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Least Favorite Hitchcock Film?


It's ugly, the crimes are sordid and it looks cheap.

by Anonymousreply 157November 4, 2021 2:54 AM

Vertigo. Stupid premise. I can suspend disbelief to a certain degree, but this one was just plain stupid.

by Anonymousreply 1October 21, 2021 6:52 PM

Did he do anything great after Psycho, or did he completely lose his touch? Does anyone still talk about Torn Curtain?

by Anonymousreply 2October 21, 2021 6:56 PM

What was with the detective's wife making those ghastly dinners in Frenzy?

by Anonymousreply 3October 21, 2021 6:57 PM

torn curtain. HORRENDOUS acting form julie andrews AND Paul Newman.

by Anonymousreply 4October 21, 2021 6:58 PM

Frenzy is great. Dark humor, not-so-dark humor “the police have the wrong man,” suspense, at times you almost find yourself hoping the actual necktie murderer gets out of his hams unscathed and undetected… woof! It’s a classic. A Clockwork Orange had sordid crime, too. Who cares? Hitchcock wasn’t advocating for men to go out and rape and kill women. Someone gets murdered in most of his thrillers.

Sorry for picking on you OP, but I love that movie and it’s gotten old seeing people shit on it.

Least favorite Hitchcock? Of his later period, Topaz or Torn Curtain. But even those were enjoyable.

Among his early films, there are plenty of duds. I was fairly disappointed in Rebecca, considering how much it had been hyped. Dial ‘M’ For Murder is also kind of a drag.

by Anonymousreply 5October 21, 2021 6:59 PM

^^ Jesus! Please excuse typos and missing words in R5. I took a Sudafed earlier and barely slept last night.

by Anonymousreply 6October 21, 2021 6:59 PM

[quote] Did he do anything great after Psycho, or did he completely lose his touch?

Yes. The Birds, Frenzy, and Family Plot.

by Anonymousreply 7October 21, 2021 7:01 PM

Fuck you, R2!

by Anonymousreply 8October 21, 2021 7:01 PM

I love Family Plot!

by Anonymousreply 9October 21, 2021 7:30 PM

Under Capricorn

Topaz isn't his best, but it includes Roscoe Lee Browne, who is delightful.

by Anonymousreply 10October 21, 2021 7:57 PM

I have always been underwhelmed by 'The Trouble With Harry' and 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'. On top of that, I still haven't managed to sit through 'Marnie' or 'Family Plot'.

by Anonymousreply 11October 21, 2021 7:59 PM

Even the weakest Hitchcock usually has something great in it. Karin Dor’s death scene in Topaz and the murder by gas oven sequence in Torn Curtain are unforgettable. But I’ve never gotten much out of The Trouble With Harry, even though the New England cinematography is lovely.

by Anonymousreply 12October 21, 2021 8:00 PM

'Torn Curtain' is just bad.

by Anonymousreply 13October 21, 2021 8:00 PM

The Man Who Knew Too Much

by Anonymousreply 14October 21, 2021 8:01 PM

I waited until about two years ago to finally see The Trouble With Harry. I thought it was fantastic. So funny and suspenseful. And John Forsyth was a revelation.

by Anonymousreply 15October 21, 2021 8:01 PM

The Man Who Knew Too Much (remake) is pretty bad. Not Doris Day's finest moment.

by Anonymousreply 16October 21, 2021 8:04 PM

Family Plot sucked balls! Stupid storyline---shame Hitchcock went out with a dud like that.

by Anonymousreply 17October 21, 2021 8:05 PM

It’s a great storyline, R17! How was it any worse than any of his others?

I’m sorry, but you cannot go wrong with Bruce Dern, Karen Black, Barbara Harris, William Devane, Katherine Helmond, and Cathleen Nesbitt!

Karen Black’s blond wig, black trench-coat and sunglasses, Harris’s crystal ball, the cemetery, the gravestone carver, the arson, the intense car chase, the sedated bishop…! It’s genuinely one of my favorite movies of all time, not just one of my favorites of Hitch’s.

by Anonymousreply 18October 21, 2021 8:11 PM

THE SKIN GAME (31) is like watching paint dry. NUMBER SEVENTEEN (32) is only 64 minutes long, but is unendurable because of its star, one Leon M. Lion, the least funny comic actor in film history.

The early British talkies are undermined by very poor acting and ridiculous, affected "cut glass" accents by the leading ladies.

by Anonymousreply 19October 21, 2021 8:13 PM

Many of his early films are awful, JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK was especially bad but I agree that THE SKIN GAME is also unwatchable. JAMAICA INN is insane, it's so bad you can't believe it was ever made, and it's not even a fun bad but just a regular old bad bad. UNDER CAPRICORN is shockingly boring and incredibly ugly, somehow, despite having Joseph Cotten, one of the hottest hotties to grace the screen.

by Anonymousreply 20October 21, 2021 8:13 PM

I agree, R19. So many of his early films are like that. Which is why it’s so odd when people cite Frenzy and Family Plot as some of his worst. Come ON.

by Anonymousreply 21October 21, 2021 8:14 PM

Yeah, I think Family Plot gets short shrift because it came so late in his career and had a different feel, totally, than The Birds, etc. So many DL faves in that movie. Totally agree with R18. The actress who played the psychic was perfect, hilarious. Karen Black, enough said.

by Anonymousreply 22October 21, 2021 8:21 PM

You people are unhinged. Frenzy was lovely. Lovely. Looooovely.

by Anonymousreply 23October 21, 2021 8:43 PM

I found “torn cutrain” to be so disappointing despite the beauty of Paul Newman. Also tippi hedren was awful in various scenes in “Marnie” it’s laughable that she thinks she should have been Oscar nominated for that performance. The character was great but her performance was not.

by Anonymousreply 24October 21, 2021 8:47 PM

I've only seen a couple of his late 20's/early 30's films - BLACKMAIL and MURDER, which are at least interesting to watch. A lot of late 20's/early 30's films aren't good, even by fine directors - not everything is a PUBLIC ENEMY or a FRANKENSTEIN.

Hitchcock started to hit his stride with the 1934 THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, so I would judge his output from then on. Based on that, JAMAICA INN and UNDER CAPRICORN are probably the worst. THE PARADINE CASE is. I finally watched SABOTEUR not long ago, with Robert Cummings and the lumpy Priscilla Lane. Except for the finale, it's pretty clunky with a terrible script.

by Anonymousreply 25October 21, 2021 9:01 PM

Correction: "THE PARADINE CASE is close behind."

by Anonymousreply 26October 21, 2021 9:02 PM

I would rather go to the dentist than suffer through "The Paradine Case" again. OR "Under Capricorn." Or "Torn Curtain." But even with parts of the them and "Marnie" (horrid) and "Spellbound" (except as camp), you can see a mind working and arranging and plotting. He's the bourgeois world exposed, if not on the screen then aimed at the audience, or both.

Regarding "both," the Stewart-Day "Man Who Knew Too Much" is a prime example, and an "updated" remake of a fine film at that.

by Anonymousreply 27October 21, 2021 9:18 PM

JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK and THE SKIN GAME were fairly unchanged screen adaptations of successful stage plays, and (in my estimation) don't come across on the screen well at all . . . though I do like the auction scene in THE SKIN GAME. The case with NUMBER SEVENTEEN is similar; but part of its awkwardness is that onstage it was supposed to be somewhat comic, but with the film it's hard for the audience member to tell that the ludicrous things weren't meant seriously and so they come across as grotesque failed attempts at high drama.

WALTZES FROM VIENNA is blandly competent, but very disappointing if you expect Hitchcockian thrills.

"So answer the thread's question, already!" OK: I despise MARNIE. I find JAMAICA INN poorly acted, poorly written, and just plain annoying. UNDER CAPRICORN got under my skin (in a bad way). And I know I'm the only person who will ever say this, but I really question the much-vaunted merit of SHADOW OF A DOUBT. But I [italic]despise[/italic] MARNIE, even after three earnest attempts to like it.

by Anonymousreply 28October 21, 2021 9:29 PM

I saw Frenzy recently and thought it was really good! It's very disturbing and upsetting, but well made. I thought the way he set it up with that incredibly graphic first murder worked so well, because then with the second all we get is a line of dialogue, a closed door, and the camera backing away down the stairs and into the street. That was so effectively chilling.

I saw Vertigo recently and agree with the poster above. I was so looking forward to it and then really didn't enjoy it. I think it just didn't match my expectations and maybe I need to see it again, but yeah, it really didn't do anything for me.

Rear Window is one of the best films ever made, I think.

by Anonymousreply 29October 21, 2021 11:30 PM

Quite a few of them are just putrid.

by Anonymousreply 30October 21, 2021 11:36 PM

Stage Fright, The Trouble with Harry and Topaz don't work at all, but some of those already mentioned have some trace of Hitchcock at his best and are not without interest.

by Anonymousreply 31October 22, 2021 12:15 AM

I love Frenzy.

by Anonymousreply 32October 22, 2021 12:23 AM

I do too, R32. It's grubby and mean-spirited. Lovely!

by Anonymousreply 33October 22, 2021 12:36 AM

I love Charles Laughton and Robert Newton, but even they couldn't enliven the DOA "Jamaica Inn". What a turkey.

by Anonymousreply 34October 22, 2021 12:46 AM

I used to do an impression of Frenzy’s necktie murderer when I would pet my very soft cat as a preteen. “Lovely. Lovely! LOVELY! LLLLOOVELYYYY!”

I didn’t hurt the cat, of course, I just… loved petting his fur.

by Anonymousreply 35October 22, 2021 1:00 AM

R34, that reminds me: The Paradine Case is, correctly, remembered as a huge bore, but Charles Laughton is great as the sadistic judge who enjoys sentencing people to death.

by Anonymousreply 36October 22, 2021 1:04 AM

If Hitchcock had kept going into the 80s, I have this feeling he would've done even more lurid things and been quite gory.

by Anonymousreply 37October 22, 2021 1:23 AM

There was a planned-but-aborted film called Kaleidoscope in the late 60s, R37, that may have fit the bill.

by Anonymousreply 38October 22, 2021 1:25 AM

"Marnie" was probably the worst for me, and even though it's now sacriligeous to say it, I did not enjoy "Vertigo" at all.

My favorites were probably "Foreign Correspondent", "Rear Window" and the remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much".

by Anonymousreply 39October 22, 2021 1:27 AM

When Hitchcock was really good, he knew exactly how to frame things to be at their most unsettling, like the monoplane following the main character in The 39 Steps for example.

by Anonymousreply 40October 22, 2021 1:28 AM

Topaz least favorite. i tried twice and could never get through it. Frenzy was extremely good. As for Torn Curtain Julie and Paul were actually a good match with each other but not a good match for their professions in this movie let alone having them in East Germany as if they could blend in. Ha! A romcom in NY would have been better and more believable, even a bad one.

by Anonymousreply 41October 22, 2021 1:39 AM

Family Plot and The Trouble with Harry. Dishonorable mention to Torn Curtain.

by Anonymousreply 42October 22, 2021 1:43 AM

"Torn Curtain". Don't care for some of Hitchcock's last films, but "Family Plot" is really great! Most of his films are great.

by Anonymousreply 43October 22, 2021 1:47 AM

Anyone who picks Family Plot as one of his *worst*, has clearly not seen many of his earliest films. WOOF.

by Anonymousreply 44October 22, 2021 1:49 AM

MR AND MRS SMITH I kept waiting for the film to take a dark turn it didn’t happen. I do not recommend this film as Halloween viewing, that’s for sure!

by Anonymousreply 45October 22, 2021 1:49 AM

R44 Well CLEARLY you are wrong, dumbass---I have seen his earliest films, some multiple times, that were artfully made, very suspenseful with the precise editing, etc, dark at times though his droll black humor was always appreciated. God knows, I took enough film classes back in the day so yeah, I saw all these old ones. Hitchcock was brilliant and fucking perverse at times, which I loved. When I saw Family Plot, however, I thought it too talky, Bruce Dern overacts (not a fan of his) so I found him alone to be so fucking annoying, then there was Devane with his block of teeth, and so much hammy acting all around. Con artists playing tricks on each other? Yes I understand there are light comedic elements and a lot of people think the film clever, etc. but it's not my thing. I missed the old Hitch sensibility---maybe it is harsh to say but I thought he went out with a whimper. He was tired and ill.

by Anonymousreply 46October 22, 2021 5:57 AM

R46 I saw Family Plot years ago and enjoyed it though it does seem like a Disney film : The North Avenue Irregulars and it certainly isn't one of Hitch's best.

by Anonymousreply 47October 22, 2021 6:27 AM

I love Marnie for it's camp value. And Family Plot was literally the first Hitchcock film I saw which was great since I was a kid at the time.

I appreciate Jamaica Inn as a curiosity, but it is a pretty bad film.

I also dislike the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much.

by Anonymousreply 48October 22, 2021 7:30 AM

R16 Doris' finest moments are in Midnight Lace where she gets more laughs than in Pillow Talk.

by Anonymousreply 49October 22, 2021 7:49 AM

The Trouble With Harry. Boring. Also, Marnie. Doubly boring.

by Anonymousreply 50October 22, 2021 7:52 AM

MARNIE RULES! Fuck the haters, lol. It's campier then 'Baby Jane' and 'Mommie Dearest' combined. I was fuggin obsessed with that movie as a teen. I think 'Dial 'M' For Murder' was a snoozefest - and I love Grace Kelly. Saw it a few years ago in 3-D at the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas...what a snoozefest! Def need to revisit 'Family Plot' - forgot that the divine Karen Black is in it. Saw 'Vertigo' on the big screen a few years ago (after having nearly worn out my old VHS copy) and I had never realized how ludicrous and pulpy the plot was. And - ewwww - imagine kissing fugly old Republican James Stewart if you were Kim! Beautiful imagery and perhaps the most gorgeous score ever written for a film though...but yeah, the plot ain't even worthy of 'Days of Our Lives'

by Anonymousreply 51October 22, 2021 8:48 AM

[quote]Well CLEARLY you are wrong, dumbass---I have seen his earliest films, some multiple times, that were artfully made, very suspenseful with the precise editing, etc, dark at times though his droll black humor was always appreciated. God knows, I took enough film classes back in the day so yeah, I saw all these old ones.

You may enjoy his early films but a look at reviews on the IMDb, Letterboxd and other similar sites, along with comments in all manner of books and articles, are pretty unanimous in their opinion that many early Hitch flicks are very, very bad.

I cannot even imagine what film class would show NUMBER SEVENTEEN. University courses generally don't have enough time to go deep in the weeds like that.

by Anonymousreply 52October 22, 2021 10:17 AM

R49 Doris wasn’t a good dramatic actress. The only time that she came close to being good in drama was in the Ruth Etting biopic. TMWNTM, Julie and Midnight Lace feature patently awful performances by Miss Day. YMMV, but I think her breakdown scene in ML was hysterically funny. And I like Doris.

by Anonymousreply 53October 22, 2021 1:33 PM

Hitchcock’s worst is 100% better than any of that Marvel tripe.

I’m a lifelong fan of his work and it is indicative of how meaningless Oscars are that he never won for such masterpieces as Rear Window.

by Anonymousreply 54October 22, 2021 1:42 PM

Love or hate MARNIE, it's now the most relevant of his movies, thematically: marital rape, recovered memory, domestic abuse, trauma-induced crime, etc.

by Anonymousreply 55October 22, 2021 1:52 PM

As uneven as Marnie was, I despised her mother. What a cunt.

by Anonymousreply 56October 22, 2021 1:54 PM

I have never seen Under Capricorn. Just from the pics I have seen, it does not seem like a Hitchcock. Guess you never know how a movie is going to turn out, because Notorious that he had just made with Bergman, was one of his best from that era.

I just watched Rebecca for the first time in years. I would not put it as my least favorite and still enjoyed it, but it had not aged as well as I had remembered. It did have some elements of dated melodrama. I have heard that it is considered more of a Selznick picture than a true Hitchcock film, since he was calling a lot of the shots.

by Anonymousreply 57October 22, 2021 2:29 PM

My least favorite is Dial M for Murder. I just couldn't get into it. Maybe if Grace Kelly had been the gold-digging murderer vs an ancient Rex Harrison who'd left whatever looks he had in the bottom of a bottle. Just don't like him in general.

Marnie's awful, but I've always liked watching Connery hunt down poor Tippi. She didn't stand a chance.

My favorite Hitchcock film is Rear Window. Rope's great too.

I hate Vertigo.

by Anonymousreply 58October 22, 2021 3:26 PM

I meant Ray Milland, not Rex Harrison.

by Anonymousreply 59October 22, 2021 3:32 PM

Not a huge fan. Strangers on a Train was enjoyable.

by Anonymousreply 60October 22, 2021 3:32 PM

[quote] [R44] Well CLEARLY you are wrong, dumbass---I have seen his earliest films, some multiple times, that were artfully made, very suspenseful with the precise editing, etc, dark at times though his droll black humor was always appreciated.

You think all of his earliest films are better than Family Plot? Wow. Okay, then.

I mean, what can anyone even say to such a person?

by Anonymousreply 61October 22, 2021 4:13 PM

The Paradine Case was also one of his lesser efforts.

by Anonymousreply 62October 22, 2021 4:52 PM

MR. and MRS. SMITH starred Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery in Hitchcock’s attempt at sophisticated comedy. It’s just dull.

I CONFESS is boring, just poor Montgomery Clift as a tormented priest.

THE WRONG MAN is just depressingly relentless. It might be regarded as a classic if someone convinced you it was directed by Roberto Rosselini.

THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY has some pretty location footage, but it’s still a chore to sit through. It would have been far more effective as a half hour episode on Hitchcock’s TV series.

UNDER CAPRICORN is just terrible. How many times did poor Ingrid Bergman have to go crazy with gaslighting husbands? (And she invented being gaslighted!)

Too many Hitchcock films are famous for a single sequence, while the rest of the movie just plods along. The twitching eye of the band player in YOUNG AND INNOCENT. The climactic cymbals clash in TMWKTM. The little brother unknowingly carrying a bomb in SABOTAGE. Even the magnificent scissors murder in DIAL M FOR MURDER stands out amidst a kind of drawing room mystery. And Hitchcock admitted FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT was based on a string of set pieces he had thought up. Apart from those, it just kind of muddles along.

Hitchcock ended up having a really spotty career.

(Like everyone else in creation…)

by Anonymousreply 63October 22, 2021 5:45 PM

[quote]THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY has some pretty location footage, but it’s still a chore to sit through. It would have been far more effective as a half hour episode on Hitchcock’s TV series.

It doesn't help that Shirley MacLaine is TERRIBLE in it. She was cute as a button but just awful. She didn't give a good performance until The Matchmaker a few years later.

by Anonymousreply 64October 22, 2021 5:49 PM

I enjoyed maclaine in “hot spell”

by Anonymousreply 65October 22, 2021 6:37 PM

Topaz. I've never been able to finish it. Also, Torn Curtain isn't quite up to his usual standards. It took a couple of viewings before I appreciated Frenzy and Family Plot, but I love them both now. I've yet to see Under Capricorn.

by Anonymousreply 66October 22, 2021 6:44 PM


Terrible script, ghastly leading actress.

by Anonymousreply 67October 22, 2021 6:45 PM

R67, Marnie is quite good and very thought-provoking and Hedren is fantastic in it.

by Anonymousreply 68October 22, 2021 6:51 PM

R68 thanks for your input Melanie tell us again about that special gift he gave you. The doll in the coffin.

by Anonymousreply 69October 22, 2021 7:06 PM

In the right frame of mind, like during a depressing winter evening during the pandemic, I watched "The Trouble with Harry" again, and found it delightful. It has the most wonderful scenery, a fun bouncy score, some wonderful performances and a very droll, sense of humor, which being a black comedy, is actually quite British. Hitchcock thought Shirley MacLaine was quite good, and I agree with him. She's quirky and charming and isn't too hard to believe she's the mother of pre-Beaver little Jerry Mathers. Edmund "Kris Kringle" Gwenn and Mildred Natwick have the very right style for the piece and John Forysthe is quite charming and good-looking as well. I could see if someone was looking for thrills or rioutous comedy where this might be disappointing, but if you're in a slightly out-of-kilter mood, the combination of whimsical, but black comedy about a title character who just won't stay buried, and eye candy in scenery, might just hit the spot.

I watched (came in a bit late) some of "Waltzes from Vienna" recently and it's not very good, even making the charming Jessie Matthews' character out to be something of an ungrateful bitch, without too many opportunities to sing and dance (unless she did more at the beginning of the film). I recall not really liking "The Paradine Case" years ago.

by Anonymousreply 70October 22, 2021 7:14 PM

"riotous" that is.

by Anonymousreply 71October 22, 2021 7:16 PM

THE PARADINE CASE may be a lesser effort, but what Datalounger wouldn't want that fabulous bed, and be in it with Louis Jourdan and Greg Peck?

by Anonymousreply 72October 22, 2021 7:18 PM

Against the tide: but I love Vertigo. Kim Novak, the clothes, the hair. And a great turn by Barbara bel Geddes as Midge. The plot is silly of course.

Rear Window is just about perfect. Dial M--a big bore. Family Plot I enjoyed. Frenzy: No, too graphic and morbid.

Psycho, The Birds, and North by Northwest are faves. + Rope and Strangers on a Train.

Agree about the remake of The Man Who Knew too Much.

The Lady Vanishes from the early films.

by Anonymousreply 73October 22, 2021 7:41 PM

I like Rear Window, but a friend pointed out something about Jimmy Stewart that I can't unsee. Friend said his "aw shucks" personality was bullshit and when I see it now, I can't stand it.

by Anonymousreply 74October 22, 2021 7:52 PM

"Rear Window" is great, but I keep thinking that Thelma Ritter is a better mate for James Stewart than Grace Kelly. Or maybe one of the ladies he's spying on. But Grace Kelly for Stewart? He's fine in some films, but for someone a bit more matronly.

by Anonymousreply 75October 22, 2021 7:58 PM

Grace Kelly had no sex appeal in Rear Window. I didn't buy that Jimmy Stewart was somewhat ambivalent about her, but saw her "in action," and changed his mind (was suddenly hot for her).

Thelma Ritter was the best thing about that movie.

I do think GK is spectacularly beautiful, though.

by Anonymousreply 76October 22, 2021 8:01 PM

Funny, OP; Frenzy actually is my favorite Hitchcock film, and for all the reasons you hate it. Plus, the performances were pitch-perfect. I've always found Alec McCowan soooo fucking sexy here, and his scenes with Vivien Merchant are PRICELESS.

My least faves: North By Northwest and Vertigo. Dry as hell. Unwatchable.

by Anonymousreply 77October 22, 2021 8:01 PM

I'd completely loathe "Marnie" if it weren't for Sean Connery, as it is, I just loathe 90% of it.

It's not only an unconving film, it's a stupid one. All bullshit psychology and marital rape.

by Anonymousreply 78October 22, 2021 8:02 PM

R76 well James Stewart must be hard to have sexual chemistry with. Grace smouldered with someone like Stewart granger. She’d have been interesting with a hot young Errol Flynn.

by Anonymousreply 79October 22, 2021 8:04 PM

Yeah, I saw North by Northwest and can’t remember much about it.

by Anonymousreply 80October 22, 2021 8:05 PM

I like Vertigo for 2 reasons: the scenery—including vintage San Francisco, and the Technicolor.

by Anonymousreply 81October 22, 2021 8:10 PM

I used to not like NxNW until I rewatched it recently. It’s hilarious and at times, so suspenseful. Truly loved it. As a kid, I couldn’t stand anything that had to do with spies and whatever nefarious shit James Mason was up to. I only liked the macabre Hitchcock. But now I appreciate it as a highly entertaining and stunningly beautiful film.

Can’t wait to get a 4K UHD of it (and all the other Hitch films that haven’t gotten that treatment yet).

by Anonymousreply 82October 22, 2021 8:12 PM

Hitchcock's ugly obsessions were taking over at the end of the career--rape especially. As many people have said, the shower scene in "Psycho" is really a rape; the birds in the attic rape Tippi Hedren; "Marnie" has a real rape scene; he wanted to make a movie with Audrey Hepburn in which she would be raped (but she got pregnant and dropped out); "Frenzy" is about how amusing he found rape. This is REAL nastiness, and you can't explain it away.

by Anonymousreply 83October 22, 2021 8:32 PM

North by Northwest and Vertigo are his two best films. They're endless entertaining and rewatchable. NBN is like the best Bond film that doesn't feature 007. Vertigo is perhaps the most dreamlike film of all cinema. Both are masterpieces.

by Anonymousreply 84October 22, 2021 9:05 PM

R83, I don’t think anyone walks away from Frenzy thinking that they’ve been “amused.” It’s a disturbing film, but then Hitchcock’s films can be like that. They often seem to to have been made someone contemplating their very worst impulses in a cold, detached way.

That’s one of the things that makes Vertigo so sad. Scottie is a rather obviously a necrophile; he can only be happy with someone who is dead. He should be revolting. Instead, Hitchcock uses him to explore, in a delicate, dreamlike way, the idea that romantic love is an illusion—that a lover doesn’t see the person he is with, he sees only his own fantasy.

by Anonymousreply 85October 22, 2021 9:18 PM

I hated Scottie in the scene when he was buying her a gray suit.

by Anonymousreply 86October 22, 2021 9:28 PM

Ultimately, “Family Plot” must be my favorite, as it is the only one I’ll watch without any reason at all. “The Birds” would be a close second and “North by Northwest” would be third, but I probably would have to come across them on TV, rather than seeking them out.

by Anonymousreply 87October 22, 2021 10:08 PM

Exactly, R87, some movies require no effort to watch and be entertained, like Family Plot. Goodfellas, Coal Miner's Daughter.

by Anonymousreply 88October 22, 2021 10:14 PM

I don’t know why he was so enamored of Jimmy Stewart as a leading man in his films. Gangly, homely with limited range as an actor. I never really thought much of him.

by Anonymousreply 89October 22, 2021 10:25 PM

Hitchcock's best still hold up today:

The 39 Steps

The Lady Vanishes




Shadow of a Doubt





Stage Fright

Strangers on a Train

Dial M for Murder

Rear Window

To Catch a Thief

The Trouble with Harry

The Man Who Knew Too Much (remake)


North by Northwest


The Birds



Family Plot

by Anonymousreply 90October 22, 2021 10:51 PM

"Foreign Correspondent" is pretty terrific too with hunk Joel McCrea, along with the wonderful Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Lorraine Day and Edmund Gwenn trying to push, er, things along. It also has the great fun of turning into an pre-Irwin Allen disaster movie in its last act! One of Hitch's most entertaining films.

The great Barbara Harris is reason enough to watch "Family Plot", but it's also by turns funny and exciting at times as well.

"Dial M" is too talky, though I once did see it in a retrospective of 3-D movies (in which it was originally released). Only time, but to spectacular effect, is when Grace Kelly's hand reaches out while she's encountering an unexpected houseguest before finding some scissors. Chilling in 3-D.

The original "Man Who Knew Too Much" is very good too

"Vertigo" is great, but I can see why it might bore some people, in that it is quite arty.

by Anonymousreply 91October 22, 2021 11:36 PM

I generally like Hitchcock, but I really hated Vertigo when I saw it in a revival house - it was pretty on a big screen, but the plot is annoyingly ridiculous; but generally I am not a fan of melodrama.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Martin Landau playing gay in NxNW.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 92October 22, 2021 11:51 PM

R76 Grace Kelly had no sex appeal....

She was designed to be frigid

She was designed to enflame Repressed, Self-hating Catholics like Hitchcock.

by Anonymousreply 93October 22, 2021 11:52 PM

Some of y'all don't know much about cinema. How can anyone hate Vertigo? It's a masterpiece.

by Anonymousreply 94October 23, 2021 4:27 AM

[quote] How can anyone hate Vertigo?

You have to see it on the big screen to appreciate all the weird colour shading and hear all that lush orchestra stolen from Richard Wagner.

by Anonymousreply 95October 23, 2021 4:31 AM

We know about his neurotic fear of the police and authority and the Catholic Church.

But we don't know about his early days in Germany leaning about chiaroscuro from the German Expressionist homosexual Friedrich Murnau and quick-cutting and montage from Soviet homosexual Sergei Eisenstein.

by Anonymousreply 96October 23, 2021 4:40 AM

"I don’t know why he was so enamored of Jimmy Stewart as a leading man in his films"

He used Stewart for "everyman" roles, and Grant to play wish-fulfillment figures like handsome cat burglars.

The exception to that is "Notorious", where Grant plays a completely asshole who treats the heroine like dirt... but who looks good doing it.

by Anonymousreply 97October 23, 2021 5:24 AM

I can't get over the rapist's orange hair in Frenzy.


by Anonymousreply 98October 23, 2021 5:28 AM

Just be glad they showed Anna Massey’s bush and not Barry Foster’s, R98.

by Anonymousreply 99October 23, 2021 5:38 AM

[quote] Frenzy. It's ugly

[quote] I can't get over the rapist's orange hair

He would have been uglier if Hitchcock got his way and had slovenly Morris Micklewhite (Michael Caine) playing that ugly Cockney man.

by Anonymousreply 100October 23, 2021 5:40 AM

The redheaded guy in "Frenzy" was a cast member on the very funny Britcom "Doctor in the House" which used to be shown in syndication in the US.

by Anonymousreply 101October 23, 2021 6:40 PM

Jon Finch was hot, but he looked much better without the "Frenzy" moustache.

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by Anonymousreply 102October 23, 2021 7:06 PM

Notorious, Shadow of a Doubt, and Rebecca are my personal favourites. Shadow was allegedly his favourite. Stylish, intriguing, yet alarming, all with matchless casts and last scenes.

Rebecca had the advantage of being based on a first-class page-turner. As in the book, the reader/viewer doesn't find out the truth until two thirds of the way through. Keeping the audience engaged for that long before the penny drops takes immense narrative skill and pacing. Both Du Maurier and Hitch nailed it in Rebecca.

by Anonymousreply 103October 24, 2021 9:08 PM

After Vertigo, I think The Birds is Hitch's most beautiful film. The cinematography and scenery are simply stunning and Miss Hedren was a lovely leading lady and Rod Taylor was a hunk of handsomeness. I also love Miss Pleshette.

As for least favourite, I'd say Torn Curtain. How do you make a boring film with Paul Newman and Miss Andrews? Hitch wasn't working on all cylinders at this time.

by Anonymousreply 104October 25, 2021 12:45 AM

[italic]Torn Curtain [/italic]was a major disappointment. Definitely bottom-of-the-barrel Hitchcock. Newman, over the years, proved to be an inconsistent actor, with several dud performances in between many of his better ones.

by Anonymousreply 105October 25, 2021 1:04 AM

I do love the music from North by Northwest with its flutes, piccolos and violins.

by Anonymousreply 106October 25, 2021 1:18 AM

Downhill, one of his silent films, was just plain silly

Out of all his Hollywood films I probably like The Paradine Case the least. I'm one of the few who like Under Capricorn

by Anonymousreply 107October 25, 2021 1:36 AM

[quote] I'm one of the few who like Under Capricorn


The plot? The performers? The location? The ten-minute-take?

by Anonymousreply 108October 25, 2021 7:31 AM

UNDER CAPRICORN shows mercy to all drunken housewives who show up late to a formal dinner barefoot and woozy.

Margaret Leighton is deliciously nawsty in this flick--it's the men (Cotten and Wilding) who are dull and miscast.

by Anonymousreply 109October 25, 2021 1:46 PM

R108, I like the cast, the setting, the gorgeous technicolor....

by Anonymousreply 110October 25, 2021 6:23 PM

[quote] What was with the detective's wife making those ghastly dinners in Frenzy?

Lots of Americans hate Hitchcock's weird sense of humour and his English eccentrics. Such as the batty old ornithologist in 'The Birds', the horsey ladies (Gladys Cooper in 'Rebecca' and Isobel Jeans in 'Suspicion's), and the unusual father played by Alastair Sim in 'Stage Fright'.

Hitchcock toned it down in his American movies but it's more prevalent with all the eccentrics on the train in 'The Lady Vanishes'. This movie was written by Sidney Gilliat who went to direct some other 'Hitchcock-type' thrillers.

Gilliat's best movie is 'Green for Danger' a closely-observed study of some doctors and hysterical nurses under German bombardment. It has two handsome men (Trevor Howard and Leo Genn), England's version of Gene Tierney (Sally Gray), the inimitable Alastair Sim and Judy Campbell (the mother to Jane Birkin)

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by Anonymousreply 111October 26, 2021 5:36 AM

[quote] What was with the detective's wife making those ghastly dinners in Frenzy?

Those were my two favorite scenes. The care she took to place the “food” on his plate and the exaggerated voice she used was great. And of course his reactions.

by Anonymousreply 112October 26, 2021 5:47 AM

Almost as much fun as Alice Playten and Terry Kiser in this wonderful Alka Seltzer commercial. Marshmallowed meatballs indeed!

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by Anonymousreply 113October 26, 2021 6:07 AM

R111 Kudos for bringing up Gilliat, Sim, and "Green for Danger". The latter one of my favourite quirky British mysteries. However, the film has deteriorated physically. Even on television it gets patchy in places, just as the DVD does. "Coma" lifted it's core gimmick - not exactly but generally.

Trevor Howard one of my early crushes. He and Genn were perfect foils as two kinds of British male leads. Howard got some traction in America in the 40s and early 50s as a romantic lead, but both he and Genn were very much British taste.

And forget trying to explain to my American friends how Sim got to be a star.

by Anonymousreply 114October 26, 2021 10:55 AM

[quote] Least Favorite Hitchcock Film?

You can't generalise about him.

He worked in two countries for at least 5 different employers. He deliberately made four untypical movies.

He stayed a Catholic but made four big policy changes in his career.

by Anonymousreply 115October 26, 2021 10:17 PM

I have a Hitchcock collection of DVDs here. I'd be interested to hear recommendations of which one to watch next out of these. Leaving aside the ones I've already seen, I have:










by Anonymousreply 116October 30, 2021 12:36 PM

Nobody ever mentions Rich and Strange which I liked a lot when I saw it many many years ago. Maybe it doesn't hold up.

by Anonymousreply 117October 30, 2021 1:11 PM

Op, I loved Frenzy when I saw it in college. A roommate was a huge Hitchcock fan and introduced me to his stuff.

Frenzy is his only R-rated film

by Anonymousreply 118October 30, 2021 1:16 PM

r116 Though each one has its supporters and its critics, they're all worth seeing at least once. I'd recommend seeing one of the less universally liked ones next, so that you still have more of the more universally liked ones to look forward to. Give "Topaz" a try.

r117 "Rich and Strange" is a fine, underappreciated, film. I liked it on first viewing, but its structure and special merits didn't really kick in for me until my third viewing.

by Anonymousreply 119October 30, 2021 1:23 PM

Watch Rope, R116.

by Anonymousreply 120October 30, 2021 1:31 PM

RICH AND STRANGE would be considered irredeemably racist now (especially the scenes set on the Chinese "junk") but it does reveal AH's warped sense of humor.

by Anonymousreply 121October 30, 2021 1:57 PM

R119 that's a very good idea. I'd like to still have some of the classics to look forward to. Most of them I've already seen (THE LODGER, THE 39 STEPS, THE LADY VANISHES, REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST, PSYCHO, THE BIRDS, FRENZY).

R120, definitely want to see ROPE sometime, that's been on my list for ages.

Thanks for the advice!

by Anonymousreply 122October 30, 2021 2:40 PM

You didn't mention STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, R122. That's a must-see.

by Anonymousreply 123October 30, 2021 4:05 PM

R116 -- Shadow of a Doubt should be on the short list to view.

by Anonymousreply 124October 30, 2021 4:11 PM

R116, put all of those in the trash and buy the blu ray set instead.

by Anonymousreply 125October 30, 2021 4:20 PM

R116 - Shadow of a Doubt. It was Hitch's personal favourite. Its contrast between happy family life in prosperous Santa Rosa, CA in the years after WWII and the festering ugliness one member brings in is matchlessly well done. The performances are stellar, especially Joseph Cotten's. It keeps you off-balance yet is slily filled with charm - the lovely old house, the odd but loving family, the vitality conveyed by those hopeful immediate post-war years, and suberb cinematography.

Dmitiri Tiomkin's score was excellent, as well. He worked with Hitch again afterwards, but this was his first collaboration. I think he may also have done the score for Dial M for Murder but don't quote me.

by Anonymousreply 126October 30, 2021 9:06 PM

Thanks everyone, this is some good stuff!

R125, whoops, it actually is a Blu Ray set, hehe. I wish you could get a complete set so I could go chronologically, but I'm not sure one exists, it didn't last time I looked. Then again, if I did that, I mghtt get over it during a lot of the early ones and not make it to the better ones?

I don't have STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, but if I did that would definitely be the first one I would want to watch.

by Anonymousreply 127October 30, 2021 10:21 PM

R115 Watch them all.

R117 I also enjoyed 'Rich and Strange'. The husband was played by Henry Kendall who wasn't physically attractive but he was homosexual IRL.

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by Anonymousreply 128October 31, 2021 1:20 AM

R126, that film was made in 1943, during the war…

by Anonymousreply 129October 31, 2021 2:51 AM

"The husband was played by Henry Kendall who wasn't physically attractive but he was homosexual IRL."

Hitch worked with a lot of actors who were family - Ivor Novello, Charles Laughton, John Gielgud, Cary Grant, Farley Granger....

by Anonymousreply 130October 31, 2021 2:53 AM

I can see why people wouldn’t like Frenzy.

The necktie death scene is absolutely horrifying.

I think that scene and Rutanya Alda‘s death scene in “The Dark Half” are the saddest horror movie murder scenes of all time.

They’re not thrilling they’re very depressive to watch even though both are effective from an artistic perspective because they were so scary and memorable.

by Anonymousreply 131October 31, 2021 3:05 AM

[quote] Hitch worked with a lot of actors who were family

Go to Google and you'll find quite a few scholarly articles about homosexual actors and characters in his films.

I remember this ancient one where gay Esme Percy plays a female impersonator/ high-wire performer based on Barbette.

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by Anonymousreply 132October 31, 2021 4:39 AM

Another Hitchcock performer assumed to be gay was Cyril Ritchard.

He appeared in Blackmail which was known as the first successful European talkie.

I've forgotten if it's 'Blackmail' or 'Murder' where one of the characters is described as an 'invert'.

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by Anonymousreply 133October 31, 2021 4:52 AM

R131, I know what you mean. It's one of the worst rape scenes I've seen, because you don't really see anything, but you're aware of everything that's happening, and it's the entirety of the act followed by the murder. Something so heartbreaking about her reciting poetry to herself to get through it.

by Anonymousreply 134October 31, 2021 8:19 AM

I think I saw the rape scene in “irreversible” before I watched “frenzy” hence why I couldn’t really take it seriously.

by Anonymousreply 135October 31, 2021 9:09 AM

So, I didn't end up watching any of the movies I listed above; I came across REBECCA on YouTube and watched that instead (after also rewatching THE 39 STEPS). It was alright. Honestly, of the ones I've seen so far (listed at R122), I might actually say REBECCA is my least favourite.

I can't quite work out why, but I think it was too melodramatic, the music too romantic rather than suspenseful, the acting too overwrought. I find a lot of old timey acting charming mostly, but not in this. Is it a 40s thing? Because I enjoyed THE 39 STEPS very much.

I did think maybe I should read the book, but I'm not sure. I even found it difficult to stay awake towards the last half hour of the movie. Is this meant to be du Maurier's version of Jane Eyre or similar? I understand it's a Gothic story, hence the melodrama, but I just didn't like it so much.

Were we meant to be hoping the best for the two leads? He was awful, the way he treated her. I was completely expecting this to be a movie about a timid woman who gets preyed upon by an abusive husband. I think I would've liked that better.

Especially after watching THE 39 STEPS. Even with the 'of the time' sexism in some of the dialogue, I really enjoyed the sparks and the back and forth of the two main characters in that.

by Anonymousreply 136October 31, 2021 1:21 PM

[italic]Rebecca[/italic] is a good movie, but compromised by David Selznick’s micromanaging. He re-edited it behind Hitchcock’s back too.

by Anonymousreply 137October 31, 2021 4:10 PM

I remember being very disappointed that The Farmer's Wife was a stilted romantic comedy of its time. It would have been fun if he did a proto-Psycho, taking a sudden turn into thriller territory after 30 minutes of "Gentleman in the countryside wants a new wife" intrigue.

Downhill is unbelievably stupid... but Hitchcock tries to make the trite material looks interesting with his direction, camera works. He attempts some cinematographic exploration. I think of the scene when we think the young man is a waiter, only to discover he is a theater actor, or going down the subway station. Interesting. In spite of the talent involved (Hitch and Ivor Novello do their best), it cannot transcend the melodrama from another century and the unbelievable resolution. (Also, it would have been more realistic if in his unending fall from grace, the young man rented himself to a man rather than a woman).

That must be in relation to this film that Hitchcock said that the 3 most important elements for the succes of a movie are "the script, the script and the script."

Finally, what really and utterly ruins Vertigo for me is the last minute, it ends the film as a joke.

by Anonymousreply 138October 31, 2021 6:00 PM

Vertigo, for a very superficial reason: I think Kim Novak looks terrible in this film. I love her in Bell, Book, and Candle but in Vertigo, she looks like she’s been stuffed into her wardrobe.

by Anonymousreply 139October 31, 2021 6:19 PM

But I just love Kim’s eyebrows as Judy the waitress…so ridiculous…

by Anonymousreply 140October 31, 2021 8:21 PM

[quote] the last half hour of the movie

Selznick insisted that nothing be cut. Hitchcock said his version would be half an hour shorter.

by Anonymousreply 141October 31, 2021 10:22 PM

It really sounds like so much of what I disliked about Rebecca are the exact things that were fiddled with by people other than Hitchcock.

by Anonymousreply 142November 1, 2021 11:01 AM

Hitchcock said that Selznick wanted the smoke rising from the ashes of Manderley to form an R at the end of the movie.

by Anonymousreply 143November 2, 2021 4:03 AM

Selznick said his OVER-LONG version of Gone With The Wind was a success because fans would object to any condensing of the book. Same with Rebecca.

by Anonymousreply 144November 2, 2021 4:08 AM

To be honest, so much of Hitchcock feels so dated and overwrought. Only one or two of his movies will survive with the younger generations.

by Anonymousreply 145November 2, 2021 4:14 AM

[quote] Only one or two of his movies

Which ones, R145?

by Anonymousreply 146November 2, 2021 4:21 AM

R146, I'm guessing Psycho and The Birds. Runner ups would be Vertigo and North by Northwest

by Anonymousreply 147November 2, 2021 1:56 PM

^What about Rear Window? One of the best films ever made, I think!

by Anonymousreply 148November 2, 2021 8:39 PM

[italic]Notorious[/italic] is his best forties film. It’s as precise as a Swiss watch.

by Anonymousreply 149November 3, 2021 12:46 AM

The Trouble With Harry, it just never did it for me and I love Hitchcock movies.

by Anonymousreply 150November 3, 2021 12:50 AM

I’m glad I’m not the only one who was disappointed in Rebecca. It took me years to finally see it—after being a Hitch fan for over three decades! I was expecting something really suspenseful, mysterious, haunting… it’s okay, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not all that.

And I LOVE Fontaine and Olivier—two of the most beautiful actors of that period.

I felt the ending was rather abrupt, actually.

by Anonymousreply 151November 3, 2021 12:52 AM

[quote] Olivier … most beautiful

He was indescribably gorgeous.

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by Anonymousreply 152November 3, 2021 1:05 AM

He's incredibly beautiful in Wuthering Heights. He and Oberon couldn't stand one another. Yet they play such believably passionate lovers in the film.

by Anonymousreply 153November 3, 2021 2:33 AM

[quote] I’m glad I’m not the only one who was disappointed in Rebecca. It took me years to finally see it—after being a Hitch fan for over three decades! I was expecting something really suspenseful, mysterious, haunting… it’s okay, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not all that.

I identify with this completely.

by Anonymousreply 154November 3, 2021 12:21 PM

Olivier wanted Vivien to play Cathy in WH. She would have been better than Oberon, who came off more petulant than passionate. She lacked the wildness the character needed. And I like Merle Oberon, but her performance was…inept.

by Anonymousreply 155November 3, 2021 12:44 PM

I haven't read the book in forever but didn't Selznick cut out a number of characters in GWTW? For example didn't Scarlett have another child before Rhett?

by Anonymousreply 156November 4, 2021 2:19 AM

R156 - she had three kids, one with each husband.

There was more with her friend ?Kathleen? and a the foreman and other minor characters had bigger roles. The main thing, besides the additional children that I remember being cut-out is there was a backstory of her mother having an ill-fated love affair with a cousin. She was devoted to Gerald, but he was not the love of her life. I thought the book was more clear of Scarlett's changing feelings about Ashley her growing friendship of Melanie and showing the gradual changes in the in the last third to quarter of the book, so when she realized it herself at the end it was mainly a surprise to her. I thought all in all they did a good job in what they cut. The other kids would not have added much to the movie, and as interesting as Ellen's backstory was, it was not as critical to the main story and would have been hard to include.

by Anonymousreply 157November 4, 2021 2:54 AM
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