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(Review originally written at 15 October 2010)

It's amazing what a nose and eye Hitchcock had for a great story. Throughout the decades he had always picked up some great scripts or bought the rights from some great novels.

There probably is no other Hitchcock movie than this one, that I've seen more often. It's simply because this is such a fine and pleasant one to watch. It's definitely one of my favorite Hitchcock movies, though let it be noted that favorite is something totally different than best.

You don't have to be a big Hitchcock enthusiast to appreciate this movie. You don't have to be familiar with any of his visual style or way of storytelling to get sucked in by this movie. It's therefore a perfectly accessible and also timeless movie to watch, for basically just about everybody. So don't let anything hold you back from watching this movie.

Foremost reason why this is such a fine quality movie to watch is due to its very well written story. It's a mystery, it's a thriller and it's a romantic movie, all in one. It means that the story is often going at different places, which in return provides the movie with a very fast and pleasant pace. The movie keeps changing its style and approach often with its story and characters. It throws in a couple of nice twists, that obviously work out most effectively the first time you watch this movie and have no idea where the movie is heading to.

My only complaint is that the second half of this movie just isn't as good and interesting as its first. It didn't made the best choices with its characters and story in my opinion, which also goes a bit at the expense of the movie its credibility. It's also less entertaining, since it picks a more serious and dramatic approach. But obviously it's nothing too horrible and actually is all still quite good, or else I wouldn't had rated this movie as highly.

Visually and technically this also really is one superior movie. The movie got done really well in its build up and just its overall execution in general. It's actually amazing to see the amount of special effects shots in this movie, some more obvious than others. Added to this gets the fine musical score by Bernard Herrmann and you have one fine unique movie, in terms of its style and approach.

The years were already starting to count for James Stewart in this movie. It would also be the least movie he and Alfred Hitchcock made together. It was one fine and successful collaboration between the two and they made four together throughout their careers. There is really not one Hitchcock/Stewart movie that I found nothing short of great. So credit also still needs to go to James Stewart and his performance in this movie. And I don't know what Hitchcock's beef was with Kim Novak but in my opinion she is one of the best leading ladies an Hitchcock movie ever had. She really gave away one fine performance, especially when considering her still quite young age at the time.

Really one of my favorite Hitchcock movies to watch, with a more than great story and also one of his movies that is simply timeless and not as much a product of its time, as some of his other movies.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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