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message 1: by Phillip (last edited Jun 15, 2009 12:32PM) (new)

Phillip I found a copy of the Criterion Collection Spellbound (used!.....and cheap!) and watched it tonight. It's really quite good, especially for its use of some typically great Hitchcockian imagery. It is pretty dark, as are Rebecca and some of those other works Hitchcock made when he first arrived in America. I used to be more critical of Gregory Peck's performance, but I enjoyed him this time around. The dream sequence by Dali is really something special in the world of main-stream cinema.

message 2: by Jerrod (new)

Jerrod (liquidazrael) Hitchcock was a master, I remember as a youngling not really being into Hitchcock at all. Then we went to California and they had some type of temporary exhibit called the Hitchcock Museum [or something like that:]. Interactive and the whole nine yards, I've been hooked ever since. I think the world could use another one considering all the crap Hollywood put out. Great find Phillip! I'll be working on my Hitchcock collection one I finish my Harryhausen one.

message 3: by Phillip (last edited Jun 15, 2009 12:33PM) (new)

Phillip Now that i have Spellbound, my Hitchcock collection is in good shape. The only film of his that I would like to have (but don't) is Rear Window..

Now I need to get my Harryhausen collection in order! There are also quite a few of those titles at Amoeba going cheap. (hell, there's a Harryhausen bin!)

The Dali dream sequence is really cool...

message 4: by Jerrod (new)

Jerrod (liquidazrael) I've got an almost complete Hitchcock collection, but I'm working on actually owning them since they are worth every penny.

message 5: by Phillip (last edited Jun 16, 2009 06:27PM) (new)

Phillip Yeah, they are all great, truth be told. My collection includes:

The 39 Steps
The Lady Vanishes
The Man Who Knew Too Much (with Peter Lorre)
Shadow of a Doubt
I Confess
Strangers On A Train
The Wrong Man
To Catch A Thief
North by Northwest

message 6: by Phillip (last edited Jun 16, 2009 06:40PM) (new)

Phillip Now that I think of it, I would also like to have Foreign Correspondent, Sabotage, Saboteur, Rear Window and The Birds.

I had a dream a few years ago that a friend of mine and I were trying to come up with a Hitchcock Top 5. We couldn't come up with just 5. I called him a few days later and told him about the dream. After we finished laughing we tried to come up with "just 5" and, just like in the dream, we had a really hard time pinning it down to 5....I've talked to other Hitchcock fans. If you're really into his stuff it is hard to limit it to five.

message 7: by Phillip (last edited Jun 17, 2009 02:17AM) (new)

Phillip Vertigo is areally unique film. It's operatic, I can see why you don't admire it; it doesn't have the immediacy that the ones you admire posses.

I recommend you check out the 39 Steps. It's kind of an early blueprint of North by Northwest, and has some really comic and brilliant scenes. Check it out asap. If you don't like it I'll buy you a six pack and send it overnight express.

message 8: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Have you still not received the other package?

message 9: by Phillip (new)

Phillip damn, from now on i'm going to request delivery confirmation with those packages....that really sucks. if it doesn't get there this week, i'll send it again (for the third time).

message 10: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
I really love Vertigo - it is so twisted. Stewart becomes so obsessed and weird -

message 11: by Phillip (last edited Jun 18, 2009 10:14AM) (new)

Phillip I sent it to both you and Amy a few weeks ago (about a month ago, actually). Since you didn't receive it, I sent it again (two weeks ago). Seriously, if you don't get it by Monday, I will send it again. I don't mind.

I also love Vertigo, but Stewart isn't what I love about it (I prefer his work in Rope). Over the years, his performance is the thing that detracts for me...but the story and the exploration of his obsession (which is perhaps passe at this point in history) was what makes it stand alone. Kim Novak's performance, on the other hand, has really grown on me over the years. It's a very difficult role to pull off. You have to believe she loves Stewart enough to submit to all his obsessive behavior, and would also somehow not get that he would eventually figure it out that she was the same blonde girl that he knew before.

message 12: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
TCM had a Hitchcock fest over the weekend - I caught some of Spellbound (which I'd never seen before) and most of Marnie, which I first saw at a very young age. Spellbound is absolutely beautiful re its b&w cinematography - I was just feeling restless.

Marnie - wow. I saw this young, and boy did it mess me up. Another freaky sexual movie (kinda like Vertigo), only this one is REALLY strange - Sean Connery's character "falls in love" with Marnie, figures out she's stealing from him, blackmails her into marrying him, promises her he won't "touch" her, then basically rapes her one night. Then she tries to off herself in the cruise pool. The freakiest scene to me remains close to the beginning, when Marnie is scared by the thunderstorm and Mr. Connery's lips slide down her face - the camera zeroes in on this act. Marnie is SO cold and removed, and oblivious, that it's like it didn't happen.

Everytime I catch this movie, I try to go into it hoping that the male character isn't as repugnant as I remember, and it never happens. The question is, did Hitchcock realize how repugnant he is, or is this movie just some kind of sign of the times?

message 13: by Phillip (last edited Jul 06, 2009 11:38AM) (new)

Phillip Marnie is a really unsettling film. Throughout his career Hitchcock explored the Wrong Man motif....a man who appears guilty but is actually innocent. Later in his career he turned that construct around and explored presenting a character who is sympathetic but who is actually a bad guy. He did it in Psycho, Frenzy, and he did it marvellously in Marnie. He starts by using Connery, who was a sexy heart-throb at the time. Connery married Hedren, and then he rapes her. Regardless of their "agreement" that he won't touch her, he is, by the social standards of the day, entitled to her body through matrimony (just typing that sentence makes me abut sick), and he takes her. I can't think of a greater example of moral ambivalence. It's an underappreciated film, IMO.

message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
Yeah...I didn't look up when the Bond films started (need to do that, actually), but Connery looked a lot like he did in the early Bond films, so I figured Hitchcock was using that. Connery almost seems like another version of the Bond character to me, except he's got a proper job - he's very cutthroat.

I need to read about Hitchcock - I know he liked cold blondes, but I didn't realize this "Wrong Man" motif was going on -

message 15: by Phillip (last edited Jul 06, 2009 11:51AM) (new)

Phillip I could recommend two books: the Truffault-Hitchcock interview, where the young French critic (I believe this took place before he made The 400 Blows) discusses all of the Hitchcock films from the ealy silent movies up to The Birds. It's a slender coffee table kind of book with lots of photos.

The other more substatntial biography is Donald Spotto's The Dark Side of Genius (both books can be found in my GR "film" shelf). This is a thorough examination of Hitchcock's life and works. Both are very satisfying reads.

message 16: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
Cool! Thanks for the rec's -

message 17: by Phillip (new)

Phillip You are most welcome, Amy.

message 18: by Phillip (new)

Phillip i had a great dose of hitchcock this week! the castro had a festival, and i was able to catch: vertigo, shadow of a doubt, the birds, strangers on a train, 39 steps, north by northwest, frenzy and psycho...!!!

it was a great week. the 39 steps, north by northwest and psycho really stood out among the others, and the ending sequence of strangers on a train (on the merry go round) got a big round of hoots and cheers from the audience.

message 19: by Phillip (last edited Jan 01, 2010 01:58AM) (new)

Phillip it's one of my favorite hitchcock films. i just saw it on the big screen with some friends a few weeks ago and they really dug it (they were seeing it for the first time). i would go so far as to say it's my favorite, for a variety of idiosyncratic reasons, but i doubt you would feel that way about it. you should see it though, i'd be curious to hear what you think.

message 20: by Phillip (new)

Phillip cool...don't forget to tell me what you thought.

message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy | 339 comments Mod
I've never seen The 39 Steps, so I'm definitely putting that on my queue...

message 22: by Phillip (new)

Phillip it's a good 'un...

message 23: by Paul (new)

Paul Strangely enough, saw the original 39 Steps (Robert Donat) last weekend on BBC 2. Still the best one, I think.

message 24: by Phillip (new)

Phillip shadow of a doubt is a good one, and apparently it was hitchocock's favorite.

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