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: The Alfred Hitchcock Discussion Thread  ( 210242 )
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« #555 : December 07, 2023, 10:27:58 AM »

Waltzes from Vienna (1932) "A musical with no music". (H.) Yeah. :-X


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« #556 : December 09, 2023, 01:11:57 AM »

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) The plot hangs on a spit: why kidnap the girl instead of eliminate the parents? Still it moves fast, with some good scenes (the Fresnay killing, the dentist and the final battle). Lorre is great here. But I would have liked to ask H. how the shout of the woman makes the murder in the concert hall go wrong. 


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« #557 : December 09, 2023, 01:30:08 AM »

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) This is a pleasure for the eye, but one should not follow the stilted dialogues, the absurdity of the plot and the mawkish attempts to comedy (the restaurant, the taxidermist). Were it not enough, you have that terrible song (sung perfectly, alas, twice, by DD: making it even more annoying) and the inconsistent plot as in 1934. Rohmer-Chabrol (and who knows how many more after them) try to read into this simple and absurd story meanings that pass me by. The scene in the Albert Hall is curious: DD (was she ever prettier than she's here? And by far the best acting performance of the movie and, maybe, of her career) seems like she's having a climax before shouting: surely she is more convincing than Meg Ryan, though I wonder what was inspiring her. Surely not that music.


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« #558 : December 10, 2023, 10:37:34 AM »

The 39 Steps (1935) The only problem I have with it is the stabbing of the spy woman: how did it happen? For the rest is perfect.


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« #559 : December 12, 2023, 02:49:25 AM »

The Secret Agent (1936) I read the book many years ago and H. does a great job of rendering the moral conflicts inherent to the job. Which make it less palatable to the audiences than the Stteps, in spite of the great action scenes. Maybe Lorre exaggerates the hamming of his part. Great movie, though.


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« #560 : December 12, 2023, 10:22:36 AM »

Sabotage (1936) This has got many weak sports. Mainly, the relation between Homolka and Sidney: you have to constant remind yourself they are married. You don't have an idea of what kind of relationship may be. They never kiss, they don't even touch each other. So there's not a tension about Sidney betraying him or killing him: actually Sidney is just an excuse to have the kid brother in the movie.


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« #561 : December 12, 2023, 12:53:00 PM »

The 39 Steps (1935) The only problem I have with it is the stabbing of the spy woman: how did it happen? For the rest is perfect.
When planning a program of films by AH, it is tempting to pair this with Saboteur or NxNW or even Frenzy. The double chase formula, of course. But that's not how I'd do it. I would put this together with Rear Window. Anyone see why?



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« #562 : December 12, 2023, 04:45:21 PM »

Young and Innocent (1937) Of course, I remembered the famous travelling, not the rest. But it's a lightweight comedy-thriller anyway.


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« #563 : December 13, 2023, 07:36:03 AM »

The Lady Vanishes (1938) Highly entertaining, it is interesting for the way the Englishmen in the train have an excuse to lie about having seen the Lady. Apart from the stupidity of the Redgrave folkloric episode in the beginning and the fundamental idiocy of the MacGuffin this is good from Beginning to end, with great train special effects.


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« #564 : December 14, 2023, 10:50:13 AM »

Jamaica Inn (1939) This is good until Newton and Laughton go back to the Inn: then it is boring with all the predictable, repeating situations. What is original, for me, is the way Laughton plays his part, completely different the way the stylish villain is played today: he never deviates from the calm and haughty way he talks even when he's arranging the evilest plans. And I was really struck when O'Hara (her debut here), at the end, tries to save him telling that he's a mad person, which must be cured. The final Laughton's monologue high on the ship's mast before hurling himself on the deck is alone worth the fare.


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« #565 : December 15, 2023, 07:22:00 AM »

Rebecca (1940) Long since I had watched it, didn't remember the twists at the end. Not the best H., it drags and drags, Olivier doesn't seem to understand what he's doing there, the housekeeper's wraith-like appearances make me laugh, with her hand in hand posture. So what is left is Fontaine, not beautiful as with Astaire 3 years before but still pretty. I'll watch it again after another 40 years.

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« #566 : December 15, 2023, 04:00:59 PM »

Foreign Correspondent (1940) The problem I have with this one is not McCrea subbing for Gary Cooper, who said no to H.. Sure, Cooper would have been an added plus. But the main factor here  is a 2h running lenght. The film should have been built around the 3-4 great scenes and reduce or cut the rest. The movie should have cut the useless introduction in the newspaper building and even (!!) the departure at the quay. A great beginning would have been the homicicde, the umbrellas chase and the masterful mill scene. The scenes with Edmund Gwenn is  suspenseful, though bordering on comedic. But the escape to the country (I'm still wondering whether the girl is running away because McCrea is not planning to pass the night in the same room with her by booking another room)? And the goofy interrogation of the kidnapped politician? Better cut or reduce before the famous diving plane scene. 


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« #567 : December 16, 2023, 09:22:21 AM »

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) H.' worst american movie (Torn Curtain has got at least the oven scene). What I found most annoying is, as often the case, adults behaving like idiots. Especially Raymond doing nothing to take Lombard to bed. Sure, there was censorship and a married (thought not, actually) woman couldn't be shown betraying her husband. But that means they couldn't come up with credible (the alcohol drinking scene) or funny ways to overcome the hurdle. And Raymond doesn't even try.


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« #568 : December 17, 2023, 06:49:27 AM »

Saboteur (1942) H, complained about Cummings: I disagree, I like him very much. I agree on Lane : a kinda Ginger Rogers clone without the verve (which would have had no use here anyway). The problem is the same as Foreign Correspondent: too much to chew. The story is very good until the freaks episode (courtesy of Dorothy Parker): it doesn't rhyme with what precedes, too bizarre, it deviates from the straight story.The scenes in the rich woman's residence are stretched no end: and why the plotters do not get rid of both Cummnigs and Lane?


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« #569 : December 18, 2023, 12:44:40 AM »

Under Capricorn (1949) The evil housekeeper, again. Well, she's more good-looking than the one in Rebecca, but possibly even less credible. The main characters are not credible: Bergman is unaware that the housekeeper is keeping her under her thumb by pumping her with alcohol, and so apparently is her smart businessman  husband. Again, of little avail would have been having Lancaster (as H. wished) instead of Cotten. So the epilogue is totally a shamble, with Bergman for once spying the evil woman at work against her and so solving all the problems her husband and her had. Pfuiii. No wonder I had all but forgotten this crap, exalted by the french critics.


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