Sue Anne

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  1. It seems to me that there was a lot more chaotic elements in the opening of the LODGER. A large crowd had gathered at night after the murder. Making the situation all the more disturbing and creepy. In the Opening scene of FRENZY we get a sweeping travel log of the beautiful city of London. However,a large crowd has gathered, in the seamier side, during the day, to hear the local politician expound on cleaning up the city and the river. When lo and behold a nude woman's body, lying face down, has washed up amid all the murky, polluted water. Hitch uses this technique frequently to draw us in to the story and then we see all is not what it seems, as he brings us around to a different angle. We get to see Hitch's cameo early standing among the onlookers. Noting that in this movie he has not used any British big name stars. Although I did recognize Billie Whitelaw's name in the credits. Side note: she played Mrs. Baylock in the original version of the OMEN. Probably a big distraction was avoided, as I cannot see Cary Grant starring in FRENZY.
  2. First off I have to say that up until now, Marnie has not been one of my favorite Hitchcock movies. Haven't seen it in many years and had forgotten most of the plot. But, with taking this class and trying to identify different elements of the opening scene, I feel there will be a definite air of suspense and mystery, as the story unravels, which always garners my attention. Especially, when she changes her identities, which happens frequently. Having seen the many social security cards. What identity shall I assume this time? We know she is a thief and con artist as we watch the money tumble out of her purse. She is a woman of mystery. Disposing of her old clothes in the train station locker, and embarking on her new journey; dressing more upper crust this time, like a rich socialite. Now that Marnie is a cool icy blonde this time around, the hairstyle is reminiscent of Kim Novak in VERTIGO or Melanie (Tippi Hedren) in The Birds. Which brings me to the many clues that refer back to several other Hitchcock movies. The money being stolen in PSYCHO. Also, washing the black dye out of her hair, which to me is a reference to the blood washing down the drain in PSYCHO. The grate from STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. The key from NOTORIOUS, and DIAL M FOR MURDER. Hitch's cameo as he looks directly into the camera,and then back to Marnie makes me think he wants us to definitely notice her, paying detailed attention and the mystery that surrounds her. The Bernard Herrmann's score adds a suspenseful quality as well. Since there is no dialogue at that particular time, it steers the plot, and attracts our emotions. Looking forward to watching Marnie with a renewed interest.
  3. As Melanie looks up and sees the gulls she wonders what is happening. The pet shop lady says there must be a storm coming, because the birds are moving inland. This is a foreshadowing of the chaos to come. In the opening scene Melanie tries to put one over on Mitch by pretending to work at the pet shop. Mitch knows what is going on the whole time and tries to teach her a lesson. The lighthearted banter between the two is another touch of Hitch's to throw us off and then bring us back to the main story line. The soundtrack is pure genius by Hitch, because it makes the birds the main characters of the story. Another Hitchcock touch his use of doubles. The cameo walking his two dogs, the love birds, Mitch and Melanie's relationship. Also comparing the sleepy sea town of Bodega Bay to Santa Rosa in "Shadow Of A Doubt" where evil comes to town. This is a good character study of how people interact, when confronted with extreme circumstances.
  4. The music is so startling to me. The high pitch sound of the strings. It truly makes one feel nervous, and invokes great anxiety. There are skewed lines in the title sequence, to announce the cast, showing us that for now everything might seem to be fine. But when we look closer, as the story develops, there is a feeling that something is not right, or has broken down. Then as we enter the opening scene through the blinds, it reminds me of the voyeuristic nature of Rear Window. As the story progresses in PSYCHO and Norman Bates character is revealed as the voyeur; looking at Marion through the small peephole in the wall of the Bates Motel lobby. Marion and Sam are probably where they shouldn't be. Having an illicit rendezvous in the middle of the afternoon. Marion feels guilty, and tries to assert her control over Sam, by saying this is the last time they will meet for their tryst. Phoenix is her home and Sam is just visiting. Leading us to believe that maybe this affair is a lot more important to Marion. Sam has a lot of excuses, among them pleading poverty. Which propels Marion to steal the $ 40,000. in the first place. Thinking the money will somehow fix their problems. I'm really enjoying this film class. It makes me realize all the different touches that Hitchcock has in his movies, and how he makes them all tie together in very unique ways.
  5. To me Eva Marie Saint is more in control of the scene. She is the perfect Hitchcock blonde, very sexy and a spy. There is immediate attraction between the two characters and the dialogue is subtle yet very suggestive. Cary Grant ever the movie star, his eyes first masked behind sunglasses. As they become more familiar and comfortable with each other, the glasses come off and their sexual banter,going back and forth becomes more intense. When he offers to lite her cigarette, she draws him in and touches his hand to blow out the match, you can just feel the attraction. The music feels light and breezy, and you can hear the train rolling along the tracks, within the dining car, the sounds get more intense you know they will have a romantic encounter at some point. This is a great scene and reminds me so much of Bogie and Bacall, and the tremendous chemistry they had together.
  6. The mood is so intense. Dizziness sets in, catching you off guard. The swirling of the graphics puts you in a trance. The close up of the eye, made me feel panicky, and fearful. The intense red color, obviously reminds me of blood. I believe this film will be one of mystery, intrigue, and murder. The music is magnificently BOLD! The music and the graphics work well together to make us feel like we have been swept off our feet. We know this film will definitely hold our attention. The on location shooting lends authenticity and excitement to the film. The uneasiness of San Francisco's roads. The swirling rings on the trees in the forest. There are many Hitchcock touches, that are fun to watch for. I have viewed this film many times and I always take away something new.
  7. Even though Jeff's back is to the window and he is asleep in his wheelchair, we get a glimpse from being voyeurs looking around his apartment at the broken camera, the pictures on the wall of accidents, and the glamour magazines, that he is indeed a photographer, and that he has had an accident. We can surmise that his profession is a rather dangerous one. When Jeff wakes up,he will be the voyeur and peek into the lives of the people across the courtyard. As the audience, we are invited to see how the neighbors live, how they interact. Knowing that nothing is private, and we are looking into people's innermost feelings. It gives one pause, but even in the daylight shots, we can't look away. I believe that this film is the most cinematic, that Hitchcock has ever made. It is full of characters with different personalities, and a vast array of differing circumstances. It's so intriguing to watch. It's so hard to believe that this is a movie set. It looks so real, and I believe that is why Hitch's films hold up even today,because of his great attention to detail and his great insight into the human psyche.
  8. We see the opening scene with the two sets of train tracks criss crossing, leading us to believe that there will be two different paths taken. The two cabs also cross paths. We follow the footsteps of the two main characters. Bruno with his flamboyant spats, and the tie clip with BRUNO spelled out, for all the world to see; like he is showing off. His suit is more garish and loud. I see Bruno as the "Ne'r Do Well". Guy as the more famous of the two, being the renowned tennis player. He dresses more conservatively. A nice suit, and plain shoes, not drawing any attention to himself. The music is also more light and playful as the camera follows Guy's footsteps, like he is going on a delightful trip. The music takes on a more suspenseful turn that lends mystery to the story as we follow Bruno's footsteps. This film has so many of Hitchcock's touches that it is a mesmerizing character study, capturing our attention right from the start. Having an intriguing quality of a game to it,that reinforces the criss cross angle brilliantly!
  9. NOTORIOUS is an absolutely brilliant film. The upside down camera angle POV shot is reminiscent of the film Downhill. Bergman is so stunning even playing the party girl down to the loud stripes on her high midriff blouse. Edith head is to be commended for the creation of the costumes on this film. The odd turned camera angles lets us inside Alicia's hangover. The stray lock of hair, that is caught awkwardly in her mouth adds to her vulnerability,and believability. The lighting is much brighter, to show off her face, which again emphasizes her condition. Cary Grant is devastatingly handsome,(as he is in every film). He in his dark suit, and cast perfectly to play the cool Government agent; who falls so intensely in love with the female spy he has trained. Grant's character, Devlin, almost comes off as the villain. He can be oh so mean with his curt language.For he is all business saying: "You Better Drink That". If you have seen the film the Claude Rains character, is the true menace, he and his many cohorts. By the end of the film both our main characters are reformed by love. Bergman and Grant have such a magnificent on screen chemistry that they are a joy to watch.
  10. Hitchcock's amazing camera work as the scene opens up to the room in disarray, with food plates strewn all over. We get to see close-ups of the major visual images. And are left to contemplate what is happening with the storyline, but it's looking like a major standoff is brewing between Mr. and Mrs. Smith. There is not much dialogue in the first part of the scene, and it could be characterized as a silent movie. As we are introduced to the two main characters, we see Robert Montgomery walking around in his bathrobe, unshaven, disheveled, and probably drunk. We view Carol Lombard in her bed, with the covers pulled up around her, looking like she doesn't want to face the day at all, or her husband. Her close-ups are so gorgeous, that it is hard to take your eyes off her. There is definite chemistry between the two and they work well together. I'm left with the feeling that this will be a very sophisticated, sleek, smooth, comedy. Can't wait to see the movie.
  11. I have seen Shadow Of A Doubt a few times,but I had not thought of it as Film Noir. Now that I understand more of the Film Noir genre, this movie has quite a few of the elements that one looks for. Black and white, shadows, the intense music, policemen and detectives. These are some of the clues that I watch for. The scene starts out very happy and care free, with the children playing outside, and then when we view inside the rooming house, Uncle Charlie seems to be rather confident and calm, lying on the bed in his quite formal attire. He doesn't even take off his jacket. But as the landlady comes in and alerts him to the two men that paid a visit, you can sense some tension and worry rise up in him. Although, he does a good job of hiding his feelings until the landlady walks out the door. Then when we see him throw a glass at the wall, we know that he is in some kind of trouble, and obviously on the run. Also, the money strewn around the room would indicate that he seems quite comfortable living in shall we say the shady part of town. As I said in the beginning the music is light and breezy but as we get into the story it becomes more intense. As the Merry Widow Waltz is played we sense that the score will haunt us and Uncle Charlie throughout the film.
  12. The narration voice over by the Joan Fontaine Character (the 2nd Mrs. Dewinter). Almost with a dream sequence, introducing us to the isolated, gothic, mansion called Manderley. We immediately realize that the mansion, will be treated as one of the main characters of the story. Giving us a true sense of eerie foreboding. Hitchcock uses the camera to pan up the drive to the front gate. The amazing use of the miniature sets give us a close-up of Manderley. The lighting in the house making the scene come to life. Also, The use of shadows, fog, mist. The introduction of the two main characters. He on a cliff, looking down pondering suicide, and she so naïve, and shy, and blonde, which are very effective Hitchcock touches. We are immediately drawn into the story and want to know more. This is one of my favorite Hitchcock movies. There is none of Hitch's humor, for this is a serious, gothic, romance (almost horror) movie.
  13. I love how the German Polka folk music introduces the elderly lady into the opening scene. A light and breezy tone, making the scene open up into a truly delightful atmosphere. The Cuckoo clock sounding adds to the merriment. The audience is also a part of the lively chatter of the other hotel guests. Caldicott and Charters totally steal the opening scene with their amusing character dialogue about the impending doom of war, and their obsession with the Cricket matches. The camera follows the three ladies from the door into the room focusing on them as the center of attention. The hotel manager ignores the other guests to converse with Iris and her two friends. Iris is being singled out further with a one on one conversation with the hotel manager, identifying her as the center of attention.
  14. The opening scene of the 39 Steps is light and happy as in The Pleasure Garden; and altogether different from the woman screaming in the Lodger. I agree with Rothman's view as he introduces Hannay. He seems very ordinary and relatable, the (everyman) giving us a feeling that this scenario could very well happen to any one of us. But on the other hand, I feel that all is not what it seems, reminding me of all the spies in North By Northwest. This could very well invite Hannay and the viewing audience into a very dangerous adventure. The Music Hall is deemed a fun loving place and it seems very comforting for the audience as Mr. Memory tries to draw the crowd in, which may possibly lead to something more sinister as well. I love the way Hitchcock leads you in one direction and then brings you back in a totally different way.
  15. I really believe the character development will be more important than the plot throughout the film. Abbott does come across as fairly laid back, although the initial look that he and the skier exchange leads us to believe that something sinister is going to happen, and we wonder where their paths may have crossed before. The three films are similar in that the opening scenes were quite lively and grabbed the attention of the audience, right off the bat. The Lodger with the close up shot of the woman screaming. The pleasure Garden with the girls coming down the staircase. The Man Who Knew Too Much follows the skier down the mountain and ultimately crashing. Differences: the one that stands out in my mind is that the Pleasure Garden and The Lodger opening scenes are fairly tight shots and in TMWKTM the opening scene is shot at a wide angle.

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