RE: RARA-AVIS: Phantom Lady / Bride [was: Woolrich recommendations? ]

From: William Ahearn (
Date: 21 Feb 2008

--- Christina Paul <> wrote:

> I finally did get my hands on a (VHS) copy of
> Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black. Generally I find
> myself frustrated with film adaptations of novels
> (characters, for example, often seem to lose their
> layers and become less interesting), but I loved
> Truffaut's ending.
Really? To me, Truffaut once again reduced noir to slapstick as he did with Shoot The Piano Player. It's not the revenge that makes The Bride Wore Black noir but the Woolrich ending. Killings, revenge, these are staples of the genre. What you do with them is what separates the good writers from the hacks. It's what the bride learns that makes the story what it is and not a separate and added vignette that misses the point. Having just seen The Leopard Man and having No Man of Her Own, Night Has 1000 Eyes and Phantom Lady, I don't think there is a good film translation of any Woolrich and I don't think there ever will be. And I'm beginning to understand that that is part and parcel of why I like the guy's writing so much. As with William Burroughs -- for different reasons -- it's not really the story but all those things that happen around it and all those things occur in your head and not your eyes.


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