Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #20: Look! (Opening Scene of Frenzy)

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger?

Lodger opens with a scream - this movie opens with a grandiose anthem that sure sounds British and we are swept into a crowd of people listening to a politician speaking about pollution in the water and how it will be all cleaned up when someone yells "Look!" and it is the body of a blonde in the water. Lodger opened with chaos and just kept going - very different.

 

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

As mentioned, the humor that a man is speaking of ending pollution and then there's a body floating in the water. Also the camera move from the wide shot of London slowly moving to the crowd on the banks. The shot going through the bridge also is Hitchcockian. 

Also, she had to be blonde!

 

Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

This opening scene, as in most of Hitchcock's films, provides the viewer with crucial information. Here we know we're in London and there's been a murder. This sets the story for the viewer. This film has to do with a murderer. 

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. In the Lodger, the news of the murder travels very quickly...and is the continuance of an already established pattern of murders. In Frenzy, you don't know if this is a random act or not...and you only see the discovery of the body...no aftermath.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. Public space, semi large gathering of people, some information that will draw you into the story.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

If we are a attentive enough, he always gives us information in short span to keep from having to spend critical time and dialogue to give us the same detail. It can be about the characters or the story itself..but he always seem intent on providing as much info as he can in his opening scene.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger

Frenzy opens with a long shot to a crowd on the river side, when a body is discovered in the water.  The Lodger opens with a scream, a body and a crowd gathering around. Essentially the same parts in the movie, just in different order.

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific. The long shot as in Rebecca's winding drive, a crowd, a body, a bit of humor with the speaker talking about cleaning up the pollution just before a body is found.  The majestic score as the City of London is viewed in the long shot.

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.  He gives us information of location, who the people are, what crime has been committed and leads us along as the story grabs our interest and curiosity.

 

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1.  Well the opening of both films deal with the discovery of a dead woman.  The differences between the two films, separated by 45 years, reflect advanced film technology and Hitchcock's evolution as a director.  The latter film has a rather majestic soundtrack, which accompanies an impressive aerial shot of London, flying over the Thames, under the Tower Bridge, etc.  We are meant to be impressed with the the size and scale of London.  In The Lodger, London feels close, seedy, fogged in.  

 

2.  Many Hitchcock openings introduce us to leading characters, and that is one thing that this film does not do.  What it does, is start on a very grand impersonal scale, and slowly bring us down to the level of the personal.  A crowd scene in an open area is a typical opening, particularly of early Hitch.

 

3. Overall, I would say that Hitchcock was the undisputed master of setting up movies in his opening sequences.  In general, he liked to bring the audience in to the story, and introduce characters, while employing little dialogue.  The openings were often his chance to make a mini silent film that sets up the rest of the film.  The opening of Rear Window ia story all its own, told with no dialogue.  The same could be said for Dial M For Murder, To Catch A Thief, Strangers on A Train to name just a few.  This movie is a little different.  The story he is telling here is that we have come back to London.  It's a much bigger, imposing city than it was.  But guess what?  Dead women still float on the Thames.  What is past is prologue.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

Instead of jumping immediately to the action of a screaming woman like in The Lodger, it takes us a while to get to the scene where the people point out the dead body floating in the river.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Common touches in the opening sequence are the familiar title sequence, score and putting us into the position as viewers who are going to be introduced to some type of crime.  

 

On a personal note, although the cinematography is beautiful and I enjoy the long dolly shot over the river, I don't necessarily like the title sequence ( in particular the typface used, although the split of the font was decent) or the score. The score makes it feel like we are going to be taken into Parliament or something. The horns are a bit distracting and it doesn't give me a feel as to where this movie is going or what it's about. I think it goes to show just how important Herrmann and Saul Bass were to the opening scenes of Hitchcock's films.  

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I think it's been fun seeing how important Hitch felt the opening scene was. We typically get some creative graphic designs, title sequences and scores. We are thrust into his world, usually quite rapidly, even if it's a calm beginning vs. an action packed scream. He's taking us on an adventure and we can tell it's going to be a wild ride right from the beginning of every Hitchcock film. He wants to snag the audience right away and over 50 years did just that with his opening scenes.

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 


Frenzy takes just a couple of minutes longer to discover the dead body than in The Lodger. You can also tell that Hitchcock has highly evolved in film making in the years between the films. But they both do come with the scream of a discovery of a dead body, as well as shots of London. Though, Frenzy gives London a better and cheerier vibe than The Lodger, London of old seems more stuffy and foggy than London of new. 


2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.


The crowd and the humor and irony of the speaker talking about pollution right before the dead body is discovered. The shot of coming into London underneath the bridge. 


3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.


I think some, not necessarily all, of his films opening scenes are created to provide the viewer with a bit of mystery and intrigue. Some film openings you can already have an idea of what's going to happen, but in others you cannot. The opening has to be something worth watching, otherwise viewers will lose interest in the film before it gets anywhere. 


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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

I really like the opening tracking shot in Frenzy.  I noticed in today's discussion, I believe, that Hitchcock wanted to do a similar shot as the opening for Psycho, but the shots needed to be scrapped because of inadequate technology.  Personally, I liked the opening that Hitchcock had to "settle" on for the opening to Psycho, and I could not picture it any other way.  Of course, if he had used the alternate tracking shot that he wanted, I might be saying I prefer it, instead, just as we react when we learn that directors had other actors in mind for certain roles.  I am reminded here of the story that Bernard Rose wanted Sandra Bullock instead of Virginia Madsen to play Helen in Candyman.  I am a big fan of Bullock's work; however, I think Madsen was a much better fit for that role, just as I think Rod Taylor was a better fit than Cary Grant in The Birds and Jon Finch was a great fit for his role as Richard Blaney in Frenzy.  I realize I am digressing here (again), but I have seen Finch in only two films: Frenzy and Polanski's dark take on the already very dark tragedy of Macbeth.  Finch does an amazing job showing how Macbeth is conflicted with his guilt, his desire for power, his wife's manipulations, and ultimately his remorse and how to deal with it (by choosing foolishly in the end).  For in Frenzy, it seems he leads a bit more of a "charmed life" than he did as Macbeth.  But back to this question:  In The Lodger, we are thrown immediately into the idea that a murder has been committed.  We see the victim and "hear" her silent scream.  We then see the witnesses gather, many of them doing nothing other than satisfying their dark desires to feed on someone else's death and suffering.  Just as people gather for a stoning or at the gallows for a hanging, they are justified in their actions as witnesses to crime and suffering.  I seem to be "editorializing" a lot (sorry), but I see this motif in several Hitchcock films, either as witnesses to the crime itself or to the aftermath.  And in most cases, aside from the woman describing the murderer in The Lodger, most of the witnesses serve as onlookers, just as more than 33 neighbors sat in their darkened apartments in the 1960's and watched Kitty Genovese be attacked for more than 30 minutes before she was finally killed.  No one bothered to lift the phone and call the police, so the story went at the time.  By contrast, as I have already noted, Frenzy begins with a long tracking shot, beginning in the air and then swooping down toward the Thames River with the camera hovering above the water bringing us ever closer to the latest necktie murder victim.  And this time, in his inimitable manner, Hitchcock provides his signature sense of humor.  Everything is dirty or brown: the smoke from the barges, the barges themselves are brown, the water is brown, the banks are muddy, the buildings are brown.  The politician (I am assuming) is talking about cleaning up all of the pollution caused by humans: He is talking more specifically about the waste in the water.  However, I think Hitchcock is also setting us up for the crimes, more specifically murders, that men commit to pollute the world?  For right after he makes that comment, the crowd notes the nude victim floating in the river, the tie around her neck providing the only color in the dirty Thames. So making a very long answer short, in The Lodger we are thrust immediately into the latest murder, whereas, in Frenzy we discover it more gradually.  However, both films do feature serial killers with a nosy populous speculating on who the murderer is.

 

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

As I stated above, Hitchcock uses quite a few tracking shots in the film, not only in this clip but elsewhere later on as well.  Spoiler! One of my favorite Hitchcock tracking shots takes place when Rusk has taken Babs to his flat.  By now the viewers know what is going to happen, and this time Hitchcock implies it instead of showing us in graphic detail.  Personally, I think this film could have been equally or even more effective without resorting to the overt violence and nudity.  Hitchcock was always a master at implying, allowing the audience to use their imagination, unlike many horror films today.  Once again, Hitchcock also encourages us to be witnesses/voyeurs.  What better way to say that than to position photographers in the crowd at the press conference.  And then we are peering down into the water when everyone discovers the body.  And as I have also noted, Hitchcock never fails to include his dark humor whenever he can, but only when he knows that it will work, and for Hitchcock, his humor DOES work in his films.  "Put me in the fruit cellar.  You think I'm fruity, huh?"  In this scene, he uses his humor the establish the theme of murders as pollution, perhaps, and the gentleman who continues discussing Jack the Ripper sending women's organs as calling cards (shortly after this ends, I think? Spoiler!)   Finally, by the end of this film we once again realize this is another example of the wrong man being falsely accused and he must fight to clear himself using his own, everyman wiles.

 

Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I will just quickly recap some of my earlier comments here (you're welcome)  :)  Generally, I think that Hitchcock tries to get the audience into the action of the film immediately.  He does this by inviting us to spy on the characters in some cases (Rear Window) and by putting us in the film in their shoes in other cases (The Pleasure Garden, to name only one).  In doing this, he gets us emotionally invested right away.  As in the case of Frenzy, we have a mystery, a serial killer.  We, the viewers, want to discover whether the detectives will learn what we already know, because in most cases Hitchcock provides us the luxury of dramatic irony.  We know an innocent man has been wrongfully accused and Hitchcock builds suspense as this victim must try to clear his name.  We root for him, and in most cases justice prevails.

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1) Comparing both films I believe that colour and sound don't necessarily make for a better film. Both films deal with contemporary situations--a murder!--but there is not much frenzy in "Frenzy".

It looks like a late '60's or early '70's film (get a load of the hair and sideburns on that politician) but it doesn't feel like a Hitchcock picture. It feels more like a Hammer Films picture.

2) Besides a dead body (the nudity wasn't necessary) the sly humour was there; a politician talking about cleaning up all of the pollution and waste in the river when suddenly a dead, nude woman appears.

3) His first was to get a fantastic long tracking shot. He also decided that it was time to thumb his nose at the film censors by showing the audience a nude woman. Cheeky devil, that Mr. Hitchcock!

He also gave us a fantastic location in London and not done backlot recreation.

And finally, the verbal condemnation of water pollution contrasting with the dead body and it is yet another thoroughly modern murder mystery. Thank you, Mr. Hitchcock.

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I think Hitchcock's choice of an aerial opening shot contributed to the recurrent theme of terror happening in a vast, beautiful place. It's the first time Hitchcock gets to work with this kind of shot to elevate this kind of theme seen in past film. Some of the common Hitchcock touches are the cameos, the use pf public spaces, the surprise in people, and the end of the beginning of the story. 

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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

The intro to Frenzy is more of a slow burn than the opening to The Lodger was. We're taken on a bird's eye journey down the Thames to orient us within our setting before we actually reach the spot where people are standing listening to the speaker. Even then, we're listening to the speech for a few minutes before anyone happens to notice there's a naked corpse floating around in the river. With The Lodger, it's just straight up action right away -- someone's screaming and reacting to the finding of a dead body without any real intro.

 

It goes to show how important title sequences eventually became to Hitch (and the world of film in general) as a way to kind of ease people into your opening scene and help them get their bearings first. This title sequence and the footage of London it's superimposed over is a lot more generic than the really dynamic ones we've been watching that feature Saul Bass's designs and Bernard Herrmann's wonderful score, but it still serves to let me know I'm in London on the Thames, as opposed to wandering around New York or chilling in an apartment somewhere. It makes me feel as if the city of London will be important in this film, almost as if it's a character in and of itself.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

I'm not sure if the opening shot can be considered a POV shot or not, but I definitely feel like I'm maybe in a helicopter being flown into London and later taken to listen to the speech by the Thames with the rest of the crowd. That's a Hitch touch for sure -- making the viewer feel like they're part of the scene. There's also the use of a famous setting pretty much everyone would recognize whether they've actually been there or not -- the city of London. 

 

There's the way the rest of the scene takes place in public in the midst of a crowd and focuses on a public speaker/performance as well. That especially reminds of some of his early British work and how it opened, as with when you follow Hannay's feet into the venue where Mr. Memory is performing or see the showgirls coming down the staircase in the beginning of The Pleasure Garden. Also, there are photographers and videographers present. We don't really see the speaker from their point of view, so I don't know if we feel like voyeurs per se, but such people always stand out to me in Hitchcock films and remind of the way he approached the process of observing and/or recording one's surroundings through his characters. I think it's interesting that Hitch is right there standing among them.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I covered a lot of what I would say in my answer to the first and second questions. I think a lot of how Hitch orchestrated this scene had to do with properly orienting us in the world of Frenzy right before either meeting the main characters or witnessing a significant event (the discovery of the floating body in this case), just as he's done in many other films. By the time that event occurs, I feel like I know where I am, I know what time period I'm occupying, and I feel set to react to the events as if I'm part of the crowd alongside everyone else present. That's always been important to Hitch.

 

Also, Hitch doesn't really beat around the bush much, even when he uses a slower intro. You aren't given time to get bored or let your mind wander before that floater is spotted. He understood the importance of engaging your audience and making them feel present in the scene right away. He hasn't forgotten how to do that with Frenzy. I noticed he also got his cameo out of the way right away again, as he's been wont to do in his later films.

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1) How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 
The opening to Frenzy takes it time. Nothing really happens as you aerial shots of London, such as those of the Thames River. The way it unfolds, it's looks like a peaceful travelogue at first. There's nothing alarming or anything that suggests something sinister going on, that is until spectators discover the dead body floating in the river. From then on, the action never lets up. 
 
However, in terms of the opening to The Lodger, the action has already started because we witness the screaming woman, as she is being murdered. We also see how it affects everyone in the city; the tension and hysteria of a serial killer on the loose.
 
 
2) What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.
 
A dolly or crane shot; the Hitchcock cameo; music in the credits; a crowd of spectators; some light and dark humor, and the beginning or aftermath of a murder. With these touches and more, you're instantly thrown into the action. Sometimes there is anticipation; other occasions, there is instant danger. There are meticulous details in every frame that set the tone for the rest of the film.
 
 
3) Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.
 
When it comes to openings, Hitchcock always comes to rescue. We feel that we are in good hands, because we see what we're supposed to; hear what we're supposed to; and find out exactly what we need to. Each opening in every Daily Dose contains clues and details that play an important role in introducing the plot and the characters that we are either going to sympathize with or instantly dislike. I love the aerial shots of cities, showing us how essential they really are to Hitch's films. They become their own characters, where each have specific connections to every plot and story. Hitchcock didn't insult us as the audience, we knew why things happen the way they do; why characters behave the way they do, and how stories begin and end the way they do. This is no exception in Frenzy, which is Hitch's most vicious, perverse and explicit film. 
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DAILY DOSE #20 (Frenzy).


 


DYING THAMES FOR MURDER:


1. While both Frenzy and The Lodger puts us with a frightened public over a murdered blonde, Frenzy gets us there quicker and establishes a realistic (travelogue) tone.


2. Common Hitch touches include: a long continuous shot, placing the viewer within a crowd, a murdered blonde, and establishing the genre early (even if it's undercut later).


3. In addition to all of the above, even starting with the opening credits, Hitch tried to grab the attention of the viewer early with action and tends to handle exposition visually rather than verbally (showing not telling).


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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

Frenzy opens with majestic pageantry music playing as a long dolly shot shows aerial views of the ThamesRiver area.  It's day time and the viewer gets a nice, scenic view of London, even flying under London Bridge.  The camera zooms to a group of people gathered along the shoreline of the river listening to a speaker.  As he expounds on efforts to keep the river clean of pollution (for over a minute by the time the viewer hears him), a spectator sees a woman's body floating in the river.

 

In The Lodger, there's no time lost before the viewer knows about the crime.  The film opens and the viewer immediately see a shadowy figure and then a screaming woman's face and the words To-Night "Golden Curls".  Cut to a dead body and a woman reporting the crime to the police.  Streetlamps are on and the scene features shades of blue, gray, black to signify that it's night time.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

Long dolly shot opens the film.

 

Crowd of everyday people gathered in a public place. 

 

Familiar location in London along the ThamesRiver. 

 

Ironic humor with politician talking about ridding the river of pollutants when a dead body floats up.

 

Hitchcock makes a cameo in the film, standing in the crowd wearing a bowler hat. 

 

The floating body is a blonde woman.

 

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

The opening scenes establish the setting for the film, sometimes in very specific detail using familiar landmarks, or signage.  This draws the viewer into the story, knowing exactly where the events take place.  In Frenzy, a City of London logo appears on screen.  In Psycho there's a typewritten caption for Phoenix, Arizona.  In The Birds, the camera passes a poster sign for San Francisco.  In The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), hands sift through travel brochures for Switzerland.  In Notorious, the title card reads Miami. Florida.  In The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) the side of a bus displays Casablanca - Marrakech.

 

Being in public space with a group of people is reminiscent of Hitchcock's earlier films we reviewed (The Lodger, The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps) and revisits the idea that ordinary places can mask something sinister.  In Frenzy, a peaceful gathering of citizens listening to a speaker turns into a crime scene.

The public/outdoor space is often filmed from afar and eventually zooms in to a smaller, possibly private location.  In Frenzy, we see an aerial shot of London that moves under LondonBridge and towards the edge of the river where a small group has gathered.  Zoom in on a politician speaking to the group of people. A POV shot from the crowd puts the viewer in the audience.  In Psycho, we see the Phoenix skyline and then zoom to a window mostly covered by blinds.  Cut to a close-up of the opening under the blinds which leads to the inside of a hotel room where the viewer observes in voyeuristic fashion a couple having a fling.  Hitchcock uses the 'zoom to a window and then inside shot' in The Lady Vanishes, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, and Dial M for Murder.  All examples of placing the viewer in the scene, observing the players, maybe seeing something they shouldn't.

 

Hitchcock is known for his cameos in films and in a couple, he appears sooner than expected and in a more obvious (active) way.  In Frenzy, he's part of the crowd listening to the speaker and he's the only one not clapping.  Perhaps he disagrees with the speaker's points about the river being clean?  In Marnie, he exits a hotel room as Marnie walks by, looks at the camera as if he acknowledges the viewer who is trailing Marnie via a POV shot, and then he takes over and follows Marnie as she turns the corner.  

 

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

The opening of The Lodger provides a dead woman immediately. In Frenzy we wait. The initial humor in The Lodger is school-boyish compared to the delicious irony of a politician trumpeting pollution free waterways only to have a corpse float by. And of course, the magnificent dolly shot opening Frenzy could only have been a fantasy in the twenties.

 

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Public setting, crowd cuts, humor, and Hitch's penchant for the occasional travelogue to name a few.

 

Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

Hitchcock's openings never fail to draw me into a story, place me in an atmosphere, or instill in me a mood. Other directors' opening scenes often do little more than inform me of who the players are and who gets credit for the production. Hitch is a step-and-a-half ahead. In Frenzy, we've found our way back to jolly old England, sailing through the air over the Thames to Tower Bridge, majestic music blaring. God Save the Queen!

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Impressive and breathtaking, this opening of Frenzy gives the sense of homecoming and completion. It is genuinely epic and surreal. Hitch returns to England, his roots.

 

The differences of the two clips seen show the masterful cinematography of a changed London society after decades. It is light and spacious letting the audience know the whole world can see its movement unlike The Lodger which gives a sense of confinement and rural darkness. Frenzy's public is approached on a grand scale and being addressed as a community to again find its lands more favorable. There is a togetherness feeling which is absent in The Lodger. The Lodger is more individualized characters struggling/or not with a murder, more detail to process of event and shock with mockery of the woman finding the victim. Frenzy is made in a time where civilization is desensitized and instead of a scream it's simply "Look" nothing chaotic or fast paced. The atmosphere has changed dramatically and masterfully.

 

It's clear these are ordinary people even the victim doesn't appear to be villainous just a blonde, as usual on London time . Also, the perpetrator has cast his evil doing amongst all to witness in broad daylight. Showing darkness is still lurking amongst the masses publically. Although it feels very James Bond, the audience knows he will not be the hero. The entire scene tells the story of what we are about to witness is a suspenseful dark story of crime. I have concentrated on the victim which concludes a possible MacGuffin as I'm sure the story line is much deeper than a single murder and will travel deep in London's underground.

 

Hitch's purpose has come complete circle, a grand introduction, bringing all of the audience to his complete undivided attention. He has shown us this magnificent city which is historically a place of painstaking gruesome conditions unavoidable.

 

I absolutely dislike London as if it's without refuge, but find it's history fascinating yet tragic at times. The architecture is unlike anything in the world. I have hiked across England twice finding the most beauty in the countryside along its paths of times gone past. A pilgrimage of sorts.

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1. Notable differences in the opening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Frenzy” (1972), compared to Hitchcock’s “The Lodger” (1927) would include the use of Technicolor, widescreen framing, the use of a helicopter (for the “travelogue” view of the Thames river), superimposed titles (of the cast and crew) and sound (along with tastes in fashion and the use of 35mm single-lens reflex cameras from persons in the crowd).  

 

2. An outdoor setting (the City of London/the river Thames), large crowds, shocked/stunned reactions from crowd members when they see the dead corpse floating in the Thames,  a man yelling “look!” (almost similar to the woman yelling “knife!” in “Blackmail”) to warn people about the dead body, Hitchcock’s “cameo” in the opening scene (during the speech),  

 

3. I think Hitchcock wanted to give the viewer a sense of where the setting/time would take place, as an introductory point to the audience, along with what was going to happen (with a sense of danger, shock and suspense) in his introductory scenes (along with introducing the characters in his introductory scenes, which is a key point to get the audience interested in what is going on).

 

Extra: The font (for the opening titles) looks similar to the font that was used for the opening titles in a latter film that was released by Universal, “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (1978).
 
You may recognize some of the actors from the opening credits of “Frenzy” (especially to fellow fans of British comedies).  Michael Bates played Cyril Blamire in the first series of the long-running BBC comedy “Last of the Summer Wine.”  Clive Swift would later be known for his role of Richard Bucket (husband to Hyacinth “Bouquet” Bucket, played by Patricia Routledge) in the British sitcom “Keeping up Appearances.”  Bernard Cribbins might be familiar to fellow fans of John Cleese’s “Fawlty Towers” (as Mr. Hutchinson in the 1975 episode, “The Hotel Inspectors").
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1. How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

​            The two opening are night and day different, both figuratively and literally, for The Lodger opens at night with a woman screaming before she is killed, then the scene of the witness relaying her account of the crime to the police, followed by the rapid response of the press to get the story out to the public; a tense and disturbing beginning. In Frenzy, it opens in the bright sunny light of a beautiful day with a tranquil high shot overlooking the majestic Themes river, with the accompaniment of a light and almost regal musical score. It looks more like a travel log then the start of a thriller. We finally end our trek to the site of a live speech by a political official, all very mater-of-fact  and ordinary, until the tranquil setting is disturbed by members of the crowd as they one by one discover the body of a naked woman floating face down in the river. A murder victim.  So both films are about vicious acts, but told very differently in their opening approach.

 

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this  a opening scene? Be specific.

             We see the grand-esk scenes, in this case, London city from high above, a notable big and broad scene, a notable Hitchcock trademark. The pan in shots of the crowd near the river's edge, a Hitchcock POV shot. The close ups of the principles, with the Hitchcock cameo tucked in nicely. And then the confusion sets in as the attentive crowd is now disruptively turning their attentions to a murder victim floating in the water below them. The calm and tranquil scene is thrown into panic by Hitch with a body; a grizzly murder has occurred and so we are now escorted into another Hitchcock thriller.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career

             The strategy seems clear, to lead the audience down a seemingly happy path to a rather mundane crowd gathering in jolly old England. To take them by the hand and walk them into a nightmare before they've had time to adjust, the audience is roped in, there is nowhere to go but where Hitch will lead. Once again Hitchcock is saying that no matter how ordinary or typical the day is or how pleasant the surrounds, evil lurks just around the corner, or in this case just below our feet.

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In Hitchcock's earlier films especially, he liked to open on public places with people spectating. in Pleasure Garden, The Lodger, 39 Steps, and more, the audience or crowd witnessing a show or spectacle was a kind of forced recognition of culture's tendency toward corporate voyeurism. He lays this foundation before examining a theater goer or motel keepers' penchant for peeping. In Frenzy, Hitchcock takes the public voyeurism to his grandest level yet. Before we even get to the politician speaking to the crowd, we open on a helicopter shot of London with a London seal on the screen, like one we might find on a postcard in tourists shops. Before he begins examining the public's fascination with murders, he sets up the idea of filmgoers as tourists, touring the film's universe and plot for all of its promised thrills and escapism. The set up makes the doctor's comment later in the film more poignant, when he says that serial sex murders are good for tourism, that people expect to see London littlered with the bodies of prostitutes.

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2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

Hitchcock touches:

·         Sweeping vistas

·         Public places

·         Unknown evil in the midst of the crowd

·         Establishment shot to orient viewers

·         Initial state of equilibrium that very quickly becomes disrupted

 

 

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I love the way Hitchcock uses his title sequences and opening scenes to tell the story, to anticipate in metaphoric—and sometimes literal—terms the trajectory of the narrative.  If we watch and listen closely, he offers myriad clues to the story, to the characters, to the impending doom.  For example, following the beautiful helicopter dollying shot offering the bird’s eye view (Ah! The Birds—just realized that connection), the politician issues his statement about promising to “clean the waters.”  Immediately following, the crowds discover a dead body floating in the river.

 

As we’ve discussed before, the devil is in the details with Hitchcock, for instance in the positioning of the politician over and above the crowd, or the draped, gaudy neckpiece of the attending politician which foreshadows the death of the young by strangulation.

 

I haven’t seen this film yet, so I plan to revisit the opening scene after I watch the entire movie

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The opening of Frenzy has more graphic evidence (the naked dead body) as opposed to the media headlines in the Lodger. The public is also less chaotic in Frenzy and gathered together ironically to clean up the river. The Lodger was a little more straightforward in that a murder had taken place where Frenzy took it's time before revealing the victim. Lastly the way London is shown in Frenzy is much brighter in its opening than the foggy dark setting of the Lodger.

 

Hitchcock does like to open his film with a crowd, brought together usually for an event of some sort. He also likes to introduce the world we are in for this film before introducing the lead. In this case we get the dolly shot tour of London. His cameo is a typical Hitchcock move; this time it's clear when you see him that he knows something the rest of the crowd doesn't and that something is amiss. Immediately after you see him the dead body is noticed.

 

Hitchcock definitely has a pattern of bringing us into a world that is not what it seems. Most of his openings indicate the setting as jovial and a place to relax; Frenzy opens with a touristy shot of London. Lady Vanishes opens as a vacation, like Man who Knew Too Much. Rear Window opens with meeting the fun happy neighbors in the Greenwich Village apt. But we know that very soon something very wrong is about to happen.

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 

 

There are just a few similarities the discovery of a body and the reaction.  The obvious difference is that with Frenzy the opening is very large and grand leading up to the body, The lodger deals quickly showing the body and the main focus is on the reactions.

 

What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

 

The beautiful opening taking us into London, all most like we are the tourists, then we see a body and we know that more is to come. He also uses the reactions and discovery like in most films putting us in the view.

 

Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

 

I almost feel in these films that they are meant to show us a place or city and take us deep into it and show us what really is inside.  

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1) The Lodger got to the heart of the matter--the body very quickly, and the repetition of Golden Curls tonight, while Frenzy had a very grand sight seeing intensive trip which showcased London on a grand scale before getting to a crowd of people who are gathered to listen to a speech and then the body washes up nearby. The reactions are similar, however the body that washed up in Frenzy is naked which adds a bit more of a reaction.

 

2) The tour of London putting Hitchcock back in his familiar territory and all seems well and normal...until a dead woman washes up who happens to be naked. Situations only get worse from here we as an audience already know this. And of course with a dead body comes a huge crowd that are witnesses just like Lodger and some of his other works. 

 

3) We are taken deep into cities, events, spectacles, locations, etc. and are shown the dark sides to them. The speech taking place in Frenzy could've remained a speech but a dead body had to show up. London isn't at all what it seems. Someone or something is lurking in the shadows and why choose to come to the light now? Hitchcock always knows when to put his foot on the gas, and towards the end if we are lucky he taps the brake.

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison. 


First, while in both we have the discovery of a dead body, the method of attracting attention to it is different. Because The Lodger was a silent film, Hitchcock had to use visual cues and extradiegetic sound, such as the "To-Night Golden Curls" and the scream. In Frenzy, we have the basic action of the man yelling "Look!" Also, the discovery of the body is right at the beginning of the film in The Lodger, while in Frenzy, it takes three and a half minutes to discover it.


Another difference is in the presentation of London itself. In The Lodger, Hithcock played more to its seedier aspects, to set a very ominous mood from the start. However in Frenzy, Hitchcock opens with a very Travelogue-y type introduction to the city, with the aerial view and pleasant/regal music.


What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.


One common Hitchcock touch is giving the audience more information than the characters in the film. By coming in through the aerial and actually being present and the discovery of the body, we know more than the main characters who weren't actually present.


There was also a bit of the POV shot. While watching the gentleman speak, the shot gives you the perspective of anyone standing in that crowd. Also, the speed with which the camera shot around to view the dead body is like someone who was near the back just turned around and saw it.


Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes? In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.


I feel like the most important purpose of Hitchcock's opening scenes was to give the audience an at least basic idea of what the storyline of the movie would entail. If I remember correctly, in the first week of this course there was some line saying that Hitchcock would rather let the audience in on the storyline instead of keep them in the dark so that they could focus more on the actual story and less on figuring it out. In most of the opening scenes that we have watched, we have either met all of the main characters, or at the very least had some intimation of any missing ones. There has also generally been some indication of the main conflict in the film, or as in the case of Psycho, what will set off the conflict. In this film. we are immediately introduced to the scene (London) and are lead to believe that the conflict will center around this dead body.


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1. The opening shot differs in that we see a much more graphic shot of the dead woman. 

2. Common touches. Crowd scene in public place. Zooming overhead camera shot. Hitchcock cameo. Bit of irony, comedy. "we will clean up the river" just before a body is found. 

3. I think the main purpose to to show the normal "optimistic" side of humanity, i.e. We are going to clean up the rivers and then the dark side. A body in that river. 

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How does the opening of Frenzy differ from the opening of The Lodger? Feel free to rewatch the clip from The Lodger (Daily Dose #2) for comparison.

The opening scenes of the Lodger and Frenzy are an interlocking perfectly fitted puzzle. (In my mind). Hitchcock provides genius continuity throughout the span of time I see the connection between the murdered woman. So obviously linked are the two dead bodies and of course the public reaction to the carnage. The woman are horrified. The men are first reacting then planning for their own families and safety. You can also feel the palpable plans to help save both communities from this predator or cause of the deaths. Thirdly the need to communicate the issues at hand is causing a "frenzy "

2. What are some of the common Hitchcock touches that you see in this opening scene? Be specific.

Obviously I notice the music score and the clarity of which the scene is presented. I feel immediately connected as I do with Hitchcocks work. There are commoners all around and they witness an uncommon sight- a dead body. Mr H also had that brief cameo I. The introduction on the pier. It was my first view of that and I truly enjoyed it. All of these things are part of his "touch". And of course the indescribable feeling of Hitchcock permeates the entire opening. Can't adequately describe a feeling. You must feel it.

 

3. Using Frenzy as an example, what thoughts do you have about the various purposes Hitchcock had in mind when he created his opening scenes?

I believe these opening scenes are exactly what Hitchcock intended. (Even with all his films ). Curiously at its peak ! That's what !! His films cause my mind to question everything in his films. That is the reason I never ever get sick or tired of the master. Initially we are asking "wow. I wonder if they could really clean up the water there coming in to London. ?? Wonder if the environment could improve enough and have no laundry detergent polluting the channel. Why is the girl floating ? Is she dead ? Where are her clothes ? Were they ripped from her or was she swimming ? Who is she ? Etc etc etc.

In the Daily Doses, we have focused on opening scenes, so there should be patterns or strategies you have noticed over the course of opening scenes spanning Hitchcock's 50 year career.

The patterns and strategies are endless. I am an amateur I feel inadequate to describe these delicious delicacies. But I'll try. The knowledge he imparts to us is special. We feel privileged to be "above the events" he is trying to depict. We see trouble and violence (or possible violent activities ). But we are the voyeur. We are helpless but on occasion we feel influential just by the "viewing". Patterns actually old time movie art such as the lodger shows the murder and the plot is revealed. Nothing much changes as Frenzy is shown as the murder and plot revealed. But of course the newer movie is much more graphic.

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