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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Early Alfred Hitchcock Flicks!


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#1 DougieB

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Posted Today, 07:10 AM

The one that really turns me off is "Rich and Strange" - it is so indifferently made and HAS NO CHARM.

 

Maybe it was merely a contractual obligation!

 

I didn't watch Rich and Strange​ this time around but I remember scratching my head over it the first and only time I saw it. I had found a public domain DVD which I was very excited about until I watched it.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#2 rayban

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 11:27 AM

The one that really turns me off is "Rich and Strange" - it is so indifferently made and HAS NO CHARM.

 

Maybe it was merely a contractual obligation!


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#3 DougieB

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:52 AM

DougieB, I agree, in "Jamaica Inn", Laughton came across as "super-gay".

 

How Elsa Lancester managed to stay with him throughout the decades is one of the great "mysteries".

 

How did you feel about the murder of the attacker/rapist in "Murder"?

 

It was done largely with a large curtain behind which the attacker/rapist and his victim were struggling.

 

Also, the idea of Cyril Richard as a heterosexual is - to put it kindly - laughable.

 

From what I've already seen - I don't know if I can continue - they are really awful - Hitchcock was already "fixated" on the "Big Finish".

 

Murder!​ sort of plodded along, like most of the earliest films. He was still learning how to build suspense, so I guess they're bound to disappoint a modern audience used to the "biggies". The struggle involved in killing is something he used later, an extreme example being in Torn Curtain​ where it takes forever to do away with the agent who tracked Paul Newman to the farmhouse. And then sometimes the murder was very perfunctory, like in Rope​. Maybe he thought that if the murder in ​Rope ​were too grisly he'd never hold the interest of the audience as the rest of the movie played out. You're right about the "Big Finish" fixation, to the point off having an actual cliffhanger in North By Northwest​, but then he usually released the tension with a more whimsical, or at least more muted final scene. Anyway, I'm glad to have gotten through the very early stuff. I didn't really find myself in a "film student" frame of mind; I just wanted to see the stuff I really cared about, the later films.

 

And you were right about the transvestite trapeze artist...???? Totally the body type of a man, so was there really supposed to have been some "illusion" that would fool an audience? I don't get it either. I wonder if it was some kind of reference to Julian Eltinge, who was an early female impersonator still active at that time. He was kind of a dumpy man too and, to a modern eye, the illusion wasn't as in-depth as with drag artists today.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#4 rayban

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:42 AM

It's hard to believe it's the same Robert Newton who played Long John Silver. He actually has leading man credibility here. 

 

Is it just me or does Laughton come across as super-gay?. I know effete English aristocrats always have that kind of air about them in movies, but the idea that he was lusting after Maureen O'Hara made me giggle. Anyway, it was a great job on Laughton's part, even though there were moments you could see the join lines for his facial prosthetics.

 

Something I became more aware of seeing all these early Hitchcocks is how great the British were with the use of miniatures. Some good ones in Jamaica Inn and I loved the opening sequence for The Lady Vanishes​ where the camera pans from the mountainscape to the snowbound train to the inn (with an automobile going by) and then in the window of the inn.

DougieB, I agree, in "Jamaica Inn", Laughton came across as "super-gay".

 

How Elsa Lancester managed to stay with him throughout the decades is one of the great "mysteries".

 

How did you feel about the murder of the attacker/rapist in "Murder"?

 

It was done largely with a large curtain behind which the attacker/rapist and his victim were struggling.

 

Also, the idea of Cyril Richard as a heterosexual is - to put it kindly - laughable.

 

From what I've already seen - I don't know if I can continue - they are really awful - Hitchcock was already "fixated" on the "Big Finish".


"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#5 DougieB

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

It's hard to believe it's the same Robert Newton who played Long John Silver. He actually has leading man credibility here. 

 

Is it just me or does Laughton come across as super-gay?. I know effete English aristocrats always have that kind of air about them in movies, but the idea that he was lusting after Maureen O'Hara made me giggle. Anyway, it was a great job on Laughton's part, even though there were moments you could see the join lines for his facial prosthetics.

 

Something I became more aware of seeing all these early Hitchcocks is how great the British were with the use of miniatures. Some good ones in Jamaica Inn and I loved the opening sequence for The Lady Vanishes​ where the camera pans from the mountainscape to the snowbound train to the inn (with an automobile going by) and then in the window of the inn.


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"When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life."...Ignatious J. Reilly, A Confederacy of Dunces


#6 rayban

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:30 AM

"Jamaica Inn" - Alfred Hitchcock's last English film (before coming to America) - it's beautifully done, it has a great sense of immediacy, but it doesn't play like what we've come to know as a Hitchcock film - the large cast (a lot of pirates) is most impressive, especially Charles Laughton - Maureen O'Hara makes a stunning film debut - and Robert Newton is cast as an undercover good guy


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".


#7 rayban

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:32 AM

"Blackmail" - his last silent film, which was converted to a "talkie" - based on a stage play, very, very slow, surprisingly, the heroine gets away with murdering her attacker/rapist (the lead actress had a heavy accent so she had to be dubbed)

 

"Murder" - based on a stage play, too, this one is a very poor adaptation of its' material, but it has a sensational "reveal" - the killer seems to be a actor/trapeze artist (?!) who is actually a transvestite and a half-caste - all of it is enacted as if it were the most daring thing ever - as the murderer, Esme Percy seems to be the last word in perverse behavior

 

"Rich and Strange" - romantic misadventures of a young married couple who inherit a great deal of money - done with complete indifference and a total lack of charm - it seems to use a lot of stock footage - one wonders why Hitchcock even bothered to make it

 

"Number Seventeen" - Hitchcock considered this one to be a complete disaster - it is very bad - it has no interest in its' set-up -but it does have an action-packed finale that takes place on a train and on a bus

 

"The Man Who Knew Too Much" (first version) - it's a barely adequate thriller - it's done much too quickly - but the finale isn't the Albert Hall sequence, it's the shoot-out at the monastery - the lead actors make a very unattractive couple - and Peter Lorre makes for a very strange villain     


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"I was born the day she kissed me.  I died the day she left me.  I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - Humphrey Bogart in "In A Lonely Place".





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