Farley Granger

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The Next Big Thing Review


OK
The art gallery world gets a decent comedic prod in this new film by writer/director brothers P.J. and Joel Posner. Set amongst the spoiled and the starving in New York, The Next Big Thing pits artistic intelligence against a pleasantly simple love story, all centering around independent favorite Chris Eigeman (The Last Days of Disco).

Eigeman is Gus, who starts out the film having the worst possible day. On his way to an important meeting, battered portfolio in hand, his wallet is swiped by a swindler escaping from subway havoc. The interview goes poorly with gallery owner Arthur Pomposello (an unrecognizable Farley Granger, of beloved Hitchcock fame) because Gus just doesn't "catch you." His shading shows talent and his composition is pleasant to look at, but he doesn't display the normal despondence and stereotypical artistic pain seen in his peers.

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Strangers on a Train Review


Essential
Picking Alfred Hitchcock's best movie is a sucker's game. His talents stretched across so many eras and worked in too many styles to reduce matters to one choice. But it's hard to resist thinking of Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) as one of the director's greatest creations; nobody was better at illuminating the charismatic sort of evil that Hitchcock was obsessed with. Rear Window and North by Northwest have better scripts, The Lady Vanishes has more suspense, and Psycho is creepier, but 1951's Strangers on a Train is A-list Hitch in part because it reduces his plotting to something simple and razor-sharp: Two men, two problems, and a crime that can, in theory, solve them both.

Bruno seems innocent enough on the train when we first meet him, wearing a gaudy tie-pin with his name on it and shooting homoerotic glances at Guy Haines (Farley Granger), a world-class tennis player returning home from a match. After buttonholing and flattering Guy, Bruno angles into a remarkable proposition. If Guy is willing to murder Bruno's father, he says, then Bruno will kill off Guy's cheating wife Miriam (Kasey Rogers), freeing Guy to marry Anne (Ruth Roman), a senator's daughter. Bruno's certifiable, but he reads the papers, and the look on Guy's boyish face in response to the proposal is priceless - the look of a man boxed in by his own celebrity.

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Rope Review


Extraordinary
Along with The Birds and Psycho, Rope was one of the very first Hitchcock films I saw as a kid -- a dusty old videotape sitting on a shelf with an odd title scrawled on its edge. I loved it then and still have a fond memory for the film, which led me to explore nearly 50 pictures from the Master of Suspense.

Rope is a complex and dazzlingly unique picture. Subversively based on the Leopold and Loeb murder case, it presents us with two boys (Dall and Granger) who have been taught by their old headmaster (Stewart) in the Nietzchian philosophies of the Superman and the unimportance of the lives of simpler people. Dall masterminds a plot and Granger follows as his half-willing pull-toy; together they strangle a mutual friend, dump his body in a chest, and throw a party for his father -- serving a buffet from his makeshift casket.

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Farley Granger

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