Pushover (1954)


Watched Pushover (Richard Quine) for the first time in a long time. Fred MacMurray, Kim Novak AND Dorothy Malone.

Great first act. Starts with wordless pre-credits and then under-credits sequence of a bank robbery. Then changes direction as cop MacMurray (in Double Indemnity mode, with trench coat, talking so fast, as if the film’s got to be under 90 mins) tries to inveigle his way into the affections of Kim Novak. ‘Money isn’t dirty. Just people.’

Dorothy Malone is a brunette ‘good girl’ compared to Kim Novak’s blonde ‘bad girl’. She’s a subplot – ‘she probably always was’, says my Dad. FM’s got a great scene at the end, walking between Malone and Novak.

Though in the end Novak wins, in gorgeousness stakes. She’s doing that standing-in-profile-to-the-camera thing. No one else did it, but she was doing it on the first film. I wonder who thought of it?

There are weird echoes of Heat too. And a scene in a bar which features two pianos just so no one has to speak!


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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