Author Topic: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon  (Read 123467 times)

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #150 on: July 02, 2009, 11:57:47 AM »
Hitchcock had a ...well...complicated working relationship with the producer, Selznick.  The one extra on my copy that is focused on the making of the movie does share a lot about the tensions between the two men.

My Criterion edition has memos that Selznick sent to Hitch and they're fascinating, but interestingly, as I said in my review, I think Selznick was right in one respect because Hitchcock was trying to alter the novel. Possibly for the better as this is as un-Hitchcock a film as he would make, but still, you either do the novel or you don't. I don't agree with his spies on the set though. That's completely out of order. Still, it seemed by Notorious at least that they worked very well together. Again the Criterion has memos from Selznick and he was quite brilliant at handling the production.

Offline Achim

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #151 on: July 02, 2009, 05:20:03 PM »
MOVIE / DVD INFO:

Title: Rope
Year: 1948
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 81 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: English

Stars:
Dick Hogan
His Friends
John Dall
Farley Granger
Their housekeeper

Plot:
'James Stewart', 'Farley Granger' and 'John Dall' star in this macabre spellbinder, which was inspired by a real-life case of murder. Two thrill-seeking friends (Granger and Dall) strangle a classmate and then hold a party for their victim's family and friends, serving refreshments on a buffet table fashioned from a trunk containing the lifeless body. When dinner conversation revolves around talk of "the perfect murder," their former teacher (Stewart) becomes increasingly suspicious that his protégés have turned his intellectual theories into brutal reality.

Extras:
Scene Access
Trailers
Featurettes
Gallery
Production Notes

My Thoughts:
I remember watching this many years ago but I didn't remember that is was this awesome. Great direction by the master (the reveal of the dinner table, the swinging kitchen door partly concealing the view, the reveal of the books Mr. Kentley wants to take home), good acting and sharp dialog make this a pleasure to watch. And that despite the fact that it all looks a bit fake, just like theater, due to the fact it plays out in real time and the few cuts that are there are made invisible by smart camera movement (Hitchcock wanted the film to be entirely without cuts but was restricted by the length of a camera magazine being approx. 10min).

Nice touch how they kept changing the painted background slightly each time it became visible to make it's static nature less obvious.


Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #152 on: July 03, 2009, 05:55:22 AM »
Hitchcock had a ...well...complicated working relationship with the producer, Selznick.  The one extra on my copy that is focused on the making of the movie does share a lot about the tensions between the two men.

My Criterion edition has memos that Selznick sent to Hitch and they're fascinating, but interestingly, as I said in my review, I think Selznick was right in one respect because Hitchcock was trying to alter the novel. Possibly for the better as this is as un-Hitchcock a film as he would make, but still, you either do the novel or you don't. I don't agree with his spies on the set though. That's completely out of order. Still, it seemed by Notorious at least that they worked very well together. Again the Criterion has memos from Selznick and he was quite brilliant at handling the production.

My extras didn't have the memos..those would be interesting to see.  You do have a point about Selznick wanting to stay closer to the book..and I can see the point.  I know I've been highly annoyed with movies that were based on books only to have the movie be nothing like the book.  The one extra on mine talked about Selznick wanting to see everything rehearsed before it was filmed.  It didn't mention the spies on the set though.  Sheesh..that is going overboard.

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #153 on: July 04, 2009, 05:06:21 PM »


Title: Rope
Year: 1948
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 77 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:
Dick Hogan
John Dall
Farley Granger
Edith Evanson
Douglas Dick

Plot:
James Stewart stars with Farley Granger and John Dall in a highly-charged thriller inspired by the real-life Leopold-Loeb murder case. Granger and Dall give riveting performances as two friends who strangle a classmate for intellectual thrills, then proceed to throw a party for the victim's family and friends - with the body stuffed inside the trunk they use for a buffet table. As the killers turn the conversation to committing the "perfect murder", their former teacher (Stewart) becomes increasingly suspicious. Before the night is over, the professor will discover how brutally his students have turned his academic theories into chilling reality in Hitchcock's spellbinding excursion into the macabre.

Extras:
Featurettes
Photo Gallery
Scene Access
Trailers

My Thoughts:
Technically a fun film to watch. Playing it like a stage play with long shots. Great camera work switching between the different parts of the set. Great acting. The conceiled cuts are very obvious but for its time a good achievement.
But I didn't really like the story. Two men who think have done the perfect crime, but make the stupidest mistakes. I know it's part of the characters presumptuousness, but it didn't work for me.

And is this plays in real-time, the party was awfully short. Probably about 40 minutes long. Those poor guests who probably were longer on the road then the party took.

And did one of the lead characters also remind you of Ben Affleck?

Rating:



Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #154 on: July 10, 2009, 09:18:15 PM »
I just noticed that I forgot to give the next deadline:
2009-07-13 "Stage Fright" for Jon, Tom

Is this okay with you, Jon? Or do you need extending because of the late notice?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 09:19:50 PM by Tom »



Offline Dragonfire

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #155 on: July 10, 2009, 09:50:36 PM »


This riveting wartime thriller stars Robert Cummings as Barry Kane, a Los Angeles aircraft factory worker who witnesses a Nazi agent firebombing his plant. However, it is Barry who is accused of the fiery sabotage, and to clear his name he sets off on a desperate, action-packed cross-country chase that takes him from Boulder Dam to New York's Radio City Music Hall to the top of the Statue of Liberty. Hitchcock's first film with an all-American cast moves with breakneck speed towards its final heart-pounding confrontation and remains a suspense classic.

My Thoughts

Overall I did enjoy this one.  Some scenes move a bit slower, and the patriotism did get a bit heavy handed at times - like when Pat kept going on about it being the duty of every American to turn in Barry or how she couldn't believe the villain was messed up in sabotage.  She went on to say how she had trouble believing that any American would do something like that, yet she'd had no trouble deciding that Barry was guilty.  There is a decent amount of mystery and some suspense in the movie, though I don't think it is one of Hitchcock's most suspenseful movies.  The plot is interesting overall.  There are a few little bits of humor added in here and there, though the tone of the movie is serious overall.  Having the characters travel all across the country in an effort to figure out what is really going on is something that was done in other Hitchcock movies as well. 

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, though it isn't my favorite Hitchcock movie.   ;D

Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #156 on: July 10, 2009, 10:46:42 PM »
I just noticed that I forgot to give the next deadline:
2009-07-13 "Stage Fright" for Jon, Tom

Is this okay with you, Jon? Or do you need extending because of the late notice?

No, that's fine, as I will be catching up soon!

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #157 on: July 11, 2009, 10:06:36 AM »


Title: Stage Fright
Year: 1950
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 105 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono, Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, Italian

Stars:
Jane Wyman
Marlene Dietrich
Michael Wilding
Richard Todd
Alistair Sim

Plot:
In Alfred Hitchcock's world, theatres are where danger stalks the wings, characters are not what they seem and that "final curtain" can drop any second. The droll Stage Fright springs from that entertaining tradition.

Jane Wyman plays drama student Eve Gill, who tries to clear a friend (Richard Todd) being framed for murder by becoming the maid of flamboyant stage star Charlotte Inwood (Marlene Dietrich).

Filming in his native England, Hitchcock merrily juggles elements of humour and whodunit and puts a game ensemble (Alastair Sim, Sybil Thorndike, Joyce Grenfell, Kay Walsh and daughter Patricia Hitchcock) through its paces. No one turns a theatre into a bastion of dread like Hitchcock and Stage Fright is proof positive.

Extras:
Featurettes
Scene Access
Trailers

My Thoughts:
This movie was very boring to me. I couldn't keep my attention to it. The idea behind it is not bad. The direction is good. But I didn't care about the screenplay.

Rating:



Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #158 on: July 13, 2009, 06:19:10 PM »
Next deadline:
2009-07-20 "Strangers on a Train" for Jon, Tom



Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #159 on: July 19, 2009, 09:29:28 AM »


Title: Strangers on a Train
Year: 1951
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Rating: PG
Length: 97 Min.
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono, Italian: Dolby Digital Mono, Commentary: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, Italian

Stars:
Farley Granger
Ruth Roman
Robert Walker
Leo G. Carroll
Patricia Hitchcock

Plot:
'STRANGERS ON A TRAIN', based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, quickly became one of Alfred Hitchcock's most successful thrillers and remains one of his most popular films. En route from Washington, D.C., champion tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) meets pushy playboy Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker). What begins as a chance encounter turns into a series of morbid confrontations, as Bruno manipulates his way into Guy's life. Bruno is eager to kill his father and knows Guy wants to marry a senator's daughter (Ruth Roman) but cannot get a divorce from his wife, Miriam (Laura Elliot). So Bruno suggests the men swap murders, which would leave no traceable clues or possible motives. Though Guy refuses, it will not be so easy to rid himself of the psychopathic Bruno. The film is tightly paced and disturbing from beginning to end, an effect heightened by Hitchcock's inventive camera work, including a terrifying sequence shot through a pair of eyeglasses that have been knocked to the ground.

This picture quickly became one of Alfred Hitchcock's most successful thrillers and remains one of his most popular films. Undoubtedly one of his finest films, 'STRANGERS ON A TRAIN' transforms a highly improbable situation into a series of logical events that inexorably lead to murder. A psychopathic man plans what he thinks is an "exchange murder" with a stranger he meets on a train.

Extras:
Commentary
Featurettes
Preview & Final Release Versions; Vintage Newsreel
Scene Access
Trailers

My Thoughts:
An interesting premise which was often copied. But the movie itself was rather boring to me. And why are the murderers in Hitchcock movies always so stupid?

Rating:



Offline Jimmy

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #160 on: July 19, 2009, 10:25:00 AM »
Because most of them are in real life :hmmmm:

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #161 on: July 19, 2009, 10:31:57 AM »
Because most of them are in real life :hmmmm:

Yes, but in a movie the fun is guessing how they will get caught. But when they make such obvious mistakes, then the whole suspense is gone.



Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #162 on: July 19, 2009, 01:40:37 PM »
Because most of them are in real life :hmmmm:

Yes, but in a movie the fun is guessing how they will get caught. But when they make such obvious mistakes, then the whole suspense is gone.

When I finally catch-up I'll tell you why you were wrong...  :tease:

Offline Tom

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #163 on: July 19, 2009, 06:49:03 PM »
When I finally catch-up I'll tell you why you were wrong...  :tease:

In your eyes I am usually wrong  :P
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 06:54:08 PM by Tom »



Najemikon

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Re: Alfred Hitchcock Marathon
« Reply #164 on: July 20, 2009, 05:03:18 PM »
Rope (1948)
4 out of 5




Farley Granger and John Dall play two friends who have committed an audacious murder in their own apartment, shortly before a party with several friends and relatives of the recently deceased David, who is hidden inside a chest which they have made the centre-piece. Amongst the guests is James Stewart, the moral but unwitting inspiration for the plan.

In Rope, Hitchcock set himself a challenge by using a single set (the apartment) and one camera. He also intended to use one take, but as Achim already mentioned, was limited by 10 minute reels. But you have to look for the joins to spot them and they are very clever. Far from a mere experiment, Rope is a dark little moral tale that’s great fun to watch unfold.

So overall, it feels like a play, though far more dynamic and Hitchcock doesn’t waste a second. The screenplay (by Hume Cronyn) and actors are so good that the story would have worked if the camera was static, but he moves it around like an invisible guest, treating the chest with the body inside like an axis. Every time it is in shot the tension is tightened, none more so than when the maid starts to clear it towards the tail end of the evening.

The screenplay is brilliant at following two broad themes: the murderers getting a thrill from hiding David and the others considering David’s role in their lives and where he could be, subconsciously turning detective between them. The camera works to smoothly switch the emotional focus between the discussions and uses the chest to twist the audience’s perceptions.

Key to this is Rupert (James Stewart in his first Hitchcock role). While there are scenes similar to earlier films like Lifeboat, which overlap dialogue, he is the only one who can join in on both sides, especially as he has the least connection to David. He wonders where he is, but can consider all the evidence rationally, and it’s his own theories Brandon (John Dall) has used as inspiration for the murder; that it is ones moral right to kill someone inferior. So it is he who makes the link between his hosts’ strange behaviour and the possibility of a crime. Rupert is the closest character for the viewer and probably the director himself. While the subject could become pompous, he is a safety net for the audience in more ways than one. He enjoys the idea of murder, but could he actually go that far? Stewart is fantastic, quickly establishing himself as an intelligent, but rather manipulative and mischievous character (the discussion about Grant and Bergman is particularly funny).

The rest of the cast are excellent too, but Granger and Dall are particularly good because they are so different. They sort of represent each other, with Dall enjoying the thrill and Granger falling apart, while only hinting that they share the emotions. Interestingly it is Granger that actually did the throttling.

Rope is an excellent example of cinema and demonstrates how well all the elements can blend. Acting, writing and direction have to balance for a film like this to work. By restricting the action to one set, there’s no room for prevarication or indulgence, yet it is so much fun.

I thought it a nice touch that all the credits were centred on the most important character: David’s friends, David’s Aunt, David’s this, etc. :)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2009, 05:06:43 PM by Jon »