Author Topic: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon  (Read 125598 times)

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #390 on: June 16, 2010, 06:29:05 AM »
I also have one more to go.

I just want to put some time between Jon's and my review :bag:


Great review of Rope there, Marie.

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #391 on: June 16, 2010, 06:30:10 AM »
Thank you :)  Glad you liked the review.

Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #392 on: June 16, 2010, 12:04:10 PM »
Oh?  I thought I was only one still not done.

So there is a chance I may not be last after all..cool.

Well, the UK Hitchcock set that Jon recommended arrived today, so I'm just starting. :laugh: I doubt I will write any reviews, though.
Matthias

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #393 on: June 20, 2010, 12:05:51 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Family Plot
Year: 1976
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 120 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: Mono, French: Dolby Digital: Mono
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Stars:
Karen Black
Bruce Dern
Barbara Harris
William Devane
Ed Lauter

Plot:
In his final picture, Hitchcock weaves together suspense and humor in this tongue-in-cheek thriller about a wealthy woman who innocently hires a phony psychic to find her missing heir. The unforgettable all-star cast, including Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane and Karen Black, contributes to an enthralling merry-go-round of mayhem, mystery and murder.

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Featurettes
Gallery
Production Notes
Storyboard Comparisons

My Thoughts:
The Master's last film. It is very nice to see it didn't just play it safe on this one, but made some bold choices along the way. Not all works but it still produces a film other director's could only wish to make. Of course a lot rests on the fact that there was a solid script to work from, written by Ernest Lehmann (who he had worked with on North By Northwest), based on material created by Victor canning. The film deals with two sets of characters, two couples, whose fate is about to intertwine. I like how these two couples interact among each other and how different they are. Blanche and George are a poor couple who gets by driving taxi and scamming old ladies by pretending to spiritually contact their passed on loved ones. On the other hand we have Fran and Arthur who are quite active kidnapping people and collecting the ransom. As interesting it is to see both couples alternately, it makes it more difficult to connect with our heroes.

In typical Hitchcock fashion, the story is not about "whodunnit", but more about the people reacting in the situation they are in. That part works rather well though, as we learn early on who does what, yet we still anticipate where all that will bring our heroes towards the end. Here, again, I feel there is a missed opportunity, with the pacing of the end being a little too slow, emphasized by poor choice of music; which was already evident throughout the film (oddly enough this was scored by John Williams, who normally normally knows better :shrug:)

In overall it's till a good film and is interesting to watch, although it could be a little shorter and cut slightly tighter (I hope it's not purely based on us being used to way faster pacing nowadays :hmmmm:) This being the first Hitchcock film I have ever seen, I have a soft spot for it, so here it goes:


Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #394 on: June 20, 2010, 03:00:54 PM »
I though Family Plot came over like a TV movie overall, but certain touches elevated it above such average aspirations. I couldn't make my mind up about the score, but thought it had its moments for good and bad. At it's best it had an identity, albeit possibly through over-familiarity with the composers style.

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #395 on: June 20, 2010, 03:18:03 PM »
I have updated the list in the first post.

Congratulations to Jon and Achim for finishing the marathon  :thumbup:
Though Achim, I am missing your review for "Pycho". Did I miss it or are you reviewing it later?

Also I have taken Rich's rating for "The Birds" from his last October Horror marathon, which also finishes his run  :thumbup:



Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #396 on: June 20, 2010, 06:58:48 PM »
For anyone looking for a good deal on the Hitchcock Universal set, it's on Play.com this weekend only for £14.99. I think that's superb value!

Well, that happens if you go for the cheap stuff. :( 3 of the 14 movies are definitely in the wrong aspect ratio. With 3 more (where IMDb lists the OAR as 1.50:1) I'm not sure. Also, I'm wondering if the Fullscreen DVDs are P&S or Open Matte? Does anyone know a bit more about that?

TitleDVDIMDb
The Trouble with Harry1.85:11.50:1
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)  1.85:11.50:1
Vertigo1.85:11.50:1
MarnieFullscreen  1.85:1
Torn CurtainFullscreen1.85:1
TopazFullscreen1.85:1
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #397 on: June 20, 2010, 11:14:58 PM »
Bugger. My Region 4 editions of those same titles are correct.  :( That's surprising. R2 and R4 are rarely different. Very sorry, Matthias... :bag:

Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #398 on: June 20, 2010, 11:43:59 PM »
Jon, since you are the resident Hitchcock expert, can you say something about the ones that are supposedly 1.50:1 OAR (according to IMDb)? Strikes me as rather odd.
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #399 on: June 21, 2010, 01:37:23 AM »
So far, revisiting Hitchcock has been an even more sobering experience than I expected.

Saboteur
Shadow of a Doubt
Rope
Rear Window
The Trouble with Harry
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #400 on: June 21, 2010, 02:17:19 AM »
Oh dear! Though if I'd have to have guessed, I'd have said that Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt and the '56 Man Who Knew Too Much would leave you cold. Rope and Rear Window I couldn't call you on, but I should have known that The Trouble With Harry would have caught your attention the most! :laugh:

Jon, since you are the resident Hitchcock expert, can you say something about the ones that are supposedly 1.50:1 OAR (according to IMDb)? Strikes me as rather odd.

Nice of you to say, but I think you give me too much credit! More credit should be given to my book collection including 'The Big Book of Widescreen', which was a slim paperback given away with Home Cinema Choice magazine way back in 1996. It explains how ratios work, all the different formats that were tested and OARs of every key film from 1895. It proved invaluable during the new dawn of widescreen and navigating those versions released for the sake of it at a premium price, OAR be damned.

According to said book, in the early 1950s, Paramount created Vista Vision to compete with other formats. To make it, they turned a 35mm frame on its side, thereby using a ratio of 1:5. Quality was improved and the size meant the image would suit 1.85:1 projector gates without any problem.

Actually those DVDs released in 1.85:1 are in fact correct. Vista Vision was abandoned in the early 60s, so I guess resultant prints would be fixed at the more common size? Not really sure how that works, tbh, but 1.85:1 is how the films have always been shown, hence why the DVD releases are in that format.

I didn't look at your list properly earlier and I've double-checked and my Marnie, Torn Curtain and Topaz are all R2, so incorrectly full frame. Sorry I didn't twig earlier these would be the ones in that set, even when I swore at my TV when Marnie came up full screen. I bought a lot of Hitchcock in R4 and keep forgetting I got that one much later.

Shame, because I wouldn't be surprised if you find Marnie more interesting than the others. I think it's an under-valued film that has much to offer.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 02:19:24 AM by Jon »

Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #401 on: June 21, 2010, 03:26:04 AM »
Oh dear! Though if I'd have to have guessed, I'd have said that Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt and the '56 Man Who Knew Too Much would leave you cold. Rope and Rear Window I couldn't call you on, but I should have known that The Trouble With Harry would have caught your attention the most! :laugh:

Which is a shame, kinda, because as far as the cinematography goes, it is rather conventional. But it doesn't bore with plot (like Saboteur, Man Who Knew) or half-baked suspense (like Shadow). Instead it is delightfully macabre and has an unresistable odd sense of humor.

According to said book, in the early 1950s, Paramount created Vista Vision...

Thanks for explaining that.

Shame, because I wouldn't be surprised if you find Marnie more interesting than the others. I think it's an under-valued film that has much to offer.

Vertigo and Marnie are actually the ones I look forward to the most.
Matthias

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #402 on: June 21, 2010, 06:51:02 AM »
Congratulations to Jon and Achim for finishing the marathon  :thumbup:
Though Achim, I am missing your review for "Pycho". Did I miss it or are you reviewing it later?
You didn't miss it. On page 3 I had mentioned that I will maybe watch Psycho, and maybe not. So, for the time being, I went for not. ;)

If I ever review it I'll add it to this thread.

Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #403 on: June 23, 2010, 05:44:13 AM »
So far, revisiting Hitchcock has been an even more sobering experience than I expected.

Saboteur
Shadow of a Doubt
Rope
Rear Window
The Trouble with Harry
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Following up with a better batch... and then four more to go.

Vertigo
Psycho
The Birds 
Marnie
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #404 on: June 23, 2010, 09:13:06 AM »
You like The Birds but not Psycho?   ???