tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
[personal profile] tilly_stratford
But if you take her out
Remember she can break your heart in two
But she'll put it back, glue it together, make it look brand new
You see she's a very extraordinary sort of girl


So yesterday I watched Hitchcock's Secret Agent, and...

Well you know John Gielgud, right? When he wasn't doing Shakespeare, he portrayed these lovely elderly no-nonsense, snarky characters, like Hobson in Arthur and stealing the show as Charles' father in Brideshead Revisited?



This is John Gielgud:



I feel a bit conflicted about this.

Maybe you think it's a bit odd of me to be weirded out by this, when I spend the rest of the week oohing and aahing at Hollywood actors that, at best, are old enough to be my grandfather. You know, if they didn't die forty years ago. When I started this blog years ago I was completely enamoured with young Paul McCartney, you know.

I'm perfectly able to distinct the young, handsome persons from their present counterparts (I have no desire to snog the present Paul McCartney for instance), unless, like with Gielgud here, I'm first introduced to their newer works.

Watching this Hitchcock movie, with Gielgud as the titular secret agent, every time my eyes glanced slightly downwards the sirens started howling in my head "That's JOHN GIELGUD's arse you're checking out you know!" (but seriously, either all English actors of a certain age in the 30s had spectactular behinds, or there was something glorious going on in the trouser fashion department that we seriously need to bring back as soon as possible). And I mean, those cheekbones!

So yes, I'm as puzzled as you are.

But as for the overall movie, I wanted to watch it because of Peter Lorre (who portrays this great dandy slag and is great fun - and not the villain for once. Unsympathetic as hell, but not the villain). But generally I'm pretty certain it's the weakest I've seen so far of Hitchcock's movies. I mean, even the silent movie The Lodger was many times as suspenseful as this one.

I quite liked the dialogue though. And not even the plot bits, just how everybody flirted and teased and were so utterly charming all the time.

Also watched City Lights for the the first time. Maybe I'd gotten too high expectations after hearing about it all these years, but I thought it was a bit unsatisfying. "The best ending in movie history"? In the end I thought the flower girl showed herself to be undeserving of the Tramp's sacrifice, and that just bothered me.

Whoops.

Date: 2009-10-24 05:10 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yep, guess I was late on that other post, since you watched City Lights already. You can just ignore my other comment then :D
I watched it knowing nothing about it, so maybe that's why it blew me away so much. I really don't know.

By the way, I love your blog and am so glad I came across it while searching for information on Buster Keaton strangely enough...and as I side note, I think he's gorgeous, too! :D

Sorry if I seem like some anonymous weirdo, you can call me Silvi ;)

Date: 2010-01-07 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grannygrump42.livejournal.com
I loved the ending of "City Lights" -- I thought Chaplin left the ending totally ambiguous. He left it to you to interpret -- or to wonder. Does she reach out to him? Does she still love him? I think you need to see "City Lights" with at least one other person so you can talk about the ending afterward.

"City Lights" was the first Chaplin film I "got". I watched at least half a dozen shorts, in groups in a theater and solo on my computer. They did nothing for me. I couldn't even sit through "Tillie's Punctured Romance". But "City Lights" grabbed me.

I still love Buster best.

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