Rich and Strange (1931)

This was fun, well, the beginning and end sequences were anyway. The on-board love affairs were a little dull particularly since the princess wasn’t good looking or a much of an actress.

The opening sequence is highly influenced by German cinema but very well done and the bit on the tube is very similar to one in Anthony Asquith’s Underground.*

Joan Barry was gorgeous and although a little stilted at first she soon became very endearing.

Henry Kendall and Barry had no chemistry but I don’t think Kendall being gay was the issue, I think the but the role was horrible. Why would sweet, brave, through the porthole first Emily stay with such a thoughtless idiot?

Their banter is also one-sided. I think we were supposed to find his attitude cheeky and amusing but it was leaden. She suggests a raft, he’s dismissive, and then he suggests a raft. She doesn’t say anything. No wit there, I’m afraid.

Were they has bad as each other? I think not. She is flattered by the commodore’s attention but runs from any escalation whereas his head is turned as soon as he hears she’s a princess and leaves her flat. And he only deigns to apologise when they are in a near death experience.

The sinking ship set was really effective and I loved the model moving down the Suez Canal.

This absolutely must be the first time that someone has been shown on screen not just talking about using the lavatory but actually jiggling a little bit too.

I don’t think the cat cooking is racist. It was a practical thing to do and not every culture values cats in the way we do. It is hilarious and I say that as a cat lover.

There’s been so much to write and think about, Juno and The Skin Game were pitiful in comparison, despite the middle of this being ordinary stuff.

Alma fact: co-scenario by
Appearance by a cat or dog: ahem
Transport: the tube, ships, a junk
Source: The Early Hitchcock Collection (Optimum Releasing)

*Which reminds me to ask, are any of Hitchcock’s silent films a patch on Asquith’s trio of Shooting Stars, Underground, and A Cottage on Dartmoor?