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"The Tech Rep" by James Michener; Continued

Perhaps enjoy is not the word. He lived every moment of the film with terrific intensity, giving me the impression that for him this was more than another in the distinguished chain of Bogart movies. I had not seen it before or even heard of it, and in Subsequent weeks when I spoke of my experience in other camps I found no tech rep who had heard of it either. It was excellent. Bogart was a film writer in Hollywood accused of murder and trusted only Gloria Grahame. As the first spasmodic reels unfolded, you got the idea it was just another murder mystery and that Miss Grahame was certain to save Bogart from the electric chair or the gas chamber or whatever it was that California used. In the long intervals between reels we discussed this probable development with the German rubber man, who said approving, IT TAKES THE AMERICANS OR THE FRENCH TO PUT TOGETHER A REALLY GOOD POLICIER. I asked if he thought Bogart had been involved in the murder of the young women, and he said, NEVER. NOT IN AN AMERICAN FILM. IN A FRENCH FILM, YES.

This type of opinion held through the first four intermissions, but I noticed that Holt did not react to the guesses. He was the only one present who know how the film came out, and he took quiet satisfaction in eavesdropping on our wrong guesses, for during the fifth intermission the German and I confessed that we had been mistaken. This was something more than a mere POLICIER. It was a character study of a film writer in conflict with with a likeable girl who was befriending him. I HAVE THE CURIOUS FEELING, the German whispered as we looked out toward the jungle that encroached upon Pakanbaru, THAT MR. BOGART IS NOT GOING TO GET THE GIRL THIS TIME. HE'S TRULY PSYCHOPATIC...SOMETHING LIKE YOUR FRIEND HOLT.

To be continued:

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