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Daily Dose #16: It's a Nice Face (Scene from North by Northwest)


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#21 pwest1962

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:45 PM

The fact that we have another EVE is funny because unlike Jane Wyman in Stage Fright this Eve is dangerous, but not in the way the audience is led to believe.  Hitch is leading as a long once more. 

 

She knows Thornhill is innocent and knows who the real killers are and she is, on the one hand, Thornhill's protector, but on the other, his advisory at the same time.  She is definitely a double agent.

 

This scene oozes sex from the eyes behind the woman's sunglasses, Grant is wearing, to the smirk on both their faces to the music in the background, then the topic of what's good on the menu with the final touch of identifying themselves and to his lighting her cigarette.  It is a wonderful touch when Even pulls Thornhill's hand back to blow out the match he has stuck for her.

 

The matchbook is very much like the cigarette lighter in "Strangers" an object of desire and amusement.  ROT, who is ROT in this situation.  We like Thornhill but know he is a cad.  He has "made love" to many beautiful women but has never had a successful relationship, well, except with his mother.  This is another hidden joke Hitch plays on his audience.  


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#22 terranightangel

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:23 PM

Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 

 

There is a level of control to the scene and being we know both are well known actors/actress, it adds to that control. At the time, leading gossip papers would have loved to link the two as a couple to sell papers so if one might have seen that before hand, this scene sells that idea. 

 

There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 

 

He uses it to set up a very important moment between the two. The matchbook leads into her holding his hand, the music is soft and she pulls him back to blow out the match. This helps with the flirting between the two. 

 

How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. 

 

There isn't any other noise from the passengers around them. The two become center stage and nothing else is important. There is the rumble of the train at times which gives a sense of flowing time and movement to the scene. The music is soft and in the background which adds a romantic feel to the moment. 


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#23 startspreading

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 02:48 PM

1.    Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 

The playful sequence is possible due to the amazing star power Cary Grant had – one that would impress even an Oscar winner like Eva Marie Saint. After “I look vaguely familiar”, he continues the joke with: “You have the feeling you’ve seen me somewhere before. I have that effect upon people, it’s something about my face”. To which she replies: “It’s a nice face”. When he says women fight him and put him in disadvantage, it’s also something about his star persona. This is a bit that only makes sense for people who are familiar with Grant, and it surely made sense, as a tongue-in-cheek moment, in 1959.

 

2.    There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 

The prop is important for their first moment of intimacy, when he lights her cigarette – she touches his hand, that is the only thing in the frame with her. Lighting a cigarette as a romantic gesture makes me think of “Now, Voyager”, from 1942. And the prop makes her ask what the O stands for, and his reply, ‘nothing’, is supposed to a be joke on Hitchcock’s former boss, David O. Selznick, whose O meant nothing as well.

 

3.    How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. 

The sound of the train moving is very suave and low. Most sounds come from the third unseen person here, the waiter, who takes and leaves plate, silverware and glasses to Grant. This, and the suave, almost inexistent score, make the scene very cozy and intimate – like a date in a restaurant.


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#24 spotter52

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 01:41 PM

I had the extremely rare pleasure of meeting Eva Marie Saint after a screening of DUNKIRK in Hollywood over the weekend. She is 93 and extremely sharp, witty and charming (she also has a very firm handshake). She told me how hard it was to loop the dialog on the scene in the train dining car. She said it took her many takes to get "discuss love" to match "make love" in that scene. I think she did a great job because I never noticed it until it was brought to my attention in this course.


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#25 Film401

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:26 AM

I watched North by Northwest again and saw something I haven't noticed before. When Thornhill runs from the UN building after dropping the knife, outside there is a extreme long shot at a high angle. On the right is the building reminding us of the opening credits. In the center of the frame, as Thornhill runs to the street, the little plaza is in the shape of a piano suggesting he is being played.

 

 


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#26 Mrs. Archie Leach

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:11 AM

  1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 
  2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 
  3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer.

 

This is Cary Grant doing what he does best. His amused surprise at Eve's forwardness is trademark Cary Grant -- sexy but never appearing to take himself too seriously. At this point in his career, Grant was becoming more self-conscious of the age gaps between himself and his leading ladies but Eva Marie Saint is so strong and direct in this scene that you know she can handle herself. The audience is drawn into the flirtation.

 

The matchbook in this scene is primarily a device to allow Saint to make that memorable gesture of pulling Grant's hand back and blowing out the match. But it also speaks to Thornhill's shallow life. The O stands for nothing in the same way the character stands for nothing, He's essentially a salesman and doesn't seem to have meaningful relationships or much purpose besides making money and meeting women. The harrowing situations he finds himself in actually force him to develop as a person. 

 

The sound design in the scene is all about seduction. The sounds of the train are soft and soothing. The music playing is similar to what would play in an intimate, upscale restaurant. It's subdued and lets the focus remain on the interaction between the two leads while creating a warm, relaxed feeling in the viewer. It enhances the scene and allows us to enjoy the flirtation more fully. In a sense, we are being seduced along with Grant.



#27 Mrs. Archie Leach

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 07:11 AM

  1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 
  2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 
  3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer.

 

This is Cary Grant doing what he does best. His amused surprise at Eve's forwardness is trademark Cary Grant -- sexy but never appearing to take himself too seriously. At this point in his career, Grant was becoming more self-conscious of the age gaps between himself and his leading ladies but Eva Marie Saint is so strong and direct in this scene that you know she can handle herself. The audience is drawn into the flirtation.

 

The matchbook in this scene is primarily a device to allow Saint to make that memorable gesture of pulling Grant's hand back and blowing out the match. But it also speaks to Thornhill's shallow life. The O stands for nothing in the same way the character stands for nothing, He's essentially a salesman and doesn't seem to have meaningful relationships or much purpose besides making money and meeting women. The harrowing situations he finds himself in actually force him to develop as a person. 

 

The sound design in the scene is all about seduction. The sounds of the train are soft and soothing. The music playing is similar to what would play in an intimate, upscale restaurant. It's subdued and lets the focus remain on the interaction between the two leads while creating a warm, relaxed feeling in the viewer. It enhances the scene and allows us to enjoy the flirtation more fully. In a sense, we are being seduced along with Grant.



#28 johnseury

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 07:39 PM

1. This scene has the stars at the tops of their games and their flirtation is unsubtle. We know what they will get together but this set-up is clever and doesn't leave much to the imagination.
2. I think that the matchbook indicates that Thronhill's situation is rotten. And it leads up to a very seductive sequence when Eve blows out the match. Again, everything is in plain sight and nothing left to the imagination.
3. The sounds are the ordinary noise on a train that gets toned down for the seductive banter.

#29 Shannon.H

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:53 PM

Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 

 

Well Cary Grant is always Cary Grant he is a wonderful actor who can do drama, comedy, suspense but he is just the symbol of the perfect charming man.  I find that Eva Marie Saint is very strong and likeable.

 

There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 

 

It could be just a fun play that it means nothing or maybe we find out what it really means latter?

 

 

How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer

 

I honestly didn't really notice the sound too much and maybe that was to make sure that the focus was on dialogue.  


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#30 shamus46

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:03 PM

  1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene.  Grant is a considered a suave well-dressed leading man that can sweep a woman off of her feet.  Here, he is the one being "approached" quite blatantly by Saint.  He is not accustomed to her directness, but is still enjoying the interplay...along with the audience.
  2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. The matchbook is used as a prop in which to give Saint the opportunity to touch Grant's hand.  Just like offering a woman a cigarette and then a light...gave a man time to open a conversation with a woman.  The ROT matchbook is displayed here because it will be used later to deliver a warning.  Also, Thornhill states that the "O" doesn't mean anything.  Selznick also added an O to his name to add some rhythm or class or balance? to his name....is this another poke at Selznick? albeit belatedly.
  3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. The sounds of the train and low background, almost seductive, music adds to the seductive feel of this scene.


#31 ChristyKelly

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 03:30 PM

  1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 
    What a double entendre there is when Cary Grant says, "I know, I look vaguely familiar." I bet the theatre audience went crazy over that line. Eva Marie had bedroom eyes on him - all soft and dreamy. She's the open one, Cary had sunglasses to conceal himself. We're hanging on every word of what these two are saying by not saying it.
  2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 
    The matchbook is an excellent foreshadowing of the role it plays near the end of the film in warning Eve Kendall. In itself, the matchbook has little meaning, as the O in the initials signifies nothing. A jab toward the advertising business; they put meaning in little symbols and names that really have no meaning at all. But the matchbook serves a purpose - that of the first physical connection between the two characters, and how compatible and relaxed they are with each other.
  3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. 
    The music is excellent background - the clicking of the rails, the lulling effect of a relaxed and pleasant dinner. The violins play a beautiful backdrop for the conversation that takes place - as if it's part of the conversation and the attraction that is very apparent between these two characters.


#32 ChrisSturhann

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 01:56 PM

1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene.
 
I think it is less so for Eva Marie Saint. She had only made four films before North By Northwest. Cary Grant had made dozens and had a well-established persona. He was the quintessential charming leading man, good looking but not overly so, but with charm and wit that made him all the more attractive. He is used to seducing women. Hitchcock plays this against type. Eva Marie Saint is the one doing the seducing and Cary Grant is taken back by this, that a woman can be so open about the seduction.
 
2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene.
 
First of all, the matchbook plays an important role later in the film, so Hitchcock makes it perfectly clear what it is. This way, when it comes up again, we will instantly recognize it. It is treated the same way as other small but important objects in other Hitchcock films, like the key in Notorious or the ring in Shadow of a Doubt. If I was seeing North By Northwest for the first time, I might think that the matches just give Eva Marie Saint a way to seduce Cary Grant. She touches his hand to steady the match to light the cigarette, and just when you think she will let it go, she brings it back to blow it out.  I think there is also some Hitchcock social satire going on here. The trademark ROT for Roger O. Thornhill is not an attractive image, but probably better than the other options, RAT, RUT, RET, or RIT. Eva Marie Saint asks what the O stands for. Cary Grant says, Nothing. It is a character chosen for looks, not for meaning. The letter O is a circle with nothing inside, similar to a zero, also signifying nothing. I think Hitchcock is taking a jab at the superficiality of Madison Avenue advertising. At the time, Hitchcock was on TV every week openly mocking his sponsors on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
 
3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. 
 
It starts with very natural sounds. The sound of the train and when the music starts it almost sounds as if it could be music that would be playing in the dining car. I honestly don't know if they would have played music on a train back then. Before long the train sound is reduced to vague white noise. By the time, the seduction is really going, the music has changed to a theme that is used for Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint thoughtout the film.


#33 Thief12

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 09:37 AM

1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene.

 

Aside of the above line, audiences enjoy seeing stars getting together (i.e. Bennifer, Brangelina, bla bla bla), so seeing two superstars flirting is a plus to a lot of people. Also, we could say that Grant was considered a "sex symbol", or noted by his physical looks and overall appearance (clothes, grooming, etc.) so I think it's kinda fun to see him here at a "disadvantage" by a relatively new and young star. Eva (or Eve, look at the similar names) always has the upper hand in the conversation, while Grant looks uncomfortable; not in a bad way, but rather caught off-guard by her honesty.

 

2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene.

 

The obvious closeup of the matchbook when he takes it out, it instantly draws the audience attention to the letters, while also revealing his real name (which she had already guessed). Him saying that the "O" stands for "nothing" might also be a hint of how irrelevant the actual plot is (the MacGuffin). Also, the match gives an opportunity to both actors to get closer, as he approaches to light her cigarette, which allows for one of the sexier moves from her (how she holds his hand, and how she blows the match).

 

3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer.

 

The music is subtle, there's little sound except for the low humming of the train. The focus is on their dialogue. The train horn near the end of the scene is fairly notable, but I'm not sure if there's any relevance to it.



#34 Master Bates

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 10:31 PM

1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene.

 

EVEN THOUGH CARY GRANT is playing a role--"Roger O. Thornhill"--in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, Hitchcock--and Grant--are not letting anyone forget that he is still Cary Grant. Right off the bat, he's wearing "movie star" sunglasses, ostensibly because his character is on the run from thugs who have mistaken him for someone else and from police who think he stabbed a man to death inside the United Nations building.

But the sunglasses also give Hitchcock a chance to remind the audience, "This is Cary Grant, folks!"

Grant's line--"I look vaguely familiar"--is another wink at the audience who already feel they know him from his previous starring roles: GUNGA DIN (1939); HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940); THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940); Hitchcock's SUSPICION (1941); ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944); Hitchcock's NOTORIOUS (1946); Hitchcock's TO CATCH A THIEF (1955); AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957)--to name only a few.

Eva Marie Saint ("Eve Kendall") five years earlier had won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her powerful screen debut, Elia Kazan's ON THE WATERFRONT (1954); and she was a well-known face from many dramatic roles on 1950s live television. In NORTH BY NORTHWEST, her fans were getting to see her as a big-time, glamorous and quite sexy movie star.

Here, in big-screen VistaVision, Hitchcock is playing off the audience's familiarity with these two stars whose on-screen chemistry sizzles like bacon in a skillet.

 

2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene.
 

MOVIES ARE MOVIES, in part, because, well, because they move. It's not for nothing that the very word a director says to begin filming a scene is "Action!"
However, there are times when no "action" is necessary. This scene in NORTH BY NORTHWEST is one of those times. The repartee between Roger and Eve is so intimate, so risqué, so sexy--certainly for 1959--that we hang on to every word. The only "action" is the blurred landscape we see through their dining car window as the train moves across the country.
The only time the two actors are not on screen--either in reaction shots or 2-shots with the scenery whizzing by--is when Grant pulls out his matches and Hitchcock takes a tight-shot cutaway on the matchbook.
That matchbook provides two functions. First, its monogram--"R O T" for "Roger O. Thornhill"-- provides comic relief when Grant gives us one of his patented Cary Grant line-readings--"That's my trademark...ROT!" as only Cary Grant could. It's another wink at the audience as Grant seems to imply, "I've been around in movies so long, I'm going to rot!"

Or--and I am merely speculating here--could the "O" in "Roger's" monogram be yet another dig at David O. Selznick? Despite their collaboration on the Oscar-winning REBECCA, etc., their professional collaboration had ended after sparks had flown between them due to their wholly different approaches to filmmaking.
 
Selznick had reportedly added the "O" to distinguish himself from an uncle of the same name. We've already seen how, five years earlier in REAR WINDOW, Hitchcock cast Raymond Burr as the villain "Thorwald" because he could so easily be made to look like Selznick. So, while in REAR WINDOW he made Selznick the villain, in NORTH BY NORTHWEST he perhaps took another swipe by having Cary Grant say that the "O" stands for..."nothing."
 

The matchbook as prop also gives our two stars their only chance to actually touch in this scene. The matchbook business occurs right after Roger suavely accepts Eve's proposition that they spend the night together. Grant tears off a match, strikes it and holds it to the tip of her cigarette. She gently cups his hand. Once the cigarette is lit and he starts to take his hand away, she seductively pulls it back and gently, seductively, blows out the match. As he takes his hand away, she gives him a smoldering look that speaks volumes.

As we've seen in many of Hitchcock's earlier films, it's obvious he loved train travel, setting many scenes aboard trains. And it is true: there's nothing more romantic than train travel.
 

 

3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer.
 

FOR MOST OF THE CLIP, the music we hear underneath is the music piped in to the dining car--unobtrusive, easy listening dinner music underpinning the intimate conversation of two people who have just met and are getting to know each other. The other sound, of course, is the train's clickety-clacking on the tracks. This sound coupled with the dinner music creates a cozy atmosphere just right for intimate conversation.
Once the sexual proposition has been made--and accepted--when Roger pulls out the matchbook, the piped-in dinner music switches to Bernard Herrmann's wistfully romantic love theme.
While their conversation is undoubtedly sexy and revealing, in one way their dialog is not even necessary. One can watch this scene with the sound off and the looks Grant and Saint swap "say" everything, transmitting to the viewer the overwhelming attraction Roger and Eve have for each other. In fact, with or without sound, the viewer can almost get the sensation of having watched two people actually have sex.

Pardon the cliché, but they really don't make movies like this any more.



#35 dianuchis

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 07:36 PM

Hitchcock utilizes different factors of film to heighten the sexuality between these characters. The dialogue is one of the them, but the romantic background score, the movement of the train, and the exclusivity of them on the frame fabricate the a magnificent sexual scene, without sex. And i think the cigarette at the end of the scene is an enormous component to the witty dialogue exchange. 



#36 hussardo

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 03:21 PM

1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 

Pre-existing knowledge only gives you an uneasy feeling that you personally know these two people that are flirting with each other. Making the scene even more interesting to watch.

2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 

The use of prop definitely brings the characters together in a coupling way to compliment the dialogue.

3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. 

Hitchcock used the railway sound, plus what seemed to be the lack of chatter noise from across the cabin to bring the scene into a more cozy environment and atmosphere.

#37 GeeWiz

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 03:17 PM

1. Flirtatious dialogue:

 

Two glamorous stars acting as though they were "accidentally" seated opposite each other. Or what any of us might do if we had the same poise under those circumstances. EMS is somewhat assertive ("it's a long night, if you know what I mean").

 

2.  Matchbook Prop:

 

"ROT" reveals Gran'ts comic style, and provides a chance for the two to touch (holding his hand and sensuosuly blowing out the candle furthing the eroticism of the scene.

 

3. The sound design:

 

The score is romantic combined with the traditional sounds of a moving train.

 



#38 AmyV

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 11:15 PM

1. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene?

I guess it creates a sense of irony in the fact that, e.g., Cary Grant's character is trying to "fly under the radar" to not be recognized/noticed.  Meanwhile, we know who Cary Grant is, so we feel like saying "how can you not recognize the guy?"

 

2. There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 

While Roger Thornhill has given Eve a fake name, when she needs a match, he pulls out the personalized matchbook that puts the lie to the false name.  Of course, she had already said she knows he is Thornhill.  The prop also allows her to continue to show her flirtatiousness with him - by grasping his hand and blowing out the match.

 

3. How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer.

The rather faint, soft background music sounds like a romantic love theme, quite appropriate to what is happening. Otherwise, we hear normal background sounds like the train moving along the tracks, the sounds of dishes, etc., like we would expect in a dining car.

 



#39 AaronF

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:04 PM

Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. 

We, the viewer smile to ourselves as we watch and listen to this risque' dialogue between two actors we know well. We appreciate the inside joke.

 

There is minimal action in this scene, so any deviation from the overall pattern of focusing on the faces of the two leads will have increased significance. In that sense, discuss how Hitchcock uses the R.O.T. matchbook as an important piece of acting business (or as a prop) in this scene. 

The matchbook must be a clue in this mystery, the words R.O.T. must mean something else. Does it refer to just his name? What is his middle name be? Do the initials refer to death? We later find out it's a mcguffin but it makes us wonder.

 

How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer.

The music is very light, slightly romantic in the beginning not very interesting. It just makes you focus on the conversation.



#40 Catherine.g.ens

Catherine.g.ens

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 06:33 PM

From the start of the dialogue in this scene, Cary Grant's tongue in cheek remarks "well, here we are again" and "I know, I look vaguely familiar" establish in the back of our minds the idea that the two stars themselves are flirting. By now, Grant was one of Hollywood's most established and recognizable leading men. The references to his face being familiar are a nod to this, while Eva Marie Saint's quiet seductiveness is the perfect match for Grant. When Grant says the line "The moment I meet an attractive woman, I have to start pretending I have no desire to make love to her" it is in line with the playboy character who wins the hearts of practically every woman, a character that he has become known for. But Saint's question "What makes you think you have to conceal it?" is intriguing to him. Their dialogue is like a game of tennis; we listen to the back and forth.




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