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Fred comes home, bored

And so we arrive at the first true gem of Hitch's sound era (because Blackmail was a more of a gem of the silent era and can only be counted once!). Rich and Strange is both rich, and strange - not perfect, perfection's still four films away (or maybe eight), but still a thoroughly enjoyable time-passer.

The opening sequences are fun and seem to have Hitch playing a bit with styles (and ripping off Asquith's Underground). Fred and Emily deserved better sassy dialog - but still had some priceless moments, one of my faves being the drunken walk back to their room on the cruise ship that culminates with a lovely gag about bedtime prayers.

Emily prays

The love story and Fred and Emily's parting of ways is a little tired and overplayed - and Fred comes across as an oaf, Emily deserves so much better. But they reunite, now out of cash and having to take a cut-price journey home, which is where the film takes a particularly strange, and sometimes a bit dark, turn.

There's a beautiful sequence of them escaping from their room - and a hilarious gag with a cat (that might not appeal to cat-lovers - although it appealed to this cat-lover).

… and so the adventure ends … and we're back to the beginning.

Watched: 2017-02-14
Source: DVD
Rating: 6/10

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The Skin Game (Alfred Hitchcock - 1931)

The Skin Game is based on a stage play, and, like Juno & The Paycock it shows - however, unlike that film this was a tolerable yarn, although so very wordy that it was crying out for Hitch to let the pictures tell a bit of the story - but, no the whole bally thing was practically read out for us.

Luckily a lot of it was read by Edmund Gwenn which helped a lot - it's a a tale of tradition vs progress, inherited wealth vs earned wealth, and how you can never escape your past.

Maybe this is Hitch just doing a job, there are few glimpses of what we want, and it doesn't have the charm and humour of Murder! - and to be honest I maybe love Hitch's skill at humour more than his skill at suspense. There's very little humour in The Skin Game.

Also, I still don't know what a Skin Game is?

Watched: 2017-02-01
Source: DVD
Rating: 4/10

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Adam, Eastbourne - September 2007
Looking at the sea

Adam, Eastbourne - December 2016
Looking at the sea (again)

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Sonja Kristina


The Only Ones

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Elstree Calling (1930)

I believe Hitch's contribution to Elstree Calling is the unfunny sequences with Gordon Harker trying to fix his radiotelly (obviously, thanks Hazel). I'm not sure this gives any noticeable evidence of the genius of Hitchcock. The film is mostly a bore but with a few eye-catching sequences - normally involving dancers and a bit of hand colouring.

Watched: 2016/11
Source: DVD
Rating: 3/10