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I have been a Hitchcock fan for many years, but this is the first time I've participated in any kind of "group appreciation".  With that being said, I will comment that I primarily noticed a common Hitchcock theme after watching the "Pleasure Garden" clip.  The obvious voyeurism is played out in a comical, yet somewhat creepy tone.  Reminiscent of the voyeuristic scenes in "Rear Window", "Psycho", "Vertigo"...is a common theme Hitch uses, allowing the audience to involuntarily participate in this guilty pleasure (?). 

 

I am not a big fan of silent films, but look forward to expanding my appreciation for Hitchcock's early works.  I must admit, I do enjoy the way his movie scores enhance the thrill, suspense and anticipation felt while watching the Master's work.

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Oh, to be young!  The chorus girls spiraling down the backstage staircase to perform are filled with life, with energy, and with joy.  The Hitchcock touch?  It's certainly there.  The blonde singer is the center of every man's fantasy and longing (and those fantasies are not so wholesome, as we take it from the men's expressions while in the audience).  When the gentleman in the audience takes the initiative and meets the blonde star, the ever present Hitchcock theme of the woman's hair is in the forefront, but it's a subject of humor here, with darker implications reserved for much later in Hitch's filmography, notably "Vertigo," where the heroine's blonde locks must be secured in a singular, fetishistic manner so that she can become an object of fantasy, a captive for the downward spiraling hero.  But for now, in this first film, the tightly wound stands of blonde hair are a subject for humor!  Hitchcock was young once as well.

 

Glasses, used to indicate lack of real perception (Miriam's glasses in "Strangers on a Train," Cary Grant's ineffective "sunglasses" disguise in "North by Northwest," and so on) begins with the monocle and the problem of blurred perceptions of the chorus girls here.  I found the costumes the chorus girls were wearing to be interesting as well.  Hitch used jewelry in later films (notably in "To Catch a Thief") to indicate a quest for false values.  Here, the chorus girls' and star's upper bodies are encased in a jewel-like cage.  This could simply have been costuming from another film.  

 

The relationships between men and women are predatory on the male side, another theme.  The chorus girls' legs (glamor, availability, sexuality?) find a curious expression later in "Marnie" and the tangle of legs in the recalled assault scene, when Marnie is a little girl.  

The McGuffin was supposed to have been invented in the mid-1930's when a hand missing a finger was the sign of a fellowship of villains in "The 39 Steps."  Here, there is at least the beginnings of the McGuffin in the letter stolen from the girl's purse by the man outside the theatre.  

The theatre itself, of course, becomes the statement that life is artifice, and that looking beyond the surface discovers a murky world of evil motives and actions (one things of Joseph Cotten's speech when he and Charlie are walking downtown in "Shadow of a Doubt" and the elaborate scene underneath the stage that concludes "Stage Fright" and was copied in "Charade"). 

 

The lack of dialogue, it seems to me, is not a constraint here.  By the mid-1920's, it's been said, films were fairly begging for sound, dialogue, and music.  Here, not so much.  The visual cues keep things humming, as it were.  Everything is in motion: the spectating, leering men, the dancing women, and the camera.  The quick insert of the purse as the letter is stolen is a reminder that Hitchcock always told his stories visually.  The narrative here is grounded in images and movement. There is little need for sound, actually.  And somehow as the viewer, I felt that I was "there." Silent film can do that.  Hitch made the fourth wall disappear for me here.

 

1925 was an interesting year for chorus girls.  It was the publication year for "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Anita Loos' popular novel, play, and silent film.  For Loos, the sophisticated satire she applies to her Lorelei Lee and Dorothy veil a kind of generally accepted venality that propels most romantic relationships.  Hitchcock covers the same territory in his 1925 "The Pleasure Garden." I found it hard to look away from his opening scene, sometimes for the same reasons that make "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" what it is, but the atmosphere turns darker, with jewels becoming a chorus girl's glittering cage, female attributes such as hair and pretty legs adding to the mix as objects (finding a final resolution in "Frenzy," where the murderer rifles through a sack of potatoes in a truck to extract an incriminating piece of jewelry from a female limb), and the male perspective blurred by desire and focused on exploitation.  

 

The women begin the film with their downward spiral on a confining, vertiginous staircase.  Loos gives her blondes a happy ending with a double wedding.  Hitchcock tells a different story, with darker undertones painting the human condition.  The Pleasure Garden would have signified, for Hitch's Roman Catholic upbringing, the seminal and pervasive loss in the Garden of Eden. Hitchcock seems to know what humankind's "fall" looks like.

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1. There is an immediate "Hitchcock touch" within the first two minutes of the movie: one of the spectators of the show removes his glasses and the viewer is put into his position of seeing what he sees - at first blurry and then sharper, when the glasses are put back on and everything comes back into focus. 

 

2. Undoubtedly, there are elements in these first opening sequences that display his early experiments in putting the viewer in the position of the character - something we will see throughout Hitch's career. 

 

3. Having seen hundreds of silent films, in some ways I believe there are more freedoms in a silent film for Hitch to expand upon his approach. He is brilliant in his use of image-driven techniques to build a story (versus mere dialogue) and the silent film is an excellent venue for practicing and building upon those techniques we will see more of later.

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Daily Dose # 1:

 

My first experience with a silent Hitchcock film, nevertheless, his touch is most defintely visible upon opening!

The Hitchcock is something that is very apparent to a fan, and although may be subtle to others, upon recognition, I think many people can agree that Hitchcock touch is something that is singulary trademarked by him. 

2 examples stand out directly for me, one being the almost immediate introduction of the film's female lead character. Hitchcock almost alway introduces his female leads in the very beginning, often introducing them in a very strong, indivdual format. Opposed to many film techniques, he does not always establish the female character with a man or in any relation to male leads, which I believe is his way of juxtapositioning his beliefs in equality. Many people can say different things about the man, however, basing off his strong relationship to his mother, and admiration for females, Hitchcock is one who does not use, objectify, or sexualize women in his films. The female characters are always secy and beautiful, but they do not throw it to the audience, they make you work for it. Subtle costumes, tongue in cheek personalities, add to the mystery of the overall ploy and theme. This seemed evident to me from the female dancer. 

 

2. I somewhat agree that we see elements, themes, and approaches from Hitchcock in the first film, but I would say if we see any, they are in the most infant stages and if anything, his technique dramatically develops over the decades. This first film, as one could suspect, is his acid test. This is the first opportunity Hitchcock has to make a statement, his first canvas to use for his picture. I think we can recognize a few vintage Hitchcock touches, but anything concrete, no, because Hitchcock does not even know yet. It is too early for his elements to mature, but the foundation is there.

 

3. I always feel silent films have limitations compared to talkies. I know many people disagree, and Norma Desmond would clearly state silent film was the golden age, but I wholeheartily disagree. Common argument is that with the silent film, one has to be sure everything else attracts the audience as there is no sound. This is true, but once sound was incorporated, no one abandoned the look or acting in the movie. I believe it actually added to the strive for perfection, as now with sound, the film can be complete. Making sure the sound is captured correctly along with the picture, adds a totally new dimension to the process. Sound I believe gave life to films, without it, the art could have been looked upon as second to still photography, or an addition to it. With sound, film became it's own art, allowing for a complete sensory experience. Spoken dialogue in the opening scene, would have instilled many things to the film. 

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The sly visual humor scattered throughout this clip is very characteristic of the Hitchcock touch. I especially appreciate the widespread disregard of the "No Smoking" signs. The quick shots and brisk pace are also a Hitchcock touch. In my opinion, Hitchcock was not limited by the lack of dialogue because he told visual stories and used visual clues to tell stories. Rear Window uses visual clues to tell the stories of the apartment complex neighbors of James Stewart's character.

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This is my first silent Hitchcock film.   The scene where we are looking through the binoculars to see what the viewer sees is definitely a signature scene for me. 

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.

AH often is quite manipulative with forced point of view (POV) shots. There are a couple of note, even in this short sequence. 


The scene which introduces Mr. Monocle starts with a pan along a row of the faces of folks watching the show. It then returns to Mr. Monocle and switches to his POV to show that he is singling out a particular dancer, and that she is aware of his action. The interesting bit is the realistic touches that AH inserts, with the intentionally out of focus shot demonstrating how weak the eyesight of Mr. Monocle is as he raises the binoculars, to the inclusion of showing the raising of the binoculars by shadowy hands at all. These touches are not really necessary by way of narrative, but may do much to increase the immersion of the viewer in the narrative. 


 

A second example is outside the theatre, with the two pickpockets casing the passersby. The camera freezes on and the field of view (FOV) narrows to just the purse hanging at the side of Jill Cheyne. At this point, we are once again forced into the POV of a character. 


 

A third example might be seen in the interaction of Patsy Brand and Mr. Monocle. He meets her and makes an awkward comment as to being interested in the curl of her hair. Patsy sees this coming from a mile away and has the precise of mind and self-possession to take off the fake curl and present it to him, mockingly taking him at his word, but also demonstrating two very Hitchcockian touches along the way:

1) Things are not always as they seem.
2) The women keeping level with, or exceeding the men.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career?


 

The examples above certainly repeat throughout Hitchcock’s other films.
Forced POV:
 

Young and Innocent - Erica is hanging on for dear life as the mine works collapses around her — the camera switches to the POV of Robert in this intense moment.

 

Later, the POV of Guy as he drums brings us along for the ride as he figures out where he has seen a dressed up Will before, and his growing realization of his predicament as he sees the bobby waiting though the window.

 

Vertigo - The predicament is repeated with Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo. In the opening rooftop chase scene, Scottie misses the jump and hangs from the edge. The police officer returns to try to help him. The POV is switches back and forth between the police officer and Scottie. Hitchcock wants to put you in the head of Scottie to help you identify with his fear. The police officer POV doesn’t seem to be there for that reason, but rather to show you how far Scottie has to fall and how likely it seems that he will fall — he seems impossible to reach by the outstretched hand. So it seems that sometimes AH does this to make you feel something, and at other times to show you something — the predicament and the hopelessness of the situation. One could argue that you care more about the policeman’s death since you have been in his head — even that briefly. 

 

The relationship between men and women is also a recurring theme with Hitchcock. One can predict the interchange between Eva Marie Saint and Carry Grant in the North By Northwest dining car, from the Monocle/Patsy scene. In both cases there is a sexual connotation that both sides are very aware of, and in both cases the woman is on top of the dynamic vs the man.

 

This pattern is repeated by the leads of Spellbound, where Gregory Peck’s character is so broken, that Ingrid Bergman’s character has to use her expertise to repair it.

 

3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue?

 

I think that Hitchcock’s inclination toward showing vs telling is very rooted in his background in illustration, as well as cutting his teeth in silent film. It is interesting that over the arc of his career even once sound becomes available, he doesn’t become seduced by it, or at least never lets go of this important and very Hitchcock ‘touch’.

What does seem a bit limiting is the architecture of the titles themselves.  The practice of including the attribution of character name, then the attribution of the actor playing the character’s name very effectively breaks the immersion and narrative flow.

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1. There is an immediate "Hitchcock touch" within the first two minutes of the movie: one of the spectators of the show removes his glasses and the viewer is put into his position of seeing what he sees - at first blurry and then sharper, when the glasses are put back on and everything comes back into focus.

 

I think this is an astute observation and would add that not just what he does is important here, but why he does it, and after that when he chooses to do it.

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Yet at the same time, people need to remember Hitch used sound to great effect.

 

Quite so. Hitchcock once made the comment:

 

"If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on."

 

I think this demonstrates his bias toward visual storytelling, but I agree with your observation. It is probably righter to say that Hitchcock was never seduced by new technologies nor did he take any aspect of storytelling for granted. Anything that makes it into the final product seems to have been considered, and placed -- much like as in the example you give from Blackmail.

 

One wonders what Hitchcock's approach to CGI would have been!

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Of course, the spiral staircase scene is just delicious!  But the Hitchcockian element that jumped out at me immediately was at @ 1:00 into the clip -- at the point where the guy is looking at the chorus girl through his monocle (after he puts down his binoculars).  As she notices him and realizes he is looking directly at her, she gazes right back at him.  She meets his gaze head on (she doesn't look demure).  But what is so remarkable to me is that she looks at him with one eye.  She moves her head so that she is really looking at him with only her right eye, and the lighting (and her makeup) at that point highlight the importance of her single eye -- it's a bit darker.  So she's meeting him on his own terms - one eye to one eye.  She seems to be saying (without needing title cards) "Go ahead, take a good look.  I see you seeing me."  Her audacity in meeting his gaze reappears when she meets him.  He has admired a part of her body - her hair curl - and again, she basically "gives it to him."  And it's deflating for him because what he admired is so clearly fake.  And her line, "have a good time with it" shows that she has his number.  It's that curl he wants, not her really -- the curl is a fetish, and she basically is saying, "here, go make love to this."  He's not seeing the real young woman, and the fact that he looks only through a monocle emphasizes his incomplete view of her.  Overall a striking scene.  But to me, the real moment of truth is when she looks at him through her own "monocle" by turning her head to the left.


 


This moment of "eye lock" also reminds me very much of the most chilling moment in Rear Window.  When Lisa is in Thorwald's apartment and points to the wedding ring she stole (with her back to the window), Thorwald looks down to that ring, and he then follows its trajectory across the courtyard and slowly looks up and directly into Jeff's camera lens (another monocle?).  Jeff turns out the light, realizing he and Stella have been seen.  But it's too late.  The moment Thorwald actually LOOKS back at the voyeur is just amazing!  And it is terrifying for the audience because we too are "seen."  It's our eyes that he meets, and it's chilling!


 


So I think this scene has elements of this cinematic issue of viewing others, of looking with the camera, and voyeurism that Hitchcock used in later films.

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 

 

Sorry. I don't see it. Maybe after I get further along in the course, I can review this clip and get it. What I see is that Hitch might have given Busby Berkley some inspiration when it comes to the close-ups of the gentlemen (except that Berkley does his close-ups on the girls in chorus); as well as the leg shots which Berkley also does.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 

 

Again, sorry, but I'm not seeing it.

 

3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue?

 

Absolutely not. Every concept is communicated beautifully without spoken dialogue.

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I will have to think about questions 1&2, but I have a few words to contribute concerning question 3. 

 

I think the limitation lies with the style of the performers. Everyone is already familiar with what happened to many acting careers when talking pictures replaced silent ones; many performers lost work. While the expressiveness of silent film stars is engaging to watch, it can also be a distraction, thus presenting somewhat of an obstacle in telling stories naturally. However, Hitchcock manages to work very nicely with the performers that were available, setting up interesting shots that complement the stylized performances.

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1. I see what is referred to as the Hitchcock touch but I wouldn't have recognized it myself. I haven't seen any of his movies for years so this isn't something that would pop out at me.

 

2.Yes. Especially  "the theatrical setting where players become protagonists in bizarre real-life dramas". That's one thing I specifically remember about his movies.

 

3.No.

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HI! Yes for sure common themes can be recognized.

 

1 - POV Shots, Dry Humor , tension in every scene, how he uses camera framing to point.

 

2- Yes completely agree.

 

3- I don't feel there are limitations, for different reasons: A) you can understand the story and feel it as it is.

B) looking back at the time the films was made there was no sync sound, so you can not feel limited by something does not exist yet.

 

Thank you very much TCM and Dr Rich Edwards for such a great course.

 

Best

D

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1) Yes, the spiral staircase, Framing the shots so that the audience sees what he wants us to see. Our heroine put into a dreadful situation when she is robbed of her letter of introduction. The added comedy like the curly hair. 

 

2) Yes

 

3) Hitchcock shows why silent films in some ways are/were better than talkies. There is very little wasted shots. In silent films you have to tell the story with visuals, facial expressions, sets that move the story. No explosions or meaningless car chases/stunts just to fill time. Everything is done for a purpose and it keeps the audience involved.

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Thank you for such a fun introduction to the class with this clip. And I appreciate all of the great observations other course participants have made....It all provides a really broad lens with which to consider the topic.

 

I agree that there are so many Hitchcockian elements present. One of the things I was struck with is the overall efficiency or "tightness" of the film clip. Nothing is wasted, nothing is left out. When I watch Hitchcock I always feel as though I'm watching a carefully choreographed dance...the imagery is at once thoughtfully sequenced and planned, while also appearing natural and spontaneous. 

 

The familiar elements of juxtaposition and humor are present as well, with the smoking man near the no smoking sign and the gift of the hair piece. Such fun.

 

Something else present for me is the building of suspense....I get this impression "something" is going to happen but I'm not sure what. The leering gentlemen, the innocent girl in distress, the nefarious pickpockets, the objectified blond. The sense of impending trouble is palpable. 

 

As for limitations with silent film. I see an innovator at work, and the lack of spoken dialogue was a non issue for me, in fact it makes things even more suspenseful. 

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Hitchcock's highly creative use of the camera--framing, focus, angles, lighting, and movement--is already on display is this earliest work. Also in abundance are the darker themes of man's avarice and malevolence, his blindness, greed, and lust, as well as the strength and beauty of women to defend themselves against such a rude culture's agents of malice. Down the drain of the spiral staircase the light and lively women descend into the lurid smoky world below, where tuxedoed wolves lick their chops as they spy their prey.

 

Still, sordid as this scene is, Hitch finds several occasions to make us laugh--the clubowner puffing on his cigar just offstage beneath a NO SMOKING sign; the hilarious timing of the dancer plucking the curl from her head. Great contrasts of darkness and light in seemngly simple moments. (Not sure if he made a cameo in any of these scenes, I doubt I could recognize him at that age!)

 

Of course the absence of synchronized sound was a limitation. We can't possibly know what use he may have made of it, just as we can't know what he would have done with color had it been available, but importantly, what he did to tell the story with the available technology was brilliant!

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 

I do see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence. For example, in the moment where the gentleman in the audience looks at the dancer through his binoculars, Hitchcock gives us the point of view of the man himself. This reminds me of the times in "Rear Window" when we, as audience members, see what James Stewart is seeing through his camera lens. 

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 

I do agree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto. There are elements, themes, and approaches that we see throughout Hitchcock's career that are played out in this clip, both directly and indirectly. For example, the opening staircase scene of the clip reminds me of the bell tower staircase in "Vertigo." Additionally, the theme of voyeurism in this clip is a theme that reoccurs in many of Hitchcock's films. Additionally, while this is a silent film, and Hitchcock's later works were not, he did continue to use periods of time in his later films where there was no dialogue. (The climactic scene in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" comes to mind.) 

 

3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue?

I do not believe that these silent films posed limitations. If anything, it makes us as audience members pay closer attention to the camera angles and other visual choices made by Hitchcock. 

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I watched Read Window Saturday night on TCM, so I was able to connect the use of binoculars to enhance the watchers' vision in the two films. I think the idea of a watcher is one of Hitchcock's touches: the powerfulness and the powerlessness of the watcher would have appealed to him.  Not to mention  the tension of the audience watching the watcher and anticipating his being caught.  I think I would call this an everyday sort of suspense--a definite theme along with the blond, the ironic social commentary, and the hint of greater menace with the purloined introduction letter.  I love silent films and think they can convey the same range of thoughts and emotions as dialogue if the actors are expressive and the audience is imaginative.

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples.

Yes, I do see elements of the "Hitchcock touch" in this film. He always uses "point of view" shots in his movies and this one was no exception. Also, his "panning" with the camera was evident.

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career?

Yes, I do agree with them

 

3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue?

 

I do not feel there were any limitations. It makes the film viewer pay closer attention to Hitchcock's camera shots

 

 

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My impression of this first silent Hitchcock film that I am seeing...is that Hitchcock already had a distinct way of seeing the world. When he describes in the interview film clip how he saw the party scene in "Woman to Woman".....you see that his vision was startlingly different than others. Perhaps it was more all encompassing. The sequence in this daily dose uses some techniques that Hitchcock continued to use throughout his filmmaking career...the POV shots, the closed in visuals, but what strikes me most of all is how even in this first of his movies, the suspense is palpable throughout even what seem to be the most innocent of scenes. There is a reason he is called the Master of Suspense!

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Alfred Hitchcock was known for showing off his leading ladies within his movies. And all but a hand full are blonde. In 'Rear Window' Grace Kelly is shown in slow motion kissing James Stewart, in 'Suspicion' you see Cary Grant eyeing Joan Fontaine in the car of a train after asking could he sit in it with her. A guess would be why Hitch does this is to give his audience a glance at this particular woman who could possibly be the cause or reason to his leading man's down/windfall.

 

 

In the next question I agree with Yacowar and Spoto assessments of Hitch's scene sequence. Hitch uses the camera as a leering eye, that we the viewers are getting a 'look' at the actress from the point of view of the man. And to not make it all creepy throwing in a dash of humor in the scene like the old man stepping on the other man's foot when he is trying to get backstage or the woman in the front row sleeping showing that she could care less of the dancing girls. In almost (if not all) of Hitch's movies you are a peeping tom in the movies, meaning you see from the view of his actor in a set up scene whether 'he' is eyeing a lady sitting in front of him or his 'victim' taking a shower. It's almost like you're the hunter watching his pry just before the 'kill'.

 

 

And for the last question I don't think it make a difference whether or not you have sound. Hitchcock's set up to the whole scene explains itself. You see girls coming down a staircase and its obvious they are going on stage to perform. Ans you see the men in the front row and they are either uncomfortable or enjoying themselves. And one poor soul is smitten by one of the dancers. Then your next scene a poor girl is robbed of a paper that will make or break her in trying to get into show business.

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1) I absolutely see Hitchcock shining forth in all of his radiant genius. From the choreographed dancers on stage, to the man in the audience with the monocle in which he becomes infatuated and stares slightly obscenely at the blond dancer. Hitchcock himself throughout his extensive films that he has directed is shall we say obsessed with blonde actresses. The winding staircase also does remind me somewhat of Vertigo's bell tower scene in which Jimmy Stewart is chasing Kim Novak up the stairs, etc. All in all I found the opening of The Pleasure Garden to be very elegant, well shot, and one hell of a opening for Hitchcock's career.

 

2) I agree completely, Hitchcock was a huge fan of putting on a show within his films in regards to music, or in this case dance. There is always going to be a show number within Hitchcock's films such as the music that Hannay hears which sticks with him through his whole endeavor as he is on the run, until the moment he confronts Mr. Memory, etc. It is always a game of cat and mouse in his future films, that never lack spectacle or pizzazz or major female actresses without a blonde hairdo...

 

3) Absolutely not, it had a great amount of whimsy to it. The scene played out beautifully and the characters expressions, and gestures were only heightened in the best ways possible. 

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1. Do you see the beginnings of the "Hitchcock touch" in this sequence? Please provide specific examples. 

 

​I have not seen many Hitchcock movies (yet), so I do not know what his "touch" was. I am sure I will be able to answer this question much better at the end of this course. However, last Friday, I watched "Rear Window," and I can see several elements in "Pleasure Garden" that may have been the beginnings of "Rear Window," especially the theme of voyeurism enhanced by the use of a telescope (or opera glass or monocle). Also, the chorus girl was a blonde, as was Grace Kelly. Another element in both was the way he focused the eye of the viewer on the visual elements that Hitchcock wanted the viewer to see. The spotlight on the girl's purse prior to her being robbed is the most obvious example of this, but so was the restriction of the field of vision, by use of a telescope on one apartment at a time in "Rear Window," and by the use of a monocle in "Pleasure Garden." Having said that, I must admit that I did not notice that a man was smoking in front of a "no smoking" sign (as several of my classmates have noted), but I did notice several other examples of humor in PG, such as the dozing woman in the row of excited men, and the wisecracks of Thelma Ritter in RW. Right from the beginning, the Master of Suspense realized that viewers cannot sustain a sense of nervous anticipation throughout a film, and humor effectively sets up a viewer for the next scary surprise.    

 

2. Do you agree or disagree with Strauss, Yacowar, and Spoto assessments that this sequence contains elements, themes, or approaches that we will see throughout Hitchcock's 50-year career? 

 

​I suspect I will agree by the end of this course, but right now I do not know enough about Hitchcock's 50 year career to have an opinion on this.   

 

 

3. Since this is a silent film, do you feel there were any limitations on these opening scenes due to the lack of synchronous spoken dialogue?

 

​I do not feel that the lack of spoken dialogue was a limitation on the opening scenes. Hitchcock did a great job of telling the story visually. In fact, some of the scenes were much more effective this way, such as the scene where we saw a blurry image of the chorus girls until the theater goer put on his monocle.  A thousand words would not have made the point better.  

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1. You can see that this film sets up what is known as the "Hitchcock touch".  From the POV shots to the beautiful blondes that always seem to outnumber the brunettes.  Also the easy transition from serious to humor within scenes shows through out his films.

 

2. Yes i agree with them.

 

3. I don't see any real limitations to it being a silent film. I feel sometimes more emotion is put forth with body language, mannerisms and facial expressions when your not speaking.

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