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what's the matter, dear?  all that talk of murder by poison didn't frighten you, did it?  now drink up...

what's the matter, dear? all that talk of murder by poison didn't frighten you, did it? now drink up...


Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine

Johnnie: Well, well.  You’re the first woman I’ve ever met who said yes when she meant yes.

Johnnie (Grant) and Lina (Fontaine) meet on a train, then have a whirlwind romance resulting in a quick marriage and romantic honeymoon.  Upon returning to their new home, Lina gets her first indication that Johnnie may not be the man she thought he was.  She learns he doesn’t have much money at all, and may have a gambling problem.  Gradually, though, she starts to suspect that he may have an even darker side.

Another solid Alfred Hitchcock movie.  It doesn’t rank among my favorites, but I enjoyed it.  My main problem came with the end of the film.  It felt a little weak and like a bit of a cheat.  I watched a short documentary, on the dvd bonus features, about the making of this film, and it indicated that the ending had to be changed while they were shooting.  The original ending seems much more appropriate in context with the rest of the movie.  That being said, the filmed ending wasn’t terrible.  It just didn’t feel as right as it could have.

Grant is effectively mysterious playing a less heroic character than he often played, and Fontaine makes for a very sympathetic heroine.  I thought she over-acted a bit here and there, but she won an Oscar for her performance, so what do I know?

There are a lot of typical Hitchcock moments in this movie, including a scene on a train, scenes by cliffs, bizarrely shadowy rooms, and people sitting around talking about murder over a nice dinner.  The camera work is interesting as usual, and the subtle shots of various clues to what’s going on are done well.  Despite a slow(ish) beginning and what I thought was a slightly disappointing ending, this is still a good mystery that’s worth seeing.

Rich people looooooove discussing murder.  (This is something I’ve finally learned after watching many a Hitchcock movie.)

10 – 1.2 for weak ending – .7 for sluggish beginning – .3 for some over-acting = 7.8