I thought I had seen this. I’d only seen the original version not this, superior remake. It’s the usual Hitchcock theme — ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances, but there are some lovely moments. The whole opening, until the instigating event, is eerie in its detail and minutae. The bickering between husband and wife is just subtle enough to be awkward; if you wanted to search for Hitchcock’s alleged hatred toward women, look no further than here, where a husband would rather drug his wife to sleep rather than listen to her cry for their kidnapped son. The Royal Albert Hall sequence, 12 minutes of dialogue-free suspense, is a mini-masterpiece. I also love that Jimmy Stewart never once considers that he should save his son and the Prime Minister. He could give a shit about world affairs and has not a moment’s thought about the morality of his decision. . .probably a realistic move, but striking for a Hollywood film of the 1950s. There is, though, an anti-climactic coda I could do without. . . and the whole problem that the story itself is kinda dumb and confusing. . . but if you are looking for a fine example of excellent form over middling content, here it is.
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