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The World of Alfred Hitchcock


MissGoddess
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Hello Miss G..

 

Just wanted to pop in here to say I am enjoying Hitch Sundays this month. I just enjoyed watching I Confess for the first time. I really liked Clift's character (and that is saying a lot because I am not too huge on him sometimes) He was very "close to the vest" in this one and not overt at all in his portrayal.. some might have even found him boring.. ha. But I liked the way he carried himself all through the entire story. Very tense and very Intense all at the same time. Way cool (at least I found him that way, anyway)

 

Wouldn't say this one was a tippy top favorite, most likely, but I did enjoy it well enough, so am glad to have caught it.

 

Also want to say that I am VERY much looking forward to seeing Life Boat next week.. that one has been on my wanna see list for a couple of years.)

 

So happy to see Hitch get the spotlight this way .. a fun way to spend a few hours here and there, all month long.

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The reason Clift was so controlled was because he was either distracted by his strange dialogue coach that he had with him during this movie or because he was drinking so heavily that he was barely "with it" during certain scenes. The filming on the ferry was very difficult according to Anne Baxter. She said that scene called for her to be very upset because she was trying to get Clift to admit that he still loved her. He was so "high" that he would not focus and made it very difficult for her to connect with him at all.

 

I was reading about this in a Hitchcock biography while I was watching this afternoon. Clift's non reaction during the courtroom scene made a lot more sense to me after I read this. It is amazing how one could take it that he was either "playing it cool" or just not with it period, depending on the info that I was reading. Apparently Clift was so unhappy in his life that he couldn't face it without alcohol. This book said that he was drinking all the time.

 

It is ashamed that he was so miserable because he was so handsome, particularly in this movie. What a waste! I think he eventually died from his alcoholism at something like 46 years old.

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Hi Ro, or should I say "Good eve-ening..." :)

I hope you did enjoy *I Confess*. It is very engrossing once I sit to watch it, even though it doesn't pop up in mind when I first think of Hitch's movies. Like *The Wrong Man*, it's rather somber in tone and Hitch's usual humor is conspicuously absent, which can turn some off. I don't mind this, because *I Confess* is nonetheless imaginatively filmed for being "quieter" and lacking in glamour which makes it a nice counter-point to Hitchcock's glossier, more entertaining films, I think. You still see the master hand controlling things but in a somewhat unfamiliar way. The use of Canadian (is it Montreal?) settings add a slightly "foreign" ambiance (from a U.S. point of view) and Karl Malden's bulldog detective brings a necessary edge through force of law (always slightly sinister in Hitch's world because he invariably makes us feel some sympathy for the "fox"). You feel sorry for Clift, it's a classic dilemma that allows Hitch to delve into matters of conscience vs. law and of course, he throws in the love angle which makes things even more agonizing for the priest.

 

Whether Clift was method acting or just messed up, his blankness is probably just what the character needs. We can keep busy enough projecting our own "what would I do" spin on his reactions.

 

Earlier in this thread I posted quite a few pics from the movie and I think I even wrote a bit about it. It's a rich movie with a lot of inner turmoil projected in my opinion, very successfully. I mean, how DO you show an audience the struggling of a man's conscience (without resorting to a lot of dialogue)? You hire a brilliant movie director who started in silents (the movie is full of great moments that do not rely on dialogue---I often find these to be the "signature" moments in Hitch)

 

Not your usual film subject or your usual Hitchcock.

 

P.S. I love *Life Boat*, too and can't wait for you to see it---I predict you will really like this one and I'm surprised you haven't watched it before. How wonderful to have a great Hitch movie to discover!

 

Edited by: MissGoddess on Sep 9, 2013 8:26 AM

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Well Mimi.. I know next to nothing.. ha.. maybe less that nothing about Clift or his personal life and struggles.. so this is all news to me. I just thought his performance was very much as I described, tense and intense.. due to the personal struggles he was facing.. and found that a very good way to go with that character considering the details of the story. But now I hear it was just his personal tragedies making him look that way. Who knew?

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Good "eeeevening".. ha.. er, um, good MOOORRRRning Miss G,

 

It is very engrossing once I sit to watch it, even though it doesn't pop up in mind when I first think of Hitch's movies. Like The Wrong Man, it's rather somber in tone and Hitch's usual humor is conspicuously absent

 

Engrossing and somber are two very good words to use regarding this story and the way it is played out on film. I think the darker and more brooding tone for Clift's character even belied who he "normally" was as a member of the parish, too. (maybe.. I am only presuming, since we don't really get to see him that way)

 

It's a rich movie with a lot of inner turmoil projected in my opinion, very successfully. I mean, how DO you show an audience the struggling of a man's conscience (without resorting to a lot of dialogue

 

That's it exactly. The idea of his "inner struggle" is what made this story (and Clift's acting" work so well for me.

 

It would be very hard to go through your day like that.. knowing what he knew.. and seeing what he was seeing and hearing what he was hearing.. having all sorts of things done and said to you.. and about you.. and not just go all PEACEMAKER on somebody before it was over with ha. (but of course, I am saying that from a totally Peacemaker point of view. :D )

 

I really did think it was a fine piece of acting on Clift's part that way that all played out. (and now I hear it was likely just because he was drunk.. what a let down, ha)

 

Either way.. I am with you, Hitchcock used what he had.. and took the story where it needed to go.. at least for me, anyway. I did enjoy it very much.

 

 

I looked around a little bit in here to try and find your earlier posts, but could not seem to find them. I think you are right though, in that the setting and the "foreign" feel added to the package (and I loved Malden's detective.. (ha.. and it was refreshing to see him in a not as "creepy" sort of role for a change.. ha) He was on the case, but not too over the top. (in fact he was almost subtle in a few places.. a bit "cat and mouse" in the way he spoke, until he got to the point, and then he spoke plainly.. VERY much so. It was a good character.

 

I love Life Boat, too and can't wait for you to see it---I predict you will really like this one and I'm surprised you haven't watched it before. How wonderful to have a great Hitch movie to discover

 

I am really looking forward to it. (and am glad that it is coming on Sat night before it airs again on Sunday am.. because otherwise I'd have to miss it) I am nowhere near the Hitchcock expert that some of you folks on here are.. so there are still some Hitch's I have yet to see that have been on my list a while (and some I have only seen once that would like to see again.) But Lifeboat is one that I can say has always been at or near the top of my Hitch wannasee's for a good long while. So will be glad to check it out, for sure. That is... if my TCM secretaries will help me remember and can keep me advised of my appointment to watch it. ha.. I am getting so old and forgetful these days, I will need all the help I can get. HA. (and PS: I will pay my usual salary.. it IS Belgian Chocolate, isn't it??) :D

 

AMELIE_1_-_15_CHOCOLATE_SELECTION_-_PNG_

 

Edited by: rohanaka on Sep 9, 2013 11:14 AM

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I hope you did enjoy I Confess. It is very engrossing once I sit to watch it, even though it doesn't pop up in mind when I first think of Hitch's movies. Like The Wrong Man, it's rather somber in tone and Hitch's usual humor is conspicuously absent, which can turn some off. I don't mind this, because I Confess is nonetheless imaginatively filmed for being "quieter" and lacking in glamour which makes it a nice counter-point to Hitchcock's glossier, more entertaining films, I think.

 

Good morning, MissGlamorous!

 

I love this description. It's exactly the way I picture *I Confess*; however I was talking with a friend not to long ago about Hitch's work and she was trying to think of the name of her favorite film he did. She couldn't remember what it was called, because it had been so many years since seeing it, but could remember the plot line with a priest being a big part. I asked if it was *I Confess* and she said yes! you don't meet too many people who prefer this to his more glamorous and colorful, in style, stories. I was so surprised in a good way, because I do appreciate this one. I watched it last night and couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

 

Something I really like about *I Confess* is the emotion that is clearly seen in Cliff's eyes. It's an interesting perspective to throw in with how he wants to handle the situation at hand, vs. how he does handle it.

 

How do you like *Stage Fright* compared to a lot of others? If you have answered this in the past, forgive me. :D :D

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Sometimes too much knowledge is a bad thing! I read about these movies to enhance the viewing experience. However, I have to admit that I was disappointed when I read this "stuff" about Clift during the making of I Confess. I am sorry if I made you feel that way.

 

I think that I have to look at it just as you did. His personal problems brought an intensity to his characterization of the priest. Whether fighting to keep his vows (of chastity or of the confessional) as a priest or keep his sanity as an actor, Clift gave a convincing portrayal as a troubled soul.

 

I found this movie to be much better than what most critics said about it back in 1953. It kept me watching and waiting to see when or if the killer would confess. And as usual you never know until the end which is just the way Hitchcock likes it!

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*Good "eeeevening".. ha.. er, um, good MOOORRRRning Miss G,*

 

:)

 

*I think the darker and more brooding tone for Clift's character even belied who he "normally" was as a member of the parish, too. (maybe.. I am only presuming, since we don't really get to see him that way)*

 

He seemed a serious or conscientious fellow in the flashback scenes with Ann Baxter, but not necessarily anxious like he is once his world is turned upside down by the confession and by Ann's re-emergence in his life.

 

*That's it exactly. The idea of his "inner struggle" is what made this story (and Clift's acting" work so well for me.*

 

These are always the most interesting kinds of character situations to me, the kind where the conflict is from within like what you want or desire to do vs. what you know to be the right or unselfish thing to do.

 

*It would be very hard to go through your day like that.. knowing what he knew.. and seeing what he was seeing and hearing what he was hearing.. having all sorts of things done and said to you.. and about you.. and not just go all PEACEMAKER on somebody before it was over with ha. (but of course, I am saying that from a totally Peacemaker point of view. :D )*

 

Certainly! That is, if you have a conscience and if you have certain loyalties (I'm thinking of his protectiveness toward Ann Baxter's character). He's really being torn in three different directions.

 

*I really did think it was a fine piece of acting on Clift's part that way that all played out. (and now I hear it was likely just because he was drunk.. what a let down, ha)*

 

:) They say Clark Gable projected that lusty look of desire by thinking about a juicy steak, so whatever it takes to make it work! :D I have read Clift felt a bit uneasy with Hitchcock because Hitch was not one to guide an actor into his role (rather like Ford in this respect, a lot of directors of that generation) and Clift was very much the Method actor and not the most secure person. So Clift had a conflict built-in working for him. :D

 

I loved Malden's detective.. (ha.. and it was refreshing to see him in a not as "creepy" sort of role for a change.. ha) He was on the case, but not too over the top. (in fact he was almost subtle in a few places.. a bit "cat and mouse" in the way he spoke, until he got to the point, and then he spoke plainly.. VERY much so. It was a good character.

 

I really love Karl Malden. Though he played some ultrafide CREEPS (Oh, Frenchy.....) he always seems to me just big, loveable ex-Marine lug. :D

 

*I am really looking forward to it. (and am glad that it is coming on Sat night before it airs again on Sunday am.. because otherwise I'd have to miss it) I am nowhere near the Hitchcock expert that some of you folks on here are.. so there are still some Hitch's I have yet to see that have been on my list a while (and some I have only seen once that would like to see again.) But Lifeboat is one that I can say has always been at or near the top of my Hitch wannasee's for a good long while. So will be glad to check it out, for sure. That is... if my TCM secretaries will help me remember and can keep me advised of my appointment to watch it. ha.. I am getting so old and forgetful these days, I will need all the help I can get. HA. (and PS: I will pay my usual salary.. it IS Belgian Chocolate, isn't it??)*

 

Yes!! I will definitely remind you. :)

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No worries, Miss Mimi.. what you wrote earlier actually makes pretty good sense, in the long run. (because you can really see the physical toll of all that self abuse on his face. I remember thinking that he did not look as "pretty" in this film as I recall him in other movies. Still, it was good that for whatever reason.. and after reading all this between your comments, Miss G's and my own perception of things, I am thinking it must have been a combination of the story, his personal demons and as Miss G suggested, Hitchcock's movie making skills that all the issues that might have been a stumbling block in some ways still managed to produce an end result that came off as just really good story telling somehow.

 

And you are right.. the ending was a good one as there was NO sure way to tell how it was going to finally play out. (semi-spoiler alert) I was pretty sure about Otto's fate. but I was NOT so sure how those details were going to finally come out.. and how it was going to end for Clift's character. Pretty suspenseful and a bit of "edge or your seat" kinda stuff for a movie that was so subdued in so many other ways.

 

PS: Miss Butterscotchie.. I only just saw Stage Fright a year or so ago for the first time. Loved it.. what a fun movie. (and a great performance by Wyman)

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And see, you guys are filling in all the gaps (huge gaping gaps) in my "Monty" realm of knowledge. ha.. because I did not even know he had an accident. I did know he had some issues w/ substance abuse, maybe vaguely recall some references to that in other chats on here, or on tv.. but wowsa. Sounds like he led a pretty tragic life. Such a shame for a guy that some folks might have thought had everything, back in the day.

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He was in a terrible car accident during the filming of Raintree County and almost died. His face was damaged and he never looked the same again. Apparently he suffered from pain afterward and grew addicted to drugs and it escalated his drinking.......If you watch the film, you will notice the before and after scenes in his appearance.....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ran across this Laurent Bouzereau documentary on *Psycho*. Apparently, it was done in the late 1990's but I don't recall ever seeing it on the channel. I know TCM has broadcast several of Bouzereau's documentaries.

 

It's a little long, but worth a look. You may need to play the clip from the Scene d'amour by the LA Philharmonic, then mouse over to the Making of Psycho.

 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=scened'amourvertigo&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=DA421ADC112C5002D469DA421ADC112C5002D469

 

*Cinecrazy DC*

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I CONFESS ( 1953 ) - DIVINE BURDEN

 

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Confession is good for the soul? In Hitchcock's world, that ain't necessarily so. An unstoppable force ( the State ) meets an immovable object ( the Church, ) two forces in the grip of Hitchcock. With the State...the law...the police, they let you know that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. They'll give up all your secrets in a heartbeat. But if you confess to a priest...

 

How galling it is to see a man taunt a priest with his confession of murder by saying: "you can't tell, you're a priest!" Montgomery Clift is perfect, in his beauty and sincere integrity, as a priest whose faith prevents him from giving up the murderer; even if it means he will be charged with the crime himself. Clift is shackled to his conscience, but he bears it nobly. How ironic it is, that the galling little murderer condemns Clift for talking, ( Clift has not ) when it is he who suffers from not talking.

 

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

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Uh oh. Did I hear the makings of Bob Newhart's latest drinking game, the "I SEE" game?

 

And a couple of weeks ago, I see that Roha is claiming not to know about Monty's accident when, for all of my life, I'd thought she had broken his heart and this is what led to his accident. He only had poor Liz to console him - poor chap. That Roha-!! Women, once again, mistreating us poor innocent guys!

 

(Is it true that Charles Foster K had actually mouthed "RO HA" in the filming, but it was sound-edited out? Yes... just one more example... the power of those beauties...)

 

wink wink, nudge nudge

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I see that Roha is claiming not to know about Monty's accident when, for all of my life, I'd thought she had broken his hear

 

Ha! Ollie.. surely you have me confused with someone else.. I am just sitting here finishing up my embroidery, since my beloved Monty.. I mean Maurice.. left me high and dry waiting for that carriage. :D

 

Is it true that Charles Foster K had actually mouthed "RO HA" in the filming, but it was sound-edited out

 

No way!! ha.. I don't know HOW these rumors get started. :D

 

Meanwhile..(since this is the Hitchcock thread, ha) I have to chime in and say THANKS, TCM programming gurus, for the fun Sunday shows this month. I have really enjoyed getting to see some new (to me) Hitchcocks this month. I Confess and Lifeboat were both ones I had never seen before, so was glad to catch them.. but have to also say dadgum!! Because I had hoped to catch Sabotage the other night when it was on (as I had not seen it yet, either) and I TOTALLY missed it. (bah!) It is on youtube though.. so will give it a looksee, soon I hope.

 

Edited by: rohanaka on Sep 24, 2013 12:41 PM

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*Roha wrote: I don't know HOW these rumors get started.*

 

OK, well, I guess I should stop spreading them, then. Normally, I just pay off CineMaven but I thought, "What the heck... try it myself..."

 

LIFEBOAT is one of my favorite 'unknowingly Hitch' films for me. Every time I see it, I keep getting surprised by the DIRECTED BY screen.

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Alas, Sundays are getting gobbled up by other tasks. We've started our ThanksDoing routines two weeks ago and Wifey and I, and neighbors, do those Meals On Wheels daily treks, but on Sat & Sun afternoons, the kids join us so we end up with 8 little groups doing that.

 

I even missed one of the Ginger Rogers films yesterday morning! Drat!

 

(This was probably due to the wifely spell cast over me, though. It certainly wasn't MY fault for overlooking it! It HAD to be her fault!)

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  • 6 months later...

Vera Miles dining with Alfred Hitchcock.  Photo: Elliot Erwitt.

Love the Dali-esque background.

Also, I notice that the halter top Vera is wearing, along with her hairstyle and pearls, is very similar to Grace Kelly's look in Rear Window.

 

verahitch_zpsbae7d8c9.jpg

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"Frenzy" was Hitchcock's triumphant return to Great Britain -- the first movie he had filmed there in about 20 years. Of course, it would be his last in the U.K. He was destined to do only one more film after that -- "Family Plot" (1976). I like it a lot, despite its crudeness. But serial killers aren't always gentlemen, are they?

 

My favorite scene is when the good-natured menace Rusk (Barry Foster) escorts Babs (Anna Massey) upstairs to his flat, where he will kill her. And just before they enter the place, he says, "You know, you're my kind of woman." Hitchcock then pulls the camera back and it moves downstairs in reverse and ends up on the busy street during the daytime. It's a downbeat moment, but a stylish one!

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FRENZY, along with THE PARADINE CASE, UNDER CAPRICORN and VERTIGO are the only Hitchcok films I don't like.  FRENZY is an ugly film, to me.  Not so much because of its subject matter, but because it lacks anything attractive.  The cast, the settings, the entire look is plain, drab or downright ugly.  So, add that to ugly subject matter, and it just never plays like a Hitchcock film, to me.  It lacks the Hitchock sheen.  I've tried, ever since its release to like it, but I just don't.

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