Tag Archives: alfred hitchcock

The Trouble with Harry

Delightfully nice comedy film “The Trouble with Harry” directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring John Forsythe, Shirley Maclaine among others.

A corpse is found in a small village and the story revolves around it. At first it is an unknown corpse but later it is revealed to be the husband of Jenifer Rogers (Shirley Maclaine) who did’nt have a good relationship with her husband. Another story is narrated by Miss Ivy Gravely (Mildred Natwick) who says she accidentally killed him when the man Harry tried to drag her into the bushes. Meanwhile Capt. Albert Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) thinks he has accidentally killed him with his shotgun whilst shooting for rabbits.

In comes Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe) who sort of neatly ties everything in, though he is not a cop. In the process of finding about Harry, couple of relationships gets formed.

Its a nice delectable little comedy movie made by Alfred Hitchcock. There is always a suspense when Hitchcock is around and that is served aplenty. Shirley Maclaine has done a good role, this being her debut film. IMDB 6/10

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Strangers on a Train

Deadly psycho thriller from Alfred Hitchcock “Strangers on a Train” (1951) starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Patricia Hitchcock, Kasey Rogers among others.

Guy Haines (Farley Granger) is a tennis player of some repute and he meets on a train with Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) who is a kind of a possessive, inquisitive, fiendish chap. Guy is going through some marriage problems with his wife Miriam Joyce Haines (Kasey Rogers) a diabolical scheming woman out to get her pound of flesh. She is double crossing Guy while going around with others. Bruno does not like his father. He suggests to Guy crossover murder i.e. both of them murder each other’s enemies, thereby the motive will be lost and both will be free.

Guy scorns at such an idea but Bruno does not give in. He follows up relentlessly and goes after Miriam and kills her in an amusement park. Guy’s cigarette lighter was left behind by him in the train which is used by Bruno as evidence at the scene of the crime. Guy does not go to the police immediately as Bruno warns him about their crossover plot.

Somehow Guy’s present love Anne Morton (Ruth Roman) comes to know of little things as Bruno seizes up when he espies Anne’s sister Barbara Morton (Patricia Hitchcock – daughter of Alfred Hitchcock in a delightful cameo role) as Barbara looks almost alike Miriam Haines.

Things get to a pass and there is a deadly climax scene involving the merry go around, which spins around uncontrollably after the operator is shot dead. Superb natural acting by Robert Walker, Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Patricia Hitchcock and Kasey Rogers. I thought there would be a twist in the tale towards the end, typical of Hitchcockian suspense. Unfortunately Robert Walker died immediately after this film was released, himself suffering from alcoholism and mental illness.

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Jamaica Inn

Alfred Hitchcock thriller starring Maureen O’ Hara, Robert Newton, Charles Houghton among others. The film is set in 1820 and Pengallan (Charles Houghton) is a head of a gang which wrecks ships off the coast, kills the sailors and robs all the jewellery in the ships. This has been going on for some time. Mary Yellan (Maureen O’ Hara looking beautiful and undoubtedly the star of the movie) comes to Jamaica Inn, to visit her aunt. Unknown to her, uncle Joss (Leslie Banks) is the one who helps Pengallan with his ship wrecking business. In comes James Treheane (Robert Newton) an undercover cop who has infiltrated the wrecking gang. Mary gets involved with James, and it all comes down to a big fight at the next ship wrecking attempt, which fails because of Mary. Pengallan is quite a character with his arched eyebrows, funny accent and all but the star of the movie is undoubtedly Maureen O’ Hara. She looks beautiful throughout the movie and does enough to keep all eyes on her.

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Rebecca

Brilliant psychological drama movie from Alfred Hitchcock “Rebecca” (1940) starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) accidentally meets the beautiful Joan Fontaine when he is rather contemplating jumping down a cliff in Monte Carlo. One thing leads to another and soon both are romantically involved. She then becomes his second wife after his first wife Rebecca accidently drowns herself off the sea coast. Rebecca is never shown in the movie, but her imprint is throughout the movie. Her faithful housekeeper Mrs. Denvers is rather too faithful to her memories and seems to be of the devilish and plotting kind. She was too close to Rebecca and adored her too much to bear her loss too badly. Hitchcock twists the plot towards the end to first implicate Maxim with her murder and then it goes around to another tale of her sickness, or probably that she was pregnant or maybe she committed suicide or murder, the plot keeps swinging about till the end. Joan Fontaine as the girl who does not have a name in the movie looked beautiful throughout the movie and acted brilliantly as well.  Laurence Olivier is passable, The film won a clutch of awards for Alfred Hitchcock. 

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Lifeboat

A classic Alfred Hitchcock movie (1944) that is shot entirely on a lifeboat. A ship is torpedoed in the second world war and few of the inhabitants find refuge in a lifeboat. Among them are a columnist Connie Porter (Tallulah Bankhead) Alice MacKenzie (Mary Anderson). Also pulled in is a German guy who does not speak English. Initially there is much resistance to the German’s presence on the boat but they allow him to survive considering he is a prisoner of war. Subsequently they have to depend on the German navigation skills when a storm breaks out. They all assume they are heading for Bermuda on the basis of sun position and planets but the German knows otherwise. Its a cat and mouse psychological drama played between the characters on the lifeboat. Meanwhile one guy Gus Smith (William Bendix) has to have his leg amputated as gangrene sets in. They run out of water and food and there is a lot of flare up between the characters. There is love interest between Stanley (Hume Cronyn) and Alice and sparks fly between Connie and John Kovac (John Hodiak). The story is written by John Steinbeck of the “Grapes of Wrath” fame. Alfred Hitchcock has done a brilliant job with the direction, but it is the cinematography which is breathtaking. Shot entirely in black and white, the film did run into some controversy with its sympathetic portrayal of the Germans. This is one movie in which Alfred Hitchcock does not appear himself in a cameo role, he could not have since the movie was shot entirely on a lifeboat. 

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The Lady Vanishes

Spell binding movie from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, The Lady Vanishes – most of the movie sequence takes place in a train leaving Germany. There is a middle aged English governess, a young lady going off home to her marriage, an up & coming English musician. The governess vanishes whilst in the train. There is a German doctor specialising in brain injuries, mysterious Italians, butlers, couple of Englishmen discussing only cricket all the time, an English couple of which the man is going to be a judge back home and rather conservative compared to his bold wife. Typical Hitchcockian drama and suspense in the movie. The late Margaret Lockwood looks good in the movie and has acted well. Hitchcock himself comes in the end as his usual manner.

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The Birds

A masterful horror thriller from the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren in her debut role) accidentally meets Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) in a pet store. Mitch is looking to buy some lovebirds for his sister and Melanie being intrigued, finds out more about him and follows him to his house in San Francisco but upon knowing that he spends his weekends in Bodega Bay, drives over there to deliver a pair of lovebirds which she has purchased as a gift. Upon returning to the bay Melanie is attacked by a sea gull. Then follows a series of bird attacks on various people even managing to kill a couple of them. Throughout the movie, Hitchcock has managed to keep the undercurrent of suspense going as to what is the real story behind these bird attacks. Things get more violent, more people get hurt, Mitch’s family is undergoing trauma. Mitch’s previous girlfriend Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleschette in a lovely role) is a school teacher in Bodega Bay primary school. She had to step back from her relationship with Mitch due to the coldness of Mitch’s mother, Lydia Brenner (Jessica Tandy) who is a widow and yearning for her lost husband. So there is an element of intrigue going on with that and the lovebirds being bought to Bodega Bay. Alfred Hitchcock never answers the mystery.

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Rear Window

Just now saw Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock. What better movie to watch during lockdown than this classic masterpiece from Hitchcock where James Stewart is locked down in his own apartment due to a broken leg. He has a view of about 50 windows from his window and being a professional photographer has a keen eye for observing details in every household. Some are interesting like a girl pirouetting in her own room or a lonely woman seeking companionship or a sad man playing piano. But what catches his professional eye is some shady goings on in one window where the woman is apparently physically challenged and she and her husband are forever quibbling. Matters get out of hand and James suspects murder of the woman by the man on the basis of some tell tale observations. Grace Kelly as the muse of James Stewart plays a refreshing role, initially doubting his theories and then later actively taking part in his amateur investigations. The entire movie is shot from the window into other windows or into the room where Stewart is recuperating and watching. Must watch movie from the stable of Alfred Hitchcock.

Picture used above is for representational purposes only and not with an intention to violating its copyright.

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Rope

rope

Rope, a 1948, Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller starring James Stewart, Joan Chandler, John Dall among others. Brandon (Dall) and his friend Phillip (Farley Granger) stage the perfect murder by strangling their friend David and dumping his body in a wooden chest. Then using that wooden chest as a host table for a party which they host in which invited as David’s lover Janet Walker (Joan Chandler), his friend and his aunt. Also coming to the party were Janet’s ex lover Ken Lawrence (Douglas Dick) and Rupert Cadell (James Stewart) who taught the murderers in their school few years ago. The brilliance is in how Hitchcock slowly unravels the murder. The entire action in the movie takes place in that hall. The piece of rope is left by Brandon in the kitchen drawer as a dare to the perfect murder. All the characters are brilliant in the movie.

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