The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

…………………………………………………

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a 1947 fantasy romance film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. It is such a beautiful movie.

………………………………………………….

You must make your own life amongst the living and,

whether you meet fair winds or foul,

find your own way to harbor in the end

………………………………………………….

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The story is great and it is something that only could have been made during the forties as they were really into ghost stories during this decade. A young widow comes to a haunted house and there she befriends a ghost seaman. Eventually the two develop feelings for each other and that leads to many obvious problems.

The highlight was that beautiful third act. I rarely love the endings from the forties that portray a passage of time, but this one was done really well and it told us surprisingly quite a lot given that we only get a handful of scenes over a great period of time. Great writing right there. And the finale is indescribably beautiful and perfect, I loved it!

But I also loved the film’s exploration of different genres. It is atmospheric at first, sort of like a horror film, then it delves into comedy for a couple of scenes with some really funny banter between the two and it eventually leads to heartbreaking and at last heartwarming drama. But it is above all a fantasy romance and rarely have the two genres coalesced so perfectly into each other as evidenced here.

………………………………………………….

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Rex Harrison definitely gave a very typical voice here, but still he was very charismatic and highly likable. I really enjoyed him and his performance. George Sanders was typically typecast here and I honestly really disliked his role and his part of the story as it was obvious from the first moment how it would end and it came as sort of a detour to the film, a rushed and unnecessary detour. That is the only thing I disliked in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

Mrs. Muir herself is great and such a fine character so wonderfully portrayed by Gene Tierley. This has to be her career finest performance as I have never seen her be this great. She is beautiful and the camera surely does love her, but she is also very competent in the role, very complex and ultimately she gave possibly the year’s best female performance.

The relationship between the two is just wonderful. This is one of the rare romances that honestly gave me the feels. I rooted for the two end up together so strongly which is a rarity for me, but the writing and the dialogue are so good and their relationship is so sweet that I fell in love with both of them almost immediately. It is one of the best love stories from this period without any doubt, it’s both moving and timeless in quality while also being fueled by its fantasy aspect to give it that extra layer of awesomeness. It is a better movie than ‘Ghost’ in my opinion.

………………………………………………….

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Movie Review

………………………………………………….

As I said above, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is so well written and having some excellent lines of dialogue and great quotes, but above all it is superbly directed by one of my favorite directors Joseph L. Mankiewicz and he excelled here and gave this movie such a polished feel. The cinematography is simply stunning and it led to the only Academy Award nomination for the movie (ridiculous).  I loved the house, the effects and the beach scenes were the best. And the score is so incredibly moving and atmospheric in quality that it fuels the more emotional scenes to even greater heights.

Beautifully scored, gorgeously shot, so well directed and fueled by Gene Tierney’s wonderful, powerhouse performance, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is an underrated, marvelous fantasy romance that I simply adored. It is so well written and it has such a beautiful ending, but its romance is so elegant and lovable that I was fully invested in it. It shifts genres so well and it is such a moving, even poetic film that really needs to be appreciated more.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Rope (1948)

Rope Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Rope Movie Review

Rope is a 1948 thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger. It is one of the director’s best films.

………………………………………………….

Good and evil, right and wrong were invented

for the ordinary average man, the inferior man,

because he needs them

………………………………………………….

Rope Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Rope is quite a masterpiece. It surely is one of his most underrated films that should belong on any top ten lists. The film reminded me of ‘Seven’ in its exploration of experimental murder and their thought that they are superior to others and that intellectually inferior do not deserve to live. A truly clever script and the film deals with the psychology of its characters so well. Perfect murder, morality and Nietzsche’s superman concept are so well explored.

Its limited set of characters is great as all of them get good roles. Mrs. Wilson is your typical nosy housekeeper and she was quite funny at times. Kenneth is okay but more forgettable and Jane is memorable. That triangle was well set up. David’s father also had some good moments and in my opinion Mrs. Atwater is really funny with her quirks and smiles.

Phillip and Brandon are so obviously a gay couple that it is interesting how the movie got past the Hays Code. Their relationship makes the movie very interesting and different for its time period and even now as we do not see it all that often. Phillip’s more nervous behavior and the fact that he has guilt over the murder perfectly contrasted the more cold and calculated behavior from Brandon. A very interesting dynamic.

………………………………………………….

Rope Movie Review

………………………………………………….

And of course Rupert is great as this sort of detective and I liked how smart he was but that it was believable how he came to the realization that they committed a murder by analyzing the room thoroughly. Farley Granger and John Dall gave pretty good performances, both facial and physical, but of course James Stewart steals the show as his performance is truly terrific per usual.

Rope naturally features amazing cinematography, the best of its kind. It is ‘Birdman’, but done right. Yes, some bit parts definitely felt like cuts and were noticeable, but the film is mostly incredibly well shot and its long take is beautifully arranged and frankly very commendable and inspired. It is a character in its own right and some of the camera movements were very subtle and I loved how it panned the room and showcased the items related to the murder. The rope and especially chest were some of the best used Hitchcock items ever.

The only problem in the movie is that the ending wasn’t as perfect as the rest of the film was. In my opinion, it was riveting and exciting, but the taking of the gun and the prolonged conversation about the murder were somewhat unrealistic. And the film definitely should have been longer.

………………………………………………….

Rope Movie Review

………………………………………………….

But the finale is absolutely perfect. By showing us how they wait for the police to arrive instead of the police retaining them, the film managed to be incredibly suspense and those final moments were all the better for that choice. I loved the dialogue in this film, very smart. It is one of those talkative movies which are confined in space and the discussions are all that matters. This particular apartment is beautiful, its New York cyclorama is truly extraordinary and the Technicolor is wonderful here. As his first color film, it is technically polished and great. Hitchcock directed the movie stupendously and it truly is his first masterpiece.

With absolutely amazing cinematography with a groundbreaking, accomplished use of a long take, excellent performances, a superb use of its talkative and confined space approach, greatly explored psychology of its characters and smart themes along with an admirable attention to detail, Rope is one of Hitchock’s greatest and most underrated films that is always riveting, different and unique.

My Rating – 4.5

………………………………………………….

Share

The More the Merrier (1943)

The More the Merrier Movie Review

…………………………………………………

The More the Merrier Movie Review

The More the Merrier is a 1943 Oscar-nominated comedy starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn. It is interestingly a screwball comedy and although it took me some time to recognize that it is, the film definitely belongs to the subgenre which is very welcome and refreshing having in mind 1940s rarely featured those films.

………………………………………………….

You’ve been shushing me for 22 months now.

You’ve shushed your last shush!

………………………………………………….

The More the Merrier Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The story is about Connie Milligan who takes in her apartment a roommate, an old and warm man named Benjamin Dingle who afterwards invites a young and handsome Joe Carter to the mix in order to introduce them to each other and of course hilarity ensues in a typical screwball manner. The story is very interesting because it incorporates housing problems during WW2 and it manages to make fun of those situations which is wonderful because the period from 1942 to 1945 is filled with serious war films or flat out propaganda movies making this one a pleasant surprise and some light fun.

However, the movie is very weird because it is very polarizing in its execution, especially in the humor department. The jokes are sometimes very dated, while at times very good and quite modern. The More the Merrier has a wonderful first act which is the strongest and it goes downhill from there with predictable ending filled with maybe too emotional approach. And the slapstick is the part of the humor which is not the greatest and some repeated phrases also definitely hurt the movie. It is the kind of humor that is beautiful of course, but because it is sometimes not well executed and it has typical plot progression, it cannot be compared to the much better screwball comedies of the thirties. Those are some major problems that affect it for sure, but it is such a charming, effervescent, spirited and overall fun film that it can be forgiven in the long run.

………………………………………………….

The More the Merrier Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The characterization here is simply wonderful. All of the characters are very likable and wonderfully developed which is evident in the sense that you feel you have just met them when it’s over. And their chemistry, jokes and overall relationship with each other is beautifully executed and it can bring a smile to your face watching this strange, but lovable group together. The protagonist Connie is especially sweet and her character is such a charming and wonderfully flawed person that you easily get to love her.

The acting is magnificent, each and every performance is so good. Charles Coburn is phenomenal as Mr. Dingle, a character that is not easy to act and that could have easily been turned into too goofy persona, but he manages to make it work. Joel McCrea is also quite good and although he is not as good as the rest, he still serves his purpose and gives a respectable performance. But of course Jean Arthur is the star here, a standout and quite probably the very best thing about this movie. She is simply radiant, she glows every time she is on screen, she steals the scene and she gives a powerhouse performance. It is weird that the Academy honored Coburn whereas she is much better. Jean is beautiful, professional and charming and she shines in her wonderful lead role.

………………………………………………….

The More the Merrier Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The dialogue is mostly good, sometimes it’s weak, but it is at times very well done. The direction from George Stevens is excellent as usual and the editing and pacing are superb which is rare for any movie. Yes, some of the slapstick sequences in the beginning are too prolonged, but it is overall a very well edited film which moves at a smooth pace and is never boring.

Although it is sometimes annoying, the ending is predictable and too emotional and the humor is hit-or-miss, but when it is good, it’s very funny with some charming situations and lines. The characters are extremely likable and well developed, the story is fun and the acting is superb all around with Jean Arthur giving a powerhouse performance absolutely shining in her lead role. It is weird and at times quite polarizing, but The More the Merrier is mostly a good and above all entertaining film that is beautifully charming bringing a smile to your face and it is wonderful and refreshing to see a good screwball comedy from the forties.

My Rating – 4

Share

Notorious (1946)

Notorious Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Notorious Movie Review

Notorious is a 1946 noir spy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. It is one of Hitch’s best films up to this point.

………………………………………………….

A man doesn’t tell a woman what to do. She tells herself

………………………………………………….

Notorious Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The story is interesting in that it is obviously a spy plot. This is a noir film with strong spy elements which was definitely interesting to see. I personally loved the spy elements and although the film doesn’t have that high of a rewatchability factor, it compensates for that by featuring a bunch of unforgettable, extremely memorable scenes that went straight into film history.

One of those scenes is naturally the prolonged racy scene between the two actors which is famous for being the longest kiss scene ever filmed during the classic studio age of Hollywood. The two have great chemistry and are amazing actors so that was for all the better. Another great scene is the ending, very well done and highly memorable. And of course the highlight has to be the key sequence as it is beautifully shot and highly suspenseful. The film isn’t as suspenseful and thrilling as his best works, but it comes close.

Ingrid Bergman is as great as she mostly was and she here gave a compelling, wonderful performance playing such a great and competent female character who obviously lead to this being such a great woman’s picture. But Cary Grant is also terrific and he surprised me with this highly unusual, dramatic role for him. He went against typecasting and it paid off significantly. The two are wonderful together. And of course the delightfully villainous turn from Claude Rains adds another strong performance to the film.

………………………………………………….

Notorious Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Notorious is beautifully directed by Alfred Hitchcock and this is surely his best directorial effort until this point in time. His direction is so sophisticated and fantastic that it lifts the material significantly. The script is very good, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it wasn’t as involving and to me the entire first half was a bit boring and less engaging than the rest of the picture. That is why this is one of his better, but not one of his best films.

The great thing about Notorious is that it wonderfully capitalized on the end of war and brought us a Nazi-influenced film that isn’t set in World War II but just afterwards so that led to its unique, different appeal. The score is excellent and I thought that the cinematography was splendid. The film is simply put brilliantly shot and that amazing cinematography only brings to more suspense during those essential scenes such as the stellar sequence which is absolutely amazing to behold from beginning to end.

………………………………………………….

Notorious Movie Review

………………………………………………….

I also really liked its characters and they were all very memorable and so well acted by their actors and actresses. The movie is slower, but elegant and polished in its approach. I definitely did not love it upon a revisit as much as I loved it during my first watch, but I still think that it is his best 1940s film after ‘Suspicion’ and ‘Rebecca’. Definitely one of his most stylish and sophisticated outings.

Notorious is slower paced in the first half, but thrilling in the second one. It features many simply unforgettable sequences such as the stellar scene, the prolonged kiss and the ending. It is brilliantly directed by Hitchcock, so wonderfully acted by Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant who appears in a different role than usual for him and it is so suspenseful in some scenes and so exquisitely shot that it is one of the director’s best directed, most elegant and most stylish films.

My Rating – 4.5

Share

Spellbound (1945)

Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Spellbound Movie Review

Spellbound is a 1945 noir mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. It is a pretty good, interesting Hitchcock experiment.

…………………………………………………..

Women make the best psychoanalysts until they fall in love.

After that they make the best patients

…………………………………………………..

Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

Now I have read that Hitchcock himself dissed the movie decades later and truly the film isn’t a favorite nowadays. But I disagree with that notion. It is certainly far from his best works and it isn’t a great film, but it is still a pretty good film which is pretty on par with most of his other 40s efforts.

The movie is criticized for being dated, but to me the film is pleasantly old-fashioned in its approach and I loved personally the emphasis on traditional mystery and a strong reliance on psychology. Whether or not the film is scientifically accurate is a non-issue as movies, especially thrillers, aren’t supposed to be scientifically correct. I personally really liked the theme of psychoanalysis here and it was very well explored and even fascinating to hear about.

The film is a bit too cozy and less ambitious and dangerous than his usual fare, but that meant that it was original and different. The mystery is so well established and I loved the path to untangling it. It is a well written, mysterious and atmospheric film that works great as a noir mystery with some good thriller elements.

…………………………………………………..

Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

There are three highlights here. One is the dream sequence done by Salvador Dali. That was of course authentic and unforgettable visually. Another is of course the childhood flashback which is beautiful and such a great, important moment. And the third is that ending with the gunshot being fired at the audience being very inventive.

Gregory Peck is very good in Spellbound, but Ingrid Bergman is the standout here. She gave such a strong, subtle performance and she should have been nominated for her work here. She plays such a strong female character who is a doctor and who eventually saves her man. That is why the film is not sexist as some remarked, but rather opposite than that and modern.

Spellbound has some evident problems. One is the pacing which is at times slow. The entire first half should have been trimmed down a bit and some scenes are too slow and even dull. I also didn’t quite follow the murder storyline quite as well as the childhood drama one. It was a bit too convoluted.

But other than that, it is a very good film. One of the character highlights is Alex Brulov played so well by Michael Chekhov. His somewhat sexist and full of himself character was a lot of fun and he made me laugh a couple of times.

…………………………………………………..

Spellbound Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The film features very strong dialogue. Some of it wasn’t as great, but most of the conversations and discussions were very interesting and even fascinating in subject. The film has such an interesting psychological, dreamlike quality to it emphasized by gorgeous cinematography and many excellent shots and beautifully constructed sequences. Hitch’s direction is very strong here. The film isn’t as good as ‘Lifeboat’ or ‘Shadow of a Doubt‘, but it is better than overrated ‘Foreign Correspondent’ and it is a very underrated 40s effort from the director.

Spellbound is sometimes too convoluted and it drags in some scenes, but it is mostly a very intriguing, different kind of noir mystery with a strong emphasis on psychology. Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman are an excellent pair here with her in particular delivering a very strong performance. The film is intriguingly dreamlike in quality fueled by gorgeous cinematography and a couple of unforgettable sequences such as the gunshot ending, the childhood flashback and a weird dream scene done by Salvador Dali. It is a pretty underrated Hitchcock film.

My Rating – 4

…………………………………………………..

Share

The Heiress (1949)

The Heiress Movie Review

……………………………………………..

The Heiress Movie Review

The Heiress is a 1949 drama film directed by William Wyler and starring Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift. It is such a good, dramatic movie.

…………………………………………………..

Yes, I can be very cruel.

I have been taught by masters

…………………………………………………..

The Heiress Movie Review

…………………………………………………..

It is about a naive woman who falls in love with a handsome young man and decides to marry him despite the objections of her emotionally abusive father who suspects the man of being a fortune hunter. This is not a terribly original story, but it is applicable nonetheless and certainly timeless. It is relevant to this day and this issue is very well explored in this movie.
I like these melodramas from the forties even though I guess they did not age well according to many people. Here the change in Catherine’s personality is certainly not handled well and it was overly rushed and even over-the-top. But I still liked it in terms of storytelling no matter how weakly it was executed. It lead to a much more interesting and memorable film than I expected it to have been given its previously standard story. But the ending twisted my expectations and it was unpredictable and very fascinating.

…………………………………………………..

The Heiress Movie Review

…………………………………………………..
The Heiress features stellar performances from its superb cast. Of course Olivia de Havilland is so great in one of her best roles that rightfully garnered her an Oscar win. But Montgomery Clift is also really good in an atypical role for him and to me Ralph Richardson shouldn’t be forgotten in this acting conversation as he delivered such a great performance in a very interesting role. All three of them are terrific.
Despite the lack of subtlety and sometimes apparent over-the-top approach in the last third of the film, it was still a memorable and very dramatic and even dark turn of events. I loved that ending which was beautifully conceived and is the most unforgettable sequence of the entire film. But I also liked all of those scenes between the romantic duo as it featured terrific acting from both of them with Clift being surprisingly subtle in his role.
It deals so well with the troublesome father-daughter relationships and the father is certainly the most fascinating character here as they never made him too good, but the fact that he knew what was going on and wanted to help his daughter, but also emotionally abused her and definitely was unsensitive to her led to such a realistic and complex character who stole the show for sure.

…………………………………………………..

The Heiress Movie Review

…………………………………………………..
William Wyler of course directed the film superbly and it is also very well shot and edited with never a dull moment. I loved its sophisticated dialogue and the script is mostly fantastic. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four. It deserved all of the wins and noms, but I wish that Ralph Richardson had won for Supporting Actor. Regardless, it remains a memorable and very involving film which is certainly one of the best of 1949.

The Heiress is definitely rushed and over-the-top in its third act, but still featuring a very interesting and unpredictable turn of events. It is such a well told and relevant story imbued by excellent direction and of course terrific performances from Montgomery Clift who is admirably subtle in his role, Olivia de Havilland who is phenomenal and deserved her Oscar and even Ralph Richardson who shouldn’t be forgotten as he wonderfully acted the most fascinating character in the film.

My Rating – 4.5

……………………………………………..

Share

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Shadow of a Doubt Movie Review

……………………………………………………

Shadow of a Doubt Movie Review

Shadow of a Doubt is a 1943 psychological thriller noir film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten. It is such a flawed, yet respectable movie.

…………………………………………………….

He thought the world was a horrible place.

He couldn’t have been very happy, ever.

He didn’t trust people. Seemed to hate them.

He hated the whole world. You know,

he said people like us had no idea what the world was really like

…………………………………………………….

Shadow of a Doubt Movie Review

…………………………………………………….
It is about a teenage girl who learns that her uncle who has just come to visit their family is actually a murderer. This plot is quite standard and there is nothing truly original here. The same goes for some of its execution, mostly the first half. I just knew everything that would happen as the story is predictable and you know from the start that he is the criminal.
But still that aspect of the darkness lurking beneath the light is quite fascinating here. The movie is incredibly dark and that is why it is probably the only noir film from Hitchcock, a sort of noir as it has some of those elements for sure. This idyllic little town seems great at first, but then we witness how seedy some of its parts are and of course we realize that the man who seemed wonderful and kind at first is actually a cold, calculated killer.
I liked his character quite a bit and I honestly liked Charlie too. She was a bit too naive and good-natured, but that perfectly clashed with her uncle’s personality and all of the scenes between the two are terrific. I loved the final scene in the movie as it showcases how despite everything some people just cannot stop loving their relatives and I really liked the ultimately positive look on life that was present in that final line.

…………………………………………………….

Shadow of a Doubt Movie Review

…………………………………………………….
As for the other characters, they are solid, but overly abundant. I liked her bookworm sister, quite funny at times. The mother is also memorable and of course Charlie’s love interest is quite likable and the two are wonderful together. As for those two men constantly talking about possible murder methods, I do not know what to think of these two. Their conversations fit the story of the film and they are quite a fun, goofy duo, but they seemed too comedic and I do not know if this movie needed two full comic reliefs.
Shadow of a Doubt is really well acted with Joseph Cotten delivering such a strong performance. I am glad that they haven’t chosen William Powell. I love him to death, but he isn’t suited for this role and Cotten is. As for Teresa Wright, she was always such an underrated actress whom I loved here. She gave a strong performance and was immensely charming and beautiful.

…………………………………………………….

Shadow of a Doubt Movie Review

…………………………………………………….
Hitchcock directed this movie really well. It truly is one of his better films from this period, but to me not one of the best. I really do think that it should have been shorter in length and some scenes were overly extended. The film is really well edited despite the first half. It took too much take to get there. And of course that train scene was awfully convenient and rushed. But despite those flaws, it is still such a well shot, directed and made movie which also features excellent dialogue and some memorable scenes with the library sequence being beautifully shot and so atmospheric. The film is thrilling despite its predictable nature.

Shadow of a Doubt is definitely too predictable in plot, it takes its time to get ther owing to a slow start plus the train sequence is rushed and awfully convenient. However, the story is pretty well told, the characters are memorable and really well developed, I really liked its interesting themes, the cinematography is gorgeous and some scenes are very memorable and so well conceived. Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten are also phenomenal. It is in the a very good film, but I do not share Hitchcock’s sentiments as it isn’t my favorite movie of his, not by a long shot.

My Rating – 4

…………………………………………………….

Share

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The Magnificent Ambersons Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The Magnificent Ambersons Movie Review

The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1942 period drama directed by Orson Welles and starring Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead and Tim Holt. It is an expectedly overrated movie.

…………………………………………………….

I said, automobiles are a useless nuisance.

Never amount to anything but a nuisance.

They had no business to be invented

…………………………………………………….

The Magnificent Ambersons Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The plot isn’t there. This is a story that obviously came from the book and is just not suited for visual media such as film. And certainly it has too many characters, too many plot points and developments and it is overly entangled and complicated for such a short running time. Everything is underdeveloped, underutilized and ultimately quite weak.

I truly think that Orson Welles is the most overrated classic director as I find most of his films to be pretty weak. This one doesn’t change that tradition for me. None of its characters was even remotely memorable. Yes, the acting is great for sure. Joseph Cotten is as good as usual and Tim Holt and Agnes Moorehead are very good themselves, but the characters they play are beyond weak. This is the kind of family drama that is very soapy, boring and overly melodramatic and filled with so many gossips and rumors that it reminded of soap operas.

…………………………………………………….

…………………………………………………….

What The Magnificent Ambersons does right lies in the technical departments. The direction from Welles is admittedly quite weak, but the visuals are mesmerizing. I loved the art direction and it deserved to be Oscar nominated for sure. The film has gorgeous cinematography and that castle is beautiful to watch. It is also meticulous in detail and you really feel as if you’ve been transported to the beginning of the 20th century. It serves as a good, charming look at that particular time period and I loved the transitions in technology portrayed here, especially that in automobiles. But I still found the plot itself and the characters way too boring and pointless and the film did not deserve its Best Picture nomination at all. It is cited as one of the best American films of all time by the critics which is just crazy talk to me. Ridiculous.

The Magnificent Ambersons is an expectedly overrated film from one of the most overrated directors. The art direction and cinematography are admittedly splendid along with its attention to detail as it transports you well into its time period. But that’s about it. It was so obviously not meant to be a film material and it’s a dull, gossipy soap opera filled with too many characters and a lack of any meaningful plot to it.

My Rating – 3

…………………………………………………….

Share

Lifeboat (1944)

Lifeboat Movie Review

…………………………………………………..

Lifeboat Movie Review

Lifeboat is a 1944 thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Tallulah Bankhead among others. It is such an underrated Hitch entertainer.

…………………………………………………..

Dying together’s even more personal than living together

…………………………………………………..

 

Lifeboat Movie Review……………………………………………………

It is set on a lifeboat which contains survivers from a sinking ship during a naval attack in World War II. One of the people on the boat is German so the conflict naturally arises. This is one of those limited space movies and Hitchcock’s take on it is quite inspired which was expected from his caliber. The movie is consistently engaging and works as a great chamber drama while also being a triller.
The character development is quite stupendous. Some characters are weaker and less interesting such as Alice and Hume, but others such as Ritt and Gus are quite memorable. But of course Kovac and Connie are the standouts and I just loved their dynamic. The movie is surprisingly sensual for a Hitchcock film. She is such a great character, very competent and complex, fuelled by Tallulah Bankhead’s absolutely terrific performance. She should have been Oscar nominated for this role in my opinion.

…………………………………………………..

 

Lifeboat Movie Review

…………………………………………………..

There is one problem in Lifeboat and that is its treatment of Germans. I realize that it was pretty different and even too positive for that time, but for now not so much. Willi is too much of a villain here and it is totally ridiculous that anyone on a boat surrounded by Americans would think he has a chance against them. I did not like that at all. Gus’s murder raised the stakes, but it was still unnecessary and I felt bad for him.
But there is one person that is suprisingly for its time very well treated here and that’s Joe. Yes, Hitchcock was obviously not a racist for including this character. Joe is very likable and sympathetic and the rest of the group treat him nicely and with respect. It is great seeing a black character portrayed in such a wonderful manner during the 40s.

…………………………………………………..

Lifeboat Movie Review

 

…………………………………………………..

I liked almost all of its parts. Some scenes in Lifeboat were less interesting than the others, but most of them are very engaging thanks in large part to such excellent characterization and superb dialogue. I loved the dynamic between the group and they honestly felt like such a wonderful group of people. I liked the ending and to me the humor, especially with Connie, is excellent. It needed more thriller elements, but as a drama Lifeboat excels.
Lifeboat is one of the most underrated Hitchcock films. Yes, it may be unrealistic at times and some characters and scenes are less interesting than the others, but it benefits from very strong acting (Tallulah Bankhead is so good here), a terrific set of characters and an intriguing drama and dilemmas brewing between those well-rounded characters. It is also authentic in its setting meaning that not many films of the era revolve on the boat. It is flawed, but it’s an entirely involving, very good and an unfortunately forgotten film from the master of suspense.

My Rating – 4

…………………………………………………..

Share

Saboteur (1942)

Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

Saboteur Movie Review

Saboteur is a 1942 spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane. It is one of his most underappreciated films.

……………………………………………………

Don’t you know I can see a great deal farther than you can?

I can see intangible things.

For example, innocence

……………………………………………………

Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

I have to say that the conspiracy plot here is highly typical. We’ve seen this premise with man accused of crime that he didn’t commit done many times before and it is his usual theme. It isn’t that unpredictable and rarely does it contain truly original scenes in it.

However, it still surprised me with its quality as the execution of this story is so good. This is without any doubt one of the most purely entertaining films from the Master of Suspense. I’ve had such a great time watching it and it is both fun and charming.

The beginning and ending are important, but not the best. The entire middle section of the film is where the movie shines. I loved the high adventure and the relationship between these two characters and the highlights are the river scene and of course the whole extended sequence with the circus performers was so authentic, highly interesting and a blast to watch.

……………………………………………………

Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

The characters are solid. Pat and Barry are both archetypes, but still realized really well and highly sympathetic. I loved their interactions and they are a great couple. Priscilla Lane and Robert Cummings are certainly B-actors and their performances aren’t the greatest, but they are still very charming and serve as great eye candy.

Saboteur is technically a very well made film. The cinematography is so good and it contains a lot of memorable scenes with unforgettable imagery. Of course the last scene with the Statue of Liberty is such a memorable climax, although too typical for Hitch. The sound is strong and I liked its lack of score as it fits the plot.

In terms of it being a thriller, it is a solid one with some chases and fights being quite fun to watch, but still I expected more thrills and danger from it and there were too many obvious scenarios in my opinion. The film is definitely too influenced by some of Hitchcock’s previous works and it never quite achieves to be its own thing, no matter how entertaining it is.

……………………………………………………

Saboteur Movie Review……………………………………………………

The spy elements are solid, but still not the greatest. I liked that the film doesn’t have any score as it didn’t need it at all. As for its dialogue, it is pretty solid and actually quite funny at times. Saboteur surprised me with its high amount of humor at times. The director is more than capable of making funny movies which is why I think that he definitely should have tried to make a comedy in his career, but unfortunately he never did. Saboteur is funny and actually very charming in both its story and couple. I found the villains to be overly typical, but that entire party sequence found good use of them and was a memorable part of the film. The flick flows really well and is fun and involving to watch from beginning to end which is why I think that its status is definitely underserved as it is better than a lot of his previous movies. Very underrated and it really caught me by surprise.

Saboteur is one of Hitchcock’s most underrated and most unabashedly entertaining films. It certainly is not original, the acting isn’t the greatest and the beginning and ending are typical, but the entire middle section was so much fun with excellent scenarios, a memorable romantic pair at its center and with so many unforgettable and immensely entertaining scenes populated with memorable characters and imagery.

My Rating – 4

……………………………………………………

Share