Monday, August 13, 2018

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Gilbert: My father always taught me:
never desert a lady in trouble.
He even carried that as far as marrying Mother.

A happy 119 to ol' Al Hitchcock today - I figured I'd go with one of his lesser known masterpieces for this off year and make no mistake, The Lady Vanishes is a real under-appreciated gem. Any fans? The man who spoke that terribly typical Hitch line of dialogue quoted above (the use of "Mother" is such a Hitch standard) was Sir Michael Redgrave, father of Vanessa and Lynn, who had a forty plus year career and yet save this film I remain fairly ignorant of his work. Anybody want to educate me on his best?


ernesto66 said...

Five words: "The Importance of Being Earnest." A flawless play flawlessly translated to the screen, with Redgrave perfect as the straight man (as straight as Wilde got) all the farce revolves around.

MJL said...

Love this film - it was my first ever exposure to Hitchcock. Time to revisit

Trey said...

The only one I've seen is where that picture with the dummy comes from - it's an anthology horror movie called Dead of Night - quality varies, but it's worth a watch, and his segment is great.

joel65913 said...

I'm not as fond of The Lady Vanishes as several other Hitchcock's but it is a speedy clever little film. There was a ghastly (and I DO mean ghastly) remake in the late 70's with Elliott Gould and Cybill Shepard (!?!?!?!?) taking the lead roles and being just as out of place as you would imagine. The one slight bright spot in it is Angela Lansbury in Dame May Whitty's role of Miss Froy but she's barely in it.

Michael Redgrave made many fine films in which he was excellent. He was Oscar nominated for Rosalind Russell's take on Mourning Becomes Electra but while its an interesting try at the material its also draggy until the last hour and Roz is hopelessly miscast but gives it her best effort.

His heart and soul apparently belonged to the stage but here are some other films to seek out:

The Stars Look Down
Thunder Rock
The Way to the Stars aka Johnny in the Clouds
Dead of Night
The Browning Version
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Dam Busters
The Magic Box
The Happy Road
Time Without Pity
The Innocents
Connecting Rooms (a small drama that costars a very subdued Bette Davis)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Bill Carter said...

Anthony Asquith's delightful 1952 version of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" is a must-see. Redgrave plays one of the two (or maybe three) leads, and the cast includes three formidable British actresses: Edith Evans, Joan Greenwood, and Margaret Rutherford. As she always does, Margaret Rutherford steals every scene she's in.

"Dead of Night" is one of those uneven anthology movies. Redgrave's story is miles above everything else in the film, and even 70 years later, it's genuinely scary. (Ever see Karen Black's TV anthology film "Trilogy of Terror"? Remember the Zuni devil doll? It's like that.).

Redgrave's performance in the 1951 version of "The Browning Version", another Anthony Asquith film, won the Best Actor award at Cannes.

PS Check out the v interesting entries on "Family" and "Bisexuality" in the Wikipedia article on Redgrave.

Daniel said...

The Lady Vanishes is far from my favorite Hitch pic, but it is a clever, fun ride, and along with The 39 Steps my favorite of his early British pictures. Redgrave is quite dashing in it, but it's Dame May Whitty who really puts it over the top in her short time on screen.