Murder

41R6QPRRLDL._SL500_AA240_Most probably won’t recognize this title at all. This film is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s very early movies, coming out in 1930. A murder has been committed and a woman has gone through trial and found guilty. Juror, Sir John Menier, not fully convinced of the verdict, takes it upon himself to investigate the mysteries that surround the murder.

The story is pretty good, but the movie moves very slow….I mean VERY slow. The Dialog is not real tight and at times seemed to have strangely long pauses between dialog. I have read that Hitchcock was experimenting with improvisational dialog, which accounts for the awkward pauses. Saying that this sound was very poorly mixed and different sound track seemed to be way out of whack isn’t fair, just because it is from 1930. But if you do watch it you will find yourself fighting  to get through parts of this film. At one point a conversation is happening and while pouring tea, the clanking and stirring of the tea is so load it is hard to hear the dialog. Another is a scene where a baby is crying during a key scene with revealing dialog, and the baby is…well…extremely loud. Loud to the point of being a form a birth control.

In my opinion, average movie fans can probably skip this one all together. Movie buffs and fans of Alfred Hitchcock will appreciate the certain aspects of the movie as it does reveal how Hitchcock grew from his early films. It is actually a decent story, if you can fight through the mentioned above.

The Singing Hot Dog

North by Northwest

northbynorthwestNorth By Northwest is a pure slice of of Americana, an absolute classic Hitchcock movie. For those who have yet to see this film, Roger Thornhill,  a advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent and wrongfully accused of murder. Believing it is the only way to clear his name, Roger goes on a quest to find the man he is mistaken for. In a nut shell, that is the plot line. There are many scenes that make this film a classic. The art auction is perfectly played out by Cary Grant, trying to get thrown out of the auction by bidding $5. Of course the climax of the movie all taking place on top of Mount Rushmore is well known, but one of the most recognizable and memorable scenes in cinematic history is the biplane chase scene in the field.

Thornhill is played by American icon, Cary Grant (To Catch a Thief). There is a lot of humor in Grants dialog, just listen for it. His one liners and comments on situations come across almost like Grouch Marx. “Patience is a virtue” Eve says, followed by a quick witted Thornhill reply “So is breathing.” Eve is elegantly played by Eva Marie Saint (Best Supporting Actress for On the Waterfront), and is able to stand tow to toe with an icon like Cary Grant and be perfectly believable as a love interest.

As for the villains, VanDamm is played by James Mason (Heaven Can Wait, The Verdict), who brings a little class to the  entire idea of being a villain, similar to a James Bond villain with a taste for fine wine and love for art. Yet still being rugged and ruthless enough to develop a certain amount of fear that he has the power to have someone filled, and not think twice about doing it. Also, look for Martin Landau (Best Supporting Actor Ed Wood) as Leonard, VanDamm’s main henchmen!

If you have never taken the time to see older films, this is one that you should seek out and see at least once in a lifetime. You will be glad you did. Also, if you are fan of bluray discs, I hear this will be released on bluray as a 50th Anniversary Edition on November 3 later this year. I highly recommend this film, it’s a must see!