The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood

6.1 The Stranger

When Meinike anxiously approaches the immigration officials, one uniformed man steps into the background and looks up. The camera cranes up and reveals a man with a pipe standing next to a woman in an elegant dark suit. The effect is thrilling: we see what Meinike does not. And yet our knowledge remains partial: a large sign occludes Wilson’s face. The technique probably involves some sleight of hand, allowing a double to play Robinson’s part, but the trick is meaningful nonetheless, enhancing the atmosphere of lies and uncertainty.

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