Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writers: Hume Cronyn & Arthur Laurents, based on a play by Patrick Hamilton
Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
Music: David Buttolph (the only score is over the credits)
Distinctions: currently #212 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: a pretentious jackasses murders someone as an intellectual challenge
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), May 2008
Subjective Rating: 2/10 (Terrible).
Objective Rating: 2/10 (gets points for pacing and music) c. 1.4/4 (Bad).
One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. The only redeeming value is Stewart’s performance. Unfortunately, John Dall, not Jimmy Stewart, is the lead, and he makes community theater look good. The writing is appallingly unnatural – one of those movies that’s obviously and awkwardly based on a play. The “cinematography” comes down to a single camera pointing at a stage — and it’s obviously a stage. Everything else might go wrong, but at least Hitchcock has the mercy to chop it down to 80 minutes.