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The World of Alfred Hitchcock


MissGoddess
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Hi, Moira!

 

> {quote:title=moirafinnie6 wrote:}{quote}

> I haven't seen *The Farmer's Wife*, but have enjoyed Hitchcock's films from the late '20s such as *The Lodger* and *Blackmail* very much. Your vivid description of this early movie makes me want to find a copy.

>

 

I've been having a good time watching very early Hitch. So far, of those I watched over the

weekend, I rank them this way according to preference:

 

1. The Skin Game

2. Juno and the Paycock

3. Champagne

4. The Farmer's Wife

5. Easy Virtue

 

I hope to discuss some of these with any who've seen them.

 

> As to *Frenzy*, beginning with *Psycho*, I have a hard time enjoying any of the films he made post-1960. I've seen them all, (even the snoozefest Topaze), but his movies in that more liberal era are a good argument for censorship stimulating creativity in filmmakers. I'm sure that many people find something to enjoy in these movies, but I must be blind and tone deaf when it comes to these films from his last days. It is so sad to see his movies lose their wit, symmetry, and beauty as his storytelling abilities diminished with age and became blunter with new freedoms rather than more challenging.

>

 

Well I'm relieved I'm not the only one who feels this way about his last films and I also agree that he seemed to function exceedingly well within certain, shall we say, parameters. Let loose, with no restrictions, I couldn't "find" Hitch. The director I cherish was hard to find in those last efforts, in my opinion. They just did not feel like his work.

 

The script of *Frency* was really exceptionally mediocre to a degree I could not ignore. Banal dialogue, no wit at all. I see Anthony Shaffer was the screenwriter, who also did *Sleuth* (which was much more clever! What happened?) and *The Wicker Man* (yuck!). I was very surprised by this. The music was mundane, too.

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Have you seen *Rich and Strange* (1931) about a young couple who by a fluke are able to travel around the world? I loved it for the odd mix of comedy, domestic story, cautionary tale and travelogue, along with a few thoughts on fate tossed in, Hitchcock style. A gamine Joan Barry plays the wife and Henry Kendall was the dullish hubby. You can see the whole movie at the link below:

 

http://www.archive.org/details/RichAndStrange|http://www.archive.org/details/RichAndStrange

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And that's from a fellow who really flips for Novak. Sounds like you got her beat,

CineMaven.

 

Kim who? CinemAva has a lotta gals beat. But she knows this. Still, a reminder is sometimes needed.

 

And Moira talked about Rich and Strange. Very cool! But no Frenzy love? Sigh.

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>

> Kim who? CinemAva has a lotta gals beat. But she knows this. Still, a reminder is sometimes needed.

>

 

Indeed.

 

> And Moira talked about Rich and Strange. Very cool! But no Frenzy love? Sigh.

 

Yes! Well, not really...joefilmone I believe gave it its props and I'm sure there are other

fans. Sigh. I wish I could say otherwise about myself but I just can't. I was so disappointed.

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> {quote:title=moirafinnie6 wrote:}{quote}

> Have you seen *Rich and Strange* (1931) about a young couple who by a fluke are able to travel around the world? I loved it for the odd mix of comedy, domestic story, cautionary tale and travelogue, along with a few thoughts on fate tossed in, Hitchcock style. A gamine Joan Barry plays the wife and Henry Kendall was the dullish hubby. You can see the whole movie at the link below:

>

> http://www.archive.org/details/RichAndStrange|http://www.archive.org/details/RichAndStrange

 

Thank you for that link, Moira! I DO like this movie a lot, in fact it's my favorite of this entire period up until Sabotage. And my fondness is just as you say, for it's odd, off-beat mixture. It may also be the first of his early talkies I ever saw, and it really opened my eyes at the time to how versatile the man was when he was finding his style.

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Yes! Well, not really...joefilmone I believe gave it its props and I'm sure there are other

fans. Sigh. I wish I could say otherwise about myself but I just can't. I was so disappointed.

 

I hope to talk about the film and The Farmer's Wife once I get my backfield in motion.

 

farmerswife1.jpg

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Now see, I'm thinking of the chair in "Cast A Dark Shadow" with DIrk Bogarde, Kay Walsh and Margaret Lockwood. Spooky allusion.

 

Did you already forget who you're talking to? I'm the idiot who has never seen any of these films! I'll let the Hitchcock Blonde figure out that spooky allusion. On second thought, I'll just be the spooky illusion.

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A guy wearing a tiepin with his own name on it...Well, okay. A guy wearing a tie

with lobsters on it...Hmmmm. A guy wearing both at the same time...Red Alert!!

I really liked Robert Walker's vocal inflections when he meets Farley and spells

out his plan. They seem so perfect for his suavely conniving character.

 

You do learn something new every day. Now whether it's worthwhile or not is

a whole other question. ;)

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

> A guy wearing a tiepin with his own name on it...Well, okay. A guy wearing a tie with lobsters on it...Hmmmm. A guy wearing both at the same time...Red Alert!! I really liked Robert Walker's vocal inflections when he meets Farley and spells out his plan. They seem so perfect for his suavely conniving character.

 

Yes, red alert, indeed. :)

 

And the way he speaks is delicious, indeed - such suave villainy! :D

 

> You do learn something new every day. Now whether it's worthwhile or not is a whole other question. ;)

 

Well, you never know... sometimes it is, even if it doesn't seem that way at the time. ;)

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?The Skin Game? is a really good movie.

 

For those who haven?t seen it, it?s about a feud in rural England between two rival land owners. One has an upper-class background and the other has a working-class background, and they dislike each other. Later in the film a lady enters the picture and she gets mixed up in the middle of their feud. It?s a very interesting film.

 

?Juno and the Paycock? made no sense to me. It was just family members talking about nothing that I could understand. The accents were too rural British, and I couldn?t understand most of what they said. It needed subtitles. :)

 

Hitchcock?s silent version of ?The Lodger? is unique and very exciting.

 

?Blackmail? is one of his best films.

 

I saw ?Secret Agent? years ago, and now it seems to be a rare film. It is based on a Somerset Maugham novel and it?s about the morality question of one spy killing another.

 

?Young and Innocent? is a lot of fun, filled with tension and chases, and the mine collapse scene is startling.

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

>

> Hi, Scottman!

>

> I've seen THE RING and recently, THE MANXMAN and enjoyed both. I can't be sure yet if I've seen EASY VIRTUE, but I just got a DVD set of most of his early films and will check it out soon. I really like Hitch's early period! I know it's not thought of as highly as his Hollywood era, but I like their "mood", they're still somehow rather Hitchy and have a mystique that's uniquely his own, with that damp, enticingly British aura that was hard to reproduce in La La Land. You can feel a difference between Rebecca/Suspicion and his real Brit films.

 

It's true. His early talkies too all seem to have bits of silent "business" in them, which is why I feel that as a director from the silent era, Hitch was able to utilize his great eye for visuals which made his sound films all the more satisfying. I believe that this was also true for other silent era directors like King Vidor, William Wellman, Mervyn LeRoy, and Frank Capra, just to name a few.

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

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

 

 

> > You do learn something new every day. Now whether it's worthwhile or not is a whole other question. ;)

 

> Well, you never know... sometimes it is, even if it doesn't seem that way at the time. ;)

 

That is true, though it might be a long time before the Way of the Lobster Tie ever pans out.

Got a kick out of the listening booths in the record shop. They were pretty cool.

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Hi again, Scottman,

 

>

> It's true. His early talkies too all seem to have bits of silent "business" in them, which is why I feel that as a director from the silent era, Hitch was able to utilize his great eye for visuals which made his sound films all the more satisfying. I believe that this was also true for other silent era directors like King Vidor, William Wellman, Mervyn LeRoy, and Frank Capra, just to name a few.

 

Those silent bits are generally what feel most "Hitchcockian" to me. When I'm watching some of the TV shows he directed himself, I can often tell he was at the helm by the presence of a scene played out visually with little or no dialogue. For instance the whole opening scene of "One More Mile to Go"...pure Hitch.

 

Edited by: MissGoddess on Apr 21, 2010 12:27 PM

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