Rich and Strange (1931)

November 9th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock | Cast: Henry Kendall, Percy Marmont, Joan Barry | Comedy Drama 93’

Although not well known Rich and Strange is to be cherished as one of the very few out & out comedies Hitchcock ever made: witness the literally sick humour of Henry Kendall curled up in bed with mal de mer, his eyes widening as the indigestible items leap off the menu and the horrified reactions of the young couple when they discover what they’ve just had for dinner.

Hitchcock’s earlier experience as an art director is apparent in the skill with which the various foreign locations that serve as the story’s backdrop are so convincingly evoked; while anyone familiar with his films of the fifties will recognise vivid set-pieces like the hero’s struggle with traffic on the Underground (which anticipates the depiction of bustling New York life that opens ‘North by Northwest’ with Henry Kendall as the bewildered innocent abroad like James Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much while Joan Barry is suitably sleek as one of the first Hitchcock blondes. @RichardChatten

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