Scotland Yard Inspector George Gideon starts his day off on the wrong foot when he gets a traffic-violation ticket from a young police officer. From there, his 'typical day" consists in ... See full summary »
Scotland Yard Inspector George Gideon starts his day off on the wrong foot when he gets a traffic-violation ticket from a young police officer. From there, his 'typical day" consists in learning that one of his most-trusted detectives has accepted bribes; hunts an escaped maniac who has murdered a girl; tracks a young girl suspected of a payroll robbery and, then, helps break up a bank robbery. His long day ends when he arrives at home and finds that his daughter has a date with the policeman who gave him a ticket that morning. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The action of the film takes place on Friday May 17th 1957. See more »
Simon's surname is credited as Farnaby Green, despite the dialogue explicitly stating that it should be the hyphenated Farnaby-Green. See more »
[Gideon goes to arrest a woman and is confronted by her lover who brandishes his gun at Gideon]
Insp. George Gideon:
There's a police car outside with two men in it. And if you were fool enough to fire that gun...
I don't see why you should speak in the subjunctive. I *am* going to fire this gun.
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I fall easily into the worlds of great filmmakers. I do, even when the skills are outstripped by the ambition. I have many that I seek out.
So it puzzles the daylights out of me that I just cannot see Ford as one of the greats. Not as a filmmaker. Yes, I grant that he deeply understood the western and was able to fill it several times, counting "Grapes" as a western. But when he tries to tell a story as a story instead of a variation on something embedded in us, he falls flat.
"Valley" was nicely photographed, but was a disaster in terms of the long form. Probably the most offensive film was his "Irish" film which brought the western and plunked it down in Ireland. It was as crass as the American in the thing.
So I sought this out. This would have been a thrice matured Ford, one worried about narrative structure. Here, he walked into the only other genre as entrenched as the western, the detective story. I wanted to see. If he was a master, if he understood the form at all, we may see something extraordinary. It didn't matter whether it was a good film or well received. I expected it to be interesting to see the choices he made.
Well, there's the same spicing with humor as usual. And the same competent lighting. The actors seem at ease.
But check this out: there is no long form at all, only a sequence of episodes, some of which are loosely related. What we get instead is Ford experimenting with the pace of dialog. All of his regular films have a languid rhythm of speech. I think he made John Wayne act and carry himself with this retarded swagger. In fact, I think he created the man himself, who he routinely called stupid.
In this film, I believe Ford wanted to play with a different pace. The lines here are delivered fast. This denotes (at least here) quicker minds than usual. There surely are a large number of crimes being solved with offhanded ease. Part of the joke is how easily it appears to others in the story as well.
That may have been enough reason for Ford to make this. But it is hardly enough for us to watch it.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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