This weeks film was entitled To Catch a Thief and the title is an extremely fitting one for a film about catching a thief.
John Robie (Cary Grant) is a reformed jewel thief living happily in France. However when a copycat thief begins stealing expensive items Robie must go on a hunt to catch the thief and clear his name. This leads him into tricky situations and a whirlwind romance with the young Frances (Grace Kelly).
The film is generally put together well and there is a good sense of tension throughout. There are many subtle touches that give this film a real sense of charm; for example the cat symbology that constantly recurs around Robie works wonderfully as both a metaphor and for comic effect.
There is a car chase during the film, which was very interesting to watch and very well cut together however it was disappointing to not see the crash on screen.
The performances of both leads are fantastic – as you’d expect with actors of this calibre – especially Cary Grant who makes what could be seen as an evil character relatable to an audience. Grace Kelly is once more wonderfully pretty and a joy to watch.
The ending of the film comes as a massive disappointment as the twist if far too obvious with the thief being the person you’d expect. Also some of the dialogue throughout seems forced and not in the charming ‘old movie talk’ sort of way.
Hitch makes his cameo about 10 minutes into the film as a man sitting on the back of the bus. It’s pretty obvious.
To Catch a Thief is a film which although good if far from great. 3 Hitchs.
This weeks film was Rear Window which is considered one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces and one of the reasons why I began this challenge.
L.B Jeffries (James Stewart) is a photographer who has recently broken his leg and become trapped inside his courtyard-facing apartment. He soon becomes obsessed with spying on his neighbours. When a pair of neighbours begin acting suspiciously he begins to investigate a possible murder with the help of his model girlfriend (Grace Kelly) and carer (Thelma Ritter)
The entire film is fantastic and there is very little that I feel I can say that hasn’t already been said. The way in which Hitchcock builds tension using voyeuristic point-of-view shots is immense and the fact that the camera only once leaves James Stewarts apartment gives the film an incredibly claustrophobic feel.
Grace Kelly is also once more magnificien in her small but vital role as is the rest of the cast.
There is very little wrong with this film the main thing being that towards the end there is a sequence in which James Stewart uses the flash on his camera to try and scare off an approaching person. When its fires the entire frame tints orange for a second, the effect is very jarring and adds a lot of age to the film as it something that would not be used in modern filmmaking.
Hitchcock makes a cameo as an angry man who visits a piano playing neighbour of James Stewart.
This film by far the most suspenseful of any film watched in this challenge and rewarding even after several repeat watching. A diamond example of how to build tension within film.
Dial M for Murder is am important Hitchcock film as it marks the first time with which he works with future princess Grace Kelly, and she does make this film something marvellous being the epitome of a Hitchcock blonde; beautiful, elegant and a good actress
Grace Kelly plays an unhappy wife who is having an affair with a young American writer (Robert Cummings). When her husband (Ray Milland) realises the affair he begins to plot her murder.
Grace Kelly is very memorable within this film with many of the iconic moments involving her; for example the murder sequence. This sequence is fantastically done as the tension builds and builds; with every detail from the husbands plan going wrong in some sort of fashion. The murder itself is also pretty gruesome.
Another good aspect is a sequence of the film in which Grace Kelly is convicted of murder; she simply stands still with lighting effects changing around her as a judge pronounces his verdict. The sequence is brilliantly simple yet very effective as the audience really feels for Grace Kelly.
The film does not have many flaws other than once Grace Kelly is convicted it loses direction for a short period of the plot where not much happens. However when the plot is realigned it picks up with brilliance leading to a very good ending.
Hitchcock makes a cameo in a picture of a graduation ball.
Dial M for Murder is a fantastic genre piece and a must see for any ‘mystery’ film fans. The stunning Grace Kelly fits perfectly into a plot which is highly entertaining and truly suspenseful. 5 Hitchs.
I, Confess is an extremely interesting film with a very unique idea that explores the idea of a priests confidentiality agreement in a way that I have never seen before.
Father Logan (Montgomery Clift) hears a confession in which a man confesses the murder of a local businessman. When the murder is investigated it is revealed that Logan held a grudge over this businessman and ultimately Logan becomes the prime suspect. Logan then battles his beliefs as he decides whether he should go to jail for a crime he didn’t commit or break his holy vows.
The tension throughout the film is truly fantastic as you see the personal trials through which the priest is going. The film-noirish shadows particularly help emphasis the effects.
The story as highlighted is very unique and original, exploring issues, which are never really discussed or thought about by the mass population. Even those who regularly got to church and confess.
The ending of the film comes from nowhere and is much too fairytale with everyone being happy. This was changed because of the censoring however it still detracts a lot from the overall impact and memorableness is ruined.
In the opening sequence he is runs across a dark alleyway.
I, Confess is a good Hitchcock film and a good film tension wise; however the ending proves a massive let down.