Poll

Which Alfred Hitchcock Films would you like to catch up with?

The Pleasure Garden
The Mountain Eagle
The Lodger
Downhill
Easy Virtue
The Ring
The Farmer's Wife
Champagne
The Manxman
Blackmail
June and the Paycock
Murder!
The Skin Game
Rich and Strange
Number Seventeen
Waltzes from Vienna
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
The 39 Steps
Secret Agent
Sabotage
Young and Innocent
The Lady Vanishes
Jamaica Inn
Rebecca
Foreign Correspondant
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Suspicion
Saboteur
Shadow of a Doubt
Lifeboat
Spellbound
Notorious
The Prandine Case
Rope
Under Capricorn
Stage Fright
Strangers on a Train
I Confess
Dial M for Murder
Rear Window
To Catch a Thief
The Trouble with Harry
The Man who Knew Too Much (1956)
The Wrong Man
Vertigo
North by Northwest
Psycho
The Birds
Marnie
Torn Curtain
Topaz
Frenzy
Family Plot
I'm content with the number of Hitchcock I've seen
I don't want to see new ones, but I'd like to rewatch some

Author Topic: Summer of Hitchcock  (Read 305 times)

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Summer of Hitchcock
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2017, 12:26:46 PM »
Rope (1948).

It is easy to tell that Rope originally was a play. We are in the same apartment throughout the movie and the takes are very long to give the impression we are watching events unfold in real time. The film begins with a murder. After that there are preparations for a party that itself goes a little out of hand as the murdered guest never shows up. Everyone returns home but one guest comes back and starts asking bothersome questions.

A large part of the movie is in a way a haul until when Rupert Cadell (James Stewart) returns and questions what actually happened in the apartment earlier that day. The tension is built up by clever dialogue, smart camera movements and solid acting. In it's structure Rope reminds a bit of 12 Angry Men. The first part of the movie drags on but Joan Chandler (Janet) and Constance Collier (Mrs. Atwater) both were pretty great in their performances. And the way James Stewart laid bare the moral bones of the movie was terrific.

50
I might remember it all differently tomorrow.

1SO

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Re: Summer of Hitchcock
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2017, 01:12:34 PM »
I'm having the hardest time getting into Topaz.

oldkid

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Re: Summer of Hitchcock
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2017, 02:27:12 PM »
I saw Frenzy and I'm having a hard time writing about it.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

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Re: Summer of Hitchcock
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2017, 12:48:50 AM »
What a dreary start to my new Director Marathon. Three titles by Hitchcock that all rank in the Bottom 5.

Topaz (1969) is like an experiment, where Hitchcock tells a story of International Espionage without a main character. A filmmaker who specializes in star vehicles takes more of a Robert Altman approach, handing off pieces of the plot to various character actors. It took a while for me to get interested in the politics, I was longing for a Hitchcock set-piece and the opening has the earmarks of one but none of the crackle. There are better sequences later on, some nice spy details and a great shot involving a dress, but I didn't care one bit about the story.


Family Plot (1976) has Hitchcock's playful side, largely absent from Topaz, but I cared even less. A bunch of character actors attempt to find their way through the overly-complicated fog of story. Closer in tone to an episode of Murder She Wrote where there's no murder to solve and not a single shot with the master's touch.


The Trouble With Harry (1955) is a rewatch, at one time my least favorite Hitchcock because it's a folksy comedy instead of a suspense thriller. I'm glad I watched it today with the other two because I now see it's not that bad, just way outside what you might expect from Hitch. The Fall look is beautiful and I like much of the cast, but the theatrical script barely cracks a smile. It's too stilted for a film trying to get at humanity and warmth.

oldkid

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Re: Summer of Hitchcock
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2017, 03:12:25 AM »
I haven't watched The Trouble with Harry for decades, but as I recall, it's a hilarious title attached to an unfunny movie.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Summer of Hitchcock
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2017, 06:32:06 PM »
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Revenge

I was reminded this week by FS: SVU that Hitchcock not only had movies, but also shorts on television he directed.  In fact, in  Alfred Hitchcock Presents, he directed 17 episodes.   They aren't all available, but some are and this is more my speed right now, as I have more time for a short than a full length feature.

Admittedly, a half hour thriller is too short of a time for a thriller, generally.  Take the short, Revenge.  Newlyweds move to California from the midwest because the wife had a breakdown.  She needs some rest, and Los Angeles in the 50s is much more restful than the present day.  So they move into an RV park, next to Andy Griffith's Aunt Bea, and try to settle in.  That is, until the wife is attacked...

It's fine, and there is a moment that is worthy of Hitchcock, using shadows well.  But for the most part this film isn't anything special.  It just needs more time.  More time to weave in another interesting theme, more time to do some character development.  It's a fine attempt, but it should really be an hour instead of 23 minutes.

3/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Summer of Hitchcock
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2017, 07:11:46 PM »
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Case of Mr. Pelham

The cinematography is basic, simple, but the storytelling is well done.  Anthologies often highlight the work of writers, not directors, but casting, tone, editing... it all works together.  This story is simple (again, we can't expect more in a half hour), but the mystery is well presented and everyone involved is quite good. 

Mr. Pelham is troubled, so he speaks with his acquaintance, who happens to be a psychologist.  People approach Mr. Pelham, claiming that he has been doing things he has not done, being places he could not have been.  He wonders if he is going insane.  Or is there something even more insidious happening?

Interestingly, the Hitchcock intro and outro are more entertaining than the story itself.  Hitch has a great comedic presence, really.

3.5/5
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky