The Hitchcock Haul: Rebecca (1940)

rebecca1940dvdThis film has a special place in my heart. It, along with the novel by Daphne du Maurier, turned me onto mysteries and thrillers — something I’ve been obsessed with ever since.

Just to set the bar, we’re talking about a movie that has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned Hitchcock his only Best Picture Oscar. It is a beautifully haunting and tantalizing film, and yet still not as good as the book.

rebecca-by-daphne-du-maurier

When I was younger and starting to get into Hitchcock, my Mom would talk about the film Rebecca and how great it was, but she could never get her hands on it to watch. When Netflix came out, we signed up right away (it was like destiny), and one of the first films my Mom put on the queue was Rebecca. It was unavailable for YEARS! Finally, after I graduated from college, we were mailed our copy.

At this point I had already read the novel out of anticipation. It delighted me! The scandal was incredibly juicy for something written in 1938, and the psychological horror that was prevalent throughout was amazing. The important twists in plot impressed me. They were both shocking and plausible. It’s a tale of sexual deviance, resentment, and coping with the past.

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The Hitchcock Haul: Suspicion (1941)

3_SuspicionAlfred Hitchcock has a famous hang-up concerning the Academy. His films have been nominated over and over for Oscars, but he never won for Best Director. Suspicion was able to earn the only Oscar for a performance in a Hitchcock film ever when Joan Fontaine won for Best Actress that year. I find her portrayal of Lina severally lacking, and think she should’ve been awarded the honor for her performance in her other Hitchcock: Rebecca.

MV5BMTUyNTM1MDcwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjI3ODQ2._V1._SX337_SY450_I was horribly disappointed by this film. Based on the Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley Cox) 1932 novel titled Before the Fact, Suspicion chronicles young Lina McLaidlaw’s spiraling paranoia that her new husband has committed a ghastly murder to cover his gambling debts, then ultimately fears for her own life. The progression is done well, establishing Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) as a dishonest yet charismatic and handsome fellow partial to the fast and easy life. It is made clear that he hoped to live off of any inheritance Lina was awarded (and was sorely disappointed to find that there was none), and has no intention of working an honest job.

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