We're excited to present a great new set of boards to classic movie fans with tons of new features, stability, and performance.

If you’re new to the message boards, please “Register” to get started. If you want to learn more about the new boards, visit our FAQ.

Register

If you're a returning member, start by resetting your password to claim your old display name using your email address.

Re-Register

Thanks for your continued support of the TCM Message Boards.

X

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.

X

Jump to content


Photo

Daily Dose #13: Criss Cross (Opening Scene of Strangers on a Train)


  • Please log in to reply
165 replies to this topic

#1 AmyV

AmyV

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted Today, 02:31 PM

1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

The biggest element to me was, as mentioned in the lecture video or the readings, are the criss-crossing railroad tracks.  I guess there was the criss-crossing, as it were, of the two cabs the men took.  They seated themselves opposite each other on the train, but then Bruno crosses over to Guy's side to sit next to him.  I didn't think about what some others mentioned that was another criss-crossing and that is that both men crossed their legs when they sat down!

 

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

As to camera-work, Hitchcock has each man walking through the station appearing to come from two opposite directions, looking like their paths might cross.  (I guess this is also another example for question #1 above.)  Guy seems more "everyman," more workaday in his choice of clothes and shoes, Bruno quite flashy in his spectator shoes and "Bruno" tie clip.  Bruno seems much more outgoing and chatty, while Guy appears, at least here, more reserved, less talky. 

 

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

It is a very sweeping, dramatic score and seems like it is a prelude to something big happening.



#2 slp515

slp515

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted Yesterday, 10:27 PM

Daily Dose #13: Criss Cross
Opening Scene from Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951)

1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

In the introductory sequence of Stranger, Hitchcock played with "criss-cross" in several ways. First he used the railroad tracks, then he used the taxis crisscrossing each other getting to the train station. (I say this because they seem to get to the station about the same time). He used the men each crossing their legs on the train.

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

Hitchcock creates a sense of contrast between Guy and Bruno by portraying first the luggage and articles that they had carried to the train. Guy had his tennis rackets, luggage and book whereas, Bruno had only luggage. He however, looked as if there were tags on it suggesting that he had been traveling a lot. Bruno also seem to have a tailored suit and stylish shoes, and Guy who looked nice in his suit did not have the distinguished look as Bruno. Guy appeared to have been the happy go lucky - polite kid and Bruno appeared to be a little older, spoiled seen by his showing the tie that was embroidered by his mother. Bruno wanted to carry a conversation and Guy seemed to want to read his book.

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

 Dimitri Tiomkin's musical score was background instrumental music with both a dramatic, happy/playful, mysterious - something is about to happen tone.

#3 AaronF

AaronF

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • LocationBoston, MA

Posted Yesterday, 09:42 PM

In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

The intro scene has a lot of "criss crossing" the two men getting out of cabs from opposite sides of the screens (and cabs), one man walking to the left the other to the right. The train tracks cross each other as do the mens' legs on the train. The men's suits also criss cross as one has stripes and the other is solid. One man likes to talk as the other likes to read.

 

Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

One man has black and white shoes with a striped suit as the other has solid colored shoes and suit. The man that is all solid colors wants to read and is quiet as the more "loud" clothed man is very talkative.

 

While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

The score is very upbeat and has a "joyous" tone when the two enter, as they are walking the music has a marching sound as they walk into the train station. When their shoes touch the music has a playful pop to it.



#4 CaseInPoint

CaseInPoint

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14 posts

Posted Yesterday, 11:27 AM

  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.  The most obvious is the high angle POV shot of the train tracks.  Shortly after, both men cross their legs with the shoes we have been watching bumping each other to start the conversation.  At the very start, the direction in which the characters cross the screen, alternating from left to right to right to left, is almost a 'criss cross', in addition to the idea of mirroring.  Similarly, one car (the car in which Bruno arrives) has 'suicide doors' hinged at the rear, while the doors on Guy's car opens the opposite way.
  2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.  The shoes, of course, and the suits -- Bruno appearing a bit more tailored and polished than Guy.  The shot of the tennis racquets immediately establishes Guy as, potentially, more of a man of leisure, although we soon come to know that, really, almost the opposite is true -- Bruno is the one who has the means to roam about the country at leisure.  The way Walker delivers the dialogue for Bruno is brilliant -- syrup-y sweet and confident, while Guy seems shy and hesitant.
  3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?  As in many of Hitch's pictures to date, the music is light-hearted and upbeat, a contrast to the more dark aspects of the film to come.


#5 pwest1962

pwest1962

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • LocationAlabama

Posted Yesterday, 12:31 AM

After watching Stage Fright, I can see Hitchcock's prelude to Strangers on a Train.   As I posted earlier about mirroring, there were pairs and doubles and mirrors all through Stage Fright.  This film was a laugh riot and I loved Alister Sim.  I wanted to see Sim in every scene of this dark comedy.  We even see Eve's mom; we see this couple.  She's a bit off and he doesn't live with her.

 

Marlena Detrich's character as a faux fem-fatal and "Johnny" Noir were wonderful send-ups.  "Johnny" loves her, but she's using him.  Then, Hitchcock introduces us to "Johnny's" friend, Eve, Jane Wyman, who is in love with him, the way he loves Detrich!  She is an aspiring actress; Detrich's character is a stage performer: mirrors and an unrequited love triangle.  

 

When we hear the name Eve, we often think uh-oh, she's going to be trouble, but in this case, Hitch gives us a good Eve.  Everyone thinks Johnny killed Detrich's husband, but Eve believes in him. She hides him and then sets out to prove he's innocent.  

 

We are then introduced to "Johnny's" double, Detective "Ordinary" Smith.  Eve pretends to be ill to get information from him about the murder; she also wants him to believe Detrich's character is in on everything and really killed her own husband.  (Hitch got me here; I honestly believed "Ordinary" was on to Eve the whole time.)

 

If you watched the film, you know the rest of the story.  If you didn't, I would recommend watching it because you will see how Hitchcock is working on little details here he will perfect in  Strangers. Detrich's Charlotte and Eve mirror each other, while Johnny and Ordinary mirror each other. Everyone is playing a part except for "Ordinary" just like "Guy" in  Strangers.  

 

The end of Stage Fright foreshadows Strangers.  Johnny and Eve are hiding in a carousel looking coach on the stage much like the one at the Carnival in  Strangers.  There are shadows across Johnny and Eve's eyes; Johnny's thinking about killing her.  Watch the end of the film and the stage curtain comes down on Johnny and it is a prelude to the carousel crash at the end of  Strangers.  

 

Hitchcock had a better script with  Strangers on a Train and used techniques he had been using from earlier films to perfection.  On TCM, Ben and his guest, Phillip', talked about how the films from The Paradine Case through Stage Fright were not successful, but I could see in Rope and Stage Fright the use of the lighter as a prop that would later become so much a part of this later film.  I see how he built on the strange relationship Eve's parents had to the strained relationship between Bruno's parents.  Eve's mom is batty, so is Bruno's!  Phillip' talked about Bruno and his mom as a prelude to Norman Bates and his mom; I agree!  However, I see the preludes in Stage Fright!  

 

I'm glad I got to see Rope and Stage Fright back to back; I could see the progression in Hitchcock's story telling and directing methods in both films as he honed his craft toward better films. 

 

 

 

 

 



#6 brooke.fenton

brooke.fenton

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 23 posts
  • LocationSalt Lake City, Utah

Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:54 PM

  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific. There are many ways in which the idea of "criss cross" are used. Examples include the cars and people crossing the street/intersections, the train tracks, when Bruno and Guy's feet are seen together as though they have met on the train as well as various body language (legs and arms crossed). 
  2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example. There is a contrast between light and dark shoes. Their clothing is different. Bruno has a tacky tie clip and lobster tie while Guy is dressed more classy and upscale. Guy is very polite and formal while Bruno is very brash, crude and as informal as possible. 
  3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? His use of contrast with the music narrates the action as well as defines the characters of Bruno and Guy. 


#7 cameos

cameos

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:32 PM

  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.                                           The train tracks are the most obvious "criss cross" in the opening sequence. However, other "criss crosses" are: people crossing the station, the cars in the street outside the station moving in both directions, Bruno and Guy approaching their seats from opposite directions, the crossed legs of both Bruno and Guy. Guy's arms are also crossed; Bruno crosses over to sit with Guy; the seats are across from each other.

----------------------------------------

 

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

 

Their clothing seems the most visually apparent difference:  Bruno wears a loud, striped suit and loud tie with two-toned spectator shoes, while Guy wears a solid colored suit and shoes.  Guy also seems shy and soft-spoken, while Bruno is more of a self-confident kind of wise-guy.  Bruno's walk is also more strutting than Guy's.  Bruno is more aggressive in that he moves over and sits with Guy before being invited.

-----------------------------------------

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

 

The music has a "dramatic" sound--you know something is about to happen.  As the camera is on Bruno's feet, the music sounds almost "**** tonk," while Guy's is softer.  The music builds and rises to a crescendo as Bruno and Guy are walking to the train to their inevitable and fateful meeting.

 

 



#8 hussardo

hussardo

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:44 PM

1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.
He uses cabs, luggage, waking and finally the rail and shoes to visually manifest the crisscrossing in the sequence.

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.
Contrast is clear from the star as the two main characters come out of the taxi cab. Again, different types of luggage, different types of clothing and manners... all of it giving attention to the shoes which brings out information about social background.

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? Tiomkin's score brings attention to the mood of the film.
While serious gives you the sense of joy. Playful tune that can bring about a bit of satire from one of the characters.

#9 tsdeane

tsdeane

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:19 PM

  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.  Numerous examples of criss-crossing from walking, train tracks to Guy and Bruno crossing their legs when sitting down
  2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.  Much contrast between the two:  Bruno is talkative, loud clothing and shoes while Guy is non-talkative, subdued clothing and shoes.  The camera takes each of these into account when filming the scene.
  3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?  Tiomkin uses a good mix and transition between impending excitement, to a subdued entrance for the characters Guy and Bruno, then moving into an animated score that somewhat depicts the character differences. 


#10 learnfodder

learnfodder

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:31 AM

I am noticing more detail as the class progresses.  Now I am obsessed by shoes (note tennis shoes at the end of the movie.  What do they signify?)  I love the contrast of Bruno to Guy, the tie and tie pin--all kind of brash.  Seems opposite of how the characters turn out in that guy is dressed in dark and somber clothes--if it were not for the tennis gear (which actually helps to distinguish his feet from others in the train station).  Bruno is seemingly friendly, outgoing, possibly more likable, but maybe he is just a little too much.  Back to the shoes.  (I can't remember the name of this style--saddle shoe?) Bruno's shoes are childlike, not indicating youthful vigor as much as a lack of maturity, perhaps from some crisscross on the home front.

 

I love the innocence of Hitchcock accounting for the crisscross shot of the railroad tracks as a happenstance of where he had to mount the camera.  What kind of shoes was he wearing while boarding the train?  Ah, an excuse to see the film again.


  • melkirsch likes this

#11 Moviemania

Moviemania

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • LocationLawrence, Kansas

Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:31 AM

1) Criss-cross(ing) is very apparent all throughout the opening of this film Strangers on a Train from the obvious shots of the train tracks, to the not as heavily implied. The vehicles near the train station are passing by one another in a crossing motion, the cab reads Diamond and all of the times that I have seen a diamond the light seems to radiate off of the many different faces of each particular cut. The character's bustling movements help showcase other forms of criss-cross due to the factor of Bruno's pant leg being slightly elevated there is a detail about his crossing shoelaces, while Guy has some tennis rackets that are obviously criss-crossed. The two men are at opposite ends of the train station, and cross each other's path to get to their respective seats, in which the two men then bump each others feet, and the scene truly begins.

 

2) Guy seems to be more closed off, he's currently reading through some papers and dressed more casually. Compared to Bruno who is dressed far more sophisticated and is more personable. Also he has some pretty fancy shoes compared to Guy's simple black shoes, etc.

 

3) The music is very positive and it gives the reader's a sense of upbeat calm in a busy world such as the everyday hustle at a train station, then there is a moment of tenseness just before Bruno and Guy's interaction.



#12 dmaxedon

dmaxedon

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 02:01 AM

1. Criss-cross is seen throughout the scene, some may not be intentional, but who knows. To start, the cars at the far end of the train station are crossing in front of each other, one from the left, then one from the right. This one may be a bit of a stretch, but the cab company is Diamond, something about diamonds makes me think of criss-cross (cuts). Bruno's pant leg is mysteriously askew, but not so mysterious when you realize we can see the criss-cross pattern of his shoelaces. Then Guy gets out of the cab, tennis rackets and all, which also connote a criss-cross pattern. They appear to come from different sides of the station, criss-crossing paths, then as they go through the gate there's a criss-cross pattern on the wall (to the left of the turnstile). The train tracks and their legs under the table are the two obvious ones, and also the woman's legs as Bruno sits down. Next is Guy's tie, that's definitely a criss-cross pattern (similar to the one on the floor of the train station), and the pattern in Bruno's suit. Based on their dress and appearance, they are most certainly from disparate backgrounds. Okay, while not all these may be intentional, I think it's okay to think they might be.

2. They are dressed as if they come from two different sides of the tracks, Bruno, much more well dressed than working class Guy. But also in their general appearance, whether it's age, mannerisms or whatever, they're just different, Bruno more confident, and willing to reach across the aisle, while Guy is less cordial and more focused on what he's reading than getting to know someone new.

3. The music is grand, positive and upbeat, signifying the excitement of train travel and the hustle and bustle of a train station. Everything seems okay, then it builds, a little sinister for a moment, then it quietly fades, for the chance meeting about to occur.



#13 D'Arcy

D'Arcy

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 35 posts
  • LocationLake of the Ozarks

Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:08 AM

Lots of criss cross chat happening this week. When I watched the clip it was if Bruno and Guy were coming from opposite corners of the earth. This scene clearly states two ordinary people with total opposite persona are in for an extraordinary adventure. Introvert and extrovert, young and older, athlete and spectator, reader and talker, and last but not least victim and murderer. This also shows visually with editing and my favorite an introduction of a film using legs crossing and the foot bump as a conversation que to the mayhem we are about to witness. The musical score follows our characters even down to the steps they are walking priming the audience for another where is this train going mood. Love Love Love this movie.
🎭💡📽🎬🎭

#14 LThorwald

LThorwald

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:26 PM

1.  The idea of "criss cross" is first set up visually with the contrasting way the two characters are presented.  Bruno's taxi is shot from the front, looking back.  Guy's taxi is shot from the back, looking forward.  Bruno's feet are shot moving right to left, while Guy's feet are shot moving left to right.   The music and more rapid cutting in this section imply two characters whose paths are bound to "cross."  Then of course the cut to the crossing train tracks.  This does seem to be the perfect metaphor for two characters, whose paths may run parallel for awhile, then diverge.  Finally, we get the crossing feet.  As a matter of fact, it is this seemingly simple act, Guy crossing his feet, that sets the entire movie into motion.  

(It is also perhaps worth noting, although probably not deliberate, the two characters get out of "Diamond Cabs".  In railroad parlance, a diamond junction is a junction of two crossing tracks.)

 

2.  The contrasting styles are established from the moment we see the feet exiting the taxis.  Bruno is a much more flashy dresser, whereas Guy is dressed in a more straightforward manner.  (Guy's clothes would allow him to blend in a crowd, while Bruno's clothes cause him to stand out.)    Nothing is more gaudy than Bruno's tie clasp and lobster tie, which was made especially for the movie.   There are slightly contrasting musical cues for the two characters when they exit their taxis.  

Guy is established as a more reticent character, which matches his dress.  While Bruno clearly wants to engage.  He comes and sits almost inappropriately close to Guy, and when he says he won't talk, we know he probably do nothing but.

 

3.  I enjoy Tiomkin's score very much.  He isn't as well remembered as several other composers from the golden age of Hollywood, I think in part because of his scores tended to be very grandiose by today's standards. But his scores always have charm, something many of today's scores could use more of.  The music is perfectly married to the images, and narrates the opening of the movie in its own way.


  • HEYMOE likes this

#15 SNPF

SNPF

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:00 PM

Daily Dose #13: Criss Cross
Opening Scene from Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951)
 
1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.
 
This question reminds me of those illustrations where the viewer is asked how many animals can be found? It also brings to mind the “X” direction for scenes where many extras are featured walking through a scene by crossing each others paths in an “X” pattern. Anyway:
the paths the two main characters take entering and walking in the train station would form a criss cross (X) pattern if they were to be placed on top of each other: Robert Walker exits his cab walking from middle frame to the left; Farley Granger is shown doing the same actions from middle frame to the right.
 
As the train is underway we are shown its POV of the tracks ahead. A large “X” is shown being approached, with the train switching to the rails that go off at angle instead of the ones that were straight ahead. Once that happens a pair of “X”s are shown, followed by another single “X” track line.
 
In the dining car. Robert Walker is walking from frame right to a chair where he sits crossing his legs forming an “X”. Farley Granger is shown walking in the dining car from frame left to an opposite chair where he sits, crossing his legs to form an “X”.
 
Robert Walker crosses his hands when he begins conversing with Granger. Then crosses the dining car to sit next to Granger crossing his hands over Granger’s in a hand shake.
 
2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.
 
Camera Work - main characters contrasted by being shown moving in opposite directions within the frame and scenes.
Clothing and Shoes - Robert Walker, Bruno, is introduced in “flashy” shoes with an obvious white/black pattern. His suit features a pin stripe pattern that stands out. Farley Granger is introduced in solid colored shoes that almost disappear into  matching slacks.In the dining car opposite each other Walker’s clothing is extremely noticeable almost to the point of being gaudy with a tie pin that he apologizes for. Granger wears a conservative dark jacket that blends into a dark vest.
 
Personal Items - Walker exits his cab with one suitcase, light colored, made of inexpensive weave and worn/frayed around the edges. Granger exits his cab with three items, a suitcase and two tennis racquets. In addition to having more luggage than Walker, Granger’s suitcase is made of what appears to be expensive leather, scuffed in various places.
 
Dialogue and Speech - Walker’s character initiates and has the majority of dialog in the scene. He obviously flatters in an attempt to ingratiate himself, then crosses the dining car and attempts to appear self deprecating by criticizing his tie pin ignoring his loud patterned tie. Granger’s dialog is limited to reacting to whatever Walker is saying. Although he has initiated, dominated the conversation the scene ends on with humor from Walker directing Granger to continue reading as he, Walker, doesn’t talk very much. 
 
3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?
 
The score opens the movie with the full orchestra announcing we are seeing a film that will feature intense emotions and an experience. After the opening titles, Tiomkin limits the orchestra to a few instruments, the scoring emphasizes the comedy elements of the action, to the point of poking fun at one of the characters shoes by introducing a brief trombone note. As the scene continues the score retreats, blending in with the sound effects of a train over tracks. Both score and sound effect fade out, thereby focusing attention on the dialog that follows.

  • HEYMOE likes this

#16 DeeGee

DeeGee

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 10:13 PM

1.  Criss-Cross

First you notice the crossed railroad tracks - crossing over and over.  On the train the two men cross their legs and bump into each other.

 

2.  Contrast in appearance

The first contrast to me, of course, is in their appearance.  Bruno is dressed 'to the nines' and is more flashy - especially with the spectator shoes and the lobster tie.  Guy, on the other hand, is casual and more conservative in his clothing as well as his manner.  Bruno chatters away and shares too much information and Guy only confirms information that Bruno already knows - and does that rather reluctantly. Bruno comes across as very self-assured and more charismatic but also maybe a little 'off' somehow.  Guy is friendly and somewhat private.

 

3.  Dimitri Tiomkin score

I thought the score was somewhat dramatic in nature but certainly not 'doom and gloom.'  Cutting to the men exiting the cars the music changed and the music was a bit different for each man.  That part of the music seemed to suggest the business of traveling, hustle and bustle, etc.


  • HEYMOE likes this

#17 msmukmuk

msmukmuk

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:38 PM

1) I love this movie. In the prior course on Film Noir we analyzed this scene for elements of noir style.This time I am looking for Hitchcock's style of telling us the story with his camera first.. His focus is on the movie's theme of "criss cross" therefore the camera shows us different ways of crossing or interchanging. The first images we see are the two main characters arriving in separate taxis and exiting from different car doors. They are wearing different types of shoes and walking toward their seat on the train from different directions. They sit, cross their legs and their shoes rhythmically touch. The next image is from the train engineer's view at the front seat.The train tracks are intersecting lines as the train moves on this perilous journey.

 

2)Hitchcock makes it a point to show how different these two men are. Bruno is wearing flashy two toned shoes and a pin striped suit. Guy on the other hand is wearing sporty toned down clothes and casual shoes.Our director makes sure to indicate that their behavior and demeanor, at this point, reflects their choice in dress. So smart

 

3) At the beginning of this scene, the music is powerful, full of drama and fully orchestrated. As the men arrive at the station, the music lightens in tone and becomes more animated and snazzy especially when Bruno is shown. When the camera is on Guy, the music remains joyous but a bit more grounded or less comical so to speak.


  • Heather Mary likes this

#18 Marnie68

Marnie68

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:40 PM

1. We start off with arrival of the taxis and the two men walking from opposite directions to the station. They continue through the station still in opposite directions heading toward the train itself. The train tracks criss cross as the train goes down the track also heading toward the station. They continue to criss cross, become one track then separate and continue to criss cross again. It is fascinating to watch this sequence of the train tracks, almost like staring at a campfire. The two men enter the train from opposite directions. They both cross their legs when they first sit down. Both sitting on opposite sides of the table.

 

2. Bruno arrives first, fancy two-toned shoes, flashy striped suit walking with a pep in his step. As if to say "Look at Me, Here I am."

    Guy arrives second, dressed conservatively in a dark suit, dark shoes walking purposely toward his destination. 

   Bruno strikes up the conversation while guy silently listens. Bruno crosses over and continues the conversation as invades Guy's      personal space. Drawing more attention to himself with the loud tie and personalized tie pin with not just his initials but his full first name in cursive letters. Guy is just trying to read his book and is relieved when Bruno say "I don't talk much, go ahed and read your book". But we know this conversation is far from over.

 

3. At first during the credits the music is loud and very dramatic with lots of powerful notes. As the taxis arrive and the men start walking the intensity of the music changes and is more lively. 


  • Heather Mary likes this

#19 pwest1962

pwest1962

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • LocationAlabama

Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:39 PM

Dr. Edwards calls it criss-crossing; I call it mirroring!  We have two men, they are going to cross paths, but the way Hitch sets the shots up, the viewer is supposed to contrast these individuals by seeing the shoes they wear, the luggage they carry, and as our teacher, says they way dress and speak to one another at the beginning of the film.

 

First, we see a flashy dresser with diamond patterned shoes, getting out of the cab.  These are "loud" shoes and only a "loud" person would have the boldness, brashness, or even crassness to wear them. He has two suit cases.

 

The other man has plain, sensible shoes, steady shoes if you will.  He has one suitcase and two or three tennis rackets.  Oh, the sturdy shoes; he plays tennis a lot.  He's on his feet, moving, so he needs good solid, shoes.  Both men move toward the train and get on it.  We're going for a ride.

 

I think it is here where the train tracks criss-cross each other as Dr. Edwards mentions.  Hitchcock uses trains, records, clocks, windmills, things that move, so he keeps his viewers moving with him as we go on this journey with the characters.  He does not waste a frame of film in this sense of the word.  He wants continues movement as if we are on a ride.

 

"Bold" shoes sit down near a table and soon after he joined by "sturdy" shoes and his "sturdy" shoes bump into Mr. "Bold" shoes.  "Bold" shoes look up, does a double take, then recognizes, "sturdy" shoes as and I can't even remember Farley Granger's name, but I know he plays professional tennis.  However, everyone remembers "loud" shoes' name: BRUNO!  His tie is as loud as his shoes and his dear mother brought a tie clip, which bears his name.  He's brash to disturb the young, shy tennis pro and introduces himself with a hardy, handshake! Bruno points to the clip and then tells whats-his-name to keep reading his book because he doesn't talk too much.  The viewer knows right away that is a lie.  We don't know whats coming but we do know BRUNO is going to disturb "steady" shoes a lot.

 

These characters are going to criss-cross, or as I put it, mirror each other through out the film.  Move for move, like a tennis match or chess game!  Their personalities are also going to mirror one another and cast a shadow on each other.

 

Hitchcock hinted at this idea earlier in Shadow of a Doubt when Charlies is leaving the library after she has read the article on "The Merry Widow Murders" and we see her long shadow at the door way.  The viewer understands the long shadow Uncle Charlie casts over Charlie and her family.

 

Bruno will bring out things "sturdy" shoes and in the audience, don't like to think about.  We keep them in the dark.  Bruno's boldness or psychopathy brings them out of him and the audience.  

 

This is the guilt, Dr. Edwards mentions in the video.  We've all imagined doing horrible things; we just don't have the "boldness" or craziness Bruno has to do them.  Sometimes, we wish we did and that is why we feel guilty just like "sturdy" shoes. 

 

Hitchcock holds a mirror up to us and we see reflections of ourselves and we're not sure how we really feel that too is why we feel guilty for liking him or rooting for Bruno.

 

 


  • melkirsch and Heather Mary like this

#20 mariaki

mariaki

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:13 PM

Everyone has done such a thorough job on our questions this week that I would like to take the opportunity to bring up something else.

 

In an earlier discussion between the professors, both agreed that Gregory Peck just "didn't work" as a Hitchcock lead male. Deep down I knew I had always felt that Peck was an odd man out and hearing our professors say that got me wondering why.  Was he too good looking? Cary Grant is about as good looking as they come. Was he too "every man"?  Jimmy Stewart was America's "every man."  

 

I've come to the conclusion that Peck was just too upright and earnest.  Aside from "Duel In The Sun", I can't think of any role of the period in which he was a bad guy or even in which he needed to give off multi-layered complex vibes. I don't even think his Ahab was multi-layered; instead, Peck gives a more "what you see is what you get," perhaps a more straightforward affect than a Hitchcock man needs. Peck is perfect for "The Yearling" and "Mockingbird", - of course- "Gentleman's Agreement."  

 

When I go back to Jimmy Stewart, I see he doesn't have the physical presence that Peck has. He's lanky and not too broad-shouldered (which is why Stewart was perfect for "High Noon." * He doesn't necessarily look like a strong character.)   He therefore makes a good Hitchcock type because he will be weak enough, psychologically, physically,  when needed.  I mean, try to imagine Peck wearing a robe stuck in the wheelchair in "Rear Window."  I can't.   

 

Peck's charm is notched at the right level, handsome, but natural with his style,  not overplayed like Grant's whose charm than can be iced up to cut- as he does in "Notorious."  Grant's ability to make his  face freeze with a half smile and flat dead eyes gives him a edge you wouldn't think was there by watching only his comedies. 

 

Just my take on why Peck doesn't seem like a Hitchcockian protagonist- he doesn't muster the weakness or dark side that is needed. 

 

*My edit the morning after waking up at 3:00 am with a thought:   Silly me,  Stewart wasn't in High Noon!  That was Gary Cooper, so I need to rethink this.  How about using Mr Smith Goes to Washington as an example instead of a man who doesn't necessarily appear strong, who can be played by others, but ....? 


  • Heather Mary, SNPF and AmyV like this




1 user(s) are reading this topic

1 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


    Rainydaygirl