Author Topic: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon  (Read 131619 times)

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #105 on: May 30, 2009, 02:58:54 PM »
 :yellowcard:

Stop dreamin'! Start watchin'!


 :hysterical:

Offline Achim

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Re: Saboteur (1942) ****
« Reply #106 on: May 30, 2009, 05:20:34 PM »
Saboteur (1942) ****
4 out of 5


[...]

Saboteur is a 39 Steps style cross-country thriller for Americans and largely doesn’t disappoint. It’s a slick adventure story with a wronged man on the run and Hitch, probably aware he’s been here before, finds ways to experiment and colour the film.
Well, I was disappointed...

On the good side, the first 45-60 minutes are mostly fun to watch with the story following one of Hitchcock's favorite theme: the innocent everyman wrongly accused and on the run to proof his innocence. Shot nicely and in typical Hitchcock manner the film has the poor chap escape the grasp of the police several times and, also typical for Hitchcock, confront the actual wrong doers (whodunnit this is not). Unfortunately this film hasn't aged well. Even the first half is broken repeatedly by overly patriotic black and white conversations trying to tell the audience how good Americans do and do not behave. This only get worse in the second half, besides getting way too talkative n general that I was struggling to pay attention. The climax is nowhere near suspenseful, with the bad guys making obvious mistakes
(click to show/hide)
and the music lacking big time in this part of the movie. The rather unceremonious finale make me feel that Hitchcock made this piece of propaganda for the money rather than his vision; I guess he got to do what he wanted that year with excellent Shadow of a Doubt ().


Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #107 on: May 30, 2009, 05:51:06 PM »
Well, thank goodness for you, Achim! I was worried no-one else would join in.

The bad guys were very odd, but I quite liked the atmosphere they created. That said, it was definitely, overall average, but I rated it higher for the final act which I thought was superb. He does tend to end films abruptly (see North By Northwest with a rather similar plot).

You're probably right about the propaganda nature, but I don't think Hitchcock did anything just for the money (actually he was inder contract anyway) and if anything, he would have supported it. Bear in mind the US were not involved in WWII (Pearl Harbour was attacked during the making of the film, I think) and he must have been feeling very cut off, especially when he wasn't able to phone England, so I wouldn't be surprised if this was his way of asking American's to not be complacent.

In any case because of similarities with his other work, it can't be dismissed as pure propaganda.

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #108 on: May 30, 2009, 05:53:33 PM »
Well, thank goodness for you, Achim! I was worried no-one else would join in.

I have already watched it, but I didn't have time yet to write a little review. I had to wait for my brother to visit this weekend because he wanted to join in watching it.



Offline Jimmy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #109 on: May 30, 2009, 06:58:47 PM »
Today I dreamt about watching another Hitchcock movie. :laugh:
I dream often about the movies that I've or will reviewed... But this isn't different of the time I wasn't a review writter :devil:

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #110 on: May 30, 2009, 08:27:08 PM »
Well, Jon, I am not sure why plot similarities (yes, North By Northwest is rather obvious) make it propaganda free, but your other points are very good (the US not actually being in the war at the time... :-[). Still, it felt too black and whotye to me and took from the enjoyment.

Also, I don't mind an abrupt ending so much (in fact, I quite agree with whichever director once said "when the monster is dead, the movie is over"), I just didn't think it was build up properly and didn't feel exciting at all.

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #111 on: May 30, 2009, 08:34:57 PM »
As all three already watched the current Hitchcock (my review will come), the next one is on now:
Deadline: 2009-06-06, Shadow of a Doubt for Jon, Rich, Tom



Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #112 on: May 31, 2009, 09:46:51 AM »


Title: Saboteur
Year: 1942
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 104 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Mono, German: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish

Stars:
Priscilla Lane
Robert Cummings
Otto Kruger
Alan Baxter
Clem Bevans

Plot:
Alfred Hitchcock's exciting 1942 wartime thriller stars Robert Cummings as a Los Angeles aircraft factory worker who witnesses his plant's firebombing by a Nazi agent. During the deadly explosion, Cumming's best friend is killed and he, himself, is wrongly accused of sabotage. To clear his name, Cummings begins a relentless crosscountry chase that takes him from Boulder Dam to New York's Radio City Music Hall, and finally, to a harrowing confrontation atop the Statue of Liberty.

Hitchcock's first film with an all-American cast moves with breakneck speed towards its spine-tingling climax to create a riveting masterpiece of suspense.

Extras:
Featurettes
Hitchcock Sketches
Photo Gallery
Scene Access
Storyboard Comparisons
Trailers

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this movie a lot. I liked the humor in it. Especially fun was how the woman constantly did try to turn him in and that it took a while until she finally believed him.
I agree with Achim, that in a few scenes it was overly patriotic (the worst part where the woman mentions, that she couldn't believe that an American could ever be a saboteur), but I just took it as part of its time.

Rating:



Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #113 on: May 31, 2009, 09:47:34 AM »


Title: Shadow of a Doubt
Year: 1942
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 103 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Mono, German: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish

Stars:
Teresa Wright
Joseph Cotten
Macdonald Carey
Henry Travers
Patricia Collinge

Plot:
When Uncle Charlie comes to visit his relatives in the sleepy town of Santa Rosa, the foundation is laid for one of his most engaging and suspenseful excursions. Joseph Cotton stars as the charming Uncle Charlie, a beguiling killer who travels from Philadelphia to California just one step ahead of the law.

But soon his unknowing niece and namesake, "Young Charlie" (Teresa Wright), begins to suspect her uncle of being the Merry Widow murderer, and a deadly game of cat-and-mouse begins. As his niece draws closer to the truth, the psychopathic killer has no choice but to plot the death of his favourite relative in one of Hitchcock's most riveting psychological thrillers.

Extras:
Featurettes
Photo Gallery
Scene Access
Trailers

My Thoughts:
It was great performance of how Little Charlie gradually turns from admiring uncle Charlie to suspect him and then fearing him. The weak point in the cast was the little girl Ann.

Rating:



richierich

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #114 on: May 31, 2009, 12:18:12 PM »
Shadow of a Doubt



A naive high-schooler named Charlie enjoys a symbiotic relationship with her favorite uncle, also named Charlie (Joseph Cotten). When young Charlie "wills" that Uncle Charlie pay a visit to her family, her wish comes true. Uncle Charlie is his usual charming self, but seems a bit secretive and reserved at times, and Charlie soon suspects the horrible possiblity that her beloved Uncle is the Merry Widow Murderer, who has been preying upon wealthy old women. Alfred Hitchcock's own personal favorite of his 54 films.

This may have been Hitchcock's favourite, but it is not mine.
It is a less engrossing thriller than I anticipated, although I felt on the whole the characterisations were superb. The uncle was suitably creepy, and I just loved Joe and Herb's amateur crime detective act. The first half was a bit tediuos, but it did kick-off and get more interesting as the film wore on. The ending was cleverly shot for its time, although the suspense was a disappointment.
I didn't spot Hitch in this one?
 :-\

Najemikon

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Shadow of a Doubt (1942) *****
« Reply #115 on: June 01, 2009, 08:29:54 PM »
Shadow of a Doubt (1942)
5 out of 5




Charlie (Teresa Wright) is excited by the prospect of her beloved namesake Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) coming for a visit. But her natural curiosity causes her to suspect he is not all she expected, and he could in fact be the notorious Merry Widower, a killer being hunted by detectives across America.

Even with so many better known classics to come, it’s easy to see why Shadow of a Doubt was Hitchcock’s personal favourite. It builds on the promise of Suspicion to be his most realistic and feasible story, while perfectly capturing the fascination he had for normal people having to deal with terrifying situations. Murder, right at home, on the doorstep of the most typical family! What if you realised your most beloved relative could be responsible for evil?

Like Suspicion, though not as strict, the story is almost exclusively told from the niece’s perspective. Again the lighting often mirrors the mood with the shadows more than a mere title, while the gorgeous photography around the town is bright and sharp, benefiting from real locations. It is broadly speaking Hitchcock’s highest quality film so far, with almost no gimmicks; the powerful visual style is perfectly matched to the substantial writing. Watch the incredible dinner scene, where Uncle Charlie reveals his darker side, while the camera focuses closer and closer, until his face fills the screen. I think this is my favourite Hitchcock moment so far. It’s a powerful performance by Cotten, willing to go the extra mile over Cary Grant, unencumbered by a fragile movie star image. The film has a confidence because of him, especially when there are no set-pieces. The agonising over whether he’s a killer is devastating enough without chase sequences and fisticuffs.

That agonising is all on Teresa Wright’s shoulders, as she shields her family from the truth. I found her very annoying in the first half! But she gets better as she gets more frightened. There’s a romance angle that was toned down, thank goodness, after a re-write by Patricia Collinge (the wonderful actress playing Emma so memorably, but an accomplished writer herself). She and Wright were concerned that Charlie wouldn’t be swept away so easily by the detective. The result is a lovely scene that makes sense and now I have to wonder if Hitch was a soppy bugger that needed reigning in occasionally! :D

The rest of the cast are rounded out by great characters, including Ann, who I thought did very well, but the stars are dad, Henry Travers, and his friend, Hume Cronyn. They give the film a focused, but much needed dose of humour with their hilarious discussions about how best to commit murder! Just the sort of macabre conversations that got Hitchcock into this career, I bet...

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #116 on: June 01, 2009, 08:55:39 PM »
I didn't spot Hitch in this one?
 :-\

Check 'em off here... ;)

You'll do brilliantly to spot the one in Lifeboat without help...

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #117 on: June 01, 2009, 09:12:52 PM »
Next deadline:
2009-06-08   , "Lifeboat" for Dragonfire, Jon



Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #118 on: June 02, 2009, 07:38:58 AM »
I did watch Young and Innocent last night.  I'll come back to write a bit about it in another day or two.

Oh.  By the way, Amazon has a bunch of older movies on sale, and that includes some of the Hitchcock movies.  I think I'm going to order a few more. 

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #119 on: June 04, 2009, 12:59:37 AM »
Lifeboat (1943)
5 out of 5




After their ship is torpedoed, a mixed group of shipwrecked survivors are brought together in one lifeboat. Perhaps more than physically, their beliefs and morals are tested while they hold out for rescue.

After Shadow of a Doubt, Hitchcock must have felt like a challenge! Working from a short story written for him by John Steinbeck, he seems to back himself into a corner (of a small boat) just to see if he can get out again.

Released in 1943, there is no escaping an air of propaganda in a story about survivors of a German attack, who go on to rescue one of the U-boat crew, but that doesn’t stop it being audacious, balanced and challenging. It’s a morality tale, a deconstruction of humanity. The survivors have one of the enemy in their midst, but he’s also a human being and the most able and experienced seaman who could get them organised to survive the ordeal, but is he plotting against them and can they afford to question his motives?

And they certainly need organising! In what would now be a cliché, the group is of mixed backgrounds, class and beliefs that force them apart. I’m not sure if Hitch created the cliché as I said before in The Lady Vanishes, but he probably created the template of the disaster movie here. Yet don’t dismiss this as over familiar, because it’s anything but. Hitchcock is a genius in how he choreographs and meshes the characters together beautifully.

It’s never boring, which it easily could have been, in fact it’s sometimes laugh out loud funny and there’s a rather grimy scene toward the end, part horror, part farce that may make your jaw drop! There’s little action apart from the last moments where the rickety craft is caught right in the middle of another attack, but I was always engrossed and loved the atmosphere he created of a small boat in a big sea. A parable for the war, maybe, but Cast Away touched on that same mood.

All the cast are excellent, especially Tallulah Bankhead as the over-privileged one who likes a bit of rough (John Hodiak in particular) and has managed to rescue all her luxuries, which she will steadily lose to hilarious effect! It really is an outstanding performance. Bit Bette Davis. Nice to see Heather Angel (the maid in Suspicion) making the most of a small role in a devastating performance as a grieving mother, and Hume Cronyn in his second Hitchcock picture, despite a dodgy accent. Walter Slezak is perfect as Willy, the German, and such a key part.

My favourite moment though belongs to Joe (Canada Lee), a reformed thief, when he eloquently recites the Lord’s Prayer. It’s a perfect example of the composition I spoke of earlier, and the switch between moods.

Highly recommended. It’s a successful experiment that uses its limitations as strengths. Perhaps if all directors imagined they were trapped in a much smaller set, we’d have much higher standards. I think I see a lot of Spielberg’s style in here actually; the very close camera work and smooth movement between characters, talking over one another, but still with an impeccable sense of detail.

It’s nteresting that I considered describing the Connie character as “all fur coat and no knickers”. I wonder if that expression was inspired by this character, because apparently, Tallulah did in fact have no underwear on! Filthy mare. Hitchcock said, "I don't know if this is a matter for the costume department, makeup, or hairdressing."

 :hysterical:
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 01:04:34 AM by Jon »