sherry.johnson

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  1. I apologize again for my lack of knowledge. The comments made by everyone here - everyone is so knowledgeable. I am going to write down a lot of these movies because I have not seen them or do not remember them well. What a treasure trove! Thanks!!!! My husband and I are always talking about which actor would play which role if the Alfred Hitchcock movies were to be remade. I also would love a line of clothes based on the different female characters - especially the Thelma Ritter and Grace Kelly dress lines. They don't seem to make nice dresses like that anymore. Women need clothes with big pockets for cell phones and wallets. The flouncy dresses would be good for that! So I always think that George Clooney would be good for Cary Grant parts. Tom Hanks in the Jimmy Stewart parts. Frances Mcdormand in the Thelma Ritter role in Rear Window and Edith Evanston as the housekeeper in Rope. Cool blondes - Gwyneth Paltrow, and Charlize Theron. I don't know who would be good for some of the male character actors. Hmmm? More research Danny Elfman came to mind as a composer collaborator. Coen brothers. For writing Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train. I am not sure about Stephen King. Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray - Flightplan. The other thing I always think about is what happened to these characters - I do that with so many movies. I want to especially know what happened to Rose Sayer and Charlie Allnut in the African Queen. did they stay in Africa or go to England or Canada. Maybe Australia. I know this is not an Alfred Hitchcock movie but there is something about the simplicity and complexity of that movie that gets to me! Anyway, Does anyone survive in The Birds? Do Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall live happily ever after? And what about Mom? Does Phillip Vandamm go to jail for life or is he traded for a spy? What about everyone in Rope? How does the trial go? Life or a death sentence. How do the family members deal with it. I'll stop!
  2. Wow! Thanks everyone. Thank you Dr. Edwards. Thank you TCM! I have learned so much and wish I could have added a lot more knowledge - but I am inspired to learn much more about movies. And watch a lot of these mentioned above that I have not seen. I immediately thought of Niagra, Gaslight, Dark Passage and Witness for the Prosecution. I have to mention High Anxiety. I will try to remember all the Hitchcock touches when I watch movies now! Thanks and good luck to all!
  3. 1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to re-watch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. The Lodger opened with a woman screaming and then the crowd gathers round the dead woman. The police are seen immediately and then the movie starts going back and forth from the police and reporters. Frenzy starts with a very pleasant trip above the Thames with dramatic music. Travelogue was a good description. We see boats and everything about a river-side area in the city and then a crowd of people. The political speech about cleaning up the river and then - irony- a dead body. We are taken out of our lovely and pleasant experience into the horror of what can happen. Danger!!! 2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. There is introduction to an area with the opening music. We are introduced to the setting. The music is dramatic but unusually pleasant. The Hitchcock cameo where he does not act like the rest of the crowd. He doesn't clap and seems separate. The irony in that the speech is about cleaning up the river and then the dead woman is seen. 3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career. The crowd scenes include Frenzy, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) where the crowd was at the ski jump, The Pleasure Garden (an entertainment venue) - we are plunked down into a crowd and in the case of Frenzy immediately thrown into what will be a crime. The Lodger opened with a crowd and the crime right away. I guess I am tired but I can only think that we are quickly introduced to an area and then the crime. I am having problems remembering his other movies. Sorry! I liked this movie but I always think how much more interesting movies are with codes. Like noir. When you can't show much of the murder or naked bodies. When you can't have too many naughty words. The writing and movies of these periods seem much more creative. I really don't wanted to see extended scenes of rape and murder. I liked Frenzy for the location, the cool accents and time period. The wrong man theme is repeated too. That always makes me squirm. I guess it hits too close for home.
  4. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. Marnie is hiding something big. If I had not seen the movie I would still assume the clothes and money were stolen. She is obviously experienced changing her identity physically and with the variety of social security cards. She is really good by hiding the cards in the back of the gold case. She seems to easily go from one identity to another and probably this is not the first time. I love how she puts the old clothes and items into a suitcase and leaves it in the locker and "loses" the key! Marnie does not seem to enjoy the items. If I had an all new wardrobe I would lovingly look at the items. Marnie just robotically takes them out of the box and puts them in the suitcase while throwing the boxes around. She seems almost in a trance with all of her movements. Marnie seems to have no problem functioning in her world. How does Hitchcock use Bernard Herrmann's score in this scene? This music is sad but with a little edge. Poor Marnie look at how she gets through life in a sort of trancelike way.......and then the music seems to hit a point and become more dramatic and less sad. The music also gets louder as she washes out the black dye in her hair. Did you see any variation in what Hitchcock is doing with his cameo in this film, and what do you think that variation means? Hitchcock seemed to look at the camera (us) and say - wow! Maybe what is going on with that! I don't recall that he ever looked at or towards the camera. This movie made me think of Vertigo. I have only seen Marnie once because it makes me really uncomfortable. I had forgotten about the rape scene. Like Jimmy Stewart in The Wrong Man - I felt both movies had great acting and everything else but I did not want to be that uncomfortable. Vertigo has really grown on me and I own it now.
  5. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? The mood seems light and it seems to be a nice day in San Francisco. A very lovely lady is walking down the street and even a boy whistles at her. I think if a man had whistled it would have taken us out of the lightness of the beginning. There is the one scene with the birds in the air - foreboding- but we are quickly brought back to the pleasant scene. However, I find the sound of the birds jarring especially inside the pet shop. The interactions seem humorous - but there is an edge. It seems light a light hearted romantic comedy - but, there is an edge. The interactions with Melanie and the pet shop owner has an edge too. The pet shop is sad - birds in prisons - the reference to Melanie being in a gilded cage. How does Hitchcock use sound design in this opening sequence? For example, how are the sounds of birds used to create a particular mood and atmosphere? The birds sounds are pleasant at first but then they are annoying to me in the pet shop. They make me nervous and uncomfortable. Initially the city sounds are pleasant until we get into the pet shop. The opening scene contains a famous Hitchcock cameo. Describe the cameo and if you think it has any particular meaning in relation to this scene. Alfred Hitchcock is leaving the pet shop with two dogs while Melanie enters. Two dogs on a leash. Two actors. Duality. A man and a woman. I'll have to go back and watch the clip again, but I think they almost bump into each other. Dogs on leashes as opposed to birds in cages. Not sure what this makes me think of. I was lucky enough to have visited Bodega Bay California. Some of the stores had movie memorabilia. I don't remember but I know Tippi Hendren has visited on at least one occasion. It was so interesting to see the town after having watched The Birds so many times. Visiting Los Angeles and San Francisco was cool too! All that noir. I could just imagine danger everywhere! I can tell you I was driving and we didn't know when we came over the Golden Gate Bridge that we were going to be on those crazy hills like in the movie Bullitt. There was a parade with people dressed in costumes and many people were drunk. I couldn't pull over and I was screaming! I had to stop at the top of each intersection and the hills are so steep. Fun but crazy!
  6. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigoand North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The staccato of the music intertwined with the broad sweeping strings made me think of stabbing intertwined with driving (not sure why driving) but the more melodic part is bittersweet to me. However, it spells danger! Very bad!! The Bass design made me think of split personality and fracturing of the brain. Since I have seen Psycho repeatedly I am not sure what my initial thoughts were. So I thought of danger, psychiatric issues and a bittersweet theme. As the titles end, we have three shots of Phoenix, Arizona, and a very specific day, date, and time: “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” What is Hitchcock seeking to establish with such specificity? Also, why do you think Hitchcock elects to enter the hotel room through the semi-closed blinds from the outside? Does this shot remind of any other Daily Doses we have watched? Friday will be important because Marion Crane will leave and not be missed over the weekend. It is late afternoon and we learn she should be back at work. She is about to commit a crime and perhaps if it had been on a different day help might have arrived. The initial scene is reality and it sane. The music and graphics were not. So we start off with two people who seem sane and most likely won't be the ones to commit a crime. There is a voyeuristic quality to coming in through the window like Rear Window and Shadow of a Doubt. In the remainder of this sequence, we are introduced to Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Sam Loomis (John Gavin). The scene pushed the boundaries of censorship, especially considering our last Daily Dose for North by Northwest was edited for a line of risqué dialogue. Since this is the opening scene of Psycho, how does the hotel room scene function as a way to establish Marion Crane as a main character? Defend your answer. Marion is involved with a man who does not seem to be interested in having an open relationship with her and she is going to end it. She is putting her foot down and saying no more cheap motel rooms.
  7. sherry.johnson

    Lifeboat

    And.....the Hitchcock cameo! I wonder how long it took to figure that out. I am so interested in unusual concepts in movies. Putting a bunch of people in a lifeboat for a while movie .... amazing.
  8. 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. Cary Grant the older, handsome, sexy, suave star and Eva Marie Saint the younger blonde with the smokey voice and sexy eyes. Train travel can be dangerous and it can also be sexy. People in a situation away from societal norms. Grant's character is already in a lot of danger....what is going to happen?! 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. Pretty sexy lighting the cigarettes - hands touching. The R.O.T. made me think of rot. How odd. Such an elegant man. Why would I think of rot?! "O" standing for nothing. What is that about. A successful businessman and a reference to nothing. Well matches catch on fire so watch out! And if you have seen the movie then you know how important this will be later in the movie. It won't be about rotting and it won't be about nothing How is Hitchcock using sound design in this scene? Consider music and other background sounds in your answer. Trains are usually noisy but both characters are speaking in lowered voices. We hear the sound of the train on the tracks. There are some background noises and both characters clink and move their silverware. The match sound. Grant's character seems to become more relaxed even though he is in a stressful situation. The intensity of sounds and music seem to increase as they get to know each other and start flirting. This is one of my favorites. Wow!
  9. sherry.johnson

    Hitchcock Lecture Videos

    Thank you so much Dr. Edwards! Thank you Dr. Gehring! Thank you for everyone who worked so hard to provide this course. Thank you to all the students who have been so kind. I keep getting teary-eyed thinking of the interviews with Mr. Robert Osborne and Kim Novak and Eva Marie Saint. Mr. Osborne was such a gentlemen and did such amazing interviews. ​My husband and I are always wondering what younger people would make of Alfred Hitchcock movies. I don't know why that interests us so much. Anyway, I just wanted to say how much this course has meant to me at a stressful time in my life!
  10. I had a a problem trying to register. I ended up using a different email address than the one I am registered with on canvas.net.
  11. Describe what you think this film will be about simply from the sounds and images in these opening credits. Even if you have seen the film, try to focus on these sounds and images themselves and “the story” (or if not "the story," the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. I felt inner turmoil both of an individual and as an individual and others. Sometimes floating and sometimes falling. A sense of a drawn out drama but definitely a psychological/trauma/drama. Also duality. The interweaving of two forms. In your own estimation, what is the single most powerful image in this title sequence? Defend your answer. When the spirals switch to the eye. The burrowing image. I think it is shocking. Maybe because I am squeamish about eyes - however, we just spent a period of time floating in space. Then we are burrowing in an eye. I also think that it takes the viewer from a slightly comfortable/uncomfortable space into an inner space that is more troubled. How do Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together? How different would this sequence be with a different musical score? They help to make the viewing somewhat dreamlike and then troubled. The music reinforces that the pleasant shapes are doing more and there is drama and trouble. When we go to the eye the music is more troubled. I can't imagine any other music. It might be hard to get that same sense of turmoil. I really found it difficult to get through the first viewing of this movie. It took me many years to watch it again and then I bought it and watch it once or twice a year now. Hitchcock really is the Jimmy Stewart character. Making over women and trying to conquer them. He can't have a woman then he'll drive her to jump. Creepy. It is beautifully filmed. I guess it would be nice if we could fit people into what we would like to mold them into sometimes.
  12. How would you describe the opening camera shot of this film? What is Hitchcock seeking to establish in this single shot that opens the film? Whose vantage point is being expressed in this shot, given that Jeff has his back to the window? Amazing! It is a sweeping vantage point of Jeff's world that he is stuck in for the present because of a broken leg. We see the apartments and buildings and surroundings. We even learn about Jeff. I feel like Hitchcock is showing us how the world is a theater even when we are in a city setting that isn't 100% spiffy clean. We are being shown Jeff's vantage point even though he is asleep so we are also introduced as voyeurs. The music makes it seem like a cozy and safe place at least to me! What do we learn about Jeff in this scene without any pertinent lines of dialogue (other than what is written on Jeff’s leg cast)? How does Hitchcock gives us Jeff’s backstory simply through visual design? He is a photographer that got too close to the action and has a broken leg now. It is in the city and it is hot. He is not asleep in his bed like he should be! It looks like he is an action photographer and may travel a lot. Does this opening scene make you feel like a voyeur or, at a minimum, remind you of being a an immobile spectator? What feelings does Hitchcock elicit from you as his camera peers into these other people’s apartments? Definitely a voyeur. I am too shy to look out the window that long even if there were no people so I felt like I was more of a voyeur than an immobile spectator. I think because of the music I felt like I was having a pleasant afternoon just relaxing - gazing outside the window - and because it is so hot - people might understand if I lingered too long staring in their direction! Yet somehow I sense danger and not just because I have seen the movie so many times. The city setting and so many people in an enclosed place. Be careful! Bonus question: if you have seen the entire film before, do you agree with Hitchcock that this film is his most cinematic? Wow. This is where my lack of education catches up with me. The fact that I can watch this movie over and over again more than any other makes me think there is something to Hitchcock's opinion!! The amazing set and instantly I forget about how stressed out I am and am sucked into this world. Maybe I can better answer this question in another year when I have studied more.
  13. 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 two taxis arriving. Bruno is wearing flashy shoes while Guy is more conservative. The camera cuts back and forth between them. We have the train tracks that split. On the train the two men's shoes hit against each other. We see Bruno is wearing a sporty suit with a lobster tie (how many men can pull that look off!) with his Bruno tie clip. He is much more outgoing while Guy is more conservative and reticent. 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. Guy is more conservative in his dress and manor. He seems put off by a stranger intruding in his space. Bruno is flashy and more aggressive in his actions. The music for Bruno is jazzier also. 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? Wow - this music is great. There is a crisscross of two rhythms that go back and forth. One more romantic while the other more energetic and sometimes it sounds like it is warning of danger. Sometimes the melodies combine. It made me think of the romance of the rails. Leaving behind the city or town and then the music becomes more energetic. I do seem to sense danger!
  14. sherry.johnson

    Number Seventeen

    Wow - sounds good. I'm watching it if I can find it! Interesting.

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