Rebecca, Hitchcock’s 1940 adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Novel is a gothic tale of romance, jealousy, social insecurity and dark secrets. The plot probably needs no introduction, but for the uninitiated: a nervous young woman meets and marries a wealthy older man she meets in the south of France. Traveling home with him to his ancestral home, she finds it difficult to adjust to the upper class lifestyle. She finds herself haunted by the spectre of the first wife who drowned at sea only a year previously. In particular she is intimidated by the stern house keeper, Mrs Danvers, who was devoted to Rebecca, the first wife, and deeply resents any attempt to displace her presence in the house.
This is a supreme example of Hitchcock’s ability to create and maintain a tense and disturbing atmosphere. A feeling of malevolence hangs over the film from the very first dreamlike images and is only dispelled at the fiery end. A personal favourite!
There is a happydale, far, far away….
This is one of my most favourite films. Theatre critic and prominent anti-marriage advocate Mortimer (Cary Grant) has just married nextdoor’s vicar’s daughter, Elaine (Priscilla Lane). Understandably embarrassed, Mortimer is desperately trying to keep the marriage under wraps but nevertheless returns home to let his sweet maiden aunts know the good news. Unfortunately he’s not the only one with a surprise, as he discovers opening the window seat. Believing his uncle Teddy, who is under the delusion that he is Teddy Roosevelt, has finally gone too far and harmed someone, he confronts his aunts and suggests they look into finding a better place for Teddy. Casually they reveal the body is ‘one of theirs’ and our whole macabre farce kicks off. Oh and did I mention Mortimer’s sadistic older brother Jonathan, who’s had plastic surgery to change identities but wound up looking like Karloff in Frankenstein, the doctor who did that to him and their own guest they’re bringing to this bizarre gathering? Not to mention the police turning up, one of whom has theatrical ambitions! Hilarious!
contains mild spoilers for The Apartment
You know when you see a trailer for the latest comedy blockbuster, and it looks interesting but then you wonder if all the best bits were in the trailer anyway? and then you bemoan the state of mainstream cinema and wonder when exactly that started to happen? Well then take a look at this 1960 trailer for Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, one of the greatest films ever made, and what have they done? Yes you’ve guessed it, they’ve put the final scene (including its now famous closing line) right there in the trailer. In fact it’s the first thing you see after the title. I have no idea why they did this or who thought it was a good idea, but that person was clearly wrong and was probably the sort to point at movie posters and say ‘oh, he dies in the end doesn’t he?’
Well hello there, welcome to my probably sporadic and essentially experimental film blog! The idea of this really is just that I watch too many films so I thought I thought I’d write about them mostly as a way of getting my own thoughts in order, possibly aided by the kindness of strangers. I should point out I’m just someone that’s seen a lot of movies, I’ve never taken any film courses and as you’ll see I’m clearly not an expert and have almost no knowledge of the proper technical terminology, so please be kind future trolls for I seek only to learn. Also, in the interests of full disclosure I ought to say that if I review a DVD/Blu ray etc it will be something I have purchased myself, if I should happen to receive something in any other way I will of course say so! Obviously this blog is just a hobby and I’m harbouring no pretensions that I’ve magically become a official critic or anything like that, but I hope some people may come to find my humble ramblings interesting, or even in time diverting.
Until that day, enjoy the trailer for this hilarious film from 1938