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Everything posted by Chris_Coombs

  1. A list of directors and films inspired by Hitchcock would have to unclude Brian DePalma films, like Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, and Sisters. Everyone is going to say Charade, and I will too. Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation has many things that reminds me of Hitchcock. Clint Eastwood's The Eiger Sanction also reminds me of Hitchcock - a spy thriller, with humor, with a climax in a famous location, The Eiger. High Anxiety is obvious. And now a word about Psycho II. This film is much better than people might assume. For a film that was a sequel to one of the most iconic
  2. Who would be Hitchcock's 'Bernard Hermann'? John Williams. Hitch already worked with Williams on his final film, Family Plot. We know Hitch would reuse people. Williams is a masterful composer who can tackle any genre, so we know no matter what Hitch wanted Williams could create. We know the power of Bernard Hermann. Think of Psycho without his score. The same is true of John Williams. Think of Jaws without HIS score. Williams had done spy thrillers (his score for The Eiger Sanction is wonderful), Gothic Horror (Dracula) Sci-Fi Thrillers (Minority Report), Political Dramas (Muni
  3. My question for Prof. Edwards and Mr. Philippe: Which of the typically neglected and/or overlooked Hitchcock films would you recommend for reconsideration by an audience? Is there one particular film more than any other that you feel deserves a second chance? - Chris Coombs
  4. 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 Lodger, Hitchcock’s first thriller, started on the close-up of a scream, and then to the revelation of a dead body, surrounded by a crowd and police. Frenzy starts with a great helicopter shot over the city of London, down (or up?) the Thames towards the iconic Tower Bridge, The music score is very stately, and Hitch is clearly establishing a British feel to this film – a feel that would last throughout the entire picture. Tower Bridge r
  5. Based on the opening sequence alone, what do you feel you already know about Marnie as a character? In what ways does Hitchcock visually reveal her character through her interaction with objects. The close up of the bag indicates it is something important, and since we are in a Hitchcock film that means it is also something of an illicit nature. We see only her back, which tells us this is a person of mystery. There is something unknown about her, something which will be explored in the film. We see her packing a suitcase with newly purchased clothes and accessories – gloves still in
  6. In what ways does this opening scene seem more appropriate to a romantic comedy than a “horror of the apocalypse” film? What do we learn about Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitch (Rod Taylor) in this scene? When Melanie ‘plays’ at being a pet shop worker is more similar to romantic comedy, which often have scenes where characters mistake the identity of a person and the person plays along. In ‘Kingdom of the Spiders a visiting scientist mistakes William Shatner for a gas station attendant. He plays along for fun. While that is a horror film it relates to the romantic comedy aspect of the fi
  7. Psycho opens with title design by Saul Bass and music by Bernard Herrmann. This is their third collaboration for Hitchcock, including Vertigo and North by Northwest. How does the graphic design and the score introduce the main themes of this film? The graphic design consists of gray lines sweeping across the screen, dragging the credits behind them, and dragging them off. It creates a disturbing tone right away for several reasons The lines and credits come from any direction – it is unpredictable, and that creates tension. It also hints that the film ahead will have unpredictable, distur
  8. wow... getting that video clip to work was harder than buying a house with no credit. But I was so interested in the subject that i felt it was worth it
  9. i think i fixed the link. I didn't know you had to use the 'link' button above the text window. i just typed in the link. MY BAD, it should work now if you're still interested! I hope you are.
  10. [this is a partial quote of my daily dose on Saul Bass' credits for Vertigo.] I became so intrigued thinking about the relationship between Bernard Hermann's wonderful score for Vertigo and Wagner's 'Liebestod' from Tristan and Isolde that I made a video (just for fun) replacing Hermann's music in the climactic transformation scene with the Wagner. https://ccoombs1964.wixsite.com/cinemachris/homework In Wagner's Tristan and Isolde the two characters' love remains unfulfilled until First Tristan and then she (Isolde) dies and their love can finally be consummated. Isolde sings this
  11. Even at the level of the dialogue, this film is playing with the idea that two Hollywood stars are flirting with each other (e.g. the line, "I look vaguely familiar.") How does our pre-existing knowledge of these stars function to create meaning in this scene. Cary Grant was a HUGE star at this time, ane people come to expect certain things from him: They expect him to be suave, charming, sophisticated They expect he will become involved in a romance They expect he will be a decent man They expect he will be the male lead They expect a certain amount of charming humor Cary is indeed
  12. Though discussing the opening, this post has SPOILERS. Describe what you think this film will be about simply from the sounds and images in these opening credits. Even if you have seen the film, try to focus on these sounds and images themselves and “the story” (or if not "the story," the mood and atmosphere they are establishing) that this sequence is communicating to the audience. This opening is one of the greatest openings ever! The film starts with the Paramount logo, followed by the Vistavision logo, but in Black and white. The music starts with the Paramount logo, and not AFTER
  13. (I partly agree with you, which you will see in the end of my reply ) Actually, Hitchcock can and does cross the 'proscenium line in the film. Every time we see Jeff, Lisa, Stella, and Tom Doyle - every time we are in the apartment, we are looking from a view across that line. We see shots in the apartment BEHIND the window (Proscenium). Even the first shot passes THROUGH the proscenium (window) and on to Jeff's forehead. Then on into the apartment - his table with the smashed camera, photos on his wall, the negative of the woman, stacks of magazines... If we never crossed the line we
  14. How would you describe the opening camera shot of this film? What is Hitchcock seeking to establish in this single shot that opens the film? Whose vantage point is being expressed in this shot, given that Jeff has his back to the window? The opening camera shot is voyeuristic, which is a theme of this movie. The idea of a ‘Peeping Tom’ has been mentioned in reference to Jeff. Jeff IS a peeping tom, and so are we: We watch the neighbors with as much interest as Jeff – we never look away We watch Jeff and Lisa We watch this movie We watch other movies. We are always peeping into other’s liv
  15. Yes, but in the book, she love Johnny so much that she willingly drinks the poison and lets herself be murdered. So if, in the book she was willing to drink poison and die for Johnny, it is understandable if she would reconcile with him even if he were a thief and a liar, which is bad but not quite so bad as murder., (I love film discussions )
  16. Yes. That is what I liked about the movie version. In Kurosawa's 'Rashamon', an event - the murder of a man and rape of his wife - is told in different versions by different observers. Each perceives the reality in their own way. In one version the thief is heroic and the duel dashing. In once version both men are cowardly. In another version the wife 'enjoyed' the rape and wanted to leave with the thief, etc. Each version was different because each person perceived reality in a different way. So Lina percieves her husband and the actions a certain way, but is it the reality? In that way '
  17. Actually, the ending is dark in the sense it is implied, whether she stays with him or not, he is probably going to jail for embezzling the money from that job he had. So he is a thief, and will go to jail. That her wife sticks with him is only right, because, even in the original novel where he poisoned her, she loved him so much that she just drank it anyway. So if in the book she was willing to drink poison and be murdered because of her love for Johnny, it is to be expected that she should stick with him even if he goes to jail for embezzlement. So in that sense the movie makes sense.
  18. But he DIDN'T poison Binky. And he didn't poison her. Therefor there is no reason why she wouldn't reconcile with Grant. That was my point. If he HAD really killed Binky, it would be different. But he DIDN'T.
  19. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific. Ways in which Hitchcock suggests the theme of ‘Criss-cross’ The title itself, ‘Strangers on a Train’, suggests two people apart who’s paths cross on the train. The screen direction of the characters. Bruno’s enters from the right and heads left. Guy enters from the left and h
  20. Note: Because this thread discusses the ending of a film, of course there are SPOILERS. Suspicion is notorious (pun INTENDED) for the changed ending from the book. The producers, concerned about Cary Grant's image, demanded the change. In the book, Johnny (Cary Grant), is a murderer, while in the movie, he is not a murderer. Most people, including Hitchcock himself, complain about the change, and feel that by Hollywood imposing a happy ending it weakens the picture. I am in a minority for two reasons, one obvious, and one perhaps not. Firstly, I agree with the producers, in that I myse
  21. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this early scene from the movie? We see Hitchcock's famous POV shot: the view of Devlin as he enters the room, through Alicia's physical (and mental and emotional) disorientation. We see the canted angle, which (as mentioned in the lecture video) is a shot he used in 'Downhill' We see light and shadow to reveal character information, which I will discuss in detail answering the next question. How does Hitchcock choose to light, frame, and photograph his two stars in this scene?What are some of the contrasts that Hitchcock trying to set up
  22. What Hitchcock "touches" do you see in this opening sequence? Moreover, what do we learn about or know about the couple through the scene's visual design: the props, the set design or dressing, the decor, the camera angles, the lighting, etc? Hitchcock touches: the slow pan which reveals information - liquor, food, a mess, man in pajamas with bedding on couch, woman in opulent bed under covers. Hitch reveals all this with the pan (like the pan in psycho of Vivian Leigh dressing, a suit case, and the money) or Shadow of a Doubt (the pan from Charlie, to the money) Visual Design: We see
  23. As mentioned in the curator's note, this scene operates as a prelude to the main story. What do learn about the character of Uncle Charlie in this prelude? Be specific. When we first meet Charlie, we know nothing about him. We see he has money, and find out men are looking for him. Is he a victim or a bad guy? We really don't know. We don't know how he acquired the money, but can assume it was in a shady manner - gambling, robbery, yet we don't know. -- And then Mrs. Martin, the landlady, lowers the blind. -- Now we KNOW charlie is bad. he is in darkness. it is then that he comes to l
  24. 1. Describe how this opening is different from the multiple opening scenes you have seen in the Daily Doses from the British silent and/or sound period? First, many if not all of the Hitchcock films started with crowds of people (The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger, MWKTM, 39 Steps...), whereas Rebeca starts with no one - only a voice over. Second, all the other films started at the beginning of a story, whereas Rebecca starts at the end, looking back as the story is told in flashback. This quality of reminiscence already starts to establish an tone, for reminiscence often is associated w
  25. 1. Using specific examples, describe how Hitchcock opens The Lady Vanishes. What tone, mood, or atmosphere is Hitchcock establishing for the audience very early on in this picture? Pay particular attention to the music. The music that opens the sequence is light and amusing: a waltz, which subtly suggests a European flavor (Vienna, Bohemia, Austria), and has a slight similarity to a cuckoo call. There are several ideas shown. There is a bit of chaos, as everyone scrambles to register and the harried hotel manager deals with the train being delayed. The cuckoo clock 'announces' the situati
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