10 weeks to go now to the end of the year so I'm starting to move this thing up in to 5th gear. Looking back on what has been a pretty manic and non-stop year for me where far to much of my life has been put on hold for work, I am now faced with using up a lot of holiday before the year is out so am planning a couple of Hitchcock marathons in the near future!
I've aquired most of the films but still have the one tricky (lost) film to work around. I know how it will end though… with one of the first films I recorded that has been sat on the skybox since January… Shadow of a Doubt. Hitchcock deemed it to be his best film and so I'm saving that one to the very end! I've also been putting off Vertigo for similar reasons but am sure that's going to get a spin in the DVD player very soon.
Formaically this is a very familiar film and it feels like there's not a massive amount I can say about it that I haven't said about the likes of The 39 Steps, Saboteur or the likes, especially when I'm up against it in terms of getting through the remaining films. But I'll try and focus on what sets this film apart from those. I have to admit that I haven't made a proper note of the character names for this film, due to being very zoned out at the time of watching, so hopefully I can muddle together a reasonable account of things.
I think the overall theme of the film for me was really about finding equality in a relationship. Whilst our hero is charming and tenacious in his own right so to is his heroine counterpart. The title says it all really. They are young and innocent and the old cruel world around them is blinded by it's own way of working and foolishly persuing them across the English countryside in want of any easy solution to a crime while the real murderer is at large.
The absurdity of the old white male dominated world is exemplified greatly by a marvelous scene where the heroine is sat around the dinner table with her younger brothers who are all sat there talking like 'old boys' as if it's some kind of learned behaviour from their elders. If it had been a table full of old men it would have seemed an unremarkable encounter but to see children talking like adults really holds up a mirror to the things we say and how we do loose our innocence (but not necessarily our foolishness) along the way.
There's a lot of humour in this film too. It's not in the least bit politicised as it carrys the lighter, but somehow deeper, message about old and new, which allows for a little more fun in the script. Hitch's model railway makes an appearence again as it scuppers police efforts to catch the criminals. There is a dubios moment where two police officers are hitchng a ride in a cart full of pigs too… hmmm!
This film also represents one of Hitchcock's largest cameos as he can be seen talking and gestating in a doorway, coming into close contact with the main character. Although I missed it he can also be seen later with his back to the camera playing another character as they were a little short on extras, so we get plenty of Hitch for our money in this one!