Can The Shop Around the Corner Be Considered A Pride and Prejudice Adaption?

Two years ago I read an article on Nora Ephron and in the article she shared that she is a big fan of Pride and Prejudice and when she wrote You’ve Got Mail, she made it a loose adaption of Jane Austen’s novel. I was surprised when I read that as I don’t see the two being that much alike and last year I decided to finally review You’ve Got Mail and determine whether it:

  • Should be considered an adaption of Pride and Prejudice
  • Should be put on my Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans
  • Needs to be excluded from the Jane Austen multiverse/canon altogether?

After rewatching You’ve Got Mail I ended up deciding that it is most definitely not an adaption of Pride and Prejudice and I personally don’t feel like it should belong in the Jane Austen canon/multiverse.

But while this film is not a good candidate, what about the film You’ve Got Mail is a remake of? Could The Shop Around the Corner be considered?

Hmm…?

The Shop Around the Corner is not lifted from Jane Austen but a Hungarian play, Parfumerie. It has been made adapted many times: The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and You’ve Got Mail (1998) being only two of them. But just because it wasn’t taken specifically from Jane Austen, doesn’t mean it cannot be included in the canon. After all, The 12 Men of Christmas and Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade aren’t “official” Austen adaptions, but the similarities are close enough that I include them.

Let’s begin with a quick summary of the story of Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice is about a mother, Mrs. Bennet, wanting to marry off her daughters as quickly as possible, as with their father’s death they will have very little. Two men move to their community that Mrs. Bennet is intent on harpooning, no matter what. One, Mr. Bingley, falls for the elder daughter, Jane, while the other man, Mr. Darcy, is overheard insulting the second daughter, Elizabeth, by Elizabeth herself. (Ouch!) Elizabeth is wounded and when she hears a tale about how horrible Mr. Darcy is from a handsome charming man, she readily believes it. She later discovers there is more to both these men than meets the eye; as the story deals with the concepts of pride and prejudice, first impressions, whether you should be overt in how you feel or play it close to the heart, etc. It has amazing wit and characters.

The Shop Around the Corner takes place in Budapest in the shop Matuschek, and focuses mostly on two of the employees: Alfred Kralik (Jimmy Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan). Mr. Kralik is Mr. Matuschek’s oldest and best employee, the two often having more of a father-son relationship than a employer-employee. One day they are having a summer sale and a woman, Klara, comes in wanting a job as she has just been let go from her previous one. Mr. Kralik dissuades her from trying as they are not hiring, but Klara manipulates Mr. Matuschek into hiring her (she’s a really good saleswoman.) After this the two are constantly at odds as Klara is rude to Mr. Kralik, makes fun of him, and is always surly. After this treatment, Mr. Kralik does not care for Klara, and treats her with an equally surly, but professional, attitude. Meanwhile, months earlier Mr. Kralik had started writing to an anonymous woman for friendship and to to discuss literature. Over time the two have switched from literary topics to love and have fallen for each other. When Mr. Kralik goes to meet his letter lady, he discovers it is his work nemesis, Klara. When he goes in to see her, Klara dresses him down and Mr. Kralik starts wondering about his behavior. As the two continue to work side by side, Mr. Kralik tries to show Klara another side of him, hoping to win her heart as she has already captured his.

How sweet!

Even though this isn’t a true adaption of Pride and Prejudice, in every way it is so much closer to an adaption then it’s later remake, You’ve Got Mail.

First of all the interactions between the two leads in The Shop Around the Corner, is much more similar to Pride and Prejudice then You’ve Got Mail. In Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy meet at a ball and Elizabeth is very attracted to him, but later dislikes him when he says she is tolerable but not handsome enough for him. Klara also later admits in the film that when she first met Mr. Kralik she was very attracted to him, but changed her mind when he didn’t react to her the way she had hoped. Also like Elizabeth, Klara too believes lies about the male lead’s character, told to her by another employee, Ferencz Vadas.

Mr. Darcy on the other hand, didn’t really think anything of Elizabeth, as he considered all in the area to be below his notice. Later, after spending time with her when Jane is ill at Netherfield he falls for her wit and beauty. With Mr. Kralik when he first meets Klara he doesn’t like her or dislike her, he does try to help her find work by suggesting other places she could try, but he’s mostly preoccupied with his own work. Like Darcy the wit and intelligence is what gets him, as he too falls for his lady through the mind first, this case in her letters.

While there are more things at play in the film the springboard for all their fights seem to be in this moment when Mr. Kralik tries to dissuade her from applying for a job (as they don’t have any openings) while Klara not only manipulates Mr. Matuschek into hiring her, but buying worthless items they later aren’t able to sell (what Mr. Kralik had said from the beginning.)

Jimmy Stewart’s character Mr. Kralik is also more like Mr. Darcy than Tom Hanks’ Joe Fox. Joe Fox was cruel, abrasive, insulting, and rude. We see him sweet to his little kid aunt and brother but he never has a place or people he seems to fully relax, like Darcy does with Pemberley and his staff there. In The Shop Around the Corner, Kralik is very decisive, focused, has a tough exterior and can come off cold; but to those who know him, he is has a more relaxed side. We see that with his close friend Pirovitch, and then later when he hears how he is perceived by others from Klara, and tries to be less cold and curt.

Unlike Kathleen, who is not at all like Elizabeth, (having a lack of wit, obstinance, headstrongness, or initiative); Klara is very witty, strong willed, does not shy away from situations or people, is confident, and bold enough to give Mr. Kralik several dressing downs.

I really like the interaction between Mr. Kralik and Klara at the cafe. In the film the two letter writers are supposed to meet up, but Mr. Kralik ends up losing his job (a subplot is that Mr. Matuschek thinks Mr. Kralik is messing around with his wife, but he isn’t). Mr. Kralik isn’t planning on going to see her as he’s feeling depressed, but his friend convinces him to go and when he finds out it is Klara who always makes work unpleasant, he’s not pleased. At the cafe he plans to tell her his identity, her letter lover, but words are thrown around by both and Klara really let’s him know how she feels:

Alfred Kralik: There might be a lot we don’t know about each other. You know, people seldom go to the trouble of scratching the surface of things to find the inner truth.

Klara Novak: Well I really wouldn’t care to scratch your surface, Mr. Kralik, because I know exactly what I’d find. Instead of a heart, a hand-bag. Instead of a soul, a suitcase. And instead of an intellect, a cigarette lighter… which doesn’t work.

Alfred Kralik: Well, that’s very nicely put. Yes, comparing my intellect with a cigarette lighter that doesn’t work. That’s a very interesting mixture of… poetry and meanness.

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

After hearing this, Mr. Kralik takes time to self reflect and realizes that he wants to change how he is perceived by others. Now he has no plans to see Klara again, as he’s been fired, and is not quite sure what to do with the letter writing issue (as it appears she can’t stand him). However, when Mr. Matuschek discovers that he was wrong and a different employee was sleeping with his wife, he becomes so disheartened about everything that he planned to kil himself. Mr. Matuschek is stopped by Pepe the errand boy, and decides to step back from the to recuperate, calling Mr. Kralik, and hiring him back to take over the store. Now Mr. Kralik takes what was said to him by Klara and tries to be be not so cold and distant, while at the same time he also doesn’t try to show off and convince Klara or show her he’s changed-he just makes those changes.

This is much more similar to Mr. Darcy and the way he reacts to Elizabeth’s words. Mr. Darcy too took what was said, improved himself, and also never planned to interact with Elizabeth again. They only cross paths by accident and then later when he goes to support Bingley. When Bingley and Jane are engaged and he is invited to the Bennet’s home and card parties, he never tries to show off that she should be with him, he doesn’t try to take her aside, etc. He respects her wishes and only approaches her again after Lady Catherine’s rude visit and Elizabeth’s lack of promise not to marry him causes him to hope again. But even then, he tells her still cares but if she doesn’t feel that way he understands and will never speak of the matter again.

In contrast, Joe Fox is nothing like Mr, Darcy or Mr. Kralik as he not only makes it his mission to constantly run into Kathleen, but also uses his online persona and in-person persona to manipulate her.

Klara sees this change in him and realizes that she was misjudging him; and at the same time she does her own self reflection and realizes that she didn’t treat him as well as she could and a lot of their issues were caused by both sides.

So while it’s not a perfect adaption, I feel this one definitely is more of an adaption of Pride and Prejudice than You’ve Got Mail.

But while it is better than You’ve Got Mail, should it be considered a Jane Austen adaption?

After careful consideration I think not. It was very close, but it’s missing something else to really put it in the Pride and Prejudice camp. I will, however, highly recommend it for any Jane Austen fan and it will be going on my list of Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans due to its similarities and because it is an amazing film. I love it so much, I have to watch it every December at least once.

It is so romantic and I just adore how they falling in love over letters. I cannot recommend this film more. You are guaranteed to not only enjoy it but want to keep watching it again and again.

Audiobook

So do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments below!

For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to You Have Thirteen Hours in Which to Solve the Labyrinth, Before Your Baby Brother Becomes One of Us…Forever.: Labyrinth (1986)

For more Jane Austen Christmas adaptions, go to Is You’ve Got Mail Really an Adaption of Pride and Prejudice?

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Pride and Prejudice: The Game

For more Pride and Prejudice film adaptions, go to Dear William

One Final Thing I Have to Do… and Then I’ll Be Free of the Past.: Vertigo (1958)

One final thing I have to do… and then I’ll be free of the past.”

It’s time for our annual Alfred Hitchcock pick! I was actually planning on doing another film, but things happened, as they do, and I switched it out with this movie.

Now as you may know from previous posts, I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. I like that he has a variety of characters from all kinds of backgrounds and motivations, but typically they are just an average person who is caught up in an abnormal circumstance.

The use of lighting and shots is always amazing:

He also always knew how to pick a story-choosing one that is well done, mysterious, suspenseful, and adding his special macabre tendencies.

Now I love almost every film of his, there are only a few that I would watch once and that is good enough for me. And with those films, even though I don’t love them or feel a need to watch again and again I can still appreciate the direction he was going in. But there are two of his films that I hate: Vertigo and Marnie.

Both of those films have a man who is our protagonist and “hero”, who horribly mistreats and abuses the woman he “loves”. While Marnie has the interesting plot of why Marnie (Tippi Hedrun) does what she does, a twist that is leads to understanding her character; I still cannot stand Sean Connery’s character or the fact we are supposed to want them to be together when he not only blackmails Marnie into marrying him, but rapes her.

But we aren’t talking about that film today. We are talking about the other Alfred Hitchcock film I hate: Vertigo.

A lot of people claim this is Hitchcock’s best work but I wholeheartedly disagree as I think a lot of his other films could easily knock this film out as they have better pacing, a better storyline, and I think the actors and actresses did just as fine a job or better.

For me I really, really don’t like the storyline. How this film came to be was that Hitchcock really liked the book She Who Was No More, by the writing team of Boileau-Narcejac, but lost out to Henri-Georges Clouzet. When the book this film was based on, From Among the Dead, came out-he immediately went to bid for it. Im going to give a quick summary and then I will share what it is about this particular film that I cannot stand.

The film starts off with our main character John “Scottie” Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart), a cop who has left the police as he has severe fear of heights that caused him to let a criminal get away. His best friend, Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes), is in love with him but he doesn’t care for her and at time can be quite rude and cruel to her. He reveals that an old friend of theirs reached out o him, wanting to meet up.

Scotty goes to see his friend, Gavin Elster, who tells Scotty about his wife and how she is acting strange. He wants to pay Scotty to watch over her and find out what is going on. Scotty does, witnesses Madeleine (Kim Novak) doing a lot of strange things, falls in love with his he (even though it is his friend’s wife), but Madeline can’t be with him as she is possessed by her ancestor and has to kill herself.

Scotty you need to back off. This girl needs help-not a relationship.

Madeleine goes to the mission bell tower and throws herself off, Scotty is heartbroken at losing her (even though he has only known her for a very small, small, amount of time.

So the pacing of this film is extremely slow, especially as it is obvious that this is not a ghost story as Hitchcock never does that. I knew from the first time she tried to kill herself this isn’t the whole story. Either she faked her death, her husband got a body double so he could kill her, she got a body double to get her husband arrested or something, but no ghosts or demon possession.

I also can’t get behind a main character who is in love with another who is not in a clear state of mind. I mean it would be different if he loved her before, this was a traumatic event that caused this momentary break from reality, etc. But he just met this woman and he’s attracted to a person who believes they are possessed by their dead relative and keeps trying to kill themselves as something inside them wants to die. If you can’t handle a normal relationship with a mostly well adjusted person like Midge (she does paint herself like the dead woman so only mostly well adjusted), and instead your ideal type is unavailable, not in a good mental or emotional stare, and in a state of depression; you clearly need to see a counselor and figure out some things.

Scotty becomes depressed, has a breakdown ( I would argue he was already having one) and goes to a sanitarium. When he has “recovered” keeps thinking he sees Madeleine everywhere and runs into a woman that looks so much like her. The woman, Judy Barton (Kim Novak), starts dating him even though he makes it clear repeatedly that he is only interested in her because she looked like the girl he really loved. I’m like girl no! Run away! Run far away from this situation!

He then makes her change everything about her remaking the woman he really loves, although not really as he didn’t even “know” her, other than she was out of her mind and pretty. Everything about Judy must go until she is more and more like Madeleine. He even makes her dye her hair so she can be an exact replica.

Judy: If I let you change me, will that do it? If I do what you tell me, will you love me?

Scottie: Yes. Yes.

Judy: All right. All right then, I’ll do it. I don’t care anymore about me

Again so, so, so, so, so, many red flags. But does Judy leave? No, poor Judy continues to stay in this abuse and acquiesce to everything he asks because she loves him, and mistakenly believes he loves her too.

One of the worst parts for me is when he forces her to change her hair.

Judy: Couldn’t you like me, just me the way I am? When we first started out, it was so good; w-we had fun. And… and then you started in on the clothes. Well, I’ll wear the darn clothes if you want me to, if, if you’ll just, just like me.

Scottie: Judy, please, it can’t matter to you.

Judy: Oh, no!

Scottie: The color of your hair…

I hate this scene with the fury of a thousand suns as not only is completely wiping out her identity to become his perfect woman, but he went for the hair. A girl’s hair is more than hair, it is a part of their identity, a mark of their femininity, a connection to their culture and family, etc. I have never met a woman who did not care about her hair, it might not be her sole focus, they make cut it short or shave their head, but there is no way they don’t “care”.

It turns out that Judy and the Madeleine he met are actually the same person. His friend Gavin wanted to kill his wife for the insurance money and hired a double to make everyone think she was crazy and wanting to kill herself. He then hire Scotty to follow her as he needed a witness of her behavior and mental state; along with choosing Scotty as he knew with his fear of heights he won’t be able to follow her up the bell tower to stop her. Judy wants to tell him the truth, but doesn’t know how. He eventually figures it out when he sees the necklace Madeleine wore, the one that belonged to the relative possessing her. Judy spills and Scotty decides they must go back to the tower to right this wrong.

They do and Scotty throws her off the bell tower, killing her.

Critic and film analyst call this film a “story of a man who develops a romantic obsession with the image of an enigmatic woman…” but that is not what this is. It is a story of a man who is NOT romantic, and is obsessive, controlling, and abusing a woman. He insists he loves her, but he doesn’t love either woman, he just wants to control them. He actually follows the cycle below with Judy.

I also believe Hitchcock was really working through some feelings when making this film. Alfred Hitchcock married and stayed married to his wife, but he became in “love” with Ingrid Bergman after working with her. He used to make passes at her, was extremely coarse and sexually harassing her. He even spread a story that she got him into a bedroom at a party and demanded he have sex with her, but she always insisted it wasn’t true (and I believe her). But Ingrid was unattainable, at least until she divorced her husband for another man, and not just any man another director! And one she had a child with. I think Madeline represents Ingrid Bergman, a married woman he wanted and believed wanted him but couldn’t be together. That line Madeline says about how they can’t be together because someone within her won’t allow it, I think that is supposed to represent Ingrid Bergman’s pregnancy. Madeleine dies, and in a way Ingrid Bergman died as she left Hollywood.

After Bergman he turned his obsession to Grace Kelly, treating her the same way he treated Bergman. But she left him too, in 1956 she married the prince of Monaco and too left Hollywood. The the year before this film came out, in 1958, Ingrid Bergman left her husband and married another director, but that director was not Alfred Hitchcock. I think he had a lot of anger as these women he “obsessed over” but couldn’t have. Grace Kelly being Judy, a creation that betrayed him (marrying and leaving Hollywood) and too had to die in order for him to start again.

Which he does as Alfred Hitchcock then truly became Scotty as he found a new girl, another “Judy”, as he was obsessed with Tippi Hedren and controlled everything about her. He wouldn’t let anyone talk to her-unless they were filming, and abused her. She tried to talk to the studio heads but he was such a money maker they refused to do anything. And when she refused him, he blackballed her. Too bad she wasn’t able to have justice. If you would like to know more I really recommend reading Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies by Donald Spoto. Just like the horrible way Scotty treats Judy trying to make her his picture of a perfect woman, until he has no need of her, so Hitchcock treated Hedrun.

So I think this falling for a woman that can’t be with you and trying to recreate that creation only to have it not be with you again-plus the fact that the lead murders her something not seen in his previous films, most of the male leads are wrongly accused, or in Rebecca have a moral loophole. I think he was acting out his anger and passion that he felt toward the rejection/losing these women.

I think Midge is Alma, the woman that puts up with witnessing this destructive behavior and is their for the person, even though they don’t really deserve it.

And before you start thinking I’m too conspiracy with this thought one of people credited with the screenplay is Samuel A. Taylor who never read the original novel, but only was given Hitchcock’s outline of the story. So the plot we have comes solely from what Hitchcock wanted it to say.

Hmmm…

I also don’t like that our lead murders someone, this is something not seen in his previous films, as most of the male leads are wrongly accused, or as in Rebecca have a moral loophole. I think Hitchcock was acting out his anger and passion that he felt toward the rejection/losing these women.

With the content of this film, I will end on this:

I Am a Survivor of Domestic Violence and I Know Help is Out There:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

It can also look like the below cycle

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

One Day You’ll See Something You Shouldn’t: Rear Window (1954)

One day you’ll see something you shouldn’t

 

I have always wanted my birthday to be in October.

I love fall, the colors, the weather, Halloween. Even as a child I just adored the holiday and the classic monster movies.

Even though October will always be my favorite month, I do love one thing about May. I share the same birthday as my favorite actor-Jimmy Stewart.

It’s time for the annual Alfred Hitchcock film.

And as seen from the above poster, I am going to share one of my favorite of Jimmy Stewart Alfred Hitchcock movies. Rear Window is such a great film because it is so relatable. Who hasn’t glanced in a neighbor’s window when passing? Who hasn’t people watched when bored? I know, I have. In fact, one of the reasons I keep my blinds closed and curtains drawn is that I hate the idea of people watching me.

It’s a great setup and one that has since been copied over and over again, so let’s start with the original classic.

We start looking at a window who’s blinds are slowly coming up as we see all the cast names. Then out the window a little cat, people on their balconies, birds, milkman, a man shaving, neighbors across the way sleeping outside in the open air, a beautiful dancer girl stretching and making breakfast.

This movie was shot on set and included thirty-one apartments, of which twelve were fully furnished. The actors spent all their time in the apartments as many had running water, etc.

While shooting, Alfred Hitchcock worked only through Jeff’s “apartment”, everything is filmed from those set of windows to make it seem as if Jeff was watching. The actors and actresses in other apartments wore flesh-colored earpieces so that he could radio his directions to them.

We then go to Jimmy Stewart, L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies, who’s leg is in a cast, a broken and a mangled camera on the counter and all his pictures-bomb, car crash, and a negative of a woman, the actual picture gracing the cover of a magazine. I love how Alfred Hitchcock just shows us-we see he was an important photographer and the car crash is what caused the accident.

It has been six weeks since he had his leg in the cast, he has just one more week left. His editor called him because he wanted him to go on an assignment, but he can’t as he still has a cast. Jeff is angry, bored, grumpy, and hates everything.

He’s watching his neighbor across the way, a husband and wife who are arguing as he talks to his boss. He’s thinking of getting married because he’s so bored, but has second thoughts as the neighbors do not have a good relationship, the two always yelling. Afterwards, the man goes out to the garden.

Death Comes to Pemberley

In comes Stella, Thelma Ritter. She’s Jeff’s nurse and plays this role as she does every role-sassy. Stella insists that she can sense trouble and she says that she senses it in the apartment, that Jeff will see something he shouldn’t and end up in a courthouse surrounded by lawyers…

Hmm…

Jeff complains that trouble is on the horizon with Lisa Freemont (Grace Kelly), she wants them to get married but he doesn’t. She’s too perfect-beautiful, smart, talented, rich, park avenue girl, etc. She’s an uptown girl and he’s a downtown man. He doesn’t see how it will work, as he would be better with someone ordinary and regular.

Or plot!

Stella thinks he’s being dumb and should just be happy to be with Lisa. I love Stella-she’s just says what she wants and doesn’t think about it. Jeff over thinks except when he takes his pictures.

Jeff looks out at his neighbors and sees a new couple that have just been married. Alfred Hitchcock doesn’t tell you these things but shows them in the way they act, the husband taking the girl out and carrying her over the threshold so you know they are married. And then they close the blinds down

It’s night and we see Jeff sleeping ad kissing the beautiful Grace Kelly, it isn’t a dream though as that’s his girlfriend Lisa Freemont. She’s in a gorgeous dress and we see the full effect as she turns the lights on. She helped choose her own clothes and did it perfectly.

Lisa: A steal at $1,100.

Jeff: Eleven hundred? They ought to list that dress on the stock exchange.

She is gorgeously attired, as usual, but even more so as she wants to celebrate his final week in a cast. She got dinner from 21 to go-food and wine. It’s funny because that was novel then (Lisa doing it because she paid quite a bit and is an “important client”), but now every restaurant has a service like that.

Lisa shares her day-clothes, lunch, drinks, breakfast, money, money, money money. I can see why Jeff doesn’t think they will work, I’m totally with him. They seem to have very little in common. You can see why she cares for him though, he’s very different and treats her different from probably the other men in her life. I wonder how they met…oh yes-the magazine earlier with the picture of the woman was a fashion one.

Jeff looks out the window and sees a woman all dressed up and acting as if she is on a date-but she’s alone. Aw…it makes me wonder-do you think she is a widow and misses being in a relationship so she reenacts it, or do you think she’s just alone? A widow makes more sense to me, or even if it is her boyfriend that died.

They look at Miss Torso (the ballerina) she’s beautiful and has a lot of men over-Jeff thinks she’s happy, but Lisa isn’t convinced.

Jeff: She’s like a queen bee with her pick of the drones.

Lisa: I’d say she’s doing a woman’s hardest job: juggling wolves.

Jeff looks at the apartment where the husband and wife fight a lot. She’s always sick in bed, but strangely today the husband made her food and seems to be taking more care. He’s on the phone we see him in the window in one room and she in the other, she gets out of bed and is yelling-upset. They go into the other room and she is freaking out crying, laughing, hmmmm.

Hmm…

Another apartment a man is trying to compose something, Lisa loves the music. Lisa tries to build the romantic mood, but Jeff is just shooting her down. I get he’s trying to get her to leave him, break it off, but its really rude. Jeff then tries to break it off, but Lisa says no.

Lisa is a bit of a jerk in the relationship too, she goes on and on because she’s angry and won’t let Jeff. try and share his thoughts. He tries to get her to see how different they are, and I like this. She’s in obvious denial about his life and thinks if he can talk over here she will listen. This feels so real-she loves him and wants to be with him and doesn’t want to give it up.

Awwww. Eventually, Lisa’s had enough. She’s hurt, puts on her gloves and pashima, and leaves-good-bye. Now that he hears the finality in her voice he doesn’t want her to leave. Lisa hears it, and reneges. She’ll be back tomorrow night.

Jeff: When am I going to see you again?

Lisa: [angry] Not for a long time…[softeningat least not until tomorrow night.

We see Jeff thinking. That’s what he wanted, good-bye? Right?

That night he hears a scream and a crash. He wakes up later to rain and sees the couple who sleep outside hurrying in. But then the couple earlier-the man and wife who were fighting, he leaves with suitcases. He’s gone for a while and returns with the suitcase. Then the man goes out again with the suitcase, in the rain…Weird.

Hmm…

Why would he do that tonight of all nights, and in the rain? And why twice?

Hmmm…

Jeff tries to stay up, he looks a the apartment, all the blinds are down and no sign of the wife. Miss Torso is back, screaming at someone on the other side of the door-upset.  Her date looked like he was trying to push his way in.

Ugh…

The man comes back with the suitcase. It’s very odd, very odd. And later in the morning he is at it again, but it looks like a woman is with him?

Hmm…

The next day Jeff tells Stella about seeing him going out with his salescase at 3 in the morning. Stella laughs it off-and comes up with explanations, but i don’t think so. That’s highly suspicious.

Hmm…

They watch the salesman, but Jeff makes them scoot back so the Salesman can’t see them, and I love the transition from light to darkness.They notice that the salesman is looking at the dog who was digging around where the salesman buried something. He then notices the salesman cleaning out his sample case and putting all the samples back in. Then what did he have in their before? Jeff scoots back so his head in shadow and watches him with the binoculars, changing them out for his telephoto lens.

The salesman is wrapping up a butcher knife and small saw in newspaper and sleeping on the couch. Why isn’t he going in his bedroom?

Hmm…?

That night the dog is again digging in that spot, but is taken inside by his owner. You know I like that they show these scenes only in the morning and night, as during the day they are gone working. I never noticed that before.

Jeff shares his suspicion of the neighbor with Lisa, but Lisa isn’t interested she wants to continue to kiss. The Salesman hasn’t gone in the room where is wife is all day and he didn’t go to work that day.

Jeff: I’ve seen bickering and family quarrels and mysterious trips at night, and knives and saws and ropes, and now since last evening, not a sign of the wife. How do you explain that?

Lisa: Maybe she died.

Jeff: Where’s the doctor? Where’s the undertaker?

Jeff thinks that he must have killed her and cut the body up. He’s been gone for a long time but comes back and finally goes in the room with rope. I’m totally with Jeff, it’s weird that she’s an invalid in need of constant care, but he hasn’t gone in there until now. Lisa thinks he is being crazy and tries to reason him out of it.

But then Lisa looks and she starts thinking too. They see that he has a suitcase tied up and the mattress all rolled up. Lisa starts thinking about what he says and then asks him to start at the beginning.

Lisa: Tell me exactly what you saw and what you think it means.

This is really cute as they finally have something in common. Lisa goes to do the legwork and finds out that they are Mr. & Mrs. Lars Thorwald. It’s so cute they are going to investigate this “crime”.

Time to get on the case!

Jeff calls his friend Detective Doyle (Wendell Corey), but he’s not interested. He is finally convinced to come over and talk later when he has some free time.

Ugh! We need you now!

Now Stella is all into it and she’s also trying to help solve it. She’s convinced that Thorwald did it in the bathtub. Men come into Thorwald’s apartment and cart the trunk away, Stella runs off to investigate the name of the freight truck, I love how they are so into it.

From Midsomer Murders

Detective Doyle isn’t convinced about there having been a murder. He says all the same things Lisa did, it’s too obvious to do it the way Jeff is saying. He says that he won’t do an “official report” but will poke around a bit and heads out. Not helpful at all, but Jeff is distracted when he sees the dog digging in the spot Thorwald buried something again. Hmm…what is in there?

Hmmm…

Jeff does see his friend talking to the landlord. It turns out Thorwald signed a 6 months lease (completed 5.5 months), he and the wife “left” at 6 am, they aren’t close to any neighbors, he doesn’t drunk, is the perfect renter, etc. Jeff asks who said they left at 6 am, the landlord said that Thorwald told him that he put his wife on a train.

Hmm…

Jeff tries to get him to investigate and search the apartment, but he tries to explain to Jeff he can’t do that. Oh, Jeff-he has to have a search warrant. Detective Doyle decides to leave, but shares a post card with Jeff that was in Mr. Lars box-it is from his wife saying that she is with her sister.

Jeff is disappointed but doesn’t give up. It just doesn’t jell with him.

I don’t trust Thorwald.

Jeff uses his telephoto lens to watch  different people. Miss Lonelyhearts, the woman with no date is getting ready, but drinking a bit. Quite a bit. She leaves that night.

The composer is having  party with pretty ladies. Miss Torso is practicing. Miss Lonelyhearts goes across the street to the diner and then Thorwald comes into view. He just looks mean and like a murderer The glasses gives his eyes a squinty look, plus the way he walks-creepy. A great actor, he does so much in just his movements.

Alfred Hitchcock supposedly hired Raymond Burr to play Lars Thorwald because he could be easily made to look like his old producer David O. Selznick, who Hitchcock hated for interfering.

Jeff picks up his phone and calls the Detective’s home. He asks his wife to send him over if she hears from him, LOL before cellphones. Thorwald has his wife’s purse-weird as wouldn’t she take that with her. He’s on the phone long distance as he goes through the bag, all full of jewelry. Why wouldn’t she take her jewelry-necklaces, and rings. Most women who wear jewelry would. Hmm… He hides the purse with everything under his coat and jacket on the bed.

Hmmm…

Lisa comes over and Jeff points Lars out sharing everything. She finds it to be very telling that he asked someone for an opinion on his wife’s jewelry-someone not his wife. Lisa shares that she has been thinking about this all day. A woman has a favorite handbag, one she uses before the others-if she were to go on a trip, she wouldn’t leave it behind. She also points out that a woman doesn’t throw her jewelry in her purse where it would get twisted up. Lisa thinks the woman wasn’t Mrs. Thorwald, but just a woman-the soon to be Mrs. Thorwald.

Oh, wow…

Now they have something in common  they have grown closer together. Lisa plans to stay all night, and Lisa shows that she can live out of one suitcase, she put all her stiff in n ovenight case the size of a medium handbag. The dialogue is cute as well. She says in all detective literature you need a girl friday to help save the day. She’s not wrong.

Detective Doyle comes over sees the suitcase and hears Lisa and uses his detective skills to put it together. He comes in and looks at the room, and it is clear that he is hooked as well, not convinced but intrigued. Detective Doyle shares that Thorwald is not a murderer. He can’t explain everything , but the railroad station-ticket was bought, wife delivered, etc. Lisa tries to argue with him, but Detective Doyle is against women’s logic. He found the trunk and it was full of the wife’s clothes. That was weird-Jeff questions it, but Doyle shrugs off that she probably left him.

Such a man!

I love the look of disgust Lisa gives the detective, your misyoginy is not welcome here, she walks over and stands by Jeff-Doyle geting the hint to leave. Boom.

Miss Lonelyhearts brought a man home with her, hmm. He grabs her, and she is not interested. She slaps him ad throws him out. She falls down crying. Aww,

Jeff starts wondering if what he is doing is wrong. Lisa lets the blinds down as she wants to be his sole focus.

Lisa changes her clothes, but is interrupted by a scream. The woman with the dog is freaking out because her dog is dead-strangled, neck broken.

Miss Lonelyhearts tucks the little dog carefully in the basket. His owner cries and yells at them all for being horrible neighbors.

Woman on Fire Escape: [the woman’s dog has just been killed from a broken neck; screaming in distraught at the other neighbors] WHICH ONE OF YOU DID IT? WHICH ONE OF YOU KILLED MY DOG? You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘neighbors’! Neighbors like each other, speak to each other, care if somebody lives or dies! BUT NONE OF YOU DO!

Jeff sees it and knows he is right-Thorwald murdered his wife and this dog. In the whole courtyard one person wasn’t surprised and didn’t come to the window like the others did-Thorwald.

They see Thorwald cleaning the bathroom-Stella is still convinced that he killed her in the bathroom and the blood splattered. Jeff looks at the yard and notices something is not right.

He looks through old pictures and notices that the flowers are shorter-he buried something in the garden. Lisa thinks it is the body-but Stella tells her that a full body wouldn’t fit. He buried something and the dog kept something important is in there.

Lisa: What’s he doing? Cleaning house?

Jeff: He’s washing and scrubbing down the bathroom walls.

Stella: Must’ve splattered a lot. [both Jeff and Lisa look at Stella with disgustCome on, that’s what were all thinkin’. He killed her in there, now he has to clean up those stains before he leaves.

Lisa: Stella… your choice of words!

Stella: Nobody ever invented a polite word for a killin’ yet.

Jeff: Those two yellow zinnias at the end, they’re shorter now. Now since when do flowers grow shorter over the course of two weeks? Something’s buried there.

Lisa: Mrs. Thorwald!

Stella: You haven’t spent much time around cemeteries, have you? Mr. Thorwald could hardly bury his wife’s body in plot of ground about one foot square. Unless he put her in standing on end, in which case he wouldn’t need the knives and saw.

They notice that Thorwald is getting ready to flee and need to keep him there until they get more evidence. They write a note asking “What have you done with Mrs. Thornwald’s body?”

Jeff writes the message and Lisa delivers it. I love the use of the windows, angles, etc. Alfred Hitchcock knew what he was doing. The telephoto lens, binoculars, etc.

Thornwall looks for who left the note but Lisa is faster hiding downstairs.

Stella sees Miss Lonelyhearts taking sedatives and she looks to be taking quite a bit of them. She starts talking about it with Jeff, but they are distracted with Lisa’s return as they watch him pack up the handbag. Jeff starts thinking about the jewelry-he had three rings when he was looking at them. What if it is a wedding ring?

Lisa: The last thing Mrs. Thorwald would leave behind would be her wedding ring. Stella, do you ever leave yours at home?

Stella: The only way somebody would get that would be to chop off my – finger. Let’s go down to the garden and find out what’s buried there.

Lisa: Why not? I always wanted to meet Mrs. Thorwald.

Stella and Lisa want to go digging in the garden, but Jeff is afraid for them. He decides he needs to get Thorwald out and calls him, aw before star69

He calls Thorwald and threatens him, telling him to meet him-blackmail. Thorwald insists he knows not what he is talking about, but the threat of the police sends him going. Jeff watches while the ladies head down. I love that the ladies are the ones investigating, it’s fun take, different from what you usually would see. You know like Oracle and Batman and Robin.

Stella starts digging and Jeff calls Doyle again. He isn’t home but speaks to the baby-sitter. Jeff sees Miss Lonelyhearts writing and thinks Stella was wrong about killing herself, but she could be writing a suicide note. Stella finds nothing in the garden and Lisa takes off to search the house, she climbs the fire escape and sneaks in a window in her full gown and high heels. She digs through the bag, but no jewelry.

Stella goes back to Jeff’s apartment and distracts him from watching for Thorwald as she sees Miss Lonelyhearts and tells Jeff to call the police to get her help, but then the music stops Miss Lonelyhearts from killing herself, but oh no-they forgot about Thornwald, he’s arrived home and Lisa is still in the house she tries to to hide while Jeff calls the police telling them she is being assaulting and for her to get over here ASAP.

That’s not good.

Across the way, Lisa is telling Jeff something, hiding her hand behind her back. Thorwald starts attacking her while Stella and Jeff are at a loss of what to do. Thornwald turn off the lights to do the deed, when the police luckily arrives.

They speak to Lisa while Stella and Jeff are watching.

Lisa points to her fingers, and she has a wedding ring on. Thorwald looks up-he noticed her pointing and realizes that someone must be watching.

OMG so creepy!!!

Creepy…

Jeff tries to scrap some money together to get Lisa out of jail.

Stella: How much do we need to bail Lisa from jail?

Jeff: Well, this is first offense burglary, that’s about $250. I have $127.

Stella: Lisa’s handbag. Uh… 50 cents. I got $20 or so in my purse.

Jeff: And what about the rest?

Stella: When those cops at the station see Lisa, they’ll even contribute.

Doyle calls Jeff back and Jeff tells him that Lisa is in jail. Doyle isn’t listening at first, they had been out, but after hearing about Lisa Doyle’s listening.

Jeff looks up and notices that Thorwald isn’t in his apartment, The phone rings and he thinks it is Doyle but no one answers….his face says it all-Thorwald.

That’s not good.

And Jeff has a broken leg!!!!

And an unlocked door!

Jef turns and waits, aaahhhh I love this and hate this-the waiting, just waiting, waiting. You know he’s coming but when?

Jeff looks around for a weapon but has nothing. He can’t even stand to hide or get something. All he has is his camera and flash cubes.

The room is dark and we see nothing, but hear the foosteps until he charges in, the light on his glasses it is soo creepy.

Here he comes, ahhhh.

Creepy voice.

Creepy…

Jeff does all he can and takes his pictures, stunning Thorwald. Now those old flashcubes are not like today’s flash. Today’s flash hurts but those were way more intense. Thorwald tries to strangle him while the police and everyone is across the street. They hear Jeff scream and Thorwald tries to throw Jeff out the window. He’s hanging on by a thread but thankfully the other neighbors hear and call out, the police running, He falls out the window but the fall is partially broken by the police.

Thorwalds confesses, his wife was dumped in the east river. Stella asks about the garden and it turns out something was buried in the garden but he took it out and put it in a hatbox. What do you think it is? A head? teeth? The saw? The knife?

Hmmm…

So we get to see what happens to the rest of the neighbors. Miss Lonelyhearts got with the composer. The couple who sleeps outside has a new dog. Miss Torso has her love return, a military guy. The newlyweds are arguing as the husband quit his job. And then we see Jeff, who has two broken legs as the result of his adventures.

Lisa is in a shirt and loafers and reading a book, Behind the Himalayas, although after Jeff sleeps-back to Bazaar. Trying to show Jeff she can live in his world.

At the end of the film there is a special thank you to Georgine Darcy? Of course you know where my mind goes, it sounds very similar to Georgiana Darcy.

I looked it up and that’s Miss Torso. I wonder if her parents were Jane Austen fans. Let’s do some research…

I don’t see anything that confirms or denies it. Oh well.

For more Rear Window, go to I Can Keep Up With You: Rear Window (1954)

For more Alfred Hitchcock, go to Last Night I Dreamt I Went to Manderley Again: Rebecca (1940)

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more Grace Kelly, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

For more Raymond Burr, go to You Don’t Know Which Way to Turn, There’s No Place to Hide, Nowhere to run…: The Blue Gardenia (1953)

I Can Keep Up With You: Rear Window (1954)

Most Romantic Moment #11

Rear Window (1954)

So I know you are probably thinking:

crazy

An Alfred Hitchcock movie as romantic? Well, keep reading and you will see.

L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies (Jimmy Stewart) is a magazine photographer and has traveled everywhere and photographed everything taking risks to get all kinds of thrilling shots. One such amazing photo caused him to break his leg so now he sits at home recuperating. Not one to enjoy idle time, he looks out the rear window of his apartment and glances the lives of others.

He starts watching one neighbor closely, and the strange way he is acting, believing that he murdered his wife.

Hmm…

He gets his girlfriend and nurse to help him investigate. But will this stay a simple amusement or turn deadly?

Most Romantic Moment: I Won’t Let You Get Away

**Spoiler Alert**

So throughout the whole film Jeff and his girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) are in a conflict. She wants to get married, but Jeff doesn’t think they are right for each other. She’s a Park Avenue princess who can afford to spend thousands of dollars on dresses she’ll wear once. He a humble photographer who treks the globe living out of a suitcase.

Lisa has tried to convince him it could be otherwise, but no dice.

Jeff: She’s too perfect, she’s too talented, she’s too beautiful, she’s too sophisticated, she’s too everything but what I want.

Stella: Is, um, what you want something you can discuss?

If you look at all her clothes they are expensive, feminine, something you can’t really do something in but just look pretty. That is until the end. After Jeff just accusing her of being fluff and having no substance-she proves her verve and that she is of sterner stuff by going in and investigating the man they suspect of murder in order to find evidence.

Wow

And at the end we see her in something very different.

We have seen that Lisa is someone who can keep up with Jeff and as classiq says, “the casual outfit Lisa wears at the end of the movie was Hitchcock’s way to suggest she was the sporty type, Jeff’s type, after all.”

If a women like that is willing to go from her amazing frothy creations to something like loafers, jeans, and a shirt-you know she loves you.

To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

For the previous post, go to I Won’t Let You Get Away: Holiday Inn (1942)

For more Alfred Hitchcock, go to I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

For more Grace Kelly, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

 

Work Will Always Be There But You Might Not Be: The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

Romantic Moment #4

The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) 

I love this film so much. It has Charlton Heston, Jimmy Stewart, and is directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It is fantastic! I could watch it over and over.

Brad Braden (Charlton Heston) is the circus manager of the Ringling Bros. He is all business never having time for anyone or anything not related to the circus.

This upsets his girlfriend, Holly (Betty Hutton) a trapeze artist, who wants more romance.

While he’s always busy, she spends the time she wishes they could be together, working hard to become the star of the show. Unfortunately for her, Brad has just added The Amazing Sebastian, a famous trapeze artist.

They compete with each other for center ring, but that isn’t the only thing that Sebastian is trying for-he also is trying to get with Holly.

Will adding The Amazing Sebastian bring more money and engagements for the circus? Or will it just cause strife between Brad and Holly? Will he focus on his girlfriend, or will he lose her by concentrating all his efforts on the circus?

Most Romantic Moment: Work Will Always Be There But You Might Not Be

***Spoiler Alert***

So this moment comes at the end of the film. There is a lot of action and things that happened in the film. Where this is centered, a Russian Elephant trainer has tried to rob the Circus train to get money to impress a girl, while his partner is trying to rob the Circus train to get back at Brad for shutting down his rigged games.

Wow

The trainer has had a change of heart and tried to stop his partner, but everything still ends in disaster. Animals and people are injured or killed. Sets and props are destroyed. Everything is in shambles.

Brad himself barely makes it, having a rare blood type and needing a transfusion. But all that makes him realize that he loves Holly and needs to show her more. That his work and the circus will always, always, be there-but life is fleeting and his could have been over.

He finally has decided that he is going to make time for Holly, romance her, and put her first. Even though, Holly is now busy trying to get the circus together.

Aw!

So romantic that he realizes how important she is. 🙂

To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

For the previous post, go to I Want to Recreate Your Perfect Christmas: Holiday in Handcuffs (2007)

hearts banner

For more on The Greatest Show on Earth, go to The Greatest Show on Earth

For more Charlton Heston, Oh, Moses, Moses: Happy 60th Anniversary to The Ten Commandments