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I Confess I Liked It


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I just saw I CONFESS for the first time. I've always neglected it because I've heard unflattering reports. Well..if this is a bad movie, give me more. Standard suspense drama. Not unpredictable. But they can't all be REAR WINDOW. It's a time honored concept. Hero knows something he can't reveal; in jeopardy due to this choice. It's a good, if uninspired story; told with respect for the audience. Is this a great movie? No. But at no time was I bored or compromised. It's solid entertainment, if not subject for film school thesis.

 

Maybe I'll give THE PARADINE CASE a try. Or others I've missed. There are several Hitchcock films that get bad marks from critics and fans. There are some I, myself, don't recommend. This is inevitable. With such a long list of titles, there are bound to be some disappointments. I CONFESS is a minor work by a master storyteller. But it's well worth ninety minutes in the life of a film fan.

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Hi Red! I really like this Hitchcock film! I wrote a bit about it in my "Hitchcock Gallery" thread

somewhere back in this forum, but as you say, we are in the minority. I love the look of the

movie, too, the black-and-white cinematography of the Canadian locations. Beautiful and it's

a very, very engrossing story to me.

 

I'm not a big Montgomery Clift fan, but this is one of a handful of parts I think fit him exceptionally

well. His curious mixture of torment and ambivalence is perfect for the priest with a secret.

 

I'd like to see it get a prime time TCM broadcast so more people can check it out.

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I hope you get a chance to see "The Paradine Case." It was a movie I avoided, but Hitchcock is amazing. It's now one of my favorite courtroom dramas. (I'm not so sure about casting Gregory Peck though...but my minor hiccup). Hitchcock put his stamp on everything he touched. He put his stamp on a court room drama; he put his stamp on a love story; he put his stamp on a policier.

 

In Paradine a lawyer gets too close to a case, falls for his client and tries to railroad an innocent man into the gallows to save her. Whew! That's my boy Hitch.

 

"I'm not a big Montgomery Clift fan, but this is one of a handful of parts I think fit him exceptionally well. His curious mixture of torment and ambivalence is perfect for the priest with a secret." - Miss Goddess.

 

Well-put...except for the part about not liking Monty. "Red River" "Judgment at Nuremberg" "A Place in the Sun" "From Here to Eternity" "The Heiress"??? Dashing dark looks, mothering him?? Oh Goddess. Have a heart.

 

Message was edited by CineMaven becuz Hitchcock doing a musical would've been great!

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I believe Hitchcock did attempt to make a musical once, in Britain. I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's called Champagne. I've never seen it, so I'm sure one of the more scholarly posters here can verify it more clearly.

 

Yeah, I Confess is a pretty solid film. Not one of Hitch's BEST films, but definately second or third-tier. Lately, I have been really warming up to Mongomery Clift. I've seen a handful of his movies over the past few weeks, and the thing that's really remarkable about him (to me, atleast) is how little he does with his body and face. It's all in the eyes. He is one of those great actors in whose case, less is more. In this film, he is perfectly cast, and is an added bonus to anyone who may not enjoy the film otherwise.

 

While we're on the subject of Hitchcock, what do some of you think of The Wrong Man? This is another of his films that is often relegated to second class in the Hitchcock library, but I rather like it. Hitch gets some really great shots of New York in this one, and the addition of Henry Fonda is a major plus. For being the only time that Hitchcock and Fonda ever worked together, I think they really complimented each other nicely on-screen.

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Not that I put myself in the scholarly category liek lzcutter, rohanaka, missgoddess, frankgrimes bronxgirl...et al, I would say that "The Wrong Man" "I Confess" "StageFright" "The Trouble With Harry" and some 60's fare of Hitchcock's just don't hold my attention. I've got to stretch I guess, but right now, I don't think so.

 

Others will weigh in and I can only be convinced.

 

But listen...what's this problem with Montgomery Clift? This is the second time I've heard that. He was the It Boy back then.

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Vertigo22, you're essentially correct regarding Hitchcock's "Champagne" (1928). I haven't seen it, but most Hitchcock buffs consider it one of his least successful films. And Hitchcock himself was obviously not in a hurry to make another musical. ;)

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It's appropriate that you've linked THE WRONG MAN to this discussion. Like I CONFESS, it's a good movie; maybe underrated. But not among the director's best. You use the term "second tier," a good choice. SUSPICION, LIFEBOAT, TO CATCH A THIEF. Credible entertainment in their own right. But not what Hitchcock is remembered for.

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On the contrary, I think that Lifeboat is one of the most underrated of all Hitchcock movies. It was extremely daring for Hitch to think that he could shoot an entire film within the confines of a small lifeboat out on the open sea, and still get the most out of his script and his performers. It's a suspense film, but not in the usual manner of which we are accustomed with Hitchcock. This was way before Rear Window...and well after The Lady Vanishes...but anyway, it came at a time in his career where he was fiercely creative with each new film (even Rope was a grand experiment that has it's own pluses). I think that Lifeboat is every bit as ingenius as Notorious, but in it's own way, of course.

 

To tell you the truth, I think that Lifeboat is probably the most "normal" film that Alfred Hitchcock ever made.

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When I saw Hitchcock's *Mr. & Mrs. Smith* a while ago I realized he could do anything. He sure did put his stamp on everything he touched - not to mention the art of filmmaking.

 

*The Paradine Case* is interesting. Alida Valli well-cast. I agree that Gregory Peck wasn't. Did I read that Hitchcock didn't want to cast Louis Jourdan as the lover because he thought he was too obvious? Hitchcock apparently thought a less attractive, debonair type would be more effective - and the audience would be less likely to suspect something between the wife and the valet.

 

Was listening to James Franco on "Fresh Air" today - his "big three" iconic actors: James Dean, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift. MC was pretty beat up and his life nearly over when he made *The Misfits* - but he still broke my heart, beautiful man.

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Add me to the list of people who love Lifeboat. I love it more than Notorious (sorry, Ingrid & Claurde Rains, though I love you). It's pretty straight up propaganda, but it's still so interesting and suspenseful. It sets you up one way (trying not to spoil), then it says "ha ha, you were wrong." It's also Tellulah Bankhead's finest hour, in my opinion.

An older (way older) movie of Hitch's that I discovered recently was BLACKMAIL. I really enjoyed it--it was beautifully filmed (compared to other early sound films) and was quite suspenseful. Just shows that Hitch was always a genius.

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Here's an interesting, little tid-bid regarding Lifeboat, for those who may be interested. I think this may explain why the film isn't as well remembered today. When Lifeboat was first released, it was very popular with both critics and audiences. Most people at the time agreed that it was a genuinely well-made film. Hitchcock even recevied an Oscar nomination as best director. However, one of the big-time film critics of the time (I think it was Bosley Crowther, but I'm not sure), who had intitially liked the film, did a complete 180, because he/she felt that the concept of the German e.i. "enemy" ending up being the hero, was unsatisfactory. This got around, and ultimately after that, 20th Century Fox, and Zanuck really didn't know how to promote the thing. The sentiment is understandable, considering that the U.S. was knee-deep in war with Germany at the time, but after that, Lifeboat pretty much disappeared into obscurity. As we all know, Hitchcock didn't win the Oscar.

 

It's unfortunate, because Lifeboat really is one of Hitchcock's best films, atleast in my opinon. But I guess it really doesn't help my case that it was the first Hitchcock film I had ever seen, at the age of fifteen. To this day, it's still one of my favorite films. But anyway, this is a thread about I Confess, so ignore my unappologetic love affair with Hitchcock, and lets here some more Monty Clift praise!

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Yeah, Dean was all about Brando and Clift. Can you really blame him? Unfortunately, I think that fact has clouded the visions of many regarding James Dean, the actor. He was good enough in his time, and everyone was really focused on how great he arguably would have been. That's really the key to his legacy.

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Brando, Dean and Clift are an interesting trio in terms of how their lives played out and their legacies. Brando lived long, had (serious) ups and (serious) downs in his career, seemed to have a bad last several years with family tragedy and all, possibly lost his way (though who knows) - but his legend endures in the film world. Deservedly so, when he was good he was phenomenal. James Dean...three movies in his early 20's, played an outsider in all three and thus established an image as a beautiful rebel in the oppressively conformist 50's. He is interesting and charismatic and I think he's talented - but what his future would have been, no will ever know. Montgomery Clift - others have described his talent better than I ever could - to me, brilliant, beautiful (and I don't mean his face), subtle, moving. He didn't have the mass-appeal of Dean - let's face it, Dean had teen idol appeal as well as an acting gift - but maybe I'm quibbling.

 

I mentioned in an earlier post here that I'd just heard James Franco being interviewed and talking about his idols - Brando, Clift and Dean. That today's generation of young, gifted actors is taking cues from Montgomery Clift is maybe enough. That and the treasure of his films.

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

> I hope you get a chance to see "The Paradine Case." It was a movie I avoided, but Hitchcock is amazing. It's now one of my favorite courtroom dramas. (I'm not so sure about casting Gregory Peck though...but my minor hiccup). Hitchcock put his stamp on everything he touched. He put his stamp on a court room drama; he put his stamp on a love story; he put his stamp on a policier.

>

> In Paradine a lawyer gets too close to a case, falls for his client and tries to railroad an innocent man into the gallows to save her. Whew! That's my boy Hitch.

>

> "I'm not a big Montgomery Clift fan, but this is one of a handful of parts I think fit him exceptionally well. His curious mixture of torment and ambivalence is perfect for the priest with a secret." - Miss Goddess.

>

> Well-put...except for the part about not liking Monty. "Red River" "Judgment at Nuremberg" "A Place in the Sun" "From Here to Eternity" "The Heiress"??? Dashing dark looks, mothering him?? Oh Goddess. Have a heart.

>

> Message was edited by CineMaven becuz Hitchcock doing a musical would've been great!

Re: I Confess I Liked It

Posted: Mar 23, 2009 5:55 PM in response to: redriver Reply

 

I like the Paradine Case also but have mixed feelings about Gregory Peck. I like him in everything but he does seem miscast in this. I am new here so please forgive any mistakes.

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Hi and thanks for the welcome. Your essay on The Letter made me decide to give it another try.

 

The Paradine Case is partially responsible for my latest obession: Gregory Peck fims. One of my best friends says I have to see Duel in the Sun so I am watching that next.

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  • 4 weeks later...

SPOILERS

 

I confess is an interesting film. I thought Montgomery Clift was right for the role. There are great shots. The story is very good. But I think the film is missing humor. Due to lack of humor, the film goes a little too serious. But Hitchcock's shots and clift's performance make the film strong. One of the interesting things is the character "Alma" Keller by Dolly Haas. I always thought that She looks like Hitchcock's wife "Alma" Reville.

 

The Paradine Case is an interesting film. Hitchcock's shots were absolutely brilliant. Hitchcock decided to cast Gregory Peck, because he was of Irish Descent. According to Adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie, Anthony Keane is an Irishman. Sadly, the film is missing many of important scenes. As you all know, Keane was obsessd about Mrs. Paradine. In Original Hitchcock Script by James Bridie, Mrs. Paradine resembled Anthony Keane' wife Gay Keane. But Selznick didn't use this idea in his script for the film.

 

So Hitchcock used this idea in Rope (1948). For Example, physical resemblance between Kenneth and David.

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