MARY
1931, Rialto Pictures, 78 min, Germany/UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Early talkies were occasionally produced in parallel in different languages, and this version of MURDER! made for the German market was shot on the same sets at the same time as the English-language thriller. A juror (Alfred Abel) who reluctantly voted to convict a woman (Olga Tschechowa) of murder investigates the case, trying to resolve his doubts before her execution. In German with English subtitles.


TORN CURTAIN
1966, Universal, 128 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

With spy films all the rage in the mid-1960s, director Alfred Hitchcock delves into cloak-and-dagger territory in this underrated Cold War thriller. Physicist Paul Newman defects to East Germany with fiancée Julie Andrews - but he is actually a double agent on the hunt for missile technology. Fast-moving and beautifully shot, TORN CURTAIN includes indelible supporting performances from Lila Kedrova, Tamara Toumanova and Wolfgang Kieling (as a particularly hard-to-kill security officer), and a tense museum sequence that inspired a similar scene in Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.


UNDER CAPRICORN
1949, BFI, 117 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Director Alfred Hitchcock shot this film about a love triangle in 1830s Australia in long takes, à la ROPE, to explore the motivations of some very complex characters. Joseph Cotten is an Irish ex-convict turned successful landowner; Ingrid Bergman is his wife, being pushed toward alcohol-induced delirium until childhood acquaintance Michael Wilding appears. Jack Cardiff provides the striking Technicolor cinematography.


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