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Old 07-18-2018, 12:44 PM   #16
ZodWallop
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I like it well enough myself. I think one problem is that we know from the start that there is a body. The suspense of "did they kill someone or didn't they" isn't there. One gentleman remarked on that on the DVD.
That's because the suspense is 'will they be caught? What will be their undoing?' It seems to be a perfect example of Hitchcock's famous distinction between suspense and surprise:

We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let us suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, “Boom!” There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but priot to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware that the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock, and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions this innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There’s a bomb beneath you and it’s about to explode!”

In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second case we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:24 PM   #17
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Incidentally, earlier this year I read Du Maurier's The Birds and liked it quite a bit. Like The Shining, Hitchcock's movie had almost no relation to the original story. But I enjoyed both the story and the film.
The birds was also based on a real event. This flock of birds somewhere in California swooped in and made quite a mess of things by colliding with windows, etc. as I understand it. It was featured in Mystery at the Museum. It had a rather mundane cause though unlike the movie. The birds eat fish which have eaten a particular type of plankton or other sea plants and it every now and then has a neurological effect on the birds. Scrambles their sense of direction or something so they fly into things.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:30 PM   #18
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We are straying a bit from the thread's subject but I couldn't let that one pass without a brief comment.
The Birds,
North By Northwest
To Catch a Thief
Rear Window
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Vertigo
Dial M For Murder (also in 3D)
all in color and a few lesser films that were none-the-less fun movies, Family Plot, Marnie, The Trouble With Harry.

See, if you make too many B&W movies that are excellent some folks will forget what you did in color.
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But the point is that none of those with the possible exceptions of North by Northwest and Rear Window are up to:
  • Notorious
  • Rebecca
  • Shadow of a Doubt
  • Suspicion
  • The 39 Steps
  • Stangers on a Train

and I could go on.

I have to add that the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much is pretty terrible.
Not much compares to Shadow of a Doubt. But if we're talking B&W Hitchcock, how about a little love for Sabotage, with Oskar Homolka and Sylvia Sidney? It includes an incredibly suspenseful segment involving a little boy unknowingly transporting a bomb on a bus. My favorite scene shows a wife serving dinner to her husband and thinking about picking up the knife on the table ...

And, of course, Psycho is a classic.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:50 PM   #19
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Not much compares to Shadow of a Doubt. But if we're talking B&W Hitchcock, how about a little love for Sabotage, with Oskar Homolka and Sylvia Sidney? It includes an incredibly suspenseful segment involving a little boy unknowingly transporting a bomb on a bus. My favorite scene shows a wife serving dinner to her husband and thinking about picking up the knife on the table ...

And, of course, Psycho is a classic.
In the 1974 Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks made "Young Frankenstein" and shot it in black and white as a homage to the old movies. Sometimes B&W is the best media even now for a movie even with color.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:21 PM   #20
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In the 1974 Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks made "Young Frankenstein" and shot it in black and white as a homage to the old movies. Sometimes B&W is the best media even now for a movie even with color.
And Mel Brooks' 1976 movie Silent Movie is silent, mostly.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:44 PM   #21
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And Mel Brooks' 1976 movie Silent Movie is silent, mostly.
I seem to remember one person had a speaking part -- Marcel Marceau. It appealed to my sense of humour that a mime spoke the only word in the movie. I was going to say the only line of dialogue in the movie but hard to stretch Non! into a line.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:01 AM   #22
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I seem to remember one person had a speaking part -- Marcel Marceau. It appealed to my sense of humour that a mime spoke the only word in the movie. I was going to say the only line of dialogue in the movie but hard to stretch Non! into a line.
Sort of like Clarabell the clown having the final word on the final episode of Howdy Doody. His words? "Goodbye kids." Speaking of which didn't they make a line of books featuring Howdy Doody?
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:43 AM   #23
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Not much compares to Shadow of a Doubt. But if we're talking B&W Hitchcock, how about a little love for Sabotage, with Oskar Homolka and Sylvia Sidney? It includes an incredibly suspenseful segment involving a little boy unknowingly transporting a bomb on a bus. My favorite scene shows a wife serving dinner to her husband and thinking about picking up the knife on the table ...

And, of course, Psycho is a classic.
The mention of Oskar Homolka reminded me of the Carol Reed directed film, The Key. This was from a short story by Jan de Hartog and the film copied the book very closely. Staring Sophia Loren, William Holden and Trevor Howard it is unusual and excellent. Homolka has a small part as did Bernard Lee - "M" in the early 007 films. . If you like movies and Sophia don't miss this one. I understand it received poor reviews when it was released in 1958 and now is a bit of an undiscovered classic. De Hartog wrote very good sea stories and I regret that none of them are in ebook format.

The Key may have been originally titled The Distant Shore. I read it in a book by that title many years ago.

Last edited by The Old Man; 07-19-2018 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Additional info
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:28 AM   #24
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Quite a collection. Cyrano De Bergerac, Flying Tigers, Night of the Living Dead just to name a couple that I noticed in a brief glance. Also some really cheesy movies that I remember seeing on TV back when I was a kid - Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I'm obviously going to have to browse this site when I have more time.

I suspect that a lot more movies have gone out of copyright, but the prints have long since vanished.
I have a feeling that you're right about prints vanishing. Many turned to dust in their cans and many were burned back in the day to create space for new movies, or were broken down to reclaim the silver content. Plus some were made using flammable material that may even have ignited on their own. I understand some early films only exist now on long paper strips that were deposited in the copyright dept. Of course film isn't alone in its fragility. I understand some old books are slowly crumbling as the paper wasn't acid free.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:31 AM   #25
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I've read that only half of the films made before 1950 still exist and only about 20% of silent films from the 1910s and 1920s remain.

Many films were preserved because they were part of early TV packages sold by the studios to the networks.
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:59 AM   #26
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I've read that only half of the films made before 1950 still exist and only about 20% of silent films from the 1910s and 1920s remain.

Many films were preserved because they were part of early TV packages sold by the studios to the networks.
It's interesting reading the stories of how various films were restored. For example the John Wayne film, the High and the Mighty was not available for a long while. In the end, they had to piece it together from multiple prints. The original archive print was ruined when the vault it was in flooded, if I remember correctly.

I can remember watching one restored movie a number of years ago (can't remember the name of the movie at the moment) where they had the audio track, but not the film for several sections, so they just played the audio track with various stills from the movie during those sections. It was kind of an interesting effect as I remember it.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:33 PM   #27
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It's interesting reading the stories of how various films were restored. For example the John Wayne film, the High and the Mighty was not available for a long while. In the end, they had to piece it together from multiple prints. The original archive print was ruined when the vault it was in flooded, if I remember correctly.

I can remember watching one restored movie a number of years ago (can't remember the name of the movie at the moment) where they had the audio track, but not the film for several sections, so they just played the audio track with various stills from the movie during those sections. It was kind of an interesting effect as I remember it.
I think that may be "Lost Horizon." The 1937 version with Ronald Coleman and Jane Wyatt. There are still several sections of film missing so they used production stills to fill in the gaps.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:52 PM   #28
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I think that may be "Lost Horizon." The 1937 version with Ronald Coleman and Jane Wyatt. There are still several sections of film missing so they used production stills to fill in the gaps.
That's A Star is Born, the Judy Garland version, and not Lost Horizon. The original release of Star is intact, but the restored version is the audio track and stills.

I'm pretty sure this has come up here before.

Last edited by issybird; 07-20-2018 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:28 AM   #29
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That's A Star is Born, the Judy Garland version, and not Lost Horizon. The original release of Star is intact, but the restored version is the audio track and stills.

I'm pretty sure this has come up here before.
Lost Horizon was cut in some small parts as it ran long and some of the pieces are lost. They did a restored version a few yrs ago that had the audio restored but used production stills to fill the gaps for the actual film. There are also a few pieces missing from Wizard of Oz that were filled in via such production photo's on the DVD version (in special features) as well for that matter. I hadn't known about A Star is Born having such missing pieces.
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:12 AM   #30
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Lost Horizon was cut in some small parts as it ran long and some of the pieces are lost. They did a restored version a few yrs ago that had the audio restored but used production stills to fill the gaps for the actual film. There are also a few pieces missing from Wizard of Oz that were filled in via such production photo's on the DVD version (in special features) as well for that matter. I hadn't known about A Star is Born having such missing pieces.
Lost Horizon's sounds right. I haven't seen a Star is Born. I have the Wizard of Oz DVD. If I recall correctly, they use the still for the section with Buddy Epsen singing If I only had a heart. [as many know, Epsen was the original Tin Man, but had an allergic reaction to the makeup, so they replaced him with Jack Haley].
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