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The World of Alfred Hitchcock


MissGoddess
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SPOILERS

 

I love the father daughter relationship in *Stage Fright*. :) There's no denying that Patricia was the apple of her Daddy's eye.

 

I think it's interesting that both *Shadow of a Doubt* and *Stage Fright* deal with an innocent young girl protecting a murderer.

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SPOILERS

 

I am posting information about Rope (1948).

 

Rope (1948) is entirely different from the play it is based on. Hitchcock and Hume Cronyn made a totally different adaptation. Here are the differences between the play and the film.

 

Here are characters in the play - Rupert Cadell (only 29 years old in the play), Wyndham Brandon (Brandon Shaw in the film), Charles Granillo (Philip Morgan), Sir Johnstone Kentley (Henry Kentley, the father of David Kentley in the film), Ronald Kentley (David Kentley in the film), Leila Arden (A friend of Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo), Kenneth Raglan (A friend of Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo), Quiet Mr. Debenham, Sabot.

 

Quiet Mrs. Debenham became the cheerful Mrs. Atwater in the film. Sabot became Mrs. Wilson. In the film, Rupert looks like he is in mid 40s and he may marry Mrs. Wilson. Here are the descriptions of the characters that aren't in the film. The descriptions are from the playwright Patrick Hamilton. In the play, Leila Arden and Kenneth Raglan have no relation to the victim Ronald Kentley. With the exception of Mrs. Wilson, everyone in the film knows David Kentley. The play takes place in England.

 

Hamilton's Description of Leila Arden - "Leila, like Raglan, is young, good-looking, and has no ideas. She also has the same tendency to conceal that deficiency with a show of sophistication. In this she is perhaps more than successful than Raglan. She has a fairly good stock of many-syllabled and rather outré words which she brings out with rather comic emphasis, rolling her eyes the while, as though she doesn't really mean what she is saying. In this way she never actually commits herself to any emotion or feeling, and might even be thought deep. But she is not."

 

Age: 20-25

Sex: Female

Eye Color: Blue or Brown

Hair Color: Blonde or Brown

Height: 5"6'

 

Hamilton's Description of Kenneth Raglan - "Raglan is very young, fair, simple, good-looking, shy, foolish and good. He has no idea whatever. He still thinks that nightclubs are dens of delight, but that there is probably one girl in the world for him whom he will one day find. His pathetic ideal, in his bearing before the world, is sophistication. To hear him alluding to 'simply staggering binge, old boy,' when he was merely got mildly intoxicated, is to have exemplified at once his sense of humor and wickedness. In the presence of Granillo and Brandon he is merely, of course, tentative and hopeless. He is in evening dress."

 

Age: 20-25

Sex: Male

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blonde

Height: 6"

Nationality: England

 

Hamilton's Description of Sabot - "Sabot is an alert, very dark little Frenchman, with a long nose and a blueness of cheek which no amount of shaving will eradicate. He is an almost perfect servant - intelligent, alert and obedient, but not, perhaps, completely impersonal - his employers being in the habit of making the occasional advances towards him. Whoever he is with, he has an air of being breathlessly anxious to apologize for something or anything. He is married, quietly ambitious, industrious, and will have a restaurant of his own one of these days."

 

Age: 35

Sex: Male

Eye Color: Blue or Brown

Hair Color: Blonde or Grey or Brown or Bald

Height: 6"

Nationality: France

 

Hamilton's Description of Mrs. Debenham - "Mrs Debenham is the sister of Sir Johnstone. She is tallish, plainly dressed, has been widowed long, is very plain, about fifty. She hardly ever opens her mouth, her sole means of expression being a sudden, broad, affable smirk. This she switches on, in a terrifying way, every now and again, but immediately relapses into the lost, miserable, absent-minded gloom which characterizes her. She is, indeed, so completely a nonentity as to acquire considerable personality and distinction from the very fact."

 

Age: 50

Sex: Female

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Grey

Height: 5"8'

Nationality: England

 

So we can see that the film is totally different from the play. In the play, there is no gun scene. Instead, Rupert uses a whistle to call the police. Rupert finds out that David was there through a theater ticket. But in the film, Rupert finds out that David was there, because of David's hat.

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  • 3 weeks later...

hitchtruffaut.jpg

 

In 1962 French critic and director *Francois Truffaut*, with the assistance of a translator, sat down with Alfred Hitchcock at Universal Studios to record conversations about their films. They talked for over twelve hours and the recordings would eventually become the important book Hitchcock/Truffaut book (Alfred Hitchcock: A Definitive Study, 1967) later revised to include some of Hitchcock's later work. It's a must-have book for any admirer of Hitch, and just as good if not better is the opportunity to listen in on the conversations themselves. You can do just that, via the blog *If Charlie Parker Had a Gun*, here:

 

http://tsutpen.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Hitchcock%2FTruffaut%20Tapes

 

They are also available, naturally, at the Hitchcock Wiki:

 

http://www.hitchcockwiki.com/wiki/Interview:_Alfred_Hitchcock_and_Francois_Tuffaut_%28Aug/1962%29

 

So if you have a dozen hours to spare, knock yourself out. :)

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I, too find some of Hitchcock's so called "small films" really interesting. I also see similarities in a lot of Hitch's pictures. He was an outstanding director with a special touch that you could see in a lot of his films. The way he builds the tension in Stage Fright, Marnie, Dial M For Murder, Strangers On A Train, Suspicion, etc. makes me sit on the edge of my seat every time I watch them. His camera shots, particularly close-ups of the actors, make the films. You really get to study the character by looking at the faces - can almost see what they are thinking.

 

However, in my opinion, I do not see any similarity in any of Hitchcock's films and any Dracula movie. First of all, with the possible exception of Psycho, I do not think they are in the same class. As far as I am concerned Dracula is a horror movie. I remember as a child in the 50's watching Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and The Wolfman on late night television. I also don't see these movies as character studies whereas obviously, Hitchcock's movies are.

 

This is not to disparage anyone else's opinions. because no one's opinions are stupid or silly. The mere fact that we are even discussing these matters proves that point. Even though I don't agree with the Dracula comparison, I still find it interesting that the comparison is made. And I enjoy reading your thoughts and opinions.

 

 

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Now the IFTA John Ford festival which focused on the director's ties to Ireland is done, things are gearing up for the BFI Hitchcock fest in London which will spotlight Hitch's ties to his own homeland and the ten films he made before moving to the U.S and Hollywood. The program will screen all of Hitch's 58 surviving films, but the highlight promises to be the premier of a newly restored print of The Pleasure Garden (1925), Hitch's first directorial effort. The London Film Festival is to be the culmination of the 2012 Olympiad festivities planned in the capital.

 

pleasureposter.jpg

 

The Telegraph ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/9321779/Hitchcocks-struggles-with-Hollywood-divas-and-his-waistline-revealed-in-new-exhibition.html'>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/9321779/Hitchcocks-struggles-with-Hollywood-divas-and-his-waistline-revealed-in-new-exhibition.html'>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/9321779/Hitchcocks-struggles-with-Hollywood-divas-and-his-waistline-revealed-in-new-exhibition.html'>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/9321779/Hitchcocks-struggles-with-Hollywood-divas-and-his-waistline-revealed-in-new-exhibition.html ) today released an excerpt of a letter from Hitchcock detailing the star-ego problems he was already encountering with The Pleasure Garden while filming in Germany. His two leading ladies, Carmelita Geraghty and Virginia Valli, were making the usual "diva" demands, and in a letter to director Adrien Brunel he expresses his frustrations with them:

 

?My dear Adrian, I expect that you have given up all hope of ever hearing from me, that is to say if you ever did want to....However, when I tell you that I haven?t written to my own mother but twice since I have been away, you will see how I am entirely concentrated on The Pleasure Garden. Of course you have heard that I have two stars under my banner - quite a handful as a matter of fact.?

 

Since Hitch later became very famous for exerting careful control over the performances of his leading ladies, I'm tempted to believe his frustrations with this experience may have strengthened his determination to avoid any tampering with his authority, and no doubt he learned valuable lessons that would serve him later on when dealing with world class stars (and their demands).

 

In the letter Hitchcock also goes on about feeling cut off from things, the job of directing a picture being such a consuming endeavor:

 

?I have seen very little of Munich since I have been out here - only the studio and my hotel room are the ?sights? of this beautiful city that I have been permitted to see.

 

"Have you seen any new good films at the Tivoli? [a cinema on the Strand, London] I shall be interested to hear from you of any developments in screen art because I am fairly isolated here.?

 

The letter is signed ?Hitch?, and is the earliest known document recording the nickname that became his trademark.

 

The letter will be exhibited for the first time along with many other documents, correspondence, posters and other memorabilia at BFI's London headquarters on the South Bank.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/9321779/Hitchcocks-struggles-with-Hollywood-divas-and-his-waistline-revealed-in-new-exhibition.html

 

For more on the BFI Hitch fest go here:

http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b9ee3449d

[/color]

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Universal has announced the release of the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece

Collection on Blu-ray. It contains the same titles as the previous DVD

release, plus *North by Northwest*. Release date: September 25, 2012.

 

81Bk2crfT2L._AA1500_.jpg

 

Includes: Saboteur / Shadow of a Doubt / Rope / Rear Window / The

Trouble with Harry / The Man Who Knew Too Much / Vertigo / North by

Northwest / Psycho / The Birds / Marnie / Torn Curtain

 

Available for pre-order at Classicflix:

http://tinyurl.com/6tg6ld3

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  • 1 month later...
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  • 4 months later...

> {quote:title=SueSueApplegate wrote:}{quote}Have any of you seen the wonderful new "Word of Mouth" where the editors have compiled all the comments from Jane Wyman, Laraine Day and other as they discuss the virtues of Hitch? I enjoyed it immensely.

 

Hi, Sue-Sue!

 

Yes, I have seen it and it's very amusing since there are some widely different opinions on Hitch. David Raksin (the composer) certainly didn't care much for him, neither did Andre de Toth. :D

 

(sorry it took me so long to reply.)

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Hi bagladymimi,

It's interesting that the two most negative comments came from people who were non-performers. Raksin, a composer, and de Toth, a fellow director. I sense a bit of ego in their observations. Raksin doubtless knew how much control Hitch exerted over his scores, and naturally that would rub him the wrong way. De Toth may have been envious of Hitch's fame. I'm just speculating, of course.

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Hi MissGoddess,

I agree with you, especially in the case of Andre de Toth. He was not nearly as successful as Hitchcock and I think he was envious. Of course, like you, this is my opinion. And, let's face it, Hitchcock was different - he had a different sense of humor and a different way of expressing himself. Maybe that is what made him such brilliant director. I can watch his films over and over and still see something different every time I watch. I watched my favorite, Notorious, last night and was amazed once again at the detail the Hitchcock puts into a scene. I love the scene when Bergman first wakes up with a hangover and then sees Cary Grant at an that odd angle. He was just an amazing director - amazing!

 

Edited by: bagladymimi on Feb 13, 2013 10:07 PM

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> I love the scene when Bergman first wakes up with a hangover and then sees Cary Grant at an that odd angle. He was just an amazing director - amazing!

>

 

that's a great shot! it really captures her groggy mental state. and then it's mirrored later on when she wakes up, poisoned, and sees him in her room.

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And speaking of her groggy mental state, I think Ingrid Bergman did one of the best jobs of playing drunk I've seen in a movie. She didn't do all that slurring and head bobbing you usually see; she just seemed as though a fog had descended on her. And the hangover,as mentioned, was terriffic. I loved the strand of hair that stayed in her mouth for a lot of the scene until she finally casually pulled it away. I wonder if that was her doing or Hitchcock's. Briiliant.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I can't be specific, but.. for those not into the color aspects

of this fine film, here is an interpretation.

 

http://www.rogerebert.com/scanners/vertigo

 

There is mention of Hitch deliberately putting Judy in the green-lit hotel room, but not why.

-------------------------------------------------

Here is more. Hitch has more to say about his choices. This is really a fascinating read.

 

http://clothesonfilm.com/costume-identity-in-hitchcocks-vertigo/25039/

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