Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #3: Fighting For Her (Scene from The Ring)

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The editing seems quickly cut from scene to scene adding to the fun aspect of the party.

 

The use of the mirror is the German expressionalists tools, but the superimpositions used is the psychological angle that draws us in to state

Of mind.

 

The action between the men states one has it, the champ, and the other doesn't.

Girl on lap, man sitting, vs pacing.

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1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

       Hitchcock's has used both montage and expressive editing to make the small party a gala event.  The two women dancing as an act together begin to dance faster and faster almost becoming like "whirling dervishes". The party just takes on a frenzied pace. This is emphasized in the montage of the piano player, the guitar players and  the phonograph record spinning. As has been pointed out this was something new for British audiences and was greeted by applause in the movie theaters. His editing between views of the wife with the champion boxer and her husband in the other room lead us into the next question for reflection.

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. 

      We see the changes in the face, mouth and eyes of the husband as he begins to become more and more troubled by his wife's behavior. We see him almost become a psychological basket case as he begins to see his wife with the champion boxer in the next room even when he isn't looking in that direction. Hitchcock uses montage shots of the wife and the other boxer and brings them into view as though we are seeing inside the mind of the husband. We also see subjective shots of the wife as she experiences some guilt pangs and doubts about her actions away from her husband. The fight promoters/ trainers try to take advantage of the husbands dread by mentioning such things as the husband may have to beat the champion who is putting moves on his wife.

Hitchcock uses the mirrors in the rooms to help present this subjective look at the psychology of the husband and the wife. He also uses close-ups on the face of the husband and on the wife to show their inner turmoil.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  

​     Having the interview with the boxing promoter/ trainer going on in the next room from the party makes it easy for us to see husband being torn between his ambitions as a boxer and his fear of his wife's actions while he is away.  The interview could have been held at a gym but staging the meeting here gives us the chance to observe the wife and the champ as they party. The fight poster on the wall helps set the stage that we are looking at an up and coming fighter who is eyeing the champ. The use of the mirrors as part of the set allow the husband to observe the wife and vice versa. To the husband the stakes are now no longer just about a boxing championship but the stakes have increased to a rivalry with the champ with his own wife as the prize. "Character is what you do when no one is watching"

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1. In the montage sequence of the party Hitch uses the spinning of the record, the distorted piano and guitar to emphasize the concern and worry in the boxers head. After he is told he must train on his own he cannot think of anything but his wife enjoying herself with another man. His back and forth editing from different parts of the party raise his level of anxiety.

2. Cutting back and forth between himself and what is going on in the other room puts us into the boxer's mind and the stress of seeing his wife with another man.

3. By using small focused shots of his rival with his wife, distortion shots of the music and gaiety combined with the full screen shots of the party he is able to tell us how torn the boxer is between his desire to leave and train or stay to maintain his relationship with his wife.  

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1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? We see the film cut back and forth from the party to the meeting scene with the husband, which helps the viewer see both the husband's and wife's perspectives, without dragging it out by showing both chronologically.

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. The superimposing of the wife and her party partner in her husband's head during the meeting help us see how he's feeling, even without the cards. The same is true for the wife and her looks into the mirror at her husband in the meeting.

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  The montage, the party atmosphere vs business meeting, helps show the rivalry.

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1. Montage and expressive editing is used in the party sequence. Fast cuts keep time with the music, moving faster and faster to build frantic energy. Meanwhile, in the opposite room, the husband is frozen, standing still with concern. Great juxtaposition!

 

2. The warped reflections while playing the piano, the ghosted images of the couple. Distorted reality. Living nightmares.

 

3. Editing, action and set design are used to highlight the rivalry between the two men. First, the men are literally in two different rooms. One is full of life, fun, partying. The other is quiet. still. nervous energy. The party room has rapid edits, the other room has long shots. I liked the subtle set detail of having the framed photos of the boxers on the mantle behind the gentlemen as they were arguing. A subtle cue they were at odds without literally "fighting".

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1.    How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

 

Our group has posted so many good responses to this – but the chief impression for me is the PACING. We “pick up speed” after the dancers collapse and wet their whistles with refreshing libations… and then, hit the dance floor again and spin out of control.

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. 

 

The montage scene (mentioned above) lends itself to subjective engagement, the audience referencing their own experiential knowledge to interpret the scene.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  

 

The contrast of the staid, somber atmosphere of the challenger (meeting with his trainers to plan for the quest ahead) against the celebration-filled room of the champ (who has already won his prize.)

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Cheers Everyone, 

 

1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene?  The rapidity of the music escalating, the rate of the dancing heightening, the imagined kiss getting closer ...all to build the climax of the story and blend the scene between the two rooms.

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity.  Male dominance is present in one room:  pouring champagne down the throat of the all ready drunk dancer; the man sitting in the chair with the fighter's wife breaking social norms with them being too close with a married woman, and he told her, "next time we go out, I will take you to their show ..." meaning his confidence that she will go and he is in command.  I even thought back to previous parties I had gone to where there were little stories happening and the main floor had dancers or someone playing the guitar or piano.  The other room with the big, tall, broad shouldered fighter was strong in outward appearance, but weak internally and we being manipulated by his coach/owner/organizer.  Of course, the strange-eyed man leaning on the fireplace who we are not sure of his exact role was the unknown. 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  The coolest things all came together:  the mirror with both husband, and then wife looking at each other when the other was not aware showing they have very poor communication with each other; the wife appears to already be unfaithful sitting on the arm of a chair with the man who is not her husband; the dancers getting faster and faster and then a blur and the wild, elongated keys are AMAZING!!!

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1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene?  The quick cuts in the scenes gave you a sense of the party life and made it more upbeat.

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. Hitchcock uses the mirror to give you an insight of what the character's main focus is on besides what was going on in the room, which I thought was very cool. Also, when the boxer was thinking about what would happen if he left his wife, you could almost feel his anxiousness because of the editing. The warping of the piano really gave you a feel that to him things were going to fail apart and his relationship wife would "melt away".

 

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  He used the different settings of the party full of people and the room with only a few of the other boxer's friends to show their personalities and their mindset. You could sense the difference between them through the more anxious boxer's mindset and movement too.

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I own 47 of Hitchcock's films on DVD but have not watched all of the old/silent ones. I am now looking forward to viewing this film as I did with The Lodger earlier today!

 

1) This is a wonderful scene set together with a series of cuts and montages that apply a sense of excitement and thrill that carries the viewer forward wanting to know more about the protagonist!

 

2) When the protagonists wife is sitting on the lap of the Champion, she is fraught with emotion, is my man the right man, is this man the right man, etc. Also the state of inebriation is well demonstrated through the frenzied action and the visual cues provided especially by the two dancers. As the scene further slips into a "dream" sequence with the distortion effects, it puts a haze into the mind of the viewer as to the state of the protagonists sanity.

 

3) the constant viewing of events in mirrors, through windows, etc, helps set up the rivalry whether it is internally manifested or not. We will want to move forward with the film to understand the actual desires of the character. He has been developed with a sense of insecurity leading to the further phases of the film and resolution of the conflict.

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1. Hitchcock uses montage to add vitality and rhythm to the scene through pacing. The fast cuts between the static "meeting" in one room to the wild dancing and music in the other room is almost like a heart beat that begins slowly and then builds to a racing crescendo with the elongated keys superimposed with the spinning phonograph and strumming ukuleles making one almost breathless. Just like the wildly dancing girls.

2. The main technique Hitchcock uses to create a feeling of subjectivity and empathy with the main character is the superimposing of the image of his wife on the lap of the other man over the speaker in the meeting. You can feel his obsession with what his going on with his wife in the other room. An obsession that is blocking out all else.

3. The set design makes clever use of a mirror in an open door between the "meeting" room and the "party" room. The mirror is a perfect frame for the boxer's obsession of what is going on with his wife and another man in the other room. The editing use of the quick cuts between the "meeting" and the "party" help to build the drama and intensity of the boxer's feelings of jealousy and anger.

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In the scene where the boxer is suppose to be listening to his manager and trainer he glances across the way to a party where everyone is having a good time and he sees a couple in the chair, then Hitch imposes an image of the boxer's wife sitting on the lap of another man and the boxers imagination is starting to go wild, he assumes his wife is going to do this while he is away training. I think Hitch likes to use our imaginations a lot and let's us be the character he is focusing on at that point in the film and 'we' react like that character in the moment. We like Hitch's character are his puppets of emotion. He pulls the strings and we all react. By superimposing images the lines of reality tend to blur and you/character imagination starts to run wild.

 

 

With the scenery, Hitch uses a window as his focal point. Its like peering through the looking glass and you fall into Wonderland. You are a watcher of the scene but only participating in your mind. You see yourself as part of the party goers. Wishing you were actually there and then imagining that your significant other is also there and then you realize this isn't fun anymore. Imagination is very powerful and Hitch can work it.. that's why he's the Master of Suspense!

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1. The rhythm of the music increases to go along with the fast cuts and the montage to show a subjective point view for the man and the tension between the relationship of the husband and the wife. When the scene cuts, the dancing in the room get faster and the husband's emotions was shown more and more. As the music speed increase in the cuts and montage,The husband was presented in a subjective point of view, as the girl and the other guy (not the husband) was getting closer and closer to each other, and ended up kissing in the end. This cause the husband to be in a delirious state of mind, full of fanatic ideas.

 

The montage  depict the man's point of view in a subjective manner, showing the husband's interpretation visually of what might be or happen if he leaves his wife behind for training.

 

2. The fast paced cutting showing the husband's emotion and cutting back to his wife being with another man. It certainly shows the stress in the husband, and the cuts also put us in the husband mind, showing signs of stress and uncertainty in his wife. The montage also shows how the husband think subjectively, the montage was interpreted in the husband's mind and it disturbs him psychologically causing him to act deliriously and full of rage as he does not trust his wife.

 

3. The one distinctive thing is the husband and the wife actions: In the scene: Both of them looked at each other. The husband look at the wife when she does not see him (she was talking happily to the other man), while the wife look at the husband after she was asked to go to a show by the other man. It shows that they still  show care, love, and sympathy to each other, but it was not express directly to each other. The scene also represents a sense of disconnection between the husband and the wife, and how they look at each other without letting it being seen. Both of them are reflection to each other (Looking at each other like looking at a mirror), but they never really look and reflect on themselves; a cause for misunderstanding and disconnection.

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A side note. If there is a piano player, and people on instruments, then why is a record player playing? Are they playing to the record? Just sayin'

How very subjective of Hitch...

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These first two silent films have been so eye-opening as to technique and sheer talent necessary to convey the moods of the charactors and the storyline... I have a new appreciation of silent film and am in awe of Alfred's ability.

 

The way Hitchcock used the mirror and the glances to convey a growing jealousy and then the impetus to prove himself to a woman was amazing....

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3. The one distinctive thing is the husband and the wife actions: In the scene: Both of them looked at each other. The husband look at the wife when she does not see him (she was talking happily to the other man), while the wife look at the husband after she was asked to go to a show by the other man. It shows that they still show care, love, and sympathy to each other, but it was not express directly to each other. The scene also represents a sense of disconnection between the husband and the wife, and how they look at each other without letting it being seen. Both of them are reflection to each other (Looking at each other like looking at a mirror), but they never really look and reflect on themselves; a cause for misunderstanding and disconnection.

After reading your remarks it makes me think of Kubrick's 'Eyes Wide Shut' and wonder if Kubrick was influenced by Hitch subconsciously or consciously...

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In watching Daily Dose #3 The Ring...I felt so much turmoil, which is what Hitchcock set out to do I suspect. 

 

1.  The vitality of the scene is magnified by the dancers getting wilder while the music gets faster and faster. Hitchcock uses montage to add to the vitality of franticness of the scene by blurring the scene and then showing the piano and other instruments in a distorted fashion...making the accompanying music seem distorted as well. 

 

2.  Hitchcock uses several techniques to allow us to see what the main character is thinking and feeling. The use of the mirror is a technique I've seen before in Hitchcock films. The fighter sees his wife through a mirror sitting on the Champs lap and you can tell by his facial expression that this hurts him....she in turn sees him alone in his chair and from her facial expression you see that perhaps she finds him boring or unsocial. Hitchcock goes further later in the scene by superimposing the vision of his wife sitting on the champs lap over everything he sees and while his manager is talking to him you can tell that he is no longer listening because of his jealousy...the final straw is when he imagines that they are kissing and goes to stop them to find that he is just imagining it. 

 

3.  Hitchcock uses set design, stage action and editing to increase the stakes in this rivalry is several ways. He has the main character sitting in a quiet room with two men talking him into fighting the champ and leave his wife behind while he goes to train, while in the next room we see his rival, surrounded by laughing, dancing, happy friends cavorting and having a great time. The champ  also has the main characters wife sitting on the arm of his chair obviously laughing and flirting with him. For the audience Hitchcock allows us to sympathize with the main character by seeing his wife and the champ though his eyes, and creates a jealousy. Jealousy for the wife but also for the full happy life that the Champ seems to have. He also uses stage action to create a dislike for the Champ by having two men try to force a woman to drink while the champ sits by and watches not doing anything to protect her. He also uses editing to switch back and forth from the quiet tension of the one room to the happy, carefree, decadent loudness of the next room, making you wonder what room you would want to be in and making  us believe that the main character would rather be the winner. 

 

 

 

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Hitchcock said that the use of montage was a good way to "condense a great deal of information into a short sequence, giving information to the audience that doesn't warrant length..."

 

In this scene from The Ring, the audience feels the tension between the husband and wife, made even more dramatic with the innovative cuts. All of this happens in a four-minute sequence, yet in "real-time" this interplay would take much longer - a whole evening perhaps? 

 

Hitchcock's use of montage is a clear homage to the films of Sergei Eisenstein, particularly the Odessa Steps sequence in Battleship Potemkin (1925) and Dziga Vertov's Man With A Movie Camera (1929).

 

Looking forward to seeing The Ring in its entirety on Wednesday night!

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So the music was in Hitch's head and is communicated visually despite lack of music and dialogue. Possibly why later collaborators like Bernard Herrmann really assisted the marriage for the whole ensemble so well in later years

If you listen to some of Hitchcock's discussions on film, he often related it to an orchestra with a slow quiet beginning of a scene, then on to the strings (Martin Balsam ascending the stairs in Psycho) growing in loudness and intensity, (Mother opening door), then the brass and full orchestration coming in (Mother attacking and killing the Detective) and the fall down the stairs.  He definitely saw the music as extremely important to his work.

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1) Hitchcock's use of montage is phenomenal by providing an inside look into the boxer's head. If he leaves his wife behind she would surely do a, b, and c which would lead to a destruction of their marriage. It's fantastic through the blurring the lines of reality, and a glimpse into a character's mind such as this is hard to accomplish especially in such quick succession of all things while still keeping the character grounded in the here and now. 

 

2) Kind of goes hand in hand with my response above. The wife in the clip seems slightly hesitant but makes no effort really to stop the progression of the man's advances. Our boxer subject seems to have similar feelings on the matter because we witness the destruction of their commitment play out simply through a date. Back when this was filmed that would have been devastating for such a masculine man and for marriages in general. It's honestly slightly risque considering the infidelity and the wandering thoughts leading to such destructive imagining. Montage is heavily used in this sequence and the overlapping of the images was breathtaking to view because the closeness and claustrophobic tendencies evoked may lead the boxer to choke or even mess up, and in this case the pressure rests even more on his shoulders than ever before, etc.

 

3) Hitchcock escalates the stakes by placing the potential lover in much more of an elaborate and elegant room with a party going on, beautiful women, wonderful music, and other party like affiliations. However, compared to the boxer in the managers office the decision is already being formed. The room that the boxer occupies is not lavish or elegant, it's bland, no musical accompaniment, no beautiful women, etc. The boxer already seems to be setting up to fail/lose the love of his life, etc.  

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1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

One way is that AH cuts back and forth between the bacchian-like party in one room and the discussion between the fighter, the trainer, and the manager in another room.  The juxtaposition  shows how professional sports is essentially entertainment in which the athlete pays the price (e.g. "North Dallas Forty").  In other words, AH is not creating "Pride of the Yankees." 

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. The shots where the party dissolves into the hands playing the piano. 

 

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  By putting them into two different rooms. 

 

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1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

After hearing the music slow down and speed up, I did start to see the characters were doing the same thing. When the wife looks into the room at her husband, her actions slow down. Hitchcock also edits this way so as to create more suspense in spots. When the husband can't take his own imagination, the edits speed up like the suspense is a pot being brought to a boil and the relief on the husband's face there is no kissing going on is the suspense pot being turned down to a simmer. 

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity. 

He used point of view from the character, at first the wife, he was focused on. When that focus switches to the husband, the point of view changes. He uses double exposure to show the husband's own imagination after he looks out at her with the guy. This is taken to a point when he goes back to his own conversation, his imagination of his wife with the guy is now done with a double exposure. Once the husband's imagination takes over, the image of his current conversation is no longer visible in shot. These uses of double exposure and point of view force the viewer into the mind of the husband. 

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?

Hitchcock uses the wife's own expression at first to show there might be a problem with her flirting with this guy. Her smile vanishes I believe the edit slows down so we have a longer shot of her face. The set is done so the wife and husband have a view of each other from where they sit. The husband/wife view of each other helps to create tension between the husband and wife. The rivalry between the two gentlemen begins, in my opinion, more at the end of this scene with the dialogue being spoken to the husband about he must fight for his wife. I see more tension and suspense between husband and wife over rivalry throughout most of this scene. Maybe it was Hitchcock's worry that Alma working on a different set might not come back to him and things could go very wrong? 

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1. How does Hitchcock use montage or expressive editing to add vitality and rhythm to this scene? 

 

The boxer thinks back to when his wife was only interested in him as seen in the montage. He must be wishing he was in the party room with her by his side.

 

2. As is the case with a lot of German Expressionist films, in this scene, there are many shots that are very subjective and put us into the psychological mind of a main character. Please note the various techniques Hitchcock uses to create that feeling of subjectivity.

 

Knowing that his wife is cheating on him right in front of him is agonizing. He is training for his biggest fight but now has the image of her with another man in his mind. As he watches the girls dance they seem to fade into running images in his mind. Hitchcock dissovles the piano keys into the hands of the player as the girls dance lifting their dresses to show their knees.

 

3. How does Hitchcock stage the action, use set design, and editing techniques to increase the stakes in the rivalry between the two gentlemen?  

 

​One is trying to impress a young lady and one is trying to keep cool about it. They are in different rooms but can clearly see the other.

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1.    The increasingly chaotic nature of the dance party is illustrated through shots and editing. We first see the room via a POV shot in which Jack sees his wife and Bob, his rival, flirting, soon to be joined by women dancers who fall into them, suggesting more of a wild **** than a respectable gathering. (The dancers are “flappers,” and their free-kicking dance style is equally scandalous for the time.) At first, the shots are standard, with the camera looking straight on at the party with the two women dancing to a record whose spinning provides some of the scene’s energy. The variety of perspectives increases as the camera observes the action from various points in the room. The action jumps back to the other room where Jack formally discusses his boxing training. As Jack becomes more concerned about his wife, the dance party seems to be in his head. Following a zoom on the cheating couple, we jump back to the party where the editing picks up pace and the shots are more surreal. We suddenly see a pianist’s hands and piano keys pulled out of natural proportion via a fun house mirror. Ukuleles and a banjo join the action. This ends in a kiss of betrayal between the wife and Bob. We cut to a close-up of Jack, which resembles the shots of James Stewart before and after his nightmare in Vertigo (1958).

2.    In this sequence, there are frequent shots from Jack’s perspective as he interprets his wife’s flirtation with Bob, including several where he sees the couple in a mirror’s reflection. Later, these are superimposed against sliding shots of the couple in closer perspective, letting us know what Jack is thinking. Hitchcock alternates with reaction shots of Jack, who becomes progressively concerned. After Jack sees the couple kissing, he yells at the partiers. We then cut to a POV shot where the partiers stop dancing and look at us (Jack). Early in this clip, we also get a point-of-view shot of the wife looking at Jack in the mirror. We also hear dialogue privileged to her: Bob speaks of “the next time we go out.”

3.    The use of two rooms is one way Hitchcock sets up the rivalry. Jack is in the formal room, sitting still in a tuxedo. His wife is in the other room, on the arm of Bob’s chair, almost on his lap. While the first room features longer takes and more conservative editing, the second room is full of champagne-fueled merriment, shorter cuts, and less conventional editing. The glances in the mirror show Jack’s increasing discomfort with his wife’s and Bob’s behavior and show that Bob is unconcerned with how his flirtations look to Jack.

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Don'cha know that boxing and dames don't mix? Oops, sorry, was thinking of film noir.

 

Strange things can happen at parties, and the montage of the drunken dancers and the hypnotic scenes of the piano and record mixed with the sped up piano music show Jack's conflict and the realization his wife is being led astray by Bob. The fact that we see this in a mirror from Jack's perspective shows there are two sides to every person.

 

The wife sees her husband in the mirror and the same thing as before.

 

As his trainer is talking to him, we can assume Jack is not listening to a word the trainer is seeing and only sees his wife with Bob via the superimposition of his wife next to the trainer.

 

And it's when he envisions his wife kissing Bob is when he loses it. (and the drunken girls would probably yell "PARTY POOPER!" at him)

 

The fact that this occurs in two separate rooms away from each other foreshadows what's going to happen in the main event. Fighters are usually kept at a distance until they meet in the ring. The debauchery of the party (20's style) and the thoughts racing through our hero's mind will come to a head.

 

At the end, of the clip with the trainer reminding Jack that the other guy's a champion and he's not---yet--we see a hint of optimism in Jack's eyes.

 

I should also mention that I saw this film a few years ago at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts  with the great silent film pianist David Drazin accompanying the film.

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If you listen to some of Hitchcock's discussions on film, he often related it to an orchestra with a slow quiet beginning of a scene, then on to the strings (Martin Balsam ascending the stairs in Psycho) growing in loudness and intensity, (Mother opening door), then the brass and full orchestration coming in (Mother attacking and killing the Detective) and the fall down the stairs.  He definitely saw the music as extremely important to his work.

There is no brass in Psycho. It's all strings.

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