23 Comments

  1. Bill seems to have already figured out the entirety of the humor here. It’s not terribly funny, but it did make me think of this:

  2. If “the horizonto” – being horizontal – is the problem, then she should in fact stand up perhaps.

    I guess horizonto is playing against vertigo as if related to horizontal and vertical respectively, but vertigo comes from Latin vertere, to turn (vertigo being the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning)(though apparently that is also connected to vertex, highest point, according to one site I saw in my cursory investigation).

    I wonder if the cartoon – being about a psychiatrist/ psychologist and all – has some subtle sexual subtext, on the lines of dancing being defined as the vertical expression of a horizontal desire.

    I’ve had the sensation of the room spinning round me while lying horizontal – first time when my father allowed me too much beer one night at the age of 15.

  3. Unpopular opinion: Vertigo is not really that good a movie. Not top tier within Hitchcock’s work.

  4. Mitch; You and Herb Caen.

    My unpopular opinion, Strangers on a Train was utterly and bizarrely botched (the set-up “ooh, two strangers commit each others murders so no-one will be able to get their motives” was *never* actually done) and The Birds was …. stupid.

  5. The therapist says “No, don’t get up” because the issue to be dealt with is only present when she’s horizontal. (Ha!)

  6. Mitch4:
    A viewer’s mistaken interpretation of the plot is not a ‘botched’ premise.
    The whole point of ‘Strangers on a Train’ is that the Robert Walker character is a nut. When he has that ‘Let’s swap murders’ conversation with the Farley Granger character, Granger *isn’t taking his suggestion seriously*…he was just indulging the guy by listening to Walker complain about his dad, since Walker let Granger vent about his wife. It’s like drunks ‘telling their troubles’ to a bartender.
    People who didn’t know each other used to strike up conversations while traveling. Perhaps stories like this discouraged the practice.

  7. Woozy, not mitch. And, yes, a viewers misinterpretation of a plot *is* a botched premise. Or at least a bait and switch. The movie and our perception of it was *SOLD* to us as “what a hook!” so when it fails to be delivered it’s botched if I’m being generous, and outright theft and fraud if I’m not.

    And it *is* botched. The entire premise of committing the other persons murder was to have an allibi. Which in the end he didn’t. Now maybe if Walker had never intended to do the switch in good faith it’d work as a master stroke of manipulative blackmail Granger to reluctantly commit murder, bit it was played as Walker sincerely believed Granger was willing. In which case doing the murder when Granger didn’t have an allibi is a plot hole you can drive a bus through.

  8. I never saw “Strangers on a Train.” However, I had the same reaction as woozy when I saw “Throw Momma from the Train.” The whole point of exchanging murders is to give each person an airtight alibi; if they don’t do that, the whole thing becomes pointless.

    The premise is sort of saved by the fact that Danny Devito’s character is pretty stupid; perhaps too stupid to get the point of exchanging murders. Dunno if Robert Walker is similar.

  9. Heh…I thought of “horizontigo” eons ago as well.

    Kinda like instead of being afraid of heights, being afraid of widths. 😛

  10. Fredric Brown also did an “exchanging murders” novel (THE MURDERERS, though I don’t remember it well enough to know just how it all went wrong for both of them, only that it did).

    How come nobody wrote “exchanging jaywalking” or “exchanging mopery with intent to gawk” novels? Murder, murder, murder; all everybody seems to think about these/those days is boring old murder. Tsk.

  11. “if they don’t do that, the whole thing becomes pointless…..Dunno if Robert Walker is similar.”

    Well, its actually ends up being a completely different story in the end. After chatting on the train, the guy A does go and kills guy’s B person (when B *doesn’t* have an alibi). Guy B is in a dilemna, if he turns Guy A in he’ll be implicated as an accomplice, if he does nothing or turns Guy A in, in turns out Guy A has some evidence to clear guy B, but without it the police are sure to arrest B, so Guy A blackmails B by withholding the evidence to A’s murder.

    Now had it been A’s intention to manipulate B all along knowing B wouldn’t do an insane plot like that, it’d be a good plot I guess, but it was clearly played up that A assumed it was a done deal (which makes killing B’s guy when B didn’t have an alibi entirely pointless).

    Anyhow, there’s famous Merry-go-round going amok scene that is supposed to be a classic, but I felt was artificially set up for no other reason but to be over the top (including the merry-go-round conductor being comically shot, and supposedly killed, for no other purpose, and with not a single person to mourn him, then to set up the comic chase scene). And then there is a dramatic reveal of The Macguffin that will clear him, a cigarette lighter, dramatically reveal as the dying hand clutching it releases it… And the cop immediately “well, that clears it”. What? Why? The cop never believe the cigarette lighter story to begin with and all this shows is a cigarette lighter exist. The cop on the scene isn’t in on the significance.

  12. This could be a geezer alert….I remember when TVs had horrendously sensitive horizontal and vertical picture adjustments. The Outer Limits intro was referring to that as the newfangled black and white TVs (actually any CRT model) of that era all had those controls. The knobs to make the adjustments were usually on the back of the TV set and you needed a mirror or another person watching to fine tune to a steady picture. Any minor degradation of the analog over the air signals could trigger them to falter. A passing airplane or a passing car with an unshielded ignition system would do it.

    Don’t get me started about when the circuit tubes failed and you needed to take the back off, remove all the tubes, and take them to the store to test them and buy replacements….

  13. I don’t recall the contexts for sure, but I know there are people who can say “perpendicular” (as an adjective or also noun, and without “to”) to mean “vertical”. Maybe architecture / design. “Note the strong perpendiculars created by the columns…” but not meaning right-angles, and without horizontals having been mentioned.

  14. Okay, yes. It’s meaning 1.1 at https://www.lexico.com/definition/perpendicular . But my memory jumped to architecture because it is also the name for a period/style, meaning 2.

    1. At an angle of 90° to a given line, plane, or surface or to the ground.

    ‘dormers and gables that extend perpendicular to the main roofline’

    1.1 At an angle of 90° to the ground; vertical.
    ‘the perpendicular cliff’

    1.2 So steep as to be almost vertical.
    ‘houses seem to cling by blind faith to the perpendicular hillside’

    2 (also Perpendicular)
    Denoting the latest stage of English Gothic church architecture, prevalent from the late 14th to mid 16th centuries and characterized by broad arches, elaborate fan vaulting, and large windows with vertical tracery.
    ‘the handsome Perpendicular church of St Andrew’
    ‘the Perpendicular style’

  15. John Kowalkowski – Some of my many fond memories with my dad is when the TV would break. It was a 1950s console TV. The big piece of furniture would be pushed into the middle of the room to access the back. My dad would take the back off the TV and while explaining to me that it said the back of the TV should not be removed except by trained professionals as there were “no user serviceable parts” in the back, but it was okay because he “knew what he was doing” as he had trained as an engineer for the army.

    He would pull out several tubes (or as I called them “big glass thingies”) – I never understood how he knew which ones back then, and the two of us would go to – at first in Brooklyn to a nearby store, later out here on Long Island, I think, to Lafayette electronics. he would put each tube, one at a time, into a machine which tested them and then he would replacement tubes for whichever ones tested bad.

    We would then go home and he would put the new tubes in the TV. Sometimes this worked. Generally it did not and the TV repairman would be called. I would stand and watch him work. He would say to me “Your dad worked on this again – right.” and I would agree. He would then comment that he made more money when my dad worked on it first.

    Ah, great memories and Robert has similar ones with his dad.

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