the only cuts i noticed besides the first scene, were twice when we got so close to brandon that the screen went black for a second, then again when rupert opens the chest. am i wrong?
I believe there’s a cut every ten minutes.
I forget how many actual “visible” cuts there are, but, as HOL points out, there are cuts approximately every ten minutes to accommodate the maximum amount of film that could be put into a magazine at the time of the production. Some of these are “hidden” within moves into characters’ backs while others that can’t be disguised due to reel changes in the projection booth are not.
Oh, wait…here we are:
Wow, great link. I’ll have to re-watch for the Hitchcock cameo above the neon sign.
4 was the number of cuts I could actually spot when watching, but its an incredible piece of choreography of both the actors and the props.
It was a pretty effective technique, really worked for the film quite a bit, and I like how simple the “hidden” cuts were (you can see them used again in Cuaron’s Children of Men , but due to the heavier stylization and shakier camera it’s a bit more difficult).
But what I think makes that approach shine beyond just the mode of keeping a real-time style going and keeping to the single room (one of Hitchcock’s better qualities is when he limits himself in space, like Lifeboat ), it’s how the staging does change between shots: night falls, after all, but this is a set so the lighting, ambience, and set-design changes. It flows smoothly and I’m glad that the cuts were not just a “limited reel” excuse but also an opportunity to add more realism in its own set-direction way.
Emphasis on the word “style”…love Hitch’s ability to fit an entire dinner party into, what?, 45 minutes without it seeming artificially rushed. And as Polaris mentioned, the lighting and ambience changes are great too, especially given that this is Hitch’s first color film, no?
You know, I did not know that, but I looked up “Hitchcock’s first color film” and sure ’nuff, there it is. Definitely uses a lot of that same use of color in Vertigo , it seems to me like Hitchcock was pretty good at jumping ahead of the crowd in terms of the uses of technology. Blackmail , for instance, has an interesting sound design looking forward to stuff that would only become commonplace much much later. In this way Hitchcock and Kubrick were pretty similar, almost effortlessly adapting new technology to stylish structures.