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||| Alfred Hitchcock |||
Alfred Hitchcock

This is perhaps an obvious choice, however, most people tend to overlook the Master of Suspense’s early work as well as the relevancy of his last film as a key element in the continuing transition and development of the genre he defined.

One of Hitchcock's early triumphs, this predecessor to the mistaken identity man on the run scenario Hitchcock turned to time and again, stars Robert Donat as the innocent wrongly accused of murder and pursued by both the police and enemy spies. This is the first example of Hitchcock’s mastery over the suspense tale, giving us a glimpse of the greatness to come.

Considered to be one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest works, this story of two men who meet by chance on a train and frivolously discuss swapping murders is a prime example of a common Hitchcock theme of the man who suddenly finds himself within a nightmare world over which he has no control. You can easily see how this film lays the ground work for the more popular “North by Northwest”.

Alfred Hitchcock's final film is a light-hearted thriller involving phony psychics, kidnappers and organized religion, all of which cross paths in the search for a missing heir and a fortune in jewels. Here, Hitchcock has brilliantly developed his signature form to include the now common, and often overused, device of plot twist, after plot twist, after plot twist. Widescreen!

Recommended by CarrieSpecht


Clea Duvall and Kadee Strickland Join “Grudge”; More Plot Details Uncovered

By ChrisFaile

January 15th, 2004

Clea Duvall ("Carnivŕle," "Identity") and Kadee Strickland (a supporting player in "Something's Gotta Give" and "Anything Else") are the latest two actors to join the remake of Takashi Shimizu's Japanese-language horror film “The Grudge,” has learned. They will play the sisters Jennifer and Susan Williams, respectively; in addition, casting notices have since gone out for the role of their mother, as well as for three supporting roles. The production, which already has cast a pair of WB series veterans in Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jason Behr, is set to begin January 26 in Tokyo, Japan.

Basing itself on plot elements from the films “Ju-on," “Ju-on: The Grudge” and "Ju-on: The Grudge 2," the film has been described as being about “a murderous supernatural curse, born from a grudge that is held by someone who dies angry. The curse passes like a virus to its victims.” Prior to this point, little else was known was about the plot, but casting documents, which we have obtained from sources, give further depth.

The role of Claire Williams, yet to be cast, is described as a Caucasian woman in her 60s and the mother of Matthew (also to be cast), Susan and Jennifer Williams. In the film, Claire comes with her son and daughter-in-law Jennifer to live in Tokyo. An old woman who never speaks, Claire feels overwhelming dread the moment she sets foot in their new house. After moving in, her health deteriorates, and she requires regular care. A mute witness to the deaths of Matthew, Jennifer, and her regular nurse Rika, Claire tries vainly to warn Karen (played by Gellar) when she shows up to take over Rika's job -- but she's too dazed and disoriented to communicate.

Also being cast are the crucial supporting roles of Maria, a breathtakingly beautiful and sensual Latin woman in her 30s, and Peter, an English teacher. At the start of the film, Maria is happily married to Peter, but – out of nowhere – Peter casually commits suicide, hurling himself out of a window to his death.

Three years later, Maria is working as a Japanese "hostess," and she has lost the purity viewers once saw in her at the beginning of the movie; she is obviously lost without Peter. She has succumbed to the hard life, with teased-up hair, heavy makeup, and short, tight, revealing clothes. Still embittered over the death of her husband and her descent into the world of sex workers, Maria is gruffly uncommunicative when Karen shows up to investigate Peter's death as part of “The Grudge” but she yields to nostalgia and looks through her old photos from the happy days of her courtship and marriage. Can she give Karen enough clues to the stop the supernatural curse?

Director Shimizu wrote and directed the original film and producers for the remake include “Spider-Man” director Sam Raimi. The screenplay for the new film is credited to Stephen Susco.

The Scorecard
Producers: Nathan Kahane, Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Taka Ichise, Doug Davison and Roy Lee
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Stephen Susco
Casting Directors: Nancy Nayor and Kelly Wagner
Start Date: January 26, 2004
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Production Company: Senator International, Ghost House Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment