Author Topic: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon  (Read 102828 times)

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7159
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #435 on: July 08, 2010, 02:21:43 AM »
it's the big guy too lazy to move his ass out of the studio to do it properly.
Well, yeah, that is what happened. :shrug:

Like I said, those processing shots looked acceptable 50 years ago, maybe also 30 years ago. They stick out like tattoo on the forehead nowadays.

That is why stuff like Frenzy felt so good to me, because for once he was actually on location for the most of it.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4096
    • View Profile
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #436 on: July 08, 2010, 02:22:55 AM »
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.

This was the point I was trying to make when I said that I found Hitchcock to be gimmicky sometimes. Thanks Matthias, you said it better than I did.  :thumbup:

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #437 on: July 19, 2010, 10:42:26 AM »
The Man Who Knew Too Much - 1956



James Stewart and Doris Day give magnificent performances as Ben and Jo McKenna, an American couple vacationing in Morocco, whose son is kidnapped and taken to England.  Caught up in international espionage, the McKennas' lives hang in the balance as they race to save their son in the chilling, climactic showdown in London's famous Royal Albert Hall.

My Thoughts

This is the first time that I've seen all of this one.  I saw a little of it on television before.  I've also seen the earlier version.  The basic story is the same, though several things have been changed.  The pace is slower while everything is set up and introduced.  I wasn't bored by what was going on, though that did make a few scenes drag a bit.  The movie probably does move too slow for some people.  The slower pace does help to allow for the build up of tension that culminates in a wonderful sequence during the concert.  The ending does drag on a bit too long and is more anticlimactic, though it does resolve things.  I think the ending could have been handled better.

There is a decent amount of mystery in the movie, most of it tied to Hank being taken.  I thought that Louis seemed a bit suspicious with how he dodged any personal questions.  Jo seemed to have some of those same feelings.  After Louis is murdered, things do pick up more, and the mystery starts building as well.  Like I mentioned, Jo is suspicious a few times, but she does do a few things that I didn't think were that smart.  She and Ben very quickly accepted Louis and a few other people.  They barely know Louis, yet they have him in their hotel room.  That just doesn't seem smart to me.  Of course, maybe people were more accepting when the movie was made.  For me, I would be way more cautious of strangers while traveling, especially if I had a child.  It did seem like Jo and Ben were a bit gullible once or twice, but that didn't really make me like the movie less. 

Several scenes were shot on location in Morocco and some scenes in London.  With some of the scenes set in Morocco, I noticed that the backgrounds looked slightly off and I think they were probably done with projection or whatever it was called.  At one point, Ben and Jo are walking in an outdoor market.  For the beginning of the scene, it looks like they are on the real location.  Then the shot changes and the backgrounds look off again.  The scene changes again, and is back to footage shot on location.  Some kind of reshoot might have been needed for that sequence. 

It is a bit different for music to be used so much in a Hitchcock movie.  The song that Jo sings with Hank does seem like a song a mother would sing with or to her child, but it still seems slightly out of place...even when it plays a more important part again later.  That doesn't mean that Doris Day doesn't sing beautifully.  The songs just seem a bit odd in this type of movie. 

The characters are interesting and I think the cast does well with the parts.  I honestly can't remember having seen Doris Day in anything else.  She does really well in this one.  Jo does sort of flip out when she finds out about Hank being taken, but that seems like a natural reaction for a mother to have.  Jo and Ben seem to have a good marriage, though they have a few disagreements.

This isn't one of Hitchcock's best, but it works as an entertaining movie.  It does deserve to be seen.  The slower pace will probably turn some people off. 



I did get a review posted on Epinions if anyone would like to take a look.

The Man Who Knew Too Much


Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7159
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #438 on: July 20, 2010, 02:46:05 AM »
I honestly can't remember having seen Doris Day in anything else.  She does really well in this one.
:o

Although, my mum loved her movies, so I may have been over exposed to her films when I was a kid. She mostly played in what you'd call rom-coms, with screwball elements.

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #439 on: July 20, 2010, 03:01:51 AM »
That's what I thought.  I may have seen a little bit of one or two of them.

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #440 on: July 20, 2010, 11:36:11 PM »
Vertigo



One of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest cinematic achievements, Vertigo, celebrates its 50th anniversary with an all-new 2-disc Special Edition DVD! Set in San Francisco, Vertigo creates a dizzying web of mistaken identity, passion and murder after an acrophobic detective (James Stewart) rescues a mysterious blonde (Kim Novak) from the bay.

Recognized for excellence in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies, this dreamlike thriller from the Master of Suspense is as entertaining today as it was 50 years ago. Featuring revealing bonus features and a digitally remastered picture, Vertigo is a "great motion picture that demands multiple viewings" (Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide).

My Thoughts

This one is a bit...darker and more twisted than most of the other Hitchcock movies that I've seen.  That darkness works for the story, but it probably won't appeal to some people, even people who have liked other Hitchcock movies. 

The movie starts off showing a traumatic event that causes John to leave the police force.  He has an idea to slowly get use to his fear of heights to get over his vertigo, but his attempt to stand on a step stool doesn't end well.  When he is first approached by his old school friend Gavin about following his wife Madeline, John isn't interested and he tries to leave it by making suggestions of other people who can handle the job, but Gavin is insistent that John has to be the one to take the job.  John should have listened to his instincts, but he ends up being taking the job.  Gavin is worried that his wife has some sort of mental problem and he says that he needs more information before having her committed.  John spends some time following Madeline, lurking around while she does a few somewhat odd things.  After he saves her, John is pulled further into a bad situations and obsession develops.  The mystery - tied to exactly what is going on - works well and there is a good amount of suspense.  The tension and suspense do build slowly.

Scenes that deal with John following Madeline do move a bit slower, but that is needed to fully set up everything.  Things are more complicated than they seemed at first, and the time is needed to fully set up everything.  It doesn't take John long to develop an obsession with Madeline.  A few things that happen probably should have raised a question with him, but he is so far gone in his obsession that he misses those hints that things are not right.  There seems to be come resolution in the middle of the movie, but then more is revealed when John sees Judy, a woman who looks like Madeline, only with darker hair.  From the second he sees her, he isn't acting fully rational, and his obsession is in full swing.  As things progress, he slides further into the obsession, acting in more questionable ways.  I think the movie is more about John's breakdown.

The characters, especially John, are more complex and there are all sorts of flaws in them.  John's fear of heights is a believable problem, as is how it impacts his life.  He starts off as a likable character, but as the movie progresses, he does some things that make it a bit harder to like as more of his flaws come out.  That does make him a realistic character.  Madeline is a bit of a mystery and that does work well with what is going on in the movie.  Once Judy is introduced, more comes out about her and her motivations are understood more, but she also makes some bad decisions.

This movie is very good and entertaining, though it is far from a happy movie.  The ending is more bleak than the endings in several other Hitchcock movies, though from some things I've read about other Hitchcock movies, he wanted to go in different directions with some of them - I'm mainly thinking of Suspicion and how he was forced to change the ending. 

I still haven't seen all the extras on the DVD I have.  I did watch the foreign censor ending - or whatever it was called - again.  Hitchcock had to make the alternate ending to show the movie in some foreign countries.  I can't remember which ones at the moment.  That ending does tie up something else a bit more, but I think the original ending fits the movie better even though it is clearly darker and bleaker.



I went with 4 when I first reviewed the movie..now I'm thinking more of 4.5 or even 5.  I'm thinking I wasn't in quite the right mood to watch it the last time, so the slower build up didn't work as well for me then.

I posted a review on Epinions back in November of 2008, when I watched this one the first time I did an alphabet marathon.  I also posted about the movie here then too.

Vertigo


Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #441 on: July 20, 2010, 11:37:35 PM »
I did post about Vertigo here before.  This one is longer, so you can change the link if you think this one is better.

Offline Jon

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 8217
    • View Profile
    • Moviegoose
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #442 on: July 21, 2010, 12:54:59 AM »
I went with 4 when I first reviewed the movie..now I'm thinking more of 4.5 or even 5.  I'm thinking I wasn't in quite the right mood to watch it the last time, so the slower build up didn't work as well for me then.

You and everyone else!  ;) The film is essentially cruel and it isn't fun to watch the first time, so I really think on a first viewing, it can actually repel you. But the seed is sown and it gets under your skin so much. I've seen it several times now and I love it. It's about obsession and that is entirely possible...  :-[
Jon
"NOBODY MOVE! I dropped me brain."
Catch up with reviews and news at my blog,

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #443 on: July 21, 2010, 09:21:28 AM »
North by Northwest



Cary Grant is the screen's supreme man-on-the-run in his fourth and final teaming with Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock.  He plays a Manhattan adman plunged into a realm of spy (James Mason) and counterspy (Eva Marie Saint) and variously abducted, framed for murder, chased, and in a signature set-piece, crop-dusted.  He also hangs for dear life from the facial features of Mount Rushmore's Presidents.  Savor one of Hollywood's most enjoyable thrillers ever in this State-of-the-Art Restoration:  its Renewed Picture Vitality will leave you just as breathless as the chase itself.

My Thoughts

I've seen this one a few different times, mostly when I found it on tv.  I picked up the DVD when I found it fairly cheap and was happy with that.  However, that didn't stop me from heading to double dip city for the Blu-ray.  And I'm glad I did.  The movie looks absolutely gorgeous and is definitely worth getting on Blu-ray.  One or two shots don't look as good, but otherwise, everything looks amazing. 

The plot for this one is very interesting, with a decent mix of action and some humor.  The plot with Roger being mistaken for someone else is a bit similar to some of Hitchcock's other movies, but it works very well and is extremely entertaining.  Some of what happens does push believability a bit, but it still works for what is going on.  Roger is a very interesting character and he manages to deal with the strange situation he is in fairly well.  He does get in some unique situations.  I do think there is a decent amount of mystery to what is going on tied to who is after Roger because of the mistaken identity. 

Some scenes have a decent amount of action in them, like the one with the crop duster or the climax at Mount Rushmore.  Those scenes are very well done.  A little bit of violence turns up a few scenes without it being too explicit or graphic.  Humor turns up every so often as well as a way to lighten the mood.  Roger makes a very funny drunk, especially when he calls his mother from the police station.  The two of them are really good together, so it is too bad that she isn't in more of the movie.  Roger does come up with some funny lines at different points, like about how he has people to support who would be upset if he got dead.  Even with the touches of humor, there is still a lot of suspense and tension to several scenes.

The characters are interesting and interact together well.  I do like Roger and Cary Grant is wonderful in the part.  Eve is a beautiful, mysterious woman who gets mixed up in what is happening.  She is a wonderfully complex character and Eva Marie Saint is great in the part.  She has some wonderful outfits to wear that do fit her character.  The bit of romance between her and Roger works well without detracting from everything else that is going on.  Things do develop somewhat fast between them, but it still works.

On the Blu-ray, there is a great documentary, The Master Touch: Hitchcock's Signature Style that has several directors talking about Hitchcock and things he did in his movies.  It is very interesting and entertaining.  There is another featurette on the career of Cary Grant that I haven't watched yet.

I love this movie and the Blu-ray is absolutely freaking awesome. 



I posted a review a few years ago on Epinions after I got the DVD.

North by Northwest


Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #444 on: August 01, 2010, 11:17:30 AM »
Psycho



Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece of the macabre stars Anthony Perkins as the troubled Norman Bates, whose "old dark house" and adjoining motel are not the place to spend a quiet evening. No one knows that better than Janet Leigh, the film's ill-fated heroine who is victimized in the now-notorious "shower scene." Vera Miles, Martin Balsam, John Gavin and John McIntire co-star in Hitchcock's most compelling and terrifying film. Screenplay by Joseph Stefano.

My Thoughts

I had heard a bit about this one before I finally saw it, but I had managed to avoid finding out about the ending.  I'm very glad..I would have been irked if the ending had been spoiled.  I was really shocked the first time I saw the movie - it wasn't that long ago really...sometime within the last 10 years, though I can't remember for sure.  Even knowing the ending, I still enjoy this one when I watch it and it still has the power to creep me out in a few scenes.  The music is a big reason why I think.  It works wonderfully well with what is going on and helps add to the creepy atmosphere.

Things are a little slow at first while the set up happens.  At first it seems like the movie is just going to be about Marion and what she did in an attempt to help her boyfriend Sam.  That was interesting, but things really get going once Marion ends up at the Bates Motel.  That setting is suitably creepy with the imposing house sitting on the hill over looking the hotel.  The setting really helps add to the creepy feeling of the movie.  The movie being in black and white helps the creepy factor as well.  There is a good amount of suspense and tension to what is going on.  The shower scene is very well done - it is such an iconic scene that it has been recreated many times.  The version of the scene in High Anxiety is done really well, though it is twisted a bit.  Anyway, the plot is shocking, especially considering when the movie was made.  I think it has held up well and is still worth seeing.

The characters of Marion and Norman are interesting and help to make the movie more entertaining.  Norman is a wonderfully complicated, messed up character and he is extremely interesting.  He is a very memorable character and Anthony Perkins is great in the part. 

I still really enjoy this movie.  It holds up really well and is still worth watching.



I did post a review on Epinions a few years ago.

Psycho


Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #445 on: August 01, 2010, 11:34:30 AM »
The Birds



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 schoolchildren 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.

My Thoughts

I do enjoy this one, though a few things that happen don't make as much sense.  It does seem a bit odd that Melanie would go to so much trouble to give the love birds to Mitch's sister, someone she doesn't even know.  Melanie manages to find out all sorts of information about Mitch after getting to Bodega Bay even though she is a stranger.  People weren't as careful about that sort of thing then, though it does seem a little odd that Melanie is accepted so quickly, especially by Annie.

The pacing is a bit slower for a while, though that changes once the birds start attacking.  The scenes with the bird attacks are done well and are believably scary.  I think the fact that the explanation for the attacks wasn't given makes that part of the movie scarier.  There are a few somewhat gruesome things shown, though nothing is extremely explicit.  Suspense is in a few scenes, though the movie isn't as suspenseful as some of Hitchcock's others.

Melanie is a nice enough character, though like I mentioned, her motivation for taking the love birds to begin with does seem a little..odd.  That is an awful lot of trouble for her to go to.  It also doesn't make the most sense for Mitch to act like he does when they first meet in the pet shop.  It is fairly clear that they aren't getting along that well at that point, but in no time they seem to have changed their minds.  That relationship does develop fast.  Melanie does do something that is rather stupid at one point and I still haven't figured out why she did it.  The cast does well with their parts and the characters are likable overall.

The movie does have a few issues, but it is still very entertaining and deserves to be seen.



I did post a review at Epinions a few years ago.

The Birds

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #446 on: August 01, 2010, 11:43:21 AM »
I just thought I would mention that I am almost done with this one now.  I have 1 more movie to watch.  ;D

Offline Tom

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 5970
    • View Profile
    • Cinematic Collection Viewer
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #447 on: August 01, 2010, 07:35:22 PM »
I just thought I would mention that I am almost done with this one now.  I have 1 more movie to watch.  ;D


 :bag:
I haven't watched one since February and I still have five to go.



Offline addicted2dvd

  • Forum Inventory
  • ********
  • Posts: 17371
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #448 on: August 01, 2010, 08:15:35 PM »
I was looking ahead on the Celebrity birthday site and seen Alfred Hitchcock's birthday is coming up. August 13th. I haven't completely decided yet... but since the 13th lands on a Friday I am thinking about doing a Hitchcock weekend marathon for that weekend.
Pete

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6902
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #449 on: August 01, 2010, 11:05:33 PM »
I just thought I would mention that I am almost done with this one now.  I have 1 more movie to watch.  ;D


 :bag:
I haven't watched one since February and I still have five to go.

Here I was thinking I was the last to finish....but I won't be.  Cool.  Though I was last to finish up with Bond.