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ALFRED HITCHCOCK

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MissGoddess
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby MissGoddess » September 26th, 2013, 5:41 pm

It took me a while. :D My memory is so shot lately I'm amazed I was able to come up with it at all.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby RedRiver » September 27th, 2013, 11:46 am

I'm goin' to Soda City.
Soda City, here I come!

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JackFavell
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » September 29th, 2013, 5:19 pm

You know, there are some things in plain sight in Hitchcock's films that I've never noticed. Like the fact that Ray Milland and Robert Cummings could be twins in Dial M for Murder. My gosh, they look so much alike, I didn't realize it until I was looking across my dining room at the TV, and couldn't tell which one was in the first scene with Grace! Not only do they both have slicked back brown hair, they are almost the same size and build. They are dressed similarly. I know the visuals were important to Hitch, the colors and artistic design and all, but does anyone think he was drawing a comparison between the two men outside of the pleasing triangle they make with Grace Kelly? Is he making something of her attraction to men who look exactly alike?

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JackFavell
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » September 29th, 2013, 7:32 pm

And while we're on the subject of things I've never noticed, does anyone else find it weird that the year 1940 - 1941 produced the movie Rebecca, about a woman who has died, who we only find out about through other people's perceptions, AND Citizen Kane, a movie about a man who has just died, who we only find out about through other people's perceptions?

Maybe I'm slow to make this connection. It only just occurred to me that these two movies could be compared.

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Professional Tourist
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Professional Tourist » September 29th, 2013, 9:12 pm

JackFavell, since Citizen Kane employs flashback (supposedly the first film to do so) we learn about Charles Foster Kane not only from present-day people who knew and speak about him, but also by looking back over his life ourselves. That would be a big difference from Rebecca whom, as I recall, the audience does not see living her life.

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JackFavell
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » September 30th, 2013, 7:42 am

That is one big distinction, PT. The style of story telling is quite different, and yet, both films deal with larger than life characters who could be seen in different ways.

Both Charles Foster Kane and Rebecca are 'beautiful people' - rich, rapacious, and possibly monstrous. Both show the capability for goodness. Each had the potential for at least one great or good act in their lives. Rebecca took the news of her illness with bravery, but then twisted her own death into revenge, her legacy being her hatred for Maxim and all Manderley stood for. It ends up with the place burning to the ground and her own initials and any sense of herself being completely eradicated. She winds up as dust, leaves nothing, a burned pillowcase, a dead housekeeper who held her only good memory. Kane had the ability to help 'the little people', but instead glorified himself, again, leaving nothing behind but a cobweb filled warehouse filled with things of high value but no meaning. The people he knew didn't know him. We find ourselves attracted and repelled by both characters, who represent a sort of fantasy world to us the audience. Much like The Story of Film's viewpoint on the three films from 1939, The Wizard of Oz, Nonotchka, and GWTW, these films have to do with reality vs. the lure of a profound fantasy. We know neither Kane nor Rebecca much better by the end of the movie. But we know their things and their houses intimately. :D

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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Vecchiolarry » September 30th, 2013, 10:01 am

Hi Wendy,

Way back in the 50's at a dinner party, I heard that David O. Selznick wanted to do a back story on "Rebecca" and starring Madeleine Carroll....
That would have been interesting - and also for the fact it wasn't intended for Jennifer Jones!!!

Also at that dinner, I heard that Luise Rainer would do "Love is a Many Splendoured Thing".
This one turned out better for Jennifer!!!

Larry

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JackFavell
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » September 30th, 2013, 10:17 am

That's cool Larry! Even though Rebecca is described as dark, I could see Maddie Carroll playing a role like that. She's certainly got the cool elegance it would take.

I can't imagine Luise Rainer being much of a draw in Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, though the part seems like it might have been written for her because she played Asian before...do you think she would have taken the part? I think of Rainer as being the type of actress who wouldn't want to do anything twice.

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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Vecchiolarry » September 30th, 2013, 10:48 am

Hi,

It seems to me that the author, Han Suyan (?), wanted Rainer to do the picture. In reality, she was much older than the Holden character, although this was all changed in the movie...
I love the idea of an Oriental cougar after a naive American; but that's not the movie!!

I've also heard that Myrna Loy was considered too for this role...
Interesting how movie plans evolve and what might have been...

T answer your question though - in truth, I know next to nothing about Luise Rainer and not much more about Myrna Loy, as both these ladies were long gone from LA when I lved there.
I did know one of Myrna's husbands, Gene Markey, as he was a friend of my grandmother and raised & ran horses, along with Ria Langham, Gables ex-wife...

Larry

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JackFavell
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » September 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Wow, so I am guessing that there were plans to make this movie long before it was actually done, if Rainer and Loy were the two top contenders. Interesting. In some ways it does seem more like a 1930's plot.

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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby CineMaven » October 7th, 2013, 6:55 am

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

WEEK THREE

ALL HITCHCOCK, ALL THE TIME. WELL...AT LEAST SUNDAYS IN SEPTEMBER.


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ALFRED HITCHCOCK - THE MASTER OF SUSPENSE
8/13/1899 - 4/29/1980


“THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH” ( 1956 ) - QUE SERA SERA

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“Why would he pick me out to tell?”


Why? Because you’re the affable, all-American Jimmy Stewart, that’s why. I’ve no real clue why Stewart’s picked, other than he’s a great foil to get pushed around by international forces beyond his control. Here we, again, have the theme of the world being beyond someone’s control. I enjoy the ride...at their expense.

“The Muslim religion allows for few mistakes.”


How prescient of Hitch to give us a glimpse of North Africa and its Muslim culture as a preamble to the intrigue that will follow in this movie. Could this film be made today? ( Current Middle East tensions and all... ) We get a peak into marriage with Stewart and Doris Day. I really like Day in this, one of her better roles of her career. Any leading man is better off being “married” to Doris Day ( i.e. Rock Hudson, James Garner, David Niven to name a few. ) She’s a smart gal here, picks up social cues her husband misses. She tamps down her sophistication, but she's no rube. Day plays an ex-singing star who has given up her career for marriage to a doctor and a nice home in the American mid-west. There might be just the slightest-bit-of-tension in that trade-off between the couple. But whaddya want...it’s 1956. I like Hitch giving her character a moment in the spotlight as their plane lands in London and fans call out for her. I know it doesn't really speak to the fact that she had a "KA-REAR" before she was married; it's a plot device that'll play out later. They have to work together to stop a political assassination and find their kidnapped son...in that order. Nothing like a little blackmail to spur one’s civic duty. Their silence bought, Stewart’s and Day’s teamwork has them decipher clues, leaving law enforcement out of much of this.

Now when we hear the great film scores of Hitchcock-collaborator, Bernard Hermann ( “Psycho” “Vertigo” “North By Northwest” etc. ) the music serves as a beautiful observer of events. In “Rear Window” Hitchcock puts Music and Bernard Hermann front and center. What a neat touch when the movie starts, we see the orchestra actually PLAY under the movie's opening credits. Has any director done that before? ( We're usually not supposed to know the music's there. ) Later on in the film, Hitch intersperses Hermann and his orchestra, instruments, music sheets, close-ups of music notes with Day and Stewart trying to figure out the last piece of the puzzle. Music is a character in "Rear Window." Tension and suspense are taut as can be as Hitchcock shows Day’s tear-stained face looking up at the muzzle of the assassin’s gun.

No one expresses hysteria, full-blown or repressed, like Doris Day. In fact, my favorite scene in the movie is where Stewart gives Day pills just before he tells her their son has been kidnapped. She simultaneously plays out several emotions: anger, despair and helplessness as the pills take effect in a scene worthy of Ingrid Bergman's talents. ( I think Bergman is the queen of multiple emotions. ) I find it a very moving scene. The story goes Hitchcock said very little to Ms. Day during filming, having no notes of direction for her. Of course not. She’s a natural and pitch perfect. And so is Hitchcock. And yes please...a lovely lovely bouquet to Brenda de Banzie.

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“VERTIGO” ( 1958 ) - I LOST MY LOVE...AGAIN.

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Author John Green says: “You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”

There's something in that. Okay, it’s official. This is my favorite movie. JAMES STEWART and KIM NOVAK are star-crossed lovers in Alfred Hitchcock’s twisted tale of deception, obsession and resurrection. You all know the story: Stewart’s Scottie Ferguson is tricked when he follows and falls for Madeleine, a college friend’s wife. The husband knows Scottie’s vertigo will kick in, and prevent him from saving Madeleine from getting thrown from a church tower. When Scottie’s released from a sanitarium ( oh yeah...he cracked up ) he sees a ‘dead ringer’ for Madeleine named Judy. He makes Judy over, with disastrous results.

Here’s a man who pushes the envelope and goes over the edge to satisfy his desires. He has a chance to, if not quite bring Madeleine back, at least recreate an eerie facsimile of her through Judy. How many of us are committed enough to carry out our desire to the nth degree. I saw something in my recent viewing of "Vertigo" that I don’t think I noticed in my past 5,487 viewings. It comes in the scene where Scottie’s imploring Judy to change her appearance even more... and she's resisting.

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Judy: "I wish you'd leave me alone. I want to go away."
Scottie: "You can you know."
Judy: "No. You wouldn't let me. And, I don't want to go."
Scottie: "Judy, I tell you this, these past few days is the first happy days I've known in a year."
Judy: "I know. I know because, 'cuz I remind you of her. And not even that very much."
Scottie: "No. No Judy. Judy, it's you too.
There's something in you that----"


He takes her face in his hands, looks deep into her eyes and tells her 'there's something in you that...' That's the kernel right there. It's in that moment I believe Scottie sees, feels the THING he loved, the essence of what he loved, the spirit of what he loved. But he can't hold onto that moment. He gets distracted by her outer appearance. ( "Your hair..." ) I think when Judy played Madeleine, there was something of Judy he was loving. Do we love the person, or what the person IS inside? Or is it all wrapped up in the same package? Both Scottie and Judy try to recapture something they’ve lost. He wants the love he felt for Madeleine, she wants the love she felt from him when she played Madeleine. ( Brother, that reminds me of "That's enough about me. Now...let's talk about me." ) Look, Judy/Madeleine is in for a penny in for a pound; she's a girl in love. But it's all centered around what Scottie feels and wants. Pretty one-sided and selfish. When you want to go, but you cannot make yourself leave, that's a torturous position to be in. Now to make light of it, I think of Durante singing in “The Man Who Came To Dinner”. But mostly I think movies like of movies like “The Night Porter” where Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde play out their sado-masochistic love affair.

Ultimately, Hitchcock makes me wonder, is there anything wrong with that type of relationship? It may not be for me, but if the sadist and the masochist both get what they want...what's the problem?

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“REAR WINDOW” ( 1954 ) - CURIOSITY KILLED THE...

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Holed up in his apartment with a broken leg, a photo journalist played by JAMES STEWART, whiles away his recuperative time watching his neighbors in the building across the courtyard. He uses the vignette of their lives as his own private cinema. And let me tell you something, if Raymond Burr is a tenant, you know SOMETHING is rotten in Denmark...and Greenwich Village. Hitchcock makes a slow methodical case ( in a slow methodical pace ) for circumstantial evidence pointing to a man suspected of murdering and dismembering his wife.

First Hitchcock draws in Stewart, along with us. Then he draws in wisecracking nurse Thelma Ritter. The next into the fold is the glamorous GRACE KELLY, more animated here than I’ve ever seen her. ( Thank goodness. I’m just about at the end of my rope with her "ice princess/still waters run deep" mode. ) As Stewart’s steady girlfriend, Kelly's focus is not outside the apartment, but inside, on Stewart, and getting him lassoed by his antlers to the altar. He’s resistant against everything she throws at him from her feminine arsenal. Rounding out the cast is Doubting Thomas Wendell Corey with ice blue eyes and cold skepticism. He’s the detective friend who thinks Stewart is crying wolf.

Curiosity is no substitute for flat-footed police work. Ritter and Kelly take Stewart’s curiosity up another level as they up the ante with Nancy Drew-style investigative antics into Burr’s affairs. The reward for those efforts is to bring the Menace from across the courtyard, right to Stewart’s doorstep. I don't usually run with open arms to "Rear Window" as I do Hitchcock's "Psycho" or "Notorious" or "The Birds." For some reason, I need to be coaxed into watching this. Then when I get into the swing of things, I'm totally in. I don't know why. I can't explain me to me, sometimes. I don't know WHY I have reservations. Hitchcock has done something brilliant here. He creates smaller movies within the larger film with the stories of the tenants across the yard. And we are vested in their stories as well. Hitchcock makes that apartment building the visual, cinematic representation of what writers do when they create characters and weave their subplots throughout the main story. ( He creates some suspense in the poignant Miss Loneyheart's story. Will she or won't she kill herself. ) But it's really Burr as Boogey Man. There's only one thing scarier than him showing up on Stewart's doorstep. And that's the shot of his darkened apartment with just the glowing light of his cigarette.

Hitchcock, how could I have doubted you.

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“TO CATCH A THIEF” ( 1955 ) - CAT & MOUSE

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Sean Connery and Luciana Paluzzi in "Thunderball."

I can't warm up to "To Catch A Thief." I'm not crazy about it. It's beautiful to look at, no doubt; the lush and colorful Riviera setting. Grace Kelly and Cary Grant are also beautiful to look at. I thought Cary Grant was as nimble as a dancer in this. He could have played James Bond in this with his stealthiness. ( Cary Grant as James Bond. ) I didn't like the French girl. ( She's no Elsa. ) The movie doesn't feel real to me. It feels like a big coloring book or an Erector set. Hitchcock has all the pieces but it doesn't come together for me.

If any one wishes to make a case for "To Catch A Thief" by all means, please do. I'd love to read it. Tell me, what am I missing?
"You build my gallows high, baby."

http://www.megramsey.com

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JackFavell
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » October 7th, 2013, 7:35 am

I feel kind of the same about To Catch a Thief. It IS like a coloring book, a version of a story, not the real thing. Actually, it feels like a comic book to me. A very pretty, well illystrated comic book, but not a movie I can fall into, be a part of. However, I love the french girl. And of course, Cary.

My favorite shot from The Man Who Knew Too Much is actually the poster on the side of the Albert Hall, which advertises the symphony that plays a key role in the movie, as conducted by Bernard Hermann! I just like seeing Hermann's name in print in the film. It's reflexive but doesn't distract from the story. And I agree about Doris Day, what an underrated actress she is. I think she's terrific, no matter what.

As for Vertigo, we must be in synch, because I noticed that scene for the first time too, the one where Scottie almost catches a glimpse of the real person inside Judy/Madeleine. It actually helped make the movie much more romantic to me this time through, and I felt so sad that these two people were never destined to meet one another on the same level, throughout their relationship. How sad is it that they let the time they had together slip out of their grasp because of stagnant memories?

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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby CineMaven » October 7th, 2013, 9:09 am

A well-illustrated coloring book. D’0hhhh! Good one. And trust me, I’m not saying the movie is baaaad. It just doesn’t get me going and I don't for the life of me know why.

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It is a shame Scottie and Judy/Madeleine couldn’t be the same person they needed to be for each other. :-( James Stewart: professorial, gadfly, desperate detective, obsessive. He sure ran the gamut of personalities in each of his Hitchcock films.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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RedRiver
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby RedRiver » October 7th, 2013, 11:56 am

Cinamazing! So The Big V is your favorite movie? I like a fan with conviction. My number one choice changes with the weather. (With the current conditions, that means I've had four favorites in two days!) Of the films you've just written about, REAR WINDOW is the one for me. Diabolical, slow boiling and unique. Like you, I have no serious complaints about "Thief." It just doesn't excite me. It's not lively. Unlike you, I have the same reaction to THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. The plot is cold and quiet. The story fails to move me. I don't care for either version of this renowned thriller.

But you know me. If nobody dangles from The Statue of Liberty, gets handcuffed to Madeline Carrol, or finds that "No one can like The Drummer Man can," I'm not fully satisfied. Call it a quirk!

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JackFavell
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » October 7th, 2013, 1:15 pm

I think you and I are too much alike for our own good, Red. :D


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