Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spellbound (1945)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Spellbound

A new director comes to a Vermont mental hospital, where he falls suddenly in love with Dr. Constance Petersen, a young psychoanalyst at the hospital. Before long, she comes to realise that he is not who he claims to be, but is in fact an amnesiac on the run from the law for a murder he does not remember. The two elude the authorities and head off to prove his hopeful innocence or unfortunate guilt with the help of Dr. Petersen's professor and mentor.

The thirty-first film by Alfred Hitchcock took a look into the subject of psychoanalysis, a topic which had recently intrigued producer David O. Selznick. Despite being under contract with Selznick for five years, this was only the second film the two worked on together, the first being 1940's Rebecca. Selznick and Hitchcock never quite got along all too well, both being very dominant personalities who preferred to have the most control over their work, so it was probably for the best that the two only made three films under their contract.

Despite the definite friction and personality clash, Spellbound still managed to come off as a very professional film, a solid work of art with very few noticeable flaws. The melding of two highly opinionated and creative minds became three with the addition of a sequence by famed artist Salvador Dali, which represented a dream state of course. The full length of this sequence ran about twenty minutes, but was cut down to two by Selznick... a situation I am certain Hitchcock could definitely relate to. While I agree that twenty minutes is far too long, I would love to see this entire segment, but it has apparently been lost or destroyed.

Ingrid Bergman is fantastic of course, and Gregory Peck is at the youngest I have ever seen, this being the fourth film in his career. The two had a brief affair during the making of the movie, but it never led to anything more. I can only guess it helped their on-screen chemistry, because they truly meshed, and her character's unfailing admiration and trust of this possible killer was as believable as could be.

In all, this is a wonderful motion picture. The melding of at least five big names in the world of theater and art in one place could have either failed miserably or been outstanding, and this movie most definitely did not fail.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 4, Disc 2


SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched LOST, you may be confused or apathetic about the following post. Please go watch the series through at least once before bothering with my writings. Thank you.

s04e04 - Eggtown

Chips and salsa? Check. Dr Pepper? Check. Locke's eye opening? Check. I'm all set to watch some more Lost! It helps that not only is this one of my favourite eras of the show, but we have a decent slew of episodes today. "You might catch something you missed a second time around." They loved speaking directly to the audience on this show. Also, Ben is really good at calling Locke on his bluffs... also at playing him like a fiddle. Smarmy Sawyer trying to flirt with Kate... Give it up, James! She will never settle down with you. He's far too good for her, even at this point in the show. It always annoyed me how Kate shoves an N at the beginning of the phrase "Go home." This is another decent Kate episode. I'm actually more interested in her life POST-island than I ever was in flashbacks or even on the Island itself. Oh yeah, this was back when people weren't sure if the flash-forwards were going to be all the time or if some of these might be flashbacks.

Jin and Sun. That man really should never have had to apologize for anything to her... The only things he ever did wrong were brought about because of her. I bet Locke is one to get annoyed by the thought that anything other than a democracy is immediately a dictatorship. There are plenty of other forms of government, people... Monarchies, for instance. Man, Kate just can't leave well enough alone. I loved Miles from the moment he said "What did you do!?" to Kate as if he gives a damn. I seriously expected him to tell her at the end that he didn't actually know anything about her. Him? Him who?! Ooo do tell us, Lost. Her son?! OMFG. Oh wait, I don't care.

Sun used to be so much better at speaking English somewhat naturally. Not she has very very hard consonants nonstop... It's weird and kind of annoying. "You should try it sometime." Just not with MY boy-bee. Wait, but how does Kate know Jack if this is AFTER they got off the Island?!!? Oh wait, I guess that's how it works. Maybe they're a couple now!!! Oh so wonderful! Love is grand. He's lying! Why is Jack lying?!?! Maybe this is some alternate dimension where the crash happened differently!!! Does he love her!??! TELL US!!! NO?!?!?!? ROARZ!!!! Why not!?!? It must be Sawyer's baby!!

Of course Hurley picks Xanadu. She doesn't really bust Ben out, so much as she busts Miles out and brings him to Ben. But I guess that was the plan all along. Imagine how short this series would have been, and how few problems there would have been, if Kate hadn't been on the show. Also, fewer deaths. But I guess it might have been a tad boring that way. Without Kate getting into so much trouble, Jack and Locke and Sayid and all them wouldn't have anything to fix. And we all know how Jack likes having something to fix.

A Locke scolding... and banishment. She's toxic to their little community. Kate's mother is looking relatively healthy. Compared to last time we saw her, that is. She's not gonna settle down with you Sawyer. Or anyone really for that matter. She doesn't know how. Memory exercises... At least he remembered 2 cards out of 3. I can honestly say that I guessed a time bubble... We saw it already with the payload rocket thing, so it only made sense to use it again with the helicopter. I LOVE this scene with Locke and Miles and the grenade. You just don't fuck with Locke.

Wait, she's not pregnant?!? But then how did she get a son?! How much time has passed in the flash forwards?! Sawyer is spot on about Kate, and she knows it. Don't worry James, you can and will find much better. Ha! Kate staying put. Sure. Child or no child, she can't stay put. It's a compulsion for her. He must not want to see the baby because it's Sawyers. Yeah, that's definitely it. There couldn't be any other explanation. I'll give Kate one thing. She may not have much of a figure, but she can rock a pencil skirt. Aww a little blonde baby. Blonde like Sawyer. Aww and she named him Aaron, after Claire's baby! How sweet.

s04e05 - The Constant

Oh now we get to see what happens to the helicopter. This is (of course) one of (if not THE) best episodes of the series... so it's always good time to watch this. Alright, a flash either back or forwards! I really wish they would have explored the concept of consciousness-based time travel a bit more on this show. I was SO thrilled that they did this at all, really. This episode is also why I don't believe that the "flashes before his eyes" thing when the failsafe key turns was actually some form of flash or recollection or anything, so much as it was his consciousness jumping back to his own past... like in this episode... and that everything he says and does actually happened that way in its original event. He's not changing things. He's affecting them, but not changing anything. Good old Keamy. He's such a wonderful dick. I also think Desmond was in the military prison because of the events of this episode. Particularly for going AWOL later in the show.

"I'm not here. This isn't happening." Way to quote Radiohead, Des. Yay! Fisher Stevens!! I love that guy. I've been a fan of his since Short Circuit. Aware of his name since Early Edition... Great actor. "I was just on a Ferris Wheel." This episode thrilled me to no end, really.

I think I might just watch and not type. I'll type more next episode maybe.

They've used this location for a few things already... Oh look, Faraday is Crispin Glovering! Oh right, I wasn't gonna type more. Oh well. If he hasn't taught the rat to run the maze yet, but it knows now because he sent the consciousness to the future... does he even need to teach it?! Because it kind of already knows now. Now THAT is a paradox!

Absolutely love Desmond and Penny. I would have watched a show just about them. And if that scene didn't make you teary eyed, you're a monster.

s04e06 - The Other Woman

I love how they did their best to make you think Juliet was one of the Oceanic Six in this episode, by making you assume this was a flash forward... until Tom comes in. Uh oh, the freighter noobs have gone. And now, whispers... Followed by Goodwin's wife. Now, if this is actually the smoke monster, then does that mean she's really dead? Either way, I find it really hard to believe Ben actually had anything to do with those instructions. He's had no contact with the Others for quite some time... And it's a bit specific to this moment for him to have foreseen this exact situation... but then again, this is Ben we're talking about.

I liked Goodwin. He's far better than Badwin. I've waited years to make that joke. They really aren't good at lying. Kate's far too observant to fall for their lies... but not THAT observant. "You people had therapists?" Now Ben, however... Ben is observant. All it seems he ever does is observe. Oh and apparently so is Harper. Or maybe just that Goodwin and Juliet are really really bad at sneaking around. Claire, coming in with some healthy insight! She totally just blew Locke's mind. "This didn't have a number on it, did it?" Ben knows Locke's weak spots SO well. It's like he doesn't even have to try.

"The last thing he cares about is you and me... What's Ben gonna do?" Famous last words. Oh great, we get to see THIS scene again for the 47th time or something. I bet they had this scene memorized by this point. The cast could probably reenact it at the drop of a hat even now if they were asked to. Juliet's gone done and left them. Why did the subtitles spell out "thirty-six" and then have numerals for 15 and 28? That's dumb. Ben lies again. Of course he knows how Widmore knows about the Island. Everything he WANTS you to know about Charles Widmore is in that file.

Ben trying to be charming for Juliet is really quite funny. Charlotte's move is to come up behind someone and whack 'em in the head with something. Oh thank heavens they were successful. I really thought for a moment there that they'd all be gassed to death and then the show would be over.

And now, Goodwin's body in the THIRD location. That man's corpse just gets around like nothing else! Ben's a bit possessive. Jack just wanted some private smoochy time with Juliet. And our love triangle just became a square. Goodie. They really knew how to have horribly mismatched couples on this show. And now, another of my favourite Ben moments.

s04e07 - Ji Yeon

I think this is the only episode on the disc with a "previously on" segment. I like Lapidus. He's cool. Regina's reading her book upside-down. Before long she'll drown herself. Sun and Jin are discussing baby names. Maybe they should name THEIR kid Aaron as well. Everyone else is doing it. And of course Expose is on TV in the flash forward... They pull a real good one on us all with this whole flash thing this episode. I know SO many people who just couldn't wrap their minds around the "joint flashes in different directions" thing. No matter how many times you explain to them that Sun is flashing forward and Jin is flashing back, they still wouldn't accept it. I think fewer people got this episode than most any other single episode of the whole series, which is sad because it's really not that confusing. It was a twist yes, but not confusing.

Sun is really annoying these last few seasons with her incessant questions. Stop nagging everyone!! Every line Sun has this scene is a question, and her tone of voice is so aggravating. "Why would they do that?" "Where were they going?" "Why would they tell you that?" Shut up. Oh now she's harassing Daniel. "So you're here to rescue us?" Get a hobby. It just gets worse folks... by season 5 it's nothing but "Have you seen my husband?" "Where is my husband?" "Where are you taking us? Is it to my husband?" Don't get me wrong, I love Sun to death... but they wrote her into a one-note nag.

Juliet doesn't have a good bedside manner. She should learn from Jack. I think if I got into a cab and there was a panda next to me and a man shouting after me, I would ask the driver to stop. At least dump the panda out the door and go on... It's only polite. Juliet kinda sucks in this scene. And Bernard, as always, is awesome. Talk about under-used, Rose and Bernard really weren't used enough. That's one thing I would change about this show for sure.

And there goes Regina. I don't really get why we shouldn't trust the captain. The entire time he's here and alive, he really doesn't seem all that bad. And he doesn't seem to like Keamy and his band of jerks all that much, so he can't be too horrible. I think Michael was kind of mistaken on that account. Of course, blame the fake plane and dead passengers on Ben. Anyone who followed the ARG knows it was Widmore that did it, not Ben... So the captain was lied to by Widmore.

Awww and it's a baby girl. Let's name her Erin. Kevin Johnson... or Michael. Not a big shock of a reveal, really. I think most everyone knew it was him a few episodes earlier. Good to see him though, and especially good to not see him shouting "WAAAAALT!!!" at the top of his lungs. Jin is way too good for Sun and all the crap she puts him through. I don't think he minds quite so much though. I mean, look at her! Hubba. Is there a Korean word for hubba? Oh first she wants to go to Locke's camp, now she doesn't, tomorrow she does... Fickle woman changes her mind a lot. Yes, it's his... Unless it belonged to Michael from the deleted scenes and abandoned story line. Wouldn't that be a fun twist!!'

Instead, the twist they're going with is that Jin is NOT one of the Oceanic Six, and the panda was for an ambassador as a gift from Mr. Paik. I still don't get why people had such a hard time figuring that out from it being right there on screen!! They even tried claiming that he lied about only having been married two months, and that he just missed the birth of his own baby because he was running this errand.

In short, I hate people.

But not Hurley. Hurley is good people... And Jin is dead. Only not yet, because this is Lost.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Lifeboat (1944)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Lifeboat

A small group of survivors hope for rescue after an attack that sunk both their ship and the German U-boat which attacked them. Conflict comes about from the varying backgrounds and personalities of the individual cast-aways, especially when they rescue the only surviving crew member of the U-boat, a Nazi soldier. Forced by their own consciences to accept him aboard, the survivors question his every intent while trying to find some faith in their own humanity.

Alfred Hitchcock's 1944 film Lifeboat is a rather unique one, not only for him but for most motion pictures. The story takes place in a singular setting: a lifeboat somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. While other movies, including a few later films of Hitchcock's, have taken place in very limited settings, not many have one and only one setting for the entire film with no cut-away whatsoever to a secondary location.

And while the "bottle" setting alone is quite daring for movies of the time, the story itself takes even more of a risk. Just during the height of World War II, easily the least popular thing to put into cinemas is the thought that the enemy, the Nazis, are merely people too. While the movie clearly doesn't glamorize or cheapen the events of the war, it still very boldly focuses on the concept that an individual is a human being no matter what his or her allegiance.

The cast is phenomenal, primarily surrounding Tallulah Bankhead, this being her first motion picture role in twelve years. In fact, only Hitchcock would think to bring a famous actress out of semi-retirement only to shove her on a small boat and throw water in her face... and she accepts it all beautifully, even championing the film against all the critics upset at the subject matter.

Of course, since the setting of the film made no change, Hitchcock had a bit of difficulty figuring out his famous "walk-on" cameos... eventually deciding to insert himself into a newspaper advertisement for his recent weight loss.

Overall, I'd say this is a pretty decent and enjoyable picture... While not one of his best or most entertaining films, it still stands strong on its own merit and not merely because of its timeless insight on our own humanity. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in classic film, and it's another that I feel would fit the Criterion catalog quite wonderfully.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 4, Disc 1


SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched LOST, you may be confused or apathetic about the following post. Please go watch the series through at least once before bothering with my writings. Thank you.

s04e01 - The Beginning Of The End

I'm back!! Boy how it's been a while... Let's see, a wedding, moving, a honeymoon, lots of work, and a lot of Japanese action shows later and I'm still alive! I was honestly debating how I was going to fit this whole blog thing back into my newly revamped life, but then I noticed that (unlike the previous season) there are only three(3) episodes per disc instead of five(5). This is a good thing for me, because it means I can fit watching a whole disc in better... It makes the whole thing more palatable in the long run.

So now we start season four(4) of Lost. I think I'm in the quite large minority who considers these last three(3) seasons to be the best and strongest era of the show. While the first few seasons were pretty groundbreaking and set the stage and were quite great, these last seasons had a much better pace and were far better "woven" than the preceding. A lot less pointless fluff and a much more clear sense of direction. They clearly weren't just "making it up as they went along" as one could argue in season 3.

During my little rant, Hurley has crashed his car and shouted about being "one of the Oceanic Six!" ...and now he's being interrogated by Ana Lucia's ex-partner. Good old Ana Lucia. I'm sure for Hurley, being reminded about her only brings up thoughts of Libby. And the visions of Charlie persist! For those who DON'T bother to dig deeper into the show, his hand says "They need you." Good old optimistic Jack... always thinking that his little plans will work out for the best. They pretty much never do, until the very end of it all. Ben is in a panic. If Danielle is smart, she'll at least take into account how scared Ben is of Alex getting hurt. Instead, she just focuses on the fact that it's not his daughter. Okay, I got chips and dip now, so I'm better. Uh oh, Hurley just noticed Charlie is missing. And now Desmond is scared shitless of the boat people too. Minkowski. I love Fisher Stevens.

Hurley... Taking charge. Little does he know... Stay behind, Kate. Although, Kate's right for once. Lance Reddick! I can only see Broyles now. Just get it done, Agent Dunham. Up until the moment he dies on the show, I held tight to the theory that he was an older time-traveling (or time-projecting) Walt. Instead, he's just an employee of Charled Whidmore who wants to make sure time doesn't get all paradoxy on us. Aww, I love it when Sawyer gets soft-hearted and serious. The growing friendship between him and Hurley is one of my favourite aspects of these seasons. Wow, he fell behind fast. Oh look, a whispering cabin.

Now I have pickles to eat. "Better call the boat. Tell them she's getting a really big bundle of firewood." It gets me how much Ben takes beatings on this show. We find out later that he can fight pretty damn well... yet he just lets people beat the crap out of him and think that he's weak. Good line read Fisher. Sounds like you're doing a page-read audition for the scene. But she doesn't HAVE a sister!!! And she's dead. Oh good, back to the cabin. An eye! This show loves eyes. I remember not even an hour after this aired, all the screencaps comparing that eye with every actor ever on the show.

Good old Locke. And the factions meet up. Nearly everyone in one place yet again... take a few minutes for reunions and hugs etc etc... and on with the show. Oh yeah, I suppose someone should tell Claire that he sorta-boyfriend died. I think it would have gone a bit better if it hadn't been Hurley. Considering he could barely get the words out. Oh yeah, the amount of people mulling for hours over WHY Hurley was painting an igloo. What could it mean!? It HAS to mean SOMETHING!!! And yet, it really didn't. Yeah, Dave slapped Hurley too and HE wasn't real... That proves nothing. Unless Dave was actually a real person who haunted Hurley, and not JUST an imaginary friend. Has anyone had that theory yet?! Oh good, back to the sobbing. And Jack's back! "It's not loaded." I love Locke.

Oh great, Kate's back now too. No, she didn't cover for you Kate. Yeah exactly like Locke just said as I was typing that. And now for emotional resonance, a montage of Charlie dying, for those that didn't catch it or all the in-show summaries of the event before this. Yeah, we got it. He died. Not Penny's boat. Got it. SUCK IT, JACK! ...and they have split back up into mildly different groups of just about the same people.

A pre-beard Jack visiting Hurley in the mental hospital. Clearly he hasn't lost his mind yet. I also recall all the "H-O" theories. Someone compiled a list with all of the H and O references in the show. Sometimes I think people dug just a BIT too deep, but that's one of the things I loved the most about Lost. Oh, I think Hurley just kind of started Jack's downward spiral. Way to go Hugo. Oh sweet, a heliochopter... and in comes Daniel Faraday!

s04e02 - Confirmed Dead

And now a few clips from the between-season alternate reality game (ARG), "Find 815" ...I loved how they tied that in to the show. It's kind of amusing how the 4 people who get sent over to the island on the chopper were basically the 4 people from the freighter who could actually be trusted in any way shape or form. And maybe Minkowski. Jeremy Davies clearly channeled his inner Crispin Glover for this role. Ooo Ben and Locke now know that Hurley knows about the cabin. I'm fairly certain the older/taller Walt appearance was him acting on behalf of the Island AFTER the little post-show segment where Ben and Hurley re-recruited him. That was some of the work he had to do. That's my theory at least.

So Locke's asshole of a father saved his life. Good for him! I love Miles. I hated him at first, but he quickly became one of my favourite characters of the series. Yeah Kate. Where's Naomi?! Miles likes to make money. That and that he can communicate with the dead is basically all you need to know about him. He doesn't care for the drugs. Just the money. Like anyone would believe you, Kate. Ben's just trying his hardest to get the upper hand with anyone, isn't he?

One of the best and oddly more overlooked clues about the Island, when Daniel mentions that the light "doesn't scatter quite right." Jack has his moments of awesomeness that just keeps you loving him even when he does do something stupid. And Charlotte finding the remains of a Dharma Polar Bear out in the deserts of Tunisia... which is where the frozen donkey wheel sends people (and apparently polar bears) when they turn it. To me, this implies the Island has been moved before by a Dharma bear. Bombs away! And now we have Charlotte. "Hi yourself." Oh man, I love how purely sarcastic Miles is, even at gunpoint. Poor Charlotte has NO idea that they don't trust her a bit. Smart move shoving the transponder on the dog.

And another little visual clue, the plane dropping into the fish tank. Frank doesn't believe at all that that's the real plane. Haha, likely the ring fell off. Right. The Island calls people, and there really is no fighting it. "Sure, who are we to argue with taller ghost Walt?" Uh oh, Ben has a gun. Good thing the hot redhead had on a bulletproof vest. So Naomi worked for Charles... That explains how she knows who Penny is.

Uh oh, Frank knows Juliet's a "native"... That can't be good. Ben doesn't know what the monster is, but he knows everything about Charlotte... including a birth date that gets changed. But that was at the insistence of the actress. Oh hey, Ben has a man on their boat. I wonder who that could be.

s04e03 - The Economist

Yeah, anyone who doesn't agree that the pacing of the show was better than the previous seasons is delusional. There's this frantic sense of urgency, just thrusting you from episode to episode. N, I'll always be with you. R.G. ... I don't think they ever explained or revealed or even really hinted at who that was, did they? Rupert Graves? Rupert Grint?! The theories I side with the most are either Captain Gault (of the freighter Gaults), or Regina who kills herself in a bit here. Regina seems quite likely, considering I don't think they really explained why she offs herself. Okay back to the show. Sayid in golf clothes is kind of funny... good to see it's not just something he's doing for the fun of it.

Thekla Reuten. I love Thekla Reuten. Madly. I might be a bit quiet during scenes with her due to drooling and not wanting to tear my eyes free from the screen. Gee, I wonder who Sayid could be working for... No way that it could ever be Ben. He would never work for Ben, so it has to be someone else. Yep. Oh look, Kate and Jack are flirting again and looking at each other with googley eyes. Well that ended fast, thank heavens.

Miles is awesome. Oh hold on, Thekla's on. She's so lovely. I don't blame Sayid for getting all caught up in her and stuff, if you know what I mean. This is some fun little sciencey stuff Daniel does here. I love the electromagnetic time bubble around the Island. Funny, that's the same exact closet that Sawyer locked Phil up in later on... or earlier? Earlier.

Juliet has brought Desmond back to the chopper. Two people who have been stuck here longer than any of our main group. Ben has himself a litle hidey hole of an office. Complete with passports and moneys. Hurley set them up. "I lost a dollar, you know." Ben is so droll. Sawyer wants to stay and "play house" and Kate wants to go back to jail. Poor Sawyer, he just wants to grow up and settle down. Kate doesn't want that at all. She never wants that. Sayid plans a hostage exchange. Good plan.

Okay, semi-nude Thekla... Hold on... Sayid put his guard down. Way down. Poor Sayid... All the women he loves die. Not usually by his own hand, but still... Maybe if he wasn't so quick to just go crazy for them, things would turn out better. Actually I'm surprised he hasn't professed his undying love for Charlotte during the walk back to the helicopter. Or maybe he has and they just didn't show it? That would explain how annoyed she looks.

Sayid and Desmond get a nice bird's eye view of the Island. Oh neat! Now we get to find out who Sayid's boss is. Again, there's no possible way it could be Ben... Oh my gosh, it's Ben! I totally never saw that coming that whole episode!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Shadow Of A Doubt

Charlie, a bored teenage girl in a small town, is thrilled to discover her uncle, also named Charlie is coming to visit. When he arrives, he's just as charming and wonderful as she remembers... until a couple strangers come snooping around. They eventually reveal themselves to be detectives on the trail of a newsworthy killer who preys on widows, and one of their prime suspects is her uncle Charlie. His behaviour appears more and more suspicious to her, and he finally admits that he is a suspect but does not admit to being the killer. She reluctantly agrees to not tell the family, and before long news arrives that the other suspect has died in a tragic accident and is assumed to be the murderer. Despite Uncle Charlie's supposed exoneration, she still suspects him and suffers a series of tragic accidents, possibly set up by her uncle.

In Shadow Of A Doubt, Hitchcock injects a bit of big city mystery into a small, peaceful town. One of the things I noticed most of all while watching this film is how fantastically Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) steadily moves from being just lovable and charming to being incredibly creepy and unsettling without even really changing his actions or stature.  What the rest of the family sees as him just being himself becomes progressively more disturbing to young Charlie (Teresa Wright) and the audience, simply due to the knowledge of certain circumstances.

The real highlight of the movie though are the cast of supporting characters. The two younger siblings are wonderfully adorable and add some quaint innocence to the story, while the background is pretty much stolen by young Charlie's father (Henry Travers) and his friend and neighbour Herbie (Hume Cronyn). The two buddies spend the entirety of the picture discussing various ways to murder someone and get away with it. The friendly competitive banter not only adds plenty of dry wit and humour, but it also creates plenty of suspense once young Charlie begins to suspect the elder Charlie.

This is quite easily one of the most cute and lighthearted murder mysteries ever made, and it's a practically flawless movie. My only real complaint is with the element of the story in which the mother (Patricia Collinge) would apparently die or become deathly ill at the very least if her brother were to end his extended and very impromptu visit. This plot point is what keeps the younger Charlie from revealing her suspicions and from getting her uncle to just leave town.  It's not believable at all that this would cause that much emotional damage to her mother, considering she seemed somewhat okay (albeit a bit sad) before he showed up... Obviously, finding out he might be a killer would be an emotional blow, but to die if he ends his visit? It's a bit far fetched, even for Hitchcock.

That being said, Shadow Of A Doubt is a fantastic film and is well worth a watch or three. It was one of Hitchcock's favourite films, if not the favourite of his collection... and for very good reason. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saboteur (1942)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Saboteur

A young man is accused of a crime he didn't commit, sabotage of an aircraft plant and the death of his best friend. On the run from the law, he discovers the real culprit and sets off to prove his innocence. He comes across a beautiful blonde woman who attempts to turn him in at first, but eventually comes to believe in his innocence.

Between my simple description of the story above and the climactic ending on a national monument, Saboteur has quite a bit too much in common with many other Hitchcock films, such as the later North By Northwest and the earlier 39 Steps. What makes this one different in my opinion is the boldly adorable characters and brash humour that is present but far more subdued in the other movies.

Robert Cummings is beyond charming throughout the entire picture, and at one point successfully pulls off remaining the hero of the film while using an innocent toddler as a human shield! Only in a Hitchcock film could we continue cheering for a person who purposefully endangered a small child simply to get away from his foes.

A running theme throughout this movie is the good-natured faith in the leading man's innocence by regular everyday people. While the law is chasing him as a traitor, and the real spies are out to get him, the simple average "Joes" are far more trusting and aid him in his quest along the way. Everyone from a truck driver to a group of circus freaks assist him in running from the law, all in the name of justice.

Saboteur quickly escalated its way into my small-but-growing group of favourite Hitchcock films, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone no matter what the situation.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Suspicion (1941)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Suspicion

A naive young lady falls for and marries as charming playboy, only to find out he's not as wealthy as it seemed but completely broke. She attempts to convince him into the life of a working man and to stop mooching off others and gambling, but he continuously falls back into his irresponsible way of life. As time goes on and his lies and debt become greater, she begins to suspect him of murdering his best friend and eventually believes he is trying to kill her as well.

Here we have a rather charming and enjoyable little suspense film. I suppose you could call it a romantic comedy, but at heart it's a thriller. The story does well to keep the audience as in the dark as the leading lady (Joan Fontaine), only revealing what exactly has been going on in the very last scene. Many times, it appears her suspicions will turn out to be accurate, but with such an admirable character and actor (Cary Grant) for the leading man, you can't help but hope she's wrong.

From the very start of the movie, you adore all the main characters and invest greatly in their budding romance... and by the end, you simply want everything to be explained so they can hopefully carry on with their lives together.

One of my initial thoughts upon watching this film was on how well this could be remade as a modern film, possibly a bit of a dark comedy. Unfortunately, it could also be easily ruined by today's sense of film-making... so I suppose we're lucky that it will probably never happen! But the thought was there, and if done well, would still make a very enjoyable modern picture.

In all, it stands up very well to time, and I can only say that I'm disappointed in the fact that Suspicion is not as well known in the vast array of Hitchcock films as it should be. Maybe soon we'll see a good blu ray release, even though it's really good enough that it should have been in the latest "Masterpiece" box set. The movie certainly earned that title.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Mr. & Mrs. Smith

A married couple who often have fights that last for days, discover that their marriage license, through a fluke, is not valid. This leads to a weeks-long game of cat and mouse, wherein the husband relentlessly attempts to win his wife back.

A quirky little romantic comedy, Mr. & Mrs. Smith doesn't really deliver much of a story or plot, nor does it really need to. To call the premise "simple" is a bit of an understatement, but the film does exactly what it sets out to do and does not need any mystery or crime to drive the movie along.

While not the first or only pure comedy by Hitchcock, I don't think this one is quite a strong as the much earlier The Farmer's Wife or the later The Trouble With Harry and from all accounts, Hitchcock was entirely in agreement on this matter.

The story revolves entirely around the estranged husband trying to win back his wife who, through a series of very obvious misunderstandings, is resisting with all her might. She quite obnoxiously flaunts her newfound freedom at any chance she gets, going even so far as to form a supposedly deep relationship with her husband's business partner.

Her brutal lack of caring for the man she had once married and earlier professed undying love for aggravates the viewer almost immediately and continues to get worse as the film progresses. I'm quite certain that was the intended response, so with that in mind, it was a huge success. It's not actually entirely obvious just why the husband is so persistent after everything she does to him up until the very last scene, when it becomes clear that this has all been just another one of their petty fights all along... albeit an incredibly long one. In the end, it was all just a big game to them, and at the expense of everyone else around them.

In all, I found the movie to be a bit drab but at the same time quite charming and enjoyable... and I found the characters entirely despicable, particularly the wife, although I'm sure if the tide had turned it would have been the husband running and the wife pursuing him.

The one thing I can think of that would have made this at least a bit more fulfilling to watch would have been even the slightest bit of growth in the characters. When the end comes and you realize it was all just a petty game to them both, it's also very apparent that neither of them has actually learnt anything through the ordeal... and that there may very well be more incidents like this in their future...

...but I guess that's why it's a comedy?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Foreign Correspondent (1940)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Foreign Correspondent

A reporter, new to overseas journalism, is sent to write on the looming threat of war in Europe, only to uncover a fiendish plot where he least expected it.

The same year Hitchcock was making Rebecca, he was also working on a spy thriller based on the memoirs of journalist and novelist Vincent Sheean. Foreign Correspondent fares much better as a "Hitchcock" movie than Rebecca did, probably due to the whole nefarious spy aspect along with chases across the countryside and far more suspense.

While it could be claimed that the film was a bit of fear-mongering and more than a tad propaganda, it only makes sense that the British Hitchcock would be more than happy to make a film exposing the basic reality of what was going on overseas. This was a couple years before the United States joined the war, and complacency and ignorance were definitely dominant in the country.

For a war spy movie, this one is actually quite good. There isn't much to complain about as far as the plot goes, and the romance feels natural and charming... All of the actors fit their roles perfectly... Actually, all of this near-perfection might just make Foreign Correspondent a bit too unremarkable. Nothing really stands out from any of "typical Hitchcock spy movie" except for George Sanders (also supporting in Rebecca), who pretty much steals the entire movie. I swear, I could just watch that man act all day.

Not only would I recommend watching this film at least once, but I will also recommend watching the new Criterion blu-ray release as the image and sound is probably better than it has ever been. The one and only thing I will happily complain about with this release is the complete and utter LACK of commentary track. Criterion is well known for their barrage of special features to their releases, and considering there is a wealth of Hitchcock historians who would readily record a commentary for any Hitchcock film, this just feels like a huge and significant oversight... as well as a seriously missed opportunity. Maybe I'm just bitter because I was actually looking forward to hearing all sorts of details about the film and its making.

But don't let any of that detract you from watching this picture, because it's actually quite entertaining and well worth the time.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Rebecca (1940)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Rebecca

1940's Rebecca marks the start of Alfred Hitchcock's run of American films, and what is arguably the "golden era" of his career. Taking all he had learned from the silent film era on through The Lady Vanishes and other definite classics, Hitchcock moved on to Hollywood and into the grandeur and elaborate production of David O. Selznick.

A nameless young lady, an orphan and not high on the social ladder, marries a famously rich widower and moves into his lavish home, where fragments of his dead first wife remain and haunt her. Little by little, the mystery of who the first wife was and how she died come to light, threatening the new couple and their hope of a happy life.

Originally bringing Hitchcock over to work on a motion picture about the Titanic tragedy, Selznick instead put Hitchcock to work on a film adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca. Almost immediately, there was conflict between director and producer. While Selznick felt a book should be represented practically line-for-line onto the screen, Hitchcock preferred to take a basic premise and bring that loosely (very loosely) to the motion picture audience.

After nearly countless rewrites, production was underway with lavish design and an undeniably "Selznick" feel to the entire production. In fact, it is my opinion that the majority of the film feels like more of a Selznick film than that of a Hitchcock film. The one obvious influence Hitchcock had, aside from a bit of the dry witty humour near the start of the film, was in the portrayal of the movie's antagonist Mrs. Danvers. Portrayed by Judith Anderson, the character was uncomfortably creepy yet stoic enough to make the viewer unsure of her actual intentions. Of course, Anderson was (and remained) a lifelong fan and apologist of Hitchcock's genius... so it only makes sense that she gave exactly what the director wanted into the picture.

The male lead Laurence Olivier was a Selznick pick of course, and the female lead was the lesser-known sister of Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine, who Hitchcock cast pretty much because she wasn't her sister. Apparently Selznick wasn't entirely impressed by his choice, but Hitchcock argued that he could make her a star from nearly nothing... something he continued to do with many actresses in his future films. His plan was successful as she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, one of only two the film won that year (the other being Best Picture).

Despite the conflicts between the two powerful movie-making forces, ongoing through the entire filming, editing and production of the movie, both Selznick and Hitchcock still had a mutual respect for each other and the picture in general, and the finished work is a perfect blending of the two personalities and visions. Where Selznick wedged in long scenes of exposition through dialogue, Hitchcock worked around the tedium with camera movements and expressions.

Rebecca easily stands out as one of the most unique movies in the catalog, having so much depth in the direction and production along with a rather intriguing and straightforward story. It is a true classic and a fantastic start to the latter half of Hitchcock's career.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 3 Unanswered Questions



A pretty solid season in all, despite the middle being a bit iffy. We saw the addition and subtraction of Nikki and Paulo, essentially proving why fans should not be allowed to play a part in the direction a show is written. We have a fantastic view of where and how the Others live, including the introduction of some great characters. We see the potential for rescue at last, and at the expense of some other beloved characters. This season in all is a great bridge between "how do we survive and get off this island" to the final three seasons of "how do we save those we love and the world"... The great difference between fighting our circumstances and finally changing them through acceptance.

And now the remaining questions this season posed that have not been directly answered within the series itself:

Season 3 Unanswered Questions


Season 3 has 101 total mysteries, 16 unanswered mysteries

Further Instructions
What happened to the commune?
- Unanswered
[We saw the police breaking up the drug production... so we can pretty much assume there was some form of disbanding or they continued on without Locke... either way, it was no longer a part of his life so we really don't need to know. It makes no difference to the story. It would be like asking what happened to the store he worked at when he met his mother... who cares?]

The Cost of Living
What happened to Yemi’s body?
- Unanswered
[Dragged off by the smoke monster? If smokey wanted to appear to Eko as Yemi, it wouldn't work so well if the body was still there for him to find. This would be good to know for sure, but I think the implication is apparent that the smoke monster had something to do with it not being there.]
Why can the monster only take the form of the dead?
- Unanswered
[I have nothing solid to infer from the show, but I can guess that it has something to do with the dead not using their form anymore. An empty shell... obviously the smoke monster doesn't use the BODY (apparent from Locke's body still existing in a box while "Locke" was wandering around the island later in the series) ... I will accept this as part of the mythology that isn't explained but just "is". Maybe it's a rule that Jacob set up for him to follow. I don't know.]

Flashes Before Your Eyes
Why is Ms. Hawking so intent on preventing the future from changing?
- Unanswered
[Personally, I think she (at first) believed the future as something people just CAN'T change... that the universe course corrects no matter what... but somewhere along the way, discovered (probably through her son's journal) that Desmond was essentially a "wild card" and had the ability to change or actively affect the future. Knowing this, it's not that she doesn't want the future from changing, so much as she doesn't want him to change it YET. If he changes things BEFORE going to the Island, he will never make it TO the Island to change things THERE. ... That's my best argument for this, and it makes sense to me.]

Stranger in a Strange Land
What happened to Cindy and the kids immediately after they were taken by the Others?
- Unanswered
[Oh who knows? Maybe they were baptized in the temple, maybe they were taken to Room 23, or maybe they were just given a hot meal and a warm bed to sleep in... While this would also be good to know, mostly to explain how and why they so easily "converted" to their cause, I guess it's not necessary to the whole of the story or they would have shown us.]
What is the significance of the mark put on Juliet?
- Unanswered
[Bad writing. This whole episode sucked.]

Enter 77
How did Mikhail lose his eye?
- Unanswered
[I'm sure it would be an interesting story to hear him tell... but I'm also sure it doesn't matter one bit.]

The Man From Tallahassee
Where is the electricity from the Barracks and other stations powered from?
- Unanswered
[This big glowing electromagnetic source from the depths of the Island? Maybe there's a hydroelectric something on the Hydra... Perhaps they have polar bears running on a giant wheel... I really don't know, but I also don't think it matters.]

Left Behind
Where did Juliet learn to fight?
- Unanswered
[Others Self-Defence Training. Or maybe she took a look at her ex-husband, needed to feel empowered a bit, and decided to take a class back in Portland. My bet is the first one... same reason she knew Latin. She's an Other. Why anyone thinks this matters to the story is beyond me. I see it as just another of fans' nitpicking at everything and putting far too much focus on the little unimportant things that the writers never felt any real focus should be placed.]

One of Us
How do the Others have resources to so much money and to Mittelos Bioscience?
- Unanswered
[This is actually a good question. I've always wondered how they gained control of the rest of Dharma's presence OFF the Island too... Perhaps Charles Widmore is a willing benefactor to their cause despite his exile from the Island.]
How can the Others cure cancer?
- Unanswered
[This is also a pretty good question and one of the few that I wish they had explained. We know that there's magic on this island, and that the Island will cure those in its favor and will not let those die that it does not wish to... but for them to promise Juliet her sister's healing and have it actually happen... It gives the implication that the Island will heal at the will of Ben, which we know is quite wrong.]
What did Sayid do in Basra?
- Unanswered
[I don't know, I don't care, and I don't know why anyone else does either. I figured it was just something he's ashamed of or something along those lines. Maybe it was something they figured they might work into a flashback at some point, but then never did but left the line there in case they ever had time for it. I don't think it changes anything one way or the other.]

Catch-22
What is Brother Campbell’s relationship to Ms. Hawking?
- Unanswered
[Gosh this would be nice to know... I'm sure he played some part in actively directing Desmond to his proper future, but I don't know.]

The Brig
What are the ruins and the pillar the remains of?
- Unanswered
[One of the many ancient civilizations that has at one point resided on the Island. I think it was just there to show that there has been life on this Island for a long, long time.]

The Man Behind the Curtain
What happened to Annie?
- Unanswered
[I HOPE she left the Island with the other wives/children when Professor Chang was getting everyone on to the submarine before the Incident. If not, then that means she stayed behind and eventually was purged like the rest.]

Through the Looking Glass
How and why did Walt appear to Locke?
- Unanswered
[Walt's special. As I think I mentioned in my post for that episode, I'm of the belief that was one of the "work" he had to do when Hurley and Ben picked him up in the Dharma van in "The New Man In Charge".]


Well, there you have it. A few things I really don't have a clue at, but most of them are either stupid questions that don't matter, or the answers can be pulled from the series through deduction.

If you have questions that aren't shown here, there's a huge chance they were actually answered. You can find the complete list and answers here.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Live-Beefing LOST: Season 3, Disc 5


SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't watched LOST, you may be confused or apathetic about the following post. Please go watch the series through at least once before bothering with my writings. Thank you.

s03e21 - Greatest Hits

Okay, finally getting to the end of season 3. Technically, I need to stitch up the lining of my coat, but I'm taking a break from that to do this. Running through the jungle... reminds me of that Creedence song "Born On A Bayou"... Luckily, there's only 3 episodes on this disc, so I can resume sewing after this. Where were we? Oh yes, the Juliet tapes and the dynamite from Rousseau. Got it. Jack's plan should go swimmingly, unless Kate screws it all up somehow.

Yay! Charlie flashbacks! I am still SO very upset that they never ever released a full-length version of You All Everybody. That was a very very missed opportunity on their part. Especially for a show with such immense viral marketing like this one had. "Look on the bright side. You're not REALLY dead." Poor Charlie. He had become such a fan favourite by this point. The island has wanted him dead since day one. Why do people like swimming?! Never could figure that out. Why people like to so much that is... the swimming I know how to do. I figured that out years ago. I wonder if they had any of this in mind back when Hurley first found the cable into the ocean... or if they just planted that cable and figured they'd come up with something later. I'm kind of figuring the latter. Aww, a wonderful Jin and Sun scene! They really are one of the only truly fantastic couples on this show. Even when there's conflict and drama, you still just want them together. Karl!

Alex is so cute! ...even with blood all over her hands! Ooo, a rare in-episode "just happened" flashback. They don't normally do that. "And that's what happened to bring me here." It's a touch of a retcon that the DS on the ring stood for a family member and that's where the initials for Drive Shaft came from... You could claim that it's not a retcon since they never fully explained it before, but yeah... it's a retcon. It's too much of a stretch for it to NOT be.

Nadia finds herself in some odd situations. Wait, she was being mugged and she still kept count of the amount of people walking by? She's some math genius. I don't know; I've never been mugged. I just assume you'd be paying a bit more attention to trying to not be mugged. I could be wrong though. "I like you better since you got back, Jack. You're almost an optimist." Sayid's right, Jack... You trek through the jungle, and let Sayid do the dirty work. Awww, poor Hurley! This scene is so sad! It's like that scene in Harry And The Hendersons all over again!!

"Here we go again." Yeah, no kidding! Charlie meeting Claire... so sweet! This is a bit of a sappy sweet episode. I always called these episodes the "calm before the storm" episodes, before things all went crazy for the season finales. TKO for Charlie! Way to use that oar! And off he goes to his demise. I quite like that hatch... I think if I were Dharma and/or an Other, I'd want to be stationed there... or the Swan. The Swan is cozy. Oh but there's chicks here. I'll take this one!

s03e22-23 - Through The Looking Glass

"We have to go back!!!" ... Wait, am I getting ahead of the show?!? Poor bearded Jack. The Island just kept him from trying to kill himself. "I am a dentist. I am not Rambo." Rose and Bernard are also one of the great couples on this show, although they get easily forgotten by fans because they don't involve themselves much in the drama.

Charlie is being held hostage by a violent blonde chick and the evil queen from Once Upon A Time. I'm sure he's enjoying it. "Charlie says hi!" Ben lied?!? What?!?! Shock. I'd say this plan is going well... only not so much. Oh crap, they have Jin. Maybe they only needed two explosions! No Rose, he won't say that to you... Kate is the one who keeps saying that phrase. Jack only said it once, and even then he used the modifiers that make the phrase MAKE FUCKING SENSE. Okay sorry, random burst of anger. But the phrase "Live together, die alone" kind of implies that you will die alone no matter what, so we might as well live together anyways... Like you plan to live together and then die alone. And that's utterly retarded. Now if the modifier "or" was maybe tossed in, like for instance "Live together or die alone" then maybe it would both be grammatically correct and make a bit of sense. The comma pause pretty much implies "and" not "or"... Roar!!! Way to spill everything Bernard. Luckily it only resulted in a few deaths, and not a lot.

Kate's harping at Sawyer again... She's kinda shrill in this scene. Mikhail's shooting at Desmond now. Good fun. The chicks are arguing... CAT FIGHT!!! Wooo!!! Charlie can annoy anyone by singing. Useful. Man is this shit over yet?! I have a coat to mend! I feel kinda bad for this other surgeon guy. He doesn't quite realize what he stumbled into, and then he gets shouted at by Jack. Gary Nadler? Any relation to Bernard?!?!? I bet there is. Nothing is that coincidental on this show. They had to have given the surgeon that name for a reason.

Good timing Mikhail! Just saved Desmond's life! Hmmm, for once Ben's kinda right in his bullshitting. Oh Jack, don't try to make Kate feel better about what Sawyer said... She'll just end up thinking that he really wants her to follow and then she'll run off to ruin Sawyer's attempt at rescue! Good foresight, having a runway built for the Ajira plane. Oh hey, Locke is alive. Tall Walt doesn't want him to kill himself. The Island still has some use for him yet! This is one thing I kinda wish would have been better explained... Is that Walt from AFTER "The New Man In Charge" somehow using the Island's power to project himself there? I doubt it's the smoke monster, considering he usually uses dead people's forms. After all, Walt's special.

Gee, I wonder who's in the casket. I bet it's Jeremy Bentham. Ooo, Mikhail is a bit of a dissenter. I like him. "Hi, I'm Benjamin. I don't believe we've had the pleasure!" Jack's kind of a junkie. How does Ben expect anyone to ever believe a word he says? Oh no! They shot the hostages!! I can't believe they did that!!! Roar!!! I live how she told Charlie "Good Vibrations" but didn't tell him what PART of the song, yet he somehow knew? That song is modular... it has like 8 different movements. Any musician knows that! Why couldn't they pick something simple and believable like Beautiful Dreamer? Maybe it always annoyed me because I would have impulsively picked a whole different section of Good Vibrations than the one Charlie did.

Jack seems a bit upset. WHAAAA?!?!? You mean they DIDN'T mercilessly slaughter 3 main characters off screen!??!?! What a shock. I never saw that coming... or the van. Okay, so the van originally was a bit of a surprise, but it's fun! Poor Tom. I liked Tom. Everyone liked Tom... That's the one thing I never really liked Sawyer for doing. Sure, I get the vengeance for the kid thing, but it was still a bit cruel. It wasn't Tom's fault to begin with, and Sawyer knew that. "Yeah dude, I told you. I saved them all." I love Hurley. Cholly isn't back yet though.

Yeah see, I would have chosen the CHORUS to Good Vibrations, not the coda. He didn't even pick the damn bridge! Grrr... YAY! Penny!!! Dammit Charlie, swim through the porthole! You can fit! I can fit! Hell, even HURLEY can fit!! This would be even more sad if there wasn't a PERFECTLY REASONABLE ESCAPE ROUTE RIGHT BEHIND YOU! I guess maybe he just felt he had nothing to live for... Maybe he just needed an escape from the whining nasally blonde with the kid. Avoiding responsibility and commitment in the best way possible: death.

Alright, French signal off, phone working, it's all good from here! No more death from now on! Only rescue and happiness!! Oh wait, Naomi's been stabbed in the back. Okay from HERE on out, there's no more death. Just 3 seasons of heart-warming rescue left to watch. Everyone goes home, is re-united with their families, and everyone is happy. I love this show.

I wonder who Jack is talking to in this what is obviously a flashback. I bet it's his ex-wife. He's really distraught over the death of his best friend Jeremy Bentham, whoever that is. And here comes his ex-wife in her car, to meet him at the airport. Wait, it's Kate?!? They knew each other before the crash!??!? Maybe they've both been in on it all along! They work for the Others!! "Why did you call me, Jack?" He didn't, he called you Kate. Wait, this couldn't possibly be from AFTER the crash! A flash FORWARD?!? That's impossible. This show only does flashbacks. It's their thing. They would never stray from those ever. Oh, wait, never mind. Yes they would. My whole belief system is now shaken, and I have nothing more to live for.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jamaica Inn (1939)


Beefing on Hitchcock
Jamaica Inn

Technically Hitchcock's final British film (production was before The Lady Vanishes yet release was afterwards), Jamaica Inn is well regarded as one of his worst films, despite being essentially a success at the time of release. Adapted from Daphne du Maurier's book of the same name, the story follows a young woman's arrival at the Jamaica Inn, run by her aunt and creepy uncle and home to an outlaw band of smugglers. Despite being an adaptation of the same author as his next film Rebecca and the much later film The Birds, there isn't much to the story and definitely not enough to sustain a film, in my opinion.

Aside from the story being weak already, it suffered even more from star and co-producer Charles Laughton's constant input into the movie's production, which annoyed Hitchcock greatly. Wanting more screen time, he forced Hitch to move an important reveal in the story to far earlier than necessary, which of course brought the level of suspense and intrigue down a lot. But despite his meddling with the story, he also insisted on casting a new actress Maureen O'Hara is the female lead, which really wasn't all that bad of a move considering her later career and fame.

It's all a fairly straightforward movie: Girl discovers smuggling ring, rescues a handsome young man from their grasp, they go to tell the authorities, the authorities are in on it and betray the couple... etc. Honestly, the movie just didn't do all that good of a job at maintaining my interest, but I forced myself to weather through to the very bitter end (and a bitter end it was).

Not an entirely horrid film overall, but I would have a bit of a hard time recommending it to anyone. I would definitely not say it's worth forgetting, but I still think his British picture run is best remembered as ending with The Lady Vanishes and not Jamaica Inn.