Manpower

Monday, 30 May, Year 8 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Manpoweri is a film made by people who didn't understand the first thing about a great many things.ii

For one thing, electricity. Apparently electricity is really really hard to get by film people, so here's my humble attempt to provide some tips that perhaps may be of use (yes, I know I'm by no means the first one, and also that the odds are rather grim) : placing one shoed foot atop one of those nubbin insulator elements while resting the other foot on a wooden transverse is not going to close any circuit. Because that's what electricity is all about, closing circuits. Unless a circuit is closed, nothing happens.

So no, guy doesn't get "electrocuted in the foot" from putting it on the hot plate of an electric insulator. Firstly because that's what insulators are for, secondly because electricity isn't a fucking hot plate, and thirdly because if something were to happen, it'd have happened for the entire length of the body between the two contact points. The two contact points. It goes in, it goes out, that's electricity, a circuit. It's not like a sort of dick, that goes into you and then out the way it came. It's like a bullet, but a special sort of bullet : one that can only go in if it can also make it back out. If it can't make it back out, it's not going in. Not even a little bit, not even just the tip! So no, there's no such thing as "getting electrocuted in the foot" by touching one hot wire - which is why pigeons are fine on the wires, barefoot!

And in the same spirit : live wires with icicles hanging from them aren't particularly dangerous to service, reality isn't dungeons and fucking dragons, you get hit by 30 points of electricity and an extra 12 points of ice damage! There isn't a sort of ice-electricity combo that'll get you, like a sort of charged projectile. However, attempting to service live high voltage wires that are resting on the ground in the pouring rain will get you killed. The entire team, in fact, if this film had anything to see with sanity it'd have ended like a Greek tragedy, twelve minutes in. "Sorry, everyone stepped in the same wrong puddle - y'all can go home now."

For another thing, George Ranft was an illiterate lout that didn't understand acting. I get it, pretty boy, had all the gangsters in Soup's Kitchen or Hell's Pitchfork or whatever the fuck New York zoo for colorful immigrants convinced he's the go-to dandy for male fashion. Whatever, he can't act, he looks like an advertismenet for botox. He has this blunt face, and occasionally raises his eyebrows - a fucking pinball machine's livelier than that even in the hands of a henpecked mongoloid. He got better with age, I guess, but in 1941 he's just about fit to be someone's handpainted pet wood board.

Finally, the anons who wrote this abomination don't understand women. But like, at all. I can't even guess where to begin, the conflict's so pimply-faced and parent's-basement-dwelling it boggles the mind. They had good writers in the 1940s, even with the war going, what the hell is this dumb shit ?! So girl "is bad", because reasons (childhood trauma bien sur), then she cooks and cleans for a spell, which is shocking, then has enough of it but hey, can't leave, because owned chattel now, and on and on. I can readily imagine this sort of nonsense is what gets confused kids all bothered today about "el patriarcado", but really, it made absolutely no sense in 1941, either. It's as much a construction of smoke and mirrors as cannibalism.iii

Post-finally, there's about half a dozen adults (really, old men, late 40s, early 50s) behaving essentially like schoolchildren in the Summer, without any particular anything to do at all ever. So they feel up the nurses and start bar fights wherever they go, which strangely enough doesn't seem to ever involve jail - in this film, jail's for women only.

Yet even more finally than that, you should see the casualty rates they have. Worst kind of turnover, too, fewer men quit than die on the job, you'd think the producers got jealous of the bodycount of war movies and decided they hafta compete. Every time these men show up to do something, you're lucky if just one suffers some sort of accident. How the whole outfit can manage to stay in business is anyone's guess. Maybe they're issuing war bonds or something.

Dietrich is a great actress, Robinson is a great actor, but I very much doubt Walsh could get a job as a barber on the strength of this particular yarn ; let alone anything in white collar.

———
  1. 1941, by Raoul Walsh, with Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, George Raft []
  2. Even the original Variety piece puffing it is bad. Seriously, there's plenty of dialogue ? Whodda guessed. []
  3. Oh, you don't know puritan missionaries mostly made that up, in an attempt to piously defraud the good folk back home of a little more subsidy ? Awww! []
Category: Trilematograf
Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.
Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.