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Dr. Rich Edwards

8/1/17 Lecture Note Discussion: Remakes, Homages, and Films Inspired by Hitchcock

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A list of directors and films inspired by Hitchcock would have to unclude Brian DePalma films, like Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, and Sisters.

 

Everyone is going to say Charade, and I will too.

 

Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation has many things that reminds me of Hitchcock.

 

Clint Eastwood's The Eiger Sanction also reminds me of Hitchcock - a spy thriller, with humor, with a climax in a famous location, The Eiger.

 

High Anxiety is obvious.

 

And now a word about Psycho II. This film is much better than people might assume. For a film that was a sequel to one of the most iconic films of all time (a difficult feat indeed), Psycho II is an excellent thriller. It of course is shot in a manner reminiscent of Hitchcock's style, but it does a very hard thing. It gets us to sympathize with Norman Bates. Anthony Perkins performance is wonderful, and even as he starts to unravel you find yourself really feeling for him.

 

The music score is exceptional, and rather trying to imitate Bernard Hermann it has a somber, melancholy feel to it, which is perfect as we feel sad for Norman.  

 

Is it a masterpiece like the original? No, but it's an excellent film, well made, well acted, with a solid story and great twist, and it slowly builds tension til it's climax. What more could you ask of a film?

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I will add HOUSE OF GAMES written and directed by David Mamet. I love Mamet's work when he plays with your head. I thought of posting THE SPANISH PRISONER but with the performance of Lindsay Crouse - I think it fits the "Hitchcock style". Mamet creates a two unique characters - Margaret Ford (Crouse) and Mike (Joe Mantegna). The story is based in the world of the con - and the manipulation of the victim. Crouse as the "the cool blonde" in the piece is amazing. It is dark and at times disturbing and the relationship between Mike and Margaret is complex and fascinating. While the plot is interesting it is the characters and their development that makes this a film I watch and watch again. There are wonderful characters within the piece and the there are numerous twists and turns - and a great ending. If you have not seen House of Games I highly recommend it. Remember to hold onto your wallet.

 

I did think about TWIN PEAKS - if just for the cinematography and The MUSIC.

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Looking back through these posts (which are GREAT) I'm glad to see a couple of references to the other grand man of 20th century cinema -- Orson Welles.  In addition to Touch of Evil and The Lady from Shanghai, I would like to add a film in which Welles appeared, The Third Man.  To me, the film has certain aspects of North by Northwest and certainly a film noir feel.  Perhaps even add Citizen Kane to the list, coming out a year after Rebecca and featuring one of the first Bernard Herrmann scores.

 

I have often wondered how much Hitchcock and Welles may have influenced each other as they 'grew up' in Hollywood at about the same time -- Hitch being able to navigate the landscape of the studio system much better than Welles.  Does anyone know of anything that has been written or analyzed about this?

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Pulp Fiction - it has the McGuffin (the brief case), alternates humor and suspense, interesting camera angles and composition/framing, and sophisticated musical score.

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I thought of some more... :)

 

8 Femmes (2002): One morning the industrialist Marcel is found stabbed in his room. Eight women are his potential murderers: His wife Gaby, his daugthers Suzon and Catherine, his mother-in-law Mamy, his sister-in-law Augustine, his sister Pierette, the cook Chanel and the maid Louise. The house is isolated in a snowstorm, the phone is dead and one of them has to be the culprit. Mutual suspisions reveal the various secrets in their lives.

 

Swimming Pool (2003): Sarah Morton is a famous British mystery author. Tired of London and seeking inspiration for her new novel, she accepts an offer from her publisher John Bosload to stay at his home in Luberon, in the South of France. It is the off-season, and Sarah finds that the beautiful country locale and unhurried pace is just the tonic for her--until late one night, when John's indolent and insouciant French daughter Julie unexpectedly arrives. Sarah's prim and steely English reserve is jarred by Julie's reckless, sexually charged lifestyle. Their interactions set off an increasingly unsettling series of events, as Sarah's creative process and a possible real-life murder begin to blend dangerously together.

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My favorite film I think is a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock is, Jumping Jack Flash (1986). I know that a lot of people will not take this film seriously because it was a comedy and a Whoopi Goldberg vehicle for her stand-up/one-woman-show brand of comedy. But to really see this as Hitchcockian, you only have to look at the story. Beware spoilers ahead.

 

Whoopi Goldberg plays a bank clerk who handles international fund transfers via computers. Her outrageous dress and casual friendly but nonprofessional behavior make her an enigma in the stuffy bank. However, she is very good at her job, efficient, and able to help her co-workers with computer problems. While working late, she is contacted by a stranger on the bank network, who identifies himself only as Jumping Jack Flash. He is a British agent trapped in Eastern Europe being pursued by the KGB and in need of an exit contact who can get him back to the West. At Jack's request, she goes to his apartment for a list of contacts who may be able to help him. She is immediately drawn into a web of spies and must determine who to trust and who not to trust. She must rely on her wits and cunning to survive. 

 

The situation is very Hitchcockian. An ordinary person is thrown into an extraordinary situation by a chance occurrence, Jumping Jack Flash hacking into her bank's network and contacting her. To be fair, the film is very 80s and seems dated now and a lot of the comedy is playing to the strengths of Whoppi Goldberg as a comedienne, but as a spy thriller, it works well.

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I'd say any show in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I.E. Amazing Stories, Twighlightt Zone, the Hitchhiker series.

 

There's two movies that are clearly homages/remakes: Psycho by Gus Van Sant, and Jeff Bleckner's Rear Window remake starring Christopher Reeve, and Daryl Hannah

 

Just about anything from Brian DePalma or Dario Argento in the 70's

 

Oh and Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear (also a remake but in the tradition of Hitchcock bigtime!)

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Four films that come to mind: 

 

"The Devils Own" - Harrison Ford/Brad Pitt

 

"Primal Fear" - Richard Gere

 

"What Lies Beneath" - Harrison Ford 

 

"The Jackal" - Richard Gere

 

These films all are driven by a MacGuffin but the issues really relate to the psychological suspense related to the characters and their choices/conflicts within the films.  They all have an element of a "chase" with a time element looming and in several, the audience has information heightening the suspense, that the protagonist does not. 

 

Any of these actors would be excellent choices for Hitchcock to cast

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Flatulation jokes aside,

Mel Brooks' High Anxiety is a hilarious romp through the genius of Hitchcock.

My favorite scene is the phone booth, but I just think the whole movie is a riot.

YouTube has some great clips of Mel Brooks' conversations with Hitchcock that show his great sense of humor and persona.

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I've loved reading through these posts and remembering so many movies that definitely are Hitchcockian!  Here are some more!

 

The Big Clock​ with Ray Milland and Charles Laughton is on TCM tonight at 8 p.m. and its a good one!  Also starring Ray Milland:

 

Possessed with Joan Crawford

Act of Violence​ with Janet Leigh and Robert Ryan

Black Widow ​with Ginger Rogers and Gene Tierney

The Prowler​ with Evelyn Keyes

 

I don't remember seeing anyone list Double Indemnity​ with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck.  Then, as I thought about Barbara Stanwyck, who is one of my favorite actresses, I immediately thought of several of her other movies that would fit the description:

 

No Man of her Own​ with John Lund (this is one of my favorites - it was remade into a comedy with Rikki Lake called 

          Mrs. Winterbourne, ​but the original is SO much better!)

​Cry Wolf​ with Errol Flynn

Man with a Cloak ​with Joseph Cotton

Witness to Murder ​with George Sanders 

Sorry, Wrong Number​ with Burt Lancaster

​The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers​ with Van Heflin

The Two Mrs. Carrolls​ with Humprey Bogart

​Crime of Passion​ with Raymond Burr

​The File on Thelma Jordon​ with Wendell Corey

Jeopardy ​with Barry Sullivan

 

Some other examples would be:

Dark Passage​ with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

​23 Paces to Baker Street​ with Van Johnson and Vera Miles

​Experiment in Terror ​with Lee Remick

Above Suspicion​ with Fred MacMurray and Joan Crawford

Tomorrow is Forever​ with Orson Welles and Claudette Colbert

​A Cry in the Night​ with Natalie Wood and Raymond Burr

Laura​ with Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews

Out of the Past​ with Robert Mitchum

Undercurrent ​with Katherine Hepburn, Robert Taylor, & Robert Mitchum

Midnight Lace​ with Doris Day, Rex Harrison, & John Gavin

​The Spiral Staircase​ with Dorothy McGuire

​Blindfold​ with Rock Hudson

 

Some more recent examples would be:

Unknown​ with Liam Neeson

Double Jeopardy​ with Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones

High Crimes and Kiss the Girls​ both with Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman

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A few more that would have been interesting with the Hitchcock touch during his prime...

Bound (1996) Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon

Red Rock West (1992) Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) Kevin Spacey, John Cusack

Tightrope (1984) Clint Eastwood, Genevieve Bujold

Identity (2003) John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet

Silent Fall (2000) Richard Dreyfuss, Linda Hamilton, John Lithgow

Original Sin (2000) Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie

The Hot Spot (1990) Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Connelly 

The Satan Bug (1965) George Maharis, Richard Basehart, Anne Francis

 

I too was thinking of a picture that until this, no one mentioned. Who knows, perhaps only you and I saw it. The Hot Spot has many Hitchcock like elements and if people have not seen it, I believe it is worth your time.

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Here is an out of the box or left field suggestion; Knight and Day. Tag it to the combination of wrong man, blonde, plane/train/bus/car/etc, exotic locales, quirky relationship, crossed with screwball comedy. Box office failure but a good flick non-the-less.

 

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Good Evening...

A few of my favorite films that I believe have some of the Hitchcock Touches are:

-"Double Indemnity" (film Noir)

 

-"Brain Dead" (tv show about bugs trying to take over the world - "The Birds")

 

-"The Night of the Hunter" (Robert Mitchum stars-one of my favorite actors who plays a killer- ordinary ppl in extraordinary circumstances-suspense-thriller) - on TCM this Sunday; looking forward.

 

Just a few that come to mind...if I think of more I'll post. Gonna miss this class.

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The%20Hot%20Spot%2011-Define2_zpszahuaxdI too was thinking of a picture that until this, no one mentioned. Who knows, perhaps only you and I saw it. The Hot Spot has many Hitchcock like elements and if people have not seen it, I believe it is worth your time.

 

So true, and I think The Hot Spot (1990) is a modern Noir masterpiece for Dennis Hopper.  As for the Hitchcock touches, Hopper weaves and blends an amazing soundtrack of blues with music composed by Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker, Jack Nitzsche, and Taj Mahal to emphasize and underscore scenes of tense drama, robbery, adultery, passion, betrayal with an excellent ensemble cast of characters (William Sadler, Jerry Hardin, Barry Corbin, Charles Martin Smith and Jack Nance) in the same sensitive style Hitchcock worked with his collaborators.  Don Johnson plays a drifter, fulfilling the “everyman role” and maybe not quite so innocent but more so than others he encounters.  Based on the book Hell Hath No Fury, the plot twists and turns with blackmail, obsession and is it really “murder”?  Plenty of MacGuffins in this one and Hopper is keen on using his camera and camera movements to set the scene as well as to add information to the story.  This takes place in a small Texas town re-enforcing the Hitchcock ideal, how an everyman type character can get caught up in a web of intrigue way over his head in any location large or small.  Check it out! 

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I see a lot of Hitchcock in various horror films that have been released over the years. Many directors are influenced by him including horror master John Carpenter. Halloween not only starred Janet Leigh's daughter but the doctor was named Loomis after the boyfriend in Psycho. It Follows one of the better horror films in recent years was greatly influenced by a variety of films and it appears that Hitchcock may have been an influence on him as well. 

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This thread is great :). I'll add another one (with trains! :lol:):

 

Transsiberian (2007): Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) are a naive American couple traveling from China to Moscow on the legendary Transsiberian express. They meet another couple - the mysterious and seductive Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and his enigmatic girlfriend Abby (Kate Mara) - and what was a simple train journey soon turns into a thrilling chase of deception and murder as corrupt police officers (Ben Kingsley and Thomas Kretschmann) pursue them and it soon becomes clear that everyone is not what they first seem.

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Movies I feel have a similarity to Hitchcock: 

1) Wicked with Julia Stiles 

 

2) The Desperate Hours with Richard Mitchum 

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Movies I feel have a similarity to Hitchcock: 

 

1) Wicked with Julia Stiles 

 

2) The Desperate Hours with Richard Mitchum 

 

FYI:   The Desperate Hours (1955) stars Bogart and March.

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Wow!  Thanks everyone.  Thank you Dr. Edwards.  Thank you TCM!  I have learned so much and wish I could have added a lot more knowledge - but I am inspired to learn much more about movies.  And watch a lot of these mentioned above that I have not seen.  

 

I immediately thought of Niagra, Gaslight, Dark Passage and Witness for the Prosecution.  I have to mention High Anxiety.  

 

I will try to remember all the Hitchcock touches when I watch movies now!

 

Thanks and good luck to all!

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The only two that I can think of is High Anxiety by Mel Brooks and an episode of Castle done in the style of Rear Window.

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Now that I’ve learned SO much in this course, I’m anxious to see the new movie Dunkirk because I’ve heard it has many elements that are a nod to Hitchcock...

 

Pure suspense

Hans Zimmer score

More emphasis on visual imagery vs. conversation, to propel the story

Bold camera techniques

Nail-biting sound design over dialog

Story told from three perspectives, interweaving and jumping back and forth in time

 

I also read where they needed to solve the problem of how to shoot inside a Spitfire plane because the camera didn’t fit in the cockpit.  They wanted the fight scenes to look as authentic as possible, not green-screened or filmed in a studio.  So they hung the camera outside the cockpit and built a special lens that bent like a periscope.  I think Hitchcock would have approved.

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"The Lady Vanishes" was remade in 2013 for PBS's Masterpiece Mystery series. I watched this and loved it. When I read it was a remake of a Hitchcock film, I then saw the original. Although the PBS remake was good on its own---if you compare it to the original, well, I think the original is far superior. What I liked about both pieces was the starting at one point and then going through the 'tunnel' of a storyline into something that you never would have thought would happen when you start watching the films. Hitchcock brought in other storylines that added interest to the film. The PBS remake changed some details for the 21st century audience which I think made the film less interesting in some aspects. 

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