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ecarle (7712)


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That Seventies Show Episode from 2000 Spoofs Five Hitchcock Greats Not Like Parker's Books at All The Rednecks Versus The Yuppie Scum and the Cartel (SPOILERS for SEASON THREE) Season Three: Ozark Meets "Love Actually"(SPOILERS) Six Great Dialogue Scenes in The Irishman (SPOILERS) What's Important -- and Ironic -- About The Irishman Old Sitcom "That Seventies Show" Does Hitchcock -- And Psycho( A COVID-19 Story) Belated RIP: Max Von Sydow Passes Rod Steiger and James Coburn as Stars in this Movie A Line That Links "Family Plot" to "Psycho" View all posts >


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It's an unpleasant sit. --- I think that's a great phrase: "an unpleasant sit." There were a number of reviews of Frenzy in 1972 that called it "a highly entertaining film" -- but I always felt that "entertaining" didn't fit a movie that was so graphic in its central rape-murder scene and so disturbing in the long sequence of the rough treatment of the corpse of the nicest character in the film. I, too, found it an unpleasant sit. But I came out liking it -- and liking the good reviews that it got. I guess there was "entertainment" in the suspense of the film, the style of the film(that necktie), the unique Covent Garden setting of the film, and the comedy of the film (the Oxford dinners.) I'm not here to refute your dislike of the film -- its more like I"ve come here to say "I found it an unpleasant sit, too" and yet, as a Hitchcock fan at the time, the movie seemed "bigger than the movie itself" -- it got all these rave reviews, and landed on many Ten Best lists...after years of decline, Hitchcock was The Comeback King. I think you also hit on some of my enjoyment of the film in referencing "the villain" as a possible saving grace? Bob Rusk is one of the greatest villains in Hitchcock, IMHO. Such a suave, funny, cheery, charming guy -- when he is not raping and strangling women in an impotent rage. As Hitchcock put it, "killers have to be charming, otherwise their victims would never come near them." And this: There were a LOT of unpleasant sits in the sexual, brutal R-rated world of 1971-72: Get Carter, Straw Dogs, A Clockwork Orange, Deliverance. Hitchcock was just staying current. I'll take Frenzy because -- and I was there in 1972 -- it single-handedly lifted Hitchcock up in the public eye from "a has been director in decline" to "The Comeback King" with great reviews that landed Frenzy on many Ten Best Lists for 1972. Hitchcock was hot again -- though he would make only one more movie after Frenzy -- and he got to be happy in his old age. Frenzy and Rope are tied together in that each film has a brutal, lingering strangulation as its centerpiece. The strangulation(of a woman) is longer -- and accompanied by a rape -- in the R-rated Frenzy . The strangulation(of a man) is shorter -- but opens the movie as the very first scene -- in Rope. In both films, the killings are very horrible -- because the victims are chosen almost at random, they don't deserve what happens to them in any way -- and the killers are merciless. The R-rated Frenzy was controversial for its lady-killing in '72, but Rope was flat-out banned across much of America in 1948 -- ostensibly for the sexualized violence of ITS strangling -- but also for the fact that the killers were pretty clearly developed as two gay male lovers. So Rope and Frenzy are tied together not just by being overrated, but by being sexually controversial, disturbing films. Rope gets extra points for its historic "one movie in one single take" experiment - -emulated quite recently in the film 1917-- but I'm still picking Frenzy...for saving Hitchcock's reputation and career, and keeping him relevant all the way to the 70's. Meanwhile, A "connector" page led me from "That Seventies Show" to a relatively recent Netflix Streaming series called "The Ranch" which is equal parts nifty and demoralizing: Nifty: Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson from That Seventies Show are "re-united" -- Masterson always had a certain good comic timing to me. Kutcher's made his name as "the male dumb blonde" but he does it well. Nifty: In supporting roles as Kutcher's parents are -- Sam Elliott(always welcome for that voice, that stache and that manner, he shoulda been John Wayne, I tell ya) and ...surprisingly...Debra Winger. Its good to see Winger back, but a little sad to see that age got her, too -- she was so YOUNG in Urban Cowboy, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Terms of Endearment. Demoralizing: These great to good players are trapped in a tired sitcom -- jokes are set up then punch-lined off with minimal comic effect. The first time I heard Debra Winger say something trite -- and then get a big fake audience laugh for it -- I was devastated. I mean, she was in Terms of Endearment! Oh, well...we all gotta eat. There was this added fillip, however, one of Winger's sitcommy lines to son Kutcher(seeing him wearing some fluffy "Ugg" like boots") was "What the F--K are those?" And suddenly a 60s sitcom became R-rated. The Ranch. Interesting only as a reminder that Hollywood has far more good actors around than good writers to write for them(which Billy Wilder noted, long ago.) Topher's mom visits a new neighbor who keeps caged birds all over her living room, they bit her and she runs. Asthon Kutcher gets an NXNW spoof(a neighbor brat uses a radio-controlled crop duster to chase Kutcher around the lawn.) And "saving the best for almost last" then Kutcher -- a teenage heartthrob at the time -- does Janet Leigh's nude but not nude bit in a "usual" shower scene spoof(an angry teen girl hits at him with a shower brush, he spills red shampoo which goes down the drain.) A nice "re-do" of Raymond Burr entering the dark room to confront James Stewart in his wheelchair is re-staged to nice comic effect(they darken the room and the memories are surprisingly acute with the big man in the lit doorway and Fez in the wheelchair.) They wrap up the episode with a credit sequence in which each main cast member gets to lie on their backs on a spinning surface to get a "Vertigo" effect. Its fun. On balance, this sitcom episode from 2000 is nothing much, silly -- but can be added to the "Psycho spoof" list. I think what I may have liked better is that -- for once -- the shower scene isn't ALL that is spoofed. The hanging from the house rain gutter Vertigo spoof and the Rear Window climax spoof aren't something you see a lot. And they had Ashton Kutcher wear a nice suit to be chased by the plane(with no explanation.) But this: in 2000, those five Hitchcock films likely WERE famous..but as posters have pointed out around here, most of them aren't famous anymore. And this: a show about teenagers in the 70's WOULD be relevant to include Hitchcock movies, because a lot of 60's/70s kids were Hitchcock fans..because his movies were all over TV(though The Lost Films went away til the 80's..Vertigo, Rear Window. Harry, Man 2, Rope. ) ...well, that's what made it a scary scene. She was "faking it" and ended up taking it out on one of the millennials -- the knife to the tire, and things could have been worse, but the baby rather forces her to control her old psycho impulses. Indeed, later in the season when Wendy tries to undo Darlene's motherhood ruse, Wendy actually uses the insult "redneck"(she has to know from Marty that Darlene is triggered by it) and gets punched in the mouth in return "That oughta do it," Wendy says in triumph -- the baby can be taken back. But no...Darlene has some local power in court(and a surprise witness) and gets to keep the baby and just might keep going to parenting classes for "appearances." Yes. This was evidently a big ratings hit for Netflix(however they rate things) and the movie clearly ends with a "sequel ready" scene. Wahlberg's a pretty big star, but Netflix pays pretty big bucks so...why not do it again? He does look like Chapelle, doesn't he? Though he has a great smile and look of his own. He was good as a thoughtful killer in one of the seasons of "Fargo" a few years back. His final fight with Mark Wahlberg -- on Wahlberg's invitation in lieu of shooting or arrest -- strikes me as a replay of a similar fight that Wahlberg invites with the African-American villain of "Four Brothers" from some years ago. Now, however, most people get to encounter AS by itself from which POV it's just a beautifully made, serious drama. Ingrid couldn't have picked a better showcase for herself to go out on. -- I recall that spectacular yet sad AFI salute hosted by Ingrid Bergman of Hitchcock in 1979. He looked near death and he did die about a year later, in 1980. Bergman knew death was coming for Hitch, and she cried at the end of the show and embraced him with an unending hug of raw emotion, as Cary Grant looked on -- Notorious decades later. The surprise: I don't think Bergman lived much longer than Hitchcock did she? Anyway, the 70's for Bergman brought her an Oscar for Murder on the Orient Express(that she professed from the stage, should have gone to another nominee), Autumn Sonata, and a fond farewell to Hitch that was broadcast worldwide. And from 1969, I always liked Cactus Flower, in which a lovely but rather matronly Bergman was paired for mature sophisticated romance with...Walter Matthau? You'd think from Cary Grant to Walter Matthau was a comedown, but it didn't play that way, because, as Matthau himself described himself: "I'm the Urkrainian Cary Grant." PS. I have always loved how, at the Hitchcock tribute, Ingrid Bergman enthusiastically introduced Anthony Perkins (a co-star and real-life lover target of Bergman in "Goodbye , Again") in her robust accent: "Ladies and gentlemen...An-TONE-EE PARE-KANS" Hah. At the *time* AS was seen as a minor variation on previous Ingmar Bergman outings....and it is. But that's only a problem if you're obsessively watching each new Bergman film as it comes out the way a lot of people were in the '60s and '70s. -- Is this a variation on the "decline" that Hitchcock had in the 60s...somewhat lifted in the 70's at the end, but not entirely. Is QT right? Do ALL older directors decline? I guess the answer with Autumn Sonata is : no. But I have to go look -- did Bergman continue into the 80's? I don't recall. And this: I would suppose that directors like Bergman then and Woody Allen now -- who work low budget, small scale, intimate actors' pieces -- can last longer in their later years than Hitchcock did. For Hitchcock couldn't do movies as intricate as Rear Window, lush as Vertigo, or big as North by Northwest in his later years. Ironically, Psycho WAS low budget and kind of intimate, but so spectacular in cinematics and content...he couldn't do that again either(though I contend that Frenzy came surprisingly close.) --- Yep, Autumn Sonata (1978). It's great... Ingrid plays a star concert pianist having a late in life reckoning with the less-naturally-talented, non-star daughter she's always neglected, pitied, etc.. It's in a sense interchangeable with any number of other Bergman films about pain inflicted within families, so it's perhaps important for most people not to watch more than a couple of such sterotypically Bergman-esque films (non-religious division) in a row. --- I"ve made a pact with myself to watch a few Bergman films. Maybe not this week, but fairly soon. I think I mentioned that as a young teen in 1970, I bought a book called "Interviews with Film Directors." I bought it for the interview with Hitchcock (the one where he says "Psycho is fun to me...like a trip through the Haunted House at the fairground), but dutifully clawed my teenage way mentally through the other interviews, with included Americans like Otto Preminger(an immigrant) and Howard Hawks and "big foreign names" like Bergman, Kurosawa, and Truffaut. I can't say I saw many of the foreign films, but that book is where I learned who their directors WERE. And I can't really recall if I got a grip on Ingmar Bergman's "themes" at the time. He seems to be a master of family angst and guilt. I don't know from his religious angle. I seem to recall an "almost a thriller but not" presentation in reviews to "Persona" and "Hour of the Wolf"(was that his?) Anyway, I'll give him a try. View all replies >