Genre: Drama Mystery Romance Thriller
Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock (Jamaica Inn; Under Capricorn)
Overview: When a young executive discovers a theif, rather than giving her up to the police, he hires her, courts her and tries to help her.
Acting: Girlfriend of Squish was so genuinely annoyed by Tippi's character that I wondered if it was the wrong time of the month to watch this film with her. Consesus seems to agree though that there is NO good time to watch a movie where the director and his leading actress stop talking to one another mid-film. Go figure professionalism goes straight down the toilet when you're directing through intermediaried. Yes it's just a rumour, but Tippi's not the strongest role by far. In fact I loved the secondary character that was the sister of Sean Connery's character, and not too rough on the eyes either...
Cinematography: There are few films where the editing style seems to make the story oddly disjointed. On the risk of being told it was done on purpose I'm going to say 'blah, icky, weird and clunky'. One thing I do know is that the cheap looking sets were like that on purpose. I didn't find the sets all that chintzy compared to other Hitchcockian films; the poor man always prefered the studio, and trees just somehow don't look right plunked in astroturf...
Script: When Tippi Hendren was told she was to play a frigid woman, she was shocked saying "but have you looked at [Sean Connery]?" Hitchcock replied, "It's called acting, my dear." Perhaps I delayed too long in reviewing this one, but my mind recalls nothing spectacular about it, except all those little moments when things were said for the benefit of the audience. I wonder if Hitchcock assumed a degree of stupidity among his spectators, or perhaps all film was doing this in this era. I'll have to pay more attention to the 50s and 60s for exposition...
Plot: The ending is what it's all about. It's a good ending, but five minutes out of two hours is just what I'd call trying a man's patience, virtuous as it is. Too little too late, too dramatic, and it could have been a little less stupid besides. This movie went on too long without addressing the important questions, namely, 'really honestly, why did you get involved with a woman you knew was a liar, a thief and a lunatic?'
Mood: There's a deep theme of madness meshed with unprofessionalism. The madness is far too out there but without the crazy kitschy zest that added something to Spellbound, whereas the unprofessionalism comes from the undercurrent of a film destined for failure. This is the kind of film that is more a series of events than occur to two people rather than a story. The editing is so strong in defining the elements into chapters that it felt like there were parts missing, that nuance and subtext just didn't exist. I didn't like what this did to my brain.