The Scar (aka, Hollow Triumph; aka, The Man Who Murdered Himself) (1948) Paul Henried produced, starred in, and partially directed this noir about a convict who, to escape the mob, takes on another person’s identity. In John Alton’s exquisite cinematography, a world of smoke and rain melts into identity confusion where no one can be trusted. There is even a cameo of Jack Webb as a hit man. Joan Bennett dazzles with Daniel Fuch’s cynical dialogue, but it’s Henreid, romantic lead blacklisted from acting in Hollywood, who sums up the situation he’s trapped in: “It’s a bitter little world full of sad surprises, and you don’t let anyone hurt you.”
The older you are, the more time
It takes for the scars to heal.
To save face and be safe
The better to become another
Taxi driver in a formal waltz.
It’s fatal to be mistaken for who you claim to be.
Dating identical men, the femme fatale
Still can’t recognize which one he is,
To love identical scars until they bleed.
Who remembers an old woman mopping the floor?
All anyone wants is a cheerful way of life.
“Which side is your scar on?”
Any crook can be a psychiatrist,
Sit quietly. and listen to wealthy narcissists.
There is no fixed self; self in flux
Means no one is who they think they are.
America is all face.
[Disposable Poem August 31, 2017]