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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Film Score Friday 8/10/18 by Scott Bettencourt
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2018 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

Totally agree with you on The Birds--very underrated movie and the lack of the conventional elements you mention is what makes it great for me. And in terms of its "emotional realism," I would add the performance of the young Veronica Cartwright. Even as a kid I remember being chilled to the bone by her tearful description of what happened to Pleshette's character ("...and they covered her!"). Cartwright, even as an adult in Alien, performed emotional breakdowns more convincingly than just about any other actor I can think of.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2018 - 9:24 AM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

I would add the performance of the young Veronica Cartwright. Even as a kid I remember being chilled to the bone by her tearful description of what happened to Pleshette's character ("...and they covered her!"). Cartwright, even as an adult in Alien, performed emotional breakdowns more convincingly than just about any other actor I can think of.

The Birds, Alien, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Witches Of Eastwick...Cartwright is always getting terrorized in movies, and she depicts the hysteria of genuine terror better than any actress I can think of.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2018 - 9:54 AM   
 By:   Scott Bettencourt   (Member)

Cartwright does do hysteria superbly, especially in Alien (she could have played the Shelley Duvall role in The Shining). When I see The Birds these days, it sounds like all of her lines were re-looped (maybe for production reasons), but as far as I can tell she did her own looping.

She was the special guest at the Birds screening I went to, but it was kind of an awkward interview, with a poor sound system and a less than great moderator.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2018 - 12:23 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Back in the 1980's, filmmaker Walton Dornisch made a short documentary, "Albert Whitlock: Master of Illusion," which demonstrates that impressionistic technique you mention, but which unfortunately does not seem to be available for home video. Perhaps some appropriate Criterion Collection disc in the future will include it as supplemental material.

It's ironically coincidental to read your comment on the human emotion in Hitchcock characters, as I was just reading an old interview with screenwriter John Michael Hayes (REAR WINDOW, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, etc.) in which he expresses some fascinating opinions about what he perceived to be Hitchcock's coldness and misanthropy and how it was reflected in his treatment of his characters.

Just a quick aside about that image of the farmer's corpse face in THE BIRDS: part of its shock impact derives from it being presented not in a single close-up but in a sequence of three quick close-ups, each one boring in closer than the one before -- a technique first (I believe) used by James Whale to introduce Karloff's monstrous face in FRANKENSTEIN.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2018 - 12:39 PM   
 By:   foxmorty   (Member)

I would add the performance of the young Veronica Cartwright. Even as a kid I remember being chilled to the bone by her tearful description of what happened to Pleshette's character ("...and they covered her!"). Cartwright, even as an adult in Alien, performed emotional breakdowns more convincingly than just about any other actor I can think of.

The Birds, Alien, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Witches Of Eastwick...Cartwright is always getting terrorized in movies, and she depicts the hysteria of genuine terror better than any actress I can think of.


and x-files as well. quite a genre-iffic resume.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2018 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   Filmscoremonty   (Member)

There is a great blog exploration of Albert Whitlock's talents here:

http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/2010/09/albert-whitlock-scrapbook-of-memorable.html

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2018 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

Back in the 1980's, filmmaker Walton Dornisch made a short documentary, "Albert Whitlock: Master of Illusion," which demonstrates that impressionistic technique you mention, but which unfortunately does not seem to be available for home video. Perhaps some appropriate Criterion Collection disc in the future will include it as supplemental material.

It's ironically coincidental to read your comment on the human emotion in Hitchcock characters, as I was just reading an old interview with screenwriter John Michael Hayes (REAR WINDOW, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, etc.) in which he expresses some fascinating opinions about what he perceived to be Hitchcock's coldness and misanthropy and how it was reflected in his treatment of his characters.

Just a quick aside about that image of the farmer's corpse face in THE BIRDS: part of its shock impact derives from it being presented not in a single close-up but in a sequence of three quick close-ups, each one boring in closer than the one before -- a technique first (I believe) used by James Whale to introduce Karloff's monstrous face in FRANKENSTEIN.


I remember seeing a documentary years ago that pointed out that the farmer's empty eye sockets were not make-up, but rather a Whitlock glass painting between the camera and the actor.

 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2018 - 6:15 AM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

I would add the performance of the young Veronica Cartwright. Even as a kid I remember being chilled to the bone by her tearful description of what happened to Pleshette's character ("...and they covered her!"). Cartwright, even as an adult in Alien, performed emotional breakdowns more convincingly than just about any other actor I can think of.

The Birds, Alien, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, The Witches Of Eastwick...Cartwright is always getting terrorized in movies, and she depicts the hysteria of genuine terror better than any actress I can think of.


She is excellent and should be in more movies.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 11, 2018 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   leagolfer   (Member)

Bird invasion on Brenner's house was scary as hell the screeching bird noises had everyone on tenterhooks, me included, just before the invasion Cathy did ask about the lovebirds safety the response was wicked but understandable.

When I 1st saw this movie & Cathy being attacked 3 times, I was sure she was done for in one of those scenes. Cartwright's performance was very mature for her age - special.

Ditto Alien splendid actress.

 
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