In the 1930s, Hitchcock was Lang plus humor and romance, and that's certainly how this one begins. Then it goes to darker places than you imagined possible for the time, and ends with characters who are among his most complicated (or his most incoherent). Beautifully shot, and any humor is dipped in expressionism and madness. This was my 30th Hitchcock film, and it's left me feeling that I'm not done with him yet.
Conrad´s novel is great and i would not say that the film is as strong. But Hitch gives its best, finding lots of good ideas to tell this story through the mise en scène. Like this aquarium scene where he only films their back and exclude the spectator. The knife scene creates also a great tension (read the Hitchbook) and of course the classic bomb suspense, very Hitchcockian to say the least.
Trademark Hitchcock - "Don't Forget The Birds Will Sing At 1:45" - fear comes from knowing the shock is coming - the anticipation, the suspense, the repeated reminder, the contextual significance of an object with a dramatic purpose. A masterful thriller establishing the cinematic tropes of the genre within all elements of the production.
80 y later, many parallels between this story & the situation and bombings in Brussels, Paris, Istambul. Alternation between humor & cruelty, meticulously crafted, perfect image, acting, suspense. ==== Beaucoup de parallèles entre cette histoire & la situation et les attentats de Bruxelles, Paris, Istamboul. Film parfait, méticuleusement ciselé, image, jeu des comédiens & suspense, alternance entre humour & cruauté!
Lets itself down by failing to follow through on the emotional consequences of the climax. But apart from that this is an underrated piece which contains some wonderful expressionistic sequences and maintains the tension by refusing to explain its characters' motives. The use of the cinema setting as a physical frame creates a playful subtext around the power of film. Homolka and Sidney are excellent.
Interesting from a historical point of view, with a few good scenes. This movie feels like a newborn colt struggling to its feet and testing its legs. There is an awkwardness to dialogue, cinematography and plotting often seen in films of this era, when I suppose the talkies were getting into their stride. Nice to see London as it used to look. Interesting to pick out the plot points that mark a thriller to this day.