directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Oscars: Best Picture, Best Cinematography – Black & White
There are great disservices in our day to day lives. We all have to put up with annoyances caused by others and take it in stride most of the time. It’s part of being human. Today, I’ve done a great disservice by not reviewing this sooner. It’s probably been a month since I watched Rebecca, and it’s one of those that I want to get just right because it blew me away. This was honestly one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
Lofty words. Now the cynics in the crowd are probably just muttering that it’s because Joan Fontaine is in it. And on first glance, this is what made me dive in and grab it. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Olivier is in it, and it’s directed by Hitchcock. So it’s got that going for it. On top of that , Best Picture 1940, beating out Philadelphia Story and Kitty Foyle (reviewed on this site) Foreign Correspondent (in my queue), Grapes of Wrath, and other great films (I’m assuming). So it’s got the critical pedigree.
It’s honestly a movie that I don’t want to really get much into plot-wise because the plot is just too damn good to gloss over. It starts a bit like Suspicion (another Fontaine-Hitchcock vehicle) in that it’s really going well for Fontaine (great wardrobe in this), but quickly gets weird for her, and then things start going wrong. But again, it’s a Hitchcock picture, so it’s more just tension and psychological toying. But unlike other Hitchcock pictures, the overall morality of Olivier’s character, along with the other pseudo-villains, is not over-the-top, black & white, or unbelievable. And George Sanders is in it. And as a general rule of thumb, everything the man is in is pretty pretty good. It’s even got a costume party and an inquest. Only included that because I wanted to type inquest. Hah, anyways. Definitely see this movie. A great one.
Underrated Actors: George Sanders as Jack Favell