Showing posts with label criminals and crazies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label criminals and crazies. Show all posts

Thursday, June 17, 2010

*Not Ready For Prime Time Class Struggle- Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” –A Film Review

Click on the headline to link to a "YouTube" film clip of the movie trailer for "Rear Window."

DVD Review

Rear Window, starring Jimmie Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, directed by Sir Alfred Hitchcock, 1954

As I noted in a recent review of another of his movies, “Dial M For Murder”, at one time the great mystery movie director, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, was one of my favorite directors. Not that I was ever a big fan of the whodunit, “puzzle it out”, Agatha Christie-influenced part of the genre that he tended to use in his film work. I have always been more of a Raymond Chandler/ Phillip Marlowe swaggering detective “chasing after windmills” mystery guy. But visually, most of Alfred Hitchcock’s work has always left me gasping for breath until the end, even in those productions like the one under review here, “Real Window”, where the murder plot is pretty much laid out for you in advance and all you have to do is figure the key to the slip up that will bring the villain low.

The villain in this case is, as seen by photojournalist Jimmy Stewart from the rear window of his apartment in some Greenwich Village building while he is slowly recuperating from a serious injury, cast on leg, is none other than Perry Mason. Oops, wrong script, I mean Raymond Burr. Apparently Burr had had it with his nagging wife and therefore did what any self-respecting person would do with said spouse-get a divorce. No, no, this is the 1950s remember where marriage was forever or for as long as the nerves held up. The plot revolves around trying to link up Stewart'd rear-windowed observed suspicious behavior by Burr, find out the whereabouts of said wife, and lay a trap to catch this villain.

Wait a minute. How is Brother Stewart going to bring justice to the world when he is laid up in a cast? Oh, did I mention that he had a fiancĂ©/Girl Friday. A fetching fiancĂ©/Girl Friday, Grace Kelly. She is here to perform the leg work, and to do a little off-hand romancing. Along the way we are also treated to a little Hitchcock sociological study as he pans the “makings and doings” that are happening from the rear window in the other apartments. A sub-theme here is the alienated and lonely life of the crowded city. For the rest of the story you are on your own.

As always though I cannot leave this thing without mentioning the presence of Grace Kelly. I mentioned in the review of “Dial M For Murder” that in that film she was not as fetching as in other Hitchcock vehicles like “Rear Window” and “To Catch A Thief.” That comment still holds up after another viewing. Be still my heart. I would just note here, as I have in reviewing other works in which Ms. Kelly starred, that according to the gossip her real life husband, Prince Rainer, a man not given to open displays of sentiment, wept openly at her death. And now I know why.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

*Stay Alert!- A Look At The American Radical Right- A Guest Commentary From "Fresh Air"

Click on the headline to link to a National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast of Terry Gross' "Fresh Air" program, for March 25, 2010, of a report on the rise of the radical right in America , including the militia-types since the election of Barack Obama.

Markin comment:

As I stated in the headline this rising threat from the ever present radical right in America is something we must be aware of the defense of our communist perspective. Hell, even for the defense of simple democratic rights. There is a storm of some magnitude brewing out there. This edge of militias, survivalist, nativists and Nazis is the breeding ground for those who we will have to face down in the streets, if it ever comes to that. This report should be a goad to get our side properly organized, and pronto.