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  1. The opening of Frenzy is reminiscent of that in The Lodger, though it unfolds quite differently. In the Lodger, the scene begins with a scream by an apparent witness to murder, which, in turn, mobilizes the police and the press. In Frenzy, the opening begins with a bird's-eye view of London and slowly reveals a street scene of a speaker with an audience that includes the press (and Alfred Hitchcock, as well). The scene is interrupted by the floating corpse. This scene includes the Hitchcock touches of a public setting, pov shots and the overarching sense that evil has invaded another or
  2. In the opening scene, Marnie is revealed to be a deceitful character, but one who values quality 'things'. Marnie gently folds and places her spoils of finer clothing, including white gloves into the nicer suitcase, while disposing of her other clothes. Does she find identity in objects, or worship them? As noted in the lecture, Marnie does seem to be channeling Marion Crane from Psycho -- the social security card she was using was even issued to a Marion. (As an aside, people in earlier times did carry their social security cards, something people would hardly ever do today out of fear of
  3. The opening scene to the birds introduces Melanie to Mitch to one another through a chance encounter, a momentary misunderstanding, a game of pretend and a flirtatious go-along, all ingredients of romantic comedy. We learn that Melanie can be patient (with the ditzy sales clerk) and can take the initiative (with Mitch), suggesting that she is probably not attached. Mitch, who makes a breezy entrance, probably quickly realizes that Melanie doesn't know what she is talking about as far as birds are concerned, but enjoys the encounter, suggesting he might be interested. The sound design, wi
  4. Bernard Herrmann's score, with all strings, no brass, mimics screeching, and Saul Bass's title design also suggests piercing. The score and title design work perfectly together. The establishing “FRIDAY, DECEMBER THE ELEVENTH” and “TWO FORTY-THREE P.M.” titles tell the audience that the events that are about to unfold begin during working hours shortly on a Friday shortly before the weekend begins. The shot is reminiscent (as others have pointed out) of the beginning of Rear Window -- the audience is a collective voyeur into an illicit relationship at a seedy hotel. This opening
  5. By this film, Cary Grant had already made three other films with Alfred Hitchcock, so was more than vaguely familiar to the audience. Eva Marie Saint was also a huge star, so the audience is drawn to their celebrity as well as to the film itself. The bits in this scene (e.g., Thornhill wearing the sunglasses, looking around nervously and the ROT matchbook) break up what is really a static scene of dialogue. The matchbook also also serves to further open the door to dialogue that is filled with double entendres. Separately, I wonder if the "O" (which Thronhill says stands for nothing) i
  6. Focusing just on the sounds and images of the opening credits, there is an overwhelming sense of dread, and of a haunted soul. It's interesting that that the score includes a blast of horns when specific credits appear, almost to suggest that people are at the root of the pain. . To me, the the single most powerful image in this title sequence is the closeup of the eyes with the red tinting of the frame. With the score, there a suggestion that there is something terrible in the mind behind those eyes. The Saul Bass’ images and Bernard Herrmann’s score work together seemlessly to c
  7. The (continuous) opening shot of Rear Window is a survey of the entire physical world of this film, with just glimpses of some of the the people who populate this world. While the characters (except for Jeff) are free to come and go, there are stories here, in this confined world. While much of the film will be told from Jeff's pov, this establishing shot (which includes Jeff) is a third-person perspective (the audience). Through this opening sequence, we learn that Jeff is a successful photographer, and we can infer that Jeff takes risks for his craft/art. The smashed camera and enla
  8. In this opening sequence, Hitchcock cleverly uses the railroad motif to symbolize the the criss-crossing of lives that plays out between Guy and Bruno. The respective arrival shots of Guy and Bruno (from left to right and right to left, in the respective frames) also communicate a collision course, as well. The bumping of their shoes is the physical manifestation of the criss0crossing Hitchcock creates a sense of contrast between Guy and Bruno in their dress (i.e., Guy dresses tastefully and conservatively, whereas Bruno dress is flamboyuently gaudy). It's also interesting that Guy's su
  9. The Hitchcock "touches" in this early scene include Alicia's (Ingrid Bergman's) pov shots of Devlin (Cary Grant). the tracking shot as Devlin goes into Alicia's bedroom the second time (as the recording plays), and Devlin's manipulation of Alicia. The contrast between these two characters is quite distinct: Devlin is sharply dressed and in control of the situation whereas Alicia is in a hangover haze dressed in frumpy party dress. As others have noted, the segment within this scene where Devlin pushes Alicia to drink from the glass is reminiscent of the scene from Suspicion where Cary G
  10. While there some Hitchcock "touches" in this opening sequence, the tone is noticeably different from other opening sequences we have seen. There is something going on here that's unusual, and it is slowly revealed (that something being this couple's rule that they can't leave the bedroom until they've patched up their differences). The set design, along with the supporting characters, tell the audience that this is a well-to-do and sophisticated couple, and that the couple engages in some playfulness without concern about others may think. This is great casting: Robert Montgomery was comf
  11. In this opening scene, we learn that Uncle Charlie is deceitful and calculating. Uncle Charlie has evidently enlisted his landlady's help in lying to the two men who come looking for him. Subsequently, Charlie concludes that 'you have nothing on me', and decides to boldly walk up to, and past the two men, and the men do not confront Charlie. This opening scene, through music and shadow, has a tone of foreboding, which seems to be a consistent element in film noir. Although we don't have comprehensive information about Charlie, we do know that he has money but is staying in a run down tenem
  12. The opening in Rebecca fundamentally is different from the multiple opening scenes we have seen in the British silent and/or sound period as the story is being told in flashback, narrated by one of the characters. Even thought Rebeca was produced by the hyper control-oriented David O. Selnick (and despite the clashes between that have been well documented and analyzed by film scholars), there are Hitchcock "touches" apparant in this opening. The establishing shots of Maxim de Winter on a high cliff overlooking the crashing waves (including the pov shot) are Hitchcockian. In addition, the
  13. The tone in the opening to a The Lady Vanishes is established through the light-hearted (almost vaudevillian) music early entrance of the complaining bellmen loaded with bags (with shot of the cuckoo clock), and through the chaos punctuated with the running commentary of Caldicott and Charters. The Caldicott and Charters characters are like an older married couple, each with opinions of their own, and each with a keen sense of the other's shortcomings. The entrance of Iris interrupts all other action in the sequence. Here attendants follow her as the clerk fawns all over her. The reaction
  14. The opening scene in The 39 Steps is similar to opening scenes in previous Hitchcock films (e.g., The Pleasure Garden, The Lodger) in that the setting is a public place populated with people who are unaware of the protagonist (or antagonist). Richard Hanney seems to be a more innocent character, asking Mr. Memory a legitimate and sincere question, not setting Mr. Memory up for a laugh. 'The Hitchcock Touch' is revealed in this opening scene through the deft deployment of humor and interesting camera work (including shots from the audience's perspective and shots from Mr. Memory's perspect
  15. Based on these opening scene, I believe characters will be more important than plot to this film. Abbott (Peter Lorre) noticeably reacts to Luis Bernard, and Luis reacts either to Abbot's reaction or to Abbott's presence. What is their relationship? Abbott's light-hearted reaction to the near miss from the skier's wipeout changes in an instant; is there some deceit here? This opening scene is somewhat similar to the opening scene in The Pleasure Garden, in that both tease the audience with light and dark moments, and point to something more yet to come. The opening scene in The Lodger, a
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