Was the 'man' a pimp?


Probably one of the best scenes of Crossfire was Paul Kelly and the soldier in Ginny's apartment. Who was he? Was he Ginny's pimp? Back in the 40s, this type of topic was taboo.

What are you gonna do? Kill me? Every body Dies. John Garfield (Body and Soul)

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There are a lot of possibilities as to Paul Kelly's character...One possibility that is likely is that he and Ginny had done the "Badger Game" scam before, therefore his claim to be the "Husband." The "Badger Game" is a blackmail set-up where a person is lured into a compromising situation that is interupted by the lure's partner, who claims to be the spouse of the lure. Money is extorted then from the mark as a way to extricate himself from the embarrasing situation. In this case, a low ranking soldier would not likely be a promising blackmail target, and, as Ginny wasn't in the apartment at the time, the situation wouldn't be embarassing enough to complete the scheme.

Again, this is just a theory, as I can't really see any other good reason for the Paul Kelly character, except as a deus ex machina, to give Cpl. Mitchell someone to talk to in the apartment.

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I believe you might be on to something. That badger game sounds very plausible. Hence the fear of the police as they get involved.

What are you gonna do? Kill me? Every body Dies. John Garfield (Body and Soul)

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loved all the scenes with this guy and also with Ginny. i didn't doubt for a minute the guy was her pimp, i mean, he remarks somewhere she's making money for him., though the badger scheme is an amusing (and possible) explanation as well.

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I don't think the film ever establishes who this man is to Ginny. He does seem to have a hold on her though. He's a fascinating and puzzling character.

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I wonder what an audience at the time would have made of him. The Hays Code meant that certain situations could not be spelled out (perhaps this, but certainly also the homosexual subtext to the murder), however audiences could sometimes fill in the blanks.

"Chicken soup - with a *beep* straw."

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I always wonder how innocent most of the audience were at the time, regarding those shady characters in noir. Lots of homosexual allusions too in those films.

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Good question - I don't know enough about the social history of the 1940s USA to know.
Some popular films of the time like The Big Sleep were pushing sexual double entendres to what you would think was a blatantly obvious extent. WW2 also broadened a few minds. Yet I can see a lot of this stuff being missed by the more innocent at the time.
It might depend though on what kind of audience went to see noir films like this. It was presumably a fairly worldly and knowledgeable one.
A later thought - things like the Hays Code probably eroded a decade or so after this film's release, because it was impossible any longer to pretend that some aspects of human experience did not exist and could be kept out of film.

"Chicken soup - with a *beep* straw."

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personal chef.


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