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The Alfred Hitchcock Filmography - A Chronological viewing

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Nelson Au, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    After all our discussion, I had to take To Catch a Thief off the shelf tonight and watch it on my OLED. The color was indeed spectacular, and the film is just so entertaining. I ended up watching some of the bonus features, too, because I wanted to stay with this entertaining movie just a few minutes longer.
     
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  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I know how you feel Matt! The movie is very entertaining. I enjoyed it so much I even pulled the blu ray for Indiscreet to enjoy another film with Cary Grant but this time with Ingrid Bergman.
     
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  3. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    It pulled me in too. I stayed up way to late to finish it.

    I should see if there’s a commentary on the disk as well. That would be really fun to watch
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Great you watched it too Osato!

    As I mentioned, the earlier DVD has a great audio commentary with Peter Bogdanovich and Laurent Bouzereau. The Blu Ray has a commentary by Dr. Drew Casper, USC film scholar and Alma and Alfred Hitchcock professor and specializes on films from WW2 to present.

    Both are a good listen!
     
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  5. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Aye it’s still on there!!!
     
  6. Message #266 of 315 Sep 13, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    Cineman

    Cineman Second Unit

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    Yes, it appears he was determined to shoot DIAL M FOR MURDER in a way that would not rely on that gimmick for its effectiveness. He has had things go directly toward the screen in other movies, a fist punch in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, another one in NORTH BY NORTWEST, and so on. But he did that because he felt it was the best way to shoot the action.

    One of my favorite POV shots in DAIL M happens very quickly but it is enhanced by the 3-D effect, imo. It is the shot of Swann lifting the garrote he is about to use on Margot. While Margot is standing at the desk, on the phone, the camera moves around like an evil spirit until "we" are behind her. Exactly where Swann would be standing. Then Swann lifts the garrote and "we" are the ones about to use it on her. Those are "our" hands moving up behind her in the shot.

    I do believe the 3-D process enhances the effect of that brief shot making us subliminally feel partially responsible for this bad thing about to happen to a lead character (which in a sense we made happen by buying a ticket to watch the movie and wanted to happen or we'd been disappointed by the lack of danger). Subtle. But brilliant. It is not just suspense about what is going to happen. It is much more than that.
     
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  7. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    I really hope many of his films come to UHd in the next year.
     
  8. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I bought “Dial M For Murder” when it first came out on 3D Blu, and it almost made me swear off ever buying any classic 3D film from the 50s again.

    In my collection, it has the worst 3D of any of my discs. On my system (Sony 65” flat, with active glasses), it is filled with blurry double images and cross talk. — very hard to watch. I saw it in the theatre in the 80s when a lot of Hitchcock movies were re-released, and it played fine then.

    None of my other discs of vintage 3D (“The Creature FTBL”, “It Came From Outer Space”, etc. etc.) Have this problem thank goodness.
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I think it has more to do with the technology of your Sony than the film itself. When I bought my 65" LG OLED, it was a different and much more enjoyable 3-D experience than what I had with my 65" Panny VT.
     
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  10. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I realize it is my set up. (Which I will immediately replace if a new TV ever becomes available with 3D). There were a lot of people with similar problems when the Blu ray first came out. It still is the only 3D disc I own with these problems.
     
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  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Yes, Dial 'M' for Murder is definitely a victim of 3D technology in its home version. Like many of you, its 3D sucked on my plasma active system (blurry and lots of crosstalk just as Terry said), but on my OLED, it's a VERY different story. I still think Kiss Me Kate and House of Wax are superior 3D experiences, but now Dial 'M' is not a chore to watch in 3D.
     
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  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Interesting, I guess I got lucky with my set and picked a set with technology that didn’t have those issues with 3D.
     
  13. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I think “active glasses” are the problem. For reasons stated above, I still have an antique system, but just about every other 3D I have still plays fine on my set up, and usually better than say Real3D, (who is lucky enough to match IMAX 3D at home?!). “Dial M”!is basically unwatchable. No fiddling with the settings seems to help for more than a moment.
     
  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    The_Trouble_with_Harry.

    The Trouble with Harry
    1955
    99 minutes Color 1.85:1 VistaVision
    Cast-
    Edmund Gwenn - Captain Albert Wiles
    John Forsythe - Sam Marlowe
    Mildred Natwick - Miss Ivy Gravely
    Mildred Dunnock - Mrs Wiggs
    Jerry Mathers - Arnie Rogers
    Royal Dano - Deputy Sheriff Calvin Wiggs
    Parker Fennelly - Millionaire
    Barry Macollum - Tramp
    Dwight Marfield - Doctor Greenbow
    Shirley MacLaine - Jennifer Rogers
    Based on the novel The Trouble with Harry by Jack Trevor Story
    Written by John Michael Hayes
    Score by - Bernard Herrmann
    Directed by - Alfred Hitchcock
    Production Studio - Paramount Studios
    View 9/7/19

    Alfred Hitchcock The Masterpiece Collection Blu Ray box set, Universal, 2012
    Also available in the Alfred Hitchcock The Masterpiece Collection box set, Universal Studios, 2005

    Synopsis

    A quiet small idyllic New England town is disrupted when the body of a man shows up. Several people in the town become troubled when they think they were the cause of his death through their own actions.

    Impressions

    I’ve never seen or knew exactly what the plot of this film is. I’d collected it in box sets and picked up the single releases when picking up other titles that were issued. So I did do just a little reading before seeing the movie without learning too much about it. I had a sense it is a comedy.

    My reaction is that I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I read up some more after seeing it. So I understand now it’s a black comedy and I never was into dark or black comedy. I didn’t always get it. Though I get it more now that I’m older, so it’s probably better I saw it now then when I was a kid. Overall, I got that Hitchcock wanted to switch it up and do a black comedy based on a book he read and liked so much. It just didn’t work for me. A little more reading also reminded me that this film also is about the love stories of the two main couples. And that the dialogue, like To Catch a Thief, was pushing the boundaries of the censors.

    I thought the film looked great! The photography of New England looks great on this blu ray. The VistaVision image works so well. I understand that the weather did not cooperate and the leaves we see on the trees had to be recreated on a set. It’s interesting that the studio shots matched so well with the exterior shots.

    There was some funny bits when people discover the body and in one case, trip over it. But the characters just didn’t seem all together.

    The cast was well put together and they did their jobs well. I’d only seen John Forsythe in one thing from this era, Bachelor Father, before he became more known for Dynasty and Charlie’s Angels. So it’s odd to see him with dark hair. I knew this was Shirley Maclaine’s film debut and she seemed fine. It’s interesting that Edmond Gwynn has been in several Hitchcock titles and this one was a surprise as he was such a lighter character that wasn’t so unpleasant. I did recognize Jerry Mathers right at the start. So it was fun to see him prior to his TV work that he’s more known for.

    Jerry Mathers.

    I might watch this film again later on, I might develop more of an appreciation for it. But for now, I’d place it with Mr. and Mrs Smith as titles that were interesting for one reason or another, but just wasn’t working for me.
     
  15. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I've been a little distracted recently with more urgent matters, so I'm a little behind this week.
     
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  16. Osato

    Osato Producer

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    Downtown Abbey > Star Trek the motion Picture?
     
  17. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a very weak low-budget movie, and just terribly boring. As mentioned, I'd rate it about a "D." There's just not much of anything redeeming about it.

    The Trouble With Harry isn't one of my favorites, but as you mentioned it has a great cast and wonderful cinematography. I've been slow to warm up to this movie, but it finally happened for me after the blu-ray was released. It's still far from being a favorite, but it has amusing moments, and I really appreciate that Hitchcock was doing something different. My rating on it is about a "B-," and here's how that compares for me with other Hitchcock movies in this amazing decade of his films....

    Stage Fright: A+
    Strangers on a Train: A+
    I Confess: B
    Dial M for Murder: A
    Rear Window: A+
    To Catch a Thief: A
    The Trouble with Harry: B-
    The Man Who Knew Too Much: A+
    The Wrong Man: B
    Vertigo: A+
    North by Northwest: A+

    So although it's the weakest movie of this decade for me, I still think it's far from the utter failure of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Just my two cents.
     
  18. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Yes, I have to be in the right mood to watch The Trouble with Harry. It's preciousness and droll, very dry tone sometimes wears thin for me if I'm not in a good mood. Like others, it would be the last of his 1950s pictures I'd usually select if I wanted some 1950s Hitchcock.
     
  19. Gary16

    Gary16 Screenwriter

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    “Mr and Mrs. Smith” is a screwball comedy that was a common type of movie during that time. It’s certainly not typical Hitchcock but it’s well worth viewing. Hardly low budget with two of the biggest stars in Hollywood at the time — Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard. Hitchcock directed it at Lombard’s request.
     
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  20. Message #280 of 315 Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    Cineman

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    That pretty much covers it for me, too. I've watched it 3-4 times, including once in a revival theater screening many years ago, thinking I might finally warm up to it more. But I never do.

    Pluses for me:
    The beautiful on location photography. The studio reproductions are pretty, too.

    Long time favorite Shirley MacLaine's film debut. I think she is one of the best film actresses of the era and for decades later. But I would not have thought so based on this film debut. She was intrinsically cute. But other than that, I have no idea what Hitchcock saw in casting her really. Of course, he obviously saw much more potential there than I see in this movie. Most of the time it appears she is struggling to keep her eyes open through the pain of intense studio lighting or something.

    I love and look forward to the moment when Sam (Forsythe) and Mrs.Wiggs observe Ivy holding and considering the coffee cup she wants to buy for her lunch date with Capt. Wiles. For me, that is the one magical cinematic moment in the movie. And it is very moving for such a small moment. I credit Herrmann's musical soundtrack contribution to that effect as well.

    I very much enjoy Sam's comments about his art, why he does it, what he feels about it, the commercial value of it vs the pleasure he gets from creating it, the bit about Jennifer's father painting the same tree over and over again and so on. I believe I am hearing Hitchcock himself in many of those comments. I don't know if those comments are in the book and that is one of the things that interested him in making the movie. But hearing them in this movie kind of explains in my mind why he made The Trouble With Harry even though he must have known it would not make a fraction of the money his hits on either side of it made.

    And, most interestingly, even though the mood, tone, pacing, look and feel of his films are often wildly different one from another, didn't Hitchcock produce several variations of the same "Jennifer's Father's tree" painting in the art of cinema? The same genre, the same themes, the same examination of the human predicament, but with a deeper understanding and appreciation of them with each new variation of the subject matter from different angles and so on? I think so.

    I am glad Hitchcock took the opportunity to "discuss" this idea with his audience regarding his art, glad he got it out there, out of his system and into the record. On that premise alone, this one is a must have in any Hitchcock collection. IF that was part of the reason he made this movie. I like to think it was anyway.
     
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