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Jerry Stinson

Your favorite grin or guffaw in a Hitch flick?

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Identify a scene in a Hitchcock film that made you smile, giggle, or laugh!

 

My nominee is a couple of seconds in the "fire outside the restaurant" scene in The Birds. In the midst of the chaos caused by the attacking birds and the gasoline-fueled fire, a buckboard comes flying around the corner, with no one at the reins! It's straight out of a TV Western. I think Hitchcock was doing what he always did in a film: amusing himself, and welcoming anyone in the audience who noticed the joke to laugh along with him.

 

It's at 2:53 in this clip: 

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One that delights me over and over again was in To Catch A Thief, where Cary Grant boards the bus to escape his pursuers and sits down next to Hitch and a caged bird (before The Birds was released). Was this Hitchcock being prophetic, or was it just happenstance?

 

...Anyway, Grant's reaction is priceless.

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This is a great topic! One of my many favorites is Hitchcock's cameo in Torn Curtain. Hitch is holding a baby on his lap in a hotel lobby as the Funeral March of a Marionette is playing. He looks down at the baby and swaps the leg he's holding it on. He then wipes his pant leg with his hand and it cuts off at the point where we can assume he wipes his wet hand on the chair he's sitting on (assumption of the audience is that the baby wet its diaper and some of it leaked on Hitchcock's lap). I mainly enjoy this clip because it shows a softer side of Hitchcock. We're used to seeing "the master of suspense," but this shows his paternal and humorous side. Since babies were never really featured in his films, I found it special that one was able to share some screentime with Hitch for one of his later films. 

 

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Great topic! One of the elements of Hitchcock films I appreciate is the humor he injects into even the most anxiety laden films. One of my favorites is Hitchcock's "cameo" in Lifeboat. Hitchcock devises a clever way to make a cameo in the confined setting of the lifeboat, by appearing in a newspaper add for "Reduco the Obesity Slayer". It makes me giggle everytime!post-73865-0-48909100-1498846470_thumb.jpg

post-73865-0-48909100-1498846470_thumb.jpg

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Definitely, Robert Donat offering to "assist" Madeleine Carroll in removing her wet stocking while they are handcuffed together and eating sandwiches...

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In Rear Window when it starts raining and the man sleeping on the fire escapes falls back into the apartment with the mattress. 

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My favorite moment has always been the long shot in Young and Innocent. The song "No One Can Like the Drummer Man" has always brought a smile to my face, and it makes me get up on my feet (I'm a swing dancer). It was never released as its own single. The only copy of this song is in the film itself. The only other time I hear it is a rendition of it at a Hitchcock film festival. Both Castro Theatre (in San Francisco) and Stanford Theatre (Palo Alto) have the Wurlitzer organ and the organ player usually performs this song.

 

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Identify a scene in a Hitchcock film that made you smile, giggle, or laugh!

 

My nominee is a couple of seconds in the "fire outside the restaurant" scene in The Birds. In the midst of the chaos caused by the attacking birds and the gasoline-fueled fire, a buckboard comes flying around the corner, with no one at the reins! It's straight out of a TV Western. I think Hitchcock was doing what he always did in a film: amusing himself, and welcoming anyone in the audience who noticed the joke to laugh along with him.

 

It's at 2:53 in this clip: 

 

This is a great choice Jerry! Very fun moment within the chaos of that scene. Thanks for going to the trouble of posting the link too.

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Taking nothing away from the perfection of the visual humour in Hitchcock movies, I adore the witty dialogue - present in even his darkest pictures. I like to imagine Alma inserting some of these lines into each screenplay.

 

Perhaps not my favourite funny Hitch moments, but I picked a less appreciated picture "The Trouble with Harry" and a few of the more amusing moments as the Captain and Miss Graveley embarked upon a date:

 

Miss Graveley: How old do you think I am young man?

Sam Marlowe: Hmm... fifty. How old do you think you are?

Miss Graveley: Forty-two! I can show you my birth certificate.

Sam Marlowe: I'm afraid you're going to have to show more than your birth certificate to convince a man of that.

 

Sam: ”Do you realise you'll be the first man to cross her threshold”

Captain: ”She's a well preserved woman”

Sam: ”Preserves have to be opened”

 

Captain: This is a real handsome man's cup.

Miss Graveley: It's been in the family for years. My father always used it... until he died.

Captain: I trust he died peacefully. Slipped away in the night?

Miss Graveley: He was caught in a threshing machine.

 

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This is a great choice Jerry! Very fun moment within the chaos of that scene. Thanks for going to the trouble of posting the link too.

I just watched the buckboard piece yet again. It's very brief, and I'm sure Hitchcock was telling us, "Yes, I know, you're watching a lot of people being terrorized by birds and panicked by a gas station fire--but, come on, this is just a movie, so I thought I'd throw in a bit of absurdity by including a runaway buckboard. A production assistant suggested letting a shark swim down Main Street, but I opted for the buckboard."

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Taking nothing away from the perfection of the visual humour in Hitchcock movies, I adore the witty dialogue - present in even his darkest pictures. I like to imagine Alma inserting some of these lines into each screenplay.

 

Perhaps not my favourite funny Hitch moments, but I picked a less appreciated picture "The Trouble with Harry" and a few of the more amusing moments as the Captain and Miss Graveley embarked upon a date:

 

Miss Graveley: How old do you think I am young man?

Sam Marlowe: Hmm... fifty. How old do you think you are?

Miss Graveley: Forty-two! I can show you my birth certificate.

Sam Marlowe: I'm afraid you're going to have to show more than your birth certificate to convince a man of that.

 

Sam: ”Do you realise you'll be the first man to cross her threshold”

Captain: ”She's a well preserved woman”

Sam: ”Preserves have to be opened”

 

Captain: This is a real handsome man's cup.

Miss Graveley: It's been in the family for years. My father always used it... until he died.

Captain: I trust he died peacefully. Slipped away in the night?

Miss Graveley: He was caught in a threshing machine.

I watched The Trouble with Harry recently, on TCM, for sort of the first time. (I had seen it many years ago but hadn't paid that much attention to it.) It's not among his best, but if you can sit back and accept it for what it is, there are plenty of passages that elicit a smile. And there's the basic premise, of course, that almost no one in town seems the least bit "troubled" by Harry's death, other than by the inconvenience or embarrassment it might entail. It's as if Hitchcock was given a challenge: Make a murder mystery that hasn't even a hint of suspense! He succeeded.

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I like the part of Strangers on a Train where Bruno laughs at his mother's painting! Also when she asks if he has taken his vitamins, he says , "Yes, mother, a whole fifth!". Their relationship was sort of a dark comedy.

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