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Thread: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

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    "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread


    He is perhaps the most famous director of all time. I imagine if you ask ten different random people "What's his best movie?", you could end up with ten different answers. Part of the real charm of this director is that just as you've selected your favorite film, you see another one that blows you away even more.

    I do wonder, what is Hitchcock best remembered for? Is it his trademark "Good evening" line that begins every episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", causing generations of moviegoers to fear taking a shower or even something as simple as spotting his cameos in his movies?

    Being that I'm on sort of an Alfred Hitchcock kick these days, I figured the Master of Suspense deserved his own thread for us to talk about his movies for it's dramatic moments (I bet you've never looked at a bird the same way), his witty down-to-earth characters and his impressive shots that are still talked about today.

    What's your favorite Hitchcock film? Have any favorite cameos? Don't be afraid to talk about some of your favorite underrated Hitchcock films as well, it could never hurt to introduce a wider collection of Hitchcock to potential fans.

    So please kick back by relaxing in your favorite suit, drawing your curtains to keep an eye on your neighbors and of course watching out for any stray birds.


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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    INCREDIBLE thread idea.

    I love Hitchcock so I'll probably posting in here a good bit, but for now I'll just mention a few favorites of mine that don't get as much press.

    Lifeboat

    Movie Parts Links -
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 1
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 2
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 3
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 4
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 5
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 6
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 7
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 8
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 9
    YouTube - Lifeboat - Part 10

    Ok here's the scenario.. it's World War 2 and your ship has been hit dead on, you escape along with 8 other people 6 men and 3 women all together. all 9 of you are on a small life boat, with no other survivors in sight and no idea when or if you will ever be rescued.

    Scary enough right? Most people would stop there right? I mean the ocean is a hell of a place to be stranded in a little lifeboat, especially during the war to end all wars.. And it's hard enough getting through that without having to deal with all those people, but not here. In Lifeboat just as you think the suspense is just too much WHAM! They hit you with more..

    I don't want to ruin the flick, go watch it yourself.. It's more than worth it.







    The 39 Steps

    Full Movie Link - YouTube - The 39 Steps

    It really is hard to describe a masterpiece. It's hard to say what exactly is so great about this film, or what is so horrible about the remake the did in the late 70's (i believe) Hitchcock shows off his directing talent in this movie like no other could.

    Watch it!



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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    I would have to say that my favourite Hitchcock film is "Strangers on a Train". Robert Walker's performance as Bruno is one of the best I have ever seen and genuinely believable. Farley Granger does an excellent job playing off him and the film as a whole is just utterly fantastic from beginning to end.


    Second would most likely be "Vertigo" as I love the story, the performances (especially Jimmy Stewart and Barbara Bel Geddes) and think that Kim Novak is absolutely one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the screen.


    After that its a toss up between several but some of my other favourites include Rope, The Lady Vanishes, Saboteur, North by Northwest, The Birds, Psycho, well actually I pretty much like all of his films to some extent.


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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HH3 View Post
    INCREDIBLE thread idea.

    I love Hitchcock so I'll probably posting in here a good bit, but for now I'll just mention a few favorites of mine that don't get as much press.

    Lifeboat
    While Hitchcock had several limited location movies (Dial M for Murder; Rear Window), the fact that he could hold an entire movie on a lifeboat is just astounding. I haven't watched it since I was a kid, but I remember loving Lifeboat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    I would have to say that my favourite Hitchcock film is "Strangers on a Train". Robert Walker's performance as Bruno is one of the best I have ever seen and genuinely believable. Farley Granger does an excellent job playing off him and the film as a whole is just utterly fantastic from beginning to end.
    I've been contemplating buying Strangers on a Train on DVD for the past couple of days. It's another one I loved as a kid. I notice there's many similarities between Strangers and Dial M. Both stars a tennis player who wants the other guy to kill his wife.

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I do wonder, what is Hitchcock best remembered for? Is it his trademark "Good evening" line that begins every episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", causing generations of moviegoers to fear taking a shower or even something as simple as spotting his cameos in his movies?
    I think if Hitchcock is remembered for anything, it's for this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfthzU3V4zo

    The non-diegetic score has been used religiously as a sign of homage to Hitchcock by television and movie makers around the world, I think you'll be pressed in finding a handful of people who haven't heard his infamous Psycho screech.

    I've actually been on a Hitchcock kick myself lately, I recently watched The Birds for the umpteenth time and then Psycho just the other day. The man's filmography is so engrossing, it's like a sublime plethora of revolutionary films that caused innovation and change within the film industry. He utilized camera angles and alluringly compelling cinematography to deepen his narratives, he was so talented and inventive, and I adored the manner in which he screwed around with the audience. Take Psycho, you had your blonde, gorgeous, beautiful leading lady killed off out of absolutely nowhere, AF then completely omits the carefully assembled stolen money plot and creates this bewildering atmosphere. Brilliant. The audience must have been completely disorientated upon initially viewing the movie back then since it wasn't real a "done" thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    While Hitchcock had several limited location movies (Dial M for Murder; Rear Window), the fact that he could hold an entire movie on a lifeboat is just astounding. I haven't watched it since I was a kid, but I remember loving Lifeboat.
    Part of being a good film maker is using what you have. Stanley Kubrick hated flying and as a result, most of his movies were set in England, much like Hitchcock, he was pretty limited, but he made use of what he had available and never let it deter him from creating masterpieces that scaped the world of cinema.

    --------------------

    I dug Hitchcock's earlier work, particularly Rebecca, it was so suspenseful and unpredictable, not to mention was his first real feature American movie, so it sort of paved the ground work for all his later films. Rope was another ambitiously done film by Hitchcock too, he really experimented with cinematography and lighting, and if anything, it is probably one his most overlooked films. The Birds is also one of Hitchcock's better movies, he used the camera in such an ingenious manner, but made it look so effortless. It also takes a man of such prowess and imagination to turn a simple and most of the time harmless creature like the bird into a terrifying threat.

    I think if you look at any modern day movie you'll find at least one camera technique that was invented by him. He's arguably the most influential film maker of all time, paving the foundations for the Slasher through Psycho and more, he was so ground breaking that had he not made his mark and adopted/created such technical aspects of film, the landscape of cinema would probably look a lot different than it does today.

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Roxy View Post
    I think if you look at any modern day movie you'll find at least one camera technique that was invented by him.
    You should really come up with a list of all of the techniques Hitchcock had invented. I would be really interested in seeing where they came from and what movies has sense used them.

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    While I like Hitchcock, I must admit at this point I've seen little of his stuff. At most I've seen a few episodes from the original "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" as they are all on Youtube, and I DVR the later version every night. It quickly became one of my favorite shows though. I shall watch near everything posted here though. I loved the idea of a totally new and original story every episode, I believe Hitchcock spawned the concept that helped launch the revolution of shows like it at the time, such as The Twilight Zone?

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    There are so many Hitchcock movies that I want and need to see. So far I've seen Rear Window and North by Northwest, and I absolutely loved them. And due to it's easy access, I'm gonna check out Lifeboat in the near future; thanks HH3.
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    Digging through my old box of VHS tapes in my basement, I found an 8 hour blank tape with:

    - Lifeboat
    - Suspicion
    - Strangers on a Train
    - To Catch a Thief

    I have 2-3 other tapes like that I recorded early last decade when a movie channel was showing a marathon of Hitchcock films on his birthday.

    Watching Lifeboat early this morning, I'm even more impressed with it than when I originally saw it. First, there's one location, a vague lifeboat in the middle of nowhere. That's it. With the exception of whatever they can find in the water soon after their boat is blown up by a U-Boat, they can't really introduce anything new to the equation. My favorite aspect of the movie was how they implied a lot of gruesome stuff without showing any of it. A woman kills herself, but all we see is the tight rope that was used. A man has his badly injured leg amputated, but instead of focusing on it, the camera instead shoots the reactions of others. At it's heart, Lifeboat is about real life issues such as racial equality (The black man shocked that his vote would count in a boat with all white people), the relations between two warring countrymen (Can we trust the German and do we give him rights?) and just the very basic play in what feeling cabin fever can cause the human mind in terms of friends turning against each other over such trivial things.

    For what Hitchcock had to work, it's an amazing movie. His usual cameo is one of my favorites as well. Since he can't randomly walk into a scene, he's instead seen in a newspaper ad.



    Brilliant.

    The two main article titles in the pic also seems to interest me. "Prominent citizens together with civic bodies combine to make a city park a success" and "Fire destroys state arsenal". Both titles actually relate to the movie. The first basically sums up how these group of people (Even from different governments such as UK, America and Germany) attempts to survive together. For the second article title, everyone in the lifeboat is there because their of the torpedoes that caused fires in destroying their military boats. Gotta love Hitchcock's attention to detail.

    Don't you just hate it when your ultra creepy stalker-ish prank results in you being attacked by a seagull?

    Having finishing up rewatching the Birds for the first time in years, I'm surprised how against the norm the movie was for US films. They break a few basic movie rules:

    - Kids are harmed...a lot. Even though the only ones killed are adults, most of the attacks centered around the children.

    - The "Soundtrack" is non-existent. Instead of having music, the entire score is made up of gnarly bird squawking. It makes the film very unique, but it's not what you'd expect.

    - When it comes to US films, filmmakers typically have to answer nearly every question. Vagueness isn't typical for the average American film. Yet, the most basic question, "Why do the birds attack?" is never answered. They go out of their way to state that there isn't an answer.

    Even though Psycho helped laid the groundwork for the future slasher genre, I'd say the Birds is the closest Hitchcock ever came to a full fledged horror movie. How common is it for a horror film to have a plot of an outside force killing the town folk? The plot isn't too different from Stephen King's The Mist. You even have the crazy religious nut job calling for the end of days in both movies. Despite only having a PG rating, the film has some good scares and is surprisingly gory. The most shocking gory moment has to be when Lydia finds a man dead with his eyes poked out.


    Keep in mind, that's a PG image.

    Despite the amazing phone booth scene and the scene where Tippi Hedren walks into the room with all of the birds where she's nearly killed, my favorite scene comes earlier in the movie. The birds have already attacked a couple of times. Tippi heads over to the schoolhouse to check on little Cathy. While she waits until recess starts, Tippi heads over to sit on a bench. Behind her is an old jungle gym that was completely free of birds when she sat down. As the scene goes on, we see bird after bird fly over and land on the jungle gym. The suspense is building up with the viewer dying for Tippi to turn around and see what sort of danger she's in. When she finally notices the birds, that empty jungle gym ended up looking like:


    That's a lot of birds...

    The best part about that scene is that the birds don't even attack her. It's not until she goes back in the school to try and get the kids to safety (The school is covered in large windows, making it far from a safe location) that the birds finally attack. It's all about suspense wondering when Tippi will notice the birds and if Tippi can get inside before the birds attack.

    If I had a second favorite scene, it's near the end when the birds attack Mitch's house. What's great about this scene is that the only audio is from the birds squawking. It's overpowering and it helps the viewer relate to the main characters. Despite seeing the main characters talk, it's all drowned out in favor of the unique score. The surprising thing is that despite the scene being so scary, you see only a few birds during the entire attack. Instead, all you hear are the thumps as they try to peck their way into the house. It's all left to your imagination how many birds are out there. That's true horror.
    Last edited by Jim; 05-23-2011 at 06:29 AM.

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Roxy View Post
    I think if Hitchcock is remembered for anything, it's for this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfthzU3V4zo
    Possibly, but thanks to how many other people have "Borrowed" the score, I don't always connect the score with Hitchcock. Off of the top of my head, I can think of Re-Animator and Friday the 13th.

    I adored the manner in which he screwed around with the audience. Take Psycho, you had your blonde, gorgeous, beautiful leading lady killed off out of absolutely nowhere, AF then completely omits the carefully assembled stolen money plot and creates this bewildering atmosphere. Brilliant. The audience must have been completely disorientated upon initially viewing the movie back then since it wasn't real a "done" thing.
    Especially with Hitchcock, a movie based on a woman stealing money seems far more likely of a plot than a murdering cross dresser with mommy issues. To throw the audience off even more, Hitchcock casts his trademark beautiful blonde in the role of Marion. Who would have ever imagined Hitchcock killing off Grace Kelly? She survived a few films of Hitchcock's where she was in danger. I can't think of a reason why anyone would have expected Janet Leigh to be killed off.

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Possibly, but thanks to how many other people have "Borrowed" the score, I don't always connect the score with Hitchcock. Off of the top of my head, I can think of Re-Animator and Friday the 13th.
    I dunno, while Psycho is technically an "old" movie, I think it is still relatively known worldwide due to the infamous shower scene. I associated the score with the film prior even watching the movie at full length, it's almost like common knowledge cos it's cinematically famous, even if you haven't seen the flick, you just know where the soundtrack hails from. It's strange, I remember reading that Hitchcock didn't even want music during that particular scene, I can't even begin to envisage how different the film/moment would have turned out had he not accompanied Marison's death with it.

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    It had been a while since I read this thread, until I was bored and remembered that I wanted to watch Lifeboat. So I looked it up on youtube, and it was a very good movie. I enjoyed the little ride I went on, when the survivors came across the Nazi captain; at first I didn't trust him, then I started to, then it went back the other way, it was a fun roller coaster. Then the big climax when the Nazi supply boat was being shot at, I was on the edge of my seat wondering if the lifeboat was going to get shot down, but luckily it didn't and it was a great ending.

    Then I deciding to check out another Hitchcock picture, Rope. The story of two young men killing their fellow classmate, hiding his body in their apartment, then having people over to a party, which including his father, aunt, girlfriend, and teacher all the boys shared (played by Jimmy Stewart) I thought it ws another great film and recommend it to any Hitchcock fans that haven't seen it. And I also love the way this movie was shot, it was very different. It didn't seem to have to many camera cuts, where it looked like a scene was shot more than once. It felt like a regular stage production, since it was adapted from a play.

    The next one on my lis has to be Stranger's On A Train.
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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Rope is fantastic, glad you enjoyed it and yes, if you liked that one I think you'll love Strangers on a Train.


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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    This thread is brilliant. Just like the work of Hitchcock.




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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Strangers on a Train is playing this week on Turner Clasic Movies! Now I may not get up at 11am Ohio time on Thurs to watch it, but I have it set to record and I'm exciting that I'm going to get the chance to finally see it.
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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    The other day I caught the HBO movie, The Girl. It's a look at the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren during the filming of The Birds and Marnie. Granted, I knew Hitch had some erm..."Indiscretions" with some of his lead women, but they made Hitch out to be this amazingly creepy and pervy villain. I don't how how accurate it is, but I found the film to be just a little too depressing. I thought Anthony Hopkins' starred film of "Hitchcock" was a lot better in being entertaining and not making Hitch out to be so fucked up.

    In Hitchcock, Hitch is this lovable genius who can't get enough of young blonds. Still, he loves his wife and can't help leering at a pretty blonde.

    In The Girl, Hitch is perverted creep who continues to keep forcing himself on his leads. If they object to it, he attempts to make their lives a living hell. As far as his feelings for his wife, he "Only married her because she asked".

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    I thought the acting in The Girl was good, especially Toby Jones as Hitch, but yes, the whole film seemed a little off to me. I get what they were trying to do, but I didn't find it all that effective or engrossing. The Hopkins version was much better as an overall movie.

    On the subject of Hitchcock, I was watching Rear Window the other day (hadn't seen it in years) and realized that I'm much more interested in the Ms. Lonely Hearts subplot than I am with the main one. I almost wish that Raymond Burr hadn't killed his wife and she showed up again at the end. It obviously wouldn't have been a Hollywood ending, but it sure would have played into the whole aspect of paranoia that the movie was trying to cover.
    Last edited by Fuji Vice; 02-06-2013 at 09:05 PM.


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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    On the subject of Hitchcock, I was watching Rear Window the other day (hadn't seen it in years) and realized that I'm much more interested in the Ms. Lonely Hearts subplot than I am with the main one. I almost wish that Raymond Burr hadn't killed his wife and she showed up again at the end. It obviously wouldn't have been a Hollywood ending, but it sure would have played into the whole aspect of paranoia that the movie was trying to cover.
    That's the whole catch though. Here you have Scotty (I know his name isn't Scotty, but Stewart in any Hitchcock film automatically makes him "Scotty") believing this over-the-top plot has been committed under his nose. It's part of what makes it so thrilling - the absurdity of it all. Had it been more believable such as Grace Kelly automatically believing him, it takes away some of the plot. Scotty is a guy stuck in one location and bored out of his mind. Can you trust a guy who's used to adventure and forced to go without?

    Speaking of Scotty, I just finished seeing Scotty pull off his best Liam Neeson impression in trying to get his kid back in The Man Who Knew Too Much. The film isn't really A level Hitchcock, but there's enough great elements to make it a solid B-level film with the likes of Rope and Vertigo (Hey, that is Scotty!) The biggest strength of the film had to be the concert at Albert Hall. It's just a twelve minute sequence without any dialog being said. Yet, it's incredibly suspenseful and it's an obvious example for why Hitch is known as the Master of Suspense. I kinda got a kick out of how much it reminded me of Taken as well.

    I got a kick out of Hitch hinting at future projects, whether knowingly or not. You have James Stewart on top of a chapel ringing the giant bell, just like he would be doing in Vertigo. From there, Stewart makes a mistake and arrives at a taxidermy place ran by a parent and their son. That sounds an awfully lot like Psycho.
    Last edited by Jim; 02-07-2013 at 12:07 AM.

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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Speaking of Scotty, I just finished seeing Scotty pull off his best Liam Neeson impression in trying to get his kid back in The Man Who Knew Too Much. The film isn't really A level Hitchcock, but there's enough great elements to make it a solid B-level film with the likes of Rope and Vertigo (Hey, that is Scotty!) The biggest strength of the film had to be the concert at Albert Hall. It's just a twelve minute sequence without any dialog being said. Yet, it's incredibly suspenseful and it's an obvious example for why Hitch is known as the Master of Suspense. I kinda got a kick out of how much it reminded me of Taken as well.
    I gained more of an appreciation for The Man Who Knew Too Much when I saw the original 1934 version and realized the remake was much better. I'd definitely classify it just below some of Hitchcock's best works but I wouldn't put Vertigo in that category. I think Vertigo is one of if not his best films. I never really made the Taken connection until you mentioned it though, that's kind of funny.


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    Re: "Good Evening" - The Alfred Hitchcock Thread

    It's interesting how this came up, as I thought about doing something similar as I just got done watching an episode of the AVGN talking about what he believed were the top 10 Hitchcock movies of all time, and since then I actually am as I type this downloading 4 Hitchcock movie packs that each contain around 5-8 movies each. I look forward to reviewing them here as I begin the process of enjoying some of these incredible gems. Starting Sunday the marathon begins for me and a couple of friends that are joining in.

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