Detective Story : Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Yeah yeah, I know, probably a horrible thing to say...but I never in the whole movie saw any good quality in Jim until after he'd been shot...oh sure, NOW that he finds out he's not invincible he's actually somewhat nice...from the point that he lost it with his wife, I was just thinking 'hit him, hit him', then he was up on the roof, I was hoping the other guy would throw him over...and then when Charlie stole the gun, I was just screaming 'kill McLeod!' I applauded when he dropped...he may have been meant to be the hero of the story, but he was anything but. Anybody agree?

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Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Meaning he must have had one hell of a sheltered life because otherwise he'd know something.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

lol :-D

well his dad did drive his mom to the insane asylum ;)

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Shakespearian tragedy eh? He's the author of his own downfall. He's given a couple of chances to get himself straight, get Mary back, free the kid - but is driven by his inner hatred.

Great movie.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

I think you viewed the movie with a wrong attitude. It is not a story of heroes, it is a character study of obsession.



"Wake me when we get to Purgatory."

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

There is no right or wrong. Only the Will. Smith. lol but seriously, cinema isn't "is or is not," unless of course your friend is paying for the ticket and you have to act like you enjoyed it like she did, in which case, you need a better friend.

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Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Yes, it was classic Kirk Douglas like the old impersonator Frank Gorsch? used to mimic. I watched it last night on TCM and found it to be "reaching" to say it kindly. Terribly overacted. Must have played out better on stage. And, you're right, I felt no sympathy for him when he commited suicide in a misguided heroic effort. Good riddance.
RB Williams

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

All I can say is that Lee Grant was the ONLY reason to watch this movie...Kirk would come on and I'd immediately get the feeling 'somebody hit him, somebody knock him down, somebody kill him'.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Yes!!! Kirk Douglas' character of a brutal cop actually suited him well. His father must have done a real job on him when he was a kid. He was mean and had no sympathy for anything or anyone. If I were his wife I would have dumped him and run away with Gerald Mohr who played Tammy Jacopetti. Mohr was gorgeous and so nice to her. I could just picture Douglas beating his wife in the future so it was best that he got shot.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Gerald Mohr's character is married.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

I was glad Jim died, but it wasn't for the same reason as a lot of the other people it seems. It was obvious he would die for much of the film... the other policemen were alluding to that each time they said if he doesn't bend he'll break. They were right.

You also have to remember Jim's response to this. He couldn't change if he wanted to. You can hate Jim all you want, but the man had problems stemming from his childhood with his father. From the bits we hear, Jim's father was probably as harsh and intolerant as Jim -- so much so that his father actually drives his mother to the insane asylumn.

It's a fantastic character study. As Jim is dying he says his Dad has been inside him all along, laughing or crying. As he says laughing it's clear that he hated how his father was and also hates the realization that he's become like his father in that respect. When he says crying he seems to finally realize that, like him, his father couldn't help himself. Jim couldn't help himself either. That's not an excuse for the character. He certainly didn't realize anything was wrong until he was almost dead. When the defense attorney insinuates about Jim's home life, Jim automatically concludes he means Mary's past, but it's just as likely he meant Jim's destructive personality.

The point isn't that Jim's bad or good. Jim held ideals of bad and good for most of the movie, believing the worst of those who were arrested and originally believing his wife to be pristine. Jim comes to learn through the course of the movie that he was wrong, but instead of immediately understanding, he feels betrayed and lashes out. Because his wife isn't pristine, she's betrayed him. He's so stuck on the idea of this that he doesn't realize her feelings or how badly he's hurt her until he's already made a mess of things. He does feel remorse.

That's what was meant by the character study. If you don't look at it as such, he'll just seem like a horrible, unbearable man. He's actually pretty deep and it's the depth that makes him so interesting and makes his death really poignant. His personality basically pushed the movie to this end because he was so uncompromising.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

I'm assuming all of us saw this movie this morning on TCM, what a powerful movie to get this many responses. I personally was shocked at how gritty and dark a film from 1951 was. But yeah I have to say, I hated Jim with a passion and was pretty happy to see him get it. Douglas certainly played his character in a way that it was extremely hard to have any sympathy for him. Jim McCloud came off more like a rabid animal to me than a good cop and as the movie progress I kept waiting for something redeeming to come out about him but nothing ever really did. Wasn't it great the way this film built to that point? Great movie.

[smoke2][smoke3]American until further notice

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

I'm surprised nobody mentioned the fact that he considered his father a hoodlum. he kept saying "I know the criminal mind" like a mantra. i like to recommend this film to younger viewers when they say some snide remark about the saccharine '50s, when nothing ever happened. let's see, you got yer organized crime lord, George McCready running both an abortion clinic and baby factory, a crazed cop whom a shrink these days could write a thesis about- not to mention the junkie thief. Wiseman did the best "jonesing" act I think I've ever seen.

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Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

yeah he kind of deserved that




When there's no more room in hell, The dead will walk the earth...

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Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

The way I see it, Jimmy, in the end, acted moved by a death wish, he couldn't deal with the mess he found himself in and made that suicidal move, so the people who are saying they were happy he died are happy he commited suicide?

Also, small wonder most people feel no sympathy for Jimmy, in a time where there´s pretty much nothing that resembles a moral standard of behaviour and we've grown quite desensitized, how can we expect anyone to feel empathy for a man who just saw what he held quite sacred (his feelings for his wife, that she allowed him to create) being razed to the ground and having a hard time dealing with it (the way he tell's his wife about washing his brain is a pretty powerfull image).
I also wonder how many of the posters who were happy he died are of the female persuasion.

It's not about him being right or wrong, its about him not being able to deal with it.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

I have no idea what movie the OP is watching. My goodness, Jim was NEVER, EVER, considered the hero of the movie. The entire movie is a character study about him. It wasn't about right or wrong. The movie has nothing to do with right or wrong. It's about a man who is struggling to find himself.

I wouldn't say we're suppose to hate him, but we really weren't supposed to like him either. I say pity is the right word we're suppose to feel for Jim. He's a guy that's driven by moral ethics and ambition to prove he's not a man like his father. His high moral code became very nauseating and nearly impossible to be with. He wasn't a bad guy by any means, just a very troubled one. We can't fault him for wanting to do what is right, but he's a guy that is very flawed on his view points in life. His view points on what's right and wrong were so misguided, miscalculated that he couldn't recognize the many wrongs that he represented.

At a moral point he was honest and sincere, but just simply misguided. It's easy to assume he views himself as some sort of elitist, but that's far from it. He held himself to the same standards he expected out of others.

He's bottled up with a lot of rage inside and lacks much empathy for anything that's remotely against his point of views. His entire world is viewed as black and white and he is struggling throughout the entire movie to understand how to compromise, bend, and see past any human flaws in anyone. It's not that he doesn't want to, it is that he doesn't know how!

Not just with anyone, but his own self!

The shoplifter, to the butcher, to even his OWN wife all demonstrate his own demons he's fighting against. That there's no black and white in this world. He can't see that. He doesn't understand it. Not everyone and thing is pure good and innocent like he wants them to be, and not everyone is pure evil either.

When he realized he became the man he hated and loathed all his life, it was a breaking point for him. Then when he even empathized a bit with his father he finally got it. Not everyone is just put on this earth to be bad, pure evil, and do terrible things. There's not this light switch that turns on and says "do bad things to people". Circumstances and situations can lead someone down that path.

He basically had lost everything and anything he thought he had. He himself was a vindictive man without any realization of it. He couldn't deal with it or make any sense of any of it anymore. He felt he failed. At the end we're suppose to feel sadness for the guy even if we don't like him. It shows he has a conscience, and that he was just shelled off from reality. At the very last moment there's a small amount of redemption on his part. Forgiveness and compassion was finally found when he was finally able to empathize and see his own faults and wrong doings. He was blinded by them the entire movie. It's not easy for someone to come to the conclusion that your actions are wrong, vicious, and just flat out cruel.

He wasn't a bad man at all. He was neither bad nor good. He was a flawed guy with the right mind to want to do good, and represent something clean and noble in the world. However, he was bottled up anger, resentment, and lack of compassion and sympathy that caused him to be rather destructive and volatile with others. Which all pinned from his childhood. He was just emotionally abused and scarred as child that clearly had a very unhealthy effect on him as he developed as a grown man.

The movie is about a man fighting against himself, more so than anyone in the movie. Just different people and situations represented what he was fighting against at a moral standpoint. Jim had no idea what he was doing until he did it to the very person he loved the most. When he realized the destructive effect it had on others it caused him to self destruct. When you see it that way it is easier to empathize with Jim, and not mark him as a villain.

That's what I love about this movie. It's very deep, real, raw, and really way ahead of its time. I think a lot of people don't quite get it, which probably explains why it wasn't as big as it should have been back then.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

Nice summary and insight. Satisfying when someone "gets it."

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

godfather4377 didn't really completely "get it'.

He forgot to mention that Jim carried guilt around from when he first became a cop and let those two kids go who broke into a car and two nights later murdered a butcher.

His sympathy for the two cryin babyfaced kids was a mistake he never wanted to make again.

Jim wasn't always a hard hearted man like most of the posters on this board make him out to be. If they paid attention to the movie they woulda picked this up.

As a matter of fact Jim was takin Mary back home and tryin to patch things up when Schneider's lawyer made a crack that insinuated Mary had other lovers and possibly more abortions. I can see this settin Jim off again because Mary had already lied to him once.

Re: Anybody else happy when Jim died?

I don't believe there were any heroes in this film
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