Just watched it. It really is about 2 gay guys, though, one is closeted, per the times. Farley Granger (real life gay boy) was so cute, and Robert Walker, playing the queenier psycho, was great.
OK, what makes Farley Granger's character gay? Start talking.
And what makes the Robert Walker character, "queenier"?
I'm surprised that more of you guys don't imitate the Robert Walker character, and get to know cute guys by offering to kill their wives.
I guess it is reading some backstory info, on the way Hitchcock saw it. I know it sounds like an excuse, but cant remember where it was. Hitchcock felt they were both gay - that Granger's character was attracted to Walker's, but couldn't acknowledge it . He was marrying 'for money' - to Ruth Roman. Anyway, could not show that on screen at that time, obviously.
And RE2, the Walker character is gay - watch his walk, his looks, everything about him. Psycho gay man.
Funny that in real like , the 'straight' Guy was gay, and the psycho 'gay' , Bruno, was straight. Married to Jennifer Jones, who left him for producer David Selznick.
R1, he was pretty and meticulously groomed; he was a champion tennis player; his first wife, Miriam, was a mousy-looking tramp who was probably his hag in prep school; his relationship with his fiancee, Ann, lacked chemistry and seemed borne more out of convenience rather than love; and the way he straightened out Bruno's bowtie before escorting him out of the party seemed like a gay thing to do.
And Guy is gorgeous.....much prettier than the typical 1940s Hollywood leading man. He's clearly depicted by Hitchcock as the love object to all the other characters, male and female....again very atypical to 1940s Hollywood.
The scene at the tennis match is awesome. Whenever someone thinks they "don't like old movies", you can show them this, or Notorious, or Rebecca, and they will be spellbound for 2 hours. He was truly a genius.
Rear Window as well, r8. Even people who don't like older movies like that one.
Hitchcock in general is the perfect filmmaker for people who don't like old movies.
Though Vertigo does take a higher IQ to comprehend.
Don't forget the brilliant and underrated Shadow of a Doubt!
Claire Trevor really was the perfect Noir doll - smart, clever, stylish, but with that cheap / sleazy edge. Little known fact - Trevor really was clever & savvy.
When her career slowed down , went on to marry Milton Bren, a Hollywood producer ( he made "Topper", among others), but more importantly, a real estate developer - did much of the Sunset Strip, and would go on to begin the area in Orange County , known as Irvine. Became a billionaire.
I love the woman who played guy's wife Marion, she was such a sleaze. Pat Hitchcock was good too.
Well Hitchcock's Rope definitely featured two gay characters who appear to be romantically involved.
[RE13] Little known fact - 'Marian' was played by actress Casey Rogers, then billed as Laura Elliot. She would go on to play Louise Tate, Larry Tate's wife, on " Bewitched" . Marion Lorne who played 'Aunt Clara' ,the ditzy one, on the same show, was also in "Strangers", playing Bruno's equally ditzy mother.
Wow, that's so weird R15, but great trivia, thanks for the info!
Weird fact: Casey Rogers/Laura Elliot, who played the sleazy wife Miriam, looks EXACTLY like my mother when she was young. Yep, in the late 1940s, Mom had the same hairstyle, the same glasses, and the same face.
Imagine that, the next time you watch this film.
[RE17] I know your mom, and I am going to tell. Oh yes, I am going to TELL !
"Kiss Of Death" When Richard Widmark takes the old lady in the wheelchair, and throws her down the stairs, is chilling
Was Claire Trevor ever in a Hitchcock film?
R19, it's one of the most shocking and brutal scenes that I've ever seen in that era of films, or maybe any era.
I recently watched Hitchcock's final film The Family Plot on DVD.
I loved that film when it first came out, was a fan of Barbara Harris from her Broadway musicals and thought Bruce Dern was really hot back in 1977.....but the film hasn't held up very well (or maybe my youthful enthusiasm carried it back then). The humor now seemed effortful and the plotting was overly simplistic.
It was a strange choice for Hitchcock. The leads were decidedly working class characters and the art direction and costuming, though rightfully tacky, was depressing. There was none of the elegance of most of Hitchcock's other films. I wonder if he was attempting something that was more in keeping with 70s cinema realism?
[quote]"Kiss Of Death" When Richard Widmark takes the old lady in the wheelchair, and throws her down the stairs, is chilling
What does that have to do with Hitchcock?
Actually, R23, Hitchcock only made those glamorous films for part of his career, around the 1950s. His early films were set in the workaday real world, and he started moving away from the lushly expensive-looking 1950s films when he made "Psycho" in 1960. There are traces of the old glamour in "The Birds" and "Marnie", but his late films were as unglamorous as the early ones.
I'm not sure if that was purely an artistic choice, or of the 1950s was the only time he got enough funding to put anything he liked on the screen.
Topaz was pretty glam.
My favorite scene is when the Robert Walker character is walking around the fair and casually pops a little girls balloon with his ciarette.
Walker was great the way he pronounced 'Guy' . He dragged it out, and made it 3 sylables. Like Gaaiee. Tre gay.
" The Man Who Knew Too Much" is very good. Lots going on, between Morrocco, then all over London. Day is great with Stewart - they fit together well, chemistry wise. Like the comedy interludes, of the friends waiting at the hotel ( including Carolyn Jones - TV's Morticia Addams).
Patricia Highsmith knew us so well.
Farley Granger was an old trick of Arthur Laurents. But then, who wasn't
Farley was more than just a trick - weren't they live-in lovers for a while?
Could be. Farley's also very good in another noir, I can't think of now - was director Nick Ray's first movie. He and a woman on the run
r30 laurents has some interesting stuff to say about the making of "Rope". Hitchcock was very keen to cast Cary Grant as the teacher Rupert Cadell. He wanted to suggest the possibility of a sexual relationship between John Dall or Granger, Cadells old students who are obviously a couple in the movie. Pretty strong stuff for 1948. Anyway Grant declined. Apparently he found the role too...intricate or complex or just too queer. James Stewart got the job and is fine in the film. And completely sexless.
"They Live By Night" . Good film. Farley's sexy in it. Didn't realize he died 2 years ago.
33 here. Sorry meant to say a sexual relationship between Cadell and ex-students~ Dall and Granger.
Was "The Way We Were" supposed to be based on a real-life gay relationship that Arthur Laurents had.
This is the movie where I fell in love with Farley Granger.
Then I saw ROPE - even better.
I first saw Granger when his character was married to Lisa on "As the World Turns" in the late 80s and even then, I found him rather handsome for an older man.
And kinda gay.
Hitchcock's style changed immediately once he reached Hollywood and had access to much more capital.
"Rebecca" (Hollywood) and "The Lady Vanishes" (UK) are only two years apart and seem miles away in style and content. Both are great films but very different.
More trivia - the scenes in " Rebecca" where Olivier & Fontaine, are driving to Mandelay, were actually shot in Carmel, CA. - where Joan Fontaine, now in her mid 90's , lives today.The exterior of Mandelay was actually a miniature set - about 1 ft. tall, built on a table. The inside was all studio sets. So, in reality, there was no real house- all an illusion.
I loved Walker's mother in this.
Carmel was also where Hitchcock shot the exterior scenes in "Suspicion", again doubling for the English coastline, and again starring Fontaine. Maybe that's when she discovered the area, and decided to stay, when she retired. Doris Day shot "Julie" there in 1956, and ended up retiring there too. It's a beautiful place.
My favorite scene in any Hitchcock film is in Strangers when Bruno takes that ridiculous little carnival boat and slowly put put puts over to the island, commits a brutal murder, and then slowly put put puts back to the dock.
The other day the SiriusXM old radio show channel played a radio adaption of SOAT. It was one of those Lux Radio Theater shows where they use then current movies as a basis for a radio play. Sometimes they get the original cast (or most of it), but on this one they have Ray Milland and Frank Lovejoy in place of Walker and Granger (with Ruth Roman from the original cast.) It just wasn't the same, and of course you don't get the great Hitchcock visuals.
I like Hitchcock's use of 'lookalikes'. When one blonde looks like the other. It's blatant in "Vertigo" (a film I've never really liked). In SOAT it's Farley's sister and the pregnant dead girl. Vera Miles looks like Janet Leigh in "Psycho"...
Other directors like DePalma picked up on it and made good movies.
Watched it on my PBS station last night. Astonishing that Robert Walker was only 32 years old. Yes, he was a drinker, but some of our current celebs drink and drug and look better at 32.
And then there's Lindsay Lohan, who has looked 32 since she was 19.
It's on TCM this afternoon at 1:00 Pacific/4:00 Eastern.
Hitchcock blamed the original failure of Vertigo on Stewart, saying he was too old to be a leading man.
Robert Walker was absolute genius in this role. Tragically, he died not long after the film's release from a lethal combination of a barbituate (administered by his doctor) and alcohol. It was accidental. Walker was an alcoholic and had mental problems. He suffered a nervous breakdown after his wife, Jennifer Jones, left him for David Selznick. Of course, all this backstory seems to have made the part of Bruno perfect for him, right? Gay men of that era all had that kind of tortured drama?
Patricia Hitchcock, lisp and all, was wonderful in her role in this film. She is the only surviving remaining cast member from the movie, btw.
Pat Hitchcock was lucky to have such an influential person as Daddy. He could cast a girl whose face was perfect for radio and let her have a teeny tiny career for a few years. Strangers on a Train is a great film, one of Hitch's top offerings.
R1, R2, have you seen the film? OP is right.
R22, I was never able to watch Family Plot, for all of the reasons you mentioned (those depressing beiges...)
Not a fan of Frenzy either.
R24, I'd venture to say in the 1940s he belonged to Selznick, and Selznick had the cash and the will to make his film luxurious, whereas later Hitchcock set up his own company, I believe around the time of Psycho, hence has less money for big-budget films.
Read Stephen Rebello's book on the making of Psycho - the film with Mirren &c was crap, but the book is excellent.
Patricia Highsmith was one of us.
Very homophobic film, just like most of them from the "golden age of Hollywood". And the irony is, it's the gays who are fascinated and obsessed with them.
DePalma is a crap director. Watch Black Dahlia or Bonfire of the Vanities if you dare.
Hate the boring boredom that is Vertigo.
Because it's still talks about homosexuality. I'm not sure it's homophobic really, though. Bruno is the bad guy and Guy is the good guy, but Hitchcock much preferred bruno, because he's more interesting. I'm pretty sure he was bored with a goody-two-shoes like Guy.
Aren't those films saying that crime is the only way out by people marginalised by society?
I don't think it's homophobic at all. Hitchcock made it very plain that Bruno's mother was a crackpot and you're supposed to assume that insanity runs in the family because that was the prevailing belief at the time.
[quote] In SOAT it's Farley's sister and the pregnant dead girl.
Farley doesn't have a sister. She's his fiancé's sister.
[quote]Farley doesn't have a sister. She's his fiancé's sister.
Farley was only gay in real life. In the movie, he has a fiancée.
Hitchcock did all kinds of films. He liked all kinds of stories and liked to dabble. He did film noir (The Wrong Man) and Psycho was his answer to the cheap Roger Corman films of the era. Rope was an experiment with sets and camera use.
Early films were working class (The Lodger, Sabotage), middle class (The 39 Steps, East of shanghai), and upper class (The Man Who Knew Too Much).
In Hollywood he did all kinds of films. Shadow of a Doubt was all about the seamy underside of the wholesome middle class American life. It was tremendously symbolic and the symbolism was largely lost on the audience who saw it as a straight suspense film.
Throughout the film, Hitchcock presents us with doubles. The good, wholesome Charley and her seamy Uncle Charley who arrives in "beautiful, sunny Santa Rosa," from a seedy East Coast urban neighborhood. Charley dreams of an exciting life while her uncle is jumping over rooftops escaping from police. And on it goes, through the whole film. We're given a throwaway line about Uncle Charlie having changed after being knocked off his bicycle as a boy and hitting his head, but that probably came from the higher ups. Hitchcock was all about showing sunshine, smiles and tranquility living right beside murder, resentment and greed.
He did secret agent films long before the 60s fad for them. He was one of the originators of the film genre.
You can't really put a label on him. He did comedy in his TV show appearances and in his film Trouble With Harry. He made as many meh films as masterpieces. He sometimes got caught up in the details, as in Topaz where he wanted to show how difficult it was to kill someone, but he ended up boring the audience.
Last night, I dreamt I went to MANDERLEY agaaaaain...
R.62 I could watch Rebecca at least once a year, and frequently do, even more! Talk about agaaaaiiiin and againnnnn. Fabulous.
Bruno, even with his criminal behavior, is a sympathetic character, plainly. This is due to the brilliance of Walker's portrayal and Hitchcock's direction. Guy's wife, while, of course, not deserving to be killed, is looked at as unsympathetic. We see her actions through Bruno's eyes. We see her as rather irresponsible and impetuous. Her flirty behavior, in spite of wearing those thick glasses, make her seem all the more bold and a bit stupid, even. She "eye flirts" with Bruno without a trace of fear. And it gets her followed and then killed.
Guy is boring. The wholesome "Mr. Perfect" All American tennis star is supremely uninteresting. He only IS interesting in his interactions with Bruno. One can easily surmise that there is sexual tension between the two. And Guy is suppressing his attraction/fascination because, well, that is what one DID in 1950. Another interpretation is that Guy is too un-self aware to understand his own feelings. So he rejects Bruno out of social convention. Homosexuality as an acceptable behavior/paradigm was completely unheard of in mainstream films of that time. Hitch got so much past the censors. What a genius.
Starts in 9 minutes.
R63, "Why don't you JUST GO...you've nothing to stay for, nothing to live for...look, so EEEEAAAASY..."
I couldn't help but notice, this time around, how much the currant pornstar Alexander Garrett looks like Farley Granger!! .. Check it out!
Sorry. Make that current, not currant.
But can we all agree that Farley was perfectly cast as the tennis playing love object?
Interesting to me that he was under contract to Selznick as Farley was the male version of Jennifer Jones' girl next door fevered sluttiness.
No one was ever as slutty as Jennifer Jones as Pearl in Duel in the Sun. Not good, mind you, but truly slutty. That was a really synthetic career.
I would still maintain that there was something rather 1970s tacky TV movie-ish about Family Plot.
Comparing its working class milieu to earlier Hitchcocks isn't really fair.
Hitchcock initially wanted William Holden to play Guy, but Holden turned him down so Hitch went with Farley, whom he had worked with in Rope.
I remember when Family Plot was released (I was a pre-teen) and thought, even at that young age, it bore no resemblance to the work of Alfred Hitchcock. Silly and shallow, with bad 70's cinematography.
DOC'S JOY JUICE KILLED BOOZY HEARTBROKEN HITCHCOCK PSYCHO!
What a tacky article. "Doc's joy juice?" Bleeech.
Judy Garland used to drive around LA at night searching bars looking for Walker during the filming of The Clock. She understood, of course, his mental and addiction issues. He was a particular mess in 1944-45 (the time The Clock was in principal photography) since the break-up with Jones was still fresh. Funny and rather ironic that Judy would have been helping someone ELSE with those issues but at that time she was MGM's top money earner and was relatively stable. Vincente was directing, too, which helped HER stay on her game. Amazing that those stars were so messed up personally but, when the cameras rolled, it was absolute magic.
Amazing to think that The Clock was the ONLY non-musical Judy ever made for MGM. She was brilliant in it and the film was a huge hit.
I can't help but think that had LB thrown her a great drama every once in awhile, a film that would only take a few easy weeks to make, she would have been fresher and happier doing her musical films.