MR AND MRS SMITH

ALFRED HITCHOCK

This is one of the least known and ostensibly least typical of Hitchcock’s films, and thus all the more rewarding to catch up with. His first Hollywood productions, Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent, were set in Europe, as was his fourth, Suspicion; in between came this very American screwball comedy about a married couple who find they are not married after all.

Hitchcock claimed that it was hardly ‘his’ film, since it was unfamiliar territory and he did little more than follow the script. However, he relished working with the cast, especially Carole Lombard in her penultimate role before her death in a plane crash; for John Russell Taylor, his authorised biographer, the film “bears the mark of Hitch’s personality and preoccupations”, and is refreshing in the way in which, avoiding sentimentality, it “leaves a sharp, bitter after-taste.”

This film is screening as part of The Genius of Hitchcock: Part Three (February 2nd – 27th), which is part of a complete retrospective of the filmmaker’s work running until March 2013. 

95 minutes, U.S.A., 1941, Black and White, 16mm

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