Torn Curtain.. and other less celebrated Hitchcock films

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I bought a cheap DVD the other day, having not seen it before. I thought it was pretty good, keeping my gripped at least. I suppose it suffers by having a pre-existing relationship as its romantic component, though I wouldn't blame Julie Andrews, as many seem to do. I thought she was fine.

What other lesser known Hitchcock films do you want to talk about?

N. (nickdastoor), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Trouble with Harry. Kinda funny how no one gives a damn about the corpse, and it's all treated very charmingly.

Then there's the two movie cheapo DVD set I got of The Lady Vanishes and The Man Who Knew Too Much (original version). I really really liked TMWKTM, esp. for the classic Peter Lorre performance. The Lady Vanishes seemed to me to be a little too slow at the start, but once the mystery sets off, it sets off!

Girolamo Savonarola, Wednesday, 16 July 2003 00:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Shadow of a Doubt. Hitch's own personal favorite, and one which dispels some of the misogyny accusations while raising a few more - Teresa Wright's character is wonderfully drawn, maybe the best female character in Hitchcock, but Joseph Cotten's cynical murderer seems to voice the director's own view of humanity - "the whole world's a sty to me," etc. Regardless, Cotten really is quite good in it - why is he so underrated?

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 09:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Suspicion. Dave Kehr's brief review sums it up for me:

Everyone concedes that this 1941 Hitchcock film is a failure, yet it displays so much artistic seriousness that I find its failure utterly mysterious--especially since the often criticized ending (imposed on Hitchcock by the studio) makes perfect sense to me. This is the first film in which Hitchcock puts his dazzling technical imagination wholly in the service of his art: note his subtlety in establishing the menace of the Cary Grant character by never allowing him to be seen walking into a shot; he simply appears in the scene, his entrance covered by a cut or dissolve. Grant gives what is perhaps the finest of his many great performances for Hitchcock: required to play two different, completely contradictory characters simultaneously, he never cheats or flattens out, but plays in magnificent, mysterious depth.

Joan Fontaine is just a little better here than she is in Rebecca (which I also like a lot), I think.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 10:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

my favorite hitchcock (aside from "shadow of a doubt") is "under capricorn"!

amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 16 July 2003 14:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It's been some years since I saw Rope, but I liked it a lot. It's perhaps the tightest film Hitchcock ever made, and quite understandably, since it takes place in a single apartment and in real time.

I liked The Trouble with Harry too, it's a very dry and black English sort of comedy, raises chuckles instead of guffaws, but fun to watch anyhow. Marnie is great too, but I think it's undergone a critical reappraisal, so it's higher rated nowadays than it was in the sixties.

What about Hitchcock films that are deservedly less celebrated? My vote would go for Secret Agent. It's got to be the worst Hitchcock film I've ever seen.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Friday, 18 July 2003 06:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

By the way, how is The Lady Vanishes "less celebrated"? It's one of the most loved Hitchcock flicks, and deservedly so.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Friday, 18 July 2003 06:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
I watched The Man Who Knew Too Much (original version) on TCM the other night for probably the first time in 15 years, and while it's fun, I can't see how anyone could say the remake isn't infinitely more accomplished and sophisticated.

Amid from the Albert Hall sequence, he cuts back to the villain's lair at one point and Peter Lorre dismisses a dopey question with a wave of his fork, mid-meal. Great gesture.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 1 November 2005 21:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The List of Adrian Messenger, the best Alfred Hitchcock film John Huston ever directed.

M. V. (M.V.), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 01:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Stage Fright -- the criticisms about its deceptiveness seem silly now, and the movie is very knowing about its own cheating.

älänbänänä (alanbanana), Wednesday, 2 November 2005 02:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
New Yorkers may be able to discuss some of the little-known UK ones in the next weeks... and there's a Saboteur / Sabotage twinbill.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 7 December 2005 20:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If I'd had time, I would have liked to have seen Rear Window again this weekend, just to see Grace Kelly and the climax with Raymond Burr. "What do you want from me?"

I see that 1/4 is failed experiment night! "Essential", indeed! The Wrong Man is OK although boring and not very "Hitchcock", but Rope is awful! Are there any good movies that are straight adaptations of mediocre stage plays?

Spellbound is lame and corny even for Hitchcock, but it might be fun to go and laugh at the rear projection skiing and the Dalí scenes. The Lady Vanishes and The 39 Steps will be a fun double bill, even though they don't come close to touching the later, more "Hitchcock" stuff. I wish I could be around to see Strangers on a Train and I Confess. I didn't even know that Montgomery Clift did a Hitchcock film!

Chris F. (servoret), Monday, 12 December 2005 05:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And it's also got Anne Baxter in it, from back when she was still hot! Bummer.

Chris F. (servoret), Monday, 12 December 2005 05:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love The Wrong Man. I love I Confess almost as much.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Monday, 12 December 2005 06:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Eric lovin' the uber-Catholic Hitch!

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 December 2005 16:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I know. I'm not even Catholic. Maybe that's why.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 02:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i confess is solid, i think. hitchcock does some evocative work with the quebec locations, and clift's woodenness works to his advantage. the last scene -- that long shot with keller looking so small and wounded in front of the stage -- is pretty great. the half-hour flashback in the middle bugs me.

a spectator bird (a spectator bird), Tuesday, 13 December 2005 17:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

eleven years pass...

posting this here too (re: No Country For Old Men)
watching Torn Curtain. definitely getting an Anton Chigurh vibe off Wolfgang Kieling as Hermann Gromek. especially the provocative unyielding stare while mockingly repeating back what was said to him. wonder if his performance/character was one of the inspirations for the Coens/Bardem? he's the highlight of the film for me so far (even over the infamous *no-spoiler* Hitchcockian scene).

by the way, Carolyn Conwell really is a DEAD RINGER (no double meaning intended) for Liv Ullman!

Paul, Saturday, 29 July 2017 14:19 (one year ago) Permalink

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