Tag Archive: Fontaine


The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon 2018, finally comes to an End!

So the month of Halloween comes to an end, as does this Blogathon. As promised on 1st October, Year 2018; even though the Blogathon was allocated from 20th to 22nd October 2018; due to time constrains and various other reasons, as some bloggers might not be able to contribute a post, within those dates; I am doing a special post today (Halloween night) for the Latecomers.

So here are the contributions from the Fashionably Late 🙂 :-

Battling my own stress and depression, withdrawal symptoms (of getting off and re-getting on stress medication), going through a heavy headed flu (practically this whole month), adverse effects of diabetic meds making things worse (don’t get me started on people here, testing my patience to the limit, the root cause of my psychological distress, in turn resulting in additional physical ailments); this month of October hasn’t been very nice to me (nor has this year really, but this month feels extra worse), anyway this country has never been good to me; so am extra grateful to my fellow Bloggers, for helping me make this Blogathon a success.

A Very Big THANK YOU, to all of you, my dear Blog-pals. Despite going through a lot of pitfalls, being able to get this Blogathon done, thanks to your help, brings me some sort of contentment. Without your lovely contributions, this wouldn’t have worked. If possible, I’d like to make The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon an annual event (hopefully in a better environment in the future), on No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen.

As I couldn’t contribute a Blog-post for my own Blogathon, I thought I’d share some links, of my past posts, related to October Births :-

Once again, Thank You guys n’ gals !!

Nuwan Sen

P.S. Also see other participants with their contributions, for Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3, from The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon (DAY 1), The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon (DAY 2) and The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon (Day 3), respectively.

 

TWEETS ( 2018)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
!

🧡

Advertisements

Welcome to a New Month, and to The October Birthdayz Blogathon 🍁 2018! 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

October, is the tenth month of the Year, signifying the Orangey month of autumn in the Northern hemisphere, the orangish shades of maple leaves, associated with fall, and of course, the month of Halloween (with it’s Jack-o’-lanterns, carved out of orange pumpkins). Though Halloween’s roots originate in Christianity, All Hallows’ Eve, today (pretty much like Christmas), it’s more of a fun filled (non-religious) holiday, especially in the Northern American continent.

The month of October, also happens to be the birth month, of my sister, who actually lives in ‘Modern Day’ Halloween country – The United States of America (a.k.a. TrumpLand) itself. She’s been living there, residing in Princeton, New Jersey, USA, since May 2015. So, dedicating this Blogathon to my baby sister; who’ll complete the 38th year of her life, this month; I decided to host, The, very first, ❝October Birthdayz Blogathon! So in a sense, this Blogathon, is my gift to Sachinta’s upcoming 38th Birthday. Happy Birthday Sis!

So, my fellow bloggers/blog-pals/movie maniacs/film fanatics/cinema enthusiasts/bookish bums, you are all welcome. The Blogathon shall start on the 20th of October (my sister’s birthday) and end on 22nd of October. BUT, there are no hard and fast rules, as to when you can post. You can post, any day within the month, of October, effective immediately. So, even if you end up being fashionably late, do not fret, I shall do a special post for latecomers, on 31st October (Halloween night).

Though there are no hard and fast rules, on what or when you can post (it does have to be within this month), this Blogathon is to do with Movies, Movies and Movies. So below are some terms and conditions, on how to post, on any birthday associated with the Month of October. You are welcome to post, one or more, write-ups; as many as you like.

Some Simple Rules:

  • You are allowed to write about any famous or notorious personality, born in the month of October. But the write-up has to do with films (either Big Screen cinematic marvels or Small Screen movies made for television). So if you want to write about a non-film personality, the blog-post should be about a bio-pic based on his/her life, or a movie based on a true incident, where this particular ‘October born’ person played a pivotal part in (in which case, it has to be a charter-sketch of this famed person).
    [E.g. Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt & Bonnie Parker, were born in the Month of October]
  • If you want to work on an author/playwright/poet, again it should either be a film based on their lives, or (in this case) a film adaptation of one of their works. BUT, it has to be a good movie (doesn’t matter how faithful the movie is to it’s source material). No judgemental and unoriginal clichés of “Books are better than Movies”, please. A good movie has to stand on it’s own merit, whether it’s based on a book or not. You are welcome to do an interesting compare and contrast (in which case both the book and movie ought to be critically acclaimed, or at least you should love both, the book as a book, and the movie as a movie)
    [E.g. Virgil, John Keats, Oscar Wilde & Joan Harrison, were born in the Month of October]
  • If you are writing on a movie starring an actor/actress, then it ought to be more of a character analysis, played by the ‘October born’ star. If there are more than one person born in October, appearing in the same movie, the review can be about the movie, but please focus more on the characters played by the ‘October born’ stars.
  • If it’s a film of an ‘October born’ director, then a movie review is more than enough, yet attributing to his unique directing techniques, as to how well the director crafted it.
  • If you want to speak about a cinematographer/music composer/playback singer/costume designer/set designer (in other words, a non-actor/actress or director, attached to the movie), please highlight this ‘October born’ person’s contribution, besides the film critique.
    [E.g. Costume Designer, Edith Head, and Music Composer, S.D. Burman, were born in the Month of October]
  • You are welcome to write about the personal life of an ‘October born’ film personality, instead of a movie they worked on, if you wish. Again, it ought to be a non-judgemental, non-sarcastic, sympathetic look at a person’s life and career. Exceptions are allowed, if the particular person was highly notorious (like a Nazi spy or a serial killer or something, who was/is a famous film personality).
  • If your, or your own Blog’s, birthday falls in the Month of October, you are welcome to include a bit about yourself/your Blog, within a film context.
  • Duplicates are allowed, but I would prefer, there were none, as there is a vast array of people born within the 31 days of October.
  • You are welcome to write about recently released movies and film personalities of the 21st century, as well; BUT I’d prefer if you were write about a movie/celebrity from the past centuries. There are so many forgotten gems of the past; from Roundhay Garden Scene (1888) (the oldest surviving moving picture – private family footage) to the Lumière Brothers 10 short films released in 1895 (the very first ‘Big Screen’ cinematic releases) to more contemporary greats from post war 40’s to the 1990’s; that need more exposure, and should to be spoken of.
  • Once you have decided, please mention what you shall work on, as a comment below; and once you’ve blogged about a film related subject matter, for this Blogathon, kindly post the link, as a comment below.

Kindly share my post, and invite other bloggers, to join in. And, last but not least, please help yourself to one or more, out of the 10, banners below, I specially made for the Blogathon.

Thank you and Enjoy

Nuwan Sen of No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen

Blogathon Banners

This is the second time I am hosting a Blogathon. The very first Blogathon (and the only one till now) I hosted, was back in September 2014 (See my Blog posts – The Essential 60’s Blogathon, The Essential 60’s Blogathon : Dr Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) and The Essential 60’s Blogathon finalé from September/October 2014). But it wasn’t much of a success, as only four Bloggers (including me) took part in it. This year I hope it shall be more of a success, as I have a bigger blogging community now. Of course, even though am happily hosting this Blogathon, I shan’t take part it myself.

One of the main reasons, I shan’t work on a post for this Blogathon, is, ’cause am very sick (physically, mentally and otherwise). Since, I’ve been working on these banners, and a few more pictures/collages, within the last six days, to host this Blogathon, this month, I am forcing myself to somehow get this post done today, with a heavy sinus filled head, as the forces of Lankan nature are acting against me getting anything done. Am feeling quite exhausted, parched, dehydrated, with tired eyes, a cold and heaty throat and chest, as we speak; and writing this in a sort of a daze. I was down with the flu, when this year started, and am just as sick, as this beautiful month starts. I wonder whether am having an allergic reaction to the new diabetic meds I’ve been on for the last two weeks. I need to speak to my endocrinologist.

Anyway, I hope you shall all take part in this, my fellow Blog-pals and lovers of everything cinematic. I shall do three special posts (including your links of the posts you do) between 20th & 22nd October 2018, and a fourth n’ final one, for latecomers, on the 31st of October, 2018.

Also check out my twitter handle (https://twitter.com/Nuwansenfilmsen) I plan to post an  ❝October Birthdayz❞ special, on twitter, each day of of this month, as well.

Thank you in advance for your participation

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense 🧡

Last night I dreamt of the Ocean, with it’s fierce waves splashing against the humongous rocks, in the coastal county of Cornwall (with apologies to Daphne du Maurier).

Joan Fontaine & Laurence Olivier

Joan Fontaine & Laurence Olivier

Rebecca synopsis
Rebecca is dead, and we never see her throughout the movie/book. Yet, the essence of her presence, is felt throughout.

A widower, Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) meets a naïve, nameless, paid companion (Joan Fontaine), to a rich socialite, Mrs. Van Hopper (Florence Bates), in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and the two get hitched.

Once their honeymoon comes to end, so does their stress free, romantic, happy life together, when they reach Manderley; de Winter’s ancestral home, in Cornwall. The spirit of his first/late wife is alive within every inch of the mansion, every brick and stone, and the household staff. Especially through the eerie Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), the housekeeper.

Plus Rebecca’s death is submerged with a mysterious undertone.

One of the most interesting thing to note, about this story, a novel written by Daphne du Maurier, and adapted to the big screen by Alfred Hitchcock, is the fact that, the character of Rebecca, is non-existent, and the existing character of the second Mrs. De Winter (played by Fontaine), has no first name, and no née name (prior to marrying Maxim de Winter).
Rebecca Beach 3The Beach, the Ocean and the vast Seascape
The beach in the movie, is showcased as, being both, beautiful and frightening. Aesthetic and ferocious. Soothing and haunting.
Rebecca Beach 1The film begins, as does the novel, with the famous du Maurier line, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”, which is now in ruins. And then the film flashes back, and we are in the French Riviera, with the sea waters beating up on the rocks, where a middle-aged man is standing on the edge of a cliff, staring, with lost look on his face, down at the ocean below, as if ready to jump. And a young woman, at once shouts, “Don’t!! Stop!!”. This is the first encounter of Mr. de Winter, and his future/second wife. So the couple’s first meeting itself is at a Beach resort, in Monaco. Soon the two start enjoying each other’s company, travelling around the beautiful costal stretch, of the Côte d’Azur. Yet, there are times he seems lost, especially when he speaks of Manderley. Once, she tries to change the subject, by speaking how warm and lovely the waters in the French Riviera are, and that in England it’s hard to imagine going for a swim, until June. Then, she mentions a man drowned once, unaware that Rebecca, Maxim de Winter’s first wife, supposedly was killed in a drowning accident, whilst sailing; which obviously only further agitates Mr. de Winter. In the beginning of the movie itself, we see how the sea is represented positively, as beautiful, breathtaking, scenic, warm and inviting; yet also in a negative light, associated with death, drowning and destruction.
Rebecca Beach 4After a quick civil marriage at the registrar’s office, we see them in Cornwall, post honeymoon, venturing towards Manderley. The young new Mrs. de Winter suddenly gets a chill, as if of impending doom. Once they enter the stone edifice/mansion, there is feeling of something very bleak and unpleasant within, and the entrance of the stoic housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, has the young bride’s nerves on edge.

The newly married couple’s room is on the East Wing, that has never been used before, and has no view of the ocean. Whilst Maxim & Rebecca’s room, use to be in West Wing, with a view of ocean, and which, with it’s massive windows and ornately carved doors, happens to be the most beautiful room in the house. From here onwards Manderley’s beach is represented in an eerie, foreboding, manner. Cold and damp. A stark contrast to the warmth and pleasantness of the sunshine stretch of the classy French Riviera. But we do see hints, of the statuesque, elegance and beauty, of what Manderley once stood for. And the second Mrs. De Winter, tries her best to bring back those glory days, back to, the life of the very respectable, Maxim de Winter, and his beloved Manderley.

The scene where the newly weds go for a walk in the estate of Manderley; just after the visit of Beatrice (Gladys Cooper), Maxim de Winter’s sister, and her husband, Major Giles Lacy (Nigel Bruce); a stairway to the beach below is shown, and we see that Mr. de Winter is afraid of something. He doesn’t want to descend downwards (not just literally, but also neither does he want to lose his status and honour; thus his attachment to Manderley, despite everything; nor bring back his haunting memories, associated with this particular beach). Their dog, Jasper, gets loose, and the new wife runs behind it, and comes across an isolated and neglected cottage, which has gone to wreck and ruin. She meets Ben (Leonard Carey) a crazy man who keeps repeating, “she ain’t comin’ back is she”. An obvious reference to the disappearance/death of Rebecca. Maxim de Winter’s reluctance to come to the beach, his new wife’s meeting with Ben, and de Winter’s angry reproach, afterwards, towards his young wife, for going into the cottage; all accounts to the fact, there is something mysterious and secretive, in relation to this private beach of theirs.

The West Wing: The most beautiful room in Manderley

The West Wing: The most beautiful room in Manderley

Almost soon after this incident, the scene involving the West Wing, is again in relation to the sea. The room in which once Rebecca slept, with an admiringly cruel undercurrent, is showcased by Mrs. Danvers, to the new Mrs. De Winter. As if in a trance, Mrs. Danvers tells the new bride, to just listen to the sea, and how soothing it is. Just then a ferocious wave splashes onto a rock, echoing a loud roar of pain and power. Yet, this manipulation on the vulnerable second Mrs. de Winter, backfires, and we see her gain strength momentarily, and get rid of all of Rebecca’s belongings, in the morning room, stating, “I’m Mrs. de Winter now.”

This is the first instance, we see, of her coming out of her shell of fear. Yet, the conniving Mrs. Danvers reciprocates, by conning her into dressing up in a mid-19th century ballroom dress, worn by an ancestor of de Winter, for the upcoming costume ball. Unfortunately, Rebecca had worn the exact same dress, for the costume ball held, the year before. Which only agitates Mr. de Winter, and shock some of the already present guests. We hear Beatrice gasp, uttering the words, “Rebecca”, in horror.

Now comes the most interesting sequence. The twist in the tale. The shocking climax. The foggy morning, the sea finally reveals, all the secrets of the de Winter household. The night of the costume ball, when second Mrs. de Winter, confronts Mrs. Danvers, about the outfit; and as Mrs. Danvers tries to, hypnotically, get the new bride to commit suicide, by jumping off the windowsill in Rebecca’s room, in the west wing; suddenly fireworks flare up, awakening them, as if from a trance. A diver had discovered the wreck of Rebecca’s sailboat, resting below on the ocean bed. But what’s worse is, Rebecca’s body too, was discovered inside the boat. Then who was the woman, Maxim de Winter identified as being Rebecca’s dead body, washed ashore, the night she went missing?

Joan Fontaine & Judith Anderson in a scene from Rebecca (1940)

Joan Fontaine & Judith Anderson in a scene from Rebecca (1940)

The day of revelation, the day of reckoning, is finally here. The day after the costume ball dilemma. It’s early in the morning, it’s still very dark. Through the fog blanketed strip of the private Manderley beach; that Maxim de Winter, early on feared to tread on; the new Mrs. de Winter, goes looking for her husband. She meets Frank Crawley (Reginald Denny); loyal friend of her husband’s, and her confidant; on the way. He let’s her know about the discovery of the boat. She ultimately finds the ever brooding, Maxim de Winter, in a state of despair, in the neglected cottage, where she first met Ben. Here he reveals to her what really happened the night Rebecca was killed.

This is one of the most interesting sequences, in the whole movie. As Maxim de Winter, sums up the happenings of the night Rebecca died, to his second wife; there is no flashback scenes, no ghostly figure hanging around, no windows/doors, shutting/opening abruptly, no glass breaking, nothing. The camera pans the room; from the sofa, and the coffee table, with an ash tray filled with cigarette butts, towards the door, where Mr. de Winter is standing, re-capping the events of that ill-fated night; and we, the audience, imagine Rebecca in the room. It must take a genius like Alfred Hitchcock to make that possible.

Here we, along with Joan Fontaine’s character, find out that Rebecca, wasn’t a nice person, as everyone believed she was. In fact, she flirted and seduced, everyone around her. She wasn’t a faithful wife. And this cottage was her hideout, where she brought her lovers. She fooled everyone. And that particular night, she had conned Maxim de Winter, into believing she was pregnant, with the child of her wayward cousin, Jack Favell (George Sanders).

Though mostly faithful to the novel, this is one of the major areas in plot, that the movie, Rebecca, differs to that of the book, Rebecca, due to silly censorship rules, Hays Code, of the time, under William H. Hays. But despite that setback, Hays couldn’t ruin the movie, and in fact, Hitchcock’s Rebecca ended up being a masterpiece. I want give away the main difference in plot here. Most of you film, and literature, buffs would already know. But those who don’t. Read the Book. Watch the Movie.

The movie, then lets us know, how Mr. de Winter, carried the dead body of Rebecca, placed it inside the boat, drilled holes, opened up the seacock’s, and sent it to sink in the middle of the ocean, never too be found. Until, unfortunately, a diver accidentally did. But the recovery of the boat and the body, weren’t exactly a bad thing. For the lead characters discover a whole lot of other truths. Like the fact that Rebecca wasn’t pregnant at all, it was something else altogether. The new wife, who’s been living under the shadow, of the dead wife, suddenly matures and finds strength, and is able to support her husband. Specially now that she knows, that Maxim never loved Rebecca, she’s not afraid anymore. When there are no more secrets between the couple, their bond strengthens. It’s still a very tragic movie. Mrs. Danvers can’t handle the truth, or rather what she is made to believe to be true, and takes it upon herself, to make sure, the newer couple could never lead a happy life in Manderley.
Rebecca towards the endJust like the oceans ferocious waves, the roaring fires engulfing the beautiful mansion of Manderley; with the figure of Mrs. Danvers in the west wing, and the burning monogrammed ‘R’ (for Rebecca), on the silky satin négligée case; are beautifully captured. There is some excellent cinematography here, especially the way the beautiful interiors, of Manderley, are filmed. A masterwork of cinema, by a mastermind of aesthetics, suspense and intrigue.

Facts relating to Rebecca
Released in 1940, Rebecca was altogether nominated for 11 Oscars at the 13th Academy Awards held in February 1941, and won 2 Oscars. One for ‘Best Picture’ (back then known as ‘Outstanding Production’) and one for ‘Best Cinematography’ to George Barnes. This was the 1st and only win, for a Hitchcock film, and for American cinematographer, George Barnes. The Oscar ceremony of 1941, was the very first time, that the winners names remained a secret, until they were announced, just before they received the prestigious trophy. Filmed in Black & White, when Hollywood was going through a newly discovered obsession with colour, Rebecca, which was Alfred Hitchcock’s very first American film, is considered one of the Best Films, within the 120 year old history of Cinema. Plus, the character of ‘Mrs Danvers’ (played by Judith Anderson), is known as one of the best villainous roles ever. Rebecca is one of the rare movies, which has an interesting blend of varied genres, that explores, film noir, romance, mystery, psychological thriller, Gothic literary horror, incest, adultery, crime and drama. Yet, despite all those ingredients, it’s a movie, made in such a way, that’s it’s suitable for all ages.

Pure Excellence!!!!! Pure Cinema!!!!!

I wrote this post for the Beach Party Blogathon, organised by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Kristina of Speakeasy.

Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), considered the best adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s famed 1938 novel, happens to be my favourite movie adaptation of a novel, that I have read. Hitchcock is superb in creating atmospheric dread, and none the better, as he does here. Especially using the natural elements, such as the vast ocean. Rebecca is among my Top-5 all time favourite movies ever.

Beach Party Blogathon (June 2015)
Beach party for RebeccaThank you Ruth and Kristina, for letting me be part of this interesting Blogathon. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cheers
Nuwan Sen

Finally here they are, the correct answers to the Hitchcock quiz from March 2015 (Question Time # 008: HITCHCOCK !!!!!)

A.1 1940 Film

Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, Gladys Cooper & Reginald Denny in a scene from Rebecca (1940)

L to R: Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, Gladys Cooper & Reginald Denny in a scene from Rebecca (1940)

(i) The still is from Rebecca (1940), based on the 1938 novel, Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier.
(ii) The correct statements are:-
(e) This was Hitchcock’s first Oscar nomination, for ‘Best Director’.
(h) This was Hitchcock’s first Hollywood movie.
(j) This was Hitchcock’s first Oscar winning film, for ‘Best Picture’.
(iii) Joan Fontaine plays the nameless character in the movie. Judith Anderson plays the icy ‘Mrs. Danvers’, to eerie perfection.
(iv) It was Sir Laurence Olivier, who received a knighthood, in 1947.
(v) Joan Fontaine was born in Japan, on 22nd October 1917. She passed away on the 15th of December, 2013, aged 96 (see my post Happy 96th Birthday: Joan Fontaine from 22nd October 2013).

A.2 Film 46’
(i) Notorious (1946), contains the longest kiss, and one of the most romantic kisses ever (of 2½ minutes), between Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman, in history of cinema.
(ii) It’s Ingrid Bergman, as ‘Alicia Huberman’, who is used as a modern day Mata Hari, by the Americans.
(iii) It is Alicia Huberman (Bergman), who is slowly poisoned daily, in small doses, through her coffee, by her husband, Alex Sebastian (played by Claude Rains), and her mother-in-law, Madame Anna Sebastian (played by Leopoldine Konstantin). The slow poisoning act, through coffee, is Madame Anna Sebastian’s brainchild.

A.3 British Original & Hollywood Remake

Left: The original (Black & White) British film from 1934. Right: The Hollywood colour remake from 1956.

Left: The original (Black & White) British film from 1934.
Right: The Hollywood colour remake from 1956.

(i) The movies pictured above are both named The Man Who Knew Too Much. The original British film is from 1934, and the Hollywood remake from 1956.
(ii) The song Que Sera Sera, appeared in the 1956 version, and was sung by Doris Day.
(iii) Yes, Que Sera Sera won the Oscar for ‘Best Song’  in 1957.
(iv) In the 1934 version, the family are on vacation, in Switzerland. No, in the Hollywood re-make the family holiday is set in Morocco.
(v) The gender of the child that gets kidnapped is :-
(a) Female in the 1934 movie
(b) Male in the 1956 film

A.4 Young Alfred Hitchcock & the Silent era

Young Hitchcock(i) The young girl standing behind Hitchcock in the picture is Alma Reville, his wife and collaborator. As the saying goes, “Behind every successful man there is a Woman (telling him he’s  wrong 🙂 )”.
(ii) The Pleasure Garden (1925), was the very first, completed, feature film, made by Alfred Hitchcock.
(iii) Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) was the only light-hearted Romantic/Screwball comedy, Hitchcock made in America.
(iv) The Short Night, should have been Alfred Hitchcock’s last film, but the project was cancelled in 1979, due to his ill health. The film never got beyond the early pre-production stage.

A.5 Colour & Hitchcoerotism

Rope Lovers:  John Dall and Farley Granger

Rope Lovers: John Dall and Farley Granger

(i) Rope (1948). Yes, it was Hitchcock’s first film in colour.
(ii) Rope is loosely based on the notorious ‘Leopold and Loeb’ case of 1924. Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb, two wealthy students at the University of Chicago, kidnapped and murdered a 14 year old boy, Robert (Bobby) Franks, in 1924. The duo killed young Bobby, to prove their intellectual superiority.

A.6 Hitchcock & the surrealist artist

Nuwan Sen’s ART Sense  Nuwan Sen’s NOIR Sense

Nuwan Sen’s ART Sense
Nuwan Sen’s NOIR Sense

(i) This famous surreal dream sequence is from Spellbound (1945), and surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí, was responsible for this beautiful creation. Of course the original dream sequence was about 20 minutes long, but being too lengthy, it was cut during editing, and only 2 minutes appear in the final film. I’d love to see the original footage, of 20 minutes. It could be a short film in itself.
(ii) Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman star as two psychoanalysts. It is Gregory Peck’s character, who suffers from a phobia.

A.7 Hitchcock 007
(i) Sean Connery stars, as the male lead, in Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964).
(ii) Sean Connery appeared in Marnie, after the release of the first two films from the James Bond franchise, Dr. No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963).

A.8 Hitchcockian Train Journey’s

TOP: Dame May Whitty, Margaret Lockwood & Michael Redgrave in the 1938 noir classic. BELOW: Farley Granger & Robert Walker in the 1951 Highsmith adaptation.

TOP: Dame May Whitty, Margaret Lockwood & Michael Redgrave in the 1938 noir classic.
BELOW: Farley Granger & Robert Walker in the 1951 Highsmith adaptation.

(i) & (ii) The stills are from, the British film, The Lady Vanishes (1938), and the Hollywood classic, Strangers on a Train (1951).
(iii) Strangers on a Train was based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith.

A.9 Rebecca (1940). Why? See my critiques under lists No Name (20th October 2011), Joan Fontaine (1940 & the 40’s) ‘TOP FIVE’ (April 2012) and Why I love …. (November/December 2012) on IMDB.
Hitch Rebecca
A.10 Psycho (1960)

Two months too late. Sorry for the delay, for a lot has happened since I did the questionnaire, thus didn’t have time to work on it. So today, I practically took part in the quiz myself.
Thank you fellow Bloggers, for giving up your valuable time, to take part in this quiz, related to my all time favourite director.

Nuwan Sen n’ Film Noir
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Hitchcockian Sense

Alfred Hitchcock, known as the master of suspense, was one of the greatest film directors ever. He started his career during the silent era, and completed it towards the end of the hippie era, even working, close to his demise. From Silent movies to talkies, from British films to Hollywood, from eerie love stories to crime, from classy film noir to B-movie horror, he’s done it all (Sometimes even blending all the genres into one). Nobody can dispute the fact he was a true genius, and one of the most talented and versatile (yet unique) personalities to have ever existed. And no doubt, nobody can call themselves a true film buff, if they lack Hitchcockian knowledge.

So here is my Hitchcockian Questionnaire. Play along and enjoy.

Q.1 1940 Film

Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine & Reginald Denny from this haunting classic from 1940.

Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine & Reginald Denny in a scene from this haunting classic from 1940.

(i) From which film; and based on which novel, by which author; is the above still from?

(ii) This was a ‘First’, in more than one category, for Alfred Hitchcock. Which three lines from below are correct :-

(a) This was Hitchcock’ s first Silent Movie.
(b) This was Hitchcock’s first Talkie.
(c) This was Hitchcock’s first Musical.
(d) This was Hitchcock’s first British film.
(e) This was Hitchcock’s first Oscar nomination, for ‘Best Director’.
(f) This was Hitchcock’s first film as an actor.
(g) This was Hitchcock’s first Bollywood movie.
(h) This was Hitchcock’s first Hollywood movie.
(i) This was Hitchcock’s first directorial venture.
(j) This was Hitchcock’s first Oscar winning film, for ‘Best Picture’.

*Remember, only three, of the above ten, statements, is correct.

(iii) Which one, of the three actors, pictured in the still, plays a nameless character, in this movie? Who plays the icy ‘Mrs. Danvers’ (not pictured)?

(iv) Which actor, from the still, was given a knighthood, in 1947?

(v) Which actor, from the trio pictured, was born in Japan, and died on 15th of December, 2013, aged 96?

Q.2 Film 46’

Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman's 2½ minute kiss.

Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman’s 2½ minute kiss.

(i) Which Hitchcockian film, pictured above, contains the longest notorious kiss (2½ minutes), in history of cinema? (HINT: Clue in the question itself)

(ii) Which of the two actors, in the picture above, plays a modern day, post World War – II, Mata Hari?

(iii) Which one, of the two characters shown, is slowly poisoned, through his/her coffee, daily, in the film, and by whom?

Q.3 British Original & Hollywood Remake

Peter Lorre (in the 1934 British Original),  Doris Day & James Stewart (in the 1956 Hollywood Re-make)

Peter Lorre (in the 1934 British Original), Doris Day & James Stewart (in the 1956 Hollywood Re-make)

(i) What’s the title of the two movies (pictured here), which was originally made by Hitchcock in the United Kingdom, and released in 1934; and later re-made by Hitchcock again, in the United States, and released in 1956.

(ii) Which film version, 1934 or 1956, was the song Que Sera Sera from?

(iii) Did the Doris Day song, from the 1956 version, win the Oscar for ‘Best Song’  in 1957?

(iv) In which country, are the family on vacation, in the 1934 film? Is the family holiday, in the Hollywood re-make, set in the same country as well?

(v) What’s the gender of the child that gets kidnapped in the :-
(a) 1934 version
(b) 1956 version

Q.4 Young Alfred Hitchcock & the Silent era
Young Hitchcock(i) Who is the young girl standing behind Hitchcock, in this picture? What is her relationship to him?

(ii) What was the very first, completed, feature film, made by Alfred Hitchcock, and which year was it released?

(iii) Hitchcock made only one light-hearted Romantic/Screwball comedy in America, what was it called?

(iv) What’s the name of the film that would have been the last film release of Alfred Hitchcock, but was cancelled in 1979, due to his ill health?

Q.5 Colour & Hitchcoerotism

Farley Granger & John Dall play partners in life & crime, in this homoerotic 1948 classic.

Farley Granger & John Dall play partners in life & crime, in this homoerotic 1948 classic.

(i) From which movie, is the above picture from? One of Hitchcock’s most experimental films, set in real time, was it also his first colour film?

(ii) This 1948 movie, was Alfred Hitchcock’s first depiction of Homosexuality, though only hinted on the subject matter, which real-life notorious scandal was this movie based on?

Q.6 Hitchcock & the surrealist artist
Dalí Spellbound(i) From which film, is this surreal dream sequence from, and who was the famous artist, who created these sets?

(ii) Who are the two lead stars of this psychological thriller, set in a mental asylum, who play two psychoanalysts? Which one is suffering from a phobia?

Q.7 Hitchcock 007

Tippi Hedren & Sean Connery (in a film from 1964)

Tippi Hedren & Sean Connery (in a film from 1964)

(i) In which Hitchcockian film, did Sean Connery, act in?

(ii) Did Connery appear in this film, before or after, he started acting in the James Bond franchise?

Q.8 Hitchcockian Train Journey’s

TOP: Dame May Whitty, Margaret Lockwood & Michael Redgrave in the 1938 noir classic. BELOW: Farley Granger & Robert Walker in the 1951 Highsmith adaptation.

TOP: Dame May Whitty, Margaret Lockwood & Michael Redgrave in the 1938 noir classic.
BELOW: Farley Granger & Robert Walker in the 1951 noir Highsmith adaptation.

(i) From which two films, where the train is significant to the plot, are the two above stills from?

(ii) Which of them is a British film, and which, a Hollywood venture?

(iii) Which of them was based on a Patricia Highsmith novel?

Q.9 Which is your favourite Hitchcock film, and why?

Q.10 Which of these, from Hitchcock’s two B-movie Horror films, Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963), is your favourite?  

Nuwan Sen n’ Film Noir
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Nuwan Sen’s Hitchcockian Sense

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Guess the films below, and the year of release :-

Q1. Q & A 1Q2.Q & A 2.Q3.Q & A 3.Q4.Q & A 4.Q5.Q & A 5.……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Clues:-

  • The movies were released between 1920 and 1950
  • Check out Tags for hints on various genre’s, stars et al

Answers:-
I shall provide the answers myself, once some of my fellow bloggers have given this a try

Have Fun with the quiz

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

 

Yesterday evening I watched Les Diaboliques (1955), directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot and Paul Meurisse, on TV5 MONDE.
Les Diaboliques (55')
Les Diaboliques is set in a boys boarding school, where two teachers; one the timid rich wife (and co-school principle), Christina Delassalle (Véra Clouzot) of the school Principle, Michel Delassalle (Paul Meurisse), and the other, his tough mistress Nicole Horner (Simone Signoret); plot to get rid of a common ruthless enemy they both fear, Michel Delassalle, who forcefully keeps them both under his thumb.
Les Diaboliques (55') Véra Clouzot & Simone Signoret
An interesting piece of film noir and dark comedy ensues. When the school has a three day break, most schoolboys go home for the holidays. Christina and Nicole, take a trip down to Nicole’s place, carrying along an enormous empty wicker woven basket trunk. To confirm their alibi, as they plan to put their conspiracy into action, Nicole has a couple of tenants residing on the above floor. At night time the scheme of things start taking shape, Christina unwillingly calls and lures her husband to Nicole’s under the pretence that she desires a divorce, unable to accept his violent treatment of her, and his philandering ways. And since the school actually belongs to Christina, she would like to have it back. Being the egoistical shallow male, who won’t easily let her go, Michel is too ashamed to admit his wife had the strength to leave him, and he has to run behind her. Thus, luckily for the two female conspirators, he leaves the school secretly, without anyone’s knowledge. And since Christina has taken the car, he has to take the train.
As he come to Nicole’s house, Nicole goes upstairs, having added a sleeping dose into an alcohol bottle and left it for Michel. The upstairs neighbours are listening to an entertainment channel on the radio, and once Nicole heads there, the trio listen to the show on full volume. Thus Michel’s entry below is unheard by the upstairs neighbours. Michel comes and threatens his nervous wife, who is in two minds about carrying out this task. Eventually, getting tired of this charade, of to kill or not kill, Christina lets her husband drink a few glasses of alcohol, which gets him drowsy enough to fall asleep. Meanwhile Nicole comes back, fills the bathtub, the two women carry their shared lover and tormentor, and drown him in the tub.
Next morning he’s wrapped in a massive table cloth, stuffed into the wicker woven trunk, and the trio head back to the boarding school. They reach there by night-time, and dump the body into the musty swimming pool.
Les Diaboliques (55') pics
A few days later, the body not having surfaced,  the already at nerves end, Christina, with a heart condition, starts to worry. Soon under false pretence, of trying to locate Nicole’s keys; that supposedly accidentally fall into pool, and a boy who dives trying to find it, instead comes up with a cigarette lighter belonging to Michel; the swimming pool is pumped out. To Christina and Nicole’s horror, the pool is empty, not even a sign of the body. What happened to it? Who could have moved it? Why?

What follows, is both, a horrific and comical turn of events, at the same time. Soon the suit Michel was dressed in is dry-cleaned and returned to the hostel, the naked body of a man fitting Michel’s description is found in the River Seine, in Paris. A private investigator, who is a retired police officer, takes the case to locate where the philandering husband of the naïve Christina is, against her wishes. A school boy supposedly gets punished by Michel for breaking a window. It keeps getting more are more baffling and scary, along the way, with non-stop suspense and an ironical twisted ending, where the culprit becomes the victim. Not one dull moment. An Excellent piece of Film-noir by film director Henri-Georges Clouzot, which keeps us at the edge of our seats, and, till close to the end, we never tend to guess what is actually happening.
Les Diaboliques (55') The Pool
Simone Signoret is excellent, as always, as the tough cookie, who never betrays an ounce of emotion, and only starts to show cracks of fear towards the end.
Véra Clouzot (wife of film director Henri-Georges Clouzot, in real life) as Christina Delassalle, the rich lady, the co-school principle, is superb as the nervous, naïve wife of a cruel husband. She reminded me of Joan Fontaine’s nervous nameless character, from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940). In fact this suspenseful thriller feels very Hitchcockian till the end.
The rest of the cast too are a perfect fit in their respective roles.
Excellent!! A Must Watch, for any film buff, and fans of Film Noir. 10/10

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Six Degrees of Separation: from Truman Capote to…

Truman Capote 6°

…Katrin Saß
Capote’s novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the basis for the romantic comedy of the same name, released in 1961, starring Audrey Hepburn (1), and Hepburn starred in War and Peace (1956) which co-starred Jeremy Brett (2) as her brother, who later found fame as a television actor, playing ‘Sherlock Holms’, in various series and television films throughout the 1980’s &90’s, based on the ‘Holms’ novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (3), and Benedict Cumberbatch (4) currently stars in a modern, 21st century, homoerotic, adaptation on the famed sleuth, titled Sherlock (2010 till date), and Cumberbatch starred alongside Daniel Brühl (5) in the bio-pic The Fifth Estate (2013), and Brühl appeared in Good Bye Lenin! (2003), which co-starred Katrin Saß (6).

… John Ritter
Capote was portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman (1) in the bio-pic Capote (2005), and Seymour Hoffman starred in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), directed by Anthony Minghella (2), whose son Max Minghella (3) appeared in The Social Network (2010), where the lead was played by Jesse Eisenberg (4) who also starred in The Education of Charlie Banks (2007), which co-starred Jason Ritter (5), the son of late actor John Ritter (6).

… Matt Smith
Capote shared great friendship with fellow writer Harper Lee (1), who was portrayed by actress Sandra Bullock (2) in the movie Infamous (2006), and Bullock starred in the romantic comedy Two Weeks Notice (2002) alongside Hugh Grant (3), who starred in About a Boy (2002), along with Nicholas Hoult (4) and Hoult starred in A Single Man (2009) which was based on a book by Christopher Isherwood (5), who was portrayed by Matt Smith (6) in the biographical television film; based on Isherwood’s own autobiography; Christopher and his Kind (2011).

… Liev Schreiber
Capote’s closest friend and neighbour, Harper Lee (1), published only one novel, which was the basis for the movie, with the same name as the book, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), starring Gregory Peck (2), and Peck appeared in The Paradine Case (1947), which co-starred Louis Jourdan (3), who starred alongside Joan Fontaine (4) in Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), and Fontaine starred in Jane Eyre (1943) alongside Orson Welles (5) and Welles was portrayed by Liev Schreiber in the television movie, RKO 281 (1999).

… Jugal Hansraj  
Capote wrote the screenplay for the horror flick, The Innocents (1961), starring Deborah Kerr (1), and Kerr played a nun, living the Indian Himalayas, in Black Narcissus (1947); released the same year India gained it’s independence from the British; in which Jean Simmons (2) played an Indian girl, and Simmons portrayed Queen Elizabeth – I (3), in Young Bess (1953); a film chronicling the younger days of Elizabeth – I, before she became the famed virgin queen; as did Cate Blanchett (4), in Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), both directed by Bollywood director, Shekhar Kapur (5), who also directed the Bollywood classic Masoom (1983), which starred former child artiste, Jugal Hansraj (6).

… Jane Birkin  
Capote played his own look-alike, in the art-house romantic comedy, Annie Hall (1977), which was directed by Woody Allen (1), as was To Rome with Love (2012), which starred Penélope Cruz (2), who appeared in the Spanish film Los Abrazos Rotos (2009), which was directed by Pedro Almodóvar (3), as was La mala Educación (2004), which starred Gael García Bernal (4), who appeared in the surreal drama, The Science of Sleep (2006), alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg (5), daughter of Jane Birkin (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()
°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

Today, Hollywood’s fourth oldest female living legend, Joan Fontaine, turns 96 years young.
(The third oldest female living legend happens to be Fontaine’s own older sister, Olivia de Havilland, who turned 97, three months ago. The oldest living legend, who’s outlived all the legendary stars of her age group, happens to be Luise Rainer, who celebrated her 103rd Birthday, in January this year.)
Wishing Joan Fontaine a life of content, peace and happiness, for the rest of her journey through her physical existence on this planet.

Happy 96th Birthday JF
I was introduced to Joan Fontaine, as a kid, somewhere in the mid-1980’s, when I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca (1940), an adaptations of Daphne du Maurier’s most notable adult piece of literature. Rebecca (1940) was my first film review as a kid, in school, aged about 10 or 11. Rebecca, du Maurier’s novel, was my very first mature novel, aged 12½/13. Then as a journalist, just over a decade go, I wrote a feature length article on Hitchcock, for his 22nd Death anniversary, for a local newspaper. And when I did my M.A. in International Cinema, my final dissertation was on Marriage in Hitchcock Films: from Rebecca to Marnie. And for my second masters, M.A. in Painting, I started off my first semester by paying a tribute to Hitchcock and his films.
Since Joan Fontaine has appeared in more than one Hitchcock film, she (along with the two very varied characters she’s played in Hitchcockian cinema) has played quite a significant role when it comes to my own academic performance. Besides that I’ve seen a few non-Hitchcockian Fontaine flicks where her artistic accomplishments have been just as superb.

Joan fontaine aged 90

Joan fontaine aged 90

Born on the 22nd of October, 1917; in Tokyo, Japan; to British parents; Fontaine spent her early childhood in Japan, but due to various illness that she, and her elder sister, were prone to, and once her parents divorced, the two girls moved along with their mother to California, USA. Fontaine recovered pretty soon, and by 16, Fontaine was back in Japan, studying at The American School there.

After graduating, by 1935, Fontaine was once again in California, where she started her acting career, both on stage and the screen. Fontaine’s mother too was a stage artiste, Lillian Fontaine, but she gave it up when she got married; and would return years later, in the 1940’s, only after both her daughters had achieved fame. Joan Fontaine made her big screen debut with No More Ladies (1935), alongside veterans Joan Crawford and Robert Montgomery. Throughout the 1930’s she tried to make a name for herself, but failed to make a strong impression with her audiences. But soon her luck was to change.

Joan Fontaine with co-stars from various films from her career

Joan Fontaine with co-stars from various films from her career

One night at a dinner function, Fontaine found herself sitting next to film producer, David O. Selznick. The two began discussing Daphne du Maurier’s acclaimed novel Rebecca, which O. Selznick was planning to make into a  movie, and O. Selznick casually asked her to audition for the nameless heroine of the book. After enduring six gruelling months of screen tests after screen tests, along with hundreds of other actresses, Fontaine finally saw the light of day. In 1939, just before her 22nd Birthday, she bagged the role that would catapult her towards stardom and a great repute as an actress.
Joan Fontaine garnered her first Academy Award nomination, for Best Actress, in 1941, for Alfred Hitchcock’s very first Hollywood venture; and the first and only Hitchcock film to ever win a Best Picture Oscar;  Rebecca (1940). Though she did not win that year, the following year she won the Best Actress Oscar, for yet another Hitchcock film, Suspicion (1941). Suspicion was also director Alfred Hitchcock’s first film as a producer as well.

Cary Grant & Joan Fontaine with director Alfred Hitchcock - on the sets of SUSPICION (41')

Cary Grant & Joan Fontaine with director Alfred Hitchcock – on the sets of SUSPICION (41′)

Post that Joan Fontaine earned great repute in movies like The Constant Nymph (1943); which earned Fontaine her third Oscar nomination; Jane Eyre (1943), Frenchman’s Creek (1944), From This Day Forward (1946), Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), The Emperor Waltz (1948), Othello (1952), Ivanhoe (1952), and Tender is the Night (1962), to name a few. Besides film, she had a successful stage career as well. She retired from acting altogether in 1994, after appearing in the television movie Good King Wenceslas (1994).

Scene from 'Rebecca' with Joan Fontaine &  Florence Bates

Scene from ‘Rebecca’ with Joan Fontaine & Florence Bates

Today she lives a relaxed life with her dogs, at her home, Villa Fontana, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, USA. Fontaine used to correspond with her fans on a regular basis, writing to them personally, until her 90th birthday. She even has her own official ‘Facebook’ page where fans can still write to her today.

(Do chk out my various lists/critiques related to Joan Fontaine on IMDB: Why I love …. ,No NameThese are a Few of my Favourites ,Joan Fontaine (1940 & the 40’s) ‘TOP FIVE’,50-50’s ,etc..etc…)
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

———————————————————————————-