Have you ever wanted to be an amateur sleuth? I did...and still do to be honest because it just sounds a bit exciting. Mind you, I would never want to be shot at, clubbed over the head, drugged, kidnapped or running for my life so i will stick to trying to find out where I left my keys. Wandering Through The Shelves came up with another goody this week which is all about the amateur sleuth. Except for TV, I never did watch any Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys but that doesn't mean there isn't a wealth of films out there that fall under this category. So...here are my 3...
1. REAR WINDOW-1954
It's been a while since i talked about one of my all time favourite films and what better time than now to put this film back in the spotlight. James Stewart plays a photographer, who probably works for LIFE Magazine or National Geographic broke his leg and is stuck in his apartment with a great view of the courtyard showcasing all sorts of interesting people. He is visited by his beautiful fiancee, played by Grace Kelly, his physical therapist, played by the wondrous Thelma Ritter and his friend who happens to be a police detective. One night, Stewart hears a scream and broken glass and is convinced that the brutish neighbour across from him (played by Perry Mason Fame, Raymond Burr) is a killer who did in his bedridden wife. At first no one believes him, but soon fiance and nurse are brought into his voyeuristic antics. I love how this takes place on such a tight set and we become the voyeurs just like Stewart's character.
I have not seen this in years but I enjoyed it. It may not be as good as Charade with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn but it has some great style all its own. It stars Gregory Peck as a professor of Hieroglyphics who is asked to decipher a small inscription that everyone seems to be after. You have bad men and more bad men and the tiger eyed, temptress in Sophia Loren whom you just have no idea which side she is on. Poor Peck is trying to figure out why they want this small piece deciphered, what will happen if it lands in the wrong hands and what can he do to stop it. Stanley Donan is the director of this film as well as Charade and, although the plot can be confusing and a bit messy, I enjoy this film with the engaging performances of the leads as well as her wild wardrobe not to mention the wild camera angles.
I enjoy this film directed by Roman Polanski, one complicated F#%^k. It stars Harrison Ford as a Doctor who travels to Paris, with his wife, to attend a convention and have a few days for a second honeymoon. When they get to the hotel room, his wife is having a tough time getting her suitcase opened and realizes that she must have grabbed the wrong case. While he takes a shower, she gets a phone call and leaves and disappears. Ford looks everywhere for her but the police can do nothing so he is now on the hunt to find his wife. Soon enough he gets entangled with a young girl who was smuggling things into the country. Arabs are the baddies in this caper with Ford playing against his rugged type who just wants to find his wife. Emmanuele Seigner is the young girl who reluctantly helps him and turned in a good performance. She became Polanski's wife and yes, they are still together. This is an intelligent film that is slick yet grimy. Worth a look.
So...which films would you choose?