Lauren and her class are curently doing a project on “The 50’s” to celebrate the decade her school was built. As the teacher dished out the areas of study, Lauren stuck her hand enthusiastically into the air. “Can I do movies” she asked, “Of course” said her teacher, taken aback by her insistance. And so starts a crash course of the movies she hasn’t seen…… or at least a few of them. We went through her favourite pictures of the decade….. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) REAR WINDOW (1954) and THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1955) were discussed at length. Being Hitchcock fans, we watched another of his 50’s productions this morning, I CONFESS (1953)
The film stars Montgomery Clift as father Michael Logan, a priest who is burdened with a confession that threatens to bring him down but one which he can’t reveal due to his commitment the confessional seal. The way the film opens is classic Hitchcock. We are given a place, a murder and a confession, all within the first 6 minutes. What follows in an intensive police investigation to find the killer, Father Logan himself becomes a suspect.
Montgomery Clift led a tragic life. The product of an abusive father, he was a man very quickly thrust into the Hollywood limelight. He struggled immensely with his sexuality before suffering horrific injuries in a car crash (which required his face to be rebuilt) then slowly burnt out through drink and drugs. his death in 1966, aged only 45, is commonly referred to as “the longest suicide in history”. Despite appearing in only 18 features he worked with the best in the business, Hitchcock, Hawks, Huston, Kazan, Wyler and Vittoria De Sica amongst others.
Check out the opening of the picture below. As I said earlier the whole thing is set up in the first 6 minutes. Look out for Hitch getting in on the act also. A nice Senses Of Cinema piece on I CONFESS can be seen here.