Thursday, October 27, 2011

And the Movie Was?


The other night I sat down with the hubby and watched an old film noir. Love that stuff. This was a Barbara Stanwyck—love her—flick about a woman who wakes up in the middle of the night and sees a murder out her window. The problem is, the murderer does such a great job hiding his crime that the police find no evidence. No one believes her. Rather than let the matter drop, she pursues it, determined to make sure the crime is uncovered and tied to the killer. At the same time, the killer is determined to make her the least credible witness ever. To that end, he orchestrates a sequence of events that even get her committed to a hospital for “observation.” She struggles finding someone to trust, even the detective-turned-boyfriend, Larry.

The plot wasn’t complicated, and it was a pretty straight forward flick. Not Oscar-winning or anything, but that kind of movie isn’t supposed to be. What I particularly enjoyed was the villain was a writer—a published author—which put a fun twist on it for me. Once he declared his Nazi sympathies, of course, you knew he was going to get his in the end. Movies of that era were really clear on establishing justice for the truly evil bad guy. For a second at the end, though, it looked like our heroine was going to die, too.

As you can tell, the movie kind of stuck with me. The killer was an author, but not a bestselling one. In fact, his book didn’t do well at all, something that they made a point of saying. I guess a bad author is more likely to be a killer? :)

In truth, I’m having one of those days where I doubt myself, my direction, my ability. The only way to get past it is to write, but that’s the hardest part. It’s something like knowing scripture study and prayer will help with a problem, but not feeling worthy to do it. Writers are complicated people. We feel deeply; we think deeply. We ponder perhaps more than is healthy. While this can be great when it comes to plot detail and story lines, it tends to bite back in the form of doubt in the real world.

Call it a super power. And what was that Uncle Ben said? “With great power comes great responsibility.” Thanks, Spiderman.

2 comments:

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I love old movies, but I don't remember ever watching that one. I can totally relate to you on the feelings of doubt. It seems like every writer whose blog I follow has expressed similar feelings in the past few months.

Cheri Chesley said...

It was called Witness to Murder. I found it on Netflix. Thanks!