Author Topic: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon  (Read 130011 times)

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #315 on: January 03, 2010, 01:31:35 PM »
It was remade in 2006. There were four films in the original run.
:redcard:

Only three not four, the one from 1991 is basically a tv remake with a girl in place of a boy... The story end with The Final Conflict in 1981 it's kind of obvious. A tv film doesn't really count as a sequel

Put your cards away! Anyone new to the films may reasonably question why the boxset has four films instead of three! :P

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #316 on: January 03, 2010, 03:27:44 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Marnie
Year: 1964
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 131 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Tippi Hedren ['Tippi' Hedren]
Sean Connery
Diane Baker
Martin Gabel
Louise Latham

Plot:
Tippi Hedren is Marnie, a compulsive thief who attempts to rob her boss, Mark Rutland (Sean Connery), but instead ends up marrying him. Her obsessive behavior continues, but when she is pushed to the edge after a terrible accident, Marnie's groom urges her to confront the past in the shattering conclusion of this psychological thriller.

Extras:
Scene Access
Trailers
Featurettes
Gallery
Production Notes

My Thoughts:
First off, this is not the usual Hitchcock thriller. Closer to Rebecca in nature, I guess, this is about a psychologically damaged woman and her husband trying to get close her. The themes are strong (rape is mentioned and then of course the reveal at the end) and kudos to Alfred to try something completely different, albeit almost clearly out of his area of expertise. Some scenes manage to shine when things get closer to the director's regular topics, like the hunting scene and especially its conclusion, but in overall it was lacking. I want to point out that I enjoyed the dialog that was put into Connery's mouth!

In my opinion the film's failure lies strongly on Tippi Hedren's shoulders; or Hitchcock's for that matter, who so dearly wished to make a star out of her. The role of Marnie demands a far greater range than Hedren is able to provide. The performances by Sean Connery and Diane Baker are marvelous, but they are not enough to save the film marred by the lead actress and a director trying to find foot in a new genre.

(click to show/hide)


Offline Jimmy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #317 on: January 03, 2010, 08:06:24 PM »
Put your cards away! Anyone new to the films may reasonably question why the boxset has four films instead of three! :P
Because it's the only way to force people to watch it :laugh:
Nobody in his right mind could buy this one alone, but you won't hesitate to do it with any film in the real trilogy.

Najemikon

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Marnie ****
« Reply #318 on: January 31, 2010, 10:02:14 PM »
Marnie (1964)
4 out of 5




The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock creates a spellbinding portrait of a disturbed woman, and the man who tries to save her, in this unrelenting psychological thriller. 'Tippi' Hedren is Marnie, a compulsive thief and liar who goes to work for Mark Rutland (Sean Connery), then attempts to rob him. Mark impulsively marries the troubled beauty and attempts to discover the reasons for her obsessive behavior. When a terrible accident pushes his wife to the edge, Mark forces Marnie to confront her terrors and her past in a shattering, inescapable conclusion.

I had not seen Marnie for many years and perhaps never properly, so this has been a pleasant surprise because it’s not a fondly remembered film from Hitchcock’s career, but I found it to be an engrossing and powerful film that recalls Vertigo and Spellbound in its mentally flawed lead characters.
 
The film seems very old-fashioned and the credit sequence feels like it’s from the 40s. So do the characters, with a story somewhat based on class conflict (Mark would be high society in any other time) and that infuriatingly outdated view of marriage, although it is part of the plot this time at least. He adopted a nostalgic style for Psycho to deliver a very modern narrative and this is similar, but the old-time feel is more sustained so can be a detriment too. Still, he’s making the sex thriller he couldn’t possibly have made before, so probably the creaky techniques amuse him more than anything. Certainly there is nothing as inventive as you would find in Vertigo.

It’s daring in its delivery and fools the viewer somewhat. The start could be a breezy caper, like To Catch a Thief, but as with Vertigo it quickly takes a dark turn and digs in for the duration. While it can be dry and talky, it is a fascinating study of psychology, which Hitchcock has dealt with before. For the first time, the typical Hitchcock romance is the primary plot.

Marnie is a troubled woman and her light-fingered habits are a symptom of something more disturbing. Sean Connery is perfect as Mark, obviously turned on by Marnie’s problems, making him pretty unstable too! He is a great character, supremely confident and charming, exactly what Cary Grant used to do (Hitchcock pretty much invented Bond, now gets to use him :laugh:), now with him a manipulative sexual predator, taming the frigid Marnie by unravelling her mysterious past which is acting as a chastity belt!  It makes for a suffocating effective chemistry between the leads, with an early uncomfortable peak as Mark pretty much rapes her. That is nasty, but for the most part there is a lot of fun to be had between Connery and Hedren as they toy effectively with one another. I loved the psychoanalysis scene!

Apparently Mark wasn’t an accomplished psychiatrist in the book or early screenplay draft. Instead he sent Marnie to see one. It takes a small contrivance explain how he can pull this off, but the plot benefits ten-fold. Another character would have interrupted the dynamic between them.

Another change is the character of Mark’s sister-in-law, Lil (Diane Baker). Often Hitchcock romances involve two men for one woman and “Lil” was the other man in the book, so ready-made for the director it seemed. Except having her fighting for Mark’s affections is much more interesting, especially as it is never explored fully and just adds to the enigma that is Mark.

This isn’t outwardly ambitious visually for Hitchcock, which could be surprising given the work that went into Vertigo. Instead it’s a simply effective, with key scenes that linger. The stark rape scene for one; Marnie’s silent robbery in another; a heartbreaking conclusion to the hunt; and a superb flashback, which is very unusual (he did one for I, Confess, but this is could have been a cul-de-sac for the plot, so he brilliantly takes it head on).

Much of the films unfair reputation may be down to the fact it was adapted specifically for Grace Kelly, but she had to refuse. After The Birds, Hitchcock was sure he had found a suitable replacement in the earthy Hedren, but she would always be in the shadow of a Princess. That’s a cruel twist though because Hedren is good enough in a role probably very different from the one offered Kelly considering the changes, and is she really the lead, considering how passive and smothered the character is?

Marnie isn’t for everyone. It can be uneven and may disturb as much as entertain, but go in with the right frame of mind and you’ll reap its rewards. It deserves a re-evaluation.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 10:10:05 PM by Jon »

Offline Antares

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #319 on: January 31, 2010, 10:26:57 PM »
Don't know if I'd rate this one as highly as you did. I think Achim hits the nail right on the head, Tippi is terrible.

She gave birth to a terrible actress too.

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #320 on: February 01, 2010, 01:17:44 AM »
Don't know if I'd rate this one as highly as you did. I think Achim hits the nail right on the head, Tippi is terrible.

She gave birth to a terrible actress too.

I certainly don't think she's terrible, but she certainly isn't upto the high standard of previous Hitchcock leading ladies. But that's why I said "good enough", especially as I found her to a be a character that things happen too. She didn't have the responsibility of driving the plot, that was down to Connery. He surprised me actually. I'd remembered Marnie as the one where they couldn't get the proper actors! He was very good though.

Still, you might have noticed I'm an optimist. Someone has got to be awful to the point of distraction before I tear them a new one. I found Tippi's blank expression and leaden movements consistent with a character who is nuts! :laugh: Occasionally she was very poor, such as the scenes with "Momma" which I found utterly unconvincing. Shame, I had meant to point out the mother fixation.  :slaphead: Ah, well, I'd rattled on enough.

I found this to be a film about the writing, not the performances though, so I can give it a heck of a margin. That's what I tried to stress, that the film seems to be the one people remember because of Tippi. Forget Tippi. Concentrate on the story and there's a lot to find. The sequence with the horse is amazing alone.

Every actress deserves one good film though. This is Tippi's. Her daughter gets Working Girl. Dreadful, but she has the cutest laugh!

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #321 on: February 05, 2010, 10:10:25 PM »
Sometimes while watching a film, I'll hear a phrase or word I don't understand and make a note to look it up. There were two in Marnie and the explanations give an interesting viewpoint on the script and reveals more of its intelligence. Obviously some of you may have already been aware, in which case it's only my intelligence that should be questioned!  :laugh:

"Noblesse Oblige"
The literal translation from French of "Noblesse oblige" is "nobility obliges."

The Dictionnaire de l’Académie française defines it thus:

       1. Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.
       2. (Figuratively) One must act in a fashion that conforms to one's position, and with the reputation that one has earned.

The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honourable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility". Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one's time in idle pursuits.

Mark comes out with this and now I know it's meaning, it rather elegantly sums up his character; confident, if a little condescending, and supports what I said before that Marnie had a slightly dated class structure. Mark almost treats her as he would a child.

This especially caught my imagination because I always enjoyed a similar aspect in Chivalry or the Samurai Bushido. It basically means, "We know you're brilliant, you certainly know you're brilliant, but don't show off in front of the smelly useless peasants"!  :laugh:

"Fattid or Phatid Bugs"
In one sequence, Mark describes a flower that in fact, upon closer inspection, is actually made up of hundreds of insects working together to disguise themselves as a plant to avoid being eaten by birds. I wondered what they were and it seems someone else did too and there's a nice explanation on Answers.com from a Hitchcock perspective:

http://help.lockergnome.com/movies/identify-insect-film-Marnie--ftopict4637.html 

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #322 on: February 07, 2010, 09:46:13 AM »
Shall we set a deadline for Torn Curtain?

Since this marathon has all but come to a grinding halt, how about 2/28? Or sounds next Sunday (2/14) doable?


Tom, you want to catch up with The Birds? You had set a deadline for 12/31, 2009 that is :P
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 09:48:36 AM by Achim »

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #323 on: February 07, 2010, 10:08:28 AM »
I have deadlines for the rest in two-week intervals.

2010-02-21   1966    Torn Curtain   Achim, Jon, Tom
2010-03-07   1969    Topaz   Achim, Tom
2010-03-21   1972    Frenzy   Achim, Jon, Tom
2010-04-04   1976    Family Plot   Achim, Tom

But I am not sure if I will keep them. My brother and I never seem to be in the mood to watch another Hitchcock movie.



Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #324 on: February 07, 2010, 12:52:24 PM »
Hey, I'm still chugging along! Slowly, yes, but it's only a week since Marnie...  :P

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #325 on: February 07, 2010, 05:00:40 PM »
I still want to finish up with the ones I have as well.  Though I know I am horribly behind.  Maybe once work slows down - should be next week - I can get back to watching more movies and doing more reviews again.

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #326 on: February 07, 2010, 06:22:48 PM »
Hey, I'm still chugging along! Slowly, yes, but it's only a week since Marnie...  :P
i know, I know :) I didn't say it did stop, it just got...slow. Look at the original deadlines on page 1 and you know what I mean ;)

Well, I want ti finish the remainder and would rather do it in a similar time frame as you guys ;)

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #327 on: February 14, 2010, 05:24:01 PM »


Title: The Birds
Year: 1963
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: 15
Length: 115 Min.
Video: Pan & Scan 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Mono, German: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish

Stars:
Rod Taylor
Jessica Tandy
Suzanne Pleshette
'Tippi' Hedren
Veronica Cartwright

Plot:
Nothing equals The Birds for sheer terror when Alfred Hitchcock unleashes his foul friends in one of his most shocking and memorable masterpieces. As beautiful blonde Melanie Daniels ('Tippi' Hedren) rolls into Bodega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), she is inexplicably attacked by a seagull. Suddenly thousands of birds are flocking into town, preying on school-children and residents in a terrifying series of attacks. Soon Mitch and Melanie are fighting for their lives against a deadly force that can't be explained and can't be stopped in one of Hollywood's most horrific films of nature gone berserk.

Awards:
Academy Award1963NominatedBest Special EffectsUb Iwerks
AFI1963Nominated100 Years... 100 Movies (1998)
AFI1963Won100 Years... 100 Thrills (2001)
Golden Globe1963WonNew Star of the Year - FemaleTippi Hedren


Extras:
Deleted Scenes
Featurettes
Photo Gallery
Scene Access
Storyboard Comparisons
Tippi Hedren's Screen Test
Trailers
Universal News Reels

My Thoughts:
I am not very much of a horror film fan. I know these bird attacks should be creepy and all, but it just isn't doing it for me. Also the bird sounds were just annoying. For me it sounded like cats cries.

Also I feel that the first half of the movie is disconnected with the second half of the movie. I know most people find it okay that there is no reason given why the birds attack. Usually I would agree, but having no reason given just makes it seem like Mel arriving on the island and playing her prank and then the bird attacks are two movie storylines just thrown together for the fun of it. I had expected that her bringing the two love birds is the cause that the other birds were going crazy.

Rating:



Najemikon

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Torn Curtain ***
« Reply #328 on: March 07, 2010, 10:42:01 PM »
Torn Curtain (1966)
3 out of 5




Paul Newman and Julie Andrews star in this classic tale of international espionage set behind the Iron Curtain. Newman plays world-famous scientist Michael Armstrong, who goes to an internationall congress of physics in Copenhagen with his fiancée/assistant Sarah Sherman (Andrews). While there, she mistakenly picks up a message meant for him and discovers that he is defecting to East Germany. Or is he? As Armstrong goes undercover to glean top-secret information, the couple are swept up in a heart-pounding chase by enemy agents in this action-packed Cold War thriller.

Torn Curtain is not a bad film, but it’s definitely a compromised and a messy one to begin with. There’s an interesting documentary on the disc that suggests there were some problems with casting, the script was rushed and Bernard Herrmann was fired(!). Following the deaths of other long time collaborators, cinematographer Robert Burkes and editor George Tomasini, clearly this was a difficult period following Marnie’s failure.

Still, like I say, it is not a bad film and it has some marvellous sequences. It’s really just the confused first act that struggles. Paul Newman, excellent as always, is clearly hiding something from his wife, Julie Andrews. It asks a lot of the viewer to keep up with shifting emotions when the usual claustrophobic attention to one characters point of view is missing. It seems to switch between the two when we are supposed to be in Julie’s shoes and her character is short-changed because of it (imagine if Psycho kept cutting away from Marion to see what other characters were up to). By the time she, and us, are in on the plot though, the film has found its feet and picks up pace. Once both Newman and Andrews are properly together and dealing with the situation, it’s a properly exciting suspense thriller. Julie Andrews proves to be typecast when it comes to trying to escape Germans! Otherwise she does well in a fairly underwritten role.
 
There are many stand-out moments, like Newman dealing with Ludwig Donath’s professor, frustrating him into revealing the MucGuffin out of pride! The murder of Gromek is also absolutely superb. That isn’t a spoiler (well I don’t think so! What is in a Hitchcock film?), but it’s an incredible moment that has to be mentioned as Hitch shows us just how tough it is to take a life. Gromek is a great character as well, smoothly played by Wolfgang Keiling. All the supporting characters are memorable actually (there’s literally a bus full of them!) and there’s a cute running joke with a snubbed ballerina. She becomes very important during the climax at a theatre. Once again, Hitch plays with the idea of a sequence played with an audience and it is brilliant.

Repeat viewings might smooth out the problems with the film (understanding what Newman’s Professor is trying to do adds a great deal of gravitas to his cold treatment of his fiancé) , but the overall problem is that there isn’t a solid, intriguing hook of a premise like usual. It was clearly rushed, because I really believe it could have been polished into something marvellous. As the documentary suggests, what if Herrmann could have completed his work at least? John Addison is an able replacement, but Herrmann created scores that wove into the fabric of the film.

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #329 on: March 07, 2010, 10:42:47 PM »
And the marathon breathes again! You all thought it was dead, but no! :tease: