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: The Alfred Hitchcock Discussion Thread  ( 208942 )
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« #540 : November 20, 2023, 03:11:02 AM »

Downhill (1927) Amother melodrama, plot devised in a couple of minutes. But there is the confirmed mastery of the camera. There is a scene which impressed me (though others are remarkable too): a close-up of Novello's face and bow-tie making you think he's dressed up elegantly. Then the camera goes down and he's wearing an apron: he's a waiter. The camera moves backwards and he's serving  a couple which then stands up and moves away. Novello picks up something from the table: is he stealing it? The camera pans backward and the place is revealed to be not a restaurant but the stage of a theatre: 3 shocks  in a row!


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« #541 : November 23, 2023, 01:17:18 AM »

Easy Virtue (1927) Easy contender for H.'s worst movie. Melodrama plot jotted out in a couple of minutes, no memorable shots.


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« #542 : November 24, 2023, 01:35:51 AM »

The Ring (1927) Another melodrama with a boxing scenario that has got many visual interesting visual solutions (see the subjective rendition of the effect of a punch, for example). I think any fan shouldn't miss it. 7/10


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« #543 : November 24, 2023, 11:11:39 AM »

The Farmer's Wife (1928) Light-hearted comedy with a Cinderella kinda plot. It has some funny scenes and solid actresses, especially the 4 harridans. 6-7/10


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« #544 : November 25, 2023, 01:01:38 AM »

Champagne (1928) Halfway between comedy and melodrama, nothing remarkable except some shots through a glass and a 360? pan. Worth a vision, though.


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« #545 : November 25, 2023, 05:26:22 AM »

The Manxman (1929) After The Ring Carl Brisson plays again for H. the role of the cuckold. Heavy melodrama without a single element of interest.

« : December 15, 2023, 07:41:25 AM titoli »

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« #546 : December 02, 2023, 02:33:58 AM »

Blackmail (1929) The actors play like it was a silent movie, which partially was shot like and it is. Especially the blackmailer is over the top all of the time. The girl (a german actree who couldn't speak english and was dubbed live!) is pretty but H. insists on keeping the camera on her too much. H. wanted a different finale but I don't think it would have changed much. There are some nice shots (see those in the British Museum, some arranged with the Shuftan process) and an occasional creative use of the sound. Still, only for completists.


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« #547 : December 02, 2023, 05:22:44 AM »

I think Blackmail and The Lodger are essential Hitchcocker.
They paved the way to what comes later, and the next essential one is The Man Who Knew Too Much. After that one most of his films were more or less essential.


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« #548 : December 02, 2023, 08:05:48 AM »

Elstree Calling (1930) H. directed some of it. If that are the two sketches one can find on youtube (there's also the entire movie) they are negligible.


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« #549 : December 03, 2023, 03:42:03 AM »

Juno and the Paycock (1930) H. wasn't satisfied with it, not enough cinematic.  But probably he didn't care much about it: just look at how in some shots the upper side of the actors are cut off screen. Be as it may, I can't see how he could have done anything better with this "comedy" (it didn't make me smile once) veering into heavy melodrama in the finale. The theatrical piece is considered a masterpiece or about: I'll never read it or watch it.

« : December 04, 2023, 09:35:15 AM titoli »

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« #550 : December 04, 2023, 01:00:45 AM »

Murder! (1930) Many elements of interest here: use of sound (a live orchestra was playing during the shooting), the (hinted) homosexual theme, some visual solutions (the great travelling shot at the start, the german expressionism like shots in the jail, and so on). But there's too much useless talk, the Hamlet derived scene is stupid and so for me is 6-7/10.


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« #551 : December 05, 2023, 05:33:59 AM »

The Skin Game (1930) This one has been better forgotten by H. himself and massacred  by Chabrol-Rohmer. So I'm alone (?), in considering it the first H. movie where the director knows what he's doing from A to Z, where he has a not original but solid script from a play, where there are dialogues worthy of paying attention to (especially the first between Hornblower and Hillchrist). The final result is marred by the melodramatic plot turn in the final 30'. But the auction sequence is worth watching and rewatching as masterful (and even the two french future directors admit as much). The two criticize especially a presumed amateurish use of the camera by the author: well, I think that it is how the camera is positioned, with, for example, off-screen dialogues, that makes the movie even more interesting. BTW H. must have remembered how the heads of the actors were sometimes cut off the screen in Juno and I smiled here when I noticed how the operator, when a character stood up from a stiting position,  followed the movement upwards.     


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« #552 : December 05, 2023, 03:26:51 PM »

Mary (1931) Most people tell this german version of Murder! is like the original. Yes, it retains the settings and the translated dialogue of the previous film (H. regretted not having cared about the advice of the german speaking people involved in the production who wanted changes). But it can't be the same movie because it is 20' shorter: which is an advantage as most of the useless dialogue ends up in the bin and of course the pace is faster. The movie is not rescued by it, the plot is still flimsy and the guy subbing for Marshall does not improve the end result  He's older and uglier.

« : December 06, 2023, 12:54:20 AM titoli »

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« #553 : December 06, 2023, 12:39:25 PM »

Rich and Strange (1932) I saw it in the eighties. when on tv, of course didn't remember a thing. The movie is disjointed, it starts a a comedy and then slides into drama, but there is no melodrama and both parts are well developed, with the scenes on the sinking ship and the chinese junk bordering on the surreal. So this is the first complete success of H. as a director, in my view. I wonder though, as Truffaut did, what happened to the risqu? swimming pool scene.


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« #554 : December 07, 2023, 10:26:08 AM »

Number Seventeen (1932) This is very interesting because the plot is so complicated and probably with no logic and verisimilitude at every turn that one concentrates on the images. Which would make CJ happy in the first part, as noirish as can be. The second half, all about a chase between a train and a coach is just as interesting: altough all made with models it is very exciting thanks to the sound and the fast editing. Not a masterpiece but a must see for the fans.


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