Because Number 13 was never completed, the first film to bear the mark "Directed by Alfred Hitchcock" was The Pleasure Garden in 1925. A young Alfred's uncanny wit and cinematic flare came forth in this movie. The year after, in 1926, The Mountain Eagle was released as Fear O' God. Hitchcock hated this film, and called it "very bad." In fact, no existence of this film is to be found.
Yet that’s how it seemed from the start. The archetypal auteurs are Alfred Hitchcock and Howard Hawks, directors who worked within the mainstream of the movie business, seeking and often achieving the commercial successes that rendered their work artistically dubious to critics who looked askance at precisely such Hollywood commercialism and the constraints that studio formats entailed. The young critics at Cahiers du Cinéma who formulated the concept of the director as author were even called the Hitchcocko-Hawksians. Those original auteurists weren’t solely obsessed with American filmmakers; they championed the work of such directors as Roberto Rossellini, Max Ophüls, and Jean Renoir at a time when their films were widely derided. But they also made no distinction between directors who worked with big stars on prestigious productions, such as Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Vincente Minnelli, and those who worked on genre films on low budgets, such as Samuel Fuller and Edgar G. Ulmer. Their point was simply that the incidentals of production and marketing ultimately didn’t matter in the face of the transformative power of artistic vision.
Truffaut's theory maintains that all good directors (and many bad ones) have such a distinctive style or consistent theme that their influence is unmistakable in the body of their work. Truffaut himself was appreciative of both directors with a marked visual style (such as Alfred Hitchcock), and those whose visual style was less pronounced but who had nevertheless a consistent theme throughout their movies (such as Jean Renoir's humanism).
Usually, it is the other way around, but in this case, the movie is a major improvement over the original book.
I had seen this wonderful movie at least a dozen times, before I managed to find a copy of the book it was taken from....the book has the same title and was written by Patricia Highsmith.
I scoured the used bookstores for years, before I finally found a copy, and because the movie was SO good, I could not wait to begin reading the story in its original version.
I was never so disappointed!
Not because the book is unreadable...but because Hitchcock made such vast improvements over the book that the book simply does not come close to measuring up to the movie version.
That said, let me now comment on Robert Walker's amazing performance as Bruno Antony.
This was Robert Walker's last completed performance...he died while shooting his final film, "My Son John," in August, 1951.
This role as Bruno was the performance of his career!
Perfect in every way.
The movie has been around now for nearly half a century. I see it every time it is shown on television, and I also watch the tape I have of it occasionally.
Robert Walker's performance only seems to improve with each new viewing.
I can not recommend this movie highly enough.
If Hitchcock and Robert Walker can read me, up there in heaven, let me congratulate them both on an absolutely superlative job!
Alfred Hitchcock and the Auteur Theory
30/04/07 Afsor Ullah 11p English Coursework Alfred Hitchcock: The Auteur The acknowledged master of the thriller genre he significantly developed, Alfred Hitchcock was also a brilliant technician who skilfully blended sex, suspense and humour. He began his filmmaking career in 1919 illustrating title cards for silent films at Paramount's Famous Players-Lasky studio in London. There he learned scripting, editing and art direction, and rose to assistant director in 1922. Hitchcock got his first break when he was asked to direct The Pleasure Garden, which would be his first complete film as director. The picture was a slight melodrama, but it obtained good reviews and brought attention to Hitchcock as a capable director. Other films followed and soon Hitchcock had earned the title 'auteur' due to his unique style and techniques. However, what exactly makes Alfred Hitchcock acceptable enough to be comprehended, as 'auteur' will be he focal point of this essay. This will include a close observation of the unique way movie-making elements were used by Hitchcock to earn him the title 'auteur' instead of director. If the word 'Auteur' was to be observed under a French dictionary we are able to see it is French for 'author'. However in terms of directing, it is used to describe 'a director who has obtained the status of an artist or author'.
auteur theory, and the new wave
Films were a great form of entertainment from their debut in the early 1900's and continued to grow more popular over the years. The film making business hit a growth period in the 1920's. In Hollywood, the assembly line "studio" system of producing a movie was changed and refined, and the famous studious that dominate Hollywood production today, such as Universal Studious, were being put together. Censorship regulations were being formulated for the first time, and Wall Street began to take a more prominent, powerful role in film making. It was the era of short silent films that were backed by organists who could play a variety of famous composers such as Beethoven, and Sousa, and who mastered other sound affects for further enhancement of the movie. It was a time when movies came and went quickly and films that had no pretense of being art were made in mass. Nobody ever expected a movie to have an afterlife. They were made only for entertainment and to make money, and were considered disposable back then. It took decades to develop movies as a concept of art. During this time of rapid change in the film making business, a certain aspiring director began his dream of working with cinema. Eventually, the talented and mysterious director, Alfred Hitchcock, played a huge part in establishing his and others' masterpieces as an art.
THE AUTEUR, THEORIES ON STRUCTURALISM AND NARRATIVE, WITH REFERENCE TO STUDIES OF ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND JOHN FORD OHP- PICTURES OF THE TWO MEN To begin with, the most important factor to be dealing with must surely be to describe what is meant by the term 'auteur' as featured in the essay title. Auteurism, or 'authorship' is a concept that has become an integral pillar of film-studies, Certain key writers attempted to rate the skills of various directors by casting them in a new light - that of the director as the ultimate creator of a film. So, what then is the purpose of an author, or auteur? What does this concept serve to prove? In his text, The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes examines the role traditionally created by the author. He claims that the author is a construct of modernity, that in order to appreciate a piece of art; we must be able to attribute a specific person to its creation. It is this that gives the art it's meaning, the label attached to it, rather than the work itself. We need to have everything rationalised: What is it that lay behind the creation of that work? Barthes notes the way, for instance, in which Van Gogh's genius in painting is frequently attributed to his madness. "The Author is thought to nourish the book, which is to say that he exists before it, thinks, suffers, lives for it, is in the same relation of antecedence to his work as a father to his child."
Cahiers du cinema; Auteur Theory;
There’s a reason Alfred Hitchcock continues to fascinate us half a century after his heyday and decades after his death. It’s the same reason he has four of the AFI’s Top 10 Mysteries: Dial M for Murder (#9), North By Northwest (#7), Rear Window (#3) and Vertigo (#1). The man was notorious for stringing us along, making us think we knew the answers and then shocking us as men who knew too much.