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I understand why Hitchcock liked to use movie stars. It was a quick way to connect a character to the audience without having to provide a lot of exposition. It can also change the denouement of the movie. (I am thinking specifically about Ivor Novello vs Laird Cregar in The Lodger and Cary Grant in Suspicion.) So my question is... if you don't have a sense of the persona of the stars in the movie, how do you make that connection, understand the motivations of the characters, and see 

why Hitchcock chose to end the movie the way he did? 

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I understand why Hitchcock liked to use movie stars. It was a quick way to connect a character to the audience without having to provide a lot of exposition. It can also change the denouement of the movie. (I am thinking specifically about Ivor Novello vs Laird Cregar in The Lodger and Cary Grant in Suspicion.) So my question is... if you don't have a sense of the persona of the stars in the movie, how do you make that connection, understand the motivations of the characters, and see 
why Hitchcock chose to end the movie the way he did? 

 

 

As for 'persona of the stars';   For views today we often have a pre-defined persona that is based on seeing films made 'out of order'.  In fact most people I know,  including myself,   tend to see a stars later work (or at least mid-career),  than see all of their films in release date order.    

 

Take Grant;  in 1941 Grant wasn't the funny family man he became after the War in pictures like The Bachelor and The Bobby Soxer,  Mr. Blanding builds his Dream House, Every Girl should get Married,  or an angel like in The Bishop's Wife.    While prior to 1941 Grant was mostly in comedies Grant played a heal \ cad in films like His Girl Friday and Only Angels Have Wings.   Therefore playing Johnny in Suspicion isn't that much of a stretch, again as viewed based ONLY on the films he was in before than.    (but as someone that would lie to his wife and steal from his cousin,  and NOT as a murderer which would have been a stretch).

 

As for the ending of Suspicion;  I'm OK with him not being a killer but not with him facing no comeuppance.   I would have ended the film with him being attested for stealing with the wife realizing while he wasn't a killer he isn't a good guy to have as a husband. 

 

Creger:    He had done only one very creepy roles prior to The Lodger;   I Walk Up Screaming.    In This Gun for Hire he was a criminal but he played that fairly straight.    His other roles were in musicals or adventure pictures with Power.  

 

So I assume audiences at the time of the release of The Lodger were not thinking 'oh,  here is that creepy actor, Creger'. 

 

Instead that is something we have stuck in our head today, because we have seen The Lodger and IWUS.

 

PS:  Take Raymond Burr who I believe got a career boast out of the sad early death of Creger;   If one had seen the Perry Mason shows before seeing the many creeps Burr successfully played in noir \ crime films, one might be surprised.    There is a surprise but it is that the producers of Mason felt Burr could play the good guy after a film career of mostly playing bad guys.     

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