Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don't Jump!

One of my other interests is short-wave radio, and I was shocked this morning to turn on Radio Korea and learn that South Korea's ex-President committed suicide by jumping off a cliff.

There are any number of ways to commit suicide, and probably any way you can think of has made its way to a Hollywood movie at one time or another. This includes leaping to one's death. Interestingly, I've already recommended several movies with such a grisly theme.

Vertigo, in which Kim Novak's character jumps -- or is she pushed? -- to her death, is generally considered one of the greats, although, as I mentioned in my post, I don't care for it as much as some of Alfred Hitchcock's other work.

Ann Dvorak eventually jumps out of a window at the end of the wonderful pre-code drama Three on a Match, although she does so in order to foil a crime that's being committed, and save her son.

Some suicides by jumping are prevented. Betty Hutton saves Barry Fitzgerald in The Stork Club, although this is more of an accident than an attempted suicide. Probably the classic attempted-suicide-by-jumping-that's-prevented would be in It's a Wonderful Life, when angel Clarence (Henry Travers) saves George Bailey (James Stewart). I haven't recommended that one before, surprisingly enough. Another one that I have recommended, however, is Fourteen Hours, in which policeman Paul Douglas tries to prevent Richard Basehart from jumping off a ledge, while a crowd of onlookers gathers below.

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