Tracy-Hepburn Go Dark
Keeper Of The Flame (1942) Evokes Horror and Noir
Easier to ignore when it looked but OK on freevee, Keeper Of The Flame leaps to life thanks to current-streaming HD, a visual knockout and close as Tracy-Hepburn got to doing a horror movie, or at the least, gutsy noir. Keeper Of The Flame is further argument for library titles as reborn thanks to High-Def, giving us chance at long last to see them in something like visual integrity they had when new. Now that more and more are emerging like this, it's maybe time to fresh appraise the lot. I put Keeper Of The Flame among chief beneficiaries of the upgrade; what grabs to start is a whole thing shot indoors, sound stage forest not so petrified since Universal dressed Son Of Frankenstein with dead trees, and boy, does HD show how moodily Flame was designed and lit. When
The big reveal for a third act is plain from opening, a Great Man lately gone being exposed as Fascist and on verge of US takeover.
That cabin, by the by, is convenient repository for evidence needed to defame the departed Robert Forrest, him unseen thanks to plunge off a bridge in opener scene. Radio transmitters and world maps in plain sight indicate nationwide siege, and Hepburn's confession confirms an organized Fascist network waiting in wings --- so what happens to all them now that homegrown Mabuse is gone? I saw the face of fascism in my own home, she says, hatred, arrogance, cruelty. That's a sort of dialogue you cope with for watching, but never it mind, Keeper Of The Flame is a looker and well off expected path of Tracy-Hepburn; they never even get together romantically, a good thing as it's all that indoor-for-outdoor artifice and gothic milieu we're here to enjoy. In stunning HD, it's gracious plenty, especially now that TCM is serving that way in addition to high-def glimpse streamers supply.