This morning I chugged through the satellite channels with my upstairs friend, the sluggish Dish Network remote. The receiver in the living room is so old that a caveman would feel comfortable using it. Plus, a caveman has that added bonus of a sloping forehead to thump that remote on when the buttons don't want to do his bidding. I, however, have to rely on my over-developed right thumb to coax those wayward numbers into beaming their infrared wavelength toward the Dish relic.
I won the battle of wills with the inanimate object, and settled on Turner Classic Movies. Normally, I descend through my channels until I hit two hours of Bernie Mac. Because that show simply cracks me up. But this morning, I happened upon a scene of blackmail, and woman-on-woman violence. and a mysterious hat-wearing dame who skulked in the shadows. My curiosity got the best of me. I couldn't turn away. But in a dramatic, heavily-scored pause, I checked the online guide. Yes, my receiver is so old, I don't even have a small window of the show playing when I check the guide.
A Woman's Place (1941) Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Veidt
Plastic surgery gives a scarred female criminal a new outlook on life.
At least that's what I thought it said. Within the last year, I've noticed that I sometimes need my glasses to read the TV screen clearly. Downstairs on the big screen, I don't have such a problem. The Dish receiver is more modern, and the screen is bigger. Plus, I can still watch the show while I check the guide. But I don't get downstairs until at least 2:00 on most days. I can fold laundry and wash dishes and cook and referee the boys' fights while I'm upstairs. And I can't wear my bifocals while doing those things. It's hard to give kids The Eye through a line on your glasses. So I left them off. I do it all the time at school. I see just fine except when reading up close, or when driving in an unfamiliar area.
The movie went on. I couldn't tear myself away. I kept supposing that the wife was going to get her comeuppance, or the criminal was going to marry the husband. Because I remembered the title being A Woman's Place. And everybody knows a woman's place is in the home. Right? I surreptitiously checked the guide again. Twice. Same thing. While the plot was sensational, it was not paying off in terms of the title.
When the credits started to roll, I saw the problem:
A Woman's Face.