Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Movie Clip Wednesdays: Favorite Hitchcock
My absolute favorite Hitchcock movie is Rear Window, but I already posted it for a MCW, so I'm choosing this one, Hitchcock's only remarriage, screwball comedy.
Starring Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery, Mr. and Mrs. Smith opens with the happily married Lombard and Montgomery enjoying a lively breakfast together in one of those swank, high rise NYC apartments that people used to be able to afford before the world went to hell in a hand basket.
For some reason known only to the crazed technician responsible for the wiring of the female brain, Lombard asks her husband, if he had it to do all over again, would he still marry her? And then demands an absolutely truthful answer. Now, this is surely one of the stupidest questions a woman can ever ask a man, ranking right up there with, "Do these jeans make my ass look fat?" and, "You don't find her attractive, do you?" But if there's anything stupider than the woman asking the question, it's the man taking her at her word and answering truthfully.
True to form, Montgomery answers, "No, I don't think I would marry you again." which of course makes Lombard cry and Montgomery has to scramble to save his happy ass. But THEN, to add insult to injury, they discover later on in the day that they're not really married. Which prompts Lombard to hatch a plan to get back at Montgomery by sowing some wild oats of her own. Hijinks, naturally, ensue.
This scene, in which Lombard and her new beau are out on their first date, comes off as oddly flat in dialog and interaction, but I love it because it points up some really interesting differences between life lived today and life lived a mere 70 years ago:
1. Can you imagine anyone today getting that dressed up to go out on a date, much less a date to an amusement park? People don't even get that dressed up to go to the opera.
2. Can you imagine anyone today agreeing to get on an amusement park ride this flimsy, that goes up this high, with little else than a skinny little rope flung across their laps for protection?
Also, the camera work is totally awesome. Typical Hitchcock. I get vertigo just watching it on my laptop screen.
Once again, Ms. Boxer his hosting this Wednesday film fete, so if you want to play along, post a three minute clip in your blog, head over to her place and say, "I'm up!"