This week is Thursday Movie Picks - Psychological Thrillers. This theme is so vast, it'll be exciting to see what everyone picks this week. I didn't intend for this to have a sub-theme, but once the first movie popped into my head, I just went with it.
A young newlywed Rebecca must come to grips with the terrible secret of her husband Max De Winter's previous marriage (Laurence Olivier) and the jealous housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) who will not accept her as the mistress of the house.
I've been a longtime fan of Daphne DuMaurier, and read Rebecca when I was a teenager. So I never felt the need to see the movie. That changed this past year when I was itching to watch more suspenseful classic films. Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson are marvelous in their own right, though I felt Laurence Olivier was phoning it in too much. But I should've just put my trust in Alfred Hitchcock long ago because the level of intrigue that played out still surprised me.
Notorious (1946)In order to help bring Nazis to justice, U.S. government agent T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant) recruits Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman), the American daughter of a convicted German war criminal to spy and win the affections of Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), a Nazi hiding out in Brazil.
Similar to Rebecca, I only saw Notorious last year. The film is a bit deceptive at first because it falls into a romantic-drama between Devlin and Huberman. It's not until the end, and a few great pieces of Sebastian discovering the truth about Huberman, that makes the ending truly nerve-wracking. It also helps that the chemistry between Cary and Ingrid pierces through the frame. Every look, gesture, and embrace is tantalizing. Hollywood really just doesn't make on-screen couples like that anymore.
Rear Window (1954)
Confined to a wheelchair after an accident, a news photographer Jeff (James Stewart) believes he has witnessed a murder in his neighboring apartment building and tries to bring the killer to justice.
I've watched Rear Window more times than I can count. One of the most unforgettable experiences I've had is seeing at the movie theaters. Even though you can lose yourself at home watching it, but there's something wildly claustrophobic about seeing it in a theater - especially when the killer finds out Jeff is onto him. If things go back to normal with classic films re-released into theaters, I highly recommend this one.