Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #6: Knocking 'Em Cold (Opening Scene from The Man Who Knew Too Much)

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

I think it's the characters that is going to be more important. Though there are many characters appear on this opening sequence, Hitchcock put uniqueness and special distinctive gestures to every character.
 
It clearly shows in Medium Close Up shot when Abbot (Peter Lorre) appear on screen. The gesture of Abbot gives a little yet very important detail that was being put as a hint to lead the audience into the story.
 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

I think Abbot character is quite strong. From the look, he has some certain unique feature and from his dialogues, we can tell that he's coming from other place. And the most important small detail is his gesture & reaction after he glanced his eyes at the ski player.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

One of the similarities I instantly noticed is the utilization of established shot of the situation as opening of the sequence.

In The Man Who Knew Too Much, it opens with Wide Shot of the ski arena. And in Pleasure Garden, it opens with the established shot of the spinning stair.

The other thing is about the Close Up shot that shows dramatic expression of the talent. We can find when the ski player got shocked when he saw the dog. And in The Lodger, it shows in the Close Up shot of the screaming woman.

The crowd in those 3 films is also the similarity. One difference that I noticed in The Man Who Knew Too Much is that Hitch uses panning camera movement to show all the crowd.

One difference that I strongly feel between these 3 opening is the tonality or the mood of the sequence. The Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew Too Much show more happy & dynamic feeling while The Lodger gives you another mood that is more intense and dramatic.

 

 

 

 

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) Since the opening scene is about an adverted accident and provides the introduction of the characters to the audience rather than set up the plot, I would say characters are more important. 

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? Lorre's character of Abbott seems to be one of a jovial mood. he laughs off the accident and seems to be rather vanilla. I would invest in the character of Abbott from this brief scene.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes? The Pleasure Garden was indoors while the Lodger was outside. The pleasure Garden was light , festive with dancing girls and leering gentlemen (showing their POV), The Lodger opens with an obvious murder. It  seemed more intimate. They all showed the crowd with a pan shot.

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Character or plot: in this particular film, I believe the plot will be more important. After setting the foundation for the characters, the story builds. If I remember correctly, the British version uses a little girl and the Hollywood remake (by Hitchcock) uses a little boy.

 

Peter Lorre will become a major star for just the reason he was cast in this role. Nice guy, jovial, but always something to be caution of. With just a brief hint, when Lorre seemed perplexed when greeting the skier, Hitchcock is letting the audience know that Lorre's character will be important to the film.

 

The Man Who Knew Too Much seems miles apart from the other two movies as far as tone (this was definitely a sound picture) with production quality appearing higher. However, to me, this doesn't make The Man Who Knew Too Much a better film. In all three films, a crowd/audience is a key ingredient...the scene cannot progress without them. Also, in the opening of all three films, with the exception of The Lodger, the audience is kept in the dark...not sure where the film is headed. This allows for character development (as we know that Hitchcock wants the audience to care about the characters).

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Although the opening scene appears to be distinctly designed for the introduction of the film's key players, I have a feeling the plot of The Man Who Knew Too Much will be of more importance. This scene seems as though it's a what you see is what you get type of situation in terms of the characters, meaning they won't be examined very closely. Therefore, this film would rely on the plot due lack of a character driven story.

 

Abbott exhibits a sense of lightheartedness. He actually doesn't seem to anger easily, given he's pretty much just been run over by a skier at the fault of a girl chasing after her dog. I assume Abbott will possibly be the comedic relief of this thriller, which is rather interesting. Thrillers are the epitome of suspenseful, high stakes situations. And oftentimes, laughter is non-existent, that is, until Hitchcock takes the helm of a thriller.

 

The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger are both silent films, whereas The Man Who Knew Too Much is clearly a film with sound. Also, with the earlier films, we witness the birth of Hitchcock as he seems to be getting his feel of film as an art form. With The Man Who Knew Too Much, Hitchcock is more in his element and is actively placing his signature onto his artistry.

 

After directing numerous silent films, Hitchcock has experimented with many techniques in finding his artistic voice. He utilizes the shot reverse shot in The Pleasure Garden and dabbles in German Expressionism in The Lodger. The Man Who Knew Too Much is Hitchcock's artistic voice with more freedom. He seems to fall into the rhythm and tone of the thriller genre, as this specific filmmaking period in Britain was the beginning of Hitchcock acquiring the title Master of Suspense.

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

 

Characters.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

 

We learn that he’s not English, overweight, jovial, seemingly good natured. Also, that despite his friendliness, there may be a hint of a darker side from his reaction and perhaps recognition of the skier who knocked him down.

 

The introduction of Lorre brought to mind the villain played by James Mason in North By Northwest, Herbert Marshal in Foreign Correspondent, Claude Rains in Notorious and Otto Kruger in Saboteur. A seemingly good natured man with an accent who gives the appearance of having “correct” manners. Lorre’s character may have been the mold for those villains that followed in Hitchcock’s movies.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

 

Pleasure Garden opens with the frame being blocked off on the sides of a wide shot, directing attention to a narrow view of a chorus descending a spiral staircase. The Man Who Knew Too Much also opens with a wide shot, our attention being focused on a narrow view of a ski slope with trees and a line of flags and people framing the slope. In both scenes there the action is descending. The Lodger opens in a completely different way focusing on a close up of a woman screaming.

 

Pleasure Garden, The Man Who Knew Too Much and The Lodger share crowd reactions in their opening scenes. In Pleasure Garden the camera pans across the first row of the audience and their reactions to the chorus line dancing before them. The Lodger shows the reactions of people to the body of the Slashers victim. The Man Who Knew Too Much shows the reaction of a crowd of spectators to the skier falling during his run down the slope. All three movies feature dramatic action at their start.

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

Totally the characters as we literally jump right into them in the same fashion the skier makes the jump right down in the thick of the audience and crashes due to the roaming dog.  The plot isn't formulated at all, but there are many looks that are heavy and filled with unspoken words for us to unwind in the film.

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

Abbott is a fake, you can tell is is over playing the jolly, fun, light-hearted man who nearly got trashed by the skier.  His eyes are shifty and do not match the smile on his face.  His female friend seems to be a monotone, over protective secretary of sorts and is not comfortable with talking to the strangers at all.  Abbott is an actor of high quality in real life and he certainly is acting in the scene with the bold, happy, intelligent, calculating, salesman-type personality that we say now is totally fake and insincere.  The skier knows him this is for sure by his eye contact and we know this isn't a first meeting for them, or they are aware of each other by another means.

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Gardenand The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

Similar:  The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger ...the first few seconds of the three films are like a synchronized automatic cardiac defibrillator shocking the heart ...then is no building to climax, the climax is the ladies sexy legs funning down the circular staircase, the screaming woman, then to be scene laying on the street with the upset woman and the cavalier policeman chewing gum--to the large ski slope with the skier then placing his forearm on his forehead in a defensive manner to protect the injury he knows is coming.  Brilliant and bold and it sucks us into the movie right away.  No going to popcorn and missing the start of a Hitchcock film or you miss be kidnapped by his creativity.  

Dissimilar:  The first two are without words, full sentences and impact on purely visual aspects, whereas the film then are so many words by the five characters that you have to pay attention to take it all in, plus the non-verbal clues that are hitting us and the amazing scene of the snow, the event, the crowds and the beauty.

 

 

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1. What do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot?


I believe Hitchcock uses the opening scene to present the main characters the film, in an environment that's not so relevant for the plot (except maybe for the fact that through the scene we get to know that the mother (Jill) is a champion skeet shooter). Based on this premise, I think characters are more important in the movie .


2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film?


I feel the director present Abbott as the only character in the opening scene that seems to have something to hide (he does not behave so naturally). Abbott clearly recognizes the skier (Louis, who does not recognize Abbott) but tries to conceal his surprise. I think the the idea is reinforced through the dialogue, as Abbot is just finishing his sentence with “awkward moment” when he sees Louis. He actually breaks the word into something like “awk----ward” which I immediately link with the Abbott body language and feelings. Just brilliant!


3. How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger).


Similar:


- The three of them occur in open spaces with large crowds of people.


- They establish a relationship between the observer and the observed.


- Do we also see POV shots in the three of them? The old man, looking at the girls' legs and then the “curly” blonde through the binoculars (The pleasure garden), the crowd looking at the dead body (The lodger), and Louis seeing how he approaches the girl as he roles down the slope.


Different:


- The pleasure garden and the lodger open with a somewhat frantic rhythm, while the beginning of The man who knew too much sets a more peaceful and friendly mood, even if a bit disturbing after we see Abbott reaction when he encounters Louis.


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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

 

I think the characters are more important because we are already beginning to see who they are.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film?

 

He seems jovial when he gets snow on him, but it doesn't seem genuine. It's almost as if he is mad but not showing it. Maybe quietly keeping a record of those who wronged him or made him look foolish. I've never seen the movie but that is my first impression.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes.

Similar in that it opens up to an action. In this case, a ski run. Both are performances. Difference is an accident occurs because of an unforeseen event, the dog running across the foot of the ramp.

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From everything we have learned so far, can there be any doubt that the characters will be more importnat to the plot? We can see it in how the opening scene is handled. While there is some focus on the action, it contribution (the crash) to the story is to open character interaction. Here we get to meet Abbott in an unguarded moment, where we are introduced to his sense of humor. He has been made vulnerable and instead of anger, we see laughter. Through dialogue and interaction we learn a great deal about him. English is not his native language. He has a "nurse." And he knows the ski jumper, Luis, and he wants to keep that a secret from his new acquaintances. All these things give me a favorable, if not suspicious view of Abbott. I will watch him with interest to see what other tidbits he reveals.

 

The opening scenes of ​The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger and The Man Who Knew Too Much​ all open with scenes of action. The Pleasure Garden ​opens with a chorus line of women running down spiral stairs. The Lodger begins with a woman screaming. ​The Man Who Knew Too Much​ with a wide angle shot of a ski jump competition. Each action shot also has an audience of sorts, and The Man Who Knew Too Much​ brings the action of the event directly into the spectators, unlike the previous two.

 

 

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1.  From the opening scene, you really can't tell what the plot may be, but the characters are interesting from the start.  The recognition between Peter Lorre's character and the skier  is palpable and you get the sense there are less than favorable feelings in that recognition.  Peter Lorre (Abbott) seems nice enough with the brief interchange, but it does not seem genuine.  There is something beneath the surface and the characters immediately become important before a plot becomes apparent.

 

2.  Again, Peter Lorre's jovial character does not seem genuine and it makes you wonder what is beneath the surface, especially after he looks at the skier with apparent and unpleasant recognition. He leaves you with the sense he can't be trusted.

 

3.  As with The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger, all three films begin with action, but with The Man Who Knew Too Much, aside from the downhill ski shot, the interchange with the characters is subtle and seems like simple pleasant conversation, until Peter Lorre and the skier look at each other and the scene is totally changed - it grabs your attention and leaves you with nothing but questions about what it means, what will happen, etc.

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DAILY DOSE #6 (THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH):

 

TO CATCH A DACHSHUND

1. After the near ski collision, Abbot's sudden shock and recovery suggests a (2-faced) character-driven story. 

2. It's early yet but I suspect Lorre is portraying a charming monster.

3. Like Pleasure Garden, The Lodger (and Blackmail), Hitchcock begins in medias res with golden curls.

 

 

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The opening scene shows that the characters are the main focus. The young girl seems to cause a scene. The skier avoiding the crash and apologizing for it and a brief look of recognition between him and Peter Lorre's character.

I have yet to see the film but I think Peter Lorre character seems friendly but a bit strange.I would be a little suspicious of him.

The opening is similar in that an audience is watching a skier as the audience is watching the dance girls in the Pleasure garden. Different in that is lighthearted   and not as dark and ominous as the Lodger.

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

Considering this is an espionage theme, characterization is most important and we really have to pay attention to each character's persona and motivation. Who can be trusted? Who can't? Is there a red herring?

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

He seems like a good natured man but you know there is something duplicitous about him when he stops mid sentence when face to face with Luis. His fashion sense is a bit flashier than those around him suggesting that he is not like the crowd. Another issue here is his strong accent. Generally, (at least in American cinema) they are not to be trusted especially those with British, German, Russian accents.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

Each scene goes right into the action: theatre show/gala, crime in progress and aftermath, ski-jump competition. They also contain a large audience. Each also has a victim of some type: victim of theft, murder victim, skier, though not necessarily a victim, loses a competition due to a young girl's carelessness.

Differences: We have two productions and one crime. Both Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew Too Much start with a descent from a height whereas The Lodger does not.

 

 

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I would say that characters and plot will be of equal importance. I have not seen this version of the film - though I have seen the version with Doris Day and James Stewart - and I believe that both the storyline and the characters drive the movie forward. 


What is learned about Peter Lorre's character is very little in the opening scene. He seems to be a polite, easy tempered person but he is the suppose to be the villain. I'm not saying that those two things are mutually exclusive but it does mean that he will be a complex character in the film.


The opening of The Man Who Knew Too Much reminds me most of the opening of The Pleasure Garden because of the mix of humor and drama. This clip shows what could have been a serious incident but which turns into introductions and laughter. None of the characters are hurt and the dialogue is light and cheerful. Where you expect to feel one thing Hitchcock interjects humor.


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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

The Plot.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

Abbott is an alien. He admits he does not speak the local language well and admits to speaking German as a core language. He is anxious to move on after the brief encounter with the group. No way to determine how to view him later in the film at this juncture.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

Small crowds are gathered together, characters within the crowd are going to be seen again.

A memorable event takes place, one horrific, others not so, but causes some trauma and brings people together as a result of chaos.

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1.    Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

 

I think the characters will play the more important role here because if the plot were to be the focus, then I think Hitch would have had some of the people, or even the skier, be injured.  To put our minds back on the characters and away from the skiing accident, Hitch avoided using any injuries so we could follow the dialogues that were to be among the characters.

 

2.    What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

 

I learned that Abbott must be a well-to-do man by the type of coat he was wearing and that he had quite an interest in the skier from his break in his talk and the expression on his face when looking at the skier. This scene sets up my curiosity as to why Abbott looked at the skier the way he did.

 

3.    We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes? 

 

The opening in The Man Who Knew Too Much is similar to The Pleasure Garden in that both open with a scene located in a public arena, where a common special event is happening; A music hall theatrical performance and a sports event allowing the viewer to see that no crime has yet been committed which keeps us from feeling anxious.  Whereas, the opening is different from The Lodger because in The Lodger we see that a crime has been committed and our anxiety and curiosity is increased. 

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)


I have read that the opening scene is a give-away to the entire movie and that experienced viewers can mine the opening scene to make accurate predictions on the themes and the plot of the movie. Based on my novice background, I predict that the characters are going to be more important than the plot because I've already become interested in several characters and as of yet have no idea what the plot will be. 


2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 


Peter is a good sport. Because of the girl and her dog, he blew his last run and is now out of the running and will leave the competition; however, there is no anger / frustration directed at the pair, instead he is full of good humor, jokes with the girl, says she can call him Uncle and invites her and her family to dinner. Therefore, I am predisposed to like him and see him in a favorable light.


3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. Differences include city vs country, dark vs light, adults and mature themes (nightclubs and serial killers) vs athletic competitions (kid friendly). Similarities include subtle humor, (sleeping audience member, crowd member wrapping his face, knocking them cold) and crowds. 


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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

Definitely the characters.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

You learn so much about his character in this opening scene. You see that Peter Lorre is kooky which endears you to him but that changes once you see his reaction to the skier.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes.

Similar: A bit of humor thrown in. In the Pleasure Garden it was the old man stepping on another's feet; in The Lodger it was the man making fun of the woman describing the man she saw.

Different: TMWKTM involves a family as opposed to individuals. It is also a spy thriller as opposed to a murder mystery and melodrama.

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The opening scene of LADY bursts with frenetic public space activity, but is short lived compared to Hitch's standards of opening scenes so far. There is a calidiscope of folk music morphing to symphonic music, then a distinctive waltz, foreshadowing the three acts that ensue. We are introduced to film's first Charle's Angels; a blonde, brunette, and redhead who have wrapped the owner/clerk around their fingers. The tone is gaity with growth, the mood impending adventure, and the atmosphere as triumphant as the trumpeteer of the clock!

Caldecott & Charles are the equilibrium we follow and serve to narrate some of the introductory exposition. They exclaim, "Americans, you know, the almighty dollar," slipping judgement into their banter.

The doorway becomes a framing device in Hitch's hands. Somewhat reminiscent to Goya's 'caprichos' (farcical engravings) ~ the composition is accented by the upper and lower level stage platforms he arranges Charle's Angels as they spin their webs. The dialogues distinctly ennunciate International flair. The cam movements are a sophisticated envelopment of directed POV.

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Trying to catch up here, just like I've been all week, so my apologies...

 

1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot?

 

The characters. The scene helps establish 3 or 4 characters fairly well. Lawrence seems to be a witty, but friendly man that takes things the easy way. Louis is an adventurer, a man that takes risks and is willing to sacrifice himself to save others (which he does), while Betty is perhaps a bit careless, in the path of danger.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film?

 

He seems a lot like Lawrence: a witty, but friendly man that takes things the easy way. He is polite and amiable, but not entirely in his element here. He is an outsider, not a "regular" man (but a criminal).

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes?

 

Similar in that all three open in crowded places (theater, a murder scene, this ski event). All three establish women as central to the plot in some way, namely that they'll be in danger (Jill and Patsy as leads, the Avenger victim, and Betty).

 

The Lodger is perhaps a bit different in that it starts in a less personal way, and takes its time to introduce our lead characters, while The Pleasure Garden and The Man Who Knew Too Much, on the other hand, introduce their leads right in the opening scene. Also, in the former, we know from the get-go what will drive the plot, while in the latter we're still not sure, or haven't been shown where the story is going.

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) Probably the characters will be the most important as the scene revolves around odd introductions and usual relationships.

 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? He is dismissive of the main action and focus a lot on the child.

 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. Fast paced.

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet)

 

The characters are more important in the film. I see that as being a staple for Hitchcock. When you consider this film to be about an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation it make the characters actions and emotions the subject. The entire plot itself is secondary. 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

​He is connected to the skier. His reaction to him is far different then his reaction to the father. His English isn't very good and he doesn't understand the expressions. I love this choice of actor and character because it makes the stakes higher. 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes. 

Similar: There are observations from an audience. 

Differences: There is less focus on the observers and more focus on the person being observed. There is a solid introduction to the protagonist and the antagonist. 

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What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film? 

 

Peter Lorre has a very sharp reaction to the skier. The reaction is very quick and he recovers his happy, laughing persona almost immediately. It's apparent right away that there is some past history between the two. However, if the audience isn't paying close attention to the scene, we could "blink and miss" the startled expression on Peter Lorre's face.

 

Also, the scene wouldn't have the same impact if the expression on Peter Lorre's face remained for more than a few seconds - it's that quick recovery that really nails it.

 

Very well done - this quick shift sets up the story line and "all isn't what it seems..."

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1. Based on these opening scene, what do you anticipate is going to be more important in this film--the characters or the plot? (It is fine to make an informed guess about the 2nd question if you haven't seen the film yet) Well, I’ve seen it, but I’ll say plot.  The characters are kind of stereotypical or stock, except for Lorre.  And I think Hitchcock was really more into escapist plots.  The fact that the girl allows her dog to almost kill the man and everybody is ok with it is bizarre, when you think about it. 

2. What do you learn about Abbott (Peter Lorre) in his brief scene? How might this introduction affect your view of the character Abbott later in the film?  He’s trying too hard to be jovial after being knocked down. But his quick double take when he sees Louis is telling.  There would be no reason for it unless he already knew him from somewhere or had a plan for him (such as to kill him).  I wouldn’t know if he was the villain from this sequence but he wouldn’t be there if he weren’t important, and of course he looks creepy.  He has a keeper who doesn’t act like his wife, more like his nanny. 

3. We saw two opening scenes from Hitchcock's silent films in the Daily Doses last week (The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger). How is this opening both similar and different from those two films' opening scenes? 

We jump right into the action, dramatically.  No elegiac shots.  The Lodger starts with a woman’s scream and frightened people, TPG with active flirty scantily clad dancing girls, and this with a ski jump gone awry.  In TMWKTM and The Lodger we have more similarities, since TPG starts out for laughs. 

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​1. The characters are definitely more important than the plot. A story focused around a skier skidding out to avoid a dog is not very interesting, at least to build a whole story around, but the circumstances of the situation show an obvious connection between the skier and the Lorre character, making the audience wonder about the connections between them and other characters.

 

​2. Lorre's character seems very likable, at least on the outside, and he is completely lighthearted about the entire incident, not at all upset that he was knocked over. However, it is clear that he is hiding something, and that certainly should be explained later on in the movie, because when he sees the skiers face, his smile disappears and it is clear that he knows this man and does not like him for some reason. He seems easygoing on the outside but clever at the same time, and good at hiding things.

 

​3. This opening is similar to those of The Pleasure Garden and The Lodger in that all of them start with immediate action, whether it is a near accident, a murder, or a show. It is different because it lacks as many subjective points of view and does not favor one particular character as the main one we as the audience should focus on.

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