ALFRED HITCHCOCK

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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:53 pm

Jack Favell, I know there was a year long delay in releasing The Lady Vanishes. The Lady Vanishes was finished long before it was released. After Lady Vanishes was finished, Hitchcock went to America. He stayed in America for ten days. This was in August 1937. At that time, Selznick wanted Hitchcock to make Titanic. But The Lady Vanishes stayed in shelf for a year. It was first released in August 1938. More than a year after it was finished.

But the contract with Selznick didn't start until April 1939. So Hitchcock was planning to make another film in 1937. This film was Jamaica Inn. Before he went to America, Hitchcock worked on the first draft of Jamaica Inn script. After he came to America, he was shocked to find out that the script has been changed due to demands from censorship. From that point on, Hitchcock knew Jamaica Inn isn't going to be the way he wanted.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby JackFavell » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:14 pm

Yes, that's true but the Spanish Civil War had already begun by 1936, the bombing of Guernica had taken place in April of 1937, and the Japanese were on the march into China by 1937. Italy had made hostile attacks by the mid thirties as well, even if Germany had not shown it's hand; all this making it pretty clear by 1937 that world affairs were coming to a boiling point.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:24 pm

You are right. The Lady Vanishes also takes place in European region where Italian and German are understood.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby RedRiver » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:22 pm

I like many of Hitchcock's earlier movies (particularly from the 1930s) more than many of his more acclaimed later ones.

There's every reason to feel this way. The British films of the late 1930's and the early Hollywood efforts were sophisticated and stylish. When I began reading film criticism, some forty years ago, these were the ones that got the high marks. If that's changed, just wait. What will they say in 2030?
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:02 am

Compared to his later films, I think Hitchcock was able to experiment a lot from 1925 to 1950. But after Stage Fright, he had limited freedom in even in the thriller genre. Upto Notorious, Hitchcock had success both critically and commercially. After that, his films were severely criticized and his film were box office disasters as well.

The Paradine Case, Rope, Under Capricorn, and Stage Fright were all box office failures. Under Capricorn was a box office disaster. Alfred Hitchcock was severely attacked by Critics when he made Stage Fright just like he was criticized for boy with bomb scene in Sabotage. Fortunately, Strangers on a Train was a big hit. From that point onwards, Hitchcock had to make the films carefully. He did experiment some things in Vertigo and Psycho. But Vertigo was also a box office failure. But Psycho was a big hit.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Rita Hayworth » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:50 am

Konway wrote:Fortunately, Strangers on a Train was a big hit. From that point onwards, Hitchcock had to make the films carefully. He did experiment some things in Vertigo and Psycho. But Vertigo was also a box office failure. But Psycho was a big hit.


I love both Vertigo and Psycho equally well ... and its bothers me that Vertigo was a box office failure but Psycho wasn't ... its puzzled me greatly!
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby charliechaplinfan » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:06 pm

Vertigo is known these days for being the pinnacle of Hitchock's film making and I can see why but as Red says, that could change as thoughts on films seem to go in cycles. Hitchcock is one of the most consistent directors in terms of how his storytelling grips me from the first reel. The only film that didn't grip me in this way was Under Capricorn, even with Ingrid it didn't make an impression upon me.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:14 pm

SPOILERS (Under Capricorn)

I consider Under Capricorn as one of the finest films ever made. French critics and other European Critics consider Under Capricorn as one of the best films from Hitchcock. Many people think Under Capricorn copied a lot from Rebecca.

But what they don't realize is Helen Simpson's novel "Under Capricorn" was published a year before Rebecca was published. In the novel, We see tormented wife, class differences, and trouble causing maid just like we see in the film.

But the film is much more stronger due to strong script and great performances. People expect Under Capricorn to be a thriller. Under Capricorn is a drama with few thrilling moments. It is not a thriller. This is the same problem the audience face with Hitchcock's Musical Waltzes from Vienna (1934). Its a Musical. Not a thriller.

Playwright James Bridie (along with Alfred Hitchcock and Hume Cronyn) wrote the screenplay in a way where 4 characters (Charles, Sam, Lady Henrietta, Milly) are so alike. Jack Favell gave a definition like this - In Under Capricorn, the characters are in a rondelay with each taking the other's place at different times.

Charles Adare and Lady Henrietta belong to the higher class. While Sam and Milly belong to the lower class. The mind of Charles Adare is filled with shameful emptiness. Charles Adare says to Henrietta "I spent most of my life warding off boredom." Charles Adare wanting to recreate Hattie as if she were still young Hattie Considine, he desires his own form of second chance, to return to the point in the past where he might start afresh, without the shameful emptiness of his adventures so far. So he is looking for redemption just like Henrietta and Sam. Alcoholism represents the shame of Lady Henrietta.

Charles Adare is also like Milly. Charles Adare loves Henrietta. And he tries to take her away from Sam. Milly loves Sam. And she tries to take away Sam from Lady Henrietta. As for Milly and Lady Henrietta, they both love Sam. They are willing to do anything for Sam. Lady Henrietta killed Dermot to save Sam's life. Milly tries to kill Lady Henrietta, because she thinks Lady Henrietta is only making Sam's life miserable.

As you know, Lady Henrietta's request to Sam to let Milly go at the end is an act of forgiveness.

Milly makes the audience realize certain things that we aren't aware of. Here is an example. When Lady Henrietta says something like this "what kind of love drives you to make such horrible things to do...", after she finds out that Milly tries to kill her. And Lady Henrietta says "when we speak of the love, we don't mean same thing." And she asks Milly "Why did you want to kill me? Do you think he could love a murderess?" And immediately Milly replies "He married one."

I think that's when Milly makes Lady Henrietta and us realize something - Lady Henrietta killed her brother Dermot to save Sam from getting killed. Milly requests Sam to stay with her, because Sam will be done for (if he returns to Ireland with Lady Henrietta). To save his life, Milly tried to kill Lady Henrietta. She makes the decision to kill Lady Henrietta only after Sam makes his mind to go to Ireland with Lady Henrietta. So Milly and Lady Henrietta are so alike. Through forgiving Milly, Lady Henrietta gets her redemption. And through forgiving Sam, Charles Adare gets his redemption.

In Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film, Ed Gallafent says:

The use of the long take in Under Capricorn relates to three elements of film's meaning.

1.Ideas of accessible and inaccessible space as expressed in the gothic house.
2.The form in which character inhabit their past
3.The divergence or convergence of eyelines – the gaze that cannot, or must meet another’s.

All of these three elements can be linked to concepts of Guilt and Shame. In 1 and 2, the question is how something is felt to be present.

It is difference between representation or sharing, of the past as flashback, and of the past as spoken narrative, where part of what is being articulated is precisely the inaccessibility of the past, its experience being locked inside the speaker. As for 3, the avoided gaze is determining physical sign of shame.

The thing with Under Capricorn is certain scenes are shot very carefully where we have to look on the dialogue and the psychology of the character. That's why its look a little bit slow paced. When you watch the film second time, you will understand the film even more.

Let me give you an example.

In the beginning of Under Capricorn, Joseph Cotten (Sam) and Michael Wilding (Charles Adare) comes to Sam's office where they meet Winter who was in prison for five years. When we watch the second time, we realize why Sam actually hired Winter. This has to do with the psychological connection between Sam and Winter - Winter was in love with a woman and her father wouldn't let him marry her. Sam immediately interrupts Winter by saying "That will do..." And he takes Winter as his secretary. When we watch the film second time, we realize that Sam had "similar" past like Winter.

Let me explain Sam's personality. Here is a great definition about Sam's personality posted by an Under Capricorn admirer named John_ Barrymore from imdb posting.

"Sam's crippling inferiority complex dictates everything he does, and it's where the film gleans much of its drama. In his own way he's equally as pathetic as Henrietta; trapped in a different kind of mental prison. Sometimes he's unaware of his cruelty, believing himself to be doing the right thing; at others it's as if he can't help himself. He's a man who constantly tries to do good things, yet at every turn he's thwarted either by his own secret past, or his fear of that past. For a man so ostensibly powerful he's easy to knock down, and his reaction to these setbacks just reinforces his own negative perception of himself. This conflict is written on his every gesture and expression."

For Example, we see Sam's conflict especially when he finds out that no women came for the dinner feast at his house. Later, when Milly gives Sam the impression that Charles Adare is trying to take away Lady Henrietta from him, the inferiority complex rises again. For Example, Sam angrily says this to Charles at the ball at Government house - "I am not good enough to stand beside my wife..."

This is the same case with Milly. Like Sam, Milly's crippling inferiority complex dictates everything she does. They are so alike. That's why Milly tries to take Sam away from Lady Henrietta just like Charles Adare tries to take Lady Henrietta from Sam.

Remember what Milly said to Sam at the end - "Oh no, Mr. Flusky. I am not good enough for you. I know that. I am only good enough to work for you and slave for you and look after your drunken.."

There are more examples. But in order to focus on the dialogue, Hitchcock directed the scenes carefully so that the audience will pay attention to every word of the dialogue.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Rita Hayworth » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:09 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:The only film that didn't grip me in this way was Under Capricorn, even with Ingrid it didn't make an impression upon me.


I'm somewhat surprised to read this ... I thought this would be your kind of a movie to watch.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:48 pm

I wanted to point out one thing about The Lady Vanishes. The Lady Vanishes is a perfect example of a perfect casting. After that, I consider Rope as the second best.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:54 am

Hello Everyone,
Do you like The Man Who Knew too Much (1934) or The Man Who Knew too Much (1956) better? I think both of them are great films. But I like 1934 version better, because of Peter Lorre. I like Lorre better than the villain in 1956 version.

I also want to point out that one person didn't get the credit he deserved for his work in The Man Who Knew too Much (1956). Screenplay by John Michael Hayes wrote the screenplay of 1956 version based on the treatment by Angus MacPhail. But John Michael Hayes tried to get the complete credit for the screenplay by eliminating the credit of Angus MacPhail. John Michael Hayes got what he wanted. But Alfred Hitchcock ended his collaboration with Michael Hayes and he never forgave John Michael Hayes for what he did. Associate Herbert Colemen was also angry with what John Michael Hayes did.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby RedRiver » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:59 pm

I saw previews for the new HITCHCOCK movie. It looks very interesting!
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:04 pm

I agree. It does look interesting.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:01 am

SPOILERS (The Lady Vanishes, Foreign Correspondent, Rebecca, and Sabotage)

As you know, Hitchcock came to America to make Titanic. But instead, Hitchcock ended making a film where the story takes place at a house that is as large as Titanic was. I am referring to Manderley in Rebecca.

Hitchcock's Sabotage foreshadows the arrival of Rebecca. In Sabotage, Mrs. Verloc and the audience are hurt by the death of Mrs. Verloc's little brother Stevie. Stevie is a spiritual representation of everything good. After the death of Stevie, we can see the influence of stevie through the lack of help, innocence, love, and kindness.

But in Rebecca, its exactly the opposite. Rebecca is a spiritual representation of everything evil. Even after her death, we can see her evilish influence on the people whom she was closely associated with.

This is just like The Lady Vanishes foreshadowing Foreign Correspondent. In The Lady Vanishes, we have Miss Froy and the music tune. In Foreign Correspondent, we have Van Meer and the secret clause.
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Re: ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Postby Konway » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:33 pm

Hello Everyone,
Here is the list of Hitchcock films with a little music and no background music. We can disregard Hitchcock's silent films, because they are silent. But the music is played on the background of Hitchcock's silent films when they are released on DVD.

1. Murder (1930) - only one or two scenes have music.

2. The Man Who Knew too Much (1934) - Aside from the beginning and the end of the film, we only hear the storm cloud cantata, playing of storm cloud cantata on the record, the song at the sun worshipping cult church, and the music played on the radio after Albert Hall sequence.

3. The Lady Vanishes (1938) - This film has "no background music" except for the beginning and the end of the film. The only other music we hear is the music sung by the musician outside the hotel, Miss Froy's music tune, the dance music conducted by Gilbert, Colonel Bogey March tune hummed by Gilbert, and the dance music in the train when Iris (Margaret Lockwood) meets Gilbert. There is no more music in the film for almost 1 hour and 25 minutes.

4. Lifeboat (1944) - The film has no background music except for the beginning and the end of the film.

5. Rope (1948) - We hear the music in the beginning and the end of the film. Other than that, we only hear the music in the radio and the music played on the piano by Philip (Farley Granger).

6. The Birds (1963) - No music in the film except the music played on the piano by Cathy Brenner.
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