Monday, August 15, 2011

Reassessing Picture Snatcher

I watched Picture Snatcher for the first time in a year or two yesterday as part of Ralph Bellamy's day in Summer Under the Stars. It's just as entertaining as it was the previous three or four time's I'd seen it, but there were a few details I hadn't remembered.

First, I couldn't quite figure out what the Irish cop (the father of Cagney's love interest) was doing up at Sing Sing for the execution. You would assume that the warden would have his own people who could take care of invitations to the press, and prison guards to handle the security. I understand that this man's demotion was necessary to further the plot, but his being up in Ossining, which was a good ways away from New York City, is just too convenient.

What happened after the execution is more interesting. Cagney has to hide out in the apartment of Ralph Bellamy's girlfriend (Alice White), who is supposed to be up in Syracuse on an assignment. She returns home, however, and proceeds to change into something more comfortable, without closing the door to her bedroom! Gotta love pre-Codes. Not only does the movie show Alice in just her negligee -- Cagney takes a photo of it! However, when Cagney has to leave the apartment quickly, we don't see him take the camera, which had been on an end table. (This is actually important since he needs the camera where he's going.)

But then, you can't necessarily expect perfection in a 75-minute movie that was not expected to run at the top of the bill.

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