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Beautiful movie. Great script. Acting is very theatrical. Brilliant long shots. Very amusing too
Well, I certainly liked it, but perhaps not as much as I first anticipated. The technique, of making the movie seem to have been shot in one long take, is interesting when it comes to maintaining pace and focus, while giving it the feeling of watching a theater play. James Stewart is suitably intense in the role as the nosy headmaster suspecting foul play from his two former diciples. A lot of the movie hinges on psychology heavily influenced by the short story The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, but also Crime and Punishment by Fjodor Dostojevsky. Then the internal psycological struggles become external in a kind of cat and mouse play between the two friends and the headmaster. There are many strengths to this story, obviously well directed and well acted, and it is perfectly well rounded as a singular unit of light suspense from start to finish. But see, there lies my problem, a unit of light suspense. The movie is very predictable and i don't really care for any of the characters. Actually I didn't mind wheather they got away with murder or not. The whole movie felt just like a mildly amusing (due to some funny dialogue) observation of highly skilled movie crafting. I admire it, but I was not moved by it.
A true classic. The dialogues, the actors, the camerawork are all superb!
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In 10 official lists
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This movie ranks #20 in iCheckMovies's 1940s Top 100
This movie ranks #32 in IMDb's 1940s Top 50
This movie ranks #98 in BFI Flare's The Best LGBTQ+ Films of All Time
This movie ranks #205 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #276 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #279 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
This movie ranks #373 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #470 in Amos Vogel's Film as a Subversive Art
This movie ranks #654 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #969 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films