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The worst Alfred Hitchcock movies


TripleHHH
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Not every movie from a director that you like will be a winner, in fact there might be one you just cant stand, its stinky bad. Of course there are those who love every movie because you just the director that much

In this case the topic is Alfred Hitchcock, there are threads about his favorites and top 5 favorites,etc...this time, I want to go the other way & pick what you think his worst movie is, whether it was something you found dull or unwatchable or just plain awful. Now of course overall Hitchcock is a fantastic mystery suspense director, but somewhere in his greatness there might be something you would call a bomb.

For me at this point *Under Capricorn* gets my vote, I just cant get into this talky uninteresting movie..Ive seen some bad reviews of Jamaica Inn, The Skin Game..Anyway Im curious to see what you might feel is Hitchcock's worst movie. I wasnt into the Trouble With Harry either. No matter what I am curious about seeing his work so sometimes you come across something that you just dont like along the way ....

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I think ?The Skin Game? is very good. It?s quite interesting, about a couple of families feuding over some rural property in England, and the various tricks and deceptions they use to try to gain control of the land.

 

I like ?Jamaica Inn? too. Very interesting story, characters, and setting.

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>Ughhh!!! Rope!!! I absolutely despise this movie.

 

I do too. Looks like it was filmed on a stage from just one camera position. It's a filmed version of a stage play. It might have made a good 30 minute TV show in the '50s, but as a movie it stinks. Looks like it had a budge of about $1,000.

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He didn't direct Alvarez Kelly, did he? (Just kidding).

So far my least favorite Hitchcock movie has been Topaz, but I wouldn't mind giving it another chance. Might like it better the second time. Still haven't seen a lot of his earlier English films though. Strauss' Great Waltz anyone?

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It's been about 15 years since I watched *Under Capricorn.* I didn't care for it much then but I need to see it again.

 

This post reminded me of *Stage Fright.* It's not necessarily a bad film but I remember having discussions with people who were up in arms at Hitch's messing with the audience in that film. I tended to agree with them. I can't really say more without spoiling it. How did you guys feel about that? Maybe we could use a *spoiler alert* notice if anyone has any comments on this.

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I think you are probably talking about one or two flashback sequences. I don't recall that they bothered me when I first saw the film, because some other films have used that same technique.

 

Hitchcock?s biggest manipulation of the audience comes in Vertigo.

 

If the husband (who kills his wife) could get into the bell tower with his struggling wife without being seen, drag her up the stairs, then push her out the window, then escape with Judy, who looks just like the wife, and he does this with only one way in and out of the bell tower, and Scottie and nuns are down at the bottom of the bell tower, and people are running toward the bell tower in response to the wife?s scream on the way down to her death, and the husband gets in and out without being seen by ANYONE, and nobody even suspects that he was ever there, then why did he need Judy and Scottie and all that wild story and nonsense about the reincarnation? The truth is, Judy and Scottie were totally not needed to carry out this murder plot. This is the most ridiculous of all the Hitchcock plots.

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*Minor Spoiler Alert* (about "Sabotage" and "Stage Fright")

 

 

Alfred Hitchcock always said he made two big mistakes when he made his films. One was the fact that the younger brother died in the end of "Sabotage". And two, the fact that the beginning of "Stage Fright" was a flashback. Some people argue that the flashback was genius. I am not sure! But I do know that when I watch Hitch's movies I am sure to watch something unusual and clever. And that flashback sequence was both unusual AND clever! Only Hitch would do something like that!

 

I personally didn't like "Sabotage" the most out of all his films, but that was one of his early ones. Although it is difficult for me to say ANYTHING bad about the great, genius, amazing, Hitch. I just love him so much!

 

I am even planning on having a movie marathon party on his birthday (August 13th 1899). What is really crazy about his birthday is that he was born on a Friday the 13th. Weird huh?

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I personally wasnt into Stage Fright; this title gets a mixed bag of reviews in terms of like & dislike. It wasnt his worst, but also just lacked a spark , at least to me..

As a Hitchcock fan I did want to see more or most of his films, regrettably I have not really liked them as much as I had thought, in fact some were a true time waster

Rich and Strange was dull, Under Capricorn was terribly dull, Trouble with Harry also just didnt sit well with me in fact I think it was as uninteresting as Under Capricorn (again just my opinion) , plus other earlier Hitch titles like Murder, Sabotage weren't as good as I had thought, even the Lady Vanishes I just found myself not getting into the characters or story.

I had thought about removing Jamaica Inn, Skin Game & a couple others from my Netflix queue as the reviews arent good. Even the older titles that did get favorable reviews I wasnt that much gung-ho about after watching..the ones I haven't seen that might be good ones from what I read are Secret Agent and Young and Innocent, so I will check those out first.

As a fan I am really curious to see his work, but I guess some of it just wasnt worth it, but you dont know until you try..

As for Rope, I also wasnt into it, but what I did like this movie was James Stewart. I enjoy seeing him in choice films, and 95% of the time I do very much enjoy his roles in movies & I am a fan of course. Dial M for Murder for some reason I really find lacking in the thrilling department, still not his worst...

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It's hard to think of the word "worst" in the same sentence as Hitchcock, but if I had to pick one, it would be JAMAICA INN. To those who picked ROPE, I have to say that I disagree with you. ROPE is a good film. It was an experiment, and an interesting one. The author of the screenplay was Arthur Laurents, who wrote the books for the musicals GYPSY and WEST SIDE STORY, as well as a number of screenplays. There is a very strong subtext that if you see it makes the film more comprehensible.

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> {quote:title=TripleHHH wrote:}{quote}

 

> I had thought about removing Jamaica Inn, Skin Game & a couple others from my Netflix queue as the reviews arent good. Even the older titles that did get favorable reviews I wasnt that much gung-ho about after watching..the ones I haven't seen that might be good ones from what I read are Secret Agent and Young and Innocent, so I will check those out first.

 

I would suggest getting "Jamaica Inn". It has Maureen O'Hara in one of her first roles and it has the deliciously, devilish Charles Laughton in one of his funnest roles! (I have been wondering if Laughton wore a mask in that film. He looks SO different and his skin didn't move. Also I thought I noticed the edge of a mask on his face. Did anyone else notice that?) It has a good script (if a little slow at the beginning.) and a truly Hitchcock ending!

 

 

 

> Dial M for Murder for some reason I really find lacking in the thrilling department, still not his worst...

 

 

I am officially pushing the ignore button on you! LOL! How can you say that anything with Ray Milland in it is less than perfect?

 

Watch your step one of these days you are going to reach for the phone in the middle of the night and find yourself being strangled with a stocking from your sewing basket!!!!!!!

 

The fun from that movie is definitely Milland. He creates a charming murderer, that we almost side with! (I will admit I started to root for him, but had to stop, because I love Grace Kelly SO much!) And I think that is what Hitch wanted us to do! Mr. Hitchcock had such power (and he knew it!), he could manipulate our minds any way he wanted to!

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Wow! I forgot that Hitch and I have the same birthday August 13th, different years though. I'm not sure if I was born on a Friday.

 

*Spoiler Alert*

 

If I remember correctly (and I might not) what bothered me about *Stage Fright* was that the flashback was a lie. The character was remembering something incorrectly. We as viewers naturally tend to accept the flashback as honest in this film ( and I know there are many examples in other films as to why we shouldn't) and thus our point of view of the whole film was based on a false premise that allowed Hitch to build his suspense up and then have an easy out. Genius or cheap trick? I really need to watch this again.

 

*End Spoiler Alert*

 

Fred,

You are right about *Vertigo* but for some reason it doesn't bother my enjoyment of the film. I guess because I'm all into Jimmy's obsession with the Novak character.

 

TripleHHH,

The first time I saw *The Lady Vanishes* I loved it. I tried to watch it a couple of times since but the sound was so bad that I couldn't hear it and had to give up. I did notice on the second viewing that the set up at the inn can be kind of tedious but once they are on the train it really picks up. When the lady does vanish I was hooked. I also just love movies set on trains.

 

*The Trouble with Harry* is absurd. One I accepted the absurdity of it and just went with it I found the reactions of the characters very funny. It has a dry British humor that I just enjoyed.

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>Fred, You are right about Vertigo but for some reason it doesn't bother my enjoyment of the film. I guess because I'm all into Jimmy's obsession with the Novak character.

 

I agree with that, and that is why I continue to watch the movie. Jimmy's obsession reminds me of what fools men can sometimes be when good looking dames are involved.

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> {quote:title=molo14 wrote:}{quote}

>

> *Spoiler Alert*

>

> If I remember correctly (and I might not) what bothered me about *Stage Fright* was that the flashback was a lie. The character was remembering something incorrectly. We as viewers naturally tend to accept the flashback as honest in this film ( and I know there are many examples in other films as to why we shouldn't) and thus our point of view of the whole film was based on a false premise that allowed Hitch to build his suspense up and then have an easy out. Genius or cheap trick? I really need to watch this again.

>

> *End Spoiler Alert*

>

 

Well the reason I like "Stage Fright" is for several reasons. I think Alister Sim's is amazing in it, I love Micheal Wilding (I mean LOVE), and a adore Pat Hitchcock!

 

*I guess sorta a spoiler*

 

So many classic "great" films are the same. Hitch managed to create something total different. Something surprising. You find yourself wondering what else is "false". And (at least for me) it made the film mesmerizing. It made the other-wise ordinary and simple story, complex and a never-ending maze of strangeness.

 

I personally think that Mr. Hitchcock wanted that. He was always trying new things on the audience, and in turn the audience kept coming back for more!!!

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Vertigo would have benefited very much if it had shown (during Judy?s memory-flashback sequence) the husband and Judy going into a rear bell-tower passageway, and climbing down a long inside ladder to the bottom of the bell tower, and winding up at a rear door of the church, where they could have gone out to a waiting car, which could have driven away on a small dirt road in a wooded area, out of view of everyone in the front of the church. That could have been accomplished in a series of quick scenes in 30 seconds and it would have salvaged the believability of the overall plot.

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ILoveRayMilland,

 

Thanks for those comments. It has convinced me that I need to watch *Stage Fright* again so I can refresh my perspective and quit commenting on a movie that I may remember talking about more that watching. Something about that movie is stuck in my head and only a fresh viewing will clear it up.

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I couldn't agree more. I disagree with most of the picks here. I really enjoy Jamaica Inn even though I understand Hitchcock himself had reservations about it. I like Rope although I don't know about that "very strong subtext" unless it's spelled out. It was clearly a take on the Leopold/Loeb murder case, with many elements sanitized for Hollywood, including the victim. It did have the feel of a filmed play, but that was pretty obvious, and you either accepted it or you didn't.

One of the things I love about his movies is the sheer variety, even though his reputation is as the old "master of suspense." I loved The Trouble with Harry from the first time I saw it,

surpised by how different it was. The same could be said of The Wrong Man, even though it addressed one of his familar themes. I really wish he'd been able to make a version of James Barrie's Mary Rose, which seemed like such a personal project for him.

I chose Topaz mostly because I think it was a mess from the very beginning. He did not do that incredible preproduction that I associate with Hitchcock. The scriptwriter sometimes was writing scenes the same day they were filmed. He seemed to lose all interest in it before post-production was completed. The studio tacked on their own ending and Hitchcock didn't fight it. Either of the two previous endings would have been preferable. I'd like to see it sometime with the ending he wanted, but I'm not sure that would save the picture. Even so, it has a great beginning and picks up toward its almost end, even if it does sag totally in the middle. And that one incredible moment almost justifies the whole movie.

I've only seen it once. Next time may change my opinion.

 

Message was edited by: tobitz

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hee hee

Sorry but Dial M for Murder just bored me within the first 15 minutes , but I can see by your name you love Ray & well I like some of his movies

I also liked Vertigo and FredDobbs made a great point, but I am also in it didnt affect how I felt about the moive crowd. I really enjoyed the film. I am a James Stewart fan, Kim Novak was great, its shot in my hometown, so that combo beats it all :)

Theres some other Hitch movies

Number 17, The Ring, Blackmail, that I keep scratching my head if I want to see them or not..

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> It did have the feel of a filmed play, but that was pretty obvious, and you either accepted it or you didn't.

 

I didn?t accept it.

 

?The Petrified Forest? was a film of a play, but it used outdoor and indoor sets, and the main room was large enough to move a camera around so it wouldn?t always be pointing in only one direction. Plus it had several sub-plots and a lot of interesting characters.

 

If Rope had just used a second set, showing the room from the point of view of the actors, a camera placed at the "window" but looking in the other direction, that would have helped. But nearly the whole time two or three actors were just standing up between the trunk and the window talking.

 

Talk, talk, talk! Norma Desmond

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