Author Topic: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon  (Read 102827 times)

Offline Antares

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #420 on: June 26, 2010, 11:15:12 PM »
And you do realise you just linked to the IMDB message boards? That's the Mos Eisley of forums!  :-X

I guess we're even, seeing as how you used a Star Wars fanboy metaphor for your response.  :tease:  :devil: :hysterical:

And I'll stand by that comment, because I had to look up what Mos Eisley was.  :tease:  :laugh:

We really need a fanboy smiley on this forum.  ;)  :P

Offline Jon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #421 on: June 26, 2010, 11:22:36 PM »
I just always thought that when entering the IMDB forums, Obi Wan Kenobi has wise words:

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." :whistle:

And the conversations usually end up as...

Jon
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Offline Antares

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #422 on: June 26, 2010, 11:25:50 PM »
I just always thought that when entering the IMDB forums, Obi Wan Kenobi has wise words:

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." :whistle:

And the conversations usually end up as...



I haven't seen that part of the film since I first saw the film back in '77.

I guess Lucas clipped from Yojimbo too.  ;)

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #423 on: June 27, 2010, 04:07:39 AM »
Ack....you linked to the evil IMDB...how dare you.
You probably corrupt databases too don't you? ;)

Sorry...couldn't resist.

Offline Jimmy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #424 on: June 27, 2010, 04:44:42 AM »
Even more the IMDB forum that had no respectability for any person knowing movies. Those forums are just like "The Mansion of Madness" and I can't tell you why since I can't spoil the movie :whistle:

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #425 on: June 29, 2010, 11:12:59 PM »
Dial M for Murder



Alfred Hitchcock’s screen version of Frederick Knott’s stage hit Dial M for Murder is a tasty blend of elegance and suspense casting Grace Kelly, Ray Milland and Robert Cummings as the points of a romantic triangle.  Kelly won the New York Critics and National Board of Review Best Actress Awards for this and two other acclaimed 1954 performances (Hitchcock’s Rear Window and her Oscar®-honored work in The Country Girl).

She loves Cummings; her husband Milland plots her murder.  But when he dials a Mayfair exchange to set the plot in motion, his right number gets the wrong answer – and gleaming scissors become a deadly weapon.  Dial “M” for the Master of Suspense at his most stylish.

My Thoughts

I think this is the first time that I've seen this entire movie.  I saw part of it on tv before.  I have also seen another version of the story, A Perfect Murder, a few times.  I think the movie is very entertaining and it has an interesting plot.  The way things are presented keeps the movie from being as suspenseful as some of Hitchcock's other movies, but I do think there is still suspense to what is going on.  Tony describes exactly how things are supposed to happen, but he doesn't take into account the fact that things rarely go exactly as planned in any situation.  When things start to go a bit wrong, some suspense is added to what is going on.  The mystery is mostly focused on how Tony will deal with how things worked out and if he will get caught. 

The movie takes place almost completely inside Tony and Margot's apartment without a few short shots outside of it.  I honestly really didn't notice that while watching the movie.  This isn't the first Hitchcock movie with a more confined set and it won't be the last.  I don't remember knowing before that the movie was based on a play.  Things do move at a slightly slower pace for much of the movie that may not appeal to some viewers.  That works to build up what is going on and add what suspense there is.  There isn't a lot of action in the movie either, apart from the one important scene.  The movie does have a lot of talking which might bore some people, but I didn't think it was boring.  The talking was needed to introduced certain story elements..like how Tony puts his plan in motion. 

The characters are interesting, though there could have been a bit more development for some of them.  Tony is sort of presented in a more sympathetic way at first because of Margot's affair.  Even with that, I really didn't like him.  He came across as smarmy and manipulative to me.  That comes out more and more as the movie progresses.  He is very calculating and things he has everything planned out perfectly.  He isn't happy when things go wrong, though he adapts fairly quick.  Ray Milland does really well with the part.  Margot seems to be trying to make her marriage work though she clearly still has feelings for Mark.  She thinks she has kept things from Tony.  She is clueless about a few things.  Grace Kelly does well with the part.  Mark is a writer and the man that Margot had an affair with.  They haven't seen each other in a year, but it is clear the feelings are still there.  Mark seems nice enough, though he really isn't developed much.  Chief Inspector Hubbard is the police officer investigating everything.  He keeps popping up with additional questions.  He picks up on much more than it seems at first.

The two extras on the DVD are interesting and entertaining.  It is brought up how the movie was made in 3D because of how popular that format was at the time.  By the time the movie was ready to be released, it wasn't as popular anymore, so most theaters showed the movie in the normal format.  When I was at Universal Studios in Florida several years ago, they had a show thing about Hitchcock.  Part of it showed the one scene from this movie in 3D.  That shot worked really well..better than most of what I've seen more recently.

This movie does move a bit slower than other Hitchcock movies and doesn't have as much suspense overall, but it is still really entertaining and worth watching.



I did get a review posted on Epinions.

Dial M for Murder


Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #426 on: June 30, 2010, 04:20:48 AM »
Rear Window



None of Hitchcock's films has ever given a clearer view of his genius for suspense than Rear Window. When professional photographer J.B "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg, he becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbors play out across the courtyard. When he suspects a salesman may have murdered his nagging wife, Jeffries enlists the help of his glamorous socialite girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to investigate the highly suspicious chain of events...Events that ultimately lead to one of the most memorable and gripping endings in all of film history.

My Thoughts

I think I have seen this one more than any other Hitchcock movie.  I love this movie.  I think everything about it works very well and it is a highly entertaining movie.  It has held up very well and is definitely worth seeing.  The plot isn't that complicated, but it works.  It makes sense for Jeffries to watch what his various neighbors are up to while he's stuck in the cast.  That is something that most people have done - watched what a neighbor was doing in some situation - and the movie just expands on that.  People can relate to doing that.  I also think it makes sense that Jeffires gets wrapped up in trying to figure out if a murder has happened.

This is one of the Hitchcock movies with limited locations.  Jeffries is stuck in his small apartment for the entire movie.  He's confined even more since he is in a wheelchair thanks to his broken leg.  He spends most of his time looking out his windows, watching what the neighbors are doing.  Everyone has their windows open since they are in the middle of a heat wave..this was before air conditioning was that common.  All sorts of things are going on in the other apartments, though usually only parts of situations are seen.  That does help to make the mystery stronger and make the movie more interesting.  Some of what happens does progress slower since a lot of it involves Jeffries watching the neighbors, but there are some very suspenseful scenes in the movie.  When Lisa decides to go investigate, it is very suspenseful, as is another scene later in the movie.  The suspense is done wonderfully well.

Lisa and Jeffries have been seeing each other when the movie begins and he is a bit upset because she is hoping for marriage while he claims he isn't ready.  At one point, he is deliberately looking for reasons why a marriage between them wouldn't work.  There's nothing too explicit shared about their relationship, though things are hinted at.  I do think the relationship adds to the movie and Lisa's presence helps to keep things interesting.

Many of the characters shown are the neighbors and they aren't developed.  The audience is restricted to seeing only what Jeffries sees, and they only know superficial things about them.  That works perfectly for the plot.  Jeffries is a good main character and likable overall even though he does show a few flaws every so often.  I really like Jimmy Stewart in the part.  Lisa is a beautiful, elegant woman and there is contrast between her and Jeffries.  I do think the relationship works even with the contrast.  I think Grace Kelly is wonderful in the part.  She has some wonderful moments in the movie, including the first moment she is shown.  She is just perfect in the part.  Stella is a nurse who stops in to check on Jeffries each day.  She is very vocal in her opinions about some things and she gets pulled into certain things as well.  Thelma Ritter is wonderful in the part.

I didn't watch the extras this time, but I remember them being very interesting.  There is one focused on the restoration of the movie and how the one kiss scene was almost lost because of how bad the original film was.  That scene looks good on the DVD, though there is a difference in the quality.  I do wonder if it could be made to look better on Blu-ray.  Once this is out on Blu - I'm sure it will be eventually - I am almost certain that I will be making another trip to double dip city.

This movie is wonderful and I still really enjoy it when I watch it.



I did get a review posted on Epinions back in 2008.

Rear Window


Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #427 on: July 06, 2010, 09:11:34 AM »
To Catch a Thief



Cary Grant plays John Robie, a reformed jewel thief who was once known as "The Cat," in this suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock classic thriller. Robie is suspected of a new rash of gem thefts in the luxury hotels of the French Riviera, and he must set out to clear himself. Meeting pampered heiress Frances (Grace Kelly), he sees a chance to bait the mysterious thief with her mother's (Jessie Royce Landis) fabulous jewels. His plan backfires, however, but Frances who believes him guilty, proves her love by helping him escape. In a spine-tingling climax, the real criminal is exposed. Three Academy Award® nominations, including an Oscar® for "Best Cinematography."

My Thoughts

I think this is the first time that I've seen all of this one.  I saw some of it before...probably less than half of it.

This one is more lighthearted than the other Hitchcock movies I've seen.  I think it is more of a romantic comedy with just a touch of mystery added in.  The mystery is interesting, but it isn't that developed.  It seems more like a reason to get John to meet Francis.  I did figure out who the thief was fairly early.  Some of what happens is a little predictable, but that doesn't keep the movie from being entertaining and interesting.  There is really only suspense to one or two scenes.  The limited amount of suspense might bother some people.  I think the developing relationship between John and Francis is the main focus of the movie.  They are very flitry with each other and they have good chemistry together. 

Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are wonderful in the movie.  Grace makes Francis a somewhat cool, sophisticated woman.  There is an elegance to her that fits the character perfectly.  The gorgeous dresses she gets to wear help to add to the elegance of the character.  She and Grant work wonderfully well together.  Their characters are interesting and likable.  Jessie, Francis's mother, is another very entertaining character.  She doesn't have all the elegance of her daughter, but she is very likable.  I did like John Williams as Hughson, the insurance man.

The DVD version I watched - this one is one of my mom's DVDs - has a few interesting extras on the making of the movie.  It was only from them that I discovered that some of the movie was filmed in the studio instead of all of it being filmed on location.  There is also an interesting extra about Edith Head, the costume designer.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie.  It is fun and entertaining and definitely worth watching even though it isn't as suspenseful as other Hitchcock movies.



I got a review posted on Epinions earlier tonight.

To Catch a Thief


Offline Jon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #428 on: July 06, 2010, 12:06:57 PM »
Have we left you on your own in here, Marie?  ;)

Good reviews though. I think To Catch A Thief was definitely Hitch on auto-pilot, but it was much more enjoyable than I'd remembered.
Jon
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Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #429 on: July 07, 2010, 12:02:24 AM »
It was only from them that I discovered that some of the movie was filmed in the studio instead of all of it being filmed on location.

Haven't seen that one during my marathon, but the overuse of studio shots and backscreen projection in almost every movie and even when there is no reason for it really got on my nerves. And I'm not just talking about people "driving" a car.
Matthias

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #430 on: July 07, 2010, 07:20:09 AM »
Have we left you on your own in here, Marie?  ;)

Good reviews though. I think To Catch A Thief was definitely Hitch on auto-pilot, but it was much more enjoyable than I'd remembered.

It looks that way...but I'm still plugging away here.  I will finish.  Someday.   :laugh:

Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #431 on: July 07, 2010, 07:23:32 AM »
It was only from them that I discovered that some of the movie was filmed in the studio instead of all of it being filmed on location.

Haven't seen that one during my marathon, but the overuse of studio shots and backscreen projection in almost every movie and even when there is no reason for it really got on my nerves. And I'm not just talking about people "driving" a car.

That's right..I forgot there was a scene in this one that might have had the backscreen projection going on during a driving scene.  That wasn't mentioned for the studio stuff though. 

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #432 on: July 07, 2010, 10:14:32 AM »
Hitchcock was famous for prefering the controlled atmosphere of the studio. Very rarely would he go on location, as that was usually rather unpredicatable. In those days in the past he got away with that, for today's eyes it simply looks fake.

Offline Jon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #433 on: July 07, 2010, 12:30:00 PM »
To continue with Achim's comments, you also have to remember how Hitchcock was mentored in German Expressionism which seems to use a set at all costs, hence the control that Achim mentioned as well as the sense of heightened reality.

Mathias, did you see my review of Bicycle Thieves? Once again I've managed to work in a Rachel Getting Married reference! Seriously though, I think you would appreciate it a great deal. It seems to fit with what you tend to look for, I feel.
Jon
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Catch up with reviews and news at my blog,

Offline goodguy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #434 on: July 08, 2010, 01:51:34 AM »
To continue with Achim's comments, you also have to remember how Hitchcock was mentored in German Expressionism which seems to use a set at all costs, hence the control that Achim mentioned as well as the sense of heightened reality.

I don't mind heightened reality. I don't even mind artificiality. I just rewatched and enjoyed the Quay Brothers' The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes and you can't get much more artificial than that. What bothers me in the case of Hitchcock are the unnecessary processing shots that try to appear realistic, but just look cheap and fake. Or even less polite: It isn't the shortcomings of the technique itself, it's the big guy too lazy to move his ass out of the studio to do it properly.

Mathias, did you see my review of Bicycle Thieves? Once again I've managed to work in a Rachel Getting Married reference! Seriously though, I think you would appreciate it a great deal. It seems to fit with what you tend to look for, I feel.

Even if I may enjoy movies influenced by it, Italian neorealism isn't my thing. Hard to pinpoint the differences on the fly, but I'm averse to the ideological overtones and I do not particularly care for the working class settings. Although the latter doesn't bother me with, for example, certain (more contemporary) British films.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 02:39:53 AM by goodguy »
Matthias