Year Released: 1948
How It Fared Back Then: Hitchcock was already an established film pro and paired with Jimmy Stewart, this movie was a hit. But the really interesting aspects of the film are the story and the cinematography! The story is based on a play from the 20s about two real life boys who murder a classmate. In the film, they host a party while the body is hidden almost in plain view. The style was a unique aspect at the time too, as the film takes place in real time and is shot to look like one continuous shot. Hitchcock used the longest possible running film camera at the time (which could only film for 10 minutes) and each cut is cleverly disguised.
Why It’s Lasted: It was a big one for old Hitch and Jimmy but I personally think the psychological aspect to the story and the cinematography style is that most exciting parts.
- This is a pretty talky movie but the action happens when Jimmy solves the murder and figures his students out! He guesses how they did it and they played coy as long as they did. “…which is the cat and which is the mouse?”
- When the palm reader old lady says to one of the boys “These hands will bring you great fame”. Oh yeah, they will, but not for piano playing!
- They set up their food table on top of the chest where the dead guy is hidden, unknown to the house keeper! Classic.
Does It Still Hold Up? Does it ever! Jimmy is as good as ever, and it feels like Hitch really pushed himself on this one too. What a unique movie for the 40s, but to be fair, my dad and my sister fell asleep while watching it.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCrTMGpinPo]