Of course, the wonderful response of TCM viewers to the online Hitchcock class did not hurt. Thus, I owe a major thank you to the man most responsible for both the series, and my involvement—Richard Edwards.
And once again, McFarland did an excellent job in supporting and showcasing my work. However, since Hitchcock has called all of his films dark comedies, no one has made the natural leap to black humor and a theatre of the absurd primer like Waiting for Gadot WG : One should take the time to examine the work of any popular artist seriously, even if he or she is not a favorite. As my graduate school mentor, Richard D. Dark comedy is the bravest of all genres, because it allows one no crutches, no happy endings. AHM : How did humor in his early British films differ from the humor that saturated his work once he started making films in America?
Once in America, after Mr.
Pocket Essentials is a dynamic series of books that are concise, lively, and easy to read. Packed with facts as well as expert opinions, each book has all the key. Editorial Reviews. Review. "Mystery is mystifying; It is an Intellectual thing. Suspense Is an Alfred Hitchcock (Pocket Essential series) by [Duncan, Paul].
Smith , there is more focus on the black humor of the aforementioned Nietzschean Trilogy, followed by an often uneven period, in which one remake, The Man Who Knew Too Much , is a step back, while North By Northwest actually improves upon The 39 Steps. In a sentence, American Hitchcock was simply more eclectic, though one film actually changed the nature of horror and campy dark humor— Psycho. Smith and The Trouble with Harry are among the twelve films discussed in your book.
It is obvious that you disagree with this evaluation. Why is it a mistake to write these films off as atypical Hitchcock efforts? WG : Mr. Smith is important because besides being a natural link to the farcical British films which got Hitchcock to America, it plays as a darker screwball comedy—which was typical of several Lombard examples of the genre involving murder, such as The Princess Comes Across and True Confession Second, Hitchcock blames its poor box office on trying to be too old school British. Thus, in its own way, it is another transition film.
There may be humor in some of these films, but I feel that the overall tone of these efforts are decidedly more serious. Would you agree or disagree with this assessment? WG: I would stand somewhere between hyperbole and serious on your question about dark comedy in films like The Wrong Man or Notorious.
There are just degrees. But given his negative perspective on the Catholic Church, I think that his subtextual damning of an institution a pivotal part of dark comedy slides it into a deep state dark comedy.
The BFI has selected it as his best British-made film. AHM : Do you have a least favorite Hitchcock film? WG : My least favorite Hitchcock films would include several of the silent he made following The Lodger But in the sound era I struggle with the Jamaica Inn , because of how Charles Laughton takes the picture over and drowns it in his hamminess. Producer David Selznick also controls Rebecca But at least one still has a wonderful picture just not a Hitchcock one.
Spine Notes: This title is also available both individually and as part of The Premiere Collection boxed set both with different cover art in the DVD format and was given an incredible release in the same format by The Criterion Collection several years before that release. The film was later given a lackluster Blu-ray release by MGM Home Entertainment both as part of a three-film set entitled, The Classic Collection and as an individual release.
This new Criterion edition is from a new 4K restoration transfer of the film and represents an upgrade in quality.
Or it can be, at the end of [The] 39 Steps , a lot of jumble concerning an airplane secret. It took them quite a bit of time to come up with it, and many of the most suspenseful and iconic sequences in Notorious were born out of their eventual choice. It was the story of a young woman who had fallen in love with the son of a wealthy New York society woman. The girl was troubled about a secret in her past. She felt that her great love would be shattered if ever the young man or his mother found out about it.
What was the secret? Well, during the war, the government counterspy service had approached a theatrical impresario to find them a young actress who would act as an agent; her mission was to sleep with a certain spy in order to get hold of some valuable information. The agent had suggested this young girl and she had accepted the assignment.
Matthew H. He is interrupted by a visit from federal Agent Smith, who asks Kinder to ask an accomplished stage star with whom Kinder worked and was in love to sleep with the German head of a ring of saboteurs, who currently pretends to be a British playboy living the high life on Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, Kinder grants an audition to an unknown actress on whom he takes pity when she is knocked out in his office. Before Kinder can stop him, Smith has whisked Dodge away for the assignment.
Part 1 of the story ends here. Part 2, published a week later, picks up with Kinder angry that Dodge, having accomplished her espionage mission, has not returned as she has promised to his office to resume her incipient career. He chews out Agent Smith because she has chosen to entertain the troops instead.
A scene follows between Dodge and her new beau, Captain Eugene Weyeth. The Weyeths accept her with enthusiasm, and the story ends. Bernstein Unrecognizable Origins , Hitchcock at the Source, What would Alicia Huberman Ingrid Bergman discover when behind enemy lines? Countless ideas were tossed around, and one of these even made it into the earliest drafts of the script.
Unfortunately, that earlier MacGuffin lacked simplicity.
So we dropped the whole idea in favor of a MacGuffin that was simpler, but concrete and visual: a sample of uranium concealed in a wine bottle…. I had only one clue.
A writer friend of mine had told me that scientists were working on a secret project some place in New Mexico. It was so secret that once they went into the plant, they never emerged again. I was also aware that the Germans were conducting experiments with heavy water in Norway. So these clues brought me to the uranium MacGuffin. Of course, both Alfred Hitchcock and Ben Hecht were precisionists in many respects and wanted their idea validated by some higher authority. I only know that in New Mexico there exists a secret place where everyone goes in and no one comes out—a journalist told me about it.
How are you?
Do you want to get me arrested too? I said all right. But I still had the bottle of uranium in the scenario, [and it was] a dramatic sequence. Interestingly, the director later learned that the FBI had him under surveillance for three months after that fateful visit. In any case, the entire script seemed to fall into place once they finally decided upon using Uranium for as their gimmick. Tossing out the opera house scene where Sebastian first realizes that Alicia is a spy [in earlier drafts of the script], Hecht and Hitchcock devised a suspenseful episode that chillingly involved Alicia.
American intelligence identifies the substance as uranium. Selznick in Hollywood, The aforementioned sequence would be fine-tuned in a number of ways. Most importantly, T. Better yet, the details and minutia regarding the atomic bomb ended up being completely unimportant as the only element that was used in the plot was the uranium ore.
Unfortunately, none of this kept David O. Selznick from raising an eyebrow at the idea. Well, I failed to convince the producers, and a few weeks later the whole project was sold to RKO. He was pouring money and energy into Duel in the Sun as he felt that this film could best Gone with the Wind. When they offered us the Notorious script, we turned it down because we thought it was such a goddamn foolish thing to base a movie on.
Notorious was simply the story of a man in love with a girl who, in the course of her official duties, had to go to bed with another man and even had to marry him. That mistake of yours cost you a lot of money, because the movie cost two million dollars to make and grossed eight million dollars for the producers.
Selznick in Hollywood. An earlier draft had contained an allusion to such an experiment. Selznick now wanted to use the trick department to realize it. It is true that Selznick eventually came around to the idea of the uranium, but there are two very important points that Leff manages to glaze over. The first of these points has to do with the fact that he seems to have become enthusiastic about this idea after selling the project to RKO who had taken over the project in mid-July. The script was still being developed at this time and even saw an unused polish by Clifford Odets before Ben Hecht returned to the project to undo his alterations.
This setback added to an already lengthy writing period, and Selznick urged RKO to light a fire under Hitchcock and Hecht so that Notorious could be one of the first films to the box-office to exploit this topical atrocity. The story itself concerns itself with another kind of politics: sexual politics. It is a film about the toxicity of male insecurity, passive-aggressive behavior, and the games that couples tend to play with one another. It was born out of an understanding that such moments are fragile and fleeting.
She also knows that another cold front could blow through at any moment. It is no wonder why the director seemed to relish discussing the scene with journalists throughout the rest of his long career.