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The World of Alfred Hitchcock


MissGoddess
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After seeing Citizen Kane at the age of 12 or 13, I couldn't get enough classic films. Hitchcock's Rebecca really captivated me, and it still does. I fell in love both with Laurence Olivier and Alfred Hitchcock's amazing auteurism! I read in Charlotte Chandler's biography on Hitchcock that even though it was Hitchcock's first oscar nomination, the film really reflected that of the producer, David O. Selznick. The biography revealed that they disagreed on the direction of the film, with Selznick wanting to be more faithful to the book and Hitchcock wanting to change some parts. Their biggest disagreement was about the last scene of Rebecca in which Selznick wanted the burning house's smoke to form an R in the sky. But while Selznick was busy with Gone With The Wind, Hitchcock changed the scene to a close up of Rebecca's lingerie case.

 

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Edited by: RootbeerAndBeans on Apr 25, 2010 11:19 PM

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> What can I SAY? I hated this movie!

>

> That's because you're a snob!

>

 

If I were, I certainly wouldn't be talking to you, Duckie. :P

 

> Frenzy is "working class." It's a pint at the pub not champagne on the Riviera. We are dwelling with the "regular" blokes not those of money. Anyone who enjoys the pure escapism of Hitch will be in for a serious jarring with Frenzy. And I loved such a jarring. I also consider Frenzy to be a very "masculine" film, ala Psycho.

>

 

I thought THE MANXMAN was also "working class" for the most part, but a much better movie.

 

And I only saw impotent and rather churlish "masculinity" in FRENZY, to be frank, Frank. :P

 

> By the way, I love Mrs. Oxford's (Vivian Merchant) look in the final cap. I think she speaks for the "cultured" and their opinion of the "crass." I really got the sense her and Mr. Oxford's (Alec McCowen) exchanges mirrored those of Hitch and Alma. It's how I picture their working out a script.

>

 

Now that is interesting, and may be very true, though I don't sense any snobbery with what I've heard and read about Alma. I dn't think either one were snobs but they both were acutely aware of how people, especially the English, view class structure.

 

>

> What?! That's not watching a movie! I'm going to break that remote of yours!

>

 

I think it's broken already from all the fast forwarding!

 

 

> Yeah, it's slummin', all right. Cary Grant and Grace Kelly ain't in this Hitch. And I love that Hitchcock could make such a film.

>

 

A bad script does not enthuse me. It was paltry writing, not worthy of him. I don't equate good writing with elitist subjects and settings...but with honesty and well chosen dialogue. I sensed a very skewed viewpoint and shoddy language skills.

 

> Blaney surely isn't a charmer. He's no Robert Donat. He's a fella who is at his lowest point in life. This brings out his ugliness. He's completely frustrated and rather ashamed of what's become of him. Is he easy to sympathize with? Absolutely not. But I do feel for the guy. Male pride is a tough animal to wrestle with.

>

 

50 will get you 250 he's just as much of a pill when things are going well in his life. I don't buy that not because of the intentions of the film maker with regard to Blaney's character---but beause of how the part is written and played. I think Hitch was working with inferior materials here and couldn't get a sympathetic shred from such if his life depended on it. So, he focused more on the villain and technical aspects of the film, which is what comes off best, in my opinion.

 

Blaney's just revealing how small a man he really is and always was.

 

> Yes! Me, me, me! It's my tenth favorite Hitch film. It's very Hitchcockian but also quite unique. After my first viewing of the film, I said to myself, "Wow, that's Hitchcock!" It really struck me.

>

 

You need to be struck some more!

 

 

> Dark humor can be depraved. The Trouble with Harry is a dark comedy on the light side and Frenzy's dark comedy is on the dark side. When Bob Rusk (Barry Foster) has to go back for his pin, it turns into a comedic bit. I'm sure that scene really broke Hitch up.

>

 

I'd like to have broken him up over it!

 

> I saw a lot of "Hitchcock" in this film. Ultimately, I believe Hitch was attempting to make another Psycho. He falls short and you could say terribly short. But Psycho is my favorite Hitch film. When Blaney is ascending the steps at Rusk's apartment building, it strongly reminded me of Psycho. It was also reminiscent of films such as Notorious and Suspicion.

>

 

I don't even remember that shot.

 

> I also got a Dial M for Murder vibe with this film. The ending is quite similar. Actually, I think the end of Frenzy is one of the best in all of Hitchcock. It's brilliant.

>

 

I thought the shots of the girl were disgusting, blatant and so banal. The last line was good.

 

 

> And then you have the Shadow of a Doubt connection. You've got "Uncle Charlie" and "Uncle Bob." Both are presented as guys everyone finds likeable. They're the "fancy dressers."

>

 

I think "Uncle Bob" shows quite distinctly he's a phony and possesses not one tenth of Uncle Charlie's charm, but I concede your point as far as intent is concerned.

 

> And, of course, Frenzy is also quite similar to The Lodger, since both are about serial killers (rapists).

>

 

Yes. The earlier film, piecemeal as it is in its current state, is better.

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

> How do, Thirza Tapper?

>

 

I don't know who you think you're addressing, Mr. Rusk.

 

> You didn't think that was funny? :P Her final words were that of devotion, which I liked.

>

 

If YOU had been the one dying in bed...now THAT would be funny.

 

> What I liked was Hitchcock's lampooning of certain female-types. Many of them still ring true today.

>

 

Well, I don't know too many like those but I guess they grow them that way down in Penn state? Only if all the men are like you! :P

 

> I wasn't into that scene. What I found the funniest were the scenes of Samuel Sweetland (Jameson Thomas) "wife hunting." The contrast of his wife and Minta (Lillian Hall-Davis) with the prospective "to-be's" was wonderful. And I liked Sweetland's male ego reactions to rejection.

>

 

Those scenes did little for me because I kept thinking all the time he was really interested in Minta from the start, but he was playing games. Didn't he give her a look in the beginnign that suggested she interested him the most? Then when he went off looking at all the other girls, I thought maybe he wanted to make her jealous or something. It was a bit confusing. But then, his reactions to the rejections are, as you say, too genuine to support my idea. He really thought he was a "catch" but then what man doesn't? :D

 

> That's a lovely little recap. This is where I found the charm and humor of the film to be best. Thirza's "chapter" is the one I liked the most. She's the "everything has to be just so" woman. The focus of each prospective wife is of self not other, which is the opposite of Sweetland's recently deceased wife and Minta.

>

 

I don't remember wh she is....the repressed spinster or the fat one in the flowery hat?

 

>

> Now that's a fascinating point! Minta is Sweetland's servant. You get the feeling his wife was also somewhat similar. Both are about devotion, pleasing, and sacrifice. I believe it's a very traditional view of woman and her role in marriage. I get the sense Hitchcock loved such a woman, such a wife.

>

 

That's very nice to think. But why does he mostly choose rather naughty women for his leading female characters?

 

> In fact, I rather felt the farmer himself was a bit creepy looking and she could

> do better.

>

> Basing a man's worth on looks again, huh? We see how deep you run, Mary Hearn!

 

I mean the way he LOOKED (peered) out the window in the beginning, he looked like a villain, not a hero. Who's Mary Hearn? I don't remember the names of all these characters, you know!

 

Did you watch THE SKIN GAME?

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

> I think The Farmer's Wife is an interesting film. One of Hitchcock's few comedies. Has anyone seen Waltzes from Vienna? I think it is a very underrated film.

 

Hi Konway! Long time no see around here. I was hoping you'd pop in. :)

 

Is Walztes from Vienna a Hitch film?? I never have seen it, no. It's a silent? I find most of his early films underrated, they've been tremendously interesting to me so far.

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SPOILERS

 

Waltzes from Vienna (1934) is the only musical Hitchcock made. And I think its a fine film. It also has some hilarious scenes. Hitchcock took the project when there were no other projects to work on. Many of Hitchcock films have personal elements in it. This is one of them. I will explain them to you after you watch it. Its very hard to find a very good print.

 

Fortunately, Its available to watch on youtube. Here is the link to the first part.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjHB0Hcq4Eo

 

I think the film Rope is one of Hitchcock's personal films. I think its an underrated film.

 

I don't know if you know this. Hitchcock made Rope possibly based on a real incident happened in his life. A Hitchcock fan named Ximmerlaik gave me all of these information.

 

In the interview with Tom Snyder, Hitchcock said that he regretted shooting an assassination scene in his 1940 film Foreign Correspondent.

 

Here is the link.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7GKr_pCYZA&feature=related

 

At about the 7 minute mark, Hitchcock talks about the assassination scene in Foreign Correspondent. He says, "I only regret one thing that I ever did in a film that was copied." He then describes the scene, concluding (at almost precisely the 8 minute mark) by saying something like, "And I heard it [the assassination] was done in Terra Han, two years later."

 

But I never heard about the place named Terra Han. It may have been Tehran.

 

Ximmerlaik told me this too "I also suspect Hitchcock hearing about this had a huge impact on Rope. Especially in terms of Jimmy Stewart's character, Rupert. The two murderers (mostly Brandon) adopt Rupert's macabre sense of humor about murder but then take it a step further and actually kill someone, in real life. It's as if Rupert is a stand-in for Hitchcock himself and the murderers are those who have taken his amusing ideas and turned them to dreadful purposes (like these assassins of "Terra Han"). This would especially make sense in terms of Rupert's final speech, which is uncharacteristically sincere -- Hitchcock was dealing with his own regret through Rupert's words. That's my idea anyway."

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Thank you for the links, Konway. Hitch directing a musical....that should be interesting.

 

> At about the 7 minute mark, Hitchcock talks about the assassination scene in Foreign Correspondent. He says, "I only regret one thing that I ever did in a film that was copied." He then describes the scene, concluding (at almost precisely the 8 minute mark) by saying something like, "And I heard it [the assassination] was done in Terra Han, two years later."

>

> But I never heard about the place named Terra Han. It may have been Tehran.

>

> Ximmerlaik told me this too "I also suspect Hitchcock hearing about this had a huge impact on Rope. Especially in terms of Jimmy Stewart's character, Rupert. The two murderers (mostly Brandon) adopt Rupert's macabre sense of humor about murder but then take it a step further and actually kill someone, in real life. It's as if Rupert is a stand-in for Hitchcock himself and the murderers are those who have taken his amusing ideas and turned them to dreadful purposes (like these assassins of "Terra Han"). This would especially make sense in terms of Rupert's final speech, which is uncharacteristically sincere -- Hitchcock was dealing with his own regret through Rupert's words. That's my idea anyway."

 

 

My goodness! That is one of the most interesting facets of Hitchcock I've read about. I am intrigued by Ximmerlaik's conclusions and I must say, it makes me admire Hitch even more, if true. That he would be so bothered by such a thing, shows his sensitivity, something I suspect he often tried to mask. Thank you for sharing that, I'll watch the interview now.

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Good evening, Cora -- If I were, I certainly wouldn't be talking to you, Duckie. :P

 

You talk with your hands!

 

I thought THE MANXMAN was also "working class" for the most part, but a much better movie.

 

To a degree. But that film is silent.

 

And I only saw impotent and rather churlish "masculinity" in FRENZY, to be frank, Frank. :P

 

I meant that I consider the film to have a better chance at finding an appreciative male audience than female audience.

 

Now that is interesting, and may be very true, though I don't sense any snobbery with what I've heard and read about Alma. I dn't think either one were snobs but they both were acutely aware of how people, especially the English, view class structure.

 

It's not "snobbery" so much as finding something to be unappealing or repulsive. I can see Hitch (man) finding something to be amusing and appealing and Alma (woman) giving him that incredulous, disapproving look. This is Frenzy.

 

I think it's broken already from all the fast forwarding!

 

So that's how you came to like Gone with the Wind the most. :P

 

A bad script does not enthuse me. It was paltry writing, not worthy of him. I don't equate good writing with elitist subjects and settings...but with honesty and well chosen dialogue. I sensed a very skewed viewpoint and shoddy language skills.

 

I think it's mostly about what is said and shown, more than anything else. Maybe I'm the snob in my thinking that the "working class" shouldn't be as witty and smooth-surfaced.

 

50 will get you 250 he's just as much of a pill when things are going well in his life. I don't buy that not because of the intentions of the film maker with regard to Blaney's character---but beause of how the part is written and played. I think Hitch was working with inferior materials here and couldn't get a sympathetic shred from such if his life depended on it. So, he focused more on the villain and technical aspects of the film, which is what comes off best, in my opinion.

 

Blaney could have been played as nothing but a sympathetic figure. I just don't think that was the intention. And I did sympathize with him, some of the time. The time where I didn't was when he learned of Babs' death. He didn't even show any sign of caring about her. That was really bad.

 

Blaney's just revealing how small a man he really is and always was.

 

I agree with that.

 

I don't even remember that shot.

 

That's because you were busy fast-forwarding!

 

I thought the shots of the girl were disgusting, blatant and so banal.

 

I agree. Hitch was evidently trying to be contemporary. But I guarantee you he would have had similar visuals in Blackmail, if he could.

 

I think "Uncle Bob" shows quite distinctly he's a phony and possesses not one tenth of Uncle Charlie's charm, but I concede your point as far as intent is concerned.

 

Uncle Charlie is definitely the smoother of the two. We also don't see Uncle Charlie doing the "deed." How would we feel about him if we did see this? Also, I believe the "working class" element that is strong in Frenzy plays a part in the difference between the "uncles."

 

I don't know who you think you're addressing, Mr. Rusk.

 

You, Thirza!

 

If YOU had been the one dying in bed...now THAT would be funny.

 

And I'd die of swollen cheeks!

 

Well, I don't know too many like those but I guess they grow them that way down in Penn state? Only if all the men are like you! :P

 

I'm a boy! You don't know women who have to control the setting, who think of themselves as the catch, who are about their independence? The Window Windeatt (Louie Pounds) is the most honest and true of the three. She just comes right out and says she and Sam wouldn't work because she loves her independence.

 

Those scenes did little for me because I kept thinking all the time he was really interested in Minta from the start, but he was playing games. Didn't he give her a look in the beginnign that suggested she interested him the most? Then when he went off looking at all the other girls, I thought maybe he wanted to make her jealous or something. It was a bit confusing. But then, his reactions to the rejections are, as you say, too genuine to support my idea.

 

I didn't think he was interested in Minta until the end.

 

He really thought he was a "catch" but then what man doesn't? :D

 

See! I am a boy! Yes, Sam was full of male ego, just as some of the women were full of female ego.

 

That's a lovely little recap. This is where I found the charm and humor of the film to be best. Thirza's "chapter" is the one I liked the most. She's the "everything has to be just so" woman. The focus of each prospective wife is of self not other, which is the opposite of Sweetland's recently deceased wife and Minta.

 

I don't remember wh she is....the repressed spinster or the fat one in the flowery hat?

 

Thirza is the spinster. She's the one who has to have "everything just so." She takes forever to get ready and then worries about the placement of things within her world.

 

That's very nice to think. But why does he mostly choose rather naughty women for his leading female characters?

 

Because Hitch, like many men, likes a woman who is naughty but also devoted and doting.

 

I mean the way he LOOKED (peered) out the window in the beginning, he looked like a villain, not a hero. Who's Mary Hearn? I don't remember the names of all these characters, you know!

 

She was the lass who saw herself as a catch. The one who waved her arms around when she was insulted.

 

Did you watch THE SKIN GAME?

 

No, but I'll watch it next.

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Sometimes you have to look at these Hollywood anecdotes with a gimlet eye.

The whole story about Foreign Correspondent having influenced a supposed

political assassination in Tehran two years after the release of the movie could

have occurred, but one wonders if it isn't one of those stories that is passed down

through the years without closer examination. I don't think Sir Alfred is intentionally

lying, but it could be the sort of tale that has taken on a life of its own, irrespective

of its truth.

 

I always thought Hitchcock was interested in Rope not because he wanted to explore

his own personal guilt issues, but because of the technical challenge of filming a picture

made up of long takes. The specifics of the story and characters, while important, were

of less interest than the experiment of making such a movie.

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SPOILERS

 

"I always thought Hitchcock was interested in Rope not because he wanted to explore

his own personal guilt issues, but because of the technical challenge of filming a picture

made up of long takes."

 

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope is very different from the play. Hitchcock made a totally different adaptation with Hume Cronyn. He focused a lot on the development of the script. Even the speech by Rupert Cadell at the end of the film is very different from the play. In the play, there is no Janet Walker, no Mrs. Wilson, no Kenneth Lawrence, and no Mrs. Atwater. All of the characters were different. Rupert Cadell is only 29 years old in the play. Rupert is afraid of thunderstorms and he has a walking stick. Unlike the film, the play takes place in England.

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Even though the movie is different from the play, Hitchcock himself said he took it

on as a stunt, a technical challenge. He even went so far as to refilm the last

four or five long takes because he was dissatisfied with the colors made by the

setting "sun." I think Rope is one of the better of Hitch's comparatively unknown

movies. It has the look and style of a play about a high end dinner party that just

happens to be hosted by two privileged killers in a nicely confined space. Very agreeable.

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I do agree that Hitchcock took Rope on as a stunt, a technical challenge. And Rope is also Hitchcock's first color film. But I always thought that Hitchcock added his experiences in his films. But this is just my opinion. Anyway, if you are interested in reading the description of the characters in Patrick Hamilton's play "Rope", then I can post them here.

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I would be interested in seeing the character descriptions from the original play.

I've got to go, so I'll just say I don't see the same emotional involvement from

Hitchcock with the themes of the movie, but it's certainly possible. Either way,

I think it turned out very well.

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SPOILERS

 

Here are Patrick Hamilton's descriptions about some of the characters in the play.

 

RUPERT CADELL

 

Hamilton's Description of Rupert Cadell - "Rupert is of medium height and about twenty-nine. He is a little foppish in dress and appearance, and this impression is increased by the very exquisite walking-stick which he carries indoors as well as out. He is lame in the right leg. He is enormously affected in speech and carriage. He brings his words out not only as though he is infinitely weary of all things, but also as though articulation is causing him some definite physical pain which he is trying to circumvent by keeping he head and body perfectly still. His sentences are often involved, but nearly always syntactically complete. His affectation almost verges on effeminacy, and can be very irritating, but he has a very disarming habit, every now and again, of retrieving the whole thing with an extraordinary frank, open and genial smile."

 

Age: 29

Sex: Male

Eye Color: Blue or Brown

Hair Color: Blonde or Brown

Height: 5"8' to 6"1'

Nationality: England

 

WYNDHAM BRANDON (BRANDON SHAW IN THE FILM)

 

Hamilton's Description of Wyndham Brandon - "Brandon is tall, finely athletically built, and blond. (sic) He is quietly and expensively dressed, with a double-breasted waistcoat, which shows his sturdiness off to the best advantage, and perfectly creased trousers, not turned up at the end, and about nineteen inches in width. His hands are large, and his build is that of the boxer - not the football player or the runner. He has clever blue eyes, a fine mouth and nose, and a rich, competent and really easy voice. He is plainly very well-off, and seems to have used his money in making a fine specimen of himself instead of running to seed. He is almost paternal with everyone he addresses, and this seems to arise from an instinctive knowledge of his own good health, good looks, success and natural calm, as opposed to the harassed frailty of the ordinary human being. This, however, brings him at moments to an air of vague priggishness and self-approbation, and is the one reason why you cannot altogether like him."

 

Age: 20-25

Sex: Male

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blonde

Height: 6"-ish.

Nationality: England

 

CHARLES GRANILLO (PHILIP MORGAN IN THE FILM)

 

Hamilton's Description of Charles Granillo - "Granillo is slim, not so tall as Brandon, expensively and rather ornately dressed in a dark blue suit with four-pocket waistcoat. He wears a diamond ring. He is dark. A Spaniard. He is enormously courteous - something between dancing-master and stage villain. He speaks English perfectly. To those who know him fairly well, and are not subject to Anglo-Saxon prejudices, he seems a thoroughly good sort."

 

Age: 20-25

Sex: Male

Eye Color: Brown

Hair Color: Brown

Height: 5"8' to 6"

Nationality: Spain

 

LEILA ARDEN

 

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 outr? 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'

Nationality: England

 

I will post more in my next post. Otherwise, it will be too long.

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SPOILERS

 

KENNETH RAGLAN

 

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

 

SABOT

 

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

 

MRS. DEBENHAM

 

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

 

SIR JOHNSTONE KENTLEY (MR. HENRY KENTLEY in the film)

 

Hamilton's Description of Sir Johnstone Kentley - "Sir Johnstone is a decidedly pleasant old gentleman, slightly bent, old for his years, with clear grey eyes -- slow moving, utterly harmless, gentle and a little listless. His listlessness and gentleness, however, derive not alone from a natural kindliness, but also from the fact that he has been in a position of total authority throughout the greater part of his life, and has had no need to assert himself. But he has only too plainly never abused that authority, and the whole effect of him is completely captivating."

 

Age: 55

Sex: Male

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Blonde or Grey or Bald

Height: 6"

Nationality: England

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SPOILERS

 

In the play, we see characters like Leila Arden, Kenneth Raglan, Sabot, and Mrs. Debenham. In the play, the victim's name is Ronald Kentley. Not David Kentley.

 

Leila Arden and Kenneth Raglan are friends of Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo. Both Leila and Kenneth have no relation to Ronald Kentley (David Kentley in the film). In the play, Rupert is the current teacher of "only" Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo. But in the film, Rupert Cadell taught Brandon, Philip, Kenneth Lawrence, and David Kentley. But Rupert is currently a publisher n the film. Sabot became Mrs. Wilson in the film. Quiet Mrs. Debenham became Cheerful Mrs. Atwater in the film. In the film, Kenneth Lawrence resembles David Kentley.

 

Here is the link that explains the plot of the play "Rope".

 

http://www.almeida.co.uk/Downloads/RopeResourcePack.pdf

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>>I don't know if you know this. Hitchcock made Rope possibly based on a real incident happened in his life. A Hitchcock fan named Ximmerlaik gave me all of these information.

ROPE is based on a play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton. It seems to have been inspired (though if I recall correctly Hamilton denied it) on the Leopold & Loeb murder case which happened in the US in the 1920s while Hitchcock was still in Britain. The L&L case was less fictionally explored in COMPULSION starring Orson Welles...

 

I might also note that this Almeida production differs in a few ways from the acting edition available in the US from Samuel French. Kentley isn't a Sir & there's no phone call summoning him home. The party simply runs its course & the guests, except for Rupert, depart.

Someone also made mention above of Rupert having a fear of thunderstorms, which is not in the script I worked from in 1988 when I directed a production for a regional theater here in Pennsylvania. Intriguingly, however, I decided to add one to increaee the horror-movie aspects of my production.

 

Edited by: HarryLong on Apr 27, 2010 5:17 PM

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I know the film Rope is based on the play "Rope" by Patrick Hamilton. What I meant in my previous post was "The incident about Foreign Correspondent may have possibly pushed Hitchcock to make his own adaptation of Rope." As you know, the film is very different from the play.

 

I thought that Rupert was afraid of thunderstorms. Thanks for correcting my mistake, HarryLong.

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That is quite a bit to digest, but I can see where the play is quite different from the

movie. I wonder if some of the characters in the original play would have been considered

types as far as 1920s theater would be concerned. To get back to the play, Rupert, per

Hamilton's description, is quite different from Rupert as played by James Stewart, who

didn't seem at all foppish or effeminate. The play makes him appear a lot closer to Brandon

and Philip in both age and outlook, and though the two killers are the ones truly responsible

for their act, Rupert in the play might appear to be more "guilty" than Rupert in the film.

 

Most reviews mention the influence of the Leopold and Loeb case on the play, but as Harry

Long mentioned, Hamilton denied that. Who knows? I remember the fact that in this "perfect"

crime, one of them left his glasses at the scene of the crime. D'oh. Not exactly the best start.

Now if I wanted to commit the perfect murder, I wouldn't try to mix a kidnapping into it, too many

complications. Maybe L & L did it because they thought they were so smart and relished

a challenge. Wrong again.

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SPOILERS

 

Here is the final speech by Rupert Cadell in the play.

 

Rupert: (suddenly letting himself go ? a thing he has not done, all the evening, and which he now does with tremendous force, and clear, angry articulation) What do I mean? What do I mean? I mean that you have taken and killed ? by strangulation ? a very harmless and helpless fellow-creature of twenty years. I mean that in that chest there ? now lie the staring and futile remains of something that four hours ago lived, and laughed, and ran, and found it good. Laughed as you could never laugh, and ran as you could never run. I mean that, for your cruel and scheming pleasure, you have committed a sin and a blasphemy against that very life which you now yourself find so precious. And you have done more than this. You have not only killed him, you have rotted the lives of all those to whom he was dear. And you have brought worse than death to his father ? an equally harmless old man who has fought his way quietly through to a peaceful end, and to whom the entire universe, after this, will now be blackened and distorted beyond the limits of thought. That is what you have done. And in dragging him round here tonight, you have played a lewd and infamous jest upon him ? and a bad jest at that. And if you think, as your type of philosopher generally does, that all life is nothing but a bad jest, then you will now have the pleasure of seeing it played upon yourselves.

 

Brandon (pale and frozen) What are you saying? What are you doing?

 

Rupert It is not what I am doing, Brandon. It is what society is going to do. And what will happen to you at the hands of society I am not in a position to tell you. That?s its own business. But I can give you a pretty shrewd guess, I think. (He moves forward to the chest and swings back the lid) You are going to hang, you swine! Hang! Both of you! Hang! (Whistle in hand, he runs hobbling to the window, throws it open, leans out, and sends three piercing whistles into the night).

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> I thought THE MANXMAN was also "working class" for the most part, but a much better movie.

>

> To a degree. But that film is silent.

>

 

Yes, it's silent but what does that matter? It's just as valid.

 

>

> I meant that I consider the film to have a better chance at finding an appreciative male audience than female audience.

>

 

That certainly is true.

 

> It's not "snobbery" so much as finding something to be unappealing or repulsive. I can see Hitch (man) finding something to be amusing and appealing and Alma (woman) giving him that incredulous, disapproving look. This is Frenzy.

>

 

Really? I don't see Alma as being surprised by anything. I like what Hitch said in that Tom Snyder interview about how he's practically the opposite of what his films are. He's a scaredy cat. Maybe Alma's the one who wouldn't be repulsed or afraid of lots of things, whereas Hitch is only willing to explore them through his craft.

 

> I think it's broken already from all the fast forwarding!

>

> So that's how you came to like Gone with the Wind the most. :P

>

 

No!

 

> I think it's mostly about what is said and shown, more than anything else. Maybe I'm the snob in my thinking that the "working class" shouldn't be as witty and smooth-surfaced.

>

 

Bad writing is bad writing. There are tons of movies about earthy, working class people that feature wonderful scripts, wonderful writing and there isn't any of that "polish" to it, either. But there is the cognizance that script can be poorly or well written.

 

> Blaney could have been played as nothing but a sympathetic figure. I just don't think that was the intention. And I did sympathize with him, some of the time. The time where I didn't was when he learned of Babs' death. He didn't even show any sign of caring about her. That was really bad.

>

 

I think I'm responding to the jerkness of the actor coming through. Cary Grant played a character very similar to Blaney in None But the Lonely Heart. He's very abrasive and unlikable, yet I don't feel disinterested in him. I am deeply uninterested in Blaney as he's played by that actor and because of the script, too.

 

> I thought the shots of the girl were disgusting, blatant and so banal.

>

> I agree. Hitch was evidently trying to be contemporary. But I guarantee you he would have had similar visuals in Blackmail, if he could.

>

 

Probably, though in the Tom Snyder interview he objected to going overboard with that stuff.

 

> Uncle Charlie is definitely the smoother of the two. We also don't see Uncle Charlie doing the "deed." How would we feel about him if we did see this? Also, I believe the "working class" element that is strong in Frenzy plays a part in the difference between the "uncles."

>

 

I would still not be as bored because Joseph Cotten is immensely interesting and so was the script for Shadow of a Doubt. I don't say I like Uncle Charlie, I just find him compelling. Blaney is not.

 

> I'm a boy! You don't know women who have to control the setting, who think of themselves as the catch, who are about their independence? The Window Windeatt (Louie Pounds) is the most honest and true of the three. She just comes right out and says she and Sam wouldn't work because she loves her independence.

>

 

I didn't get that sense from any of the spinsters, I'll have to watch it again.

 

> I didn't think he was interested in Minta until the end.

>

 

You're probably right. It took about ten attempts for me to even get past the "pants" airing so no doubt I was dozy when those scenes played.

 

> I don't remember wh she is....the repressed spinster or the fat one in the flowery hat?[/b]

>

> Thirza is the spinster. She's the one who has to have "everything just so." She takes forever to get ready and then worries about the placement of things within her world.

>

 

Then don't you DARE compare her to ME!!!

 

>

> Because Hitch, like many men, likes a woman who is naughty but also devoted and doting.

>

 

Well, yes.

 

> She was the lass who saw herself as a catch. The one who waved her arms around when she was insulted.

>

 

SHe was funny!

 

> Did you watch THE SKIN GAME?

>

> No, but I'll watch it next.

 

Good!

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A warm Hitch Good Evening to you, Fran -- Yes, it's silent but what does that matter? It's just as valid.

 

The Manxman does feature the working class but it lacks the spoken word.

 

Really? I don't see Alma as being surprised by anything.

 

But I can see her being disapproving. Most every man is familiar with a disapproving woman, particularly in regards to their crude side.

 

I like what Hitch said in that Tom Snyder interview about how he's practically the opposite of what his films are. He's a scaredy cat. Maybe Alma's the one who wouldn't be repulsed or afraid of lots of things, whereas Hitch is only willing to explore them through his craft.

 

And I believe he's very sincere with that. I think his films are his way of living out his dreams and expressing his fears.

 

Bad writing is bad writing. There are tons of movies about earthy, working class people that feature wonderful scripts, wonderful writing and there isn't any of that "polish" to it, either. But there is the cognizance that script can be poorly or well written.

 

I can't say the script is tight, but I'm okay with it. I'd say it's average, at best. The change of focus to Bob Rusk is a little jarring, especially when it's played for comedy. What are examples of "working class" films?

 

I think I'm responding to the jerkness of the actor coming through. Cary Grant played a character very similar to Blaney in None But the Lonely Heart. He's very abrasive and unlikable, yet I don't feel disinterested in him. I am deeply uninterested in Blaney as he's played by that actor and because of the script, too.

 

But Cary Grant is nothing but polish. He's a movie star. It's tough for him to come off as "working class." Jon Finch certainly feels "working class."

 

Probably, though in the Tom Snyder interview he objected to going overboard with that stuff.

 

Yes, I believe Hitch didn't like excessive crudeness..

 

I would still not be as bored because Joseph Cotten is immensely interesting and so was the script for Shadow of a Doubt. I don't say I like Uncle Charlie, I just find him compelling. Blaney is not.

 

That's because Uncle Charlie is looking to charm women. Uncle Bob struggles to charm women, but the men really like him. He's your "pal."

 

Thirza is the spinster. She's the one who has to have "everything just so." She takes forever to get ready and then worries about the placement of things within her world.

 

Then don't you DARE compare her to ME!!!

 

That's you, Fussy!

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> The Manxman does feature the working class but it lacks the spoken word.

>

 

Oh, so you mean to compare the scripts....

 

> But I can see her being disapproving. Most every man is familiar with a disapproving woman, particularly in regards to their crude side.

>

 

I really see her as too easygoing to ever really be disapproving. But what do I know.

 

> And I believe he's very sincere with that. I think his films are his way of living out his dreams and expressing his fears.

>

 

I can see it in him, too. He's very non-confrontational and he always speaks of his terror of policemen.

 

> I can't say the script is tight, but I'm okay with it. I'd say it's average, at best. The change of focus to Bob Rusk is a little jarring, especially when it's played for comedy. What are examples of "working class" films?

>

 

Aren't most films noir centered on working class people?

 

>

> But Cary Grant is nothing but polish. He's a movie star. It's tough for him to come off as "working class." Jon Finch certainly feels "working class."

>

 

He was from that background in real life! He played a cockney and he does very well. It's just that we do have this image from the preponderance of his films being sophisticated.

 

>

> That's because Uncle Charlie is looking to charm women. Uncle Bob struggles to charm women, but the men really like him. He's your "pal."

>

 

It's not because of that, it's because of Joseph Cotten's essence vs. the fellow who plays Rusk (and Blaney). Cotten can be irritating but he's never ordinary. Those two other guys are so mundane. The Rusk actor is colorful and evil, but he's certainly not warm like Joseph Cotten can be.

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I really see her as too easygoing to ever really be disapproving. But what do I know.

 

What woman doesn't show disapproval?!

 

Aren't most films noir centered on working class people?

 

Yes, most definitely. And don't you often say you find film noir to be "cold," particularly the men?

 

He was from that background in real life! He played a cockney and he does very well. It's just that we do have this image from the preponderance of his films being sophisticated.

 

I can't see Cary Grant signing off on his playing "working class." He would seem out of place.

 

It's not because of that, it's because of Joseph Cotten's essence vs. the fellow who plays Rusk (and Blaney). Cotten can be irritating but he's never ordinary. Those two other guys are so mundane. The Rusk actor is colorful and evil, but he's certainly not warm like Joseph Cotten can be.

 

I've known more "Uncle Bob's" than "Uncle Charlie's." He's far more "regular" to me. This is Frenzy.

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