Aug. 1, 2008, 5:22 a.m. CST
Aug. 1, 2008, 5:24 a.m. CST
REAR WINDOW, TO CATCH A THIEF, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. That's not bad work at all. And, yep, Quint, you should check out the earlier version (which I still prefer) for Lorre alone. And Coppolla rips this movie off in GODFATHER III (tho the opera scene is great in its own right).
Aug. 1, 2008, 5:29 a.m. CST
and agree intensely about James Stewart. I don't think I've seen him give a non-charasmatic and involving (I won't say bad per se) performance. <p> Unrelatedly The Man Who Knew Too Little with Bill Murray had so much potential, I saw that the other day on TV and was amused but ultimately disappointed and I'm a Bill Murray whore. Since Quint's been doing this I've also tried to make an effort to catch up on all the flicks I've meant to watch and got round to Broken Flowers. <p> My girlfriend detested it, I loved it. The headfuck of a non-conventional ending is beautifully disjointed. <p> Keep on Quint
Aug. 1, 2008, 5:30 a.m. CST
Get your ass to the store and get yourself some Hitch. And don't you be using no Blu-Ray as an excuse.
Aug. 1, 2008, 5:34 a.m. CST
but did you mean cymbals Q? Anyway, keep this thing going. I love movies but sadly, there are so many classics that I have yet to see and this little column help me to know where to start. I've only seen a few Hitchcock (Vertigo, Psycho, and North by Northwest) which I really really have to rectify.
Aug. 1, 2008, 5:41 a.m. CST
I've only just seen this for the first time in the last 6 months and although the first 2/3's is pretty cool I found the last part in the embassy to be a letdown. It was good to see some of those classic scenes that pop up in reviews all the time though.
Aug. 1, 2008, 6:40 a.m. CST
I just seen that a few weeks ago, for the first time. I was surprised how many different films I could think of that had referenced it in some way. But, you get that quite a bit with Hitch.
Aug. 1, 2008, 6:57 a.m. CST
Like in Psycho, you think Janet Leigh's character is the protagonist, but then she gets killed about a third of the way in.
Aug. 1, 2008, 7:19 a.m. CST
I've always found this one particularly under-rated, it's truly a tight, thoughtful suspense-yarn and I agree the performances were outstanding, especially Day's. The orchestra scene is deservedly a classic and it showed how Hitchcock often employed strictly visual narration (what he referred to as "pure cinema"), a remnant of his silent period but a true master-class for any film director, aspiring or otherwise. If you don't know your Hitchcock and would like to, you should probably go chronological:start with 39 steps (the blue-print for ALL man-on-the-run movies (including North by Northwest)), move on to Rebecca, check out Spellbound, Notorious BEFORE you hit the golden period. Hitchcock owned the fifties, folks: from Strangers on a Train to Psycho, there are precious few missteps (maybe Harry and To Catch a Thief) and five or six bona-fide masterpieces. Of course, these films are entertaining but they can be delved into endlessly and, more importantly, they can delve into you. I'm no film student but Hitch is just the greatest IMHO (yes, even Kubrick, Lean, Welles or Spielberg can't reach these heights). I know it sounds grandiloquent, I know a lot of people have sais this but Hitch, with his quiet subversion within the studio system and during probably the most buttoned-down decade of the century, shaped the rhythm, scope and themes of the culture to come in the 60s, both mainstream and underground. Okay, that did sound pretentious but check these films out and tell me otherwise. No wonder he topped the decade off with a B&W, tiny budget, punk film whose main protagonist was a psychopath. Hitch is the filmic equivalent of the Beatles. Or Mozart. Or Picasso. Whatever... just give the big man a chance.
Aug. 1, 2008, 7:25 a.m. CST
Don't do that. That's like killing a puppy, man. You just can't do that: it'll get you into Hell if you're a believer (and possibly also if you're not). That is one of the greatest twists ever commited, forget Usual Suspects or Jacob's Ladder (ie The Sixth Sense, ie The Hitchhiker episode of TZ): that shower scene is the mother of all twists. Hasn't been topped.
Aug. 1, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST
I haven't seen it in years, but it is just solid. Jimmmy Stewart was always great.
Aug. 1, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST
I always wonder how freaked out people were when the film was originally released - not only the shower scene, but when the killer's identity is revealed at the end. Nowadays, it's common knowledge, but it must have been pretty wild for a new audience.
Aug. 1, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST
Only discovered them a couple of years ago and they are completely absorbing. Will stop posting, now, for fear of becoming The Man Who Wrote Too Much.
Aug. 1, 2008, 8:02 a.m. CST
You're probably right: people have probably seen/ read about the sequence so many times that they know it's coming. That said, when it's absorbed in context, I'm pretty sure it still is quite effective (not so much as a twist but as a shock). Oh, and if any of you haven't seen the original Les Diaboliques, check it out as well. The only film Hitchcock was jealous about not having made (subsequently, he adapted the authors' next novel into Vertigo). Must stop waxing pedantic about Hitchcock, need to work. Great column, Quint, never saluted you for it!
Aug. 1, 2008, 8:22 a.m. CST
My father saw Pyscho during its first release when he was a college student. He didn't know the twists were coming, and I remember him telling me about how terrifying it was. Scariest movie he'd ever seen, and the audience was packed and also in shock. The two scariest scenes for him were the overhead shot when the detective is coming up the stairs in Norman's house and gets a surpirse and the reveal of Norman's mom in the end. Great stuff at the time, now too iconic to be surprising.
Aug. 1, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST
I can't read a note of music but that kept me on the edge of my seat! I also agree about how underrated Doris Day. She was better than people think AND had a great body!
Aug. 1, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST
Freaked me the fuck out, and she knew it too. We grew up with Hitchcock in our house. Good times. The combination of that fucking song and Psycho made me believe (and I still do) that my mom is a very sick old bitch.
Aug. 1, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST
is Rope. Hitchcock more or less just plants the camera and lets the actors do their thing.
Aug. 1, 2008, 12:59 p.m. CST
by Mavra Chang
It was one of his experimental films that really shines. Regarding your comment about Doris Day's light and fluffy persona, I don't remember who said it, but I heard a quote once that went "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin." I have always thought her less innocent characters were more interesting and believable than the ones she later became identified with.
Aug. 1, 2008, 1:23 p.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
Whatever will be, will be.
Aug. 1, 2008, 1:26 p.m. CST
by The Dum Guy
I haven't seen this in awhile and I've never seen the original.<br><br>I never knew that Que Sera,Sera was made for this. You learn something trivial everyday.
Aug. 1, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST
I had a course on Hitch in school, and I wrote a paper all about the influence of 39 steps on cinema. My favorite would have to be Fletch, where he gives that impromptu speech at the tribute dinner, just to keep the cops away. Right out of 39 Steps. Genius.
Aug. 1, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST
Why not? I remember really enjoying the one where he and, I think, Geena Davis and Randy Quaid can't for the life of them get out of New York folowing a bank robbery. I believe it was Murray's only directoral job.
Aug. 1, 2008, 2:56 p.m. CST
This is definitely in my top 5 favorite Hitch films. The assasination scene is such a great combination of music and editing, the kind of stuff that only Hitch could do perfectly.
Aug. 1, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST
The film your talking about is 'Quick Change' which was made around 1990. A low key but fun effort well worth digging out. Quite hard to find, or at least it was when I did around two years back.
Aug. 1, 2008, 11:46 p.m. CST
No one would dare scoff at Doris Day after watching the scene where James Stewart browbeats her into taking a sedative before he breaks the news that their son is kidnapped. Day pours out anger, heartbreak and anguish in an absolutely amazing piece of acting. Great trivia for horror sci-fi buffs...the assassin is played by the cadaverous Reggie Nalder..years later he pops up as the Nosferatu-like vampire in the first mini-series version of "Salem's Lot". And the younger taxidermist, Ambrose Chapel, is Richard Wordsworth, the profoundly creepy, doomed astronaut of "The Quatermass Xperiment"(or "Creeping Unknown")
Aug. 2, 2008, 12:11 a.m. CST
Last 15 seconds of Hermann's music before Stewart's final line is classic. It was on my answering machine for a few years. Looking back, now I know why no one called me.....
Aug. 2, 2008, 1:41 a.m. CST
the man could do everything...and do it seemingly without effort...and this is a brilliant movie...and fuck mentioning that crappy murray pos in this thread...fucking troglodites
Aug. 4, 2008, 9:56 a.m. CST
when he made Patriot Games, that fat Elvis Glasses wearing hack.
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