Discussion and info on people in film, ranging from directors to actors to cinematographers to writers.
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I was reading through this thread and I'm surprised there is not much love (or hate for that matter) for The Wrong Man. Is it the time period in which it was made and the documentary style that leaves this on outside, looking in for folks?
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I really like it (and voted for it), and I think it's only superficially uncharacteristic. It's one of those oddball films like The Trouble with Harry or Rich and Strange which, despite being atypical on the surface, deal very directly with several of Hitchcock's key themes. In this case, we've got (obviously) the most direct statement of his pervasive "wrong man" theme, along with the tried and true "mistrust of the police" theme, and it might be his most bitter and realistic portrait of a troubled marriage. It's often overlooked that Hitchcock's married couples are generally exceedingly well-drawn, way beyond the requirements of whatever genre he's working in. On a more trivial note, it also contains probably the most sarcastically perfunctory of his many imposed happy endings, one which does nothing to alleviate the bleak and shattering impression left by the rest of the film.Ribs wrote:It strikes me as very un-Hitchcock, particularly of the late 50's-era; it's deathly serious with very little to laugh at, despite being very good.
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That's because The Wrong Man is based on a true story and Hitchcock didn't want to make light of the situation as a man actually went through what Henry Fonda's character went through. This is also why Hitchcock's cameo is at the beginning and consists of him talking to the audience, instead of it being like his normal cameos.Ribs wrote:It strikes me as very un-Hitchcock, particularly of the late 50's-era; it's deathly serious with very little to laugh at, despite being very good.
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I decided to finally pick up the Warners titles on Blu and was surprised there doesn't seem to be a Region A boxed set. I seem to recall a DVD set being released. There is a UK set with three titles only--is that the only Warners Blu set available?
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I just watched it--first time I've seen it. I agree that it is very un-Hitchcock. In fact, had it not been for the introduction by Hitchcock, I might not have remembered that it was a Hitchcock film.Ribs wrote:It strikes me as very un-Hitchcock, particularly of the late 50's-era; it's deathly serious with very little to laugh at, despite being very good.
Setting aside the almost complete absence of any humor that was already noted in the thread, I think what most distinguishes this film from what I usually think of as a Hitchcock film is that pretty much all of his most celebrated films were thrillers, with a particular kind of tension and pacing that this film completely lacked. There was no ticking time bomb of Sabotage. There was no chase scene. There were no murders and no murderer, and there were no spies.
There was also a very claustrophic feeling to the film. The world inhabited by the characters seemed suffocatingly small, very compressed (even moreso than in Rear Window, Lifeboat, or Rope), with what seemed like just a few locations being shown, fewer in fact than actually were included. The effect of that for me was that it exacerbated the feeling that the story didn't seem to be going anywhere fast. And it made The Wrong Man seem like a very-low-budget, New York-studio made-for-tv production rather than a major Hollywood studio release.
I also found the score very annoying--another surprise, since it was by the great Bernard Hermann.
Now, the fact that it was atypical for Hitchock's films wouldn't necessarily mean that it couldn't still be a great film, but I didn't like it. I think there was a lot of potential there that wasn't properly exploited.
I'm actually curious about what the production was like for Hitchcock, because it felt like someone else's picture. I also wonder how he and his wife, Alma, felt about this film as they looked back at their body of work in their later years.