“Where’s the REST of me?!?!"
“Kings Row” was adapted from a much racier novel from 1940 and had to be sanitized quite a bit because of the Hays Code. They had to leave some pretty big elements out — homosexuality, mercy killings, incest, nymphomania — but even with that, the film still is very dark because of the issues it does deal with. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Black and White Cinematography of James Wong Howe series with Sam Wood’s 1942 film “Kings Row.” We talk about the adaptation and what had to change in order for the producers to be given the green light, but what those changes meant for the film and how the added subtext really aids the film through today’s eyes. We chat about the cast — Robert Cummings, Ann Sheridan, Claude Rains and Ronald Reagan in particular — and what each of them bring to the table (notably Reagan in what many call his best performance). We talk about Howe’s great cinematography and what he adds to this dark story with a midwestern gothic style of shooting, giving this seemingly idyllic town at the turn of the last century a touch of noir. And we talk about Wood and his body of work, noting what we’d seen of his without realizing they were his films. It’s a film that really took us both by surprise but one that worked well for us, particularly as a film from the 40s. Tune in!
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