“Let not the young souls be smothered out before,
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world’s one crime its babes grow dull,
Its poor are ox-like, limp and leaden-eyed.
Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly,
Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap,
Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve,
Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.”
- The Leaden-Eyed by Vachel Lindsay
On his way home on a train, Guy Haines met Charles Bruno. Despite him trying not to be bothered with the latter, Guy found himself end up telling Bruno about his wife infidelity and him wanting a divorce after listening to Bruno’s hatred of his father. Bruno then proceeded to come up with a “perfect murder” plan where Guy would kill Bruno’s father while Bruno would kill Guy’s wife, Miriam. This way they both would establish perfect alibis at the time of the murders without the police making connection of the murders. Guy rejected the proposal, dismissing it more as Bruno being crazy. However, Bruno actually continued with his crazy plan and murdered Miriam. Then, he started bothering Guy to keep his part of the bargain, even resorting to threat when Guy ignored him.
Now, it was here that the story really made me roll my eyes. Having watched the movie, Guy disappointed me with him making stupid decision after stupid decision. It was almost like the man suffered from lack of brain or lack of will or both. His stupidity was further proven by the way he met his end by the end of the book. He and his big mouth, I just cannot believe it. Anyway, I did think he was more of mentally imbalanced towards the end. He and Bruno were really, really bad for each other especially with Bruno literally stalking Guy’s every move and following him around.
What I enjoyed was any scene where Detective Gerards was in. He was the detective Bruno’s father hired in order to find out should anything happened to him. The old man was suspecting that his own son was ill and would try to kill him. I also had a satisfying HA! moment when it finally hit Guy’s thick head that Gerards was the only person who can help him out of the mess despite Bruno’s threat because Gerards knew Bruno, and therefore unlikely to be deceived by his twisted story. But of course it was too late for Guy when he did realize that. Alas!
honest, I like Hitchcock’s plot much, much better. I guess I am a straightforward person and I prefer the usual evil (Bruno) vs. good (Guy) storyline. The movie also seemed to make more sense than the book which was unnecessarily wordy and filled with stupid thoughts and decisions courtesy of Guy Haines.