The Man Who Knew Too Much ★★★★★

It's OK to be 5000 words worth of long-winded when it's your own blog, right? Main point to make is how incredibly urgent this -- along with the five films he made after it -- still feels; despite his attempts to duplicate them in Foreign Correspondent and Sabotage, the Gaumont thrillers are unique in Hitchcock's output and in everyone's, with a flavor all their own. I can't wait to revisit all of them this year. Linked essay has, as usual, many spoilers and describes the entire plot of the film. There's also a considerable amount of content regarding my pet subject when it comes to this film and its remake, which is the way the two of them portray marriage -- I like both movies but this one contains one of the most believable and touching long-term relationships depicted in film, and the other has one of the most uncomfortable and abusive. I couldn't fit this into the long review but I thought of a certain snatch of dialogue from the last Hitchcock I watched before this, Rich and Strange, when Joan Barry's character is comparing the relaxed affection she feels for her new friend (Percy Marmont) with her fear of saying anything out of turn around her husband. That film deliberately contrasted a comfortable relationship with what we'd now term a toxic one, and Hitchcock (with his screenwriters, Charles Bennett and John Michael Hayes respectively) seems to have accidentally performed the same trick over a 22-year period with these two films.

Here are links to the full reviews of Hitchcock films I've completed up to this point in his career: The Pleasure Garden / The Lodger / Downhill / Blackmail / Murder! / Rich and Strange / Waltzes from Vienna. I will definitely write about Easy Virtue, The Ring and The Manxman someday; can't be sure about the other missing titles, though I did pieces on Champagne and The Skin Game years ago that may still be usable, but I don't feel like finding them right now!

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