Tag: Doris Dowling

March 3, 2016 / / Main Slate

Three plainclothes navy officers sit propped up at a bar, their cigarettes lit, and bourbon poured before them, aggressively chased by more bourbon. Light pours in from the oversized window, illuminating our central figures, fresh from combat. The bar top divides our characters by the waist, represented as merely half men, emasculated and alienated from the war. In the corner, a uniformed soldier dances to the horns of a jazz record playing on a jukebox. We see him erect, standing not as a man, but a soldier, stitched into his stripes like a battle wound. Represented here aren’t the heroes America has read about, but the fractured fatalities of the post-war masculinity. It’s a scene married to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, our protagonist Johnny Moore (Alan Ladd) symbolizing the frayed effeminacy represented with the woman in red.