Sep 8, 2008

14th Sept 2008 ; Screening Of Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious

A Film by Alfred Hitchcock
Year : 1946
Run time : 101 min
English with English subtitles
14th Sept 2008; 5.45 pm
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium Call : 94430 39630

Alfred Hitchcock's ``Notorious'' is the most elegant expression of the master's visual style, just as ``Vertigo'' is the fullest expression of his obsessions. It contains some of the most effective camera shots in his--or anyone's--work, and they all lead to the great final passages in which two men find out how very wrong they both were.

This is the film, with ``Casablanca,'' that assures Ingrid Bergman's immortality. She plays a woman whose notorious reputation encourages U.S. agents to recruit her to spy on Nazis in postwar Rio. And that reputation nearly gets her killed, when the man she loves mistrusts her.

The story stars Bergman as a patriotic American named Alicia Huberman, whose father is a convicted Nazi spy. Alicia is known for drinking and apparent promiscuity, and is recruited by an agent named Devlin (Cary Grant) to fly to Rio and insinuate herself into the household of a spy ring led by Sebastian (Claude Rains). Sebastian once loved her, and perhaps he still does; Devlin is essentially asking her to share the spy's bed to discover his secrets. And this she is willing to do, because by the time he asks her, she is in love--with Devlin. Hitchcock was known for his attention to visual details. .The film is rich with other elegant shots.

Throughout Hitchcock's career, he devised stories in which elegant women, usually blond, were manipulated into situations of great danger. Hitchcock was the master manipulator, with the male actors as his surrogates. ``Vertigo'' treats this theme so openly it almost gives the game away. But look how it works in ``Notorious,'' where Devlin (like the Jimmy Stewart character in ``Vertigo'') grooms and trains an innocent women to be exactly who he desires her to be, and then makes her do his bidding.

So many movies have ended in obligatory chases and shoot-outs that the ability to write a well-crafted third act has almost died out. Among its many achievements, ``Notorious'' ends well. Like clockwork, the inevitable events of the last 10 minutes take place, and they all lead to the final perfect shot.

Source – Roger Ebert -

Alfred Hitchcock

The Master Of Suspense

He was known to his audiences as the 'Master of Suspense' and what Hitchcock mastered was not only the art of making films but also the task of taming his own raging imagination. Director of such works as Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and The 39 steps, Hitchcock told his stories through intelligent plots witty dialogue and a spoonful of mystery and murder. In doing so, he inspired a new generation of filmmakers and revolutionized the thriller genre, making him a legend around the world. His brilliance was sometimes too bright: He was hated as well as loved, oversimplified as well as over analyzed. Hitchcock was eccentric, demanding, inventive, impassioned and he had a great sense of British humor.

He was born Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, his father was a green grocer called William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914), his mother was Emma Jane Whelan (1863 - 1942) and he had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (Born 1890) and Eileen Hitchcock(born 1892). He grew up in a very strict Roman Catholic family. He attended St Ignatius college and a school for engineering and navigation. In 1914, when Hitchcock was 15 years old, his father died.

It was around 1920 when Hitchcock joined the film industry, he started off drawing the sets (Since he was a very skilled artist) and he met Alma Reville, though they never really spoke to each other. It was only when the director for "Always tell your wife" fell ill and Hitchcock had to complete the film, that he started off in the directing part of the film world, then Alma Reville and Hitchcock began to talk to each other.

Hitchcock had his first shot of being the director of a film in 1923 when he was to direct the film "The Number 13", though the production was stopped. Hitchcock didn't give up then. He directed a film called "The Pleasure Garden" in 1925, a British/German production, which was very popular. In 1926, Hitchcock made his first notable film, "The Lodger". In the same year on the 2nd of December, Hitchcock married Alma Reville. They had one child called Patricia Hitchcock (born 7th July 1928).

His success followed when he made a number of films in Britain such as "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) and Jamaica Inn (1939), some of them which also made him famous in the USA. David O. Selznick, an American producer at the time, got in touch with Hitchcock and the Hitchcock family moved to the USA to direct an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca (1940).

It was when Saboteur (1942) was made, that films companies began to call his films after him; such as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy.

During the making of Frenzy (1972), Hitchcock's wife Alma suffered a paralyzing stroke which made her unable to walk.

He retired soon after making Family Plot (1976). He started to write a screenplay with Ernest Lehman called "The Short Night" then later David Freeman who completed the script. Though due to Hitchcock's failing health the film was never made. Freeman published the script after Hitchcock's death.

In late 1979, Hitchcock was knighted, making him Sir Alfred Hitchcock. On the 29th April 1980, 9:17AM, he died peacefully in his sleep

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