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debbi-c

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Everything posted by debbi-c

  1. This list is great! Thanks for posting it. Some of the films listed I've seen, but many I haven't. I'll have to find opportunities to see at least some of them. I was glad to see some of the films listed: Charade Dark Passage Niagra [last night on TCM] Witness for the Prosecution Gaslight [love, love, love it!] The Spiral Staircase Leave Her To Heaven The Uninvited [i just watched this again today] The Stranger I'd add to the list: Beware My Lovely (1952) - Ida Lupino & Robert Ryan. Widow hires handyman who turns out to be schizophrenic who decompensates into psychotic episode,
  2. We can tell in these opening scenes that Marnie is a thief, she's good at it, done it before (multiple SS cards), she's cold, calculating, with a plan that has worked in the past. You just have to wonder, what is up with that? What makes her this person? She's cool & calm as she places her new items of clothing in the new suitcase, & tosses the old clothes into the old suitcase. She further sheds her old skin/identity when she rinses the dark hair dye out of her hair. I hadn't thought of the Psycho connection, but when Dr. Edwards mentioned it, it definitely clicked for me. Be
  3. I think most people have responded better than I can, or at least have said everything I was thinking, so, instead, here's something for some comedic relief....all of Hitchcocks cameos: (I hope the youtube link works!)
  4. The title design with all the lines reminds me of looking (peeping?) through blinds in a window on the one hand. On the other hand, it also seems like the credits are being sliced up. Add the music to that, & you know that something scary is about to happen. The use of the exact date & time reminded me of a police report (a la Dragnet....just the facts, ma'am). You're being given information that can help you understand the context of what is about to happen in the film. Marion Crane is the person doing most of the talking. She's giving you information about her & Sam's
  5. Pretty much everyone has discussed most of the criss-cross imagery: the shoes of the two men exiting their respective taxis, crossing the train station, & finally almost coming together as they prepare to enter the train; the maze of train tracks at the station, crossing, separating, re-crossing; the shoes of the two men again crossing in the train, & eventually accidentally touching, which finally brings them together. I found Bruno's handshake very interesting, too. Bruno crosses to Guy, grabs Guy's hand with both of his hands, almost as if pulling him into his web. Very manipul
  6. The opening scene of Mr. & Mrs. Smith shows the couple in a bedroom suite that has not been tidied up for quite some time....dirty dishes all over the place, blankets on the sofa showing someone was sleeping there...makes you think that this is a couple in the midst of a quarrel. Yet the music is soft, kind of pastoral....you can almost hear the birds chirping....What's going on here?? We soon see the maid bringing the breakfast tray, not being let into the room, & trying to assess if she'll be able to remove some of the previous meals' dishes this time, or will she have to wait,
  7. After first seeing a bit of his surroundings, we see Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotton) lying on a bed in a rooming house. He seems to be calmly contemplating what to do, but you can sense the tension just below the surface. He has left large amounts of cash out on his side table much of which has fallen on to the floor. Maybe he feels that his fate can't be helped by money any longer. His landlady enters the room. She tells him about his "visitors". He remains seemingly calm, controlled, but with that underlying tension. He loses control once she leaves the room (throws glass at the wall).
  8. Rebecca opens not in a crowded public place with lots of activity, which previous Hitchcock films usually did, but in a dream. The dream is being narrated by a woman speaking in a slow, soothing voice, with little emotion, almost as if she's in the state of hypnosis. Eerie soft music is playing in the background. It's very visual. You feel like you're floating. You want to know the story of Manderley. You know it's something tragic - "...we can never go back to Manderley again..." Hitchcock expertly draws the audience into the film. Very interesting that we never know the name of th
  9. Opening scene seems very light, no one seems to have any major concerns. Caldicott & Charters seem to be the only ones, at first, to show any minor annoyance over the delayed train. It appeared like a scene out of a doctor's office waiting room. People reading, & just glancing up when someone new enters the room. Caldicott & Charters are very funny in that droll "British" sort of way. (What is it with English speakers & privilege?? Oh, well....another conversation, another time...) They seem to be oblivious to the politics of the day beyond the cricket scores. In fact
  10. The 39 Steps, & The Lady Vanishes are my favorite Hitchcock films from his British sound era. I'm not sure I can add anything to the conversation at this point. Everyone has already brought up great points. Hitchcock is great at drawing you in to his films by making you care about his characters; you want to know more about them; you're interested in their fates. He does this to perfection in The 39 Steps. Robert Donat's character is introduced anonymously, but then his character is slowly revealed just by observing him in the music hall. He's an "every man"; good natured, ple
  11. I've seen both the versions of this film. I like this version best. The characters are definitely more important than the plot in the film. The plot is really just a way of further defining the characters....you can say that the plot is the MacGuffin. Peter Lorre at first appears to be a happy, laid back guy....until he sees the face of the high-jumper. That startles him, & we briefly see a more sinister side to his personality. He quickly jumps back into the persona he wants to show this group, with only the ski-jumper noticing the change.
  12. Hitchcock's use of sound, & silence, is great. First, when Alice is obviously upset & preoccupied & she enters the phone booth. In the background you hear the gossip going on & on about the murder, but she's silent as soon as Alice closes the booth's door. The silence then transports the audience into Alice's mind. You can feel the tension, & anxiety by the expressions on her face & the rest of her body language. Next, when she's at the breakfast table & the gossip is still going on & on about the murder, Alice's anxiety is intensified by the only word that
  13. The POV tracking shots draw the audience into the movie, to become part of the story, to feel what the character is feeling. The audience can feel the confusion & fear that the boys are feeling even before they have any idea of why the schoolmaster is obviously upset with them. You can feel Mabel's anger when she looks at the boys, & feel their fear as she walks towards them, to identify the "perpetrator". From her point of view, she's been used before by men, but never been "caught". Now that she's "copped it", she's decided to go for the boy who can do her the most good fina
  14. I found the use of the mirrors by the boxer & his wife very interesting. The reflections each sees seems to be distorted. What each seems to be seeing is distorted by their own insecurities & fears. The wife doesn't seem very comfortable with all of the frantic action in the room she's in, & her interaction with the "champ" seems forced, not sincere. It's almost as if she's forcing herself to show interest in him, even though it's doubtful that's what she's feeling. Maybe she's trying to force some kind of emotion or action from her husband? Maybe she's afraid that with hi
  15. You definitely see horror in Martin Balsam's eyes in the stabbing scene on the stairs in Psycho! (There was horror in my eyes the first time I saw this scene, too.) It's that horror in her eyes that to me seems missing in the the victim in the beginning of The Lodger. I just don't see the fear in her eyes.
  16. For the most part, even though I've been watching classic films for 50+ years, I haven't really tried to understand the making of the films. I like them or I don't. Sometimes I can tell you why, but definitely not with the expertise of someone who's studied film. I'm amazed at the knowledge & insight of many of the posters here on the message board. So, I'm sure I'll stumble my way through verbalizing how I feel, what I see, & the technical aspects of film. But be assured, I am enjoying this, as I did enjoy Slapstick Comedy last year. 1) Similarities: blondes (what was the de
  17. 1) Yes. The chorus girls coming down that spiral staircase, & the upper class men ogling them, serves to objectify both. Hitchcock seemed to be setting up the victim/victimizer theme right from the start. Yet the one chorus girl who gave the man her curl shows she will not be a victim. The young girl who had the letter of introduction is right away shown as a victim. This theme seems to go back & forth. 2) Yes. I especially like the idea of Spoto's that the camera seems to become the observer of the observers. 3) No. It seemed very clear what was going on without being able t
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