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Murder

Murder(1930)

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  • Historically Interesting

    • John Cooke
    • 9/1/13

    This may not be a very fair review, since I only saw the last forty five minutes or so of the film. My first reaction was to notice the cumbersomeness of the camera shots/movements (but also the innovation of putting the camera on the trapeze following the aerialist -- I sat up for that one! and recognized Hitchcock's touch) and the inconsistent sound quality. I rushed to my Leonard Maltin "TV Movies" review to find out the date of the film and the dirctor. As I suspected, it was very early in the "Talkies" period, probably shot in late 1929 when talkies were in their infancy, just about a year old; when microphones were "planted" in telephones, behind doors or in plants or wherever, and the camera was just learning how to be mobile and "quiet on the set" at the same time. I found the acting (or rather the indicating) of the murder suspect, high wire aerialist very annoying. His pauses were far too long and over dramatized and I began to question the director until I discovered it was Hitch!!! I suspect he wanted the high wire aerialist to appear to be an insufferable ham... he succeeded! The other actor's performances were more naturalistic, but even so I found the "significant pauses" to be just too long. I was somewhat amused and taken aback to discover the aerialist was a cross dresser. Quite avaunt guard for 1930! Given the historical placement of the film and the fact that it was early in Hitchcock's directing career, I found it immensely fascinating and historically entertaining. Good story line and for its time fresh and new.

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