Jan 11 2011

Movies: More Hitchcock

Published by at 7:38 pm under Entertainment

I am openly admitting it. I am developing as healthy affinity for Hitchcock films. I haven’t spent enough time watching them to decide if the man was truly a genius or if he was just adept at selecting interesting stories. I’m just disappointed I wasn’t around when he was making his films. In fact, his last film was released the year before I was born. Last week I didn’t get much chance to watch too many movies. Both that I watched were Hitchcock films, though.

Despite their age, his movies still rank as some of the best movies of all time on multiple lists from both critics and the general viewing public. It’s difficult to argue that a career as decorated as his was a fluke. Rest assured, you’ll likely find a bunch more of his movies popping up on my viewing list.


I do remember seeing the sequels to this film when I was younger and I think that took away from this movie a bit. I knew it’s secrets already which it is quite obvious that Hitchcock tried hard to unravel at very deliberate moments. My anticipation ended up being not of the type “I wonder what is going to happen” like he intended but more “I wonder when this is going to happen”. The musical score of this movie far surpasses any of the other older movies I’ve been watching lately. It builds a mood that you don’t often see from movies at the time. If my count is correct, Hitchcock has 4 movies in the imdb top 50 with this one at #23. I’m both surprised at that and not surprised. His obvious ability as a director proves he is quite capable of making some of the best films of all time, but 4 out of 50 of all time? I might have to do some data analysis to just see how big of a feat that is.


The Man Who Knew Too Much

I would be interested in knowing what motivated Hitchcock to remake one of his own movies, but this movie originally came out in 1934. He ended up remaking the film starting James Stewart (also in Rear Window) and Doris Day a little more than 20 years later. I didn’t notice there were more than 1 when I started watching this. I thought I was going to be watching the more recent version. This movie did feel really rough and lacked any music to set the mood. That really made me appreciate movies of a similar time like Casablanca that had a lot of creative ways to incorporate those extra little bits of polish. Unlike Casablanca, this one seemed to suffer a bit from overacting a bit. It did also seem to be rushed as they tried to pack it all in a mere 75 minutes. I did enjoy Peter Lorre’s performance as the antagonist, though. Despite all of that, it really was an interesting story even if it lacked the twist factor that Hitchcock seemed to like to have in his films. I really am looking forward to see a more refined remake. Maybe Hitchcock was as well.


Our local cinema group has Rope coming up on their viewing list this spring. While I’ve never gone to any of them, seeing a Hitchcock film on the big screen is enticing. I just wish their viewing times were a little more work friendly.


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