Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #11: Thought I'd Left (Opening Scene of Mr. and Mrs. Smith)

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  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? 

As usual, his opening sequences pique your curiosity as to what is happening/happened to the people on camera. The piles of empty dishes all around make you wonder exactly why are these two people have apparently been in the room for some time. Interesting camera angles - the close ups of Lombard under the covers and lighting - the reflection of the curtains on the door of the room look like bars to a cage or something - implying these two are locked into a relationship.

The decor, the apparel and the presence of a maid and a cook suggest this couple has money. And the amount of money that allows them to stay behind closed doors and be waited upon for days. Very curious. Interesting that she is in bed and he is playing cards - is he awaiting her wishes or is he getting bored?

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? 

Yes. As usual, his opening sequences pique your curiosity as to what is happening/happened to the people on camera. You want to know more. Having siad that it is a quiter opening vs. the confusion in The Lady Vanishes, or the the music hall opening of 39 steps. Also, no crowds this time, just the couple with the brief appearances of the maid, cook, and office assistant trying to get these people to function more normally. I guess they are the average folks while Montgomery and Lombard are the elite? Also, Hitchcock used the music as an additional insight into what we are seeing - its whimsical almost silly, kind of child like, which is how these two seem to approach life.

 

  1. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? 

The casting appears very good - and I have seen this film - it carrys throughout the film. Both were adept at comedy particularly Lombard. It's not forced or unnatural. They do not seem mismatched which makes them work as a couple.

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Hitchcock's amazing camera work as the scene opens up to the room in disarray, with food plates strewn all over. We get to see close-ups of the major visual images.

And are left to contemplate what is happening with the storyline, but it's looking

like a major standoff is brewing between Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

 

There is not much dialogue in the first part of the scene, and it could be

characterized as a silent movie.

 

As we are introduced to the two main characters, we see Robert Montgomery walking

around in his bathrobe, unshaven, disheveled, and probably drunk.

We view Carol Lombard in her bed, with the covers pulled up around her, looking

like she doesn't want to face the day at all, or her husband.

Her close-ups are so gorgeous, that it is hard to take your eyes off her.

There is definite chemistry between the two and they work well together.

 

I'm left with the feeling that this will be a very sophisticated, sleek, smooth, comedy.

 

Can't wait to see the movie.

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Hitchcock conveys quite a lot about this couple visually in this scene. A "Hitchcock touch" that we've seen in all the other daily doses starts the scene: A roving camera that shows the perspective disconnected from anyone in the scene moves over a collections of dirty dishes and other mess in the room.

 

The mess is indicative that this couple has been cooped up in the room for some time. My initial assumption was that they were in there for more tawdry purposes. But other visual cues quickly demonstrate this is not the case. While Mrs. Smith is curled up under the covers in an unknown state of dress (which would lend credence to the sexy assumption), Mr. Smith is in his dressing gown playing cards. You can see the couch behind him is made up - he has not been sleeping with his wife. When the breakfast comes in, she turns away from him. All of which foreshadow the eventual reveal that they had been arguing and, ultimately, their tumultuous relationship.

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1.  Although the mood and atmoshere of this movie is very different from others we've seen, Hitchcock still skillfully dispences allot of information regarding the characters and story by his use of the camera and set design as it pans over the room before any words have been spoken.  We learn that we are dealing with people who are wealthy and priviledged judging from the size of the bedroom and the quality of the items in the in the room.   The dishes scattered across the room, the bedding on the couch, the man on the floor playing cards  and the woman still sleeping in bed indicate signs of a quarrel, there is a blanket on the couch so they obviously did not sleep together and judging from the mess it has probably been going on for a while, this is confirmed later in the clip.  The domestic help brings up breakfast a bit hesitantly.  AS the scene progresses a young man from the office arrives at the bedroom door to get a paper signed we learn it is related to a case, so surmise the man is a lawyer and lacking a bit of integrity and reliability or is it just distraction when he signs at first in pencil.

 

2. These techniques efficiently communicate background information and the basis of the story.  Think of how much information was communicated in The Lodger, The Man Who Knew Too much, Rebecca within the first 5 minutes or so of the movie.  The camera, set design, lighting to showcase the two beautiful leads, wow to look that good first thing in the morning.  Details related to the light coming in from the windows, the shadows on the wall and doors, beautiful. The attention to detail as well as the lighthearted music score is just as important to communicate a mood that distinguishes it from the darker film noir elements of previous films.  So yes typical of a Hitchcock opening but used to communicate a much different mood and atmoshere.

 

3.  Being a fan of classic movies I have seen these actors in other films and admire the quality of their work. They both excel at comedy but are equally proficient in drama. From what I have read it seems that they were respected and worked well with others so perhaps this comes across on the screen.  I liked the chemistry between the two of them, they appear very natural in the scene when she awakens.They make up, and then recall that this argument was short compared to others they've had in the past, very natural, and funny. We learn the reason for their lengthy quarrels is that "you must never leave the bedroom after a quarrel until you've made up", so two strong-willed people in this marriage and we get to go along for the ride.

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I'm fond of this movie.

 

1. Hitchcock Touches

      -Reminds me of lifeboat when camera pans across objects to tell a story- withholding dialogue

      -Reminds me of later movies where food is shown & featured

      -Reminds me of Shadow of a Doubt where the "help" are given first lines in a story and the main

        characters are "presented" with a sort of delay & then a visual flourish.

      -Carole Lombard's single eye reminds me of Janet Leigh's eye in psycho.

      -the use of "bars" of shadow & light is often seen in Hitchcock movies indicating his   

        preoccupation with fear of imprisonment etc.

      -Hitchcock seems to add more bystanders and observers to scenes than I would expect and

       it adds depth. At the office- three people are looking in as the lawyer talks on the phone. etc.

   Props

      - the trays & food everywhere tell us there has been a prolonged picnic or shut-in situation 

      - the silver serving ware tells us this couple is well off & have a good appetite 

      - the use of the walking stick or cane to shut the door is funny and possibly phallic. It's one of the  

         few "male" props  & is used effectively to trick her & bring about reconciliation.

   Decor

       -the fact that room is decorated in lavish & feminine way tells us the couple is well off and the 

         woman is in charge, possibly spoiled. There's lots of satin echoed in her nightgown.

   Lighting

       - the lights from the blinds indicate that it's mid-morning? Also serve as "bars" on the cage

          of the room in which they've been imprisoned for days. Also serve as bars in his office which

          is a different sort of cage.

 

2. I would say it is NOT a typical opening based on movies we've seen so far. If you include later

    movies, I would say it is more typical. 

    -not starting in a public place

    -not rambunctious and lively

    -not ominous or dark or moody with examples of exploitation

    A few things that seem typical are the playfulness, humor, music, visual storytelling, 

 

3. I like both actors immensely. I think they do have chemistry and I enjoy watching them but I would

    admit that they both play the clown and there's a little confusion about who gets to be screwier? I

    wonder if Carole Lombard doesn't need a stronger foil? I enjoy her with William Powell and also

    John Barrymore. Montgomery can come across as light and playful and does best with more

    serious or "straight" actresses like Norma Shearer or Joan Crawford?  

 

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Mr. & Mrs. Smith Hitchcock's 3rd American film 1943 screwball comedy

 

Daily Dose #11

 

Oh my goodness ...did David (Robert Montgomery) just call Ann (Carole Lombard) momma or mother in this opening sequence?   I believe he did. I know married couples who have been married a long, long time call each other momma & daddy..heard it myself from my own relatives. Also, in the Thin Man series with (Myrna Loy) Nora &  Nick Charles ( William 'Dick' Powell)  he calls his wife mommie. They however do have a son Nickey in some of the later movies.

 

looks like 'breakie' is served in a messy room...a room in disarray ...soft lighting & we learn they often do this for days at a time .....seal themselves into their rooms. Ann is hiding beneath the covers & David is somewhere hiding or drunk ...cards...poker playing cards are visible with the 'breakie' dishes ...the maid/s have not been in there & one brings more food & then the others enter the scenes & we learn that papers have not been signed...then a law clerk who will soon become a lawyer is told to do something illegal by David ...sign over the pencil in ink...he refuses with good reason...it is illegal. Then the papers are signed by David in ink.

 

Another scene has Ann & David in bed together...she touches his nose in a playful manner; love is childish...so I've been told. This is where he call her momma or mother. Now that is funny.

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​It has the touch of Hitchcock with the panning of the dirty dishes and the game of solitare  and Carol Lombard tossing and turning in bed. Suddenly a knock on the door and one eye opens. So she is awake. We are told from the camera POV that they have been in the room a few days by the looks of the dirty dishes.

 

This scene sets up the story. We soon discover they have had a fight and vow not to leave the room till they make up. That is a MacGuffin.

 

Montgomery and Lombard play Mr and Mrs Smith very well. They love each other but neither wants to be the first to apologize and they play cat and mouse with each other throughout the film.

 

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In the opening sequence of Mr. And Mrs. Smith we see the “Hitchcock touch” with fluid camera moves, extreme close-ups, all of which are accompanied by a whimsical soundtrack composed to accent or in sync with the images and actions on the screen.  I’ve never seen this film other than the this clip but what I conclude about this couple is that they are well to do, based on the elaborate furnishings and wardrobe, furthermore they haven’t left the room for some time and feel no need to pick up the “debris” from their falling out and/or make up period.  I gather that the Robert Montgomery character is bored with the situation thus the game of solitaire.  Carol Lombard’s character seems to be testing her mates’ willingness to stay in the room until they have “made-up” to her satisfaction.  The room is large and well lit and the camera angles are fluid and straightforward with a sprinkling of close-ups.

 

This sequence is typical of a Hitchcock opening by the fact that he gives his audience so much information using the tools (camera movement, compositions, editing, soundtrack and humor) in the most effective way in a very short amount of time.  Though this film genre is far off from a tale of mystery and suspense, the technique of story telling is the same.  Images are composed and structured to lay out a basic foundation of the story for the audience, introduce them to the characters and hopefully keep them interested and entertained throughout.

 

From this short clip I enjoy the chemistry between Lombard and Montgomery.  His character is doing what lots of married men do, and that is catering to his wife’s need to know “how important” she is to him by holding up in their room, avoiding contact with others and putting his job and career on the backburner until she feels their conflict is resolved.  I’ve always loved Carol Lombard’s performance in To Have and To Have Not (1939) and both she and Jack Benny were so funny to watch playing off of each other and yet I believe she was so good in that role mainly because she played the part so seriously. It’s a shame she didn’t get more dramatic roles in her short career.  I feel Robert Montgomery was well suited for comedy and felt he was playing the straight man in Mr. And Mrs. Smith, much the same way William Powell did for Carol Lombard in My Man Godfrey (1936) though I’m more familiar with his serious roles in They Were Expendable (1945) and as Philip Marlow in Lady in the Lake (1947). I’m looking forward to seeing this for the first time!  Should be a hoot!

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  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? 

​               We hear the childlike calliope style music that helps us to realize that this is a comedy. Initially, I thought that the setting was a couple on their honeymoon in a hotel but as the scene unfolds we discover that this is a married couple held up in their bedroom trying to make up for the last three days! We see that they are sloppy beyond belief, that they are well to do based on the elegant furnishings in the room, the high quality of the china and silverware, the fact that they have servants and  of course their talk about "the Yale Game". The man appears bored waiting on his wife to wake up but he doesn't seem to dare bug her. We learn that Mr. Smith is a prominent lawyer. We also learn that this is not the first time that they have had to make up. The lighting seems to reveal that this is broad daylight. The camera angles seem to give close-ups to Carole Lombard as the key figure in the scene. Her look of fear?/concern? when she hears the door slams and thinks Mr. Smith has left her in violation of the rules of making up.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? 

      I am going to play devil's advocate and state that I don't think that this is a typical  "Hitchcock opening" based on the others that we have seen. Some of the other typical Hitchcock openings were very fast paced, almost frantic. Some were set in exotic places, some were set in public places like theatres and music halls and some used POV shots to introduce us to such places as Manderley. As we saw in The 39 Steps​ we do however learn several things about Mr. & Mrs. Smith in the opening scene as addressed in the response to question 1 above.

 

3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not?

​                As the lecture has indicated, Carole Lombard was known as a screwball comedienne but Robert Montgomery was also known for many roles in light comedy films of the 1930s. He even would sing a cappella in many of his comedy films. I think the pairing was a good one. Matching one comedian with another allowed them to play off each others strong points in comedy. Montgomery could certainly portray himself as hen pecked even though he was a born leader as evidenced by his service in World War 2 in the US Navy as a Lt Commander. In this scene in the film we see him being a different person around Carole Lombard as opposed to snapping his fingers to get a response out of Sammy, the law clerk, who arrives with the documents that need signing.

 

​Note to viewers: Watch for Hitchcock's cameo in Mr. & Mrs. Smith  Hint: ​The building where Mr.& Mrs. Smith reside.

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In this scene Hitchcock has a musical score playing while the camera moves over the mess on the floor. The moving of the camera is similar to the camera moving up the long driveway in Rebecca. The musical is similar to The lady vanishes. 

 

I do agree that this is a typical Hitchcock opening because of the moving camera and the music score

 

Lombarde and Montgomery have a unique kind of chemistry that makes them the most logical to play these characters my reasoning is because they give the type of performance that makes you feel like they genuinely care for each other.

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What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? 

 

Not a lot of Hitchcock touches, zooming in to plates of half-eaten food.  (Reminds me of the opening of "Psycho", with the hotel room and uneaten sandwiches.)  It appears both parties haven't left the room in a few days.  But since they have been eating, they haven't been having sex.  He needs a shave. The music is light and lyrical.  It's obvious from the quilt on the couch, he has been sleeping there and you see that she takes up the entire bed. 
 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? 

​I disagree, he isn't coming through a window, the camera is already in the room, looking at dirty dishes.  You don't see the entire room for a few moments. 
 

What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not?  

They are cute together.  Between the music and the two of them cuddling on the bed, it paints a very sweet picture. 

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What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc?

 

One of the Hitchcock touches I see is that he's trying to tell the beginning of the story without any words: he pans the room and shows us the mess that it looks like they've been there for a while, he shows us that the husband is sleeping on the couch; therefore, there has been some argument, the fact that there are days worth of dishes tells us that they've been there for sometime.

 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not?

 

Like other openings he gives us a lot of information in the beginning.

 

What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not?

 

I love the leads in this movie I think they were paired very well. He is described as being henpecked which to me is very funny thinking of Robert Montgomery as being henpecked, knowing that after this movie he commanded PT boats in the Pacific. And Carole Lombard was already known for being the queen of screwball comedy. Together they just made this movie more fun.

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1. The Hitchcock touch can be seen with the panning of the camera of the mess in the floor and the rest of the room. It also shows a close up first of Robert Montgomery playing cards. The close up of Carole Lombard is on her eye which is similar to the one in Pyscho with Janet Leigh. Also the music is playful just like in The Lady Vanshes.

 

2. It's dissimilar because it's light and comical as the scene plays out. Also the characters don't portray the feeling of impending murder. Even even in Rebecca there was a brief moment when Peter Lorne's character and the skier exchange glances giving the impression of suspense. Hitchcock typically puts comic touch in all of his films. But this was on,y his second film that wasn't suspense.

 

3. In my opinion they work very well together and play off of each other. Neither tried steal the scene. The acting was natural and wasn't forced lor stiff like other comedies I've seen. Personally I think Hitchcock should have made a few more comedies.

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  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? Some touches are the attempt to tell the story as a silent film....husband is on the couch means there must have been a row, food everywhere, so they've been at it for more than a day.

     

  2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? It's not suspense, but there is a lot of information given, just as in many of his other films.

     

  3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? They seem to play well off each other.

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What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc?
 
There are a couple of shots that are very Hitchcock. First, the long slow pan over the numerous dishes/half eaten plates of food on down to the floor and the solitaire game then up to an unshaven Robert Montgomery. Then Carole Lombard in bed on with her butt up in the air and zooming into show just part of her face. She's only pretending to be asleep. Obviously, they have been in there for days, three days, we later find out. The household staff has only been allow to deliver food, and not pick up the dirty dishes (running out of dishes).  Also presumably Robert Montgomery has been sleeping on the couch as there are blankets draped across it.
 
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not?
 
I think it is a very typical Hitchcock opening. You get a lot of information about the characters mostly through the visuals that the camera is showing us. In roughly five minutes, we learn that the couple has been isolated and fighting for three days, Robert Montgomery has been neglecting his job, and they have a rule about not leaving until the fight is resolved. If they went out and someone was murdered or they stumbled on a cache of microfilm, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
 
What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? 

I think the casting and chemistry is fine, though more so for Carole Lombard. This is exactly the type of film she is known for. Robert Montgomery, though there is nothing wrong with him, often plays the second banana (guy who doesn't get the girl) in films like this or gets the starring role, when people like Cary Grant, William Powell, or Joel McCrea aren't available. 

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This opening feels very different from previous ones. Instead of in a public place or outdoor setting, we are in that most private of places, the bedroom (albeit a large, luxurious suite) that is deliberately cluttered and claustrophobic. We hear about the couple's patterns of argument, their "rules," and their disregard for the claims of every day life (servants do the cooking, he can miss work). What is established here is that this is a tight little world of their own making, in which the two people essentially revolve around each other. At the movie's end, it will turn out that they will again choose each other.  This seems to be the opposite of the previous situations in which people are accidentally thrust into situations of danger and romance.  

 

I confess that I have little interest in Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery as a couple. "Screwball comedy" is not to my taste -- I find ditzy women unappealing (despite De Vries comment that "scatter-brained women are wonderful if it's truly brains that they're scattering"...).  Two attractive, rich people who seem made for each other, fighting over some silly thing and the cook is running out of dishes! Ho hum. 

 

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What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc?

 

It is classic Hitchcock in the panning around, her point of view and his, the meticulous set with lavish china and decor in the room. The sun is coming in the room as seen by the camera and the camera continues to pan on her tossing in bed. His introduction of characters through implications and music that matches every movement is a touch as well.

 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not?

It is a little different in that there are no large crowds or recognizable setting, but it is quite busy in that house and room. They appear to be ordinary people. Ordinary couples fight, so that is typical. The music helps to project a light hearted atmosphere, almost comical as it matches his card playing. The characters are introduced via other characters and we start to feel empathy for them. The panning camera of her in the bed tossing and the China close ups are typical shots he makes. I would say it is more typical Hitchcock than not so I would agree with the statement. Plus, she qualifies as a Hitchcock blonde.

 

 

What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not?

 

They seem fine together, but he appears to be older than she is. They both appear to care for each other as evidenced by their facial expressions towards each other and their cuddling in bed. He tries to keep quiet so she can sleep,but she is quietly watching him instead. Their diagolue seems genuine and their interactions seem believable, so I think they have chemistry.

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Today's Daily Dose is Hitchcock's third American film, the screwball comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith

 

Watch the opening scenes in the Canvas module, then come over here and reflect on Hitchcock's "typical American comedy about typical Americans." 

 

Here are three questions to get the discussions started:

 

  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc?  The camera moving around the room and closeups.  There is a focus on the characters in the bed and on the floor covered with days of dishes while Montgomery is sitting on the floor.  We know that they have been there for days and ran out of dishes.  He is playing cards quietly with the room in disarray.  The lighting is soft, light and reflective.
  2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? Yes, Hitchcock sets the stage for us to be with the characters intimately in a familiar setting between people who are in a close relationship focusing on their relationship rather than the tidiness of a room.  The lighting introduces us to a warm, lighthearted feeling; getting to know them and somehow finding humor and realism in the lines.  The beginning of visual storytelling Hitchcock is known for.
  3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? It seems from this clip that there is chemistry between them.  She seems more practical in a relationship, and somewhat insecure where he is testing the water so to speak--maybe apprehensive or concerned of where the relationship may be headed.  He is attentive of her when he brings her breakfast, and affectionate.  You see that they both care for each other.  It was cute how he set the tray by the bed, and grabbed things for himself, and placed something in his pocket suggesting a comfort level within the relationship.

 

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We get plenty of info about the couple in the opening shots with massive amounts of dirty dishes and everything in disarray. They must have had an epic fight as he is sleeping on the couch and she has the whole bed to herself...and she tosses and turns quite a bit---perhaps waiting for him to make a move before she does and admit he's at fault?

 

The music is playful as it often is in screwball comedies as the camera goes across the room.

 

We only start to learn more details via the maid and housekeeper; indeed there has been a row.

 

I only partially agree with the second statement; we do learn info about the characters via the messy room and where each half of the couple is sleeping. But there is no intrigue, no crowds, no tinderbox waiting to explode. It moves at a more leisurely pace than other Hitchcock films.

 

The two appear to hit it off perfectly; Lombard was truly a queen of screwball comedies (and a very glamorous one at that) and Montgomery makes a perfect straight man. I haven't seen this film, but via publicity photos and the clip I just saw, this is going to be quite the romp.

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1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc?

 

There are many “touches” in this film. The first thing I noticed was the absence of crowds. But then I thought the floor was a jumble of plates and other items that one collects after long days and nights of drunken partying and/or fighting - a crowd of inanimate objects. Delightful cartoonish morning music, a sunrise melody, accompanies the long pan across the debris, protagonist number one and finally into the bed. Hitchcock lets us know it is morning by the lighting seeping in and whoever lives there is quite well off.

 

It’s a mystery as to what went on, or who he looks at across the room with a worried shiver, until we see atop of the gestural body the flounce of blonde (of course) hair. Is this a one night stand, a girlfriend? It’s a husband and wife very much in love, up to a certain point, and that point comes about 12 minutes later and is the film’s conflict.

 

 

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not?

 

This film opens inside, the luxurious bedroom suite of an upscale couple. He establishes his characters place in society immediately by taking us to locations such as a soccer patch, a ski jump or girly show. Without dialogue, something Hitchcock has learned from his early days, he knows a picture is worth a thousand words. But, typical? To us, perhaps. But if you asked the average movie goer, they probably would not pick up these subtleties and think thy are totally different. And that’s perfectly okay.

 

 

 

3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Or why not?

 

The casting of these two experienced actors worked for me. The story, however, did not. I found it too predictable and trite. In fact, I turned it off. Most Hitchcock films I can watch again and again and find something I hadn’t seen before. Maybe it was my mood today or the rolling thunder storms but it just didn’t hold my attention.i feel like I’m going to be excommunicated. I’ll read your notes now, and see what a goose I am.

1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc?

 

There are many “touches” in this film. The first thing I noticed was the absence of crowds. But then I thought the floor was a jumble of plates and other items that one collects after long days and nights of drunken partying and/or fighting - a crowd of inanimate objects. Delightful cartoonish morning music, a sunrise melody, accompanies the long pan across the debris, protagonist number one and finally into the bed. Hitchcock lets us know it is morning by the lighting seeping in and whoever lives there is quite well off.

 

It’s a mystery as to what went on, or who he looks at across the room with a worried shiver, until we see atop of the gestural body the flounce of blonde (of course) hair. Is this a one night stand, a girlfriend? It’s a husband and wife very much in love, up to a certain point, and that point comes about 12 minutes later and is the film’s conflict.

 

 

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not?

 

This film opens inside, the luxurious bedroom suite of an upscale couple. He establishes his characters place in society immediately by taking us to locations such as a soccer patch, a ski jump or girly show. Without dialogue, something Hitchcock has learned from his early days, he knows a picture is worth a thousand words. But, typical? To us, perhaps. But if you asked the average movie goer, they probably would not pick up these subtleties and think thy are totally different. And that’s perfectly okay.

 

 

 

3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Or why not?

 

The casting of these two experienced actors worked for me. The story, however, did not. I found it too predictable and trite. In fact, I turned it off. Most Hitchcock films I can watch again and again and find something I hadn’t seen before. Maybe it was my mood today or the rolling thunder storms but it just didn’t hold my attention.i feel like i’M going to be excommunicated. I’ll read your notes now, and see what a goose I am.

 

1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc?

 

There are many “touches” in this film. The first thing I noticed was the absence of crowds. But then I thought the floor was a jumble of plates and other items that one collects after long days and nights of drunken partying and/or fighting - a crowd of inanimate objects. Delightful cartoonish morning music, a sunrise melody, accompanies the long pan across the debris, protagonist number one and finally into the bed. Hitchcock lets us know it is morning by the lighting seeping in and whoever lives there is quite well off.

 

It’s a mystery as to what went on, or who he looks at across the room with a worried shiver, until we see atop of the gestural body the flounce of blonde (of course) hair. Is this a one night stand, a girlfriend? It’s a husband and wife very much in love, up to a certain point, and that point comes about 12 minutes later and is the film’s conflict.

 

 

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not?

 

This film opens inside, the luxurious bedroom suite of an upscale couple. He establishes his characters place in society immediately by taking us to locations such as a soccer patch, a ski jump or girly show. Without dialogue, something Hitchcock has learned from his early days, he knows a picture is worth a thousand words. But, typical? To us, perhaps. But if you asked the average movie goer, they probably would not pick up these subtleties and think thy are totally different. And that’s perfectly okay.

 

 

 

3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Or why not?

 

The casting of these two experienced actors worked for me. The story, however, did not. I found it too predictable and trite. In fact, I turned it off. Most Hitchcock films I can watch again and again and find something I hadn’t seen before. Maybe it was my mood today or the rolling thunder storms but it just didn’t hold my attention.i feel like I’m going to be excommunicated. I’ll read your notes now, and see what a goose I am.

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  1. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? 

    First I noticed in the very beginning, the camera pan of the room ...the music sets the tone ....light hearted... if the music was ominous you would probably have a total other feel for the opening....you see Robert Montgomery hands playing cards as it pans to his face....Carole Lombard in bed then the fabulous close up.the camera zooms right to her face as there is a knock at the door her eye opens..his use of well known "stars"....In the very beginning I am wondering what is going on...what is the disarray for ...but by the end of the clip many questions are answered ...they had a fight and would not leave the room till they makeup

  2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the opening sequence of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a typical "Hitchcock opening" based on openings you have seen so far in the other Daily Doses? Why or why not? 

    Well it is different from other films in that it appears lighthearted....when I think of Hitchcock I do not think of light hearted comedy....but this course is opening up my eyes to Hitchcock embracing other genres

  3. What do think about the casting of and chemistry between Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery? Do you think both are well cast for this "comedy of remarriage?" Why or why not? Lombard was noted for comedy.....I feel the chemistry as they embrace....it seems like Hitchcock knows how to use his actors and actresses in the right movie and genra

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That was bizarre. It must be the ghost of Hitchcock.

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What a mess! The couple live together yet sleep separately and sheltered into their bedroom. They are contained in  a microcosm thats part of the house. There is a mess and pile of dishes with food, and a chaotic disarray. The lighting suggests a sunny day, the curtains are drawn but are  sheer so we see the rays of sunlight. I like how Hitchcock uses long camera shots for telephone conversations and the two maids talking to one another about what the one who took breakfast up saw in the bedroom. 

The decor suggests opulence, lots of silverware and dishes, fancy plush satin bed covers and sheets. Lots of wasted food. 

 

It is a most unusual visual of beauty amongst chaos and here we have mystery. What is going on, and why are they keeping themselves away from everyday life.  

 

 

I tend to agree its a typical Hitchcock opening scene as it leaves me scratching my head. I'm intrigued right away to know why these two people live this way. What could be the reason and my curiosity is piqued. This is what Hitchcock always does in the opening scene. Leaves one guessing and in this way its very typical. 

 

I feel the casting and chemistry between the two stars Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery is very well done. They are both attractive yet Carole here appears to have the temper and Robert appears trying to appease her and not disturb the sleeping lion. 

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The Hitchcock touch of the camera moving along the messy room to a pensive Robert Montgomery then the camera zooms in on Carol Lombard wiggling in the bed peaking out from under the covers. We learn from the mess in the room that there seems to have been a terrible fight.  The lighting shows that it's morning and the props show that it is an elegant hotel room.

 

I'm not sure that it is a typical Hitchcock opening, it's slow paced beginning and not dark and gloomy. 

The opening scene does establish that the story is going to be about a couple who seem to argue a lot so that can a typical Hitchcock beginning.

 From what I've seen in the opening, they make a good couple. They are believable as an arguing couple who still love each other.

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Hitchcock touches in Mr and Mrs. Smith lie in the movement of the camera through the scene, revealing elements of class and crass.  The elegant dishes with leftovers and the room display comfort and class, while he sits in the middle of the mess and plays cards, a little more humble and street-wise.  There is always nice arrangement of shapes in Hitchcock films;  the characters are posed by duos and trios, and the negative, or background, space is used like part of the canvas with interesting play of light making shapes in the empty spots.

 

I don't find this opening typical of Hitch in that it is more private, intimate, and has a feeling of good cheer.  The movement around the room is typical though.

 

The casting of Lombard and Montgomery seems to go off well.  She has that classy air about her while he affords the comedic, down to earth humor.  It seems to be a pairing similar to The Thin Man series.  They are from different backgrounds, but have similar spirit.  I think Hitch has set the stage for that aspect in the previously mentioned dishes and cards.

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