MovieChat Forums > The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959) Discussion > Hitch passed, Anderson should have too..

Hitch passed, Anderson should have too..


Any movie with Gary Cooper is worth the price of admission, but this role just wasn't for him. He's playing a man who was ultimately "afraid"? As one reviewer put it, this movie ultimately seems like a bad episode of the Thunderbirds... too much bathwater and not enough action.

Alfred Hitchcock passed on this and went on to craft one of his finest films, North By Northwest. Anderson should have too.


"...nothing is left of me, each time I see her..." - Catullus

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I disagree. I thought the role was perfect for the guy that always looks like he is some sort of victim when he is actually the hero. I thought he played it to perfection too, with just enough mystery and suspicion to keep me interested, but having it all make sense at the end.

I don't know how Hitchcock would have shot this movie, but Anderson held my interest through the whole movie.

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One man's trash is another man's treasure. Glad you liked it.


"...nothing is left of me, each time I see her..." - Catullus

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Alfred Hitchcock thought that after such a strong opening (as written in the screenplay), the rest of the film could only be a disappointment to the audience.

Although I admit that this isn't the masterpiece everyone (then) was hoping for, the opening was hautingly good and the rest was o.k.; Cooper and Heston make a special couple. Altogether I can say that I like this film (while admitting its flaws).




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the Bread will walk the Earth."

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As I said, I respect others opinions and the fact that others like the movie. I have no quarrel with a person's likes or dislikes.

That being said, your comment highlights my reasoning for saying that Anderson should have passed on the film as well. The opening is very strong, but then the entire movie falls apart. We never are given any good reasons why he simply doesn't go to the authorities.


"...nothing is left of me, each time I see her..." - Catullus

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Bladerunner--"We never are given any good reasons why he simply doesn't go to the authorities."

I have to second this. I enjoyed the movie. Great special effects and acting, but I thought Patch's motivations were murky to say the least. And everyone smiling at the end made no sense. The salvage men would find the captain's corpse buried in the coal bin. Even if the authorities somehow accept Cooper's explanation, hasn't he committed a crime by not reporting a homicide? This plot just seemed to have too many loose ends and to be very arbitrary to me.

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I agree, any movie with Coop is worth checking out....but I won't be checking this one out again. Didn't come off as very interesting and I agree about too many loose ends.

I am curious as to how Hitch may have done it - he might've been able to make it something special, more intriguing than it actually was. But he was ultimately right to pass on it.

Not a bad movie to watch late at night, and Heston & Coop both did great jobs w/ what they had, but overall I wouldn't watch it again.

"Are you going to your grave with unlived lives in your veins?" ~ The Good Girl

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Patch's motivation is quite clear:

He didn't want the ship touched until he could lead the authorities to it and confirm that the cargo of jet engines had been removed secretly. This would prove that the owners had surreptitiously sold them, then paid Higgins to sabotage the ship and sink it to cover the crime and collect the insurance. If a salvage crew or minions of the owners were to get to the ship first, the evidence could be tampered with. That's why he wanted to keep the ship's location secret until he could explain himself to the board of inquiry and convince them to investigate it themselves. That's why he didn't want Sands to say anything until that happened. That's also why he wanted to go out to the ship himself, to verify that the jet engines were gone. This became an even more urgent matter after the French salvage company found the Mary Deare and Higgins was put in charge of the salvage.

As for the dead body of Captain Taggart, Patch had been in the process of disposing of it when Sands and his colleagues came across the Mary Deare. Since getting rid of the body had become impossible, we can only hope that the authorities would have believed Patch's explanation of the captain's death. There's also the possibility that since Sands was the only person Patch had told, they could both have kept quiet and it would have been assumed that Higgins and his men did the killing at the same time they tried to kill Patch.

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I thought it was established that Patch's real reason for wanting to wait until the inquiry, rather than go to Lloyd's with his story straight away, was to give him a chance to return to the ship and dispose of the dead captain's body. He really didn't need to do the detective work of discovering where the plane engines had been off-loaded.

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Just because the film that Hitchcock chose to make instead of this one turned out to be a good one, doesn't mean that The Wreck of the Mary Deare isn't also a good film. In fact, it's quite a bit better than some of Hitchcock's (e.g., Marnie, Torn Curtain, The Birds, Topaz, etc.).

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I never made the case that because Hitch made a great film instead of this one, that means this film isn't good. Instead, I said this film wasn't good and Hitch's reasoning for passing was a sound (and correct) one. This film isn't "quite a bit better" than The Bird or Marnie, which are both classic and excellent films. I'd say it's about on par with Topaz, and Torn Curtain is a bit better.

Just because Hitchcock had a couple films that weren't great, doesn't mean his reasoning for passing on this film was faulty. In fact, this film fails for the exact reason Hitch passed on it. His conclusions as to why the film would fail held up when made that determination, and it holds up today some 50+ years later.

The excellence of his body of work is all the proof one needs that his reasoning for passing on this film was a sound one. His intuition and discernment were second to none. If that isn't enough though, simply watching this movie will prove him out to be spot on.

As far as your opinion that The Bird and Marnie are lesser films than this one... The Bird and Marnie are constantly being screened in theaters throughout the world, in fact The Birds opens at The Regency in Santa Ana tomorrow night and Marnie opens here in Dallas in November. Where is The Wreck of the Mary Deare showing?


"...nothing is left of me, each time I see her..." - Catullus

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I like it it was slow in places but if nothing else Cooper and Heston nuff said.
Gary died the next year so you know this team up would never happen again

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(**Possible Spoilers **) i actually missed the first 15 minutes of the film, but it didnt really matter, because towards the end, we hear (several times) exactly what really did happen.

I'm curious to know how closely the film followed the book -- i'm guessing that there was more blood & guts in the book; That Patch & Sands were able to get back into the hold up against so many men was almost un-believe-able.. and also i think about the only suspense in the film was whether or not Patch would EVER tell them the ship's status. and even THAT backfired, since he waited so long.

just sayin.

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TWOTMD is 5,0000 times better than "The Birds" and "Marnie". Those Hitchcock turkeys are total [email protected]!

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I loved it. Thought the pacing especially was great, it wasn't fast-moving at all but never felt flat. Both leads very effective. Story moved from suspenseful to dramatic and back, felt like watching waves. It's not an all-time favourite but I was impressed. But, that's just my personal response, could totally understand it being less impactful on others.

Sometimes it felt a little disjointed (as though the pieces had to be pressed a bit hard to fit together). I was also a bit annoyed with Harris' (imo) cartoonish acting. To me, he was a letdown as the villain and while the lines he had to work with were not helpful, he did himself no favours regardless of what he had to work with. (Again, just stating opinion).

BladeRunnerA, I just want to take you to task on one thing ... (in your spoiler). Don't you think Cooper was also basically a
man that was ultimately afraid", in High Noon? I didn't see that as being problematic for him in that masterpiece, in fact his ability to display it was pretty much what made it so gripping. So why should that characteristic be an issue here?

(I'm not sure why I put it in spoilers, but you did, so I'm honouring that!)

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