Rich And Strange

2174. RICH AND STRANGE (1932-England). Directed by ALFRED HITCHCOCK. From its eye- popping opening shot right through its finale, this too-little-known Hitchcock gem is essential viewing for all movie lovers. It is the story of Fred and Emily Hill, who are bored by their marriage and trivial daily routine. Their salvation comes in the form of a rich uncle who leaves them enough money to abandon their responsibilities and set sail on an exotic ocean voyage. How will this unexpected good fortune impact on their lives? Rather than revive their relationship, the trip has an altogether different effect. Emily finds herself falling for the dynamic and charming Commander Condon. Meanwhile, Fred becomes enthralled with a princess who has a very hidden agenda. Add to the mix, some very surprising and even shocking occurrences (as well as a shipwreck in (he Far East), and the result is a film which is as stimulating as it is entertaining. Beneath all the entertainment value, Hitchcock is offering serious commentary on the human condition. On one level he is lampooning middle class lifestyles. Yet at the same time, he is satirizing those who overindulge themselves by pining for what ultimately will prove unobtainable. Hitchcock’s point is that if you ask for what really is not yours to have, you only will be inviting turmoil into your life. Furthermore, a lifestyle which you might think of as glamorous just might prove empty. The noted Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto calls this “undoubtÂedly one of (the director’s) great early films.” Add the French film maker’s Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol in their classic critique on Hitchcock, “There is no other way to see and admire (the film) than purely and simply to experience it.” 83 minutes. Hitchcock