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!"


Anonymous said...

Haven't seen it, nor even heard of it. There might not be as many blog-jynxes today as I thought.

Happy MCW!

moi said...

Troll: I saw it a couple years ago. It's not a great movie, but it's fun to watch Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery together. It is rather stilted, in spite of it being a so-called screwball comedy, but Hitchcock's signature touches shine through, most notably the way he handles a camera.

sparringK9 said...

I havent seen this one either! I will if it ever blinks up on the Sat. I know that ms angelina jolie and mr pitt fell in love on set of the remake. how do I know this? I buy food.

Happy MCW!!

moi said...

K9: Although the remake had little in common with the Hitchcock flick, it was a pretty good movie. Then the whole affairè happened and ever since then, I haven't been able to watch Pitt, Jolie, or Aniston in a movie without hating it.

Jenny said...

I adore Carole Lombard and she sadly left this planet too soon. I haven't seen this movie either, but I want to. Although I get vertigo wayyyy too easily on amusement rides to want to watch this clip more than once. (remember our trip to the Space Needle?)

Great pick. I love Rear Window too and nearly went with it.

Happy MCW!

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

What do you mean people don't get dressed to go out on a date? I do. That's half the fun of making it special. Although I agree I've never worn a suit and tie to a carnival. I remember seeing that parachute ride at Coney Island, I always thought it would've been fun.

A most enjoyable clip.

moi said...

Boxer: I can still "feel" that vertigo. It was freaky! Oddly, though, I enjoy a good roller coaster.

Karl: Okay, "most" people don't get dressed up to go out on a date :o) Good to know you're an exception because most men these days dress like they're about to play basketball, regardless of whether or not they actually are. And most women dress like they're basketball players' wives. Makes me insane all the way around.

sparringK9 said...

yeah. angelina jolie ruined brad pitt. turned him into a goat man errand boy carrying diaper bags.

moi said...

K9: I never thought Jolie's look fit with Pitt, either. He's surfer boy. Aniston is surfer girl. Angelina Jolie is shoot smack and start waving the guns.

Buzz Kill said...

I only saw the Pitt/Jolie remake. That ride they were on reminded me of an ammusement park we took the kids to in Germany a few years ago. It made me appreciate the safety standards we have in the US.

Happy MCW!

LaDivaCucina said...

That clip is TOO funny and yes, the dame asked a very stupid question! But I suppose the movie wouldn't be without the stupid question, right?

I'm glad your toe is healing up and you've been out and about. I can't believe you had a pedicure and stitches, you are one glam gal, Moi.

Have a great rest of the week, sweetie. PS: When can you run again? x

darkfoam said...

wow! her clotehs! but couldn't watching them riding all the way up .. i got sea sick .. car sick?
i have a wussy tummy ..

darkfoam said...

oops, obviously i forgot how to write too .. :)