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

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 22 Feb 2008


Re your comment below:

"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."

I was quite disappointed in the ending of the film.

What made the book for me was Woolrich's clever turning of the basic situation. For most of the book we have a fairly standard example, a gripping and well-done example, bu fairly standard nonetheless,
"inverted" mystery in which we know who the killer is and the fun is watching the detective try to figure out what we already know.

In the last section, suddenly Woolrich pulls a switch and turns the story into a whodunit. Suddenly we know longer know who he killer is, and have to figure it out.

And what the killer finally learns about her campaign of vengeance is a nastily ironic touch.

All of this is scuttled in the film. The detective isn't even a character. I was very disappointed in Truffaut's version, the ending along with the rest.


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