Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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Better Judgement

I'm by no means a religious person, but I can appreciate what Father Logan does in Alfred Hitchcock's 1953 film I Confess. Hitchcock himself later thought non-Catholics would have trouble with the film, as Wikipedia quotes him as having said, "We Catholics know that a priest cannot disclose the secret of the confessional, but the Protestants, the atheists, and the agnostics all say, 'Ridiculous! No man would remain silent and sacrifice his life for such a thing.'" Speaking as an agnostic, I think the grace and wisdom displayed by Logan in allowing a murderer opportunities to redeem himself, despite having to pay a great personal price, is a beautiful story and one that is quite insightful about human behaviour.

Montgomery Clift plays Logan simply but effectively, giving an earnest and unmannered method performance that does a lot to humanise the very simple and larger than life character. A housekeeper named Keller confesses to Logan at the beginning of the film that he murdered a lawyer named Villette. It turns out later that Logan happened to have substantial motive, in the eyes of law enforcement and public opinion, for murdering Villette and as Logan keeps his silence about Keller, suspicion turns more and more strongly towards him. And his former lover, played by Anne Baxter looking extraordinarily good, is humiliated by public revelations about her past with him. Being caught in one of Hitchcock's plots somehow makes her far more interesting than she was in All About Eve, but Hitchcock's movies seemed to have that effect with a lot of actresses.

Partly it's the subtly strange, fascinating wardrobe. I loved this evening dress--it's like a dress from an alternate timeline where modern wardrobe evolved almost entirely from traditional Indian clothing.

I Confess is obviously a good example of one of Hitchcock's "wrong man" movies. That his predilection for making such movies arose from a childhood trauma probably made a man voluntarily allowing blame to be wrongly be cast on him seem incredibly admirable to Hitchcock.

Of course, realistically the story might be more complicated--if Keller had killed again after his confession to Logan, Logan would obviously have seemed irresponsible for not turning him in. Though I suppose a priest would say any subsequent deaths are part of God's plan and not the priest's responsibility at all. But in the particular atmosphere of the movie, we can appreciate the value given to all human life, even the life of a murderer.

Twitter Sonnet #373

Long sandwich bread takes a fire voyage.
Anachronistic tanginess comes home.
Terrible things are for instance savage.
Blurry music pervades the slow Space Rome.
Smooth glaze shields snap the king's final doughnut.
Widening apples distort William Tell.
Clinging fake grass ruins the rabbit's put.
More boxers swallow fish than we can sell.
Guitars scorned by passive chefs start to rust.
Hollow wood grids block thin naked coppers.
The fuzz collects outside the filter's bust.
Love cannot dislodge Drebin's cheap stoppers.
Starchy cloth teeth gently chew the priest's neck.
Powder rooms have hidden alien tech.
Tags: alfred hitchcock, anne baxter, catholicism, montgomery clift, movies
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