Amph The Films of Alfred Hitchcock: Disc: ]Alfred Hitchcock's Secret of Happiness

Discussion in 'Community' started by solojones, May 15, 2006.

  1. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    The Pleasure Garden from 1925. His first film, Number 13 (not Number 17, which is a surviving film) from 1922, was never finished because the financier when bankrupt. The portions that had been shot were presumably melted down for the silver nitrate in the film, so hard up with the financier. His second film was a co-directing job on a short called Always Tell Your Wife from 1923. One reel of it exists; that's about half the film. No one's sure exactly what parts of the film Hitchcock directed though and it's never been released on DVD or anything. The Pleasure Garden in 1925 is his first completed film as sole director and the first film in his resume to actually still be available, though it is not exactly easy to get hold of.
  2. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    I've seen stills from "The Pleasure Garden"...don't expect much.
  3. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

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    North by Northwest starting on TCM in 8 minutes.
  4. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    And yes, it never gets old. That's talent.
  5. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    My journey begins:

    The Pleasure Garden (1925) ? Alfred Hitchcock

    In 1922, Hitch?s first job as a director went south when the financier went bankrupt, halted production at about the half point and then, to add injury to insult, burned all the completed film in order to reclaim the silver nitrate it contained. Number 13, Hitch?s first directing job . . . exists no longer. His second job, in 1923, was on a short film called Always Tell Your Wife; about half of this film still exists, but since it was a co-directing job, scholars aren?t even sure if Hitch directed a single shot of the ten minutes or so of this film that remains. Anyway, my journey through Hitch?s body of work begins here, in 1925, with his first completed film (though it wasn?t released until 1927, after The Lodger had been a massive success). Long story short, this is an entirely idiotic piece of work. The story, of a young woman who comes to the big city, becomes a dancer and loses her soul, is as tired as they come. There are a few interesting photo effects late in the film, as when a husband who has jilted his wife is haunted by her ghost after her suicide. By and large, however, this is nothing you need to see for any reason, unless, like me (read: idiot) you are a completist. Writing this, several days after watching the movie, I?m struggling to remember anything but the barest of outlines. Skip it.
  6. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    In "Hitchcock/Truffaut", Hitchcock tells Truffaut that as a crew he had a cameraman and a newsreel cameraman for the drowning scene and that's it. The film was shot at Lake Como on a tiny budget. Hitchcock borrowed money from his cameraman and from his leading man to make ends meet. The first actress he hired couldn't go in the water (she was menstruating, which AH claimed that he had never heard of before), so AH had to hire another girl, considerably heavier, whom his leading man couldn't lift. Take after take, he keep dropping her. The leading lady brought another actress with her, which increased costs; he ended up with one pfennig left.
  7. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    I can't even remember watching The Pleasure Garden, but according to IMDb, I did so. Mustn't have been much chop.

    Fortunately, The Lodger is superb. But there's an awful lot of tosh in the British period of Hitchcock's career.
  8. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Newswire Director of Anvil! might take over Alfred Hitchcock biopic

    by Sean O'Neal January 20, 2011

    "The L.A. Times reports that Sacha Gervasi, director of heavy-metal documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, is in talks to helm the long-in-the-planning Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho, a biopic (based on Stephen Rebello?s book of the same name) about Hitch?s journey to create his iconic thriller and compete an industry increasingly crowded with younger, cheaper imitation shock-merchants?a story not 180 degrees from that of the influential metal band, in other words. The project has been kicking around for years now, most recently with Anthony Hopkins attached to play the lead, although there?s no indication that Hopkins is still involved; we suppose that might depend on whether he?s too busy playing a rabies-infected Viking or something. Anyway, if Gervasi finally makes a go of it, the film might actually be made before the Dan Fogler-starring Number 13?a mystery-comedy the Balls Of Fury actor once described as in the spirit of Shakespeare In Love?which is still in a holding pattern while prospective co-star Ben Kingsley mulls those not-inconsiderable details over."

    Lordy. Who should (could?) direct this? Who should (could?) play Hitchcock? Perkins? Leigh?
  9. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

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    This is an absolutely terrible idea for a film, and I'm not encouraged by who is involved.

    Can't we just enjoy Psycho on it's own? It's bad enough the film itself got remade, now this?

    Ugh. Just leave it alone.
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Actually, I think it sounds kind of intriguing. The problem is: it never matches your imagination. They tried it with "Shadow of the Vampire" (which was about the making of "Nosferatu") and which I thought was very flat-footed. Somehow what seemed creepy in B & W (and "Psycho" is in B & W) looks bland in colour, or at least, in ordinary colour). And who could play AH?
  11. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Sydney Greenstreet could have played Hitchcock. That's the only person I can think of, and I think he's a bit long in the tooth now.

    I have no problem with the concept of the film, though. RKO 281 didn't impede my enjoyment of Citizen Kane; it enhanced it. I can understand people hating the idea of remakes, but a film about the making of a film should be about as inoffensive as it can get.

    Agreed on Shadow of the Vampire though. There's less to it than there really should be. And it was a great concept.
  12. Bacon164 Force Ghost

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    Mar 22, 2005
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    I've heard some interesting ideas concerning the casting of Hitch, actually. James Gandolfini and Brendan Gleeson, to name two. Don't know why a Hitchcock biopic has to be focused in this particular time period, but whatever.
  13. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
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    Gandolfini isn't even British; maybe Gleeson. Greenstreet is not long in the tooth; he *is* the tooth, being dead. I'm sure that's what you meant. [face_mischief]

    And yeah, they missed the boat on the "Nosferatu" movie. Loads of possibilities.

    They also tried "The Wizard of Oz" ("Under the Rainbow"--unspeakably lame)
  14. Havac Former Moderator

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    They have these things called "accents" lots of actors can do.
  15. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Casting against type is all very well, but AH was a very proper Brit, born 1900. That takes a lot of imagination to carry off.
  16. Havac Former Moderator

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    They have this thing called "acting" lots of actors can do.
  17. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Al Pacino in "Revolution". I rest my case.
  18. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

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    Paul Giammati, properly fattened, would make an excellent Hitchcock for this project which should never see the light of day. I case my rest. [face_mischief]
  19. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Don't bring up actors; we're talking about Gandolfini.

    What about Geoffrey Rush in a fatsuit? He has the same flamboyance as Hitch; or similar anyway. As for Perkins . . . wow . . . if Day-Lewis was twenty years younger; but he's not.
  20. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Acting cannot generally overcome miscasting.

    Oh, for Charles Laughton, though. He could have done it beautifully.
  21. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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  22. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Raymond Chandler's Scathing Letter to Alfred Hitchcock

    Actually, the film was brilliant, and nearly every critic thought Chandler *had* written it; but it was actually written by a young woman named Czerzi Ormonde, who had the advantage of being more mallable, and not being an alcoholic.
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    It's always interesting to see great talents clash like that. Chandler had genius; but so did Hitchcock. And it's odd that a genius like Chandler could hate a movie as darn good as Strangers on a Train. Makes you think the ego was in the way, which has happened before and will continue to happen as long as there are people with genius. The movie has life; it would be interesting to see Chandler's original script - I'm sure it was good too, as Chandler often was.
  24. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
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    Courtesy of JohnWesleyDowney:

    A clip of two separate interviews of Hitchcock, the first by Pia Lindstrom (Ingrid Bergman's daughter), which isn't so good, and the second one by a man who has seen Hitchcock's early stuff and gets him talking about the great German director, F. W. Murnau, and asks him some interesting questions.

    Interviews with Alfred Hitchcock

    I particularly liked the question about story boarding a movie and then giving it to another director. Hitchcock knows this is a bad idea--there's the question of tempo and image size, he says. And control.

    And boy is he right, given Gus Van Sant's version of "Psycho".
  25. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

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    I particularly liked the question about story boarding a movie and then giving it to another director. Hitchcock knows this is a bad idea--there's the question of tempo and image size, he says. And control.

    And boy is he right, given Gus Van Sant's version of "Psycho".


    That remake is the best possible refute to the question posed that could ever exist.

    It lacks the master's touch, which is distinctive and personal and cannot be ordered into existence by a studio executive's edict.


    This version of Psycho received mostly negative reviews; it was awarded two Golden Raspberry Awards, for Worst Remake or Sequel and Worst Director for Gus Van Sant, while Anne Heche was nominated as Worst Actress. Camille Paglia commented that the only reason to watch it was "to see Anne Heche being assassinated", but that "it should have been a much more important work and event than it was."

    A number of critics and writers viewed Van Sant's version more as an actual experiment in shot-for-shot remakes. Many people refer to this film as a duplicate of the 1960 film rather than a remake. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote that the film "demonstrates that a shot-by-shot remake is pointless; genius apparently resides between or beneath the shots, or in chemistry that cannot be timed or counted." Screenwriter Joseph Stefano, who worked on the 1960 version, thought that although she spoke the same lines, Anne Heche portrays Marion Crane as an entirely different character. Even Van Sant admitted that it was an experiment that proved that no one can really copy a film exactly the same way as the original.