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I finally saw FAMILY PLOT to complete my course viewing and I really enjoyed it. I thought all the characters were well cast and the performances excellent. And humor was rampant. I especially liked the following bits of food related humor (FRENZY has wonderful food humor as well): 1. The scene where George (Bruce Dern) and Blanche (Barbara Harris) are at the kitchen table eating hamburgers and arguing with their mouths full of food. George even spits some food out while he's talking (reminding me of the inspector in FRENZY who spits out one of his wife's culinary creations when she leaves the room). 2. The scene where Bruce and Barbara are waiting at the mountain cafe waiting for Joe Maloney and George is drinking beers and burps rather loudly. 3. Arthur (William Devane) and Fran (Karen Black) are speaking over the intercom to the Bishop they kidnapped prior to releasing him for the ransom and when asked if he's ready the Bishop says he hasn't finished eating his chicken. I loved the slapstick car chase scene down the mountain road, especially the part where Blanch is panicked and starts choking George with his necktie (FRENZY?) as well as sticking her legs upward (reminding me of the corpse in the potato truck in FRENZY). This film has so many classic Hitch elements. For me I think Hitch was really just having fun with this film (maybe more than any of his other films). One last bit of trivia/humor. There is a street sign prominently featured in one shot near the apartment where Arthur and Fran live and one of the streets is BATES AVE (I don't need to say what this references).
I'm sad that the Hitchcock class is coming to an end as I have enjoyed it immensely and hope TCM will do the following: 1. Have ongoing classes like the Hitchock Class 2. Create a low cost online streaming site like Netflix... so more people including myself can watch TCM daily. I refuse to pay $140 in Long Beach, CA just to get 1 channel TCM. Crazy (I don't watch most of the mindless tv programming that is out there. Concerning the score to Frenzy. There are some interesting facts people might not know: Henry Mancini was originally commissioned to write the score to Frenzy. (The music survives) Here is a link so you watch the alternate version with Henry Mancini's score which I prefer to Ron Goodwin's (Who also wrote a very good score) Mancini's score to me is darker combining organ fugal counterpoint in a very 'stuffy' British style. I love the rich polyphonic writing. I find it interesting to think if Hitchcock was a bit more prolific in the later years if he worked with Mancini.. what kind of duo they would have been artistically? Mancini of course wrote themes like the Pink Panther, Charade, Mr. Lucky etc. I think as a composer he would have worked well with Hitch. Goodwin's score on the other hand works extremely well too with a patriotic hymn feel that is more upbeat and good natured. Hitch went with Goodwin as it created more contrast and dark humor. Ron was a British composer that scored over 100 movies. Alas he is not well known in America.