Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Forgotten Movies: RICH AND STRANGE or EAST OF CHINA




What a great opening sequence to a 1931 film from Alfred Hitchcock. There is a collection of his earliest films in the condo where we are staying. This one was so interesting. Based on a book by Dale Collins, the film is about a young couple (Joan Barry and Henry Kendall) who, bored with each other, inherit some money, and take a trip around the world. The film details the antics, affairs and ups and downs of this trip. It is fascinating to see just how exotic the world seemed then compared to now. And Barry is just gorgeous. She made only a few more movies before settling into domestic life. Well worth a look. For an early talkie, it seems sophisticated although there are longer periods of silence than we are used to now.

9 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I've tried at various times to watch some of these older movies. I always lose interest in just a few moments. There's so little going on it seems to me, in comparison to what I'd get in the same time in a book. But it's probably just me.

George said...

I'll watch anything Hitchcock was involved with. I might have this film in one of my Hitchcock box sets.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

A very unusual entry in his flmography but one that definitely deserves to be better known I think - great choice Patti.

Richard said...

Long, or longer, periods of silence is a good thing.

Big golf tournament coming up in nearby Torrey Pines, so it may get a little extra crowded there. Glad you both are enjoying your stay n the warm SoCal sun.

John said...

All of Hitchocock's early films have long periods of silence. He was a visual filmmaker and told his story primarily through images. I've noticed, hoewever, that early movies especially early 30s films *not* made in the US had yet to clamp onto the use of music to underscore scenes, whether they had dialogue or not.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Darn, we're just setting out there today. I will have to check the schedule.
Yes, I am wondering what other of the films we might like.

Yvette said...

I first confused this film with a later Hitchcock adaptation of a Josephine Tey novel, YOUNG AND INNOCENT. When I read your synopsis, I was thinking but that's not the movie I saw. Ha. I'm easily confused these days. Getting old is the pits. Wait - haven't I said that before?

An interesting choice, Patti. I thought I'd seem most of Hitchcock's films, but not this one.

Deb said...

In the early days of talkies, the sound recording machinery was big and clunky, so actors would often have to stand still and emote (to avoid being followed around by a lumbering sound machine); therefore, there would often be relatively long periods of silence that allowed the actors to move around a little more naturally. Hitchcock's use of silence was always fabulous--the scene in "Marnie" where Tippi Hedren is stealing money from her employer is done in close to silence and is excellent.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great info, Deb. I think several people have recently brought my attention to the use of silence in his films. Very effective.