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The Bravura Sequence

I’ve finally made it to the grand master of the bravura sequence, or, more specifically, of the ending bravura sequence, King Vidor.

It isn’t surprising that a producer as knowledgeable as Selznick often ran to the services of the two major champions of “slice of cake” cinema and strong sequences, Hitchcock (Rebecca, Spellbound, Notorious, The Paradine Case) and Vidor (Bird of Paradise, Duel in the Sun, Light’s Diamond Jubilee, even Ruby Gentry), who, without a doubt, made the best films for Selznick.

Love Never Dies, Wild Oranges, Hallelujah, Our Daily Bread, Comrade X, Duel in the Sun, The Fountainhead, Ruby Gentry and their terrific denouements once made me write that Vidor was a director of film endings. No doubt I was exaggerating, but it isn’t for nothing that he hesitated for a long time between several different endings for The Crowd. I was also exaggerating because

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