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A house of cards...
Wise talked about this scene in a May, 1975 seminar at AFI:
"Normally, you don't have your composer work until you finish the picture. But there were several places, one comes to mind particularly, where I felt that music could help me tell the story. It's when Susan Hayward is in the gambling house. As she tells Perkins she's going to marry and talks about what she sees in her future, he builds a house of cards. I wanted to avoid that obligatory structure of happy marriage, marriage starting to fall apart, and then breakup. I wanted to go from everything was great to everything falling in. So we got the idea of the house of cards. I got Mandel in and I said, 'Look, if I shoot in such a fashion that I move the camera right in on the house of cards as Perkins knocks it over, and I hold on the fallen cards way beyond any normal point but make the audience look and look at it, could you, with your music over this, tell me about the breakup of the marriage?' He said, 'Yes.' And that's what we finally did. Mandel said it was a lovely opportunity."

See the scene.

Susan Hayward visits the wardrobe department.


© American Film Institute