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TomJH

And Your Favourite Hitchcock Film Is . . . ?

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I took a review of this thread to see if there was any one Hitchcock film that has an edge in popularity with those who decided to respond. Note: I did not include the picks of anyone who did not pick a definitive favourite or, at least, heavily leaned towards one in their comments. (So any who listed a number of his films, without a preference for one, were not included in the results below).

 

Three Votes Each:

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Shadow-of-a-Doubt-alfred-hitchcock-26751

Rear Window (1954)

rear+window+stewart.jpg

North By Northwest (1959)

image-w1280.jpg?1543838420

Psycho (1960)

Audiovisual-cues-in-Psycho-1960-Source-m

Two Votes Each:

Rope

Vertigo

One Vote Each:

39 Steps

Young and Innocent

Rebecca

Notorious

Trouble With Harry

Frenzy

 

So there appears to be no clear cut winner, though some of the standard Hitchcock titles got a bit of preference. I guess there's enough in the Hitchcock canon to appeal to most of us. Unlike some other directors, Hitch doesn't have one title that has kept his name still well known today. It's the variety of his work, going right back to his early days in England, that still seems to keep many of us entertained. That says something for the man's work.

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On 12/28/2018 at 10:14 AM, jakeem said:

Hitchcock's cameo in "Rear Window" shows him tinkering with a clock in the apartment of a songwriter (played by Ross Bagdasarian). 

In real life, Bagdasarian (1919-1972) was a songwriter as well as an actor. With his cousin William Saroyan, he wrote "Come On-a My House," which was a huge hit for Rosemary Clooney in 1951.

Later in the 1950s, he sped up recordings of his voice to create a trio of singing Chipmunks: Simon, Theodore and Alvin. Using the pseudonym David Seville, Bagdasarian produced such hits as "Witch Doctor" and "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)." 

In 1961, the popularity of The Chipmunks led to "The Alvin Show" on CBS -- and an animation empire was born. It is run today by Bagdasarian's son, Ross Jr.

Image result for hitchcock cameo in rear window

Wowee! I never noticed that before. Thanks!!!

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On 12/28/2018 at 10:55 AM, Det Jim McLeod said:

I agree on "Shadow Of A Doubt" and Hitchcock himself agreed as well, it's was his favorite.

Joseph Cotten was excellent as Uncle Charlie. He was not some wild eyed, mouth foaming maniac, but a well dressed, soft spoken gentleman. We never saw a villain like that, from a small town and loving family. 

Teresa Wright was also great as Young Charlie, the girl who worships her uncle but is the only who finds out about his crimes. She also finds some darkness within herself as she even threatens to kill him.

The supporting cast is great, Henry Travers and Patricia Collinge are Wright's unsuspecting parents. Macdonald Carey and Wallace Ford show up as a pair of suspicious undercover cops. Hume Cronyn has his first and one of his best roles as an eccentric neighbor with a grisly sense of humor.

Hitchcock's direction has many of his great trademarks, such as camera pans in the beginning from bridges, streets and finally to small room with Cotten on the bed and the shots of the two Charlies where the seem like two sides of a coin, especially eerie scene where both are in shadow as the face off against each other.

The script and dialogue are seem very real and natural. Much of it is due to "Our Town" playwright Thornton Wilder. And the final twist has Wright and Carey the only ones who know the truth about Uncle Charlie while the rest of the family and town hail him as a hero. 

In short, I love everything about it!

Excellent review. I think Joseph Cotten is good in anything he ever did. 

It's a sleepy home town where practically nothing ever happens. Then you have this eccentric uncle show up who is offered the best bed, the evening paper before Dad gets to read it, and damn good meals. His sister adores him as much as young Charlie. Why, they even serve wine with dinner.

Young Charlie is known by everybody and she is anxious to show off her uncle. It's just so much fun for a murder mystery. 

But don't get me wrong! Rear Window is my second fave followed by North By Northwest. 

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On 12/28/2018 at 9:12 PM, Sgt_Markoff said:

Also enjoyed the carnival 'freaks' sequence in 'Saboteur' (Bob Cummings, Priscilla Lane, Norman Lloyd; screenplay co-scripted by Dorothy Parker)

Saboteurposter.jpg

To keep going with a list? I like the first/earliest version of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'. Can't recall who the heck the protagonist was but following Peter Lorre to the crazy religious sect headquarters --down that dark side-street --is just the kind of thing I like.

Another good one for me would be 'Sabotage'. That's the one based on Joe Conrad's 'Secret Agent' whereas Hitchcock's 'Secret Agent' (another film) is based on Somerset Maugham's "Ashenden". Both legendary works of espionage.

Yikes! I forgot about Saboteur. Another favorite. 

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On 12/29/2018 at 2:11 PM, Lost In Space said:

I could not pick a favorite Hitchcock movie. I can say, even though I live near Bodega Bay and love the ocean, I do not like THE BIRDS. I know Lawrence would rather poke his eyes out, pun intended, than watch musicals. I would give a strong vote for THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. Doris sings, so we have a winner.

My dream vacation is a trip to California and a speedy drive along the coast to Bodega Bay. 

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On 12/29/2018 at 5:36 PM, TomJH said:

Hitch's sense of humour is evident here but he gives a curiously inaccurate answer when asked if he works in Hollywood. I wonder if he was trying to mislead the panel.

Wicked! Thank you!!!

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22 hours ago, TomJH said:

I've always thought that FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, a light hearted pre-war European-set spy drama filmed in 1940, has gotten rather short shrift from a lot of Hitchcock fans. It was released the same year as REBECCA, which received a lot of ballyhoo with Oscar nominations and a best picture win. Perhaps the film was unjustly overshadowed right from the beginning.

But for sheer entertainment I would pick the globe trotting FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT over the vast majority of films in Hitchcock's career, including REBECCA.

Joel McCrea is affable and ideally cast as a somewhat naive American reporter assigned by his paper to cover the European scene at a time when the drums of war were sounding. In this respect, Hitchcock's film was one of the first Americans releases to warn of the world menace from Germany. I can't recall if Hitler's name is actually mentioned in the film but with the film's closing scene, set in a war bombed London, there can be no doubt as to who is regarded as an enemy to peace in this warning to isolationist America.

Aside from the propaganda, however (an aspect that can badly date a film), FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT is just so much damn fun to watch. There is an abundance of humour supplied but, more importantly, Hitchcock also has some classic set piece moments of suspense in this film which, for my money, rank among the very best of the director's career.

Among them:

The Murder On The Steps In The Rain (with a homage to Einstein's Battleship Potemkin)

tumblr_lpw6xel4rJ1qh81ljo1_r2_500.gifMV5BZjgwYWE3YjgtODBmMS00YmNhLWEzZjktOWU5

The Fall From Westminister Cathedral

0639.jpg

The Enemy Agents In The Windmill Sequence

MV5BMzgwMzk2ZWYtZmU0OC00N2MyLWI2MGQtNzM1

1113121_landscape.jpg?1536249818

The Plane Crash (a remarkably realistic sequence for 1940) And Its Aftermath

fc001.jpg

foreign-correspondent-1940-plane-crash-s

And the film's cast is exceptional. Aside from McCrea there's vivacious Laraine Day, George Sanders (as a fellow reporter and a good guy, for a change), a smooth, elegant Herbert Marshall, Edmund Gwenn in a particularly memorable turn, Albert Basserman and Robert Benchley.

So the next time FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT comes on TCM don't forget to join our three intrepid heroes . . .

foreign-4.png?w=323&h=235

. . . on a wild ride of a film, courtesy the master of suspense as only he could make them.

This film is Hitchcock at his best!

 

Agreed. I'm a huge fan of George Sanders anyway, but it's true. There is a ton of stuff going on in this film. It almost seems like it could go on forever. I love Edmund Gwenn's role. He seems such a kindly gentleman murderer. This is another fun flick from Hitch. Did that man ever make anything that stunk?

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

I took a review of this thread to see if there was any one Hitchcock film that has an edge in popularity with those who decided to respond. Note: I did not include the picks of anyone who did not pick a definitive favourite or, at least, heavily leaned towards one in their comments. (So any who listed a number of his films, without a preference for one, were not included in the results below).

 

Three Votes Each:

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Shadow-of-a-Doubt-alfred-hitchcock-26751

Rear Window (1954)

rear+window+stewart.jpg

North By Northwest (1959)

image-w1280.jpg?1543838420

Psycho (1960)

Audiovisual-cues-in-Psycho-1960-Source-m

Two Votes Each:

Rope

Vertigo

One Vote Each:

39 Steps

Young and Innocent

Rebecca

Notorious

Trouble With Harry

Frenzy

 

So there appears to be no clear cut winner, though some of the standard Hitchcock titles got a bit of preference. I guess there's enough in the Hitchcock canon to appeal to most of us. Unlike some other directors, Hitch doesn't have one title that has kept his name still well known today. It's the variety of his work, going right back to his early days in England, that still seems to keep many of us entertained. That says something for the man's work.

Exactly. The man was genius. I love North By Northwest, even if they do show it too many times. But around Halloweeny, one channel was showing The Birds non-stop. 

I'll tell you one thing. There will never be another Hitchcock. 

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2 minutes ago, Janet0312 said:

I'll tell you one thing. There will never be another Hitchcock. 

He certainly has had a legion of imitators. Many of Brian De Palma's early films -- "Sisters" (1973), "Obsession" (1976), "Carrie" (1976), "Dressed to Kill" (1980) and "Body Double" (1984) -- were influenced by the Master of Suspense.

De Palma even hired Bernard Herrmann to write the scores for "Sisters" and "Obsession." 

Image result for brian de palma

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7 minutes ago, jakeem said:

He certainly has had a legion of imitators. Many of Brian De Palma's early films -- "Sisters" (1973), "Obsession" (1976), "Carrie" (1976), "Dressed to Kill" (1980) and "Body Double" (1984) -- were influenced by the Master of Suspense.

De Palma even hired Bernard Herrmann to write the scores for "Sisters" and "Obsession." 

Image result for brian de palma

Like I said...

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Remember this?

Kim Novak Cries 'Rape' Over 'The Artist's' Use of Music From 'Vertigo'

. .  . in a full-page ad published Monday in the trade publication Variety, Novak, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo along with Jimmy Stewart, wrote, "I want to report a rape. I feel as if my body -- or, at least my body of work -- has been violated by the movie, The Artist."

She went on to say, "This film could and should have been able to stand on its own without depending upon Bernard Herrmann's score from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo to provide it more drama."

Novak called the creative decision "cheating," adding, "Shame on them!"

She concluded, "It is morally wrong for the artistry of our industry to use and abuse famous pieces of work to gain attention and applause for other than what they were intended. It is essential to safeguard our special bodies of work for posterity, with their original and individual indentities intact and protecting."

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/the-artist-kim-novak-rape-vertigo-279690

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I thought Herrmann's poignant and powerful score worked well in The Artist (particularly for those who have never seen Vertigo, I suppose). Having said that it also felt like cheating to not have created something original instead, even if it doesn't match the majesty of Herrmann's work.

I assume that Herrmann's estate, or whoever owns rights to the music, agreed to the inclusion of the music in this film's score. They deserve to shoulder a large part of the blame as well then. Ironic if a family relation to Herrmann is involved but it's probably just a bunch of lawyers.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSFiwyQPIpLcqCAvn_UFT_

 

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I don't think I could choose a favorite. I love different films for different reasons - cast, performances, music. I have a soft spot for THE BIRDS as it is the first Hitchcock I saw in the theater (original release). My sister tried to shield my eyes in the farmer scene.  And FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT was my first Hitchcock in 16mm, so there must be a reason I went after that one. Probably Albert Basserman!

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1 hour ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Herrmann had a fantastic career even before he worked with Hitch.

Uh-huh, YEAH! And he even did the score for a 1952 film noir before that time too, Sarge...On Dangerous Ground, and with certain movements within it sounding quite a bit like his later work in NBNW.

(...btw, that one is at least a "film noir" in your book isn't it, I hope?!) ;)

LOL

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testing the edge of his kris-knife with his thumb, Seaman Dargo muttered menacingly from the corner:
 

Quote

 

for a film noir before that time too, Sarge...On Dangerous Ground, and with certain movements within it sounding quite a bit like his later work in NBNW.

(...btw, that one is at least a "film noir" in your book isn't it, I hope?!)

 

Aye. The first time I recognized the name (other than just seeing it scroll past my eyes in on-screen credits and not quite knowing who he was...) name-recognition finally came to me at last while listening to the opening theme for the swell radio show 'Escape'. Now that is a very gentle, brooding bit of music.

Darg, I feel you unfairly critique my noir-preachings as 'restrictive'. They're not. 'On Dangerous Ground'? I havent thought about that title in years. But that's what I would start to do, if asked to consider its 'noir-ness'. I'd start to think about how it was made. I'd look at it from every angle. I'd look at the structure and the precedents. All this is very freeing. What is limiting is being commanded to only sum up the visual quality of the flick. It is meaningless to be told to accept any 'darker' film, prima facie, outright, as a noir. Its almost childish to proceed that way. Now, you're an intelligent man--sooner or later you must get on the right side of this!

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2 hours ago, Dargo said:

Uh-huh, YEAH! And he even did the score for a 1952 film noir before that time too, Sarge...On Dangerous Ground, and with certain movements within it sounding quite a bit like his later work in NBNW.

(...btw, that one is at least a "film noir" in your book isn't it, I hope?!) ;)

LOL

 

1 hour ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

testing the edge of his kris-knife with his thumb, Seaman Dargo muttered menacingly from the corner:
 

Aye. The first time I recognized the name (other than just seeing it scroll past my eyes in on-screen credits and not quite knowing who he was...) name-recognition finally came to me at last while listening to the opening theme for the swell radio show 'Escape'. Now that is a very gentle, brooding bit of music.

Darg, I feel you unfairly critique my noir-preachings as 'restrictive'. They're not. 'On Dangerous Ground'? I havent thought about that title in years. But that's what I would start to do, if asked to consider its 'noir-ness'. I'd start to think about how it was made. I'd look at it from every angle. I'd look at the structure and the precedents. All this is very freeing. What is limiting is being commanded to only sum up the visual quality of the flick. It is meaningless to be told to accept any 'darker' film, prima facie, outright, as a noir. Its almost childish to proceed that way. Now, you're an intelligent man--sooner or later you must get on the right side of this!

hqdefault.jpg

"One more word about that noir stuff on my thread and I'll shoot you or, better yet,  feed you to a flock of starved large birds I keep in my home for just such an occasion."

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19 minutes ago, TomJH said:

 

hqdefault.jpg

"One more word about that noir stuff on my thread and I'll shoot you or, better yet,  feed you to a flock of starved large birds I keep in my home for just such an occasion."

LOL

Hey, was just talkin' 'bout Bernard Herrmann here, Tom..ahem..I mean Alfred. ;)

(...okay sure, and that little shot at the Sarge about you-know-what too, I admit)

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To make up for Dargo's incredible gaffe above, I'll gladly repost something I've contributed elsewhere (under an Essentials thread, I believe). Just to compensate somewhat for his blunder.

The amazing Hitchcock storyboards --always a treat! (bearing in mind that he didn't draw these himself, his artist Harold Michelson (sp? some name like that?) did this work.

https://tinyurl.com/ya3vu7vb

First in the image gallery is 'Jamaica Inn'. But all the rest of the titles we've discussed are there too.

There's a few other sites which host this gallery but this one is convenient, one-stop.

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57 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

He didn't draw these himself, his artist Harold Michelson(sp? some name like that?) did this work.

Harold Michelson is correct. Hitchcock also used the legendary titles designer Saul Bass, the production designers Robert F. Boyle and Henry Bumstead and others to do storyboards in later years.

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Saul Bass's striking title design, combined with Bernard Herrmann's musical score, makes the opening titles of Vertigo one of the most memorable I've ever seen, and I'm not alone in that assessment

 

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On 12/29/2018 at 5:49 AM, cigarjoe said:
  1. Psycho
  2. Frenzy
  3. North By Northwest
  4. Strangers On a Train
  5. Rear Window
  6. Vertigo
  7. Saboteur
  8. The 39 Steps
  9. The Wrong Man

 

The rest

10. Foreign Correspondent

11. Dial M for Murder

12. Spellbound

 

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8 hours ago, TomJH said:

Saul Bass's striking title design, combined with Bernard Herrmann's musical score, makes the opening titles of

...EVERYTHING....PSYCHO's opening is great too, not just Vertigo. I love when the stripes jump & crack out of line, foreshadowing Norman's mind.

Isn't it great when those who are the top of their industry just get to CREATE, without restrictions? Rarely happens.

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23 hours ago, TomJH said:

I took a review of this thread to see if there was any one Hitchcock film that has an edge in popularity with those who decided to respond. Note: I did not include the picks of anyone who did not pick a definitive favourite or, at least, heavily leaned towards one in their comments. (So any who listed a number of his films, without a preference for one, were not included in the results below).

 

Three Votes Each:

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Shadow-of-a-Doubt-alfred-hitchcock-26751

Rear Window (1954)

rear+window+stewart.jpg

North By Northwest (1959)

image-w1280.jpg?1543838420

Psycho (1960)

Audiovisual-cues-in-Psycho-1960-Source-m

Two Votes Each:

Rope

Vertigo

One Vote Each:

39 Steps

Young and Innocent

Rebecca

Notorious

Trouble With Harry

Frenzy

 

So there appears to be no clear cut winner, though some of the standard Hitchcock titles got a bit of preference. I guess there's enough in the Hitchcock canon to appeal to most of us. Unlike some other directors, Hitch doesn't have one title that has kept his name still well known today. It's the variety of his work, going right back to his early days in England, that still seems to keep many of us entertained. That says something for the man's work.

You obviously went to a lot of trouble and most of us probably did not realize somebody would try to do this.  I have copied my early post below.  If voting, I would vote North By Northwest-1, Rear Window-2, To Catch A Thief-3 and Marnie-4.  The rest -0. 

"North by Northwest number one and Rear Window number two.  To Catch a Thief is a pleasant movie that I watch every couple or three years.  Marnie is one I'll watch every three years or so if the timing is right.  The first three we have on DVD.

The rest not so much, if at all."

 

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4 minutes ago, TheCid said:

You obviously went to a lot of trouble and most of us probably did not realize somebody would try to do this.  I have copied my early post below.  If voting, I would vote North By Northwest-1, Rear Window-2, To Catch A Thief-3 and Marnie-4.  The rest -0. 

"North by Northwest number one and Rear Window number two.  To Catch a Thief is a pleasant movie that I watch every couple or three years.  Marnie is one I'll watch every three years or so if the timing is right.  The first three we have on DVD.

The rest not so much, if at all."

 

It wasn't that much trouble to zip through this thread and make the count. You were one of the three that picked NBNW, Cid.

Since that tally there has been another Number One vote for Psycho, which actually puts that film on top by a single vote as the only film (so far) to get four votes. To be honest, if only because of the film's influence on the slasher flicks that have followed, I thought that Psycho might be the most popular of Hitchcock's film here. I get the impression that it may be the most discussed of his films on this board (I could be wrong, of course). It has a popularity edge on this thread's voting but only just barely.

I have to wonder if Psycho isn't Hitchcock's best known film to the younger generations these days. I haven't seen this film in quite a few years now. Maybe I'm due again.

1420238602-03-psycho-screen.jpg

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