The Woman in the Window
If it weren’t for Hays’s code of ethics, which was in effect in Hollywood until the 1960s, this film would never have hit the “dream” top. Based on the novel by J. H. Wallace called “Off guard”, in which an exemplary middle-aged family man gets acquainted with a fam fatal, commits murder and commits suicide, swallowing medication, Fritz Lang understood: there is no such gloomy story in Hollywood. For this reason alone, its finale has been completely rewritten. The hero dies – and suddenly comes back to life. Because everything that we saw earlier was just a dream. This compromise happy ending, which allowed the hero to avoid punishment for the realization of his most secret, gloomy desires, seems more thoughtful than banal suicide. Even after the most terrible and realistic visions, Fritz Lang tells us, there comes an inevitable moment of awakening. Although sometimes reality is a painful, terrible nightmare.
In 1944, fifteen years after Dali cut open a girl’s eyes and threw dead donkey carcasses on the piano (“Andalusian dog”), the great artist turned to the great artist. Being a long-time fan of Salvador Dali, the director rightly decided that no one else could cope with the visual design of Ballantyne’s dream – the central scene of the film “Bewitched”, which was one of the first Hollywood works on the subject of psychoanalysis. “I don’t believe in dreams – this is Freudian nonsense,” mutts the hero Gregory Peck, suffering from amnesia and guilt complex. But later he describes in detail his night visions: a gambling house, a sloping roof, a person without a face and giant scissors that cut into two halves a curtain with a painted eye.
The modest charm of the bourgeoisie / Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie
Louis Bunuel carefully transferred his most vivid dreams to the screen: a razor-cut eye, which was already discussed, penetrated the “Andalusian dog” straight from Bunuel’s dreams. In “The modest charm of the bourgeoisie” – a mocking picture of the middle class, entirely consisting of delusional dreams and visions – there were at least three nightmares that tormented the director himself at night. In one of them, he stands on the stage, looks into the full auditorium and cannot remember a single line. In another, he follows his dead cousin down the street and enters a house covered with cobwebs. In the third, he wakes up from a dream and sees dead parents at his bed. Because the dream is not over yet. Because everything that he had seen before was a “dream inside a dream.”