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Showing results for tags 'Joan Fontaine'.
"Rebecca," Alfred Hitchcock's first American project, is a Gothic tale filled with suspense. There is fine acting, beautiful cinematography and more twists and turns than your favorite roller-coaster. I wanted to see this film because I have watched a number of movies lately starring Joan Fontaine, and this is considered by many to be her finest work. "Rebecca" is the only Alfred Hitchcock-directed film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It is based on the 1938 novel of the same name written by Daphne du Maurier. Filmed in black-and-white, "Rebecca" has a darkly brooding, mysterious feel to it. Fontaine is perfect as the naively sweet second Mrs. De Winter, living in the shadow of her predecessor, Rebecca. Fontaine and Laurence Olivier have wonderful chemistry in this film. All of the actors are top-notch, but Dame Judith Anderson is simply unforgettable in her role as the demented housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. "Rebecca" is a sweeping, captivating picture that every lover of classic films should see.
The more I see Sidney Blackmer, the more I like him - he's not a legendary leading man (he was born in 1895), but he's a solid, reliable actor, and considering how many films they were churning out in the 1950s, those were most likely in short supply. I've watched him in several things now, and I've never seen him in a performance that I haven't at least "liked." "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" is a very timely film, even 60+ years after its release - it deals with the justness of the death penalty, especially in cases that involve only circumstantial evidence, and how some politically minded people use it as a tool in their ambitious plans. This is a short movie - only 80-minutes long - so it involves just a minimal investment of your time. --- An off-topic comment, having little to do with the film, but sometimes, when I see a letter, or newspaper, while watching a video, I'll freeze it to see what all is in there. I did just such a thing here - the main story pertaining to the film is all over the top. But do you want to see something really weird? Look at the title of the article towards the bottom-right: --- One thing I've noticed is just how popular "Scotch and Soda" was as a drink in the movies in the 1950s - people drink it *all the time*. I've seen it ordered in films written about here no less than a half-dozen times, probably closer to a dozen. Another random fact, not relevant to this film, but still, definitely a trend in movies from the 1950s. When's the last time you've seen someone order a Scotch and Soda? *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** Thirty minutes into this film, there's a hole in the plot the size of Crater Lake. If it comes to fruition, the film goes from being a crime drama to a tragedy, all because of some really *stupid* planning. Right. Sixty minutes into the film, Crater Lake has just been hit by an asteroid, rendering the hole ten-times deeper and wider. Anyone - and I mean *anyone* - who couldn't see this coming, is simply not a sophisticated student of film, and I'm not saying that to sound like a douche-bag, but it was *SO* obvious that it was painful. So obvious that I can't believe it happened. This was one of the worst plot developments I have ever seen in a film, and I simply cannot believe that it happened in an otherwise decent story. How could people not have covered this angle? Or ... did they? I don't want to accuse this film just yet of being a piece of rubbish, but if this plot-hole doesn't resolve itself in a clever and outstanding manner, then this film is just plain lousy. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt, since there's fully thirty minutes left, and the two protagonists weren't stupid. But were the screenwriter, producer, and director stupid? I sure hope not, because for this plot to turn on what is an impossibly *moronic* mistake would be an incredible shame - I refuse to believe it's going to happen. Yet. You know what? I have a confession to make: Every time I think I'm so God damned smart, I end up being exposed as the stupid, naive, dilettante that I am - and so it is with "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." I was completely duped, and it was entirely of my own doing - no major motion picture would have left a hole open so yawning that it was a chasm, and this was no exception. The *only* thing I have to say in my defense is that I have the confidence to admit when I'm a fool, and I'm as much of a fool regarding this film as with any I've ever seen. I am as dumb as dirt - I should have simply ridden the ride, and got off at the Exit, which is what people are supposed to do, instead of trying to be Mr. Expert, and being exposed for the naive, ignorant, wannabe that I am. Damn, I hate being wrong, but I *especially* hate being *THIS* wrong. This was a very good film. A much better film than I am a viewer of films. In my meager defense, I had *no* idea until just now this movie was directed by the great genius, Fritz Lang. Well done, Mr, Lang, well done.
Since I recently watched "The Maltese Falcon," I decided to have a go at "Suspicion," both films being from 1941. The glass of milk scene was my favorite part of the film - it was Hitchcock at his best. *** MINOR SPOILER FOLLOWS *** I didn't realize until after the movie that Cary Grant's menace is developed by Hitchcock by never having him walking into a scene; he merely "appears" - I'm not sure if that hold true for the entire film, but apparently, it happens quite a bit. Grant's performance was terrific - both childish and increasingly creepy as the film progressed. Will he or won't he?