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hosenhaus
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Silent Alarm
13. Apr 2004 at 20:11
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The Silent Alarm
1993 short film starring...


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« Last Edit: 07. Jun 2004 at 11:03 by cal-Q-L8 »  
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Re: Silent Alarm
Reply #1 - 14. Apr 2004 at 02:16
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Thanks Hosenhaus.

The full set of 13 caps that Hosenhaus posted are now in a gallery on the BA database.



For those interested in finding out more about this film read the following interesting post which I think was posted on B.O.Y.S.  I negleted to make a note of the poster, so if you recognize the post please feel welcome to claim 'ownership'.

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Silent Alarm

Hi, Cap! I've just noticed that you have a "More info needed please!!!" note on your Silent Alarm page, the caps having been contributed by "Anonymous." As I've posted earlier, I have everything of Jesse's, including two VHS copies of Silent Alarm. I also have Silent Alarm digitally recorded on my Mac directly off the satellite.

This is Jesse Lee's first movie. It's an independent film produced and directed by Rob Morrow, who played the doctor in the Northern Exposure TV series. I have the production info on this short film somewhere, but without tracking it down I seem to recall that Jesse was seven years old when it was filmed. It was aired on the Sundance Channel recently at my request, and apparently some of the boyphoto web sites made caps of it then. The hallway underwear scene is usually featured at these sites, which irks me just a little because of my very strong affection for this boy. I guess I'm being irrational, but he feels very much like a son to me. (Nothing personal meant by this, Cap, I like your site.)

Anyway, enough of my rambling. First, you have to know that this film, about a half hour in length, is done in semi pantomime. That is, you hear all the ambient sound, but the actors' voices are muted so that, if you hear them at all, you can hear the inflections in the voices but not what is said. However, the story is so straightforward, and the acting so real, you don't actually need to know what they're saying except in one key scene where Jesse is threatened with death, and at the climax, when Jesse yells, "He did it! I swear!" Overall, the presence of ambient sound but absence of intelligible dialog is very effective. This is an excellent, even artistic, short film.

Jesse Lee plays the part of a little boy living in a contemporary colonial style house in an affluent neighborhood (the movie was filmed in Poughkeepsie, NY), alone with his widowed mother. She is a rather homely, average looking woman who somehow, mysteriously, incongruously produced a very cute kid! Jesse and a bunch of older kids are playing an abreviated form of baseball in the street near his house when a flashy convertible comes along. The kids quickly remove their stuff from the street, and as the car glides slowly by we see a sharp looking, casually dressed young blade looking at directions on a slip of paper and trying to match it with the houses he sees.

Jesse is tagged out, and as he rests against a street sign, he notices that the car is now in the driveway of his house! He sneaks up to the dining room window and sees his mother at the table, directly across from this smooth talking charmer, looking at brochures about home alarm systems. As the man smokes and they both drink coffee, it's obvious that she is falling for him, and he (perhaps) for her.

In fact, he works so fast that in the evening, after Jesse has been put to bed, his car is still in the driveway and remains there all night. The underwear caps you see, where Jesse is standing in the hallway, occur when he comes out of his bedroom in the morning in time to see the man sneaking away. The man smiles at him and puts a finger to his lips for Jesse to not wake his mom. Nevertheless, Jesse goes directly into his mom's room to make sure she's all right.

Very soon, the guy moves in and tries to win Jesse over, with mixed success. He brings home lobster for dinner one night and makes Jesse laugh by pretending that one of the lobsters is still alive and is attacking him. Another time, when the neighborhood kids are playing under the sprinkler (the story takes place in summer), he stops the ice cream truck and buys popsicles for the whole mob. Another time, he shows Jesse how to connect wires in the alarm box he's installing in the garage. It's beginning to look like he'll win the boy over.

Then, one day when his mother is out, Jesse discovers the man going through his mom's jewelry drawer. He immediately cools towards the man, and on the day they go to a local park for a picnic with relatives, Jesse stubbornly refuses to come to the table until the man walks over to him, violently lifts him to his feet, marches him to the table and slams him onto his seat. This, plus the man's overt sexual advances to Jesse's mom in public, raises the eyebrows of the relatives, but they say nothing. (At this point in the film, although Jesse is listed in the credits as "boy," you can clearly hear his mother calling him when the food is ready, "Jesse! ...Jesse!"

Soon afterwards, Jesse discovers the man rumaging through his mom's purse, but this time the man catches him watching and chases him into his room. With Jesse backed terrified into a corner with a pile of stuffed animals, the man says very slowly and pointedly, "If - you - tell, I'll - KILL - you!"

But the tables are soon turned. First, we see Jesse sneaking into his mother's room and making off with her jewelry (see my composite "Jesse triplets" freeze frame of this action below). Of course, Jesse's mom's jewelry is soon discovered missing and the police are called. As the cop gathers info in their living room, Jesse's mom cries, her "boyfriend" sits confused next to her, and Jesse sits quietly nearby on the floor.

Later, while putting fresh clothes into Jesse's bureau drawer, his mom finds the missing jewelry and he is quickly brought to task in the living room. His mother throws up her arms in dispair, not understanding how her quiet little boy could have done such a thing. Taking over, the man pulls down Jesse's shorts, puts him over his knee, and begins to spank him. Red faced with humilation, Jesse leaps away from the man, and while pulling up his shorts, points to him and says, "He did it! I swear!" In response to this, the man loses it and goes after Jesse to hit him, but his mother grabs a handy bottle and breaks it over the man's head, knocking him unconscious.

In the final scene, the male relatives are present in the house to make sure that the guy leaves, while the women comfort Jesse's mom, who sits crying on the sofa. As the man hichhikes down the road (he had sold his car earlier), Jesse watches from the woods to make sure he is really going.

The title "Silent Alarm" comes from the scene where the man chases Jesse into his room and threatens to kill him. Starting from the moment the man looks up from Jesse's mom's purse, and up until the spoken threat, we hear the loud clanging of an alarm bell. (Which the man still hasn't finished connecting.)

I really like this little gem of a movie, and not just because Jesse's in it. It's nicely photographed in a picturesque area of the country, and the almost total lack of dialog seems to intensify the visual action.

Jesse was "discovered" a year or two before this film when he was at a barbeque and was spotted by a guest who happened to be a New York talent agent. Jesse's mother was handed a business card, but it was put in a drawer when they got home and almost forgotten. According to Jesse, a few months later he went to his mom and said, "I'd really like to be on television." His mother found the card and they called the agent. The rest is history.

I know that this is much more info than you wanted, but I enjoyed writing it and I wanted to give you a feel for this film so that you can more easily write the thumbnail sketch for your Silent Alarm page. If you want undies info, suffice it to say he appears in them only in the hallway scene and later when he is spanked.
« Last Edit: 07. Jun 2004 at 11:06 by cal-Q-L8 »  
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Re: Silent Alarm
Reply #2 - 14. Apr 2004 at 08:09
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schedulers could run silent alarm in conjunction with a real silent movie.

like tom brown's schooldays.

it was showing a few days ago in robin hood territory.

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Re: Silent Alarm
Reply #3 - 14. Apr 2004 at 22:45
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Shocked Grin WOW Cheesy Great post WinkThank for sharing Grin
  
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Re: Silent Alarm
Reply #4 - 14. Apr 2004 at 23:00
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<i>In response to this, the man loses it and goes after Jesse to hit him, but his mother grabs a handy bottle and breaks it over the man's head, knocking him unconscious.</i>

Couldn't she find anything bigger than a bottle?   Angry

Love,
Sir J
  
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