David Thompson
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September 30, 2014

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Sam

Someone's going to harvest this for gifs.

mojo

Very nice. For Criterion, I see.

Jo

The Rear Window video is amazing.

Henry

The ever-approaching girl with glasses at 0:25 is even scarier than Norman Bates.

David

Janet Leigh looks rather like one of those ‘bobblehead’ toys. Incidentally, am I alone in thinking the first half of Psycho is its best part?

Henry

Never could get on with Psycho (or Vertigo for that matter). The music for the shower scene was the most impressive thing about it, for me. The psychological explanation at the end was too silly.

But Rear Window is really splendid - loved the reconstruction!

David

Henry,

Yes, I think Rear Window is a much better, more compelling film. From what I remember, Psycho starts well – with the theft – then seems to become less tense, despite the murders, dead mother and general derangement.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David - "am I alone in thinking the first half of Psycho is its best part?"

Nope. So say we all.

And the less said about the sequels (and the gratuitous remake with Vince Vaughn) the better. I think they only bothered making sequels so the betamax copies of C.H.U.D. and Ghoulies 2 wouldn't feel so lonely in their dusty corner of the video shop.

Rear Window is brilliant.

I liked Jimmy Stewart a lot, but I could never figure out how his character got a girl like Grace Kelly. She seemed to glide into that film from another movie, one where everyone is eternally young and effortlessly beautiful. Perhaps the land of the Eloi from The Time Machine.

Stewart, with his stammering drawl, greying hair and bombardier's eyes, looked like he should be playing her uncle.

Raymond Burr was wonderfully cast. He doesn't get much screen time, but he doesn't need to - his meaty frame casts a shadow and a threat over the rest of the picture. When you see his blank, remorseless stare, you feel no doubt that this man could kill you.

And he wouldn't need to dress up as his mother and catch you off guard to do it.

David

betamax copies of C.H.U.D. and Ghoulies 2

Ah, Betamax. I remember being terribly impressed by the sight of one of the first Betamax machines, which a school friend’s dad had bought. We were warned, in very serious tones, not to touch or even approach its magnificent clunky buttons, on account of it being so precious and fantastically expensive. Naturally, days later, we bunked off school for an afternoon and watched Alien.

Watcher In The Dark

Kids today won't believe that there were once video stores neatly divided into VHS on one side and Betamax on the other. Then one day, it changed. The VHS side magically began to grow and as walls don't expand much, the Betamax side shrank away.

Some people I know who had been given a Betamax player were mortified, but increasingly were alone.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Raymond Burr was wonderfully cast. He doesn't get much screen time, but he doesn't need to - his meaty frame casts a shadow and a threat over the rest of the picture. When you see his blank, remorseless stare, you feel no doubt that this man could kill you.

Raymond Burr played the heavy in quite a few movies before he became Perry Mason. In Red Light, the bad guys are Perry Mason (er, Burr) and Sherman Potter from M*A*S*H (er, Harry Morgan).

And then there's A Cry in the Night, which has mama's boy Burr kidnapping young Natalie Wood and trying to make her love him. Wonderfully creepy stuff.

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