Dr. Rich Edwards

8/1/17 Lecture Note Discussion: Remakes, Homages, and Films Inspired by Hitchcock

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned Mission Impossible II. It borrows a great deal of its plot from Notorious. It must have been on the special features, because it's not in the trivia on IMDb, that Tom Cruise liked Notorious and particularly Ingrid Bergman. The trivia for Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation says that Tom Cruise first crush was on Ingrid Bergman in Notorious, and that Rebecca Ferguson wash chosen for this later movie because she looks like Bergman. The trivia for other Mission Impossible movies references other Hitchcock movies, so perhaps Cruise is a Hitchcock fan.

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Dear all,

 

It is amazing how many times watching the films for this course, I stopped and realized the materials/idea had been 'borrowed' post Hitchcock, e.g., the scene in, "Sneakers" with Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Mary McDonald, Ben Kingsley, etc., where Robert asks CIA agent Sidney to get each of his team something large and what they can't afford totally in the same way as Alfred had done (sorry can't place the film just now)--even with the same film shot and positions of the leading actors and secondary actors.  It blew me away!  

 

Your reference to Robert Redford reminds me of a recent viewing of Three Days of the Condor.  Redford is hiding out in the apartment of Faye Dunaway, who is a photographer.  An assassin aims to take out Redford, making his way into the apartment where Redford is trying to hide out.  During the fight scene, Redford uses a handy camera with a flash bulb a la Rear Window.  I suppose the entire premise of Three Days reflects multiple Hitchcock motifs and themes.  Thanks for reminding me with your post.  

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"The 39 Steps" - the play - is an adaptation of John Buchan's novel of 1915 and Hitchcock's movie of 1935. It has won many awards and ran on Broadway for a couple of years. It's a unique parody of Hitchcock. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_39_Steps_(play).  A melodrama, it is a laugh a minute and well worth seeing on stage. I had the luck to catch during the summer theater program at Lees-McCrae College in Banner Elk, NC during the summer of 2013. I don't know how it comes over as a video, but the Desert Springs Theater Arts has its version on YouTube at 

 

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the score to Star Wars and Taxi Driver both have a cue from Psycho in the films...can you guess what cue that is?

 

Is it the sharp chords at the end of TAXI DRIVER as Travis' eyes dart from the rear view mirror out to the street?

 

That got me thinking. How about TAXI DRIVER? There's a case for some inspiration at least from some Hitchcock movies, especially VERTIGO and PSYCHO.

 

-a Bernard Hermann score

-an opening shot on eyes

-a twisted, perverted lead, who initially is cast as somewhat everyman (Vietnam vet, cab driver) but has some clearly extreme psychological issues--compare with Scottie in VERTIGO, or the villain Norman Bates in PSYCHO

-choosing to shower certain scenes with colored light--most notably, RED. This recalls ROPE and VERTIGO.

-Travis is constantly driving or looking out and spying on others, particularly Betsy.

-I did a google search Scorsese has mentioned THE WRONG MAN as an influence for its camera moves. I'd have to really study both again but Scorsese certainly Travis' sense of paranoia and isolation visually, which Hitchcock did to a different end in THE WRONG MAN. I'll add that since THE WRONG MAN seems less flashy than many of Hitch's other movies in terms of camera moves that also resonants to me, as Scorsese's camera moves are far less flashy than in many of his other movies.  

-The city and its streets as a dark place, especially at night (The Wrong Man again)

-a cab ride at the end with rear projection and has a dream-like quality for most of it, and an icey blonde --Travis' object of desire Betsy is both objectified and an idealized character for Travis

-pushing to extreme things that Hitchcock flirts with such as identifying with a "hero" who is a villain. For instance, in the car sinking scene in PSYCHO, where the audience is arguably encouraged to identify with and potentially root for a bad guy (Norman in PSYCHO; Travis in TAXI DRIVER). In TAXI DRIVER the entire movie is oriented and tied to Travis' point of view. Additionally, both leads are isolated from the rest of society. 

-slow overhead tracking shots after a big burst of action

-They're done differently, but both ending shots of PSYCHO and TAXI DRIVER, I think leave viewers uneasy, unsure about any possibility of redemption for either, and confronted with each's capacity violence and how it might not be controllable...it's just a matter of time. Bernard Hermann punctuates this moment with a sharp bit of score, which seems a bit like some of those PSYCHO murder scenes, but it's a much briefer moment.

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British Films with Hitchcock themes.

This is a list of older British films that seem to fit the topic.

 

The 39 Steps  (1959)  remake with Kenneth More

The Long Memory (1953)  John Mills as a wrongly accused man out to get his revenge

Desperate Moment (1953)  a double chase film, Dirk Bogarde is a fugitive hunted by the police and hunting for the guilty parties

October Man (1947)  John Mills, who has a memory problem, may have killed the young woman murdered in the square

Crooks Tour (1941)  Caldecott and Charters and spies

Night Train to Munich (1940)   suspenseful early Carol Reed, with Margaret Lockwood, Rex Harrison, Caldicott and Charters.  

        Harrison impersonates a  Nazi officer while trying to rescue  Lockwood's father.   

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:D  I'm not sure if this is even a good movie but I really enjoyed it thanks to our discussions and class. (I know it doesn't rank up there with movies by Coppolla, DePalma, etc.) I was just amazed and pleased at the number of Hitchcock touches, themes, shots it referenced. Just discovering them throughout the movie was enough. It's currently available on Netflix:

 

In The Shadow Of Iris (2016)

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5598110/

 

 

Oh, and of course there's always Stanley Donen's Charade, which does rank up there.

 

Third times the charm, meaning I'll stop re-editing this adding as a film comes to mind:

 

Silence of the Lambs - Strong female protagonist plus educated, intelligent, sophisticated villain who we secretly appreciate.

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Easy Rider (1969)

 

MacGuffin - The drug money stashed in the teardrop tank of Captain America's chopper.

Doubles - Two bikers...

Travelogue - ...off to find America.

Murder - Actually three in the final count.

Montage Editing - Acid trip in New Orleans.

Landmarks - House of Blue Lights.

Sophisticated Use of Score - Soundtrack totally establishes social context.

Mother Issues (Freud) - "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"

 

This exercise is fun. I'd have to revisit Easy Rider, but I'll bet I'd find a blonde, a mirror, a high angle shot, color filters, etc.

 

 

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Charade has already been mentioned in this list but I wanted to go into a bit more detail about this film as homage to Hitch's work, and specifically to North by Northwest.  I may have been more alert to this connection because I just watched North by Northwest and Notorious last week.

 

1,  The presence of Cary Grant, though here he is 25 years older than Hepburn. That topic is not shied away from in the film though.

 

2. A scene in which a series of cabs is hijacked and the people trying to take them are pushed away by Grant.

 

3. Grant is fighting (he's quite the action hero in this one, though in a darker suit, not his traditional gray suit) with George Kennedy on the roof of American Express, Grant goes over the edge and Kennedy's shoes approach Grant's grasping fingers, like Martin Landau's atop Mt. Rushmore.  He doesn't squash the fingers, fortunately.

 

4. Instead of the "wrong man," this one is the "wrong woman," though in a sense Hepburn IS the one the bad men are looking for, it's just that she doesn't know she has the goods.

 

5. Grant goes from room to room in the hotel by climbing out the window and inching along the ledge.  A woman inside one of the rooms exclaims that another man is peeping at her from the balcony.

 

6. Of course the idea about the stamps is not a Hitchcock take-off but a reference to Poe's "The Purloined Letter"!

 

Question:  Is there a Hitch film with a kid shooting a water pistol?  That's here too, but I can't bring a specific Hitch reference to mind.

 

I wonder if Stanley Donen does a walk-on anywhere in Charade?

 

Rebecca

 

Your question makes me think of Hitchcock's cameo in Blackmail​, where he is being bothered by the boy on the Underground. Not a water pistol, but very similar and could have been the inspiration for Charade. Great analysis, by the way!

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Charade has already been mentioned in this list but I wanted to go into a bit more detail about this film as homage to Hitch's work, and specifically to North by Northwest.  I may have been more alert to this connection because I just watched North by Northwest and Notorious last week.

 

1,  The presence of Cary Grant, though here he is 25 years older than Hepburn. That topic is not shied away from in the film though.

 

2. A scene in which a series of cabs is hijacked and the people trying to take them are pushed away by Grant.

 

3. Grant is fighting (he's quite the action hero in this one, though in a darker suit, not his traditional gray suit) with George Kennedy on the roof of American Express, Grant goes over the edge and Kennedy's shoes approach Grant's grasping fingers, like Martin Landau's atop Mt. Rushmore.  He doesn't squash the fingers, fortunately.

 

4. Instead of the "wrong man," this one is the "wrong woman," though in a sense Hepburn IS the one the bad men are looking for, it's just that she doesn't know she has the goods.

 

5. Grant goes from room to room in the hotel by climbing out the window and inching along the ledge.  A woman inside one of the rooms exclaims that another man is peeping at her from the balcony.

 

6. Of course the idea about the stamps is not a Hitchcock take-off but a reference to Poe's "The Purloined Letter"!

 

Question:  Is there a Hitch film with a kid shooting a water pistol?  That's here too, but I can't bring a specific Hitch reference to mind.

 

I wonder if Stanley Donen does a walk-on anywhere in Charade?

 

Rebecca

 

Your question makes me think of Hitchcock's cameo in Blackmail​, where he is being bothered by the boy on the Underground. Not a water pistol, but very similar and could have been the inspiration for Charade. Great analysis, by the way!

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Danny DeVito's "Throw Mama from the Train" 1987.

Hilarious movie and DeVito definitely paid tribute to the Master, with his criss/cross murder. I think "Body Heat" could have paid homage to Hitchcock as well. There was a lot of twist and turns that Hitchcock would have recognized. I just finished watching the movie "Witness" Peter Weir director.  I definitely saw the Hitchcock influence in this film as well. The camera shots, the suspense, the musical score and the cinematography. Weir definitely was paying attention.

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OOOO! Great example! Split was so disturbing and definitely has Hitchcockian elements!

Yup, Split is sure disturbing ! Today's so called horror movies are not that scary. They just make me cringe all the time.

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I think David Lynch has been influenced by Hitchcock certainly. His "long, elegant tracking shots", his use of music to emphasize emotion in a film or tv show, his use of favorite actors in several projects in a row. The Coen Brothers definitely combine lots of humor with gore or drama to tell their stories. This Hitchcock did, of course. 

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I find A Perfect Murder to be a pretty solid reimagining of Hitchcock's classic. Michael Douglas goes toe to toe with Ray Milland, and the twists add complexity to everything. If anything, the last half botches the end result, but I still like it.

 

As for the Psycho remake, if you can see it for what it is (a mere experiment, a curiosity) then there's no harm in it. The acting feels a bit stiff (a result of doing a shot-by-shot, line-by-line remake) but I don't think it merits the vitriol it gets. It's inoffensive.

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I watched the Age Of Innocence, 1993, Martin Scorsese on TCM the other night. I was shocked to see Scorsese use the color Red in a similar way to Marnie. He used a flash of color a few times. Also, a stairway shot down to the main floor that took me right back to Hitchcock's POV in another TCM movie that night called The Legend of Lylah Clare, 1968. This movie starred Kim Novak and the entire movie reminded me of Hitchcock so I presume Robert Aldrich was a Hitchcock fan too.  

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Oh, and speaking of Psycho remakes, I give my endorsement to A&E's recent TV show Bates Motel. It is not perfect, but it's anchored in two excellent performances from Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore as Norma and Norman Bates. Seriously, if any of you decide to give it a chance, be patient, give it time. The first 2-3 seasons are fun, but messy. Some supporting actors are pretty bad/mediocre and the pieces of the story take some time to fall in place, but the last two seasons were pretty great.

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Years ago classic film bloggers wrote about "the best Hitchcock films Hitchcock never made". My film was Truffaut's Confidentially Yours and there are some Hitch references:

 

http://criticaretro.blogspot.com.br/2012/07/de-repente-num-domingo-vivement.html 

 

By the way, here it is the full line-up of the films covered:

 

http://doriantb.blogspot.com.br/p/best-hitchcock-movies-that-hitchcock.html

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I've recently seen by Netflix the 9 seasons of "How I meet your mother", and it seemed to me that it has been, since the title and plot, a true Mac Guffin... Isn't it?

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There are two excellent films that always seemed very in the style of Hitchcock: Charade and Wilder ‘ s Witness for the prosecution..

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Here's my two cents on this topic; probably most or all of these have been mentioned before, but let's see if I've come up with something new:

 

I mentioned 1976's Silver Streak in an earlier post - very similar to North By Northwest

 

Stanley Donen's pair of European-set/romantic comedy/caper movies, Arabesque and Charade

 

And two more recent ones, both, interestingly, with Angelina Jolie:

The Tourist, another European-set/rom-com/caper film, which I rather liked

 

And, an interesting twist on the wrongly-accused man movie, the wrongly-accused woman movie:

Salt, in my opinion, also one of the better action movies of recent years.

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Like others, I also thought of Charade with Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn. Not only do we have an innocent accused, but there is humor & sex like Hitchcock would inject (Grant showering fully clothed.)

 

This film also includes wonderful locations.

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Like others, I also thought of Charade with Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn. Not only do we have an innocent accused, but there is humor & sex like Hitchcock would inject (Grant showering fully clothed.)

 

Another film I thought of is The Fugitive, based on the 1960's television show, we have an innocent man convicted, who is escapes from custody, chased all over and yet he's seeking the one-armed man who is the McGuffin.

 

I heard an interview many years ago with Steven Spielberg about Jaws, he became very frustrated that the mechanical shark would not work the way he wanted. He finally thought back to how Hitchcock never really revealed the source of suspense in his movies, so instead of showing the shark he let the music drive the mood and add to the tension until at the very end you hear the one line, "I think we need a bigger boat."

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I heard an interview many years ago with Steven Spielberg about Jaws, he became very frustrated that the mechanical shark would not work the way he wanted. He finally thought back to how Hitchcock never really revealed the source of suspense in his movies, so instead of showing the shark he let the music drive the mood and add to the tension until at the very end you hear the one line, "I think we need a bigger boat."

 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/31105/how-steven-spielbergs-malfunctioning-sharks-transformed-movie-business

 

There is also the great pairing of John Williams score to the film much like the collaboration between Hitchcock and any of the composers for his films.

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Like others, I also thought of Charade with Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn. Not only do we have an innocent accused, but there is humor & sex like Hitchcock would inject (Grant showering fully clothed.)

 

Another film I thought of is The Fugitive, based on the 1960's television show, we have an innocent man convicted, who is escapes from custody, chased all over and yet he's seeking the one-armed man who is the McGuffin.

 

I heard an interview many years ago with Steven Spielberg about Jaws, he became very frustrated that the mechanical shark would not work the way he wanted. He finally thought back to how Hitchcock never really revealed the source of suspense in his movies, so instead of showing the shark he let the music drive the mood and add to the tension until at the very end you hear the one line, "I think we need a bigger boat."

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Another film I thought of is The Fugitive, based on the 1960's television show, we have an innocent man convicted, who is escapes from custody, chased all over and yet he's seeking the one-armed man who is the McGuffin.

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