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In Mank (2020), after attending Thalberg's funeral, crying Mayer gets into the car and drops his hanky from a car window:

The shot was focused on it as there is a hidden meaning in it. Why did he drop his hanky in this scene?

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Because it is an act:

Crocodile Tears: Mayer is guilty of this twice:

  • Early in the film, he gives a tearful speech to his MGM employees, claiming the studio is about to go broke and asking them to take a 50% pay cut for eight weeks. After the employees are moved by his tears and agree to his proposal, he walks offstage and congratulates himself on his performance, smirking at his aides.

  • After weeping openly at Thalberg's funeral, Mayer casually discards his handkerchief out the car window.

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