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The Alfred Hitchcock Filmography - A Chronological viewing

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

  1. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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    Leslie Banks, from Hitchcock's first The Man Who Knew Too Much, was (like Herbert Marshall) also wounded in WWI. Most of Bank's left side of his face was paralysed. This is used to great effect in The Most Dangerous Game, where he plays Count Zaroff--- filmed from the right side while Zaroff plays the civilized gentleman, and from the left (and front) once the game is afoot.
     
  2. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey David, thanks for the post about the Lux radio presentation of The Birds. It’s certainly related to the topic. I’ll have to give it a listen!
     
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  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Mark, thanks for that info about Leslie Banks. When I saw The Man Who Knew Too Much, it was the first time I’d seen him. So I had no idea his face had a problem. He seemed fine. But when I watched Jamaica Inn, I was surprised it was him, he was so different in both appearance and character. Such a rough character compared to Man Who Knew Too Much.

    I’m expecting the Criterion DVD of Most Dangerous Game to arrive tomorrow. I did look up the Blu Ray and see it’s from Twilight Time. The site doesn’t allow you to put it in the cart. So is it out of print?
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Matt- that’s a great story about how they worked around Marshall’s leg problem in The Little Foxes. I’ve not seen that film.
     
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  5. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks for that link. I had seen that review. Sounds like the Flicker Alley disc was quite good.

    In looking at their site, it says out of stock but that they expect to get more stock. So does that mean they will make another run of discs? Maybe, hope so.

    The site also offers a digital copy. That might be a good option. It appears it’s the movie only, no extras.
     
  7. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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    The Criterion DVD is quite presentable though obviously no match for the Flicker Alley HD stream. Turner Classic Movies showed the movie several days ago- it matched the Criterion image-wise. I think you will be satisfied with viewing the DVD.

    I don't know when they will make another run of the disc. I believe it's been listed like that for some time now.
     
  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Mark. I have a feeling the Criterion DVD will be adequately viewable. :)
     
  9. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Smith_moviep.

    Mr. & Mrs. Smith

    1942
    95 minutes B&W 1.37:1
    Cast:
    Carole Lombard - Ann Krausheimer Smith
    Robert Montgomery - David Smith
    Gene Raymond - Jeff Custer
    Jack Carson - Chuck Benson
    Philip Merivale - Mr Custer
    Lucile Watson - Mrs Custer
    William Tracy - Sammy
    Charles Halton - Mr Harry Deever
    Esther Dale - Mrs Krausheimer
    Emma Dunn - Martha
    Betty Compson - Gertie
    Patricia Farr - Gloria
    William Edmunds - Proprietor of Lucy's
    Pamela Blake - Lily
    Written by: Norman Krasna
    Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
    Production Studio: RKO Radio Pictures.
    Viewed 5/25/19

    The Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection box set DVD, Warner Brothers, 2004

    Synopsis

    David and Annie Smith are a New York couple who enjoy an interesting marriage. One aspect of the marriage includes several rules, one involves asking a question and the other has to honestly answer. Annie asks David, if he had it to do over, would he have married Annie? David answers honestly, that he misses his days of freedom and would not marry her. The crushes Annie. Later that day, David learns from an official from the town where David and Annie we’re married that a city boundary dispute between 1936 and 1939 invalidates all marriages in those years. Unbeknownst to David, the same city official makes a stop to visit Annie and he passes the same information to her. David wasn’t going to tell Annie right away for some fun, but this backfires on David with disastrous results!

    Impressions

    I had not seen or known the plot of this film. So I wasn’t aware it was a screwball comedy. Nor had I seen the Brad Pitt / Angelina Jolie film of the same title. I had no expectations except that it wouldn’t be a comedy. So I was expecting to continue the similar Hitchcockian path of a spy thriller or psychological thriller.

    After about 20 minutes I finally got the impression this was a comedy. I’d not known much about Robert Montgomery other then he was Elizabeth Montgomery’s father. I know who Carole Lombard is, but I’d not seen a lot of her films except My Man Godfrey which I saw a long time ago. I recently picked up the Criterion Blu Ray of Godfrey and I’m looking forward to watching that. Lombard's fame from screwball comedies should have been a clue.

    I’d been watching quite a few screwball comedies last year that starred Cary Grant as I was trying to view all his films. So Mr & Mrs Smith fit right into that mold. It was a pleasant enough little film. Kind of fun watching a flustered David trying to win back his wife. But it just didn’t seem to have any of the Hitchcock elements. I can’t really find any faults with this movie, it worked well. I just wasn’t expecting it.
     
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  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I agree completely. It works fine as a movie and is enjoyable to watch, but the "Hitchcock touch" is nowhere to be found. Allegedly, he directed the film as a favor to Lombard.
     
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  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Man, I haven't see that movie in many years. I need to rectify that by watching my DVD of it.
     
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  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    A couple of years ago, I rewatched Mr. And Mrs. Smith and was surprised that it was much better than I had remembered. If it wasn't for the directorial credit, I'd have never known that Hitchcock was involved but the movie works well.
     
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  13. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    And it has nothing to do with the Pitt/Jolie movie bearing the same title.
     
  14. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a weak film that doesn't work as a comedy imho, and as mentioned totally lacks Hitchcock's signature sense of suspense. I'd rate it a "D," and from my pov it's the weakest film Hitchcock ever did in America. Even films like Topaz and Torn Curtain have their points of interest here and there....
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Now I got to watch it again to see if I like it better than Ben.;)
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    3891B17A-67E5-455C-A188-789033842F46.

    The Most Dangerous Game

    1932
    63 minutes B&W 1.37:1
    Cast:
    Joel McCrea as Robert "Bob" Rainsford
    Fay Wray as Eve Trowbridge
    Leslie Banks as Count Zaroff
    Robert Armstrong as Martin Trowbridge
    Noble Johnson as Ivan
    Steve Clemente as Tartar
    Dutch Hendrian as Servant
    William B. Davidson as Captain
    James Flavin as First Mate on Yacht (uncredited)
    Phil Tead as Passenger on Yacht (uncredited)
    Adaptation of the short story: The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell (1924)
    Directed by: Irving Pichel and Ernest_B._Schoedsack
    Production Studio: RKO Radio Pictures.
    Viewed 6/7/19

    The Criterion Collection DVD, Spine Number 46, 1999

    Synopsis

    The Most Dangerous Game concerns a big-game hunter, Count Zaroff who no longer finds the hunt challenging as it once was until he realizes that he needs a more challenging game to hunt.

    Impression

    This is a tangential post for a film that bears a degree of relations to the Hitchcock filmography. Since watching Foreign Correspondent and learning that Joel McCrea had made this film prior, I was intrigued to see it. Plus it has Leslie Banks whose another member of the Hitchcock players. The connection to King Kong was another interesting connection, from the jungle sets to Faye Wray and Robert Armstrong being in the cast of both King Kong and Dangerous Game. Plus this film delves into the macabre and horror, something Hitchcock does.

    I was already familiar with the basic premise of The Most Dangerous Game. As a big fan of Get Smart, that series did a terrific spoof of this film with Max and 99 in the roles of Joel McCrea and Faye Wray. I did not expect this film to have an idea that it explored. Perhaps it was the basic premise of the short story. An interesting question is posed, as a big game hunter, the Hunter has never thought about the idea of what it’s like to be his prey, let alone actually experience that. As Bob Rainsford, an experienced big game hunter, he does go into some philosophizing about his prey. But he’s never had to think about this question until Count Zaroff puts him in the position of the hunted.

    I thought this film was really well done. It didn’t waste a lot of time. It had high production values and was well cast. It balanced horror and action. And it had a satisfying ending. Though I did wonder afterwards, did Bob really have to do what he did to Count Zaroff. I suppose he had no choice, it wasn’t for revenge or sport. Or was it? I’m definitely going to watch this film again as I’m sure I’ll find something else there. If I can get a copy of the Blu Ray, I’d like to see that as well.
     
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  17. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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    The Criterion commentary is worth listening to, too. The short story is readily available online. And since it won the O'Henry Prize for its year, it is short and lean with a bit of a twist in its last sentence.
     
  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Mark, I actually did listen to the commentary, it was such a short movie, it breezed by!

    I looked for the short story in the Apple iBooks store. I saw several versions, trying to find the original version there.
     
  19. Mark McSherry

    Mark McSherry Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe the 1924 story is in the public domain. There are pdfs all over the internet.
     
  20. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hi Mark-

    The PDF would be nice, I guess I like to pay the proper copyright owners if there still is one.
     

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