Friday, August 8, 2008

DJG / A Week of Gettin' Hitched

This week I wrapped up one of three Alfred Hitchcock boxed sets that I have laying around my house. The sets are random assortments from the master movie maker's vast and extensive catalog of film language and legacy. In the past ten months I've consumed over half of his works, some major and some minor, but all speaking with the signature stamp of Hitchcock. I've always been fascinated by the life work of an artist and love a scoop shovel of quality and quantity. Hitchcock may have owned a pair of slouching shoulders, but he was no slouch behind the camera as he cranked out film after film. Not every film may have been a success, and you'll see below that some sour and bore me quite a bit, but each one serves a purpose in the study of Hitchcock's other-worldly talents and the time line of film and life. And I just admire an artist who is always working and always working hard, exploring new ground even if they miss on a few. I can barely touch upon what thousands of critics and fans have already said, so this post will simply skim on five sampled flicks at random from the past five days. Some being pretty ho-hum, but all still being a product of Alfred Hitchcock.

I Confess * * 1/2

This is the story of a murderer confessing his sin to a priest. The examination of a priest's guilty conscience on the receiving end of a confession such as this makes for an intriguing plot. However, the film bored me a bit once it started to unravel in the court room and dragged its feet a little too much. Nonetheless, not a bad film and has some lovely shots of churches and buildings.

The Paradine Case * *

Wow...and not a good wow. This is my least favorite Hitchcock picture that I've seen so far. This case dragged on and on and on and I realized that DJG really DOES NOT DO courtroom dramas. I just plain didn't care about this case and my verdict on is BORING.

Notorious * * *

Though more interesting than "The Paradine Case", this one still bored me senseless. Great story and decently made, but I just really didn't care about it.

Suspicion * * * 1/2

Solid, odd little technicolored cottage and seaside romp about a high rolling, womanizing man who woos a naive young woman into marrying him in hopes to win her aging father's fortune. The man (played by Cary Grant) works so hard at not working that he could easily use his charm and smarts to hold down a great job. Instead, he skirts and swindles behind his wife's back (Joan Fontaine) so much that anything he does or says causes her suspicions and paranoia to raise the roof higher than that of their own true love.

Foreign Correspondent * * * *

A New York City paper transfers a dim-wit news reporter to Europe in order to get the scoop on a forthcoming World War. Action, charm, dumb-luck and a bit of comedy lead the unlikely hero to the the unveiling of enemy spies and love of a woman. It's a great and well-paced film that only drags a bit in the second act, but is certainly the best Hitchcock I've watched all week.


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