Fred and Emily Hill are leading a boring life in London. They receive a big inheritance by a rich relative and now they can realize all their dreams. They leave for a cruise behaving as rich people....but this is the beginning of the end. Richness makes they soon forget their love and family. Written by
Claudio Sandrini <firstname.lastname@example.org>
RICH AND STRANGE is certainly nothing like stereotypical Hitchcock. Even early movies like The Lodger -- which was some five years older than this one -- contained some sort of crime or mystery. Even his comedies -- The Trouble With Harry, for example -- revolved around murder and mayhem. But not this movie.
It's old and it's a comedy, but its title really says it all. Rich and very, very strange. Hitchcock's sense of humor is very plain here, and there are several laugh-out-loud scenes (when Fred Hill tries to set his watch, and later when he tries to get into bed, for example). But as the movie goes on, they become less frequent.
The action stops focusing on the comedic aspect of this young couple's acquiring a great sum of money and spending it on a world cruise. Instead it focuses on the serious aspects of their dual extra-marital affairs on the ship, and later their actions when it wrecks and sinks.
And once there, the movie is hardly comedic at all. Hitchcock's darker side comes out when a sailer drowns while his comrades watch on in fascination, and the scene with the rescued black cat is especially disturbing.
So what to say about Rich and Strange? The acting is fine, Hitchcock's directing is up to par (especially with the silent opening scenes), and the plot is engaging. But the movie goes from screwball hilarity to morbid survival, and then ends where it began so abruptly that the viewer is left wondering when he or she dozed off and missed the last half of the movie.
It's not stereotypical Hitchcock at all, but by no means does this make it a bad movie. The film is quite good but hard to stomach on account that it is so bizarre.
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