“If I was walking down the street, another face in the crowd, would you still know me?”
Sitting in the air-conditioned master bedroom taking a much-needed time out I started watching a 3-star 1948 film noir movie titled “Hollow Triumph” with Paul Henreid and Joan Bennett. The movie being rated 3 – star was pretty right on, it was good on so many levels. The acting was superior in my critic mind and I have to admit unashamed that I am an avid Film Noir Buff. I watch maybe 7 to 10 black and white movies all in the years from 1930 to 1959 in a week. These are the years that I prefer but will watch something produced in the early 60′s if done well.
This movie Hollow Triumph had one aspect that I found I had a hard time wrapping my head around. It was in the script. And it was main focus of the story and the leading man’s role. There are often aspects of movies in those earlier film days that do not stand up to the test of time. Meaning that watching the movies with aspects that just make no sense today is kind of entertaining at times, but often just too funny to take serious. Even though it was intended as a serious point. Sometimes watching a movie about times that were so much simpler can be comforting. This characteristic that I am having issue with in this script is one that I hope by sharing here will create conversation over the topic. I find it a fascinating point of human nature and am wondering what you too think.
Here is the deal regarding the movie – a bit of preface for you. The leading man’s role for Paul Henried is that he is a criminal needing to find a way to hide himself from the law, and from other criminal factions looking to kill him. Okay here comes the far-fetched part of the story that I am having a problem with.. At least in my critical mind.
The man has an exact twin, in the very same town he is in. A stranger but a man who looks exactly like his identical twin. Some one mistakes him for this other man who is a doctor, a psychologist. They are exact twin except the doctor has a long very noticeable scar on his cheek. The criminal comes up with this incredible plot, deciding that he is going to kill the doctor and impersonate him. This is the perfect scam that will hide his face from those looking for him. The man he is will disappear. And he will become the doctor. He begins an intensive study program; to learn every mannerism that the doctor has, to learns his accent, to learn his body language, Then… he’ll need to make the physical correction to complete the look.
He gives himself a cruel angry scar.
The criminal master mind is maybe so not the master he thinks he is. When he took the photograph of the doctor which he had clandestinely taken and had it developed, the film developer flip-flopped the negative. So the scar that the criminal created on his own face to complete the look, the scam, was done so unknowingly by on the wrong side of the face! He didn’t catch it, and apparently no one else in this doctors life caught it either.. That the criminal, sporting the new scar and who inserted himself into the now murdered doctor’s life,could do this without anyone noticing baffles me. I could not let it go through the entire movie. It just felt like if it does not make sense – it cannot be so.
Even after finishing the movie I could not let this question of human nature go. I had a conversation with my husband about it. I asked him what he thought, that if the mole I have on the left side of my face was somehow moved to the other side would he notice it? He had an interesting answer for him that makes sense, one that I had not thought of. My husband said that for himself, who has a real problem telling right from left, may not notice. I think he might be right. My dear D has to look at his wedding band every time for just a second to choose right from left. It’s a form of Dyslexia with his brain I believe. It’s not that D does not know the difference, just that on sudden demand he will not be able to figure out which it is, right or left. So I will forgive my husband of 42 years if he does not realize that my mole, (my beauty mark) has been changed from side of my face to the other. But that’s his excuse.
How about You? Do you thin that you would be the one to bust the imposter? Would you really know which side of the face the scar belonged on? I think it’s a fascinating question of human nature and I’d really be interested in what you think. Why do you think you would notice? How long would it take for you to notice? Or would it be something else in the end that gave the imposter away? I really am curious what you think about this because I have a theory why we may not notice that I may share later.
So tell me, what just popped into YOUR mind when reading this. What are your thoughts about maybe finding an imposter out, or maybe not finding him out and how would that leave you to feel? I’m just this inquiring mind about this for some odd reason, so I will adore it and adore you for sharing what you think. Share it with me, and share it with the others.
It should be interesting….