South of the border/
And nobody knows me like my baby/
And she cried man how could you do it /
And I swore that there weren't nothing to it
“…Superman lands in a corn field in the Midwest. His adopted parents are white, Anglo-Saxon and in all likelihood protestant (WASP). The question is, why the Midwest? He could very well have landed in a native, Jewish, African, Arabic, Mexican, Italian, or Chinese neighborhood in any of the US’ [sic] thriving big cities. The reason is that during the period in which Superman was popular, to be American meant to be white Anglo-American.”Frank and Cora’s Depression-era bigotry adds ugly honesty to the narrative. Cora’s remark is a small sign of her limited perspective and sensitivity about identity—and of her desperation and savagery that will surface later.
Previously, by marrying Nick Papadakis, Cora had escaped aimless, sordid poverty as an L.A. floozy, to end up as an Old World fairy tale heroine (lowly girl rescued from drudgery by prince). But the marriage proves unsatisfying because Cora, a modern woman with her own drive, wants more than a comfortable life at a wide spot in the road—she wants to achieve the American dream. Her Greek prince is too old and settled, and his princedom isn’t big enough.
“There was a problem getting a story with that much sex past the sensors. We figured that dressing Lana in white somehow made everything she did less sensuous. It was also attractive as hell… They didn't have ‘hot pants’ back then, but you couldn't tell it by looking at her.”Garnett and company appear to have also thought about the choice of ties. The chubby Nick Smith wears a conspicuously short tie, which adds to his portrayal as a sexless clown. When Cora catches Frank cheating on her, the proof is the snazzy striped tie he left with the other woman.
"Although both later claimed the other was the dominant partner, Judd’s nickname of ‘Momma’ or ‘Mommie’ for Ruth would seem to indicate that she was the real leader in their relationship. Ruth wasn't a beauty, but she exuded animal magnetism. During her trial, she received 164 marriage proposals."It was a circus trial, Troy Taylor writes:
“Celebrities attended in droves, including mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart; director D.W. Griffith; author Will Durant; evangelists Billy Sunday and Aimee Semple McPherson.”Famous journalists such as Damon Runyan and Walter Lippmann attended as well. James M. Cain told The Paris Review that one comment stuck with him: “Walter said it seemed very odd to be inhaling the perfume...of a woman he knew was going to be electrocuted.”
“…those who share the puma as their totem should be mindful of their tendency to lash out too quickly, or act out in haste. Call upon the patience and observation of the puma before taking action in order to avoid quick and unsavory consequences.”If only Frank and Cora had known. Of course, hasty lashing out and unsavory consequences make for good noir. Cain himself did not use that label; he thought his narrative was distinctive because it showcased “…the lingo in the mouth of a hobo with good grammar, like they have in California.” He further told The Paris Review: “Let's talk about this so-called style. I don't know what they're talking about—‘tough,’ ‘hard-boiled.’ I tried to write as people talk.”
“Mickey had this one piece of music he would play on the set to get into the character of Marv… It was Johnny Cash’s version of The Nine Inch Nails song, Hurt. If you listen to that song that’s how he did Marv."(In 1992 Johnny Cash was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Fame. His presenter was Lyle Lovett.)