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Noir Alley

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13 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Noir Alley Hiatus topic:

In my honest opinion Audrey Totter looked the sexiest in The Sellout

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Yes. I also liked her character and performance in that too. Hadnt seen it before.

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Geez, do we have to get into another Vertigo discussion?

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12 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes. I also liked her character and performance in that too. Hadnt seen it before.

Same here.   

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3 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

Nuff said about "Torn Curtain"!

I dig Helmore too. He really is quite good in the part, and probably not noticed or appreciated by any but the most astute viewer, namely you! The whole bit about Carlotta, and when he tells Scotty about the mental conditions of Madeleine's ancestral females, is well done. I too enjoy seeing Helmore in other roles, and always enjoy his rather sophisticated man of the 1950's appearance and mien. Great chat and thanks for posting!

Thanks so much.  

Just when I think TORN CURTAIN can't get any worse, up pops Lila Kedrova.  "My American sponsor!"  (love her in ZORBA THE GREEK however)  And Ludwig Donath ironically never shuts up even though he mocks others who do not:  "Yak! Yak! Yak!"  The Gromek character is "fun" but still.....Okay I'll shut up now about TC.

When I first saw VERTIGO and heard Helmore's phrase "portals of the past" as he's telling Scottie about Madeline's vehicular wanderings, I was immediately suspicious.  "Portals of the past" just sounds so old-fashioned and melodramatic, very Victorian, which is of course the "freedom and power" (for men) time period Elster prefers.  So I knew something was up, lol.

Helmore's gentlemanly British presence reminds me a bit of Alan Napier.  

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7 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Thanks so much.  

Just when I think TORN CURTAIN can't get any worse, up pops Lila Kedrova.  "My American sponsor!"  (love her in ZORBA THE GREEK however)  And Ludwig Donath ironically never shuts up even though he mocks others who do not:  "Yak! Yak! Yak!"  Yeah, the Gromek character is "fun" but still.....Okay I'll shut up now about TC.

When I first saw VERTIGO and heard Helmore's phrase "portals of the past" as he's telling Scottie about Madeline's vehicular wanderings, I was immediately suspicious.  "Portals of the past" just sounds so old-fashioned and melodramatic, very Victorian, which is of course the "freedom and power" (for men) time period Elster prefers.  So I knew something was up, lol.

Helmore's gentlemanly British presence reminds me a bit of Alan Napier.  

Bronxgirl, I never realized he was British, so thanks also for that! I just saw him the other night in an old "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" called "Murder Me Twice", and was searching for it on IMDB, and noticed his middle name is Percy! If I'd ever looked him up before maybe that would have clued me in on his British origins. And I so agree. TC is hopeless.

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12 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

I kinda agree with you Bronxgirl48.  I don't think VERTIGO is the best movie of all time and like some others have said, not even the best Hitchcock.  It's OK and I like certain scenes but it's not on the level of PSYCHO, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, REAR WINDOW or SHADOW OF A DOUBT. 

Yes, I do think that VERTIGO is not even the best Hitchcock, and concur with you on those four films.

 

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1 hour ago, CaveGirl said:

Bronxgirl, I never realized he was British, so thanks also for that! I just saw him the other night in an old "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" called "Murder Me Twice", and was searching for it on IMDB, and noticed his middle name is Percy! If I'd ever looked him up before maybe that would have clued me in on his British origins. And I so agree. TC is hopeless.

And he understudied Rex Harrison in the original stage production of MY FAIR LADY!

Oooh, I watch AHP on MeTV almost every night but missed that "Murder Me Twice" episode.   Will have to watch for it.

TORN CURTAIN, lol, yeah.....

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FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT is the under appreciated Hitchcock classic. Not only is it better than REBECCA, I would probably place it in my top five favorites of his ever.

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4 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT is the under appreciated Hitchcock classic. Not only is it better than REBECCA, I would probably place it in my top five favorites of his ever.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT is one of my favorite Hitchcock's.  I also enjoy the alternately jaunty and romantic score.

(another small voice)  I like UNDER CAPRICORN.

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Would any of you regard Hillary Brooke as a femme fatale?

I've always enjoyed her icy, dare I say spooky qualities, even when she was Bud and Lou's neighbor on their television show.

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5 hours ago, TheCid said:

My wife does not like Vertigo either and I haven't watched it in years.  Actually, the only thing I really like is (wait for it) Stewart's car.

As to Hitchcock, I enjoy The Birds, Marnie and North By Northwest and sometimes To Catch a Thief.

I'm particularly fond of TO CATCH A THIEF mainly because of the glorious south of France location.

For me the best part of THE BIRDS is that brilliantly "choreographed" setpiece by Hitch in the diner where everyone is trying to figure out what's going on.  Melanie on the phone with her father is interrupted by the old crone, who in turn is cut off by the waitress's order, then the others chime in with their own opinions and we are caught up in the escalating tension and fear.  

NORTH BY NORTHWEST is a little too "slick" for me.  It's too picture-perfect, if that makes any sense.  (probably not) 

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2 hours ago, ThePaintedLady said:

You're not the only person. I, too, am a HUGE Hitchcock fan, and I border on "not caring for" and "hating" Vertigo. I love the cinematography, the set location (I'm a San Franciscan), and the fashion. I just really hate the plot and the idea that a man has that much control over a woman to fulfill his selfish desire. I actually come out of the theatre angry each time I see it.

My top Hitchcock films:

  1. Rear Window
  2. Foreign Correspondent
  3. Shadow of a Doubt
  4. Strangers on a Train

Why do I stop at 4? Because the fifth one often changes.

On a minor and frankly shallow point:  For some reason I can't stand the voice of that head sales lady in VERTIGO. "My, you certainly do know what you want, sir".  It's not what she says but the physical tone itself, kind of wobbly, nasal, I can't really describe it but she drives me crazy.

 

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1 hour ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

And he understudied Rex Harrison in the original stage production of MY FAIR LADY!

Oooh, I watch AHP on MeTV almost every night but missed that "Murder Me Twice" episode.   Will have to watch for it.

TORN CURTAIN, lol, yeah.....

I saw that too about him understudying Rex Harrison. You know, this might be a good example of how fate works. I think there are many actors who are just as talented as the major stars, who just never get the good breaks to win more important or impressive parts to play. If good old Tom, had gotten to play an executive who developed a heroin addiction, while working on Madison Avenue, and it was called "The Man with the Artful Arm" he might be as famous today as Sinatra. Or he had played the Ray Milland part in "Dial M for Murder" we'd all know his name. Fate intervened and he ended up as only a great character actor I guess. Sorry you missed the AHP episode!

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31 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

On a minor and frankly shallow point:  For some reason I can't stand the voice of that head sales lady in VERTIGO. "My, you certainly do know what you want, sir".  It's not what she says but the physical tone itself, kind of wobbly, nasal, I can't really describe it but she drives me crazy.

 

That's so funny! I've watched the movie so many times, I can actually see her right now, and hear her voice as she snippily says that, just because Scotty is being so bossy and picking shoes, and the exact grey suit which has to be cut a certain way, even though the Madeleine remake keeps saying "But I liked that suit, Scotty." This is definitely Jimmy Stewart's most obsessed role. I wonder what ever happened to that sales lady? Obviously time to look her up and see if her career in Hollywood progressed due to her unique and irritating line reading...haha!

Addendum: This just in...your favorite saleswoman was played by Miliza Milo [1922-2014], Bronx Girl.

Miliza Milo was born on August 27, 1922 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for Vertigo (1958), The Ten Commandments (1956) and Girl Gang (1954). She died on February 6, 2014 in Sedona, Arizona, USA. 

She was uncredited in all three roles.

I wonder if she is related to Sandro Milo who was in a lot of Fellini's films? I really need to see "Gang Girl" now and see if I can locate her. I wonder if she plays a JD, and ends up in the slammer, as in most 1950's gang flicks?
 

 


 

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Oh my gosh, lol, Miliza Milo, who knew she was an actual actress?  For me the awkwardness but somehow strange authenticity of her line readings made me think she was an actual Ransohoff sales person, ha!  And only 36 years old when appearing in VERTIGO? Seemed much older.  "I think we may still have that model".  "Yes, I thought so"  Cannot imagine someone like Miliza in GANG GIRL.  Wow.  And for all we know she just may very well have been related to Fellini's Sandra.  There are certainly stranger Tinseltown facts, like me finding out that one of Harold Lloyd's most beloved hobbies was taking so-called "glamour" 3-D photographs of nude actresses and strippers, which also allowed him to get frisky with them.  (his favorite model was Bettie Page)  And I always thought Lloyd was such a straight arrow in private life!

As for Tom, yes, he was under the radar and luck/fate does have a lot to do with achieving Hollywood stardom.  I have to say, though, that I do enjoy Milland's hammy villainy in DIAL M FOR MURDER.  Not quite sure Helmore could have pulled off that long murder set-up monologue Ray describes with barely concealed relish to Anthony Dawson.  

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1 hour ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

NORTH BY NORTHWEST is a little too "slick" for me.  It's too picture-perfect, if that makes any sense.  (probably not)

I know what you mean (maybe). It's almost a parody of itself, representing some over-the-top not quite believable thriller. Hitch had an inward smile while making this (maybe). Or maybe he was winking at us behind the camera. All those climactic scenes one right after than other. The key is to not take it too seriously because if I do I might come to believe that it is too "slick" and maybe I'm being put on. This might not be what you mean but I I'm trying to say that by criticizing it too seriously is like kicking a dead horse or to compare it too assiduously with other Hitch seems faintly ridiculous, like apples and oranges.  :unsure: Am I making any sense (probably not).

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No, my sweet lafitte, you are making sense.  For me NBNW almost feels like a school course by Hitch in how to make the perfect thriller.  He puts together all his recognizable themes -- the wrong man, chase, cool blond, fancy villain, scenery, etc., an amalgam of THE 39 STEPS but updated with 1950's Technicolor "glamour" sensibilities.  

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My favorite HITCHCOCK AMERICAN FILMS ARE; 

1.  A SHADOW OF DOUBT

1.B  NOTORIOUS

2.  SUSPICION

3. FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

4. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

5. DIAL M FOR MURDER

MY FAVORITE HITCHCOCK BRITISH FILMS

1.39 STEPS.  ROBERT DONAT AND MADELAINE CARROLL are the stars.  By the way, Madelaine Carroll was Hitchcock's first blonde.  39 STEPS HAS TO BE HITCHCOCKS BEST FILM EVER.

2.  THE LADY VANISHES, which has a blend of suspense and comedy.

3.  SECRET AGENT, also starring the forgotten Madelaine Carroll.

4.  the other HITCHCOCK BRITISH FILMS are wonderful as well.

 

 

 

 

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I'm sure that car was sleek and sharp back in '58, but today it looks old and

clunky, somewhat like Stewart's character. Guy never quite gets it until the

last few moments. I like Vertigo, though I don't know if I'd put it at #1 in

Sir Alfred's filmography. There would be a lot of jostling at the top. Tom

Helmore is a wonderful villain. Laid back and reserved, he's not the Hey look

at me, I'm as crazy as a bedbug type of bad guy. I was glad he got away with

it in the American version of the movie. Appreciation for a job well done. 

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2 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

Miliza Milo was born on August 27, 1922 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for Vertigo (1958), The Ten Commandments (1956) and Girl Gang (1954). She died on February 6, 2014 in Sedona, Arizona, USA.

That is an odd trio of films to be known for and one where there is no connection between them.   

 

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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

That is an odd trio of films to be known for and one where there is no connection between them.   

 

I so agree. One was current for the time, one is Old Testament time and one is about juvenile delinquents. What an odd triumvirate.

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3 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

 

(another small voice)  I like UNDER CAPRICORN.

Oh, so you're the one.

Well good for you! 

Do you by any chance periodically visit the animal shelter and say "you got any especially ugly ones missing legs or an eye or both ears or something?"

(I kid! I kid!)

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1 hour ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Oh my gosh, lol, Miliza Milo, who knew she was an actual actress?  For me the awkwardness but somehow strange authenticity of her line readings made me think she was an actual Ransohoff sales person, ha!  And only 36 years old when appearing in VERTIGO? Seemed much older.  "I think we may still have that model".  "Yes, I thought so"  Cannot imagine someone like Miliza in GANG GIRL.  Wow.  And for all we know she just may very well have been related to Fellini's Sandra.  There are certainly stranger Tinseltown facts, like me finding out that one of Harold Lloyd's most beloved hobbies was taking so-called "glamour" 3-D photographs of nude actresses and strippers, which also allowed him to get frisky with them.  (his favorite model was Bettie Page)  And I always thought Lloyd was such a straight arrow in private life!

As for Tom, yes, he was under the radar and luck/fate does have a lot to do with achieving Hollywood stardom.  I have to say, though, that I do enjoy Milland's hammy villainy in DIAL M FOR MURDER.  Not quite sure Helmore could have pulled off that long murder set-up monologue Ray describes with such barely concealed relish to Anthony Dawson.  

I so wish I could have shopped at Ransahoff's, Bronxgirl. Don't you just love the mannequin in the window as Scotty and Judy approach the store. So elegant! Oh, you are also so right about good old clean cut Harold Lloyd and his propensity for shooting models in 3-D. I think, suspicious person that I am, that he just tried to say he was so interested in the 3-D camera possibilities, to try to make it seem like it was the innovations of the camera that drew him to photography, when really it was all just a ruse to get these girls to come to his mansion for some hanky panky. If anyone questioned it, then he could just say "Hey, I am a photography buff [no jokes abou the buff, okay?] and the human body is beautiful and lends itself well to three dimensions. How dare you imply that I am doing this for salacious purposes!"

You may be right about Milland's superior skill in DMFM, but it would have been fun to see Helmore do a screen test right? 

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31 minutes ago, Vautrin said:

I'm sure that car was sleek and sharp back in '58, but today it looks old and

clunky, somewhat like Stewart's character. Guy never quite gets it until the

last few moments. I like Vertigo, though I don't know if I'd put it at #1 in

Sir Alfred's filmography. There would be a lot of jostling at the top. Tom

Helmore is a wonderful villain. Laid back and reserved, he's not the Hey look

at me, I'm as crazy as a bedbug type of bad guy. I was glad he got away with

it in the American version of the movie. Appreciation for a job well done. 

I have a tome, and it really deserves that word, that is so academic and deep about the meaning behind "Vertigo" that it can blow one's mind. It's all about that Scotty is shown to be a male who is a bit, shall we say, impotent, and all the French twist close-ups and burial holes and towers and stairway passages that one can fall into, are about falling in love. This is Scotty's first attempt at such sexual issues since he thinks of Midge as a mother figure. I think we know that towers and tunnels could be representing phallic issues, and there is a certain necrophiliac leaning by Scotty towards his paramour that is also deeply regarded by the author whose theories are really interesting to read. He even goes into the colors that are used by Hitch for scenes and what he might have been trying to telegraph to the audience. I could go on but my head is starting to hurt. It's actually a great book though, and is quite thought provoking. I think it is called "An Eye for Hitchcock" by Murray Pomerance and has some other nice chapters focusing on a few more of his films.

One final thing about "Vertigo". I've often thought that there is no way Scotty could have survived holding on to that gutter on the roof at the beginning. I doubt he was saved and the story of "Vertigo" is just a stream of consciousness effect occurring right before his life is ended when he falls. Again see, the fall is the most important issue in the film. Yes, none of it happened, and just like Ambrose Bierce's story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" a whole life is encapsulated in a few seconds of time, and we the audience get to share the downfall of Scotty as he is falling from the roof and he dreams about the love that he never experienced on earth and regrets missing.

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