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malkat

What Hitchcock movies have you seen, and which is the best?

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I've seen all the features after "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934) save for "Under Capricorn" and my current favorite is "Shadow Of A Doubt." I especially like Teresa Wright's performance as she wonders about her favorite uncle. But there are many great films in that catalogue.

 

I recently watched "Blackmail" from a TCM night of early Hitchcock and it was very interesting as it was England's first sound movie. I'm still waiting to get through the others.

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Interesting, now I don't see that Doris was "under her husband's thumb" at all! She's so obviously happy---or do you get that impression because she gave up her career? Which is understandable. However, some of the strongest women on earth are happy to give up working outside the home to take on the vastly more ambitious role of wife and mother and she doesn't seem to regret it.

 

She acts happy and confident---in fact, if you will recall she is the first one to suspect the "Arab", not her husband. She gives no indications of being put upon, but appears proud of her former career and present family---that I recall, and I've seen it many times. I also don't think Hitch would have created such a female protagonist as you describe. He liked subtlety and to "play" with stereotypes.

 

Anyway, that's how it struck me upon deeper reflection.

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It seemed pretty clear to me that she desperately missed the stage. And that she hated small town life and yearned to be back in places like New York and London. And it also seemed pretty clear that he had no say in the matter.

 

And please note, I'm not attacking marrige or motherhood, but there's a BIG difference between freely choosing that life (which is absolutely hunky dory with me if that's what a an individual woman wants and good luck to her) and not having the choice. Hitchcock was obviously reflecting a society in which women were not really getting that choice. And I'm not suggesting that hubby was holding a gun to her head and telling her to give up her career, I'm talking about much more subtle and much more insidious pressure. And I'm not suggesting she wasn't in love with her husband or that she wanted to leave him and the child. But there's a moment where she remarks, rather plaintively and a little sarcastically, that "they do have doctors in New York you know." To me that's absolute evidence that she is not happy about the life that has been taken away from her. What she'd obviously like would be the chance to be a wife and mother and still have some career as well.

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"Desperate" and "hated" I don't pick up in the slightest. :0 Small town life may not have appealed to her in general based on her dry remarks, but on the whole she acts like a perfectly contented woman who was very happy with her choice. She had the career already---which really was a handy gimmick to justify Doris singing the title song in the movie.

 

I see only that she plays it as a contented wife and mother and not at all like a frustrated one. I think that's reading modern prejudices into it. It's really not accurate to judge these performances by common ideologies of today.

 

And no worries, I didn't think you were attacking any of those things. I won't get into those discusions at all in places like this because my own ideas are extremely individualistic and not at all influenced by today's thinking---so don't think I was trying to take the conversation in that direction. :)

 

 

The supreme irony is that Doris herself was forced to work when she wanted to enjoy a quiet life with the right husband and have healthy, happy children. Unfortunately, the men she married pushed her to work to support their lifestyles.

 

Miss G

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Actually, I think both of you are right. DD's character in this film is one who had a great career and obviously misses it, but she also asks her husband when they are going to have another child.

 

Although I much prefer the 34 version, Day's work here is one of her best roles. Hitch gave her a multidemensional character to work with and she did an impressive job in filling and inhabiting that character.

 

Her breakdown when she is finally told about Hank's abduction is one of the best portrayals of a distraught mother I have seen and she clearly outshone Edna Best in that regard.

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Although I much prefer the 34 version, Day's work here is one of her best roles. Hitch gave her a multidemensional character to work with and she did an impressive job in filling and inhabiting that character.

 

It did have some greater depth than many of her other roles, not that the other ones weren't enjoyable for what they were! B-)

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Of all of the Hitchcock movies that I've seen, the one that I think was my favorite was REAR WINDOW, but that may be because it was the first Hitchcock I saw. I just love that movie, and it seems every time I come across it I watch it.

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My favorite Hitchcock is North by Northwest. The other films I own are the ones Universal put out in the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection.

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> Actually, I think both of you are right. DD's

> character in this film is one who had a great career

> and obviously misses it, but she also asks her

> husband when they are going to have another child.

 

It's a subtle characterisation. She's obviously happy to have a husband and child, and just as obviously unhappy not to have the career she loved. You can be happy about some aspects of your life and unhappy about others. She obviously doesn't understand why having a family should mean having to give up her career entirely. She likes being a wife and mother, but she doen't want to be defined entirely by that, and she wants some life of her own. I think that's reasonable. But neither the society of the time, not her husband, are prepared to give her that choice.

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> It's a subtle characterisation. She's obviously

> happy to have a husband and child, and just as

> obviously unhappy not to have the career she loved.

> You can be happy about some aspects of your life and

> unhappy about others. She obviously doesn't

> understand why having a family should mean having to

> give up her career entirely. She likes being a wife

> and mother, but she doen't want to be defined

> entirely by that, and she wants some life of her

> own. I think that's reasonable. But neither the

> society of the time, not her husband, are prepared

> to give her that choice.

 

You hit the nail on the head! :)

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REAR WINDOW is another Hitchcock film that has a lot to say about the place of women in American society in the 50s. The Jimmy Stewart character is a photo-journalist. He takes his career very seriously. His girlfriemd (Grace Kelly) works in the fashion industry, Her career is every bit as important to her as his career is to him, But he doesn't take it seriously. To him it's just women's stuff, and it doesn't count. The movie also has some interesting reflections on the 1950s assumption that naturally if and when they get married she'll automatically give up her career to support him in his.

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I tend to see a lot of the same societal attitudes in lots of 50's movies. I wouldn't expect Hitchock's to be much different, unfortunately. Would you say similar attitudes were prevalent in Australia in the 50's?

 

All I can say in this regard is that thank heavens we've come a long way since then.

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> I tend to see a lot of the same societal attitudes in

> lots of 50's movies. I wouldn't expect Hitchock's to

> be much different, unfortunately. Would you say

> similar attitudes were prevalent in Australia in the

> 50's?

 

You don't see them reflected in Australian movies of the period, because unfortunately by that time our film industry had been destroyed. But the same attitudes were certainly prevalent. The 50s might have been fun if you were a white, middle-class, heterosexual, Anglo-Saxon male.

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