Saturday, October 11, 2008

Johnny Guitar & Women on the Verge

In Pedro Almodovar's Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown the protagonist Pepa Marcos (Carmen Maura) has just been unceremoniously dumped by her lover and co-worker Ivan (Fernando Guillén) with whom she does voiceover work. Exhausted and about to discover she is pregnant, Pepa takes too many sleeping pills and arrives after her lover has finished a session of dubbing Johnny Guitar, the 1954 classsic western with Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden.

"Lie to me. Tell me you've always loved me. Tell me you would have died without me."

Both movies featue drama and struggle between women slinging guns as they ride. Johnny Guitar portrays murder, while in Women on the Verge at worst a bed is burnt to death. With music, color and melodrama the two make an interesting pair. Women on the Verge is Almodovar's best, and Crawford was never better than in Johnny Guitar. Here a few clips from each. My apolgies for the lack of subtitles for the Spanish.

"Lie to Me" Johnny Guitar

Pepa's Dub Session (Pepa oversleeps, and misses Ivan's break-up call. The Doctor tells her she's pregnant. Pepa does her dubs. She calls Ivan from work, but gets his wife, who having just left the insane asylum, thinks she's still young.)

"The Piano Scene" Johnny Guitar

Pepa, packing Ivan's things, and "sick of being good" forgets she shouldn't be smoking, and burns the bed, to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade

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