I rented this the other night as one of Hitchcock's Masterpieces. I've seen a few other of his films, and I'm always curious to learn what the fuss is about, this genius of film, this mastermind of mystery ... this guy with the profile.
A few quick facts I learned about this particular film:
Joan Fontaine won an Oscar for her performance. She does have a way with wiggling her eyebrows individually that is fun to watch. But the whole fainting thing always seems silly to me. I guess it isn't unusual for a female character to do that in films those days. Women in my generation of films only faint if they are pregnant or if they have to eat a gallon of grasshoppers in two minutes. When she fainted twice, I kept wondering if this meant she was going to say she was pregnant. Nope, just oh-so upset!
The luminescent glass of scary milk actually had a light bulb in it to create that effect. Cool!
The ending was changed by request of the censors and was not Hitchcock's desired ending. But for some mysterious reason, no one is telling me what he would have done otherwise.
Hitchcock shows up 45 minutes into the film, mailing a letter (I missed this moment).
Question for the audience: What is up with the small cubist painting in their front hallway that the police officer keeps looking at? It doesn't seem to play a role in the film and no one mentions it in their discussion of the film. Yet Hitchcock deliberately lingers on this painting at least twice. I have googled this one to no avail. Does anyone know?
It was a fun film, and certainly did leave you guessing until the end. And even after the end, when Johnny's explanation of his intention is accepted but you remember all the previous lies he told .... is this just another one of his stories? Hmmmm....