sun 26/09/2021

Hitchcock

Blu-ray: Blow Out

A lot has changed in the 40 years since Blow Out was first released. In 1981, American critics from Pauline Kael to Roger Ebert praised to the heavens Brian De Palma’s homage to assorted Hitchcock thrillers and his script’s mash-up of 1970s...

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The Woman in the Window review - hitching a ride with Hitch

Darkest Hour may have been director Joe Wright’s finest hour, but we can say for certain that, despite its impressive cast, The Woman in the Window isn’t. Concocted from A J Finn’s titular novel with a screenplay by Tracy Letts, it’s a perplexingly...

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Blu-ray: Charade

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Paris in the summer: Charade was the last word in old Hollywood’s glamorous cool. It was almost the last word for Grant, feeling if not looking his age. Its tricksy, trapdoor plot, with a baffled Hepburn hunted for a...

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Rebecca review - mishap at Manderley

When it was announced that Ben Wheatley would be directing a new version of Rebecca, his fans must have wondered what kind of exciting damage he would do to the neo-Gothic template of Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel – and how he might spin the...

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The Host review - implausible suspense thriller

A camel is a horse designed by committee, they say; perhaps that explains why The Host, with several writing credits – adapted by Zachary Weckstein from a story by Laurence Lamers, screenplay by Finola Geraghty, Brendan Bishop and Lamers – doesn't...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Bernard Herrmann

Debates about whether 1964’s Marnie presaged Alfred Hitchcock’s downslide as a force will run and run. It is however certain that it was the director’s last film scored by Bernard Herrmann, who had worked on 1963’s The Birds, 1960’s Psycho, 1959’s...

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Blu-ray: The Big Clock

John Farrow’s inexplicably neglected 1948 thriller The Big Clock is a difficult work to pigeonhole, combining traces of noir, screwball comedy and suspense. Farrow’s source material was a novel by poet and pulp fiction writer Kenneth Fearing, here...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Der müde Tod

"Weary Death" – "Destiny", the English-language title, is weak by comparison – settles in a small German town, an impressive simulation constructed on a back lot of the Babelsberg Studio outside Berlin. He buys a plot in the churchyard, builds...

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DVD/Blu-ray: German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

This is an impeccably restored presentation of the 1945 feature-length documentary that was intended to be shown in German cinemas in order to counter any remaining support for Nazism. Backed by the British Ministry of Information, it was overseen...

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10 Questions for playwright Patrick Barlow

Patrick Barlow’s last play was parked in the West End for nine years. The 39 Steps finally closed this autumn, but not before travelling all over the world, most prestigiously to Broadway but also, among other destinations, to Russia, Japan,...

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Phoenix

Although the shadows of the Holocaust and German guilt hang over Christian Petzold’s sixth outing with his formidable muse Nina Hoss, Phoenix is more concerned with the essence of female identity. It contextualises in dreadful circumstances and...

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Strangers on a Train, Gielgud Theatre

Whether you’re partial to Highsmith or Hitchcock, or both, there’s something deliciously exciting about the prospect of Strangers on a Train. Much of that anticipation lies in the intriguing question of which side of the material this adaptation...

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