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"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again..."


Guest finnie12, moira

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Guest finnie12, moira

A recent viewing of Hitchcock's classic film of Daphne Du Maurier's "Rebecca" (1940) on TCM, reminded us how a dream or flashback can be woven into a story. Critics and audiences may love 'em or hate 'em, but the use of flashbacks and dream sequences as a framing device for telling a story in a movie has been employed by many film makers from the silents to the present day. Can you recall any memorable movies that used flashbacks or dream sequences adroitly or clumsily? Here's a spot to complain or praise their use.

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The film "The Woman in the Window" used a dream in a sly manner throughout most of the movie. Poor Edward G. Robinson was involved with Joan Bennett in deception and murder only to wake up in his easy chair at the club and relieved it was all a dream. It had me fooled.

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The use of flashback sequences in the classic "Now,Vovager", especially at the beginning of the film when Charlotte is describing the ship voyage she took when she was younger, helped shape the characters later motivation very effectively. We saw that not only was Charlotte quite a vivacious creature at one time, but that the mother really did play a role in effecting her mental health in a negative way. True, the mother was pretty wicked from beginning to end, but Charlotte was shown to have run quite a gamut in her life, emotionally, and the flashbacks helped flesh that out, better perhaps than mere dialogue on its own would have done.

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Guest olmsted, l

The one dream sequence that really stands out for me is the scene in Spellbound when Gregory Peck has one of his spells. Designed by Salvador Dali, the sequence was quite innovative for it's time. Without using gore and vilence, Hitch and Dali were able to send chills up your spine with the creepiness of faceless men, distorted shapes, and that series of doors opening. Supposedly, that scene was to be 20 minutes long with a sequence where Peck is covered in ants, but it was never filmed. I also found one of the last shots especially chilling--when the one doctor turns the gun on himself and all you see is the gun turn towards the camera. And the use of the color red when the shot fires was pretty jolting.

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One my faves is LAURA; where Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) tells the Lt.Mark McPherson(Dana Andrews)his tales about knowing, and loving the lovely "murdered" victim Laura (Gene Tierney)using effective flashbacks.

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Guest son, jery

The l987 "DreamScape" isn't a real oldie but oh, boy, is it a goodie--since the whole movie is nearly spent in exploring the horrifying dreams of a young boy--and a dashing hero (Dennis Quaid) manages to slip in and save him from a ghastly serpent monster. This is the same motiff in a way of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" movies. These were unusually well-done and surpassed their teenage-aimed framework to become thought-provoking classics of terror.

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OOooooh! I love this film! And you are so right, the use of flashbacks is a very effective way to tell this story. I want to go dig out my copy right now and watch it!

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Guest MOVIEJOE79

Mongo is right on the money with a great example of a dream sequence. "Woman in the Window" is a gem. I was shocked when Robinson woke up at the end. It actually disappointed me in a way, it changed the whole perspective of things, but it is still a great movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Its one of my favorite suspense films. A funny dream sequence is in "How to Marry a Millionaire" when Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall are dreaming about their prospective husbands, and Betty Grable is dreaming about a hot dog and beer.

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