Alfred Hitchcock – Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” is a rarity in that it was directed by that master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. The film pays in ways that only a crafty Hitchcock would know how. The director takes Norman Krasna’s screen play and gives it an elegant treatment.

The idea of a technicality annulling a marriage is at the center of the story. When David Smith is told about it, he sees the possibility of not telling his wife. Ann and David have a strange marriage life. They love each other dearly and they seem to work at maintaining their union as a fun enterprise where they are playful and do unexpected things to please one another. David miscalculates Ann’s reaction to his playing a joke and not telling her about their new status.

The revelation at the beginning of the film is made known to Ann, who goes along with the joke expecting to be asked that same day to run to a justice of the peace to get married again. When David doesn’t act on what for Ann seems to be essential, she flies into a rage and vows to get even with David. This is the basic premise of the comedy. Things get complicated, but we know all will be right at the end as Ann will come to her senses. David also is expected to legalize their status. Continue reading

Aparna Sen – Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)

http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/2976/mrandmrsiyerposter1fd7.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot:
Meenakshi, a young women from a very traditional Hindu family (Tamil Brahmins), travels by bus from a mountain town to catch a train from the plains. It’s a long journey, especially when one has a small baby to care for (like Meenakshi), so she is entrusted into care of Raja, worldwide known photographer. They behave as polite strangers until some religious flare-up disrupts the journey. Continue reading

Charles Vidor – Gilda [+Extras] (1946)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

I warned you once. You didn’t
listen. Now you’re through.
– Through with what?
– The casino. You’re fired.

You are mistaken. I will be here
after you are gone, Mr. Peasant.

Plot Synopsis
In Argentina, Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) wins money at dice and is held up; but Ballin Mundson (George Macready) rescues him with a sword-cane and recommends a gambling club. Johnny goes there and wins at blackjack. Ballin is the owner and tells him to leave, but Johnny hits back at his thug Casey (Joe Sawyer) and asks for a job. People celebrate the end of the war, and Ballin puts Johnny in charge while he is away… Continue reading

David Mackenzie – Hallam Foe AKA Mister Foe (2007)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis –

Hallam is almost over the sudden death of his mother when he begins to suspect that his beautiful step mother may have had a hand in her death, and it doesn‘t help that Hallam fancies her rotten. After a confrontation with his step mum, Hallam escapes to Edinburgh. Out of money and out of friends, he finds his tree–top skills well suited to the rooftops of the city, where he lives ferally, attempting to avoid the perils of the streets below and becoming obsessed with a gorgeous girl who happens to look just like his mother. Continue reading

Jacques de Baroncelli – La Duchesse de Langeais AKA Wicked Duchess (1942)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDb’s Benoît A. Racine:

The novella this film was based on was written by Balzac in the 1830s as part of a group of novels detailing the adventures of a secret society of 13 men (“Les Treize”), of whom Armand is a member. This slightly sinister society was bent on acquiring power at all cost and by all means. It can be understood that Armand’s forceful quest to conquer Antoinette is part of that fascistic scheme. Armand is a general who was ennobled by Napoleon for his military exploits whereas Antoinette is an “Ancien Régime” aristocrat, like the French Queen she was named after. Continue reading

François Truffaut – Les Deux anglaises et le continent aka Two English Girls (1971)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

At the beginning of the 20th century, Claude Roc, a young middle-class Frenchman meets in Paris Ann Brown, a young Englishwoman. They become friends and Ann invites him to spend holidays at the house where she lives with her mother and her sister Muriel, for whom she intends Claude. During these holidays, Claude, Ann and Muriel become very close and he gradually falls in love with Muriel. But both families lay down a one-year-long separation without any contact before agreeing to the marriage. So Claude goes back to Paris when he has many love affairs before sending Muriel a break-off letter… Continue reading