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Hitchcock Mania!

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"Blackmail" - his last silent film, which was converted to a "talkie" - based on a stage play, very, very slow, surprisingly, the heroine gets away with murdering her attacker/rapist (the lead actress had a heavy accent so she had to be dubbed)

 

"Murder" - based on a stage play, too, this one is a very poor adaptation of its' material, but it has a sensational "reveal" - the killer seems to be a actor/trapeze artist (?!) who is actually a transvestite and a half-caste - all of it is enacted as if it were the most daring thing ever - as the murderer, Esme Percy seems to be the last word in perverse behavior

 

"Rich and Strange" - romantic misadventures of a young married couple who inherit a great deal of money - done with complete indifference and a total lack of charm - it seems to use a lot of stock footage - one wonders why Hitchcock even bothered to make it

 

"Number Seventeen" - Hitchcock considered this one to be a complete disaster - it is very bad - it has no interest in its' set-up -but it does have an action-packed finale that takes place on a train and on a bus

 

"The Man Who Knew Too Much" (first version) - it's a barely adequate thriller - it's done much too quickly - but the finale isn't the Albert Hall sequence, it's the shoot-out at the monastery - the lead actors make a very unattractive couple - and Peter Lorre makes for a very strange villain     

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"Jamaica Inn" - Alfred Hitchcock's last English film (before coming to America) - it's beautifully done, it has a great sense of immediacy, but it doesn't play like what we've come to know as a Hitchcock film - the large cast (a lot of pirates) is most impressive, especially Charles Laughton - Maureen O'Hara makes a stunning film debut - and Robert Newton is cast as an undercover good guy

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It's hard to believe it's the same Robert Newton who played Long John Silver. He actually has leading man credibility here. 

 

Is it just me or does Laughton come across as super-gay?. I know effete English aristocrats always have that kind of air about them in movies, but the idea that he was lusting after Maureen O'Hara made me giggle. Anyway, it was a great job on Laughton's part, even though there were moments you could see the join lines for his facial prosthetics.

 

Something I became more aware of seeing all these early Hitchcocks is how great the British were with the use of miniatures. Some good ones in Jamaica Inn and I loved the opening sequence for The Lady Vanishes​ where the camera pans from the mountainscape to the snowbound train to the inn (with an automobile going by) and then in the window of the inn.

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It's hard to believe it's the same Robert Newton who played Long John Silver. He actually has leading man credibility here. 

 

Is it just me or does Laughton come across as super-gay?. I know effete English aristocrats always have that kind of air about them in movies, but the idea that he was lusting after Maureen O'Hara made me giggle. Anyway, it was a great job on Laughton's part, even though there were moments you could see the join lines for his facial prosthetics.

 

Something I became more aware of seeing all these early Hitchcocks is how great the British were with the use of miniatures. Some good ones in Jamaica Inn and I loved the opening sequence for The Lady Vanishes​ where the camera pans from the mountainscape to the snowbound train to the inn (with an automobile going by) and then in the window of the inn.

DougieB, I agree, in "Jamaica Inn", Laughton came across as "super-gay".

 

How Elsa Lancester managed to stay with him throughout the decades is one of the great "mysteries".

 

How did you feel about the murder of the attacker/rapist in "Murder"?

 

It was done largely with a large curtain behind which the attacker/rapist and his victim were struggling.

 

Also, the idea of Cyril Richard as a heterosexual is - to put it kindly - laughable.

 

From what I've already seen - I don't know if I can continue - they are really awful - Hitchcock was already "fixated" on the "Big Finish".

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DougieB, I agree, in "Jamaica Inn", Laughton came across as "super-gay".

 

How Elsa Lancester managed to stay with him throughout the decades is one of the great "mysteries".

 

How did you feel about the murder of the attacker/rapist in "Murder"?

 

It was done largely with a large curtain behind which the attacker/rapist and his victim were struggling.

 

Also, the idea of Cyril Richard as a heterosexual is - to put it kindly - laughable.

 

From what I've already seen - I don't know if I can continue - they are really awful - Hitchcock was already "fixated" on the "Big Finish".

 

Murder!​ sort of plodded along, like most of the earliest films. He was still learning how to build suspense, so I guess they're bound to disappoint a modern audience used to the "biggies". The struggle involved in killing is something he used later, an extreme example being in Torn Curtain​ where it takes forever to do away with the agent who tracked Paul Newman to the farmhouse. And then sometimes the murder was very perfunctory, like in Rope​. Maybe he thought that if the murder in ​Rope ​were too grisly he'd never hold the interest of the audience as the rest of the movie played out. You're right about the "Big Finish" fixation, to the point off having an actual cliffhanger in North By Northwest​, but then he usually released the tension with a more whimsical, or at least more muted final scene. Anyway, I'm glad to have gotten through the very early stuff. I didn't really find myself in a "film student" frame of mind; I just wanted to see the stuff I really cared about, the later films.

 

And you were right about the transvestite trapeze artist...???? Totally the body type of a man, so was there really supposed to have been some "illusion" that would fool an audience? I don't get it either. I wonder if it was some kind of reference to Julian Eltinge, who was an early female impersonator still active at that time. He was kind of a dumpy man too and, to a modern eye, the illusion wasn't as in-depth as with drag artists today.

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The one that really turns me off is "Rich and Strange" - it is so indifferently made and HAS NO CHARM.

 

Maybe it was merely a contractual obligation!

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The one that really turns me off is "Rich and Strange" - it is so indifferently made and HAS NO CHARM.

 

Maybe it was merely a contractual obligation!

 

I didn't watch Rich and Strange​ this time around but I remember scratching my head over it the first and only time I saw it. I had found a public domain DVD which I was very excited about until I watched it.

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Recently, I saw three terrific episodes on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" -

1. "Night Caller" - Felicia Farr, Bruce Dern and David White - a married woman is afraid of a young man in the neighborhood who starts to terrorize her on the telephone (or so she thinks) - in a fit of panic when he enters her home to give a toy plane of his to her stepson, she shoots and kills him - at which point, her telephone rings once again -

2. "Starring The Defense" - Richard Basehart and Teno Pollick (who was one of Tony Perkins' lovers) - a lawyer who had once been a movie actor attempts to represent his son who is on trial for murder - the lawyer remembers a stirring speech from one of his movies and uses it in the courtroom - the opposing lawyer remembers the movie and calls him on it - but, in the end, the son, who is found guilty of murder, is granted leniency by the judge and given life imprisonment -

3. "Nothing Ever Happens In Linvale" - Gary Merrill, Phyllis Thaxter and Fess Parker - delicious black comedy with echoes of "The Trouble With Harry" and "Rear Window" about a noisy woman who is convinced that her next-door neighbor has murdered his wife and buried her in the back garden of his home - the ending is unexpected and priceless 

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On 3/29/2018 at 11:58 AM, TopBilled said:

I was looking at Harrington's credits. He did a 70s horror film for TV called 'Killer Bees' starring Gloria Swanson. It seems interesting...has anyone watched it?

 

On 7/19/2017 at 8:52 AM, DougieB said:

 

Murder! sort of plodded along, like most of the earliest films. He was still learning how to build suspense, so I guess they're bound to disappoint a modern audience used to the "biggies". The struggle involved in killing is something he used later, an extreme example being in Torn Curtain where it takes forever to do away with the agent who tracked Paul Newman to the farmhouse. And then sometimes the murder was very perfunctory, like in Rope. Maybe he thought that if the murder in Rope were too grisly he'd never hold the interest of the audience as the rest of the movie played out. You're right about the "Big Finish" fixation, to the point off having an actual cliffhanger in North By Northwest, but then he usually released the tension with a more whimsical, or at least more muted final scene. Anyway, I'm glad to have gotten through the very early stuff. I didn't really find myself in a "film student" frame of mind; I just wanted to see the stuff I really cared about, the later films.

 

And you were right about the transvestite trapeze artist...???? Totally the body type of a man, so was there really supposed to have been some "illusion" that would fool an audience? I don't get it either. I wonder if it was some kind of reference to Julian Eltinge, who was an early female impersonator still active at that time. He was kind of a dumpy man too and, to a modern eye, the illusion wasn't as in-depth as with drag artists today.

In "Rope" he was more interested in what happens after the murder.

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They've only released the first five seasons of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".

Why aren't they releasing the remaining seasons?

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On ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 6:53 PM, rayban said:

They've only released the first five seasons of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".

Why aren't they releasing the remaining seasons?

Rayban, who is releasing the "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" shows?  I haven't seen them since they were originally on TV.  I'd love to see them again.

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51xP4-Ow9lL._SY300_QL70_.jpg

Seasons 1 through 5 have been released on DVD by Universal Home Entertainment. They are going for around $25 a season new on Amazon at the moment.

Season 6 was available as a DVD-R set, but it's out of print. There's a used set going for $200 on Amazon!

Season 7 has never been released on Region 1 DVD, but it has been on Region 2 and Region 4 DVDs. You can order those from third party sellers on Amazon for about $30, but you'll need a region-free or region specific player to view them.

They are also playing on MeTV late nights.

Personally, I wish they'd put the 1985 series on disc. I'd like to see those again, and see all the performers in them.

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

51xP4-Ow9lL._SY300_QL70_.jpg

Seasons 1 through 5 have been released on DVD by Universal Home Entertainment. They are going for around $25 a season new on Amazon at the moment.

Season 6 was available as a DVD-R set, but it's out of print. There's a used set going for $200 on Amazon!

Season 7 has never been released on Region 1 DVD, but it has been on Region 2 and Region 4 DVDs. You can order those from third party sellers on Amazon for about $30, but you'll need a region-free or region specific player to view them.

They are also playing on MeTV late nights.

Personally, I wish they'd put the 1985 series on disc. I'd like to see those again, and see all the performers in them.

Universal Home Entertainment did a terrific job on the first five seasons.

At present, MeTV shows "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" late at night.

And Cozi TV shows "Alfred Hitchcock Hour" late at night.

 

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8 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

51xP4-Ow9lL._SY300_QL70_.jpg

Seasons 1 through 5 have been released on DVD by Universal Home Entertainment. They are going for around $25 a season new on Amazon at the moment.

Season 6 was available as a DVD-R set, but it's out of print. There's a used set going for $200 on Amazon!

Season 7 has never been released on Region 1 DVD, but it has been on Region 2 and Region 4 DVDs. You can order those from third party sellers on Amazon for about $30, but you'll need a region-free or region specific player to view them.

They are also playing on MeTV late nights.

Personally, I wish they'd put the 1985 series on disc. I'd like to see those again, and see all the performers in them.

The first four seasons are on Hulu, that's where I watched them. I'm surprised Universal didn't release an entire boxed set of all the seasons.

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Another terrific episode recently on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" - "The Return of Verge Likens", which was based on a story by Davis Grubb -

an enterprising young man (Peter Fonda) decides to get revenge on the man (Robert Emhardt) who murdered his father and got away with it -

first-rate performances from Fonda and Emhardt -

the ending is so wicked that it leaves you speechless.

(That this kind of television once existed is the true miracle.)  

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10 hours ago, rayban said:

Another terrific episode recently on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" - "The Return of Verge Likens", which was based on a story by Davis Grubb -

an enterprising young man (Peter Fonda) decides to get revenge on the man (Robert Emhardt) who murdered his father and got away with it -

first-rate performances from Fonda and Emhardt -

the ending is so wicked that it leaves you speechless.

(That this kind of television once existed is the true miracle.)  

I have seen this episode twice.

Its' utter audacity leaves me breathless.

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Just recently, on "Alfred Hitchcock Hour", there was a totally bizarre episode that starred Jeanette Nolan and Ed Begley.

It concerned an aging couple who were missionaries in Africa.

They felt threatened by the arrival of a younger couple, who were missionaries, too.

Especially the wife, who seemed jealous of the younger woman (Maggie Pierce).

Her husband (Tom Simcox, I think) led us to an ending that was right out of left field. 

As I said, bizarre - and unsettling, too.

 

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Recently, I saw "Strangers On A Train" on TCM.

But I prefer the British version - in which certain scenes are held longer and the gay context is so much more persuasive.

In this British version, Robert Walker's performance is a revelation.

It's a fine film.

It never grows old.

Strangers-on-a-Train-Feature.png

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:03 AM, rayban said:

Recently, I saw "Strangers On A Train" on TCM.

But I prefer the British version - in which certain scenes are held longer and the gay context is so much more persuasive.

In this British version, Robert Walker's performance is a revelation.

It's a fine film.

It never grows old.

Strangers-on-a-Train-Feature.png

But I like you Guy (this shot belongs in the caption thread)

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