I Confess and Dial M for the all-night/DVR crowd

I Confess

Otto Kellar and his wife Alma work as caretaker and housekeeper at a Catholic church in Quebec. Whilst robbing a house where he sometimes works as a gardener, Otto is caught and kills the owner. Racked with guilt he heads back to the church where Father Michael Logan is working late. Otto confesses his crime, but when the police begin to suspect Father Logan he cannot reveal what he has been told in the confession. (© IMDB)
– via the.hitchcock.zone

Italian poster for Dial M

Ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice decides to murder his wife for her money and because she had an affair the year before. He blackmails an old college associate to strangle her, but when things go wrong he sees a way to turn events to his advantage. (© IMDB)
– via the.hitchcock.zone

On Dial M for Murder

Before the “shower scene” in Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock had directed only three other sustained murder sequences. The vast majority of murders in Hitchcock’s movies occur either off-screen, or they are as brief as the flash of a gun.NOTE 1 The three prolonged sequences prior to Psycho include the stabbing of Crewe in Blackmail, the stabbing of Swann in Dial M for Murder, and the strangling of Miriam in Strangers on a Train. Thematically these murders divide into two groups. First, Blackmail and Dial M for Murder give us two morally-ambivalent women who kill their attackers. Second, Strangers on a Train and Psycho give us two transgressive women who are murdered by sexually deviant males with peculiar relationships with their mothers. Because Hitchcock chooses to film extended murder sequences in these scenarios, he provokes many thematic and psychological questions about his portrayal of women and their guilt and punishability.NOTE 2 It is quite remarkable that a filmmaker so clearly fascinated by murder and death should have only four extended murder sequences during this lengthy career. This can be partially explained in terms of Hitchcock’s belief in the creative power of audience imagination.NOTE 3 Because the mere glimpse, or even threat, of violence is often enough to provide suspense, the actual amount of screen violence can be reduced.
– via www.imagesjournal.com

On I Confess

I Confess. — This film is directed by Mr. Alfred Hitchcock and it lacks two things normally connected with his name and work -first, that moment when he springs a surprise on the audience, a respectable man, as it were, suddenly rounding on a friend with a drawn revolver, and, secondly, the careful building up of suspense. Suspense, in a measure, there certainly is, and Mr. Hitchcock loses no time in making it clear what form it will take, but it is suspense without its mainspring. The setting is Quebec; a shady lawyer is murdered, and a German refugee (Mr. O. E. Hasse) who has been befriended by a priest, Father Michael (Mr. Montgomery Clift), confesses to the crime. Father Michael himself, however, through his old relationship with Ruth (Miss Anne Baxter) has been involved in the lawyer’s blackmailing activities, and soon the police are able to build up a case against him. There, then, is the suspense — will the priest keep the secret of the Confessional in the face of the deadly danger in which he stands? The wisdom of introducing, a sacred subject into a “thriller” is dubious, and the film seems conscious of disturbance and disharmony at the centre of balance. A conventional chase through a luxury hotel is an admission of the failure of the original idea to survive intact, and never does Mr. Clift suggest a man in any touch with the things of the spirit. There are some excellent individual scenes, however, and Mr. Karl Madden, as the police inspector who brings Father Michael within the shadow of the noose, acts every one else off the screen.
– via the.hitchcock.zone


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