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konway87

Top 5 Hitchcock films

333 posts in this topic

Hi, Lynn! -- How have you been? I see you're about to start your Challenge. Good luck!

 

If you try to tell me one more time you don't know nothin' about the movies, I am going to have to smack you.

 

You're gonna smack me, too? I'm used to such violence from others on this board, but I didn't expect it from you. I guess I better watch myself now. ;)

 

Your insightful analysis of both Vertigo and The Birds (not to mention Cat People and the Curse of the Cat People, reveals, that unlikely Prissy, you know a great deal about what you speak.

 

Thank ya kindly, Ma'am. I greatly appreciate your kindness. I can fake it when I'm inclined to do so.

 

And what's this I hear about you've not seen Rio Grande?

 

That's correct. I've only seen five Feeney films, although I now have access to many more.

 

Frank, if ever there was a film that depicted womanly longings this is it. All one has to do is but gaze upon Maureen O'Hara's desire to reconcile with John Wayne to learn enough to fill a book.

 

Womanly longings? Somebody is paying attention around here, Hawkeye. Rio Grande is on the docket for tomorrow... I hope. I may even get to another Feeney film this week if I'm motivated or pushed to do so.

 

By the way, I taped Harvey.

 

riogrande4.jpg

 

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Darn it...I'm a little late to the birds party. I see you folks have been in the thick of things. So let me just say, again...another wonderfully written analysis Frank: (Annie & Melanie).

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Hi Everyone!

Just joined the message forums and thought this post would make a good first...!

 

My top 5 Hitch films are.....

#1-Frenzy ''72

#2-Blackmail '29

#3-Rope '48

#4-Dial "M" for Murder '54

#5-Rearwindow '54

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By the way, I taped Harvey.>>

 

That's a good thing, Frank, but you will enjoy it more after you have watched it, I think. :)

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Agreed. Harvey is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. Henry Koster's Direction is brilliant. William H. Daniels who did the cinematography for The Shop around the Corner also did the cinematography for Harvey (1950).

 

Frank Grimes, I am sure you will enjoy Harvey (1950).

 

William H. Daniels and Joseph Valentine were great cinematographers. They both knew what they were doing. Joseph Valentine did cinematography for Hitchcock films like Saboteur, Shadow of A Doubt, and Rope.

 

I wasn't into Jack Cardiff's cinematography in Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger films. But I loved his cinematography in Hitchcock's Under Capricorn.

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Agreed. Harvey is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart films. Henry Koster's Direction is brilliant. William H. Daniels who did the cinematography for The Shop around the Corner also did the cinematography for Harvey (1950).

 

Frank Grimes, I am sure you will enjoy Harvey (1950).

 

William H. Daniels and Joseph Valentine were great cinematographers. They both knew what they were doing. Joseph Valentine did cinematography for Hitchcock films like Saboteur, Shadow of A Doubt, and Rope.

 

I wasn't into Jack Cardiff's cinematography in Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger films. But I loved his cinematography in Hitchcock's Under Capricorn.

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Hola, CineMaven -- Darn it...I'm a little late to the birds party. I see you folks have been in the thick of things. So let me just say, again...another wonderfully written analysis Frank: (Annie & Melanie).

 

Thanks, Girl. I've got more to go. The center of the universe is about to enter the picture. ;) Love ain't always ducky.

 

Hi, Webestang -- Welcome to the board!

 

I love your top five Hitch films. Frenzy and Blackmail at the top two spots is highly unique. All five of your films are in my top 20 for Hitch.

 

Hey, Lynn -- By the way, I taped Harvey.>>

 

That's a good thing, Frank, but you will enjoy it more after you have watched it, I think.

 

Nice shot! I didn't expect to see you firin' bullets at me.

 

Heya, Konway -- Frank Grimes, I am sure you will enjoy Harvey (1950).

 

I'm sure that I will, too. It's just a matter of how much. I've been taken to task for saying I "liked" a film but didn't "love it." Of course, my appreciation for that particular film has gone up since my initial viewing. That's usually the case with me.

 

William H. Daniels and Joseph Valentine were great cinematographers. They both knew what they were doing. Joseph Valentine did cinematography for Hitchcock films like Saboteur, Shadow of A Doubt, and Rope.

 

Daniels started out with one of the greats, Erich von Stroheim. He was Garbo's DP and I loved his work on two of Anthony Mann's films, Winchester '73 and The Far Country.

 

I wasn't into Jack Cardiff's cinematography in Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger films. But I loved his cinematography in Hitchcock's Under Capricorn.

 

I've yet to check out the Powell/Pressburger films. I definitely like the Gothic look of Under Capricorn.

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What's your opinion on Hitchcock's long take technique? As you all know, Hitchcock started long take technique in 1930s. And we see those long take technique influence on films like North by Northwest and Psycho.

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I'm a fan of the long take. Hitch, Welles, Dryer, and Cassavetes all used this technique, and I love their work. A long take gives the actors a chance to live in their character, much like the stage, but on a smaller scale. Cassavetes used to actually let actors run through entire scenes from the beginning and would only start filming where he needed to. If you've got a good cast that knows each other well, there's a lot of spontaneous magic or slight bits of improvisation that can take place that would otherwise be unrepeatable. This is one reason many of these directors chose to work with the same actors over and over. They could trust their instincts to deliver what was needed for the part, sometimes in unexpected ways.

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the long take technique in Rope is different compared to long take technique used in Hitchcock's other films like The Paradine Case, Under Capricorn, Rebecca, Suspicion, and Shadow of A Doubt.

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What is everyone's opinion on Foreign Correspondent? I think it is an underrated Hitchcock film. I thought this film foreshadowed films like Rear Window and North by Northwest.

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I like FC, but I don't love it. I think the humor is really cute, especially the part where Joel McRea sends up all those notes to Larraine Day. I find Herbert Marshall splendid as one of the long line of suave Hitchcock villains. I just can't accept that he's bad! He's too wonderful! I really felt so disappointed about how he turned out the first time I saw it, which is a testament to how well he is presented in the film. Hitch wants you to like him. This is one film that Hitch wanted Gary Cooper for and of course, it would have been MUCH better if he had gotten him. :P

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Gary Cooper wasn't interested doing a thriller. When Gary Cooper refused to play the role, Hitchcock immediately went to Joel McCrea. And Joel McCrea accepted the part. I always love the Windmill scene. Hitchcock put a brilliant scene that touches me whenever I watch it. Hitchcock shows Horrors of a War through a scene near to the ending. Its the scene where Mr. Krug and his men forces Van Meer to tell them "Clause 27."

 

When Herbert Marshall (Stephen Fisher) enters the room, you can see tears in his eyes. There is also another touching scene. It is the scene where Mr. Krug's men forces Van Meer to tell Clause 27 when Herbert Marshall (Stephen Fisher) failed to get Clause 27 from Van Meer. And you will see the face reaction of George Sanders (Scott Ffoliott) and woman next to him.

 

Hitchcock uses this same reaction in Rear Window with James Stewart.

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I don't remember those scenes very well. I know I always perk up when George Sanders entered the picture, it's always nice seeing him play the good guy and for a change, Marshall is the villain, if a very sympathetic one. I thought the plane crash scenes were pretty effective for the day.

 

I like it, but t's not one of Hitch's movies I would say I have to have on dvd and enjoy watching over and over.

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That's a nice photo of Hitchcock putting his 50th film "Torn Curtain" on the top of his other films. I agree. Its really hard to pick 5. I also decided to put informations on Some of the Screenwriters who worked with Hitchcock. I will start with James Bridie.

 

James Bridie - James Bridie is a playwright who worked with Hitchcock in 3 films. They are The Paradine Case, Under Capricorn, and Stage Fright. James Bridie and Alma Reville wrote the adaptation for The Paradine Case. With Ben Hecht, James Bridie wrote a brilliant screenplay for The Paradine Case. But David O. Selznick wanted to write screenplay himself. So David O. Selznick wrote the screenplay based on adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie. James Bridie also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's Under Capricorn. James Bridie is famous for his biblical plays. Jonah and the Whale and Tobias and the Angel are his famous biblical plays. Alfred Hitchcock and James Bridie put lots of Christian Symbolisms in Under Capricorn. For Example, Connections of St. Mary Magdalene (Patron Saint of Penitent Sinners) and Characters in the film. After Under Capricorn, James Bridie wrote additional dialogue in Stage Fright (1950). Stage Fright (1950) was James Bridie's last film as a writer. James Bridie passed away in 1951.

 

Samson Raphaelson - Samson Raphaelson wrote the screenplay for Suspicion (1941). Samson Raphaelson is famous for his brilliant screenplays with Ernst Lubitsch. Trouble in Paradise (1932) and The Shop around the Corner (1940) are great examples. The Jazz Singer (1927) is based on Samson Raphaelson's play of same name. Samson Raphaelson worked with Ernst Lubitsch in 9 films.

 

Arthur Laurents - Arthur Laurents wrote the screenplay for Rope (1948). Arthur Laurents is famous for his plays "West Side Story" and "The Time of the Cuckoo." David Lean made Summetime (1955) based on the play "The Time of the Cuckoo." Hitchcock wanted Arthur Laurents to do the screenplay for Under Capricorn (1949). But Arthur Laurents wasn't interested. So Hitchcock went to James Bridie to work on Under Capricorn. Alfred Hitchcock also requested Arthur Laurents to do the screenplay for Topaz (1969). But Arthur Laurents wasn't interested. So Hitchcock hired Samuel A. Taylor to do the screenplay.

 

Czenzi Ormonde - wrote Strangers on a Train (1951) screenplay. Raymond Chandler is listed as the first writer of the script in the screencredits. But none of his works were used. Hitchcock disliked Raymond Chandler's script. So Hitchcock called Ben Hecht to do the screenplay. But Ben Hecht was unavailable. So Ben Hecht sent his assistant Czenzi Ormonde to work on the screenplay.

 

Thornton Wilder - Thornton Wilder wrote the screenplay for Shadow of A Doubt (1943). Thornton Wilder is famous for his play "The Matchmaker." Hello Dolly (1969) film is based on the play "The Matchmaker." Hitchcock hired Thornton Wilder, because he was impressed by Thornton Wilder's screenplay for Sam Wood's "Our Town." Screenplay was based on Thornton Wilder's own play "Our Town." Shadow of A Doubt was Hitchcock's personal favorite film out of all films he directed.

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I got a request from a friend to write all of symbolisms on Under Capricorn (1949). So I am writing symbolisms on Under Capricorn (1949) here.

 

Under Capricorn can also be called "A Tale of Two Countries." And Hitchcock relates Charles Adare to Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities. They both have pasts of shameful emptiness. As for Lady Henrietta, her mind is filled with shame and guilt. Alcoholism is sign of her shame.

 

And Guilt can be seen throughout the movie. St. Mary Magdalene (the patron saint of penitent sinners) in religious iconography: the bare feet, skull, the flail, the looking glass in which beholder?s is not always reflected, the jewels cast down to floor. All of these images are in the film. Sources for the imagery that Hitchcock might have had in mind are the paintings St. Mary Magdalene With a Candle (1630-1635) and St. Mary Magdalene With a Mirror (1635-1645), both by Georges de la Tour.

 

We see skull in the form of shrunken head. we see bare feet when Lady Henrietta is introduced. As for the looking glass in which beholder?s is not always reflected, we see the sunset scene with Lady Henrietta and Charles Adare. As for flail, Charles Adare brings his flail to Minyago Yugilla in the beginning. As for jewels cast down to the floor, we see Lady Henrietta's clothes cast down to the floor. Here are some paintings of St. Mary Magdalene.

 

Here is a painting of Georges de La Tour's Repenting St. Mary Magdalene.

http://www.abcgallery.com/L/latour/latour42.html

 

In this painting, we see barefeet, skull, flail, and candle.

 

Here is another painting of St. Mary Magdalene.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Georges_de_La_Tour_009.jpg

 

In this painting, we see Mirror and clothes cast down to the floor.

 

Minyago Yugilla means why weepest thou?

 

In John Chapter 20:15 we see Jesus asking St. Mary Magdalene "Why weepest thou?"

 

Charles Adare wanting to recreate Hattie as if she were still young Hattie Considine, he desires his own form of second chance, to return to the point in the past where he might start afresh, without the shameful emptiness of his adventures so far.

 

Hitchcock sometime uses Alice in Wonderland references in his films. For Example, everyone calls Lady Henrietta "Hattie." And People think she is mad. This relates to Mad Hattie/Mad Hatter Linkage. We see a Mad Breakfast Scene in the middle of the film.

 

Lady Henrietta is also related Hannah in Old Testament, because they both have no children. In the long take scene where Lady Henrietta mentions about the past, she says "Wrong to Love him. Wrong to marry him." Also She says "No Children."

 

In Old testament 1 Samuel 1:8 Elkanah asks Hannah "Why weepest thou?"

 

And Hannah is depressed, because she has no children.

 

Both Charles Adare and Sydney Carton become honorable heroes in the end. Also Both characters save someone from the jail in the end. Sydney Carton saves Charles Darnay from the jail. And Charles Adare saves Samson Flusky from the jail.

 

James Bridie (Screenwriter of Under Capricorn) is famous for his biblical plays. Jonah and the Whale and Tobias and the Angel are his famous biblical plays. And we see lots of other Christian references. We see Milly saying this famous line near to the end of the film - "The Lord works in Mysterious ways." James Bridie wrote the screenplay with Hitchcock. And Hume Cronyn did the adaptation.

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Hi, Posi Punk -- I like your Hitch list. Three of your top five are in my top

six: Vertigo, Strangers on a Train, and North by Northwest.

I also really like Spellbound and Foreign Correspondent.

 

Hey, Konway -- That was a fascinating read. You were the first person

who pointed out the Mary Magdalene connection with Under Capricorn

to me. I believe it to be so. I also agree with you on Alice's Adventures in

Wonderland.

 

undercapricorn1.jpg

 

undercapricorn2.jpg

 

undercapricorn3.jpg

 

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undercapricorn5.jpg

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Back to The Birds. And I do apologize for the loooooooong delay.

 

I had left off with Melanie (Tippi Hedren) driving away from Annie's

(Suzanne Pleshette) house.

 

Melanie first stops off in town where we see her signing an envelope, "To Cathy."

She then drives down to the marina to pick up the motor boat that she had

reserved ahead of time.

 

thebirds33.jpg

 

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I find the above cap interesting because of the names of the boats at the dock.

We see "Donna", "Maria 2", and "Frolic." Of course, boats are "she's" and one

is left to wonder if these are to represent other women who have attempted to

reach Mitch. I don't believe that to be, though.

 

thebirds49.jpg

 

The above cap features the last bit of dialogue we are to hear for five minutes and

twenty-eight seconds. Hitch is going to show us the power of love without the

help of words.

 

Melanie's sneak attack on Mitch's heart is on schedule. Everything is going to plan.

She's still very much in control and quite confident.

 

thebirds79.jpg

 

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As Melanie approaches the Brenner farm, she notices Mitch (Rod Taylor), Lydia

(Jessia Tandy), and Cathy (Veronica Cartwright) outside. She quickly shuts off

the motor to the boat. She will then see Lydia and Cathy drive off in the truck.

Mitch stays behind but he enters the barn. This fits into her plan. Melanie reaches

the Brenner's dock and docks her boat. With lovebirds in hand, she sneaks into

the Brenner's house.

 

thebirds52.jpg

 

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Melanie places the lovebirds' cage in the living room/den. But now she has

to make a decision. Does she leave the envelope addressed to "Mr. Mitchell Brenner"

or the one that reads, "To Cathy"? She goes with "To Cathy" and tears up the envelope

addressed to Mitch. A wise decision.

 

thebirds38.jpg

 

thebirds39.jpg

 

thebirds40.jpg

 

Melanie then sneaks back out of the house without being seen and quickly jumps

into her motor boat and shoves off. But instead of speeding away, she decides to

row just a short distance away. She then notices Mitch leaving the barn and heading

towards the house. She decides to stop rowing and watch the house in the hopes

that Mitch sees the lovebirds and then comes back outside. Love is a curious

thing, after all.

 

thebirds41.jpg

 

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thebirds42.jpg

 

thebirds43.jpg

 

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Mitch notices the lovebirds and comes rushing out of the house to figure out who

left them. He first looks down the road. He sees nothing. He then looks out to

the water and notices a boat. Melanie notices that he sees her. Mitch then runs

into the house to fetch some binoculars.

 

thebirds47.jpg

 

thebirds46.jpg

 

thebirds56.jpg

 

Sneaky Melanie doesn't want to be seen yet she wants to be seen.

 

thebirds57.jpg

 

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The following sequence is a beautiful example of Hitchcock love combined with

foreshadowing. While Mitch is in the house getting his binoculars, Melanie is

trying to start the motor boat. The engine is not turning over. When we (from

Melanie's point of view) next look back at the house, we see a shot of gulls flying

around Melanie's boat. They are sensing something. They are being drawn here

for a reason. The next shot is of Mitch looking through his binoculars. Once he

sees that it's Melanie, the engine to her boat starts. Their love for each other has

been hatched. Mitch has a big ol' grin on his face and Melanie has a sheepish

smile. Ahhhh, sneaky girls are the best, especially ones full of lovely surprises.

Mitch knows this.

 

thebirds59.jpg

 

The gulls are gathering around Melanie's boat. Why?

 

thebirds60.jpg

 

thebirds61.jpg

 

The view from the binoculars is heart-shaped. Melanie is Mitch's valentine.

 

thebirds62.jpg

 

thebirds63.jpg

 

thebirds64.jpg

 

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Just as Melanie did at the pet shop and the subsequent drive to Bodega Bay, Mitch

is going to chase after Melanie. It's his turn to have the "love burst." Both hearts

are racing. He's going to catch her... and she wants to be caught.

 

thebirds66.jpg

 

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Mitch beats Melanie to the dock and they both acknowledge each other with

smiles. Their love for each other is about to be realized. But right before that

moment can occur, a gull strikes Melanie in the temple. It's the first attack.

Something is amiss. What is it?

 

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The sign in the background is a little Hitch wink.

 

thebirds77.jpg

 

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More to come...

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That silent sequence when Melanie deposits the birds in Mitch's house is my favorite in the movie. It's so "movie movie" and shows the director's sure hand with silent cinema. It reminds me of another scene with the same actress: when Marnie sneaks into Mark's "house" (publishing house) to take something out of it.

 

I love Rod Taylor's smile. His smile reminds me a lot of Gary Cooper's.

 

It's beside the point, but I love comparing the way makeup is used on the actresses in the Hitchcock color films. I notice that Melanie wears very strong red and coral lipsticks and nail polish in The Birds; whereas Marnie wears more subdued shades, regardless of her haircolor. Grace wears little makeup in neutral colors in *To Catch a Thief* (she's on holiday, of course, but she seems to consciously "tone herself down" in comparison to her more "flashy" Mom) whereas in *Rear Window* her eye makeup is striiking and her lipstick is true scarlet (befitting a Park Avenue socialite). And all of these characters wear a soft green colored outfit at some point.

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"The view from the binoculars is heart-shaped. Melanie is Mitch's valentine."- I never noticed that. That's a great observation. The names of boat like "Maria 2" "Donna", and "Frolic." Its very interesting to see that we only see names of women.

 

I also agree that Rod Taylor's smile is similar to Gary Cooper's smile. A Great Post, Frank Grimes. Waiting for more informations about The Birds.

 

I thought I should post some informations about Marnie.

 

As you all know, Marnie reacts to red only when the color red is against a white backdrop, such as in the case with the gladiolus against the white drapes and when someone is wearing red with white background (horse rider - White Dress with red dots).

 

But I don't know if anyone noticed symbolisms. In the Beginning Credits, we see White and Red.

 

Here is the link.

 

http://hitchcock.dreamhosters.com/hitch/1000/Marnie%20(1964'>http://hitchcock.dreamhosters.com/hitch/1000/Marnie%20(1964'>http://hitchcock.dreamhosters.com/hitch/1000/Marnie%20(1964'>http://hitchcock.dreamhosters.com/hitch/1000/Marnie%20(1964)/0004.jpg

 

There are also paintings with Red and White. Here is the link.

 

http://hitchcock.dreamhosters.com/hitch/1000/Marnie%20(1964)/0570.jpg

 

We see Red/White Painting on the wall.

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Hi.

My first post.

Always look for Hitchcock in his films. Two really early ones, Murder & the original

The Man Who Knew Too Much were made before H. came to USA.

My favs are Notorious(Cary Grant, please), Psycho, Vertigo(dark), Rebecca(anything

w/ Olivier), Rope.

 

Personal: I am Webestang's Mom & he got his love of movies almost genetically.

Good to be here

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Welcome, Bargar! How wonderful that you and your son can share your love of movies! I hope you will enjoy it here, and please post often! :)

 

I love watching out for Hitch's "cameos", it's so cute the ingenious ways he found to pop up! I read that Carole Lombard, one of my favorite actresses, directed Hitch's appearance in Mr and Mrs Smith.

 

I think Cary Grant's character "Devlin", in Notorious, is one of the most attractive Hitchcock "heroes" and he's also one of the darkest.

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