Made at a time when directors were still getting used to the innovation of sound in films, Rich and Strange has many of the strengths of the silent period and some of the weaknesses. The opening of the film is, perhaps, one of its high points - a brilliantly choreographed, wordless sequence of workers leaving the office and travelling home on the Tube. Here you can clearly see the mastery of Hitchcock at work. Another plus is the delightful performance of the beautiful Joan Barry, one of the earliest Hitchcock blondes. Elsewhere, the film is let down by a weak script with odd narrative jumps. Hitchcock's extensive and imaginative use of models can be magically charming (a liner passing through the Suez Canal) or just daft (a Chinese junk that looks as if it's 10cm high and made by a 5 year old). Sensitive viewers should be aware of a rather jarring scene in which a cat comes to a gruesome end while Hitchcock underlines an unfortunate stereotype about Chinese people.
The picture quality is largely great though the digital remastering makes some of the deep scratches look rather odd. The sound is very good for a film of this period, though some of it is indistinct and in one scene it is terrible.
Other than a limited stills gallery the only extra is a very dull, subtitled introduction to the film by Noel Simsolo. Not a patch on the quality of the extras provided by Universal on their Hitchcock discs.
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