Genre: Film-Noir Mystery Thriller
Starring: Joan Fontaine (Letter from an Unknown Woman; Rebecca), Cary Grant (His Girl Friday; Notorious)
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho; Sabotage)
Overview: After a woman marries a man she hardly knows, she begins to doubt his worth not only as a provider, but wonders if he's also capable of murder.
Acting: The immortal Cary Grant! Big Woop! Can he play a deadbeat dick? Yes. I still don't think his role here was all that impressive. Joan Fontaine does a great job yet again, but I think she's a little typecast as the naive romantic love interest. I guess I can call myself fickle and say I'm bored of her. When you think of favorites though, I'll put my money on Beaky, the family best friend. I don't know why, Hitchcock failed me a little in this one.
Cinematography: There's some Rebecca-reminiscent moments here with the interior lighting, ripe with streaks of web-like window panes and that one particularly dramatic milk scene that would be nothing without Hitchcock's signature silhouettes and ominous shadows. The sets were decent and though the driving scenes had that all too common fake projected screen look to it... oh my God I just remembered the horrible memory I repressed. Those painted sets. All the time standing on astro-turf in front of a fluffy blue canvas. ARGH!
Script: This is what salvages the film. As much as the story may suffer from time to time, when looking at this from scene to scene, the sweet words, the lies, excuses, doubt and yes, even the suspicion is well maintained and introduces real situations that cause real believable stress to the characters involved. Yeah, this was nice.
Plot: This story, about a woman who marries a man who's all smoke and mirrors, a gambler, a lazy sort, a man of questionable morality, goes south early on. Half way into it I was wondering why she was letting herself get into this, and by the end I asked myself why so many questions were left unanswered. Hmmm, it's almost like someone had planned ONE ending, then was told he had to end it the opposite.. hmmm.
Mood: WTF is up with colorization?! I am of the opinion that some PR firm for a colorization company convinced the world that people wanted such a thing as vivid pastel colours exploring into our eyeballs. Some idiot beancounter in a white tower said, "Sure, you gotta spend money to make money!" and for ten solid years this little colourization firm was dancing because everyone had job security from their lies. Assholes.
Overall Rating: 70% (I Had My Doubts)
Aftertaste: A weak title for a weak film, I suspect the reason this failed in my mind is all the little inconsistencies that popped up. The theme was muddy due to great changes that took place between first draft and the final film, and although I was all eager to see Joan again and ready to be wowed by Cary Grant... something just didn't happen in the spark of enjoyment department. Where's the man I was told was a genius?!