rear window

Today I talk about rear window which i review for The Second Annual Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon hosted by Maddy Loves Her Classic Films.  Rear window is one amazing thriller that is one of the best thrillers ever made. Hitchcock always crafts wonders so i will talk about another wonder done by Hitchcock today. I would also love to thank host and ask you check out other posts from this wonderful event as now to review this classic gem.

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rear window review(https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest/

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Hitchcock isn’t the master of tension without good reason as his direction in rear window of how Rear Window is one of the best instances of how Hitchcock builds tension as he manages to slowly over each scene build tension throughout the film.

Rear window is is one of Hitchcock’s finest tales which is an tale of voyeurism in miniature as every open window in the blistering apartment complex that Hitchcock’s camera resides in leads to another character, another emotion, another scene, and another mystery that you are set upon to figure out.

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James Stewart’s performance on the screen as Jeff is one of the finest acted on the screen. He emotes with such detailed movements that shows each of his expressions with his eyes and detailed movements that makes his  performance truly special to watch unfold on the screen. James Stewart delivers possibly a career best performance as the stir crazy invalid. Restricted to only minimal body movement as its truly one amazing performance you watch unfold on the screen.

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Thelma Ritter plays such a fine role upon the screen. Grace Kelly gives out such an amazing performance on the screen.  Beautiful Grace Kelly is outstanding as the lovely girlfriend who turns into an adventurous spy as she gets interested in his boyfriend’s new hobby as she gets into the troubles of the mystery with her boyfriend. She is so charming to watch unfold on the screen.

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You get the impression Hitchcock was a director that liked to be pushed and tested to his limits. From the early days of the cramped Lifeboat to the cleverly edited one-shot Rope, Hitchcock has enjoyed being technically restricted and challenged. Rear Window may have been filmed on the largest indoor soundstage at the time but he forced himself to remain tightly focused on the important elements of the story which was cleverly written by John Michael Hayes.

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Rear window is superbly directed by Hitchcock with great use of suspense, the film presents the director in complete control of his film-making wizardry that is so smartly crafted out with wonderful Cinematography by Robert barks and a wonderful musical score by Franz Waxman that all make this movie truly come to life upon the screen.

Rear Window is a wonderfully simple thriller that also flirts with comedy and drama. With the always active photographer, L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies, confined to a wheelchair he is left with little to do but spy on his fellow neighbours across the courtyard. Jeff becomes a voyeur in the same way we do when we watch movies upon the screen. Rear Window is an undisputed masterpiece that you simply will adore to watch anytime.

The Ruth rating:

 Val Lewton:Shadows And Suspense

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Today I talk about In the early 1940’s rko was suffering a big failure following citizen Kane and other movies leaving the studio in ruins. it turned to its low budget b pictures . Val Lewton was the man put in charge of producing these flims with titles given to him by the studio. He found ways to make these movies into horror classics. Cat people was a huge hit so he was given free rein to do whatever he felt about for his movies. He came up idea of i walked with a zombie. Its his third The Leopard Man where he finally hit his mark fully in his ideas.  Val Lewton was a man that was able created many classic movies that do not follow the trends of its genre as his horror films are different then many horror films of its time. Val Lewton crafted out a group of movies that i call the Val Lewton touched classics that truly shine in their own right as they show ideas that was different and takes the movies to a different level. So today i talk about these classic movies now.

Cat-People-2 Val Lewton:Shadows And Suspense(https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest/)Cat People (1942) reviewImage result for Cat People (1942)Cat People is a movie less about real horror but subjective horrors such as fear of what you don’t see unfolding around you. Our male lead fears that he is losing his wife before he even really got her in the first place. Our female lead fears that her husband is falling in love with someone else. She fears a history that she can’t seem to escape it’s all really subjective as you don’t see any of these horrors unfold on the screen which by its nature is even scarier as it’s playing with your mind which is something truly real and true to life. You often hear noises at night but you don’t see anything unfold as you wonder what the noise was you heard unfold at night. Image result for Cat People (1942)

Simone Simon has the perfect mix of coiled power and haunted vulnerability to lodge us completely in her corner, Tourneur’s mise-en-scene is bursting with clever detail and Nicholas Musuraca’s shadowy cinematography that brings us into the story unfolding upon the screen.

Its use of footsteps as sounds to scare you and shadows makes you feel chills for things you dont see on the screen as is the horror real or its all in our minds it plays a trick upon you to bring fear into your life. I would say the human nature of fearing what we dont see is more scary then what we see unfold upon the screen.

Image result for Cat People (1942)Cat People is the strongest example of atmospheric film-making from the Golden Age of horror cinema that didn’t have the names James Whale or Tod Browning attached to it as a it’s such a wonderfully layered film that uses your real fears of what you don’t see to scare you. The black-and-white cinematography is wonderful. I would simply suggest you watch Cat People today.

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I Walked with a Zombie review
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I Walked With A Zombie is Based somewhat on the classic story of “Jane Eyre. It takes to Caribbean island mansion to explore the traditions of zombie culture of the Caribbean which is an interesting subject to apply his subjective horror ideals to it as he takes us upon one of the best takes of zombies on the screen.
 I Walked with a Zombie has the feel of a b movie its so much richer then its subject matter of island voodoo. The narrative weaves in some intense social issues, including the legacy of suffering left in the wake of slavery upon the islands.  A township marked by colonialism and a culture struggling to survive beneath it. It plays more like Gothic literature then anything else.the Canadian nurse’s (Frances Dee) visions of tropical enchantment are curtly dismissed by the death-scented plantation owner (Tom Conway) whom both lead this movie as i would say its acting is very good but its much more richer to watch what unfolds on the screen.
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 Jacques Tourneur helms the picture with a style that i truly adore even more in this movie then i do for cat people as its use of the subjective horror of what you dont see unfold upon the screen as the fears of what unfolds really does make you fear what is happening upon the screen. The black-and-white cinematography  of  I Walked with a Zombie makes use of shadows in a rich way that feels richer then many noir classics.
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I am sure some overlook I Walked with a Zombie because it seems like a low rent b movie at first glace but you shouldn’t do that at all as its a rich movie that really is something truly amazing to watch unfold on the screen.
The Ruth rating:
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The Seventh Victim review
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The Seventh Victim illustrates better than any other film the amount of creative freedom Val Lewton’s B-picture department was given by the bosses at RKO. The Seventh Victim has a good cast of talents all giving out good performances. I adore all of Val Lewton’s B-picture’s my favorite would be curse of cat people.
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It’s a very effective thriller that deals with themes of the occult and Satanism as the movie explores these themes in very detail with its plot that really is very dark for its time. The film also appeared to influence Rosemary’s Baby, in that the cultists are not depicted as ghouls in hooded robes, but as normal people, old and slightly shabby. Screenwriter Charles O’Neil said he researched the story by visiting a cult headquarters in New York. The people, he said, were surprisingly normal. Some of the older ladies knitted as they chanted to cast a spell on Adolph Hitler. It’s one of those weird stories where the writers find more then hoped in the story to find out about their movie.

It was shot on a studio back-lot. The Greenwich Village created for The Seventh Victim feels realistic. It’s a bleak nightscape of failed poets, Italian restaurants, beauty salons and dark alleys, shady private eyes, psychiatrists who harbor secrets, theatrical troops, lesbians, and devil cults. It was into this odd world that Jacqueline disappeared really feels like the real place.

A number of scenes stand out in this classic movie that you will love to see happen upon the screen. The Seventh Victim also boasts one of the best ‘Lewton walks.’ When Jacqueline tries to walk home alone after being allowed to leave the Palladists’ meeting, she is stalked by a hit man who emerges from the darkness of a doorway she passes on an eerily deserted street. This scene echoes earlier Lewton walks such as when Irena stalks Alice through Central Park in Cat People or the some of the scenes of I walked with a zombie. It really stands out as it shows up on the screen.

The Seventh Victim is a very wonderfully acted thriller that inspired later classics that will stay with you for years to come that you should see today.
The Ruth rating:
The Curse of the Cat People review 
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The Curse of the Cat People remains among the strangest Hollywood sequels ever made. Following Cat People, RKO’s 1942 horror masterwork of shadow and atmosphere that also helped delay the studio’s financial ruin, the sequel resolves to occupy another genre entirely. I would call it one of my favorite movies all time as its story is quite lovely. Director Robert Wise, winner of Oscars for the musicals West Side Story and The Sound of Music among several other classic films directs this classic gem that I adore so much.

The Curse of the Cat People is rather a fairy tale in a way its very much a movie that feels more dreamlike like the classic fairy-tale classics. The magical tone of the movie is reminiscent of Rene Clair or similar fantastic directors of the era that feels so much more fun to watch unfold on the screen as it captures the childhood feel so great.

Ann Carter is astounding in the role of Amy, taking another otherworldly turn after playing Veronica Lake’s enchantress daughter in I Married a Witch as she gives out such a wonderful performance in her role. Simone Simon who literally plays the role of a good fairy/fairy princess as Irena She’s an angelic presence that, again, could be perceived as evil because she is so ethereal.

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By the nature of the movie’s story you are really in a fairy-tale that feels dreamlike and echoes many other childhood fairy-tale classics with its even Gothic touches that feel right out of a fairy-tale. I used adore to read old fairy-tales as a boy as had book collecting them this movie really captures that feeling of those classic tales upon the screen.
The Curse of the Cat People is hardly a horror story at all as its more a Gothic fairy-tale which really makes it one of a kind for movies of its time. This is a lovely, haunting film that you will simply enjoy to watch anytime.
The Ruth rating:
 Val Lewton:Shadows And Suspense thoughts
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The early 1940’s rko was suffering a big failure following citizen Kane and other movies leaving the studio in ruins. It turned to its low budget b pictures. Val Lewton was the man put in charge of producing these films with titles given to him by the studio that each of them stands out in their own as today i talked about some of his movies that really stands out that you will adore to see as each of them are different types of movies that all offer different types of tales. I hope you enjoyed my talk today about his movies i hope you join me again for another in the future

night of living dead:Night of Anubis

night of living dead:Night of Anubis(orginal title)

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Today I review the cult classic night of living dead. The original title was Night of Anubis as the original work print had that title on its reels. The lost work-print was cut and removed from screens before even released on screens. The new Criterion Collection version that is the closest we get to a director’s cut of night of the living dead contains the original work-print among many other wonderful extras about this marvelous classic. Night of the living dead is one of the finest horror movies ever made. I review night of living dead now for my blog.

night of living dead review

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Night of the Living Dead, was directed by George A. Romero is a horror masterpiece and a cult classic that still gets such high praise even today for its many wonderful traits. George A. Romero’s Night of the Living was released in 1968 as it turns 50 years old this year finally got its true directors cut this year under a release form Criterion this year which is the closest to recapturing the magic of the original classic movie screening of this magical gem.

The story of this movie is very basic, a group of random individuals happen to meet up at house to hide from flesh-eating entranced humans aka zombies. Bruce Capristo, the head of the makeup department did a great job at making the zombies look like normal people as they all look like such real people makes you feel for them even if they are flesh eating monsters about to eat people alive.

Duane Jones as Ben leads the pack with his remarkable role that really showcases such raw talent. Judith O’Dea as Barbra is marvelous she really is such a wonderful actress as who would forget the line they are coming to get you Barbara. Karl Hardman as Harry Cooper really shines in his role. Marilyn Eastman as Helen Cooper gives us a marvelous performance. I would say that the entire cast even supporting cast even bit players all give out marvelous acting performances that all do shine truly to bring to life this classic.

The wonderful directing by George A. Romero along with the marvelous screenplay by  John A. Russo  and George A. Romero that does such wonders to bring to bring to life a tale that is truly marvelous to watch unfold on the screen.

This movie showed something that could have only occurred pre-Watergate. At one point, the people trapped in the farmhouse discover a television and turn it on in search of news of what is going on. Something almost as remarkable to today’s audiences as the dead rising from their graves is seen to occur. In Washington, reporters confront a government official about the situation, the government official tells the reporters the truth, and everyone believes what the government has told them. All of this would be truly remarkable in today’s environment of mutual mistrust between citizens as we would doubt such things today but it does still feel so raw and real even now.

The sense of dread and bleak horror that seems comes off watching night of the living dead with moments that bring you hope to only to take it away from you. The movie makes most of the group of people that all have their own agenda that makes it feel so much more real and gripping and raw to watch unfold on the screen. We have war, pollution and division between the rich and the poor that always seems to be traits we have as a society through our values, culture and norms we create division among ourselves yet if we unite we can overtime such moments we can overcome anything. I feel it raises such a question, so in a way the movie is questioning our values as a society about race and other moral questions of our society. Night of the living is a classic movie that you simply should see today.

The Ruth rating:five bette's

I walked with a zombie

I walked with a zombie(https://www.facebook.com/Wolffianclassicmoviesdigest)

It’s undoubtedly the most atmospheric of the Lawton/Tourneur film collaborations as its told in flashbacks by y nurse Betsy Connell, Frances Dee. The horror aspects of I walked with a zombie is very minor in regard to its overall story. I walked with a zombie takes a different way of horror then most of the horror of universal horror of its day as it more what you don’t see that scares you in this film then what is seen by you. It doe harkens back to classic universal horror of the 1930’s its dreamlike approach to cinematic storytelling. This movie has Lyrical and atmospheric story-telling as this film uses very heavy use of that classic trait of story-telling trait.

This movie is a rehash of the Charlotte Bronte classic Jean Eyre in a classic sense. The supernatural and unknown is shown in the form of the Island’s native’s belief in Voodoo was shown in a way as how one can be put under its spell as its the original sense of zombies on the screen. This movie is an Eerie, poetic horror film with such rich black and white camera work that captures it in a richly psychological way. This movie is more about what the eyes do not see to scare you on screen. The acting performance of everyone shines in this movie as you watch it unfold on the screen.

Director Jacques Tourneur is perfectly in tune with his producer to unhinge the audience by way of an approaching dread we can’t see on the screen. The movie has haunting elegiac sequences linger long in the memory after you see this movie. This is a marvelous classic that was written by Curt Siodmak, the concept for the piece came about by way of a number of newspaper articles that were telling of voodoo and witchcraft in Haiti as this is simply a marvelous classic you should see today.

The Ruth rating:

Keeper of the Flame

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I review this classic movie starring Spencer Tracy today for my friends crystal kalyana’s  BLOGATHON today.   I would advise you to check out others form THE SPENCER TRACY AND KATHARINE HEPBURN BLOGATHON  today which is hosted by a dear friend today on her blog.  I review this classic movie now for my blog.

Keeper of the Flame review

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Keeper of the Flame is the second film starring the duo of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn on the screen. The first movie starring them both was woman of the year which was one amazing comedy classic. I would say many overlook keeper of the flame. Keeper of the Flame is a proto-film noir mixed gothic melodramas that foreshadowed the political paranoia genre to come on screens in years to come. Spencer Tracy’s reporter character gathers with other members of the press in a small rural inn, there to report on a vaguely described “American hero’s” funeral that has many dark seeds in this classic tale unfolds on the screen.

Kate Hepburn and Spencer Tracy make this thriller with their wonderful acting together on the screen. . The wonderful acting of Spencer Tracy and Kate Hepburn really makes this movie stand out among their movies. The supporting cast all give out wonderful performances.

This is the quintessential Spencer Tracy role for the screen. This movie is one of the best Spencer Tracy roles he ever did for the screen. George Cukor directs this classic that mixes noir elements with proto elements of political paranoia to craft a true masterpiece that you should see today.

The Ruth rating:

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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So today I talk about Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for The 3rd Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon today, a classic MGM horror movie that remains timeless today. I hope you check out other posts form this Blogathon today. So to review this classic movie now for my blog.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde review

Unlike Universal, MGM was never a studio associated much with out-and-out horror films (A notable exception: 1932’s great The Mask of Fu which is another classic movie by this classic studio. This version of the classic Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde story is more slow-moving and psychological than the other versions of this classic tale for the screen. It relies on a good cast that all give out wonderful performances. If you want horror but you will love it if you don’t mind a psychological approach.

Spencer Tracy plays the dual leading role giving it a good job of creating both personas. This movie is a perfect encapsulation of Stevenson’s original vision as Spencer Tracy gives us a closer to the book version of this evil side unleashed upon the screen. Tracy’s makeup is far less monstrous than that created for Fredric March ten years earlier but it is far better and closer to the book. Director Victor Fleming goes for exaggerations of Tracy’s features and the playing up of the psychological differences between Jekyll and Hyde. The first couple of transformations are played as dream sequences involving good girl Lana Turner and bad girl Ingrid Bergman. We don’t see the actual transformation until well on into the movie. So have big actresses like Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner in supporting roles giving out such wonderful performances for the screen.

It is a literary-based horror/drama that has wonderful acting and a wonderful story that unfolds upon the screen. Joseph Ruttenberg’s cinematography with Cedric Gibbons’ Art Direction and Edwin B. Willis Set Direction all recreate foggy Victorian London upon the screen. It’s simply a classic gothic tale that you will adore to see anytime.

The Ruth Rating: