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

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

  1. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Next: "Sabotage" (1936)

    [image=http://cinefilia.fezocasblurbs.com/archives/sabotage.JPG]

    aka "The Woman Alone"

    [image=http://sepnet.com/rcramer/pictures/sabotage.jpg]


    The title of this film is the source of much confusion: it is based on Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Agent" (the title of Hitchcock's last film), and one of Hitchcock's American films is called "Saboteur".

    This one stars Sylvia Sydney (then a considerable Hollywood star), and Oskar Homolka (who is excellent as the secret agent in question). Notorious for a death that Hitchcock later thought a mistake (he's wrong), and a very long sequence prior to a murder, when we can see that it's going to happen, and the suspense becomes very strong. Nasty and very interesting; only 76 minutes long. However, some of the tapes and DVDs of this movie are defective, so be careful what you buy.
  2. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Sidebar: If you want to see some Hitchcock, TCM is showing the following tomorrow (check your listings)

    4:30am Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
    A young girl fears her favorite uncle may be a killer.
    Cast: Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, Macdonald Carey. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. BW-108 mins, TV-PG

    Excellent film about a serial killer who goes home, if not to mother, close enough.

    6:30am Notorious (1946)
    A U.S. agent recruits a German expatriate to infiltrate a Nazi spy ring in Brazil.
    Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. BW-101 mins, TV-PG

    Bergman and Grant are sexy and tough. And sexy.

    8:15am Man Who Knew Too Much, The (1956)
    International spies kidnap a doctor's son when he stumbles on their assassination plot.
    Cast: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. C-120 mins, TV-PG

    Hitchcock remade his 30's hit. The differences are fascinating.

    10:30am North By Northwest (1959)
    An advertising man is mistaken for a spy, triggering a deadly cross-country chase.
    Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. C-136 mins, TV-PG

    Classic, witty, thriller.

    1:00pm Psycho (1960)
    A woman on the run gets mixed up with a repressed young man and his violent mother.
    Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. BW-109 mins, TV-PG

    Perverse in the extreme.

    3:00pm Birds, The (1963)
    In a California coastal area, flocks of birds unaccountably make deadly attacks on humans.
    Cast: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. C-119 mins, TV-14

    Quite interesting.
  3. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Hey Zaz, think I should take this up again? Sorry, I literally didn't have internet access except for like one day a week all last semester. We were just getting into the good stuff (read: stuff I've seen) :p

    Marathons are fun! Yes, I highly recommend people check out Shadow of a Doubt, North by Northwest, and Psycho from this grouping.

    oooh, that Vanity Fair photoshoot is cool. And actually I think Zellwegger looks like Angelica Huston in that...

    But why did they pick someone for Marion in Psycho but not for Norman :confused: (hint: they should have used Noah Wyle!)

    Also, I saw Psycho at the ArcLight on Halloween. 35mm print. AMAZING. I'll have to tell about it when it's not 2am ;)

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  4. DarthLassic007 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2002
    star 6

    Agreed. All great movies. Also Rear Window.

    But The Birds is overrated.

  5. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    I [face_love] Rear Window

    I love those movies where the director intentionally challenges himself by limitations and still manages to create a really good movie: like setting your entire plot through the eyes of an immobile photographer stuck watching the drama of his neighbours and discovering a horrible murder plot in your own backyard. My personal favorite Hitchcock film (though I recognize that Psycho is his best and definitive flick).
  6. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I'd be delighted if you wanted to continue this, solojones.

    "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is on now...
  7. General_Dodonna Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2005
    star 2
    On the Vanity Fair covershoot: Only two of these are really great. The lighting and color effects on the MARNIE picture are perfect, and Naomi Watts looks remarkably like Hedren in the shot. The Cottilard PSYCHO shots are also really great. She may not be a blonde, but she damn well nails Leigh's expression. She also doesn't look totally out of place to boot. The rest of the pictures are...well, let's just put it this way: they make you realize that not only do very few photographer know how to actually shoot a movie today, but it also makes you wonder whatever happened to real "stars." Say what you want about Farley Granger's acting, but he didn't look out of place in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. Now look at Emile Hirsch. Ouch. Not even a contest. A few of these are actually quite comical. The Seth Rogen one (and his expression) is pretty hillarious (and I think, or at least I hope, that was the intention). The LIFEBOAT one is really unintentionally humorous. The Jodie Foster and the Johansson/Bardem pictures also crack me up (the Bardem picture clearly being an homage to his performance and character in Almodovar's LIVE FLESH - or again, at least I hope so, maybe I give VF too much credit?). And what's up with the digital manipulation on the VERTIGO and CATCH A THIEF photos?

    On the TCM marathon: See them all. I can't in good conscious vouch for THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (save the opera scene), but the rest are all great. Of the bunch, I actually think NOTORIOUS is the best. I caught snippets of this on TCM a few months back, having not seen it in a few years, and I was astonished by how modern the filmmaking in this is, even moreso than some of Hitchcock's later films. It's really great, but then so are REAR WINDOW, PSYCHO, and NORTH BY NORTHWEST. SHADOW OF A DOUBT and THE BIRDS are nearly there as well.
  8. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    The "Marnie" shot is a little too warm. I agree that the "Psycho" one works, but "Strangers on a Train", "To Catch a Thief" and "Vertigo" ones are all disasters.
  9. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    You really can see how much movie stars and movie photography has changed, huh? ...

    Shadow of a Doubt was Hitch's favourite film of his, btw.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  10. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    That's because he based Charlie's sister on his own mother.
  11. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Tomorrow on TCM:

    Paradine Case, The (1947)

    A married lawyer falls for the woman he's defending on murder charges.
    Cast: Gregory Peck, Alida Valli, Charles Laughton. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. BW-114 mins, TV-PG

    Saw this recently and thought it a misfire. Judge for yourself...
  12. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Young and Innocent (1937)
    From IMDB:
    A film actress is murdered by her estranged husband who is jealous of all her young boyfriends. The next day, writer Robert Tisdall (who happens to be one such boyfriend) discovers her body on the beach. He runs to call the police, however, two witnesses think that he is the escaping murderer. Robert is arrested, but owing to a mix up at the courthouse, he escapes and goes on the run with a police constable's daughter Erica, determined to prove his innocence.

    I can't seem to find an actual poster for this one...

    I haven't seen it, but my, does it sound like it has all the prototypical Hitchcock elements- the identity confusion, the average person caught up in crime, the innocent clearing his name, and of course the sex.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  13. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    You can't find a poster because it was known by another title in the States, viz:

    [image=http://www.johndmorrison.com/hitchcock/young3.gif]

    Very similar to "The 39 Steps", and has one very famous, bravura sequence: the principals sit in a dance hall/cafe, despondent because they can't find the real murderer. All they know about him is that his eye twitches. Long tracking shot through the restaurant to the band, in blackface. The shot closes in on one of the band, his eye fills the frame...and twitches.

    Starred the little girl from the first "The Man Who Knew Too Much", and based on a novel written by Josephine Tey.
  14. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Oooooooh, that's why :p And that's why it didn't sound familiar to me. Yeah I've heard of it by The Girl was Young. Haven't seen it, though.

    I wish I had my Hitch poster book with me here :( Maybe I'll bring it back.

    Well next will be The Lady Vanishes. I will be sure to watch it soon since I have it but haven't seen it yet.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  15. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    For those of you that have the Turner Classic Movies Channel, the first version of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1934) is beginning right now. [face_mischief] Starring Leslie Banks, and Peter Lorre is in it too!
  16. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I'm going to watch our next film, The Lady Vanishes, tomorrow... so I'll update then ;)

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  17. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I've recorded it, so I can take a close look at it.
  18. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    The Lady Vanishes (1938)
    [image=http://hitchcock.tv/mov/lady_vanishes/images/lady.jpg]
    From my book (which I just found!): On a transcontinental train journey through Central Europe, Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave (in his film debut) strive to fathom the inexplicable disappearance of an elderly governess, Dame Mae Witty. She is in fact a British agent trying to return to England with vital information encoded in the melody of a Balkan folk song. However her whereabouts are of no concern whatsoever to a couple of die-hard cricket enthusiasts anxious to return home in time for a big match. Despite its shoestring budget (a 90-feet-long set sufficed) and implausible plot, it is one of Hitchcock's most accomplished works.

    For this, his biggest British money-maker, Hitchcock received the Best Director Award from the New York film critics.




    I have this film but haven't seen it yet, got it in a set. I really need to watch it as it's highly praised... has anyone here seen it? I might watch it this weekend...

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  19. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    THE LADY VANISHES

    I'm guessing since it was his biggest British moneymaker and won an award...it was this success that attracted David O. Selznick's attention and brought Hitchcock to Hollywood, USA.

    [face_thinking]
  20. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    It's a very good Hitchcock, the best of his Brit films (along with "The 39 Steps"). Very good cast (esp. Dame Mae Whitty as the Lady), and ye olde Paris Exhibition plot, used to great advantage.
  21. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    I can't ever recall seeing it, though I have seen an awful lot of Hitchcock. I'll put it on my list. [face_mischief]
  22. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    The Lady Vanishes - one of my favourites. I actually saw the 1979 version (Elliott Gould, Cybill Shepherd) first, and enjoyed it, before seeing the original version. The original is slower paced, but once you get into it, it's much better.

    Lockwood has never been better looking than in this film, and she has great chemistry with Michael Redgrave, who manages to be both likeable and convincingly irritating. A major part of the fun comes from the characters of Charters and Caldicott, two very English gentlemen obsessed with cricket and quite oblivious to everything else; their beautifully played double-act was so successful that they went on to reprise their roles in two more films.

    This film has a charm and wit that few of today's films can match.
  23. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    Those characters were written by Launder and Gilliat, who wrote this movie and became a very successful writing/directing team on their own. I've seen "I See A Dark Stranger" on TCM--it's one of theirs and I enjoyed it.
  24. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    I recorded this on the last go-round on TCM...haven't watched it yet, though I have seen it before, you always see something new in a Hitchcock film.
  25. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Well color me surprised- we're finally to films people have seen :p Although I have this and some of the older films as well. Now that the semester is ending this week, I'll actually have time to watch them. Yay!

    So I'll get to The Lady Vanishes hopefully soon and come back to that... in the meantime, next film.

    Jamaica Inn (1939)
    [image=http://moonbooks.net/moonbooks/e107_images/newspost_images/hitchcock/JamaicaInn.jpg]

    From my book:
    The final pre-war film in Hitch's British period is a costume melodrama about a band of smugglers operating out of a remote Cornish Inn. Hitchcock was by now already bound for Hollywood, having signed a contract with David O. Selznick.

    From IMDB:
    In Cornwall, around 1800, a young woman discovers that she's living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit.



    I haven't seen it and it's one of the ones I don't own... I swear I actually have seen many of Hitch's movies, even though it doesn't seem like it :p

    -sj loves kevin spacey