Hitchcock Haul: The Wrong Man (1956)

511M26LcwiL._SY445_The Wrong Man…more like the wrong movie (yikes). It’s been a while since I’ve really disliked a Hitchcock film that I’ve watched for this little project of mine, but wow did I disliked this one! The thesis of this film is, “all white men look the same.” This movie is bad. I was not only bored but also annoyed.

Hitchcock dips into true-ish crime with this one, basing the story off of the book The True Story of Christopher Emmanuel Balestrero by Maxwell Anderson. Hitchcock would actually hire Anderson to also work on the screenplay for The Wrong Man as well as Vertigo. There is a bit of a similarity in vibe between the films, except Vertigo is amazing and this movie is trash.

The beginning of the film features an intro that would have felt familiar to fans of Hitchcock’s television series. Hitchcock himself appears to tell the expectant audience that the story that was about to unfold was more horrific and compelling than any he’d ever told before, that it was a truth stranger than fiction! At the time, positive reviews mentioned its gripping realism. Folks viewing The Wrong Man today (like myself) would actually call the story tired, in part due to Hitchcock’s own familiar use of the trope.

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The Hitchcock Haul: The 39 Steps 

the-thirty-nine-steps-novelMy first exposure to the property of The Thirty-Nine Steps was when my aunt vigorously campaigned to watch the Hitchcock film during some holiday get-together last year. Unfortunately, the only version Netflix had was the 1959 rendition. We began it, but I don’t think we ever finished. In addition to these two film versions, there is another film version from the ’70s, and a stage play based on a combination of the Hitchcock film and the novel (the two vary quite a bit). Obviously, this is a popular work.

Lucky for me, Hulu Plus has the 1935 Hitchcock version as part of their Criterion Collection collection, if you will. I found the original screen adaptation of John Buchan‘s adventure novel of the same name to be charming, exciting, and a hell of a lot of good fun! I would say, however, that it contains two of the worst on-screen deaths I have ever seen.

39steps-poster

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Top 9 Rage Dances… pt 1

The Rage Dance. While many wouldn’t like to admit it, these moments can be some of the most badass and emotional of all cinema. It’s the dance-centric flick’s version of the shootout, or the moment in romantic comedies where the hero realizes they need the girl back. Generally, the Rage Dance occurs during the Goddess moment, when moment in the film shifts. This isn’t always the case, but the best rage dances that carry the most weight usually occur at the end of act one or act two…natural turning points in a script.

There can be a lot of gray area in defining a proper rage dance, so let me break it down for you. A Rage Dance needs to occur after an emotionally stressful incident happens to our hero in a dance-centric film. Our hero then needs to work out her/his issues through her chosen art form. It also needs to break new ground in her dancing skills, annihilating  whatever fear and hesitation was inevitably holding her back. It kills many birds with one stone, and is heavy on the metaphor (as dance usually is).

My sister and I have danced on and off throughout our lives, and we have a profound love for dance films. We’ve seen most of them, and usually enjoy them way too much, no matter how awful they are. I decided to honor our love by listing my top Rage Dances. I drew from my vast knowledge of these films, and tried to brush up on the ones I was less familiar with, but it’s hard to see everything out there. If you know of a good rage dance that I’ve missed, please tell me in the comments. And now…my top Rage Dances in a Motion Picture:

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