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morrison94114

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About morrison94114

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  1. I'll just go on record saying my least favorite performance in a Hitchcock film would be Anne Baxter in I Confess. Her appeal eludes me and her range seems to be from emotionally hollow overacting to hammy overacting. Can you tell I really don't like her? I wonder if Hitchcock was pleased with her work.
  2. The video discussions with Dr Gehring work really well. I like the format. It feels like I'm sitting in on a seminar. Great job.
  3. Personally, I find Philip and Brandon to be very interesting. They have over intellectualized their motivation to the point that they have temporarily lost touch with reason and morality. It's an interesting topic. We might initially think that they have taken things to an extreme that could only occur within the fiction of a movie, but in truth history is populated with far worse actions perpetrated by people who are convinced they are not doing anything wrong. Plus I think Granger and Dall are good actors (and Dall is underrated in my opinion), and they have a real chemistry together, which is interesting in an early representation of a male couple on film. I'm not sure how old they are supposed to be. Their level of absurd certainty in their own superiority makes me think they are younger than they appear to be.
  4. It's interesting how the emphasis on opening credits evolves over time. It seems to take decades for this portion of a film to become more than just words on the screen. In the film's so far in this course, the first title sequence I remember that was more graphically interesting was in Saboteur. It was just an image of an elongated shadow of a man against a sort of corrugated metal background, but it establishes a sense of foreboding and mystery appropriate for the story ahead. Are there other opening credits in the Hitchcock films that stand out in the films before the title designs from Vertigo and North by Northwest? I seem to remember that Murder used some expressionistic title cards but I need to go back and review.
  5. I don't know if this Daily Dose is the appropriate place for this, but I had a question about Shadow of a Doubt. Am I correct in thinking that this is the only Hitchcock film that features a teenager as the protagonist? It seems entirely appropriate that young Charlie is, well, young, as opposed to other Hitchcock leading actresses. The theme that runs through the movie about the journey from innocence to experience is especially well-suited for a teen. She is not just learning about the existence of evil in people and places she previously thought were bright and good; there is also a creepy undercurrent of awakening sexual awareness between her and her uncle. He gives her a ring and tells her they share the same blood. The signature scene for me in this film (which is probably my favorite of all Hitchcock's films) is when Uncle Charlie forces her into the bar. As they descend the stairs she says "I've never been to a place like this before." She has a ginger ale and Uncle Charlie has a double brandy; she looks like she's going to be sick while Uncle Charlie expounds at length about his disgust with the world she thinks she is part of. Young Charlie and Uncle Charlie are doubles, but there is also Young Charlie's double in the part of the bar maid she knows from school. The bar maid's performance seems jaded and disillusioned with life, as if maybe she had an Uncle Charlie of her own. Joseph Cotten's speech in the bar and his earlier speech at the dinner table as so completely bleak, and it is that dark, dark world view that I think makes this the most noirish of Hitchcock's films.
  6. I think there is a lot to like about Lifeboat, but it requires a greater suspension of disbelief than most films. Although I love Bankhead, the opening image of her sitting in the boat in a fur coat and flawless make-up, while everyone else is wet and covered in oil...well, it's an opening that serves Bankhead as an icon more than it serves the dramatic needs of the film. Just my opinion. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if Hitchcock was a fan of Eugene O'Neill? Two of O'Neill's one-act plays from the 1910s are set in lifeboats, and one includes a mother who won't except that her baby is dead. I don't know if Hitchcock would have been aware of these plays, but I am pretty sure Steinbeck would have known them.
  7. I'm interested in this topic too. I've been interested in Hitchcock for a while, but somehow I had never known that he withheld some of his films from distribution. I might understand his decision if he was withholding some of his lesser works, but why prevent screenings of his masterpieces Rear Window and Vertigo? This is a bigger mystery than found in the plots of any of his films! Just intuitively, the idea that he was not allowing some of his best films to be seen in order to build up a mystique about these films seems far-fetched to me. I'd appreciate if any of you film scholars could summarize some of the theories concerning why Hitchcock made this decision. Thanks!
  8. I always thought the set of this film was remarkable, but after reading the lecture notes I'm even more impressed. Some of the apartments actually had running water? That's a level of detail I hadn't expected. You can see how the city scape seen through the window in Rope was a successful precursor of the set in Rear Window in terms of visual design, but in Rope that fantastic set is just nice ornamentation. Great to look at but it doesn't really add much to the story being told in the film. The set in Rear Window, however, is the catalyst of the action. It seems to me to be a really inspired feat of design.
  9. I absolutely agree with you about the effectiveness of the ending of Suspicion. I think the fact that Cary Grant is irresponsible but ultimately innocent of any murderous motives makes for a more complex film, one that is more psychologically rich, and more unnerving and suspenseful than the proposed ending where Grant is trying to kill Fontaine. My reading of the film is that Hitchcock is toying with the viewers expectations. We think we are watching the action unfold in the way typical of most Hollywood films, where the viewer follows what the camera captures and assumes that the story is being presented in a strictly objective way. But in Suspicion I think we are watching the action from Lina's point of view, in other words from a very subjective POV. And we assume that Lina is the more mature, stable character in the film. But we then begin to see just how unstable she is as she interprets every event to be an indication of Johnny's criminal nature.
  10. I agree wholeheartedly. Then there's the whole range of supporting actors who weren't nominated. A few examples just off the top of my head: Jessica Tandy in The Birds Barbara BelGeddes in Vertigo Thelma Ritter in Rear Window Martin Balsam in Psycho I am wondering if the problem is that Hitchcock was thought of as a genre director of thrillers. I know he was respected but it seems the Academy almost always recognizes high drama. Similarly, actors in comedies are too frequently overlooked, as if a comedic acting cannot be seen as a work of art worthy of a prestigious award. Put an actor generally known for comedy in a serious role and suddenly the Academy loves them. For example, Robin Williams, Jamie Foxx, and Steve Carrell and so on.
  11. Joan Fontaine is great in both Hitchcock films. I think her acting style is considered too stylized by today's standards, but she was a terrific actress in my opinion.
  12. A number of Brian de Palma's early films are overt homages to Hitchcock: Blow Out, Body Double, Dressed to Kill. His horror films also have the psychological insight found in Hitchcock I think.
  13. I love the 1953 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. I don't know if the film itself is considered underrated, but it is often considered inferior to the earlier version. What's do I love about the later version? Doris Day. Talk about underrated. What can't she do?
  14. And another reason to love The Trouble with Harry: Jerry Mathers, not at the Beaver.
  15. Drat! I thought I was firm on my top 5 films when I posted the list last week. Now I've got to work The 39 Steps into the list! Great film. I hadn't seen it in a long, long time. What a great blend of suspense and romantic comedy.
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