranium, hydrogen super bomb, Fat Man, Little Boy, Oppenheimer, Einstein, Fermi, Teller, and bomb shelter. Likewise, American culture was quick to conflate the female body to the bomb. Most obviously, with the delivery of Enola Gay, the pilot who flew the mission to Hiroshima. In September 1945, MGM introduced starlet w Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray old for such practices, according to him. When she exits the room in tears, her mother e brother Beau releases a round of lightening like faux fire from a futuristic looking gun and exclaims, bomb in a child like way, based on his cultural conditioning that of a nuclear bomb. Films also contributed to the atomic age, some subtly, like The Blue Gardenia and The Big Heat,

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347 others directly, like Kiss Me Deadly. What these three films show, in their nuclear text (and subtext), is a connection between the nuclear bomb to the body of the rejected woman. Rejected Women as Nuclear Bomb The Big Heat and Atom Bomb Maidens Maya Morioka Todeschini explores the position of a group of hibakusha (people bomb Maiden(s) otome) by analyzing two films produced by Japanese male filmmakers. 7 Atom bomb in the Japanese atomic experiences with the bomb. In a thesis statement that is tangential to my own conce rning ambivalence and the Rejected Women in Film Noir, she writes: young women are represented as particularly pathetic victims, whose purity and innocence is contrasted with the ph psychological virtues which allow them to stoically endure their sufferings and even grow stronger in the process. (224) The portrayal of th hibakusha women, and contributed to the estheticizing view of bomb rela 7 She looks at two films, one that ran on Japanese television, Yumechiyo and the critically acclaimed motion picture Black Rain. Both films feature hibakusha women with leukemia (Todeschini 225).

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348 She argues that this reconciliati kusai mono ni futa o (223). The United States had first hand knowledge of the Atom Bomb Maidens. In 1955, twenty five young hi bakusha women arrived in the United States for reconstructive publicity, which culminated in an appearance on the popular television show This is Your Life on May 11, 1955 (B of The Blue Gardenia, The Big Heat, and Kiss Me Deadly, Walter Metz notes that two books and Fallout also document the fear of post circulated among Americans in the years after the war. Metz argues that Debby in The Big Heat 8 roshima Maiden after her city is immolated by 27] aligns her with the hibakusha i, he argues that the trauma of the atomic bomb is The Big Heat similarly pursues the gendered nature of atomic trauma by tracking the effects of radiation damage throughout the city as it is Metz concentrates on Debby and Selma (he reads 8 See Chapter Three for a summary of this fi lm.

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349 her physical impairment as a metaphor for the somatic disfiguration of the hibakusha). hibakusha as well. Metz says the fil effects of his violence in the final scene when Debbie rips off her bandages to reveal Certainly, if Metz sees Vince as a metaphor for atomic destruction, then his violent, horrific and tortuous death of Lucy symbolizes the deaths of the victims of the atomic 25], also represents the pain of t he Atom Bomb Maidens. The Blue Gardenia and the Hydrogen Bomb The Blue Gardenia, 9 although filmed from late November through December 24, AFI ), is set in the last week of October, 1952. We know this fact because Casey receives a plum assignm ent from his editor to attend and report on the first hydrogen bomb explosion on November 1, 1952 at Eniwetok. The scene in which Casey receives this assignment begins with a close n its roll. The carriage moves and letters that do left, and he types over previous letters, forming a palimpsest of nonsense over nonsense, which serves as a metaphor for destruction) subtext of the nuclear arms race that accelerated with the hydrogen bomb test. The camera cuts to a long shot of Casey, taking the page out of the typewriter, crumbling it into a ball and throwing it in the trash. When Casey tells Sleepy that he 9 See Chapter Three for a summary of this film.

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350 over both a sexual and violent image, which is not unusual in that slang for sexual involvement often has violent undertones sexual intercourse visually striking, because of their large blades and his juggling attracts the eye. His actions are not necessary to the plot, yet they produce a visually arresting image. At one point, the scissors stand on end and resemble the shape of a mushroom cloud produced by a nuclear bomb explosion [Fig 7 1]. In the scissors we see the terror and fascination that is the nuclear bomb. He performs this task mindlessly as he tries to come up with a way of snagging the Blue Gardenia for his own, away from the police, at least until he gets what he wants from H 10 Sleepy respon for expressing sexual interest in a woman. Sleepy will repeat the same whistle at the 10 of historically, he has to be referring to the first H e it is not the first nuclear bomb explosions that allowed reporters as observers. As mentioned above in this chapter, the 1946 tests at Bikini atoll of atomic bombs invited reporters.

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351 the potential sexual encounters it may promise. The tying of the wolf whistle between the promise of sexual pleasure and the news Casey soon will be witnessing the dreadful potency of the first hydrogen bomb blast, once again confirms the uneasy relationship between sex and violence. The f ilm relates scenes of Norah and the bomb that suggest a connection between the two. For example, immediately after getting this assignment, Casey scripts Norah that evening, first at the Chronicle together. 11 apartment. In Howl, Allen Ginsb rained upon them because of the hydrogen bomb. It pervaded even the modes of pleasure they enjoyed, like jukebox music. In this scene, the jukebox delivers death in that Casey plays it to summon memories of the dead Prebble. Prebble played the song during his attack on her, and now Casey plays it again to get her to remember details of the attack, so the jukebox becomes a r eminder of death and trauma. It also presages his own (planned) upcoming trip to the South Pacific. Later that evening, Casey packs for his trip while talking to Sleepy. Casey tells him that he and Norah were making nusual way to frame their conversation and its background jukebox music as they both relate to death and trauma. And, Casey packs for death and destruction in his role as observer of the hydrogen bomb explosion. The 11 This refers to the popping meat incident that I describe in Chapter S ix.

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352 bomb represents the ability to kill mill ions of people, and Casey, by going, exposes himself to radiation poisoning. Casey ultimately gives up his chance to see the hydrogen bomb explosion by Liebstod and remembers th not consciousness. Casey quickly leaves the airport and retrieves Captain Haynes. The two of them use this clue to trace the record back to the music store, and its employee, His adventure with Norah replaces hi s adventure with the hydrogen bomb. The Blue Gardenia also produces a strange visual image of Norah that suggests her connection with the disfigurement of the atomic bomb, thus positioning her, like Debby, as a g focuses on a close rolling in ink for her fingerprinting. The photographers ask the police officer to hurry in her face, and she puts her arm u p to shield her. In this position [Fig 7 2] the dark ink on her fingertips blends into the dark background of the shot making her disfigured looking fingers resemble the mutilation of the hibakusha. The repeated flashes of the shielding herself from them suggest s Kiss Me Deadly Nuclear anxiety informs Kiss Me Deadly in a direct way as opposed to the indirec t references in The Big Heat and The Blue Gardenia. Kiss Me Deadly features

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353 both male and female bodies as symbols for the effects of the bomb. When Mike first encounters Ray Diker, his face looks badly beaten, but it also looks burned, as if he has been e 3]. Diker also is consumed by anxiety, which is depicted through his chain smoking cigarettes and his visibly shaking body. He represents the living terror that comes with living under the shadow of the atomic bomb. His face also evokes images of the hibakusha. Late in the film, Aldrich features a close only for a second [Fig 7 4], which shows the power of the bomb to burn and maim. By the time Kiss Me Deadly went into production, nuclear anxiety was at a full pitch due to the hydrogen bomb explosions by the United States and the Soviet Union. Boyer writes: Hiroshima le vel, increased dramatically after 1954 as hydrogen bomb tests in the Pacific spread deadly Kiss Me Deadly and the bomb contends that the politics of the bomb in the f ilm have obfuscated the sexual politics at play. She argues that the film represents the oppression of women through its use of the bomb and this should be the major lens film scholars should use in reading the film because: [t]he film doubly associates wo man with the destructive bomb; first through then, that morbid conclusion successfully fuses t he widespread fear of atomic destruction in the Fifties with the equally widespread fear of woman, effectively mapping the former onto the latter. (124) the atomic bo mb. Velda and other rejected women symbolize the bomb throughout Film

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354 bomb victims and makes Soberin, like Vince in The Big Heat, a malevolent force equal to that of t William Mist whose name, ironically, conjures up an image of water, cooling or relief b y drinking copious amounts of sleeping medications so that Mike will be unable to beat disavowal in relation to the pain and destruction of the bomb. In this way, he becomes a version of Bert the Turtle he hides in his shell hoping this will prevent him from experiencing violence and pain. 12 by Lifton in regard to the way people in both Japan and the United States met with th e bombs potential destructive power they became numb to it to avoid dealing with the 13 Perhaps one way this psychic numbing becomes evident in Kiss Me Deadly is through its valorization of the somatic. On one level, the film s uggests that if we valorize our bodies and their senses, we cannot imagine a world where these senses will no longer have any significance, meaning, or power. Kiss Me Deadly makes various references to smelling and tasting, in particular, almost as if thro ugh its fascination with the corporeal, it staves off the threat of annihilation in a post hydrogen bomb world. The emphasis of the sensual fails as a talisman to ward off the doomsday scenario that 12 One avenue I did not get to pursue in this project, which will perhaps make up a future paper, relates to the unusual name of the art collector who wants to buy the great whatsit in relation to 13 Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima (1967) in which Lifton theorizes that survivors of the Hiroshima bombing numbed themselv es to its horrors as a coping mechanism. This with the atomic bomb has specific bearing upon all nuclear age existence. a better understanding of what li es behind this word, this name of a city, might enable us to take a small step forward in coming to

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355 beach house serves only as the beginning in a chain reaction of death and sickness that will follow this explosion after g in a new resident, and Mike grabs the back of the heavy case the old man has tied onto his back. This temporarily weight, allows the man to catch his breath. This act of kindness by Mike, leads the man the body. Aldrich films the old man talking from behind an archway that resembles a church, replete with a stained glass window situated behind him. This reverence of the dedicates himself to good health by doing push ups every day to keep his belly hard, as reads Physical Culture magazine. The keen respect and adoration of the body further is pronounced by the absence of the chimera and evil demon, he does not get to live in the house of his body he is only a disembodied voice, until he appears and is soon dispatched, thus making a mockery of him, as Pascal Bonitzer points out, by having him murdered as soon as he goes from voice to body (qtd. in Silverman 62). In a film t hat loves the body, this man is punished

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356 as a body. The veneration of the somatic also registers in relation to bodily functions, such as smelling, tasting and sweatin g. the importance of the corporeal. When he walks out of the hospital, he tells Velda, his eyes follow the girls. We are left wondering if what he thought he would never smell again was the fresh air after being cooped up in the hospital or the smell of women. When on to Mike and a way of torturing him, because she now smells like the kidnapped Velda. Friday, want to keep a lid on, in line with the Japanese phrase kusai mono ni futa o kakeru that Todeschini mentions. Mike too, is equated with a bad smell, when one of the federal Velda lets him down: his nose does not help him sniff out the potential dangers involved with

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357 match for the power of the nuclear bomb. Invisibility, Rejected Women, and the Atomic Bomb Akira Mizuta Lippit describes two forms of invisibility related to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through the example of a Japanese film produced shor tly after the war, The Invisible Man Appears [ Tmei ningen arawaru ] ( Akachi Shinsei 1949). In this film, two scientists propose two different types of invisibility: point of complete density: the opaque body will appear invisible through the paradox of absolute visibility, effecting a kind of human black hole. The pass through it like a sieve, making the body appear transparent and thus invisible to human sight (83). The Japanese word for invisibility is fukashi and the Japanese word for transparency is tmei. Lippit notes that a scientist in the film continually refers to invisibility as tmei, and by the fi tmei 87). These two words have conflated invisibility into two dichotomous meanings, creating a trans the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: At Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki, a blinding flash vaporized entire bodies, leaving behind only shadow traces. The initial destruction was followed by waves of invisible radiation, which infiltrated the survivo imperceptivity. What began as a spectacular attack ended as a form of violent invisibility. (86)

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358 In other words, both forms of invisibility, opacity and transparency, inform the atomic blasts of the two cities. Their opacity is seen through the shadow traces of bodies, like the one Shapiro mentions seeing in 1984. Boyer also accounts the 1946 JAMA article which reported that prisoners of war in Nagasaki had their names literally burned into their backs because their names were stenciled on their of radiation that continued to poison people long after the bombs were initially dropped. s, from material dispersion to radical Tmei ningen arawaru aligns riety, while opaque density comes to understood in the way it works from the inside, and does not leave an outward messiness until it has exacted its damage. To be cynical, radioactivity becomes a clean way of killing, in that it leaves no bodily trace or blood. The dichotomy Lippit isolates in Tmei ningen arawaru in relation to invisibility can be applied to Rejected Women in Film Noir. First of all, their invisibility is an opaque quality because they are present in the shadow or trace of the film. In this way, they are reminiscent of the atomic bomb that left its trace on stone steps or the backs of

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359 one way to describe the rejected example, Yvonne, Effie, the Lush, Gaye, Debby and Velda pine for Rick, Sam, Steve, cleanliness, then opacity is dirtiness, and Rejected Women are portrayed as dirty. Like, for example, the way Rick sees Yvonne (he turns his back; holds his nose), or the male characters in Criss Cross see The Lush (so dirty she sticks to the seat) or Dave sees Debby (he will not touch her with a ten foot pole). And of course, the dirtiness suggested rejected women as objet petit a, or the stain in the picture. The way rejected women embody transparency aligns wi th my theory that Rejected Women in Film Noir exist as a locus of ambivalent power in line with the way Mulvey diagrams power politics through the male gaze. Rejected Women are (not) be looked at visible in the eyes of the patriarchy because they do not attract the male gaze. They seem invisible or transparent to it, because men do not see them. This transparency gives them an aura of cleanliness because they accomplish good (clean) deeds. Debby ri ds Kenport of the evil Bertha Duncan and maims Vince. Gaye takes the gun away from Rocco. Selma lures Larry to his door (and death), and Rose murders the wicked They bring about death, so they are dangerous and deadly to certain characters in the benefit h umankind through the its development of the x ray, a major medical

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360 breakthrough. Yet, the noir hero treats the rejected woman as if she were radioactive in the way he pushes her away, literally and figuratively. The clearest examples of this repelling beha come ons could also be untouchable. The rejected woman, therefore, metaphorically becomes the nuclear bomb. She is a profound site of ambivalence in relation to power. Her invisibility gives her power, yet because she has bee n so conditioned by the patriarchy, she can use it only for the good of the patriarchy, and not for her own benefit aside from the self satisfaction she Todeschini points out in her examination of the A bomb Maidens, stoicism can be conflated with officiousness, and sacrifice, when we talk about oppressed persons, can become victimization. Rejected Women are sacrificed, metaphorically burned at the gress of the text. Yet, what does this burning ultimately signify? She burns, but for whom and why? A slight (and final) detour into the Imaginary of the dream world may help answer these questions. n Rejected Women in Film Noir In Seminar XI, Lacan returns to a dream that Freud had trouble interpreting. The Interpretation of Dreams, a p atient tells Freud about a dream she heard about in a lecture on dreams. In the dream, a father, who had fallen

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361 asleep in a room adjacent to the body of his recently deceased son has a dream that his stationed in the room with the corpse has fallen asleep and did not notice that the Lacan 34 and 59 60). The father wakes up and puts out the fire Lacan posits that fascination with this dream was that he could not make it work in regard to his thesis of wish fulfillment. Freud tries to argue that the wish fulfillment exists in the s with his dead son. Therefore, the father did not wake up on hearing the crash of the candlestick hitting the floor or the light from the fire. Yet, as Lacan points out, if this were true wish fulfillment, am and not come to him as already dead? Instead, Lacan hypothesizes that the dream represents the working out of a chance to fix the situation he could not remedy in reality. Perhaps the father did not that the sleeping attendant represents illness. He is not vigilant like the sleeping attendant -and allows the boy to burn. Through this repetition, he has the chance to correct this wrong. in relation to Film Noir in general, and Rejected Women in Film Noir specifically McGowan argues that no 12. While in the dream state, we

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362 have encounters with the Real, which manifest as terrors we cannot face in our conscious lives. In our dreams these terrors come to us in disguise. Our role as film n a dream, while watching a state in that we suspend our conscious mind for a few ho urs and allow ourselves, in the darkness of the theater, to experience a film as if in a dream. Often, we totally suspend could possibly explain the great fascination that many people experience in watching Film Noir. Watching these films is not a wish fulfillment, for do we really want to enter a world like Kenport, where Lagana holds sway over an entire city? Or, the Los Angeles of Kiss Me Deadly, whic h ends with an atomic bomb explosion? In looking at Film Noir through this Freudian/Lacanian lens, I wonder if this dream can help us understand the world in the nuclear age. The United States collectively has a dream in which the world is on fire, as was the case in the nightmare of World War II, and its attendant fires, from the fire bombing of Tokyo and Dresden to the Holocaust to the dropping of the atomic bombs. The United States wakes up, but only into another nightmare, the Real of a world with the n uclear bomb. By experiencing Film Noir, we work out, through repetition, our collective traumas regarding war, corruption, and fear of annihilation. We can also work out our personal traumas as well, as we each experience the way films look at us based on our own personal experiences. The gaze

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363 the dream world of the film) so that we, like the father, repeatedly work through the trauma of what occurred and imagine how we will avoid the nightmare world of Film Noir. in Film Noir. They function as the gaze in Film Noir, looking out at the viewer, and metaphorically tugging at his/her sleeve, sayi Noir burn in many contexts of the word. Rejected Women have been neglected in Film en times if we look at Film Noir straight on, with a disinterested view, we do not see her. Part of my project has been to point out how she can be seen (as she sees us) in these films. My analysis, I hope, akes seeing her possible. What we see through our seeing her seeing us is that she can teach us about how power functions in the world in relation to women. Particularly, in relation to women who are not traditionally valued by the patriarchy because they lack either the charm, beauty or charisma of the other two character types seen in Film Noir, the femme fatale and the virginal home girl. The Rejected Woman puts these two dichotomous positions into flux because she exists as a woman in Film Noir, yet she fits in neither category. She is also paradoxical; she operates as an invisible agent, but with limited agency. She is on the screen, yet invisible. She can accomplish goals impossible for other characters in the text, yet she has no power to enjoy the re wards of these accomplishments. She longs for the noir hero sexually, but the films foreclose her sexual longing, almost insisting that even her possessing sexual longing is impossible.

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364 She seems to want to follow the implicit rules of society in relation to gender roles, yet she disrupts these rules repeatedly. In short, she exists as a paradoxical and ambivalent locus of power. Her source of power seems to confirm her powerlessness. e Curie, polonium and radium, ultimately died from the very thing that gave her the power she wanted. Curie died from a radiation related illness in 1934. Curie could not acknowledge that the source of her power, her genius that led her to these discoveries, was also the twentieth century and the ways that power is bound inexorably with pow erlessness because of the binds of the patriarchy society. 14 Rejected Women in Film Noir show the patriarchal power paradigms in play through their own ambivalent relation to power. irculates in and immobility. In both cases, their pleasure is bound up with pain, what Lacan calls jouissance. As the gaze that looks at us in the picture (or through her r elationship with the gaze of objects that look at us in the picture), she reminds us of these same oxymoronic binds. burning. Rejected women symbolize the burned out ends of July fourth firecrackers the 14 For example, women have more access to jobs beyond those of the telephone operator and secretary, the jobs occupied by the Rejected Women of Film Noir. Yet, women make only seventy cents for every dollar men make in the same position, and women are usually held responsible for most of the child rearing responsibilities. The power of having a career, because of the way power operates in the system, leads to the powerlessness of doing the same work for less money, and working two full time jobs, as mother and career woman.

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365 radioactive fallout. If the femme fatale, with her sky ro ckets firecracker sex bomb appeal, and the home girl, with her fresh outdoorsy ready for a picnic appeal, represent the party that is July fourth, the Rejected Woman is July fifth, the day of reckoning, the hangover, the cleanup and the regret. Also, reje cted women burn with unrequited longing for the noir hero. They get burned through their many encounters with rejection. Often times, their bodies literally burn, like those of Debby, Lucy, Doris, and Velda (we cannot imagine she will escape the film witho ut atomic related burns). And, they burn in relation to the way Film Noir sets them up as correlatives to the atomic bomb, as seen in the cases of Norah, Debby and Velda. Often they are burned out, or past their prime, in terms of the way the patriarchy va lorizes female youth, and therefore become mired in less than ideal circumstances, like Gaye, the Lush, or Selma. Like the father in the dream, the spectators and scholars of Film Noir have ignored the rejected woman for too long. It seems fitting that we must liken ourselves to the father (the symbol of the patriarchy) in order to see the rejected women, because she exemplifies what is broken inside this system. The burning of Rejected Women in Film Noir alerts our society to the problems still facing wome n in a patriarchal society. By attending to her burning in this project, I hope to have shown a new way of seeing an already well studied cycle of films through close readings of specific filmic moments, and that by using two well established ways of study ing films, Mulveyan Look Theory and Lacanian Gaze Theory,

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366 we see that the issues that burned Rejected Women in Film Noir, her ambivalent relationship to power, still circulate as embers in present twenty first century America.

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367 Fi gure 7 Figure 7 hibakusha

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368 Figure 7 3. Ray Diker as hibakusha Figure 7 4. Close

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369 LIST OF REFERENCES Anatomy of a Murder. Dir. Otto Preminger. Perf. James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, and George C. Scott. Columbia, 1959. Film. Barthes, Rola nd. Mythologies. Trans. Annette Lavers. NY: Hill and Wang, 1972. Print. S/Z, An Essay. Trans. Richard Miller. NY: Hill and Wang. 1974. Print. Bennett, Jim. Bernarr Macfadden. The Father of Physical Culture. www.bernarrmacfadden.com. Web. 22 Nov 2010. Be rger, John. Ways of Seeing. NY: Penguin Books, 1977. Print. The Blue Gardenia Shades of Noir Ed. Joan Copjec. London: Verso, 1996. 97 120. Print. The Big Heat. Dir. Fritz Lang. Perf. Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvi n, and Jeannette Nolan. Columbia, 1953. Film. The Blue Gardenia. Dir. Fritz Lang. Perfs. Anne Baxter, Richard Conte, Ann Sothern, Raymond Burr, and Jeff Donnell. Warner Brothers, 1953. Film. Bloom, Harold. The Anxiety of Influence. A Theory of Poetry. 2 nd ed. NY: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print. Bogdanovich, Peter. Who the Devil Made It. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. Print. Bordwell, David. Making Meaning. Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Cambridge, Harvard UP, 1989. Print. Late for the Sky. Asylum, 1974. Audio Recording. the Atomic Age. NY: Pantheon, 1985. Print. Fallout. Columbus, OH: Ohio State UP 1998. Print. The Evaporated Man. Homestead, FL, Olivant Press, 1968. Print. Minatoure, 7, 1935. 1 10. www.generation online.org. Web. 22 Oct. 2010 The Empire Strikes Back. Race and racism in 70s Britain. NY: Routledge, 1994. 212 235. Print.

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370 Casablanca. Dir. Michael Curtiz. Perf. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Berman, Paul Henreid and Madeleine LeBeau. Warner Brothers, 1942. Film. Cavell, Stanley. Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1981. Print. Citizen Kane. Dir. Orson Welles. Perf. Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, and Agnes Mooreh ead. RKO, 1941. Film. Feminist Philosophies. Ed. Janet A. Kourany, James P. Sterba, and Rosemarie Tong. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. 440 445. Print. Copjec, Joan. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002. Print. Criss Cross. Dir. Robert Siodmak. Perf. Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, and Dan Duryea. Universal, 1949. Film. AFI Catalog. Film Indexes Online. 22 Nov 2010. Web. Derrida, Jacques. The Post Card. From Socrates to Freud and Beyond. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Noir by Noirs Shades of Noir. Ed. Joan Copjec. London: Verso, 1996. 261 278. Print. Dimendberg, Edward. Film Noir and The Spaces of Modernity. Cambridge. MA Harvard UP, 2004. Print. Doane, Mary Ann. Femmes Fatales Routledge, NY: 1991. Print. Screen 23.3 4 (Sept/Oct 1982) 74 87. Print. Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Volume II Fifth Edition. Ed. Nina Baym. NY: Norton & Co., 1998. 713 736. Print. Screen. 29.4 (Autumn) 1988. 44 64. Print. Eisenstaedt, Alfred. Time Life Pictures/Getty Images. August 14, 1945. 22 Nov 2010. Photograph. Web. Eisner, Lotte. Fritz Lang London, 1977. Print. Literature Online. Smathers Library. University of Florida. 12 Dec 2010. Web. Ellison, Ralph. The Invisible Man (1947). NY: Random House, 2002. Print.

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371 Six Feet Under. Perfs. Kathy Bates, Frances Conroy and Lauren Ambrose. HBO. Episode 3.29. HBO. 16 March 2003. Television. Bernarr American Literary History 5.1 (Spring 1993). 5 76. Print. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. (1925). NY: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995. Print. Flinn, Carol. "Sound, Woman and the Bomb: Dismembering the 'Great Whatsit' in Kiss M e Deadly, Wide Angle 8, nos. 3/4 (1986): 115 27. Print. Flory, Dan. Philosophy, Black Film, Film Noir. University Park, PA: PA State University Press, 2008. Print. Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Trans. James Strachey. NY: W. W. Norton & Co mpany, 1961. Print. The Interpretation of Dreams. Trans. James Strachey. NY: Avon, 1965. Print. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Eds. Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Malden, MA: Blackwell Press, 1998. 154 167. Print. Gabbard, Krin. Jammin 'at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1996. Print. Film Noir Reader 2. Eds Alain Silver and James Ursini. NY: Limelight, 1999. 328 342. Print. Social Problems. 6.1 (Summer 1958). 29 40. Print. Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic. 1979. New Haven: Yale UP, 1984. Print. Gingberg, Allen. Howl. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Volume II. Fifth Edition. Ed. Nina Baym. NY: Norton & Co., 1998. 2634 2641. Print. NY Times Book Review. 21 May 1989. Sec 7: 1 and 53. Print. Grosz, Elizabeth. Volatile Bodies. Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Blo omington, Indiana University Press, 1994. Print. The New Feminist Criticism. Ed. Elaine Showalter. NY: Pantheon Books, 1985. 292 313. Print.

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372 The Films of F ritz Lang. Allegories of Vision and Modernity. London, BFI, 2006. 408 433. Print. The Films of Fritz Lang. Allegories of Vision and Modernity. London, BFI, 2006. 387 407. Print. Hacker, Diana. Fifth Edition. NY: Bedford/St. Martins, 2004. Print. Harmetz, Aljean. Round Up the Usual Suspects. The Making of Casablanca Bogart, Bergman and World War II. NY: Hyperion, 1992. Print. Harvey, Sylvia. Wome n in Film Noir. 1978. Ed. E. Ann Kaplan. London: BFI publishing, 1999. 35 46. Print. Herken, Gregg. Brotherhood of the Bomb. The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert O ppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller. NY: Henry Holt and Co, 2002. Print. Holl and, Norman N. Meeting Movies. Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2006. Print. hooks, bell. Boston: South End, 1981. Print. Irigaray, Luce. This Sex Which is Not One. Trans. Catherine Porter. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1985. Print. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Mitchell. RKO, 1946. Film. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 30.1 Autumn 2004. 1236 1247. Print. Women in Film Noir Ed. E. Ann Kaplan, London: BFI Publishing. 1 14. Print. The Blue Gardenia. Women in Film Noir. Ed. E. Ann Kaplan. London: BFI P ublishing, 1998. 81 88. Print. Key Largo Dir. John Huston. Perf. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G. Robinson, and Claire Trevor. Warner Brothers, 1948. Film. Kittler, Friedrich. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter Trans. Geoffrey Winthrop Young and Micha el Wutz. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1999. Print. Kiss Me Deadly Dir. Robert Aldrich. Perf. Ralph Meeker, Maxine Cooper, and Paul Stewart. Parklane Pictures, 1955. Film. AFI Catalog. Film Indexes Online. 10 Nov 2010. Web.

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373 Contending with Stanley Cavell. Ed. Russell B. Goodman. Oxford, UK, 2005. 118 139. Print. Style and Meaning. Eds. John Gibbs and Douglas Pye. NY: Manchester, UP 2005. 214 237. Print. Kr isteva, Julia. Powers of Horror. As Essay on Abjection Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. NY: Columbia Univ Press, 1982. Print. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 30.1 Autumn 2004. 1221 1228. Print. Lacan, Jacques. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book XI. Ed. Jacques Alain Miller. Trans. Alan Sheridan. NY: W.W. Norton, 1978. Print. I Function as Revealed in Psycho analytic crits. A Selection. Trans. Bruce Fink. NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. 3 9. Print. Cinema Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Spring, 1988). 32 44. Print. Laure Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Eds. Richard Feldstein, Bruce Fink, and Marie Janus. Albany, NY: SUNY UP, 1995. 19 28. Print. The Letter. Dir. William Wyler. Perf. Bette Da vis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, Sen Yung. Warner Brothers, 1940. Film. Lippit, Akira Mizuta. Atomic Light (Shadow Optics). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005. Print. American Literary History 9.3 (Autumn 1997). 542 566. Print. The Cambridge Companion to Lacan. Ed. Jean Michael Rabat Cambridge, MA: UP, 2003. 221 237. Print. ts Books, 1957. Originally published in Dissent. Print. The Maltese Falcon. Dir. John Huston. Perfs. Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Lee Patrick. Warner Brothers, 1941. Film. Mc Arthur, Colin, The Big Heat. BFI Film Classics. London: BFI, 1992. Print.

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374 McGowan, Todd. The Real Gaze. Film Theory After Lacan. Albany: SUNY UP, 2007. Print. McKay, Alywn. The Making of the Atomic Age. NY: Oxford UP, 1984. Print. Metz, Christian. F The Imaginary Signifier, Film, Theory and Criticism Sixth Ed. Eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen. NY: Oxford UP, 2004. 820 836. Print. Metz, Walter. "Keep the coffee hot, Hugo": Nuclear Trauma in Lang's The big heat Film Criticism V. 21 (Spring 1997). 43 65. Print. War, Literature and the Arts. 11:1 (Spring/Summer) 1999. 149 63. Print. Duel in the Sun Feminist Film Theory. A Reader. Ed. Sue Thornham. NY: NYU Press, 1999. 122 130. Print. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 30.1 Autumn 2004. 1286 1 292. Print. Screen. 16.3 (Autumn) 1975. 6 18. XVIII (1 2). 1996. 105 1 15. Print. Naremore, James. More Than Night. Film Noir in Its Contexts. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998. Print. Journal of Popular Film and Television. 22.2. (Summer 1994). 79 9 0. Print. The Portable Dorothy Parker. NY: Penguin, 1976. 119 124. Print. Pp Le Moko. Dir Julien Duvivier. Perf. Jean Gabin, Lucas Gridoux, Mireille Balin, Line Noro. Paris Film Production, 1937. Film. Percy, Walker. The Second Coming. NY: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1980. Print. Movies of the Fifties. Eds Ann Lloyd and David Robinson. London: Orbis Publishing, 1982. 209 213. Print. Movie. 34/35 (Winter 199 0). 1 6. Print.

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375 Style and Meaning Eds. John Gibbs and Douglas Pye. Manchester UP 2005. 16 41. Print. Ball State University. Digital Media Re pository. Web. 22 Nov 2010. http://libx.bsu.edu. Women in Film Noir Ed E. Ann Kaplan. London: BFI Publishing. 1999. 47 68. Print. Summer 198 8. 74 82. Print. Rabat, Jean The Cambridge Companion to Lacan Ed Jean Michel Rabat. Cambridge UP, 2003. xi xv. Print. Ray, Robert B. The ABCs of Classic Hollywood. NY: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print. Norton Anthology of American Literature. Volume II. Fifth Edition. Ed. Nina Baym. NY: Norton & Co., 1998. 2721. Print. Rose, Jacqueline. Sexuality in the Field of Vision. NY: Verso, 1986. Print. Ronnell Avital. The Telephone Book Lincoln: NE, Univ of Ne braska Press, 1989. Print. Royle, Nicholas. Telepathy and Literature. Essays on the Reading Mind. Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1990. Print. The Uncanny. NY: Manchester University Press, 2003. Print. Film Comment. 8.1 (Spring 1972). 8 13. Print. Schweber, S.S. In the Shadow of the Bomb. Bethe, Oppenheimer, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2000. Print. Shapiro, Jerome F. Atomic Bomb Cinema. NY: Routledge, 2002. Print. Silver, A lain and Elizabeth Ward. Film Noir. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1979. Print. Kiss Me Deadly: Film Noir Reader. Eds Alain Silver and James Ursini. NY: Limelight. 1996. 209 236. Print. Silverman, Kaja. The Acoustic Mi rror. The Female Voice in Psychoanalysis and Cinema. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP. 1988. Print. Sobchack, Vivian, "Lounge Time: Postwar Crises and the Chronotope of Film Noir." Refiguring American Film Genres: Theory and History Ed. Nick Browne. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. 129 170. Print.

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376 Signs: : Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 30.1 Autumn 2004. 1209 1218. Print. nialism, Racism and Representation An Screen. 24.2 (March/April 1983). 2 20. Print. Stern, Ellen and Emily Gwanthmey. Once Upon a Telephone: An Illustrated Social History. NY: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994. Print. Stern, Lesley and George Falling for you. Essays on Cinema and Performance. Eds. Lesley Stern and George Kouvaros. Sydney: Power Publications, 1999. 1 35. Print. iet Union Writing on the Cloud. Eds. Alison M. Scott and Christopher D. Geist. NY: University Press of America, Inc, 1997. 1 10. Print. Telotte, J.P. Voices in the Dark. The Narr ative Patterns of Film Noir. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1989. Print. Stardom. Industry of Desire. Ed. Christine Gledhill. NY: Routledge, 1991. 183 197. Print. Todeschini, Maya Morio Hibakusha as Cultural Heroines, and the Politics of A bomb Memory. Hibakusha Cinema. Ed. Mick Broderick. NY: Kegan Paul International, 1996. 222 252. Print. sh Women in The Big Heat (1953) and The Big Combo Film Noir Reader 4. Eds. Alain Silver and James Ursini. NY: Limelight, 2004. 119 132. Print. Psychoanalyses/Feminisms. Eds. Peter L. Rudnytsky and Andr ew M. Gordon. Albany, NY: SUNY UP, 2000. 155 176. Print. Kiss Me Deadly. IMDB 21 Mar 2009. 27 Nov 2010. Web. Film Noir Shades of Noir. Ed. Joan Copjec. London: Verso. 1996. 1 31. Print. Vincen deau, Ginette. Pp Le Moko. BFI Film Classics. London: BFI Publishing, 1998. Print. Wager, Jans B. Austin, University of Texas Press, 2005. Print.

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377 Dangerous Dames. Women and Representation in the Weimar Street Film and Film Noir. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1999. Print. Li terature/Film Quarterly 2007. 35.3. 222 229. Print. T he Great Gatsby A Story of Los Classics of American Literature. The Teaching Company, Chantilly, VA. 1995. Audio Recording. Wegner, Philip E. Life Between Two Deaths, 1989 2001. U.S. Culture in the Long Nineties. Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2009. Print. Modernism/modernity. 10.4 (November 2003). 597 615. Print. Intentions and the Soul of Man. London: Methuen and Co., 1891. Print. nd Pre Textual Practice. 18.4 (2004). 21 540. Print. Film Noirs Film Noir Reader 2. Eds. Alain Silver and James Ursini. NY: Limelight, 1999. Print.

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378 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Carolyn A. Kelley received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maine, Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts Degrees from the State University of New York, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Florida. Carolyn was born in Cambridge, Massa chusetts and lived most of her life in the Boston area. She presently lives in Gainesville, Florida.