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The World of Alfred Hitchcock


MissGoddess
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*Saboteur*

 

I LOVE *Saboteur*. It was love at first sight for me.

 

I love the background story..... the idea that simple everyday Americans are basically good and helpful really resonates for me. Helping one's fellow man, not asking any questions, just basically doing the right thing is rarely ever shown as a basic character trait of everyday American people, but it rings true for me.

 

What makes the film outstanding for me are the smaller roles - the circus performers, for instance, who because of their outsider status end up being the most helpful to Cummings character. Their democratci way of deciding what to do is rather inspirational, and not too heavy handed.

 

I also like the twin or maybe its the opposite idea that someone can be a family man or a charity hostess and still be as evil as they come. Image is not everything. I really love the movie for that viewpoint.

 

*North by Northwest*

 

I happened to catch most of *North by Northwest* when it was on, and came to a stunning revelation about myself. I have never really liked this film. I don't know why exactly, there are very few Hitch films that I don't like on some level. It is overlong, for one thing. I don't really believe Cary Grant as a common man. There ARE pleasing parts of the film, but on the whole, I'd really rather skip it. It strikes me as dry and doesn't play to any fear that I can understand.

 

I suddenly became aware during this showing that I deeply dislike Eva Marie Saint. Now I realize I have never liked her, especially in this film; though recently I thought she was excellent in All Fall Down. AFD is the first film of hers that I felt she really did well.

 

_I think North by Northwest would have been GREATLY improved had *GRACE KELLY* played the part of Eve Kendall._

 

WHAAAAAT????

 

Yes. I mean it. She would have had the perfect mixture of damsel in distress, volcanic underlying sexiness, and cold blooded tramp.

 

(Don't tell *Frank Grimes* I said so.)

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I am not completely in disagreement with you on "North By Northwest." There are a few things that stretch credibility. I have always had a hard time buying the whole getting Grant drunk scene and then no one being able to verify anything about it the next day. The U.N. stabbing. Yep, the first thing anyone is going to do is pull the knife out of the guy's back. And a little later the plot seems a bit convoluted for me. (Of course it could just be me.)

 

Th climax builds well but I just have some trouble getting there. There are good scenes and Mason makes a good bad guy. I don't even have a problem with Grant. Shoot, no one made a gray suit look so good. it is a stylish work and I like the way it looks but there is something.....

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(Don't tell Frank Grimes I said so.)

 

Always sneaking around!

 

I happened to catch most of North by Northwest when it was on, and came to a stunning revelation about myself. I have never really liked this film.

 

Interesting. Very interesting.

 

I don't really believe Cary Grant as a common man.

 

Funny, I don't think the of the "common man" as an exec-type. But I believe Hitch did. I see it playing into the typical Hitch male fantasy.

 

There ARE pleasing parts of the film, but on the whole, I'd really rather skip it. It strikes me as dry and doesn't play to any fear that I can understand.

 

For me, I find it to be one of Hitch's funniest films. It's what draws me to it most. That and the "high notes" in the film. The auction scene is my favorite.

 

I suddenly became aware during this showing that I deeply dislike Eva Marie Saint. Now I realize I have never liked her, especially in this film; though recently I thought she was excellent in All Fall Down. AFD is the first film of hers that I felt she really did well.

 

I'm not big on Eva, either. She's probably my least favorite of the Hitchcock blondes. But I think she's all right in North by Northwest. I think she fits the part.

 

I think North by Northwest would have been GREATLY improved had GRACE KELLY played the part of Eve Kendall. WHAAAAAT????

 

When I first read your words, I completely agreed with them. Then I thought, "could Grace be a secret agent?" I suppose she could, but Eva's "harsh" beauty seems to fit the agent image in my mind, more. I'm not sure Grace is "steely" enough.

 

Yes. I mean it. She would have had the perfect mixture of damsel in distress, volcanic underlying sexiness, and cold blooded tramp.

 

That's Miss G! I can't see Miss G tearing up at the auction, though. She would stand up and slap... and slap some more.

 

northbynorthwest5.jpg

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Eva plays most of her roles with a certain lack of emotion in her expressions and to me this 'fit' NBNW since she was a spy and was the girlfriend of the main bad guy but was really working for the government. Thus she couldn't show how she really felt and Eva was good at this.

 

Not sure Grace would of been as believable.

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I must like Grace Kelly.

 

Now that is a shocking revelation!

 

Hitch certainly brought out the best in Grace in To Catch a Thief and Rear Window. It's those two films that made me fall for her.

 

I think she plays the characters in High Noon and Mogambo to perfection, too.

 

You're very right, Grace does a wonderful job of displaying hurt. I love her poutiness. She's so very proud in To Catch a Thief until...

 

tocatchathief8.jpg

 

Ahhhhhh, Francie:

 

tocatchathief2.jpg

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This is exactly what I don't like about Saint in the role. She is so inexpressive as to be almost comatose. She just seems confused. I wonder if she had a hard time with Hitch....I get the feeling that she really doesn't capture half of what that character could be about...maybe Saint didn't like the role? I wish I knew.

 

I feel that Kelly would have really let us see a lot more conflict at the appropriate times, yet she could be cool as a cucumber when needed. She had the ability to turn on a dime emotionally, at least in Hitch films. And sexy enough to seduce a man in minutes? Yes, I stand by my original choice of Kelly for the role. As Hitch said, she was an ice princess with a volcano underneath of unexplored emotion. She would have added some much needed sex appeal and dare I say, humanity.

 

I cannot believe I am saying this.

 

Saint is fine, but bloodless and I can't generate any enthusiasm for her. She's flat. Kelly and Grant had a spark that would have really helped the film along immensely.

 

The thing that boggles my mind is how expressive Saint was in All Fall Down. She, along with Brandon de Wilde, were easily the best performances in the film...... and she's actually sexy in that one. Seduction was not her strong point in NBNW.

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NorthEve1.jpg

width =520>

My kind of Saint

 

 

The Hitchcock blondes are mostly fantasy figures, and the actresses who play them, while

not totally interchangeable, are pretty much so. Eva Marie Saint is sexier than the Princess,

less sexy than Kim, but it's all subjective. And the name Eve Kendall seems to fit like an

expensive glove. The business with Cary tossing the matchbook with the message in it

down to the first floor is a bit of a cheap trick, but it works every time.

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"Yes. I mean it. She would have had the perfect mixture of damsel in distress, volcanic underlying sexiness, and cold blooded tramp." - < JackFavell >

 

Oooooooh, what a perfect description for the lethal ladies I love in film noir.

 

Not really care for "North By Northwest"??? Yup, I can understand it. It has some nice setpieces, but it's not the Hitchcock movie I run towards. I like Eva Marie Saint. Harsh beauty? Wow! She was more vulnerable in "On The WaterFront" and I like that she has a Hitchcock film under her belt to solidify her place in Hollywood history. But there are other Hitchcock films that resonate more emotionally for me.

 

But nonetheless J.F., this is a stunning revelation. Stunning!!! Say, is a revelation the same as a confession? I confessed I liked Lesley Gore and the Beach Boys when I was a teenager.Geez, that didn't go over big in my "urban" junior high school when every one was listening to Motown. Yikes! Despite it all, I see the TCM Message Board brings out a lot in people.

 

Well Hitch...you can't win 'em all!!

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SPOILERS

 

I love the cinematography of both Foreign Correspondent and Saboteur. I thought the cinematography of North by Northwest was ok. In certain scenes, I thought the cinematography didn't give the effect the scene needed. In certain scenes, there is a dry feel.

 

There are certain scenes quite hard to believe in North by Northwest. Someone pointed out the drunken driving scene. I thought Eva Marie Saint's performance was cold especially in the first part of the film.

 

Saboteur (1942) is a film with many ideas. But they were directed carefully. I thought Vaughan Glaser did a great job playing the Blind Man. And Otto Kruger was terrific as the villain. I think main characters in both Foreign Correspondent and Saboteur are more believable. But this is just my opinion.

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

> "Yes. I mean it. She would have had the perfect mixture of damsel in distress, volcanic underlying sexiness, and cold blooded tramp." - < JackFavell >

>

> Oooooooh, what a perfect description for the lethal ladies I love in film noir.

>

> Not really care for "North By Northwest"??? Yup, I can understand it. It has some nice setpieces, but it's not the Hitchcock movie I run towards. I like Eva Marie Saint. Harsh beauty? Wow! She was more vulnerable in "On The WaterFront" and I like that she has a Hitchcock film under her belt to solidify her place in Hollywood history. But there are other Hitchcock films that resonate more emotionally for me.

 

This is it. I just can't get into it emotionally. Into Cary Grant? Yeah! He is the only reason I watch it. But North by Northwest.... naaah. I keep trying though.

 

> But nonetheless J.F., this is a stunning revelation. Stunning!!! Say, is a revelation the same as a confession? I confessed I liked Lesley Gore and the Beach Boys when I was a teenager.Geez, that didn't go over big in my "urban" junior high school when every one was listening to Motown. Yikes! Despite it all, I see the TCM Message Board brings out a lot in people.

 

It's a confession, the part about North by Northwest, yes, but the revelation was that I like Grace Kelly - I didn't know that! I thought I hated her! When it dawned on me that I would like the movie a whole lot better with her in it I sat there dumbfounded......thinking to myself.... *"You've won, FrankGrimes, damn you... ."* :D

 

 

You have great taste - The Beach Boys are now considered cool, even ahead of their time, all real musicians knew this way back when. They inspired some of the great music of the last (oh god) 50 years. So:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUCmqb3EwAs&feature=related

 

Ahhh. Beautiful.

 

And Brian Wilson loved these gorgeous ladies..... he took some of his harmonies from them, and you can hear it in his songs:

 

 

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> {quote:title=konway87 wrote:}{quote}

> SPOILERS

>

> I love the cinematography of both Foreign Correspondent and Saboteur. I thought the cinematography of North by Northwest was ok. In certain scenes, I thought the cinematography didn't give the effect the scene needed. In certain scenes, there is a dry feel.

>

> There are certain scenes quite hard to believe in North by Northwest. Someone pointed out the drunken driving scene. I thought Eva Marie Saint's performance was cold especially in the first part of the film.

>

> Saboteur (1942) is a film with many ideas. But they were directed carefully. I thought Vaughan Glaser did a great job playing the Blind Man. And Otto Kruger was terrific as the villain. I think main characters in both Foreign Correspondent and Saboteur are more believable. But this is just my opinion.

 

I can agree with everything you've written. I love Vaughan Glaser! And Otto is sooooo smooth and deadly with that smile on his face... I have to go back and think about the two films from a cinematographic viewpoint. I do love the scenes in FC with the umbrellas and the lone windmill. They are both stunning looking, and impart real feeling through setting, one claustrophobic, and the other almost ghostly.

 

Also, I really love the complexity of Herbert Marshall's character in FC, and the way he ends up, it's sort of Fordian.

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I have to stand up for Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest. For one thing, her voice is very sexy, which plays nicely against her otherwise controlled appearance. Would Grace Kelly have been as believable as a secret agent? Not sure about that, and I'm a big fan of Kelly in her two Hitchcock films (Mogambo and The Country Girl, not so much).

 

Like Jackie, I find Eva sexy in All Fall Down. Too bad she doesn't have more screen time in that film. On the other hand, I do find her rather flat and not so appealing in Raintree County. You can see why Montgomery Clift prefers crazy Elizabeth Taylor instead.

 

I'll go along with the official view that North by Northwest is one of Hitch's best.

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< JACKFAVELL writes: > ?You have great taste - The Beach Boys are now considered cool, even ahead of their time, all real musicians knew this way back when. They inspired some of the great music of the last (oh god) 50 years..."

 

I had good taste...but ohhhhh the peer pressure. Imagine being a young Black kid just before ?Black Is Beautiful? became the term and positive cultural mindset, and being a closet Beach Boys fan. Our family drives in the Chevrolet to upstate picnics...WCBS on AM (not FM nor air conditioner in that old eight-cylinder boat of my Dad's) and hearing the Wilsons). Oh yeah. Not easy. Oh I lerved my sistas and bruthas...but oh boy ?Wouldn?t It Be Nice.? (By the by...?Don?t Worry Baby? is one of my all-time favorites. Sweet melancholy). Nice choice. And loved Ronnie!!! (I jumped for joy when Eddie Money put her on his song "Take Me Home Tonite").

 

?It's a confession, the part about North by Northwest, yes, but the revelation was that I like Grace Kelly - I didn't know that! I thought I hated her! When it dawned on me that I would like the movie a whole lot better with her in it I sat there dumbfounded...thinking to myself... "You've won, FrankGrimes, damn you... ." :D

 

I didn?t know you HATED Grace. (Have I not been paying attention? I?m sorry). Careful with Grimesy. He has powers of persuasion that boy! Before you know it, you'll like all sorts of things when you listen to him.

 

Confession ~ Revelation. Got it.

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>I didn?t know you HATED Grace. (Have I not been paying attention? I?m sorry). Careful with Grimesy. He has powers of persuasion that boy! Before you know it, you'll like all sorts of things when you listen to him.

 

Whaaat is happening to meeeeee??? :)

 

I didn't really hate lamby, I just didn't think she was a good actress. Now I'm stunned to find out that I think she could run rings around Eva Marie ......

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One of the things I like about Foreign Correspondent is all of the characters are interesting. I think it also has more humor compared to North by Northwest. I agree that villains in both Foreign Correspondent and Saboteur are more interesting and stronger than Vandamm's character in the film.

 

There are some things that I disagree with Hitchcock. Here are the things I strongly disagree with Hitchcock.

 

1) Otto Kruger miscast in Saboteur

 

2) Jane Wyman and Alastair Sim miscast in Stage Fright

 

3) Eva Marie Saint was great in North by Northwest

 

I think Notorious and Spellbound are good. But not great. This is because I didn't like the cinematography of Notorious. And the pace of Ben Hecht's writing is too slow. Ben Hecht wrote the screenplay for both Spellbound and Notorious.

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konway!

 

I think you and I are kindred souls.

 

I never thought I would ever hear anyone say anything critical of *Notorious*, but I have to admit, it is not my favorite, and I do think it is flawed, for much the same reason you do - pacing. It has grown on me over the years, though, and I can forgive Hitch almost anything, so I watch it and find what I can in it. I personally would put it just short of a classic or an essential, but I agree that the stars make it something better - something that most people would include in their favorite list. I do love Ingrid Bergman in this one, and I am coming to understand Grant's character a little better through writings here on the boards.

 

Spellbound is not a fave with me, but again, there is always something interesting to find in it.

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"NOTORIOUS" flawed???

 

Kindred spirits???

 

I think you BOTH should eat "icky beans" and jellied over-easy eggs. I don't think "Notorious" is a fast-paced spy thriller. I think the whole spy thing (along with uranium) is the MacGuffin. I've finally come to understand that "Notorious" is a battle of the sexes...a movie about a woman falling in love with a man who is scared to high heaven of losing control and being in love.

 

I'm adding okra to both your plates. Thank you. Now please go to Time-Out!!! Bad movie buffs...bad movie buffs!

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Jack Favell and I didn't say Notorious is a bad film. In my opinion, Notorious is a good film. But not great. But I consider Alfred Hitchcock as the greatest director.

 

I love Under Capricorn. But many people dislike it. Only few people goes forward to defend Under Capricorn.

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