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bhryun

Favorite Hitchcock film and why

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I love Hitchcock and can't decide which is my favorite. Maybe someone can persuade me into liking their fave.

 

Thanks

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For me, Hitchcock's best is "Notorious."

 

Hitchcock loved Cary Grant as an actor, and according to the few biographies I've read on both Grant and Hitch, Hitch actually desired to be Grant. He wanted to have his body, his suave appeal--everything Hitch himself didn't have. Conversely, Grant wanted to be Hitch--to have his talent for filmmaking, his control.

 

For Hitch, Grant was the epitome of the male hero: good-looking, intelligent, dignified and appealing in every way. I think that if Hitch could have had it his way, Grant would have been the lead in the bulk of his later films. Point is, Hitch was working with his dream cast on "Notorious"... First Grant, his favorite actor. Then Bergman, at that time a newer, but popular and beautiful face (which Hitchcock loved; he also loved the rumors about her sexually active lifestyle). And finally Rains, whose charm and class make his roles (especially those where he plays a villian) always appealing.

 

The screenplay is as tight as a thriller gets, with intelligent diologue and incredibly suspenseful scenes like that with the key, and the finale. Not only that, but Grant was uncharacteristically playing a devlish character, as was Bergman. Grant, normally a charming comedic actor, plays a manipulative, desperate man who beats down on Bergman for her behavior. Berman strangely plays a bit of a drunk and ****.

 

However, their chemistry together in these somewhat despicably loveable roles is undeniable. Their characterizations actually strengthen their relationship and the conflict of the film... After their brief affair, Grant asks Bergman to infiltrate a Nazi group (using her looks and her appeal to Rains' character as her main tool of penetration), which she does expertly and quickly. Because Grant loves her, he despizes her for doing her job so well; it hurts him. Simultaneously, Bergman is upset with Grant for putting her in such a position in the first place.

 

Another conflict is Rains' character, the Nazi who Bergman must seduce. It's strange because as unlikable as a Nazi should be, Rains manages (as always) to make his character somehow sympathetic. We actually fear for his safety from his superiors in the Nazi organization. This makes him, compared to his superiors, partly a protagonist. Though to both Grant and Bergman, and overall to the viewer he is clearly an antagonist, there remains that wonderful sympathy that causes the final scene of the film to be one of dread for the doomed Rains.

 

Without giving too much away for those who have not seen it, this is THE Hitchcock film, next to "North by Northwest" and "Psycho", that is the archetype of the Hitchcock style. His presence is evident in the suspense and expert camerawork. His planning is so detailed that every scene looks and IS perfect. This is one of my favorite films of all time, and for me is the best of Hitchcock's films.

 

 

 

 

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I've summarized 30 of his films here:

 

http://www.classicfilmguide.com/index.php?s=hitchcock

 

But, without question, my favorite (which I also believe to be his best) is "North By Northwest". There is a thread somewhere in these general discussions I believe where everyone lists their top 10 Hitchcock films, which is probably an easier question to answer.

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Yeah, a list would be easier then just saying what my one favorite is, but when it comes down to my favorite is Notorious. I love everyone in the cast, particularly Bergmen, watching Grant struggle to control his feelings for Bergman's character, the battle between the Classical world view and the Romantic world view, etc.

Although Notorious is my favorite some of the other ones I love are Dial M For Murder, Shadow of a Doubt, North by Northwest, and Rebecca.

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'Rope' - for the innovative way he filmed sceness in 20 or so minutes. But, other than that, the best for me was 'It Takes A Thief'with Grant followed by 'Rear Window'.

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I hate Hitchcock. His movies are stupid. Why anyone would want to watch them is beyond me.

 

Just kidding. But I'm not a fan. I do like Lifeboat very much though.

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Suspicion is my favorite. I love many of Alfred Hitchcocks's movies, they are all great. I just love romance and Suspicion has a lot of it. Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant are perfect together, and I love his mischevious personality in this one. You never can figure him out. About the ending...**** SPOILER**** Can anyone tell me which way they are driving? He says he is taking her to her mother's house, but isn't he turning the car around back where they came from? I have always hoped tehy are headed home.... : )

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Shadow of a Doubt. Joseph Cotten as Uncle Charlie has to be my favorite villain of all time. I love the idea of how Hitchcock introduces evil into the small town of Santa Rosa.

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NOTORIOUS is my favorite Hitchcock movie!

 

The cast is stellar, the suspense is thrilling, Ingrid & Cary are hot! Hot! HOT!!!!

 

Ive always been a BIG Ingrid Bergman fan, but Cary Grant really surprised me. This is the ONLY movie, Ive EVER seen him play such a dark, brooding & moody guy. When have we EVER seen him so bitter & jealous on screen?? To me, Ingrid was his most interesting, and compatible romantic leading lady. Together, they really blended into this timeless, earthy, sensual duo, and with Hitchcock's deft directing, Claude Rains, and Madame Konstantin's terrific performances this really is a classic masterwork!

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This is a hard one...I like a lot of his movies, but my two faves (and I really can't say one I like more than the other) are Jamaica Inn (1939 - his last British movie before coming to the US) and Strangers on a Train. I love the plot of Strangers on a Train, and even though the film version is quite different from the novel (like the ending), I still think Hitchcock did an excellent job with the film, it's great. Jamaica Inn is not like a normal Hitchcock film, but I still love it.I like the plot again and the fact that it is not what you would expect from him. Other great ones: Rebecca, North by Northwest, and Shadow of a Doubt.

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Older--The Lodger, Sabotage, 39 Steps, and The Lady Vanishes.

 

Newer--Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent, Saboteur, and North by Northwest.

 

Disliked--Spellbound, The Paradine Case, Dial M for Murder, and The Trouble With Harry.

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My favorites are THE 39 STEPS, SABOTEUR, NOTORIOUS, and SPELLBOUND. I like the THE 39 STEPS because of its tight script and great pacing. I like SABOTEUR because I love Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane and thought they were great together, plus I always thought the idea of a saboteur putting gasoline in a fire extinguisher was absolutely brilliant. NOTORIOUS is great because it features Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman at their youthful peaks, and I love the whole amnesia plot of SPELLBOUND.

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With the exception of "The Trouble With Harry" I love all of the films Hitchcock directed. It is hard to pick out just one film but I will try.

 

I first saw this film in December 2004. This film has not been listed by anyone as one of their favorites. I am going to choose "The Lady Vanishes" which combines mystery, suspense and humor. The pacing of the film is impeccable. The script is top-notch. The chemistry between Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave is magnificent. It is a shame that Hitchcock couldn't use both of these actors together in any of his future projects.

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thomas, I did, see below under my 'older' favorites. I liked the pace, and especially Dame May Witty. I liked the writing on the train window, the inclusion of the train in the movie, the way the gutless philanderer got it, and even the comic relief of Charters and Caldecott. I liked seeing the patriarch of the Redgrave family.

 

This movie had a bit of everything. When Hitch was good, he was very, very good. When he was bad, he was mediocre.

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Could someone tell me if the Jamaica Inn movie is any good? I just finished reading the book.

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Jamaica Inn is one of my favorites, and to me, it does not feel like a real Hitchcock film. I have never read the book, so I do not know if it follows the book closely. I just liked the performances in the film, especially Charles Laughton. I didn't think I would like it because it is more like a pirate / adventure film, but I enjoyed it. That's about all I can say about it, hope you like it.

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Vertigo.

 

Great casting coup, in that neither Grace Kelly nor Vera Miles was available, so Kim Novak was chosen.

 

Kim Novak is a much more mysterious leading lady, which adds to the mystery within the film.

 

There are striking visuals, set in San Francisco and at the Mission, the supporting cast to Stewart and Novak is first rate with the likes of Bel Geddes and Helmore, and the music is sweeping even if a lot is derivative from "Tristan and Isolde".

 

The movie is circular, and pulls you back into the beginning, every time it ends.

 

 

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I think Rear Window has to be my favorite. I still get nervous when I watch it. And I love the dialogue:

 

"Get back, he'll see you."

"I'm not afraid, I've been looked at before."

 

But then again, I cannot stop watching Notorious because Cary Grant's acting is so good in that movie. It is one of his few serious roles and he really had a gift for them. The scene at the track sticks out in my mind:

 

"Dry your eyes, baby. You're outta character."

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