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Daily Dose #6: Knocking 'Em Cold (Opening Scene from The Man Who Knew Too Much)


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#41 Vtxplant

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 02:37 PM

We meet Abbott as he picks himself up from a brush with calamity. He has a lighthearted reaction to being knocked off his feet. He could be upset, but instead he laughs. Is he sick man, we wonder, since he's attended by a nurse. He also manages to poke fun at his English, as we also learn it's new to him. When he meets the ski-jumper there's an awkward air. Maybe they know each other?
Since I saw the whole film before repeatedly watching this scene ( and thinking about the introduction to Abbott), I know he's a key character. Lorre shows us an antagonist with a light touch, who doesn't appear to take himself too seriously. Yet he's responsible for the ensuing mayhem. In this scene Abbott comes off as personable, and perhaps complex. I missed most of these details when I watched the whole film. Lorre's likeable villian would have fooled me.

#42 pwest1962

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 12:39 AM

This film along with The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger bring the audience immediately in with action and characterization.  

 

The sky jumper presents movement/action.  So far all the films I've seen being with movements whether it is a train moving or spinning records or ticking clocks.  Hitchcock does not waste a scene; he wants his audience to move all with the characters on their rollercoaster ride.  The little girl is going to get in the way of whatever is going to happen.  She does not think before she acts; she wants the dog, so if skier falls down, oh well.  The skier takes it well but I would have told that little girl off.  Lorrie too dusts off the incident.  Her dad is affable!   

 

The Lorrie look at the skier makes me think they have seen each other before and Lorrie wants to get out there before the skier figures out where they have met but he does not create suspicion as he leaves, hence the smile and wave before he goes.  

 

The main difference in this opening and the other two is it begins with a light-hearted touch.  We don't where we are going but we're glad to be along for the ride.



#43 Kim.Farrell

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 09:58 PM

1. Character.  We are introduced to many different characters in this scene.  What should I observe about each character?

 

2. I immediately felt that he was not just another casual observer.  When he met the skiers gaze, why did his facial expression change momentarily?  That creates suspicion

 

3. My answer to the similarity and difference between the Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew To Much is the same.  POV.  In the both films, the scene is full of action.  We view the audience from the POV of a character on stage in the Pleasure Garden and the POV in the film The Man Who Knew To Much the POV is from the audience viewing the skier.  



#44 dan_quiterio

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 09:29 PM

I've seen this film years ago, and unfortunately don't remember much. Based on this opening scene--and what I know about Hitchcock's preferences--I'll assume that the film will be more character based than plot based. In these short two minutes, we're already introduced to some key characters, yet plot details are scarce. One of the more interesting characters is Abbott, who is easy-going and fun-loving, as depicted in his brief appearance in this scene. Based on his few lines, we know that he's new to the English language, but don't know much more. Upon seeing the skier, he takes a quick beat, leading the audience to believe that something is off. I expect the two characters to meet again--perhaps in a less humorous scenario.

 

A similarity between this scene and the opening scenes of The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger is that in all three, females are either victimized or placed in harm's way in another way--either by being robbed (The Pleasure Garden), murdered (The Lodger), or nearly struck by a speeding skier (The Man Who Knew Too Much). (Interestingly, all three films feature curly-haired blondes.) However, the three scenes are distinct in their locales and tone. Whereas The Pleasure Garden includes moments of fun and sinister activity, The Lodger is frightful and The Man Who Knew Too Much is light hearted.


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#45 CaseInPoint

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 04:21 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet).  The characters and their 'front stage/back stage' performances after they are thrust together by disruptive events such as the skiing accident.  As has been observed in accompanying lecture notes, Hitchcock is beginning to explore how situations and people aren't always how they seem or initially appear.

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? The character comes across as amusing and likable, with the facial expressions and broken English.  But is his broken English authentic or an act?  Behind this veneer, perhaps, may lurk evil intentions later.

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. The verticality of the ski jump with a significant character coming down onto a 'stage' before a crowd has similarities to Pleasure Garden.  The quick cuts and fast pace differ somewhat from the more dark and foreboding intro to Lodger.  


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#46 startspreading

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 03:51 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

The characters and their moods – after all, the film begins with a coincidence caused by a dachshund!

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

We actually think he is a man in a very nice mood, and he doesn’t get upset with the accident – although the woman near him does. And through a glance we can see that he knows the skier, but says nothing because they have private affairs to solve.

Also, The Man Who Knew Too Much uses Lorre’s persona to perfection: the guy who can be at the same time nice and sinister.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes?

Besides the applause and a few gasps, there is only silence in the first thirty seconds. Similarly, it happens in a crowded place, with strangers interacting. The action unfolds quickly, just like in the other two movies. As in The Lodger, we have many people being observed and interacting – the opening of Pleasure Garden and other later Hitchcock movies focuses in fewer, and even only one, characters. 


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#47 mandyhnandez

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 03:17 PM

​1. The characters are definitely more important than the plot. A story focused around a skier skidding out to avoid a dog is not very interesting, at least to build a whole story around, but the circumstances of the situation show an obvious connection between the skier and the Lorre character, making the audience wonder about the connections between them and other characters.

 

​2. Lorre's character seems very likable, at least on the outside, and he is completely lighthearted about the entire incident, not at all upset that he was knocked over. However, it is clear that he is hiding something, and that certainly should be explained later on in the movie, because when he sees the skiers face, his smile disappears and it is clear that he knows this man and does not like him for some reason. He seems easygoing on the outside but clever at the same time, and good at hiding things.

 

​3. This opening is similar to those of The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger in that all of them start with immediate action, whether it is a near accident, a murder, or a show. It is different because it lacks as many subjective points of view and does not favor one particular character as the main one we as the audience should focus on.


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#48 BarbaraGrahamTucker

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 02:45 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) Well, I’ve seen it, but I’ll say plot.  The characters are kind of stereotypical or stock, except for Lorre.  And I think Hitchcock was really more into escapist plots.  The fact that the girl allows her dog to almost kill the man and everybody is ok with it is bizarre, when you think about it. 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film?  He’s trying too hard to be jovial after being knocked down. But his quick double take when he sees Louis is telling.  There would be no reason for it unless he already knew him from somewhere or had a plan for him (such as to kill him).  I wouldn’t know if he was the villain from this sequence but he wouldn’t be there if he weren’t important, and of course he looks creepy.  He has a keeper who doesn’t act like his wife, more like his nanny. 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes? 

We jump right into the action, dramatically.  No elegiac shots.  The Lodger starts with a woman’s scream and frightened people, TPG with active flirty scantily clad dancing girls, and this with a ski jump gone awry.  In TMWKTM and The Lodger we have more similarities, since TPG starts out for laughs. 


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#49 LesleySargoy

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 12:27 PM

What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

 

Peter Lorre has a very sharp reaction to the skier. The reaction is very quick and he recovers his happy, laughing persona almost immediately. It's apparent right away that there is some past history between the two. However, if the audience isn't paying close attention to the scene, we could "blink and miss" the startled expression on Peter Lorre's face.

 

Also, the scene wouldn't have the same impact if the expression on Peter Lorre's face remained for more than a few seconds - it's that quick recovery that really nails it.

 

Very well done - this quick shift sets up the story line and "all isn't what it seems..."


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#50 gardenias

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 09:05 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

 

The characters are more important in the film. I see that as being a staple for Hitchcock. When you consider this film to be about an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation it make the characters actions and emotions the subject. The entire plot itself is secondary. 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

​He is connected to the skier. His reaction to him is far different then his reaction to the father. His English isn't very good and he doesn't understand the expressions. I love this choice of actor and character because it makes the stakes higher. 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

Similar: There are observations from an audience. 

Differences: There is less focus on the observers and more focus on the person being observed. There is a solid introduction to the protagonist and the antagonist. 


"Are they Charlie?" 


#51 Cscharre

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 08:37 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) Probably the characters will be the most important as the scene revolves around odd introductions and usual relationships.

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? He is dismissive of the main action and focus a lot on the child.

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. Fast paced.
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#52 Thief12

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 08:31 PM

Trying to catch up here, just like I've been all week, so my apologies...

 

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot?

 

The characters. The scene helps establish 3 or 4 characters fairly well. Lawrence seems to be a witty, but friendly man that takes things the easy way. Louis is an adventurer, a man that takes risks and is willing to sacrifice himself to save others (which he does), while Betty is perhaps a bit careless, in the path of danger.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film?

 

He seems a lot like Lawrence: a witty, but friendly man that takes things the easy way. He is polite and amiable, but not entirely in his element here. He is an outsider, not a "regular" man (but a criminal).

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes?

 

Similar in that all three open in crowded places (theater, a murder scene, this ski event). All three establish women as central to the plot in some way, namely that they'll be in danger (Jill and Patsy as leads, the Avenger victim, and Betty).

 

The Lodger is perhaps a bit different in that it starts in a less personal way, and takes its time to introduce our lead characters, while The Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew Too Much, on the other hand, introduce their leads right in the opening scene. Also, in the former, we know from the get-go what will drive the plot, while in the latter we're still not sure, or haven't been shown where the story is going.


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#53 katwent

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 08:03 PM

The opening scene of LADY bursts with frenetic public space activity, but is short lived compared to Hitch's standards of opening scenes so far. There is a calidiscope of folk music morphing to symphonic music, then a distinctive waltz, foreshadowing the three acts that ensue. We are introduced to film's first Charle's Angels; a blonde, brunette, and redhead who have wrapped the owner/clerk around their fingers. The tone is gaity with growth, the mood impending adventure, and the atmosphere as triumphant as the trumpeteer of the clock!
Caldecott & Charles are the equilibrium we follow and serve to narrate some of the introductory exposition. They exclaim, "Americans, you know, the almighty dollar," slipping judgement into their banter.
The doorway becomes a framing device in Hitch's hands. Somewhat reminiscent to Goya's 'caprichos' (farcical engravings) ~ the composition is accented by the upper and lower level stage platforms he arranges Charle's Angels as they spin their webs. The dialogues distinctly ennunciate International flair. The cam movements are a sophisticated envelopment of directed POV.

#54 Marti747

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 07:16 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

Definitely the characters.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

You learn so much about his character in this opening scene. You see that Peter Lorre is kooky which endears you to him but that changes once you see his reaction to the skier.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes.

Similar: A bit of humor thrown in. In the Pleasure Garden it was the old man stepping on another's feet; in The Lodger it was the man making fun of the woman describing the man she saw.

Different: TMWKTM involves a family as opposed to individuals. It is also a spy thriller as opposed to a murder mystery and melodrama.


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#55 Soonya

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 07:06 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

I have read that the opening scene is a give-away to the entire movie and that experienced viewers can mine the opening scene to make accurate predictions on the themes and the plot of the movie. Based on my novice background, I predict that the characters are going to be more important than the plot because I've already become interested in several characters and as of yet have no idea what the plot will be. 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

Peter is a good sport. Because of the girl and her dog, he blew his last run and is now out of the running and will leave the competition; however, there is no anger / frustration directed at the pair, instead he is full of good humor, jokes with the girl, says she can call him Uncle and invites her and her family to dinner. Therefore, I am predisposed to like him and see him in a favorable light.

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. Differences include city vs country, dark vs light, adults and mature themes (nightclubs and serial killers) vs athletic competitions (kid friendly). Similarities include subtle humor, (sleeping audience member, crowd member wrapping his face, knocking them cold) and crowds. 


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#56 dittietwin

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 02:47 PM

1.    Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

 

I think the characters will play the more important role here because if the plot were to be the focus, then I think Hitch would have had some of the people, or even the skier, be injured.  To put our minds back on the characters and away from the skiing accident, Hitch avoided using any injuries so we could follow the dialogues that were to be among the characters.

 

2.    What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

 

I learned that Abbott must be a well-to-do man by the type of coat he was wearing and that he had quite an interest in the skier from his break in his talk and the expression on his face when looking at the skier. This scene sets up my curiosity as to why Abbott looked at the skier the way he did.

 

3.    We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes? 

 

The opening in The Man Who Knew Too Much is similar to The Pleasure Garden in that both open with a scene located in a public arena, where a common special event is happening; A music hall theatrical performance and a sports event allowing the viewer to see that no crime has yet been committed which keeps us from feeling anxious.  Whereas, the opening is different from The Lodger because in The Lodger we see that a crime has been committed and our anxiety and curiosity is increased. 



#57 johncrann

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 02:31 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

The Plot.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

Abbott is an alien. He admits he does not speak the local language well and admits to speaking German as a core language. He is anxious to move on after the brief encounter with the group. No way to determine how to view him later in the film at this juncture.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

Small crowds are gathered together, characters within the crowd are going to be seen again.

A memorable event takes place, one horrific, others not so, but causes some trauma and brings people together as a result of chaos.



#58 rross856

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 02:05 PM

I would say that characters and plot will be of equal importance. I have not seen this version of the film - though I have seen the version with Doris Day and James Stewart - and I believe that both the storyline and the characters drive the movie forward. 

What is learned about Peter Lorre's character is very little in the opening scene. He seems to be a polite, easy tempered person but he is the suppose to be the villain. I'm not saying that those two things are mutually exclusive but it does mean that he will be a complex character in the film.

The opening of The Man Who Knew Too Much reminds me most of the opening of The Pleasure Garden because of the mix of humor and drama. This clip shows what could have been a serious incident but which turns into introductions and laughter. None of the characters are hurt and the dialogue is light and cheerful. Where you expect to feel one thing Hitchcock interjects humor.



#59 ThePaintedLady

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:57 PM

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

Considering this is an espionage theme, characterization is most important and we really have to pay attention to each character's persona and motivation. Who can be trusted? Who can't? Is there a red herring?

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

He seems like a good natured man but you know there is something duplicitous about him when he stops mid sentence when face to face with Luis. His fashion sense is a bit flashier than those around him suggesting that he is not like the crowd. Another issue here is his strong accent. Generally, (at least in American cinema) they are not to be trusted especially those with British, German, Russian accents.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

Each scene goes right into the action: theatre show/gala, crime in progress and aftermath, ski-jump competition. They also contain a large audience. Each also has a victim of some type: victim of theft, murder victim, skier, though not necessarily a victim, loses a competition due to a young girl's carelessness.

Differences: We have two productions and one crime. Both Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew Too Much start with a descent from a height whereas The Lodger does not.

 

 

Let us read and let us dance; two amusements that will never do harm to the world.

-Voltaire

 

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#60 noirkitty

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 01:02 PM

The opening scene shows that the characters are the main focus. The young girl seems to cause a scene. The skier avoiding the crash and apologizing for it and a brief look of recognition between him and Peter Lorre's character.

I have yet to see the film but I think Peter Lorre character seems friendly but a bit strange.I would be a little suspicious of him.

The opening is similar in that an audience is watching a skier as the audience is watching the dance girls in the Pleasure garden. Different in that is lighthearted   and not as dark and ominous as the Lodger.






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