Originally Posted by Cineman /t/324714/a-few-words-about-the-man-who-knew-too-much-in-blu-ray/300#post_4009070
Interestingly, Hitchcock's approach to Que Sera Sera in TMWKTM defied a certain convention found in many otherwise non-musical Hollywood movies that happen to feature a character singing a song; no orchestra accompaniment creeps into the sequence where she and her son sing it in the hotel room. How many times previously did we get movies where a character sings a lullabye or a love song to another character and suddenly the orchestra accompaniment creeps in out of nowhere? Not in TMWKTM. In fact, that convention had become so widely accepted by the time TMWKTM was released I wonder if some audience members felt uncomfortable about the absence of it in that hotel room sequence and in some weird way accounts for their immediate resistance to it, as though this more appropriately private sing-along moment had occurred in public at the table next to yours.
So by the absence of that convention, Hitchcock is, I believe, adamantly arguing against this sequence or this movie that is so dependent on music (and not just songs sung by Doris Day) being taken as anything like the conventional "musical theater" musical you were talking about, not even a Cabaret or music biography version of one.
I agree 100%. I don't find anything "musical" (in the genre definition of the word) about either appearance of the song in the film. But the bottom line is a lot of people have issues with the song and its appearance in the film, for whatever reason, and they have every right. I'm not one of them, thank goodness, so I can enjoy the film completely.
I think when Paramount dictated a song or two he absolutely made certain it would be essential to the plot and not just pause the action. Much like he did in Rear Window
with the song, "Lisa." That song is played as much if not more in RW
than "Que Sera Sera" is in TMWKTM.
But it's not there just to get a Best Song nomination. It serves a plot point:
stopping Miss Lonelyhearts momentarily from taking the pills, and more importantly, stopping Lisa from escaping Thorwald's apartment in time before he returns, resulting in him attacking her. And of course, it brings resolution to the MIss Lonelyhearts storyline at the end of the film.