This was the time when people were talking about "the new freedom of the screen", which poses a question for Hitchcock: when someone was so adept at sneaking around or challenging the screen's restraints, what to do in the age of X-ratings? The result is his most viscerally shocking movie, but even beyond that, it's a smart look at British repression and a tight, twisty plot that only falters near the end.
A corpse hidden in a potato sack, several incredibly modern film experimentations like the silences in the middle of a street scene, the superb travelling while Babs is being murdered in Rusk's apartment. A thriller deserving to be redicovered. Highly recommended.
Hitch's response to New American Cinema, particularly the films of Scorsese, Coppola and Lumet, is an ugly, funny and totally captivating thriller. Even in all its shocking excess, scenes where nothing is shown -- like the eerie reverse-tracking shot down the staircase and into the street -- are all the more terrifying.
Stodgy thriller with rather incongruous dollops of breast nudity and a view of Old London Town as if stuck in a Victorian fog. However Hitchcock never entirely lets you down and stages some effective moments of terror undercut with customary blackly comic touches. Despite all this you never quite loose the sense of an old man enviously eyeing-up the possibilities afforded to The Clockwork Straw Devils of the time.
I go back and forth on this one. Definitely doesn't have the suspense of his earlier work but it has some really great moments. It does feel as though Hitchcock lost some of his craft when he didn't have to dodge censors anymore. The rape sequence is horrifying.
It's been my dream since I was about 8 to make Kaleidoscope Frenzy. This film is marevelous and should have been the thing he went out on rather than Family Plot as it represented a major departure from his established style and proved he still had it in him to make a truly shocking film. But I'd still love to make the film he never got to, I've had the rejected footage in my head for a very long time.