Exhibit 23.15

I Watched These Movies Yesterday Because They Have Long Been in My Netflix Queue and I Always Confused Them Even Though I Had Seen Neither

The 39 Steps
This is the Hitchcock one, a pre-WWII spy thriller which occasionally aims for laughs in a way it probably wouldn't if it were made even a few years later. In 1935, however, audiences apparently wanted a bit of a screwball comedy to go along with their international intrigue. It's not a British The Thin Man by any means, but it's a little strange in retrospect (it's a movie about an unnamed country trying to steal British air defense secrets which I'm sure was all great fun until, I don't know, 1940). It's not broad, exactly, it's just that part of the movie's charm is in ill-prepared but game Canadian getting sucked into the world of spies when he gets accused of murder. He handles himself with good humor, finding time to banter with a blonde and give a good mustache-twitching reaction shot when needed. It's all tight and smart and cute. Hell, maybe it is a British Thin Man. Nothing wrong with that.

The Third Man
I sort of hate Joseph Cotten. Okay, hate is maybe a little strong since I think I've only seen him in two or three movies, but in both this and Citizen Kane he gets the unenviable task of playing a drunk. Unfortunately, being drunk in the '40s seems to have involved a lot of hiccuping and exaggerated slurring. More than that, in both movies Cotten plays sort of a principled sidekick to a bigger man--which would be fine, great even--only Cotten himself comes across as a big man, a bit of a bully type unhappy about being shoved into the shadows. Maybe that's why he drinks. That's more of a personal issue- I should say I do remember liking that scene in the retirement home in Kane--and hardly one that ruined this movie. It's a really good movie. Certainly it's because I watched them in the same day, but it's hard for me not to see The Third Man as The 39 Steps shaken, war veteran cousin. Outside of a cringe-inducing literary reading--certainly relatable--there's very little humor in all the intrigue. Instead of a chummy gamesmanship there are lives being ruined over rashly decided and quickly shifting principles. Everyone always has a side but it might not be the same one they had the day before. There are real implications to these shaky loyalties and one's best move would be to up and leave if only it were possible. In that sense, it's as much a WWII movie as anything involving D-Day. It's also got a great deal--the zither score, Welles's face cut by light, the hands through the grate, the long final shot--that makes it hard to forget. More than that, it lingers as one of the greyest black-and-white movies in my mind.

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