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'The Man Who Knew Too Much': THR's 1956 Review

'The Man Who Knew Too Much': THR's 1956 Review
On June 1, 1956, Alfred Hitchcock's thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much, featuring James Stewart and Doris Day, hit theaters stateside. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.

A suspense film that can run two hours without the audience getting restless must be pretty good. Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, screenplayed by John Michael Hayes from a story by Charles Bennett and D.B. Wyndham-Lewis, meets this test. 

Hitchcock fans have reached the "show-me" point where they practically challenge him to bring forth enough new cinema inventiveness to hold them on the edge of their seats...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Night of the Demon (Rendez-vous avec la peur)

Night of the Demon (Rendez-vous avec la peur)
This French disc release of the Jacques Tourneur classic gets everything right — including both versions in picture perfect transfers. Devil debunker Dana Andrews locks horns with Niall MacGinnis, a necromancer “who has decoded the Old Book” and can summon a fire & brimstone monster from Hell, no election fraud necessary. Even fans that hate ghost stories love this one — it’s a truly creepy, intelligent highlight of the horror genre.

Night of the Demon

Region A + B Blu-ray + Pal DVD

Wild Side (Fr)

1957 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 95 & 82 min. / Street Date November 27, 2013 / Curse of the Demon, Rendez-vous avec la peur / Available from Amazon UK or Foreign Exchange Blu-ray

Starring: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Maurice Denham,

Athene Seyler

Cinematography: Ted Scaife

Production Designer: Ken Adam

Special Effects: George Blackwell, S.D. Onions, Wally Veevers

Film Editor Michael Gordon

Original Music: Clifton Parker

Written by Charles Bennett and Hal E. Chester

from the
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Drive-In Dust Offs: Night Of The Demon (1957)

My favorite thing about taking these weekly trips to the Drive-In is my own selfish thirst for discovery. I need to patch up the holes of missing films on my personal movie screen; there is still so much to see, and sometimes the holes are so big that they obscure the view. Every once in a while though, a film comes along that not only mends the tears in the fabric but strengthens the whole. Such is the case with Night of the Demon (1957), Jacques Tourneur’s masterpiece of shadowy menace and dread, and a new personal favorite.

Released in its native U.K. in December and then stateside in July of ’58 under the new title Curse of the Demon (where 13 minutes were trimmed from an already lean 95 minute running time), this Columbia Pictures production was fraught with anguish before it even appeared to audiences, most famously producer Hal E. Chester
See full article at DailyDead »

British Film and Hollywood: What If Hitchcock Had Stayed in the UK? Interview with Film Historian Anthony Slide

Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, and Ingrid Bergman: The 'Notorious' British (Hitchcock, Grant) and Swedish (Bergman) talent. British actors and directors in Hollywood; Hollywood actors and directors in Britain: Anthony Slide's 'A Special Relationship.' 'A Special Relationship' Q&A: Britain in Hollywood and Hollywood in Britain First of all, what made you think of a book on “the special relationship” between the American and British film industries – particularly on the British side? I was aware of a couple of books on the British in Hollywood, but I wanted to move beyond that somewhat limited discussion and document the whole British/American relationship as it applied to filmmaking. Growing up in England, I had always been interested in the history of the British cinema, but generally my writing on film history has been concentrated on America. I suppose to a certain extent I wanted to go back into my archives,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

200 Greatest Horror Films (60-51)

Special Mention: Un chien andalou

Directed by Luis Buñuel

Written by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel

France, 1929

Genre: Experimental Short

The dream – or nightmare – has been a staple of horror cinema for decades. In 1929, Luis Bunuel joined forces with Salvador Dali to create Un chien andalou, an experimental and unforgettable 17-minute surrealist masterpiece. Buñuel famously said that he and Dalí wrote the film by telling one another their dreams. The film went on to influence the horror genre immensely. After all, even as manipulative as the “dream” device is, it’s still a proven way to jolt an audience. Just ask Wes Craven, who understood this bit of cinematic psychology when he dreamt of the central force behind A Nightmare on Elm Street, a film intended to be an exploration of surreal horror. David Lynch is contemporary cinema’s most devoted student of Un chien andalou – the severed ear at
See full article at SoundOnSight »

10 Commonly Overlooked Horror Films Worth Seeing

When I was a kid, I used to love a scary movie. I remember catching the original The Haunting (1963) one night on Channel 9’s Million Dollar Movie when I was home alone. Before it was over, I had every light in the house on. When my mother got home she was screaming she’d been able to see the house glowing from two blocks away. The only thing screaming louder than her was the electricity meter.

That was something of an accomplishment, scaring me like that. Oh, it’s not that I was hard to scare (I still don’t like going down into a dark cellar). But, in those days, the movies didn’t have much to scare you with. Back as far as the 50s, you might find your odd dismemberment and impaling, even an occasional decapitation, but, generally, the rule of the day was restraint. Even those rare dismemberments,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

War-Gods of the Deep

In the history of soggy underwater adventures, none have been been soggier than this A.I.P. Panavision curiosity from England. Four out of five insomniacs agree: it has the most awkwardly mis-matched cast of players in fantasy film history... starting with a chicken. Kl Studio Classics Savant Blu-ray Review 1965 / Color / 2:35 widescreen 1:37 flat Academy / 84 min. / City in the Sea / Street Date August ll, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95  Starring Vincent Price, Tab Hunter, David Tomlinson, Susan Hart, John Le Mesurier, Harry Oscar, Derek Newark, Roy Patrick, Herbert the Rooster. Cinematography Stephen Dade Film Editor Gordon Hales Original Music Stanley Black Written by Charles Bennett, Louis M. Heyward, David Whitaker based on City in the Sea by Edgar Allan Poe Produced by Daniel Haller Directed by Jacques Tourneur

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

By 1965 American-International Pictures was looking in all directions, trying to hit on new themes to replace the monsters
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

New on Video: ‘Foreign Correspondent’

Foreign Correspondent

Written by Charles Bennett and Joan Harrison

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

USA, 1940

As if his British films weren’t evidence enough of his talent, Alfred Hitchcock made quite the impression when he came to Hollywood in 1940. His first picture in the states, Rebecca, was nominated for Best Picture at the 1941 Academy Awards. So was his second, Foreign Correspondent, also released in 1940. While Rebecca would ultimately win, many – then and now – consider the achievement as belonging more to producer David O. Selznick than to the director. This is not without some justification. Though Rebecca bears more than a few notably Hitchcockian touches, between the two features, Foreign Correspondent looks and feels more appropriately like Hitchcock’s previous and later works. The Criterion Collection, recently very kind to Hitchcock on Blu-ray, now gives this latter feature a suitably well-rounded treatment, with a documentary on the film’s visual effects, an
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Forget Hitchcock's Vertigo: Tonight the Greatest Movie About Obsessive Desire

Joan Fontaine movies: ‘This Above All,’ ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman’ (photo: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine in ‘Suspicion’ publicity image) (See previous post: “Joan Fontaine Today.”) Also tonight on Turner Classic Movies, Joan Fontaine can be seen in today’s lone TCM premiere, the flag-waving 20th Century Fox release The Above All (1942), with Fontaine as an aristocratic (but socially conscious) English Rose named Prudence Cathaway (Fontaine was born to British parents in Japan) and Fox’s top male star, Tyrone Power, as her Awol romantic interest. This Above All was directed by Anatole Litvak, who would guide Olivia de Havilland in the major box-office hit The Snake Pit (1948), which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nod. In Max Ophüls’ darkly romantic Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Fontaine delivers not only what is probably the greatest performance of her career, but also one of the greatest movie performances ever. Letter from an Unknown Woman
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The 39 Steps by Al Kennedy

The writer and comedian explains how Hitchcock's 1935 thriller persuaded her that a relationship should begin with inexplicable kissing, running and shared peril

When I travel, I always carry DVDs with me to maintain my affection for the human race, despite missed trains, dodgy hotels and fumbled logistics. The 1935 version of The 39 Steps – the original and the best – is always among them.

The plot is, of course, exultantly unlikely. John Buchan's book makes a kind of sense, full of manly vigour, dastardly foreign threat and the ultimate triumph of British pluck. Long-time Hitch collaborator Charles Bennett adapted Buchan with the ideal level of disrespect and produced a joyful confection of subversive humour, intelligent twists and wild sexual tension. The movie has all the elements I love in film – it likes people, doesn't stand on its dignity and knows that if your characters are right you can get away with anything.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

10 Commonly Overlooked Horror Films Worth Seeing

When I was a kid, I used to love a scary movie. I remember catching the original The Haunting (1963) one night on Channel 9’s Million Dollar Movie when I was home alone. Before it was over, I had every light in the house on. When my mother got home she was screaming she’d been able to see the house glowing from two blocks away. The only thing screaming louder than her was the electricity meter.

That was something of an accomplishment, scaring me like that. Oh, it’s not that I was hard to scare (I still don’t like going down into a dark cellar). But, in those days, the movies didn’t have much to scare you with. Back as far as the 50s, you might find your odd dismemberment and impaling, even an occasional decapitation, but, generally, the rule of the day was restraint. Even those rare dismemberments,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Friday Noir: Mitchum and Domergue are on a highway to hell in ‘Where Danger Lives’

Where Danger Lives

Directed by John Farrow

Screenplay by Charles Bennett

U.S.A., 1950

Infatuation is a funny thing. On the spur of the moment, its symptoms exude nothing less than immeasurable positivity. One’s attraction to particular individual feels good, feels right, feels like it must be satisfied. Despite however powerful its hold may be, everyone arrives at the conclusion that infatuation and love are not one and the same. Love is lasting, whereas infatuation, even if it holds the possibility of evolving into something deeper, is a short term effect. That does not prevent people from acting out on it, convinced that it is in fact love guiding them. In some cases, regret is all that follows. Robert Mitchum is unfortunate enough to experience that first hand in the 1950 film, Where Danger Lives.

San Franciscan doctor Jeff Cameron (Robert Mitchum) has been working some long, long hours. Just
See full article at SoundOnSight »

DVD Review: Night of the Demon (1958)

Night Of The Demon (1958)

Stars: Dana Andrew, Peggy Cummins, Niall McGinley, Maurice Denham | Written by Charles Bennett, Hal E Chester | Directed by Jacques Tourneur

This of you who watched Mark Gatiss’ excellent three part documentary The History of Horror will have seen the nod he gave to Jacques Tourneur’s excellent movie Night of the Demon (Curse of the Demon in the Us), recently released on DVD.

The film deals with eminent parapsychologist Dr John Holden (Dana Andrews) who comes to England for a conference on the paranormal and finds himself embroiled in and victim to a demonic curse. The curse has been placed by Julian Karswell, who runs a demonic cult at risk of exposure at the conference.

It’s easy to see why this movie is held in such esteem; Martin Scorsese has listed it as one of his top horror films. Tourneur (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Halloween Advent: Night Of The Demon

The 'unseen' terror is widely thought to be the sharpest and deepest chill in a horror movie, but it's not always there because the producers are showing restraint. Ridley Scott and and all subsequent Alien franchise directors kept exposure to the xenomorph brief in order to hide the fact that the alien was 'a man in a suit' (and additionally in the case of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, to hide the contemporary limitations of puppeteering and CGI, respectively).

Thus Jacque Tourneur's acclaimed adaptation of M.R. James' chilling short story Casting The Runes has always been associated with notions that the prosthetic demon featured in the movie was a late add-on by nervous producers. Tourneur himself said, in 1966:

"The film was interesting apart from the appearance of a monster who was added after the event, after my departure from [film production] in London"

Some say Night Of The Demon would
See full article at Shadowlocked »

[DVD Review] Film Noir Classic Collection: Vol. 5

Film Noir Classic Collection: Vol. 5, has dusted off eight films of the celebrated genre and adapted them to DVD format. Collections like these, which bring older films to newer light, are godsends regardless (to a degree) of which films are selected, because as timeless as some of these stories and performances might be, the barrier of being stuck in an old format can bury them forever. And these stories deserve to be told. If you watch a few well made noir thrillers you will no doubt see the seeds that were planted in the heads of crime-thriller filmmakers the likes of Martin Scorsese or Michael Mann. Though there are better films in the noir genre that this collection could have culminated, there are also a lot worse. Any fan of noir films or old mysteries and thrillers will be pleased at what this box set has to offer.

Desperate (1947)

Directed
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Free Lecture, Screening to Highlight Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, 12/6

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre invites you to look, listen and learn during an evening devoted to the great film director Alfred Hitchcock.

On Dec. 6, the theatre will host a free lecture by film expert Martin Leichter, "Hitchcock: The Mayhem Behind His Movies," about the director's 18th film, The 39 Steps. Leichter will serve as a tour guide to the film, illuminating key points, and telling the audience what to watch for in the 1935 thriller, which will be screened immediately following the lecture.

Nearly 30 years after his death, Hitchcock's name remains synonymous with great film. The silver screen would be decidedly less glittering without such masterpieces as Rebecca, Vertigo, The Birds, Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest and The 39 Steps. And who can forget his countless cameos on the big screen, and his droll introductions to his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series?

In The 39 Steps, Robert Donat plays an innocent man framed
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

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