Top critical review
"I guess i'm not the lone wolf i thought i was"
on 17 April 2016
A well made little adventure from Alfred Hitchcock. Grace Kelly (Rear Window) and Cary Grant (North by Northwest) are introduced as the handsome lovers, she's far too young really for Grant but there you go...
The Blu Ray has lovely colours and filming locations all along the French coast. The film is really pure escapism, showing off the lovely homes and countryside, everywhere seems bathed in sunlight. The Blu Ray makes the picture look sublime too, parts look like they were filmed yesterday. The picture is Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 (Full screen) and the sound is English: Dolby TrueHD 2.0, there are subtitles too for the hard of hearing.
Back when it was released to the British and American public foreign trips abroad were an unusual luxury, one reserved for the very rich. These days even someone on £17,000 could probably afford two weeks in France every year, as a result the locations and settings are probably not quite as glamorous as they once seemed to audience.
The tone is light and the score is playful, the film tries to blend a thriller and a love story into one. Towards the end though the lightness starts to work against it, if the protagonist doesn't care then why should I? Grant too often comes off as cool & aloof, he rarely seems all that bothered about either getting the girl or catching the thief during certain bits. A few scenes are quite obviously shot on sound stages with map paintings, these are a little unconvincing. The pace of the film is also a problem is slows down so much about half way through that it practically stops for 30 minutes, with no real character or story development. One character who is meant to be a teenager is actually played by a 26 year old, she has to deliver dialgoue to a 25 year old about how old that person is compared to her. The results are again more than a little unconvincing. How hard would it have been to have found a 18 or 19 yr old to play that part?
Overall thanks to Hitchcock's direction it is still a classy film, but one that lacks his usual strong script and built up suspense. I knew there was something slightly off right from the opening credits which are done against a shop window for about 3 minutes, nothing all that clever or interesting to it.