When he first started working in America, Alfred Hitchcock was under contract to legendary producer David O. Selznick and by most accounts they hated each other. Perhaps no clearer is that tense relationship more clear in the results of a film project than in their first: Rebecca (1940). We'll be talking about a few other films made under this contract in the next few weeks, but here we start with a film that feels a lot more like the Hollywood dramas Selznick was known for than the Hitchcock we're used to, even the Hitchcock we've seen already. Plus, and I mean this as kindly as possible, the first hour is boring. So boring. So intensely boring.
Eddie Cline's 1940 comedy The Bank Dick, written by and starring W.C. Fields, has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and I will never ever understand that. I'm ruling out Cultural Dissonance -- I'm a fan of other comedies and comedians of the era and even of Fields' shorts which we discuss next week -- I'm just not a fan of this movie except for one great scene, which is fortunately a car chase that takes up most of the last act.