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Friday, June 5, 2020

Sir Alfred Hitchcock's Collection - A Series of Reviews

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE was an English film director and producer, widely regarded as one of the most influential and widely studied filmmakers in the history of cinema.

I realized that it is very often that we consider someone a master of his trait, only because his reputation precedes him. Many a times our appreciation is only a rat race that stems from the repetitive praise that we have heard for a particular artist. It is therefore an effort, through this series of reviews to analyze the undoubted brilliance of Sir Alfred Hitchcock by not only confining ourselves to the popular "Psycho" or "the birds", but through a rigorous examination of his entire directorial endeavor.

So Far in the Series:

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) | Alfred Hitchcock's Collection | A Series of Reviews

 The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) on IMDb

Alfred Hitchcock may be known for his more popular films like Psycho, Notorious and The birds, but the movie that got him recognition as a mainstream filmmaker and opened his way to Hollywood was the 1934 crime thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much. The movie was later remade by Sir Hitchcock for Hollywood and with a much larger budget in 1956.  

A perfect mix of espionage and action, the movie is highlighted by a villain that is masterfully played by a menacing Peter Lorre who looks convincing as a scary, intimidating anti-hero with no remorse or fear of the consequences of his actions.

Featuring a shoot-out that saw bodies fall like a house of cards and a hostage situation that is suspenseful and thrilling, the man who knew too much is definitely an action flick that is crisp and engaging. 

Made in a near to nothing budget, the film is a masterful effort in storytelling and shows the directorial greatness of Sir Alfred Hitchcock. 

Giving nothing away, I can just say that it is a movie, still relevant as a thriller and still good enough to keep one interested. The class of Hitchcock makes his work timeless and fresh.   


Movie Review The Man Who Knew Too Much | Latest Movie Ratings


Downhill [ When boys Leave Home ] (1927) | Alfred Hitchcock's Collection | A Series of Reviews

Public schoolboy Roddy Berwick is expelled from school when he takes the blame for a friend's charge and his life falls apart in a series of misadventures.

Alfred Hitchcock


Ivor Novello, Ben Webster, Norman McKinnel
 Downhill (1928) on IMDb

Stamping his jaw dropping mastery on the silver screen in his self proclaimed first true Hitchcock movie, The Lodger, Sir Alfred Hitchcock set the bar extremely high for the upcoming 1928 adventure thriller Downhill also known as When boys leave home.
The movie follows the misadventures of a bright school boy who sacrifices his career in order to save his friend's. The story is a simple tale of friendship and love and the uncertainty that life holds for us.
Although, Sir Hitchcock delivered the same remarkable technical flawlessness and directorial perfection that made The Lodger a success, it was the patchy and jerky story that made Downhill one of his weakest movies ever. In my humble opinion the fact that The lodgers was based on a novel and Downhill was written by the main lead Ivor Novello might be the main difference in the entire experience. Ivor, though a very captivating actor and a heartthrob of his times clearly did not have the story that could match Hitchcock's brilliance. Some may argue that Ivor's body of work is more in the writing department than in acting, but upon closer examination he was more a sounds guy than either and actor or a writer. His looks and expression are impressive in both The Lodger and Downhill, something that can't really be said about his writing in Downhill.
All in all, a silent movie that manages to keep you interested at least half the way and that does show you the brilliance of Sir Alfred Hitchcock in many parts, but eventually fails to deliver due to some very ordinary script. I would recommend everyone to watch it just to understand the importance of a story, or the lack of it.  

NEXT:  The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
Movie Review Alfred Hitchcock's Downhill | Latest Movie Ratings


Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Lodger (1927) | Alfred Hitchcock's Collection | A series of reviews

A landlady suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in London.
 Th Lodger (1927) on IMDb

 CAST: June Tripp, Ivor Novello, Marie Ault

Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger is a testimony to the fact that the master did not require language, color or words to weave his magic and display his genius. To think in this day and age where one often disregards a movie for the lack of depth in dialog or for the ineffectiveness of CGI as an aid to creating horror, that a movie with no dialogs and that too for a longish duration for a silent film at one hour and 30 minutes, would be so captivating and gripping as the lodger is, is simply amazing. 

The wonderful haunting music and a couple of exceptional romantic tunes punctuate some masterful performances by June Tripp, Marie Ault and Ivor Novello. A suspenseful thrill ride with nothing but expressions, is no less than an acting academy that many a plastic actors if this era can take a lead from.

Hitchcock uses jealousy, anger, revenge, irony, love, passion and repentance as his tools to narrate a fairly simple tale with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep the audience interested. 

NEXT: Alfred Hitchcock's Downhill (1928) Review 


Movie Review The Lodger (1927) | Latest Movie Ratings