Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #8: Cooling Our Heels (Opening Scene from The Lady Vanishes)

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1. The scene opens with a look around the room and it's characters. The music is lighthearted, airey and soft. The flute stands out to me. It's a slow scene at first, then it turns into a noisy, bustling, chaotic jumble of action.

 

2. They seem to be giving us information. They are giving us a light banter that is telling some information to help us understand what has happened to cause the people to be in this situation.

 

3. From the moment the women enter the room they are the sole focus of the manager and the camera. Iris is very commanding and in the forefront of the scene. After the entrance the focus is only on Iris's wants and needs and the manager response.

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This opening has a pretty cheery scene, with the light and upbeat folk music playing in the background.  This is dramatically different from the mystery that has surrounded other Hitchcock openings.  Even with the frustration of being stranded by the avalanche, the only character that seems completely distressed in this opening is the hotel manager.  I love the randomness and unrelated banter provided by Caldicott and Charters.  They help to ease the transition in the storyline from the stranded travelers to the females that have entered the room...leading us to wonder what role these two will play in the overall story.  When Iris and her friends enter the room, we go from a large shot showing all the travelers in the room right into a tight shot with just Iris and her friends.  The camera's focus is entirely on Iris and her friends, demonstrating to the viewer that Iris will certainly be one of the main characters.

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music.

Hitchcock’s use of upbeat music and the bustle of people coming and going contrast what would be a typically serious, somber situation of stranded travelers and an avalanche. The polyglot dialogue emanating from Boris, the telephone call which can hardly be heard, the wind which blows the papers, the cuckoo clock chiming all contribute to the light cacophony.

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene.

Fast and slow, loose and tight, the characters of Caldicott and Charters add the pause and calm to the bustling scene; thereby relaxing the tension that viewers would feel with uninterrupted action.

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene.

Iris (Margaret Lockwood) is on the side closest to the audience which gives her importance. She also leads the conversation and gives the orders which also confirms her central place. The closeup of the group and movement of the four through the room and up the stairs again emphasizes the power the girls, and in particular Iris, have over the other would be customers/patrons in the room.

All of those random noises from the opening scene truly do attest to the light and positive atmosphere!

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 

 

This movie has a very cheerful and light tone compared to many of Hitchcock's films. Just from the opening scene, it is hard to believe that it could possibly be the "Master of Suspense" himself directing this film. Although this is a crime related film later on, it is a very lighthearted and comedic one. From the cheerful music to the arguing Germans to the poor hotel employee who is trying to calm down everyone, this is not going to be a dark picture.

 

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 

 

I think of Caldicott and Charters as the eye of the storm. They let us step back a moment and give us a sense of the time period and setting. They also set more of the tone with their humor. One of the moments is when they are discussing the Hungarian national anthem. We also see how they are of lower status when Margaret Lockwood's character and her group of friends get service first.

 

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 

 

One of the camera movements that shows Margaret Lockwood's character as the star is when they are going towards the staircase. Instead of the camera facing the whole group of girls, it slightly angles in the direction of Lockwood. This view almost completely blocks out the other girls. She also delivers most of the dialogue in this scene. We know early on that she will be an important character in the film. 

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 

Mostly comical with a flute playing and the people sitting quietly, while the concierge is on the phone.

 

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 

They add a disconnect to the whole picture as they discuss sports, the Hungarian National Anthem, and also add some tension because they talk about completely inane topics which delays the continuence of the storyline.

 

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 

She dominates the scene when, while everyone is waiting for the concierge, he walks away to talk to the girls and concentrates only on them.  The camera is fixed on Iris while she dominates the conversation.

 

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The music is light and happy in tone. The older woman and the man at the desk have smiling faces. and there is humor in the foreign and lively conversation as well as the cuckoo clock on top of the confusion that follows. Margaret Lockwood adds humor as she speaks to the desk manager. Caldicott and Charters add to this scene with their speculation about the women and reasons for missing the train ending with asking someone who does not speak English which also adds to the lightheartedness of the scene. Hitchcock uses moving the camera from the group to individuals to the Americans as he changed the focus onto Margaret Lockwood's conversation so we know immediately that she will be a main character.   

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Daily Dose #8: Cooling Our Heels

Opening Scene from The Lady Vanishes (1938)

 

 

1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 

 

There are a lot of people sitting around in the opening of this film. The music is pleasant but does not suit the mood of the crowd. As more visitors arrive, the sounds gets louder and the clock goes off to add to the gentleman's loud chatter. Even the hotel manager talks loud but speaking in a different language, his tone is joyous and excited.

 

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 

 

Caldicott's character seems to be a little stuffy while Charters' is more business like. But they both are truly gentlemen and expressed that by the way they both opened the door for The Lady. Both also seem to not speak the language of the people sitting around. They definitely added a distinguished and British flavor to the scene.

 

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 

 

Hitchcock has the camera zooming into the window of the hotel where everyone is sitting around. He pans from the front door around to the people sitting and then to the lady coming down the stairway and brings her closer as she tends to her business with the hotel manager

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1. The opening scene focuses on the musical motif using both the soundtrack (frivolous folk tunes that don't tame the bored/frustrated crowd of travelers, and the bugle call from the cuckoo clock) and dialogue (comments regarding the Hungarian national anthem). The desk clerk is trying to make the most of the situation by offering rooms to stranded travelers.

 

 

2. These two ostensibly gay men seem to be narrating a political discussion in a lighthearted manner that may or may not be important as the story progresses.

 

 

3. From the moment the women enter the room, Iris is the focus of the attention from the crowd, the desk clerk, and the camera. The desk clerk calls her by name, she is ostentatious and ignores the plight of the stranded travelers. The desk clerk seems only too eager to please her.

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Having had hand surgery yesterday morning, I'm going to be a bit terser in my responses, as typing is not as comfortable as it was.

 

Before saying anything at all about this Daily Dose #8, I have to report on Notorious.  Yesterday, I watched this movie for, maybe the 20th time, and was entranced once again by the magic of Hitchcock. I think Notorious is my favorite Hitchcock movie.  It's got absolutely the best acting in Grant and Bergman.  Hitch, very rightly, gives them excellent closeup shots, where their facial expressions tell the story of their strong attraction for each other.  I know we will probably discuss this movie later, but as I just watched it again, yesterday, it is still in my head.

 

And here, I didn't want to type so much . . . onward to the opening sequence from The Lady Vanishes.

 

1.  The opening sequence squarely places the location as a ski resort/Inn, somewhere in Europe, through the use of:  music; folk music, cuckoo clock, and, set decoration.  The characters appear to be, for the most part, as generally affable travelers, despite the circumstances of not being able to get on their train.  The individual characters - who may be critical to the story - are introduced as they reserve their rooms.  No one is murdered, and while typical of a Hitchcock opening (i.e. open, public area, music, people talking over each other, comical characters), there is no feeling of foreboding.

 

2.   The characters of Caldicott & Charters are hilarious.  The do a perfect back-and-forth routine, at first, the audience is thinking they are talking about the appeasement between England and Germany that occurred in 1938.  In reality, they are talking about cricket.  Initially, this seemed, to me, as just a comedic sidelight, and not really important, but, because of their arrogant attitude about the manager not speaking English first, and the fact that mention how they've been put out more than others, I'm thinking that Hitchcock may have put them in this scene to make a statement about Great Britain and appeasement, and an attitude the English seem to have about being superior to other countries. Hitchcock is using this pair to say something about the English.

 

3.  Margaret Lockwood/Iris Henderson becomes the center of attention before she even makes an appearance in this scene.  Hitchcock has the manager spy her coming in the door, even with the phone ringing, porters dropping skis and luggage in front of the desk, and a general hubbub of noise.  He lifts his head and puts his attention straight at the front door, running around the desk and other people, all the while talking in a breathless manner.  As he runs over towards the front door, all the other characters swivel their heads and focus on the door.  Immediately when we see Iris, she is at the top of the doorway, with her friends and the manager arranged "below" her.  The camera follows her as she heads to her room and gets to the stairs - again, she's on the top stair, with the others to the side and below her.  She shouts out her dinner and champagne request, tossing her hair and then flouncing up the stairs like Scarlett O'hara.  I can't wait to see what happens to her.

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 


Hitchcock seems to be aiming for a comedic, tongue in cheek tone. The atmosphere is homey and overly romantic--- like a German cottage one might find at EPCOT Center, with its coo-coo Clocks, Germanic wall writings, and beer bottle window class.


2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 


They both seem to act as a sort of greek choir? their chattering reminds me a bit of commentator in a performance, except they have a role to it, giving us information as to the setting and to the general setting of our Germanic country.


3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 


Having the desk clerk remove himself from the background and put himself, over several quick shots, into the foreground with Iris (and past the rest of the guests) starts us off. Continuing to drag them upstairs, uses a bit of hierarchy of placement. Not only is Iris important enough to ignore a room full of people, but she's too good to stay on the same floor as them.


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1. The music is lively as Hitch films the scene but then the workmen walk in chattering, and the music stops. We hear the fanfare of the clock and the distressed hotel manager speaking in many languages on the phone. The cinema audience feels a little unsettled by the contrast of the lively music with the noisy scenes which takeover. Hitch is setting the scene for the audience.

 

2. Caldicott and Charters fill the cinema audience in on the scene with their running commentary: the fact that they are stuck in this hotel for the night; who they assume the 3 ladies are; one of them even warns us that England is on the brink, even though the other tries to dismiss it as rumour. Nevertheless what they say is meant to make the audience sense impending danger.

 

3. To establish Lockwood as the star of the scene, he shows Boris leaving his desk to greet the 3 ladies. The camera follows Boris while he does this. He speaks to all 3 ladies and they all speak to him but Lockwood then takes command and leads the other 2 ladies with Boris at her side. Hitch shines the light on her and the other 2 ladies are left in the background and in the shade. They stop on the stairway while Boris explains that there has been an avalanche. Boris pays more attention to Lockwood then to the other 2 ladies which makes us realise she is the star of the scene and when Margaret orders a magnum of champagne, this only serves to make it clearer to us. Of course, the cinema audience at the time would already be aware that Lockwood was an established star, having been the leading lady in a few films before this one.

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. There is a lot going on. It is organized chaos! We have a lot of chattering, the scene is chaotic but also jovial, which is probably meant to confuse the viewer. Hitchcock often confuses the viewer and then directs the viewer by the use of heavily cast scenes and often a lot of dialogue or happenings going on. This way we are distracted until he sets up what he wants use to see. 


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1. The Germanic motif and Cuckcoo clock on the wall along with the excited chatter of the guests gives the opening scene of the Lady Vanishes a very homey, rustic feel.

 

2. Caldicott and Charters serve as both comic relief and as exposition through their comedic conversations with one another and explaining the current situation in England letting the viewer know that everything is not all that it seems.

 

3. When Iris Lockwood arrives the desk clerk Boris immediately stops speaking with the other guests and the camera pans with him as he makes a beeline for her. He never leaves her side even to the point of creating a barrier between the girls and the rest of the guests and offering the best acomidations that the hotel has to offer.

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1. I felt like Hitchcock is going for an almost slapstick opening. The upbeat German music, the entry of the two old skiers, equipment going in all directions, the put-upon desk clerk throwing his hands up in exasperation at the noise, in fact, all of his hand gestures and description of the avalanche. All very light and gay.

 

2. He starts off with Caldicott and Charters as part of the comedy - the desk clerk looking past them at the entrance of the young American ladies, their befuddled look, their British sensibilities being abused by the seeming ignorance of anyone not British. He then uses them to introduce international politics and intrigue into the film, foreshadowing the suspense to come.

 

3. The camera initially has all of the women in a plane with Iris facing left and the other two ladies facing right. Boris walks up to them and shakes Iris' hand. As they turn, Iris is now walking with Boris in front of the other two as the camera tracks them across the room. Iris leads the banter with Boris and the other women fill in the conversation. But, it is Iris with the best quips (i.e. her response to Boris' comment that nothings changed since they left "Including the sheets.")

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I think that this opening scene is very well choreographed and comic. The two gentlemen add to the story as they will comment about what they see and they will communicate with the audience what they see. The music and the different European languages make the scene colorful in other words we are again in an ordinary place where something peculiar will happen.

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 


 


The music sets a whimsical tone to the opening scene. Add to that the general confusion and the cuckoo clock and we have a sense that the film is a comedy.


 


 


2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 


 


Caldicott and Charters' banter lend a comedic touch to the scene as well as to help put the focus on the American girls.


 


 


3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 


 


Hitchcock has all of the extras move to the front desk only for them to be ignored as the clerk rushes to greet the Americans. Caldicott and Charters' expression of surprise at this turn of events and their questioning who the girls are puts the focus on the girls. The way Iris dominates the conversation shows that she is the star.


 


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Daily Dose #8: Cooling Our Heels, Opening scene from The Lady Vanishes (1938)

 

The opening scene from The Lady Vanishes sets a tone, again, of a series of quick-paced interactions, verbal and physical, to a background of musicality, in the light-hearted folk-music, the musical international languages of the guests, and resulting mis- and non-understanding of the actors, and light-hearted repartee.

 

I like Caldicott and Charters dialogue:

“It has always been my contention that The Hungarian Rhapsody is not their national anthem…In any case we were the only two standing…”

“That’s true.”

And their conclusion that the women must be American, bossy, self-centered, oblivious to the needs of others.

 

Hitchcock focuses on Margaret Lockwood using the pace of editiong of the scene. All three are together at first, interacting with the manager (“Nothing is changed” “Not even the sheets.” Then coming down the stairs, she takes the lead, she is in the center of the scene, a close-up on her as she describes her personal distress, back to mid-shot, and then up the stairs, now sharing the lead with the manager, but a bit ahead, those two solely talking together.

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1.) This scene has a funny essence as we could see that the people coming from the front door of the inn, babbling in their own native language and the vintage clock ringing incessantly. This bothers the inn keeper and he informs the stranded passengers with variant languages that the train is delayed due to an avalanche and if they want to board the next train, they will have to stay in his inn for a day. This scene had some humorous elements.

 

2.) The conversation between Caldicott and Charters was filled with chucklesome moment. It brings a light hearted feel for the scene. For example, when they both stand up the entire time thinking that the Hungarian Rhapsody was the national anthem of Bandrika (let's say we could spell it in any ways as it is a fictional country). There was another instance when they thought that the inn keeper was going to greet them, only to see that he was going to greet the 3 charming ladies.

 

3.) One could make out that Iris (played by Margaret Lockwood) is the main attraction of this scene. That's when the camera focuses more on the 3 ladies, especially on Iris. Above all, she is the heroine as she is the one who speaks a lot in the scene and the other 2 ladies were playing second and third fiddles for the scene.

 

https://68.media.tumblr.com/42304ddee8595cfa3ffd96a5747d9c50/tumblr_n1cy73W2VY1svtceeo1_500.gif

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https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/british-sound-years-p-4-hitchcocks-british-stars-of-the-1930s?module_item_id=194812

 

 

1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 

 

I’m not very familiar with instruments, so I can only make a guess. I believe wind instrument(s), including the flute, some string instruments (a violin?), possibly an accordion as well. Anyway, they create a very cheery lighthearted atmosphere, which oddly enough, contrasts with the gloomy faces of the passengers that have been reluctantly displaced from their train. One bit of music comes from a soldier blowing a bugle from the clock, further frustrating an already frustrated hotel manager.   

 

(NOTE: Just to remember the difference between tone and mood. Tone refers to the attitude of the “author” (or auteur in this case) toward a “subject” while mood is how the readers/audience is made to feel (or “meant” to be[?]))

 

 

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 

 

Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne are an interesting comedy team to watch. It is interesting thinking of them as a comedy team because if asked of the average (American?) classic film viewer of the great comedy teams, they’ll probably answer The Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, the 3 Stooges, Crosby & Hope, etc. All of these comedic thrive on farce, slapstick, starpower, and chaos whether it’s done to others around them or (better yet) toward each other.

 

Radford and Wayne or rather Caldicott and Charters (as it is the characters rather than actors that make repeated appearances together in other films) don’t do physical comedy. In fact, they don’t do any kind of comedy as they have no sense of humour. In fact, it is possibly their complete lack of humour, stiff, upright manner and body language, and abundance of pomp and self importance (while given no importance by the other characters) that make them so amusing to watch.    

 

The characters add an almost elitist kind of self importance that juxtaposes the lack of attention which they are given.

 

 

 

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 

 

When Margaret Lockwood and the other actress enter the scene, it is difficult to tell which is supposed to be the lead actress. Especially since Lockwood’s position is veered off on the opposite end of the frame, facing stage right, opposite from the hotel manager. This blocking initially displaces the attention away from her and more toward the centered actresses.

 

However 1:52-2:02, once Lockwood and the manager turn toward the camera and walk away from the entrance, the reasoning behind the initial blocking makes much more sense as now Margaret Lockwood is in the forefront with the other actresses now in the background. The camera begins panning to the right, leaving the other actresses behind completely for a couple of seconds and letting Lockwood completely dominate the shots.

 

When all the actors stop walking, the blocking is reversed from the prior stationary positions. Margaret Lockwood is locked dead-center now with the most flattering lighting whereas the other actresses are facing their side and in less flattering light.   

 

2:05-2:26 When the manager is speaking to the female group as a whole, everyone is in the frame (although Margaret Lockwood is still in the center). Whereas whenever Lockwood talks, the camera cuts to a 2 shot with just her and the manager. This is repeated a couple of times throughout this length of time.

 

While all the actresses are given witty dialogue, it is Margaret Lockwood that’s given the most dialogue. She is the one who establishes character by talking about her plans and personal concerns over the avalanche potentially disrupting those plans. Notice throughout the entire scene, the manager’s main interactions are with Lockwood. It is Lockwood that the manager is facing opposite against blocking-wise.

 

When they are all going up the stairs, the camera follows them. Lockwood takes complete charge by telling the manager to take them to their rooms and making orders for food and drinks for herself and her group. The camera position is back and toward the side of the stairs, so that even with her back to the camera, Margaret can still turn her head enough toward the manager to still establish visual dominance in the shot. 

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https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1679/pages/british-sound-years-p-4-hitchcocks-british-stars-of-the-1930s?module_item_id=194812

 

 

1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 

 

I’m not very familiar with instruments, so I can only make a guess. I believe wind instrument(s), including the flute, some string instruments (a violin?), possibly an accordion as well. Anyway, they create a very cheery lighthearted atmosphere, which oddly enough, contrasts with the gloomy faces of the passengers that have been reluctantly displaced from their train. One bit of music comes from a soldier blowing a bugle from the clock, further frustrating an already frustrated hotel manager.   

 

(NOTE: Just to remember the difference between tone and mood. Tone refers to the attitude of the “author” (or auteur in this case) toward a “subject” while mood is how the readers/audience is made to feel (or “meant” to be[?]))

 

 

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 

 

Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne are an interesting comedy team to watch. It is interesting thinking of them as a comedy team because if asked of the average (American?) classic film viewer of the great comedy teams, they’ll probably answer The Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, the 3 Stooges, Crosby & Hope, etc. All of these comedic thrive on farce, slapstick, starpower, and chaos whether it’s done to others around them or (better yet) toward each other.

 

Radford and Wayne or rather Caldicott and Charters (as it is the characters rather than actors that make repeated appearances together in other films) don’t do physical comedy. In fact, they don’t do any kind of comedy as they have no sense of humour. In fact, it is possibly their complete lack of humour, stiff, upright manner and body language, and abundance of pomp and self importance (while given no importance by the other characters) that make them so amusing to watch.    

 

The characters add an almost elitist kind of self importance that juxtaposes the lack of attention which they are given.

 

 

 

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 

 

When Margaret Lockwood and the other actress enter the scene, it is difficult to tell which is supposed to be the lead actress. Especially since Lockwood’s position is veered off on the opposite end of the frame, facing stage right, opposite from the hotel manager. This blocking initially displaces the attention away from her and more toward the centered actresses.

 

However 1:52-2:02, once Lockwood and the manager turn toward the camera and walk away from the entrance, the reasoning behind the initial blocking makes much more sense as now Margaret Lockwood is in the forefront with the other actresses now in the background. The camera begins panning to the right, leaving the other actresses behind completely for a couple of seconds and letting Lockwood completely dominate the shots.

 

When all the actors stop walking, the blocking is reversed from the prior stationary positions. Margaret Lockwood is locked dead-center now with the most flattering lighting whereas the other actresses are facing their side and in less flattering light.   

 

2:05-2:26 When the manager is speaking to the female group as a whole, everyone is in the frame (although Margaret Lockwood is still in the center). Whereas whenever Lockwood talks, the camera cuts to a 2 shot with just her and the manager. This is repeated a couple of times throughout this length of time.

 

While all the actresses are given witty dialogue, it is Margaret Lockwood that’s given the most dialogue. She is the one who establishes character by talking about her plans and personal concerns over the avalanche potentially disrupting those plans. Notice throughout the entire scene, the manager’s main interactions are with Lockwood. It is Lockwood that the manager is facing opposite against blocking-wise.

 

When they are all going up the stairs, the camera follows them. Lockwood takes complete charge by telling the manager to take them to their rooms and making orders for food and drinks for herself and her group. The camera position is back and toward the side of the stairs, so that even with her back to the camera, Margaret can still turn her head enough toward the manager to still establish visual dominance in the shot. 

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 

 

There is a playfulness in the music. The characters in the scene are very busy and animated.

 

 

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene

 

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 

 

She walks in first, has the majority of dialogue and walks up the stairs before the other women.

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music.

 

Hitchcock opens the film in a very relaxed manner - upbeat folk music is playing in the background, people are chatting and laughing. When the hotel manager starts to tell everyone what has happened, the music stops and everyone is more frantic.

 

2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to the scene?

 

For me, these characters made the opening of the film relatable to me - they were (before the women entered) the only ones speaking English, and conveyed the audiences thoughts of "what is this man saying?" when the hotel manager was speaking other languages. They also help set up the importance and wealth of the women, since the hotel manager rebuffs them on his way to help the ladies.

 

3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris as the star of this scene.

 

Hitchcock establishes Iris as the star in the way he has the camera follow her every movement, as Caldicott and Charters look on. Her talk about traveling, returning home, and being a frequent guest at the hotel, and wanting champagne further show that she is someone important and of great wealth. The hotel manager follows her party up the stairs to attend to them immediately, without even a thought given to all of the stranded passengers he was focused on before.

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1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. 


The music is, perhaps, most notable in our opening scene.  The song, accompanied with the smiling guests and comedic wind gust, suggests a tranquil and almost whimsical scene.


2. Discuss the characters of Caldicott and Charters in this scene. What do the performances of Caldicott and Charters add to this scene. 


The pair of characters, Caldicott and Charters, add some comic relief to this demanding shot.  Their nonsensical discussion on Hungary's National Anthem and their quick commentary on European politics shows the short amount of time (nearly a minute) necessary to lengthen and augment the characterization of anyone. 


3. From their doorway entrance to their staircase exit, describe how Hitchcock uses dialogue, camera movement, and the placement of characters in the frame to establish Iris (Margaret Lockwood) as the star of this scene. 


As is most striking, Iris is the only brunette (not a blonde, for a change) in her posse.  She leads the walk with Boris to the stairs, all the while chatting the most out of the other characters and even correcting Boris's pronunciation of "avalanche".  She soon makes it apparent that she has a predicament, and, with the camera never taking its eye off of her (nearly always in the center) and her friends, she bossily orders food and drink, and even demands Boris to "make it snappy", until she and her chums disappear at the top of the staircase. 


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