Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Hitchcock Chase Is On


Sixth Of Seven Hitchcocks: Number Seventeen (1932)

So this was Hitchcock kidding a hoary melodrama to which he'd been assigned, says bios of the director, and straight narrative does jump tracks long before a special-fx train that figures into frenzied climactic chase. Was emerging AH sophistication already beginning to oppose a thriller genre to which he'd devote career-long effort? You could say Hitchcock spent a lifetime sending up suspense, but he'd not again make such sport of it as here, humor plus stress being recipe he'd blend better over success years to come. Number Seventeen, then, came closest to "camp" as Hitchcock would venture, and if followers value result for anything, it is that. Others, however, may find NS a challenge to wakefulness, especially a first half that takes place entirely on or about a dark staircase to which myriad characters gather. The story's a thicket and thick accents make it more so. There's inevitable business with handcuffs and both women of the cast are patted down for clues, Hitchcock and team pitching jokes a little high/wide for general audiences then or now.


Word passed down is that Hitchcock was "guying" his bosses, this a South African term for doing something to make another person "look stupid, inferior, unpopular, or ... like a general ass." Well, if that was Hitchcock's attitude toward B.I.P. oversee, it's no wonder he'd decamp from there after one more picture (Waltzes From Vienna). Mockery was lubricated by cocktail Hitchcock served to writers called a "white lady," which according to biographer Patrick McGilligan, was mix of "gin, egg whites, light cream, and superfine sugar." Sounds like potential for guests and host getting guyed before an evening was out, but much of AH creativity was powered on exotic drink; he felt it made better for exchange of ideas and was probably right. Could creativity still be enhanced  with a white lady for escort? Maybe I should have fixed one as accompany to this post, but for 5AM write-time and chance the thing would guy my stomach for remainder of a day. The part of Number Seventeen I did like best, and watched twice, was sock finish with a miniature bus chasing a toy train, us to believe (or not) that both are real. Film school faculty would say Hitchcock didn't care one or the other way, that faking was bald as overall joke of Number Seventeen, but these effects, hemmed by B.I.P. budget, still pulse-pound and make me wish Hitchcock had got his first Hollywood contract not with Selznick, but Republic. Imagine what he could have done for their serials!

2 Comments:

Blogger rnigma said...

Well, if Hitchcock had gone to Republic, he would have gotten much better miniatures courtesy of the brothers Lydecker.

He certainly would have improved "Q Planes," a curiosity of a film that plays like a collaboration between Noel Coward and Sydney Horler. Still, it's a fun movie, what with Olivier mowing down agents of an unnamed foreign country with a machine gun, and Ralph Richardson unflappable as a proto-John Steed.

6:48 PM  
Blogger aldi said...

Word passed down is that Hitchcock was "guying" his bosses, this a South African term for doing something to make another person "look stupid, inferior, unpopular, or ... like a general ass."

Not only South African. Originally British and still used in the UK. Current in the US too at one time, as the Mark Twain cite below shows.

1869 ‘M. Twain’ Innocents Abroad xxvi. 278 The Roman street-boy who..guyed the gladiators from the dizzy gallery.

6:27 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014