HitchcOctober Day 21: Family Plot

Blanche (Barbara Harris) is a phony psychic (otherwise known as just a psychic) who is currently pretending to communicate with the deceased sister of her latest client, Mrs. Rainbird (Cathleen Nesbitt). Rainbird is exceedingly wealthy and very old, but her only known relative and heir is her nephew, her sister’s son, who was given away as a child to protect the family’s honour. Blanche is recruited to find the son, and uses her partner George (Bruce Dern), an actor working as a taxi driver and moonlighting as a private detective, to help. Meanwhile, two kidnappers (William Devane and Karen Black) have just collected their latest ransom – a rather large diamond – in a flawlessly executed crime. It’s not long before these two plots become entangled within one another in Hitchcock’s final completed film.4624
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HitchcOctober Day 20: The Birds

Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) is the wealthy, carefree daughter of a newspaperman (not a man made out of newspaper, that would be biologically impossible, he’s a man who runs a newspaper, stop being so silly). One day, whilst attempting to purchase a talking mynah bird at a pet shop she begins a back-and-forth with Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), a lawyer who had a dalliance with her in the past. The two hit it off, and when he leaves she tracks him down to give him a pair of lovebirds as a prank-slash-gift. Alas, he has gone to the nearby Bodega Bay to visit his mother and younger sister, so Miss Daniels heads there too. Upon arriving, she begins to notice all the birds in the town are behaving strangely – the chickens belonging to Mitch’s mother Lydia (Jessica Tandy) won’t eat their feed, a seagull attacks Melanie in a boat and another flies head first into a closed door. This, however, is just the beginning.???????????????????????????????
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HitchcOctober Day 19: Foreign Correspondent

Johnny Jones (Joel McCrea), a reporter for the New York Globe, has just been assigned to be the newspaper’s foreign correspondent in pre-Second World War England. Jones has no knowledge of anything outside of America – his foreign language skills amount to being able to ask “Parlez vous Francais?”, “Sprechen sie Deutsch?” and pig latin – which is exactly why he was hired – his boss wants someone fresh to the situation, an “unused mind” (which basically means he’s an idiot). As with most Hitchcock movies, out hero (who has been given the pseudonym Huntley Haverstock, but in true James Bond fashion still introduces himself to everyone as Jones) becomes unwittingly embroiled in a murder, and goes rogue attempting to solve it with some friends he has made on his travels.picture-31
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HitchcOctober Day 18: The Trouble With Harry

Harry is dead. He is found lying in the woods with a bleeding head wound, so when Captain Wiles (Edmund Gwenn) comes across the body whilst out rabbit hunting, he assumes he accidentally shot the man. Unfortunately, Wiles isn’t the only person to happen upon the body, with almost everyone in town traipsing through the copse, including Miss Gravely (Mildred Natwick), Miss Rogers and her young son Arnie (Shirley MacLaine and Jerry Matthews), Dr. Greenbow (Dwight Marfield), a tramp (Barry Macollum) and local artist Sam Marlowe (John Forsythe). All these people have differing opinions of what should be done with the the body, and what might be the cause of his death, with a stolen pair of shoes and a portrait complicating the matter as well.¬†The-Trouble-with-Harry
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HitchcOctober Day 17: Waltzes From Vienna

Johann Strauss (Edmund Gwenn), the famous composer, had three sons. Two of them he encouraged to become composers themselves, but his youngest, Johann Jr. (Esmond Knight) lacked talent to his father’s eyes, and was relegated to being second fiddle amongst his father’s orchestra. Undeterred, Johann Jr. (also known as Johnny) attempts to write his own compositions anyway, and is thrilled when the Countess (Fay Compton) commissions him to apply music to some lyrics she has written. This perturbs Johnny’s sweetheart Rasi (Jessie Matthews) who, as the lowly daughter of the proprietor of a pastry shop (Robert Hale), believes she cannot hope to compete against such a fine woman.5888 Continue reading

HitchcOctober Day 16: Under Capricorn

In 1831, Charles Adare (Michael Wilding) the governor’s cousin and youngest son of his family’s wealthy estate, arrives in Sydney to leave his mark. He soon meets Mr. Sam Flusky (Joseph Cotten) a local businessman and land owner, whose emancipated past leaves him with an ill reputation around town, particularly with the governor (Cecil Parker), with whom Charles is staying. Charles is forbidden from engaging with Flusky in any manner, but the reckless younger man disobeys his superior, and heads to Flusky’s house anyway, despite the many warnings he receives from numerous, unrelated people. At Flusky’s dinner party, Charles runs into Flusky’s wife, Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman), who usually remains out of the way and hidden. It soon becomes clear that Hetty has an alcohol problem and is regularly drunk, but once Charles recognises Hetty as being a friend of his sister’s from their youth, the newcomer sets about improving her condition, much to the annoyance of Hetty’s maid Milly (Margaret Leighton).bergman-and-wilding
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HitchcOctober Day 15: Mr and Mrs Smith

David and Annie (Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard) have been married for three years and, despite the occasional row (the most recent of which lasted three days, five short of their record) they are still very much in love. One morning Annie asks David if he would still marry her if he could go back and live his life again, to which he foolishly replies no, saying he would rather remain a carefree bachelor than marry anyone. Annie is understandably perturbed, but an argument does not ensue and the pair go about their days. A short while later, David is visited in his office – he’s a lawyer – by a man from the town he and Annie were married in, claiming that, due to a discrepancy over which state their church was actually in, the couple are not legally married. The notion amuses David, who delights himself in the idea that he is technically dating a single woman again, but his hesitancy to tell his then-wife-now-girlfriend may cost him the entire relationship.5111 Continue reading

HitchcOctober Day 14: Rebecca

Whilst working as a paid companion (no, not that kind of paid companion; filthy mind) a girl with no friends or family (Joan Fontaine) meets the wealthy but recently widowed Max de Winter (Laurence Olivier). The girl’s obnoxious employer (Florence Bates) comes down with a bout of the flu, leaving Max and the girl to become acquainted enough for him to propose instead of losing her when the trip comes abruptly to an end. The newlyweds return to Manderlay, the stately home of the De Winters in Cornwall in the south of England (where Jamaica Inn was also set, and if I’d watched this when I was down there recently as well – and there was a chance; I took Rebecca with us as well – I think I’d have probably freaked right out), where the new Mrs de Winter feels very much out of place, especially because the memory of her predecessor seems to have a powerful effect on the house and its staff, particularly the head of the household, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson).rebecca06 Continue reading

HitchcOctober Day 13: The Lady Vanishes

In a small European town, an avalanche has forced a variety of people to stay at an overcrowded hotel. Many of the guests are waiting for the snows to clear so they can catch the train the next morning. One such guest is Iris (Margaret Lockwood), a much-travelled young woman heading back to England to meet and wed her fianc√©. She befriends an elderly women travelling alone by the name of Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty), a governess who has been in Europe for a number of years, and is now regretfully heading home. Amongst the other passengers are a rude clarinet player named Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), an adulterous couple attempting to hide their situation (Cecil Parker and Linden Travers) and two cricket-obsessed Englishmen (Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford). Before the train sets off, Iris suffers a blow to the head from a falling potted plant. Miss Froy cares for her, but after Iris takes a short nap she awakes to find Miss Froy has disappeared, and everyone else on the train denies her existence. Something is definitely amiss – either Iris’ head injury is causing her to be delusional, or there’s a far greater conspiracy at hand.
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HitchcOctober Day 12: Downhill

Two boarding school students and best friends, Roddy and Tim (Ivor Novello and Robin Irvine) are invited by Mabel, one of the serving maids (Annette Benson) to visit her in the shop she works (Ye Olde Bunne Shoppe, love it) after school one day. She just wants Roddy to be there, and dances and kisses him, but he convinces her to dance with Tim as well. Roddy becomes distracted by children in the shop and Tim takes Mabel into the back and has his way with her. Later, the two boys are called into their headmaster’s office, where Mabel blames Roddy for her pregnancy, because his father is wealthy and can pay for it, whereas Tim is relying on a scholarship. Roddy, despite being a star rugby player and freshly dubbed Captain of the School, is thrown out, and deemed a liar by his father, prompting Roddy to leave home, becoming a penniless waiter whose life continues to get worse and worse with every new person he meets.3M4FD3JoZNgp0UCdJ6ckgJzNxZb
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