Monday, November 19, 2012

Myrna, Jewel Thief

Whipsaw, from 1935, features Myrna Loy as Vivian Palmer.  Vivian has, for several years, been working with a jewel robber. She is tired of the life, however, and tells her accomplices that this is her last job.   She's had little to do with the crime, but the FBI, in the form of Ross McBride (Spencer Tracy), decide to follow her.  Make that, join her, on a cross-country trip.  McBride pretends to be a criminal on the lam.  Little does he know that Vivian had him stopped almost immediately, and is steering him away from her colleagues.  Of course, their enforced togetherness results in love, with Ross conflicted about his feelings for Vivian versus his duty to his job. 
 
Myrna Loy is just wonderful here. Her world-weariness; her ambivalence towards her colleagues, her suspicions about Ross, and her growing feelings for him all shine out of her eyes.  Watch especially towards the end when her relationship begins to take a turn for the worse.  Her helplessness is palpable.  The film is also beautifully costumed with Loy getting some really lovely clothing.
Likewise, Tracy is his usual honest self.  He is Ross. It's interesting to watch his eyes as his love for Vivian increases.  You can see his changes in attitude just by looking into his eyes.  Also fun to watch is John Qualen as the expectant father of a woman has has just gone into labor as our team wander by needing shelter.  He is just a joy.

Want a sample? Here is a trailer from the film:
Next week, we'll revisit an old friend of ours - Kay Francis.