The Hitchcock Haul: Rich and Strange  (1931)

RichStrangeWow. Rich and Strangeย is definitely strange, and I loved it! It also goes by the name of East of Shanghaiย and is one of Hitchcock’s earlier ventures while still in England. It’s kind of hard for me to organize my thoughts about it.ย I’d never heard of it before. I had no idea what it was about, and it really took me by surprise. Unlike Hitchcock’s usual grind, Rich and Strange is more of a dramedy focused on a middle class couple, Fred (Henry Kendall) and Emily (Joan Barry), who inherit a large sum of money and blow it on an extravagant trip around the world.

While on the trip, both meet and fall in love with other people. They begin harboring resentments toward one another, and it isn’t until both their lovers leave them (one with the remainder of their money) and the ship they’re on sinks that they rediscover their appreciation for one another. The final patch on their relationship comes in the form of a new inside joke between the two after being rescued by a Chinese junk and getting sick when they realize they just ate a stir fry full of cat. Racist, but delightful.

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