Friday, 27 November 2015

I've Just Seen: The Big Clock (1948)

The Big Clock (1948)

Director: John Farrow

Hitchcock's influence is clear in this film, both from a story perspective and even the occasional visual flair. The normal, everyday character who finds himself in a situation where his own life is in danger, largely down to the actions of weathier, more powerful people is the plot here, and in North By Northwest, Vertigo, Rear Window and a bunch of others. We learn early on this George Stroud is trapped in a building where police are looking for him, and is hiding behind the titular big clock, which sets the theme of time as a central element of the story. As we know that Stroud will end up where he is at a particular time, the story has an added impetus to its timeline; one can almost hear the clock ticking behind every scene.

This is a very good thriller that shouldn't be spoiled by too much beforehand knowledge. The performances are all good, with Ray Milland and Charles Laughton the standouts as two men both fighting against each other and time itself, and the cinematography surprisingly complex for its time (and from a director I am not familiar with). A Hitchcockian thriller not directed by Hitchcock.

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