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A meme: Cast your own Hitchcock classic - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
A meme: Cast your own Hitchcock classic

The year is 1938.  The place, Mitteleuropa.  The season, late October to early November.  The hour, midnight.  The setting, a passenger train hurtling through a darkening pre-war world.

 

From your friends-list, cast the following stock Classic Early Hitchcock characters:

 

  1. The two cricket-obsessed public school boys, who may secretly be more than mere comic relief.
  2. The quiet, donnish hero, learnèd in arcane lore, who may or may not have ties to HM Secret Service.
  3. The official – police – detective of uncertain and possibly compromising political leanings.
  4. The femme fatale who may be someone wholly different to who she seems to be.
  5. The blackmailer – or could it be that he or she is something else altogether?
  6. The voluble comic foreigner, whose deliberately stereotypical behaviour masks a formidable character.
  7. The flamboyant – for which read, as near to openly gay as 1930s and 1940s censors allow – chap who transforms the entire film into homoerotic subtext.
  8. The foreign agent(s).
  9. The bookish governess – or is she?
  10. The one generally presumed to have been with the International Brigade in Spain.
  11. The countess.
  12. The epitome of the blimpish British colonel … or so he appears.
  13. The enthusiastic American tourist, all innocence abroad … or perhaps, actually, not.
  14. The two utterly decent, stalwart English provincial gentlewomen … or so they first appear.
  15. The posh crook – or so one suspects.
  16. The Continental aristocrat – or, possibly, posh crook.
  17. The hard-boiled American dame, who may or may not be on closer terms with the Innocent American Tourist than first appears.
  18. The hunted fugitive whose papers are not altogether in order.
  19. The White Russian exile … allegedly.
  20. Equivocal members of the train crew, from the engine driver to the guard, ad libitum.

 

OPTIONAL: What’s your MacGuffin?

 

My own answers are beneath the cut.

 

  1. The two cricket-obsessed public school boys, who may secretly be more than mere comic relief:  the_gentleman and wellinghall.
  2. The quiet, donnish hero, learnèd in arcane lore, who may or may not have ties to HM Secret Service: l_aqrchard.
  3. The official – police – detective of uncertain and possibly compromising political leanings: azdak.
  4. The femme fatale who may be someone wholly different to who she seems to be: flamewarrior.
  5. The blackmailer – or could it be that he or she is something else altogether? sapphoq.
  6. The voluble comic foreigner, whose deliberately stereotypical behaviour masks a formidable character: fpb, of course.
  7. The flamboyant – for which read, as near to openly gay as 1930s and 1940s censors allow – chap who transforms the entire film into homoerotic subtext: unquestionably, although new to my f’list, eynhashofet.
  8. The foreign agent(s) – or not: itihasa, magic_at_mungos, snookerfran.
  9. The bookish governess – or is she? clanwilliam.  Or of course blamebrampton.
  10. The one generally presumed to have been with the International Brigade in Spain: sollersuk.  Or executrix.
  11. The countess: azdak.  Or nineveh_uk, if the role is not doubled.
  12. The epitome of the blimpish British colonel … or so he appears: pathology_doc.
  13. The enthusiastic American tourist, all innocence abroad … or perhaps, actually, not: sgt_majorette.
  14. The two utterly decent, stalwart English provincial gentlewomen … or so they first appear: tree_and_leaf and sacred_sarcasm.
  15. The posh crook – or so one first suspects: eagles_rock.
  16. The Continental aristocrat – or, possibly, posh crook: dolorous_ett.
  17. The hard-boiled American dame, who may or may not be on closer terms with the Innocent American Tourist than first appears: mosellegreen.
  18. The hunted fugitive whose papers are not altogether in order: themolesmother.  (What you get for living amidst Frogs, love.)
  19. The Very Grand White Russian exile … allegedly: shezan.
  20. Equivocal members of the train crew, from the engine driver to the guard, ad libitum: carlanime, kaskait, jennavere, commodorified, alexia75, ataniell93, avus, and woman_ironing.

 

MY MACGUFFIN IS: the secret protocol between the dictators – and the Enigma decrypt for it that the Poles gave over to HMG.

 

 

 

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Comments
absynthedrinker From: absynthedrinker Date: August 6th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thank you for including me in such august company. I see myself as a sort of George Sanders-esque character effetely spending Mummie's money and Daddy's title and reputation. Yes I agree I would be superb in the role.

Bubba

PS. Though a sort of drunken and half-crazed Quentin Crisp might be entertaining as well
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 6th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, not at all. It was nothing.

Pure typecasting, dear boy.
azdak From: azdak Date: August 6th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I see I crop up twice - is the Countess merely a cunning disguise of mine, or have my dubious political convictions led my aristocratic self to join the police force in the hope of undermining the system from within?
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 6th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

You caught that, did you?

Clever. Although I suppose I ought in fairness to give you an understudy in one or another role.
serriadh From: serriadh Date: August 6th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm flattered to be included in such company. And I would like nothing better than to be adrift in mitteleuropa somewhere, playing the stalwart gentlewomen with tree_and_leaf - though there's a good chance we'll get too sidetracked talking about theology to be much use to the adventure.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 6th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

All part of the opaque and cunning plot, my dear.

And the two of you are forever linked in my mind.
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: August 6th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
That would be the governess who goes on to seduce the young widower, or else climb out a window with the secret documents straight into the arms of the dashing government agent? Because I do like a bit of sauce with my erudition.

Sounds delightful! And what a clever meme!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 6th, 2008 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Indeed. Or you might be yet another spy altogether.

Do have fun with it.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: August 6th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oooh, I'm in the movie!

...except I'm so not enthusiastic, and not much of a tourist. I've found over the years that things look exactly as they do in National Geographic, and I wouldn't know a photo-op if it smacked me upside the head.

I could be equivocal train crew. I could say "Anything off the trolley, dears?" in a Jamaican accent to the quiet, donnish hero (come on, that's you); he could ask me what I recommend. That would be the signal for me to pull something out of a secret compartment on the trolley...

(oh, more flashbacks to high school! we used to do this with Russian novels!)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 7th, 2008 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes, well.

I thought you might feign enthusiasm and innocence whilst being secretly Something Else Entirely. E.g., combat-trained and sneaky. It's so wholly YOU.
fpb From: fpb Date: August 6th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always thought I would make a good villain, actually.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 7th, 2008 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Count Fosco, perhaps?

Too many people think you a villain already, my dear fellow (quite wrongly, of course, but, there you are, there's nowt queer as folk). I thought I should cast against type.
froganon From: froganon Date: August 10th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)

cool


I am the blackmailer.
I like the sound of that.

spike
l_aqrchard From: l_aqrchard Date: August 10th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
The hero no less..? I'm very flattered. Interestingly, I was recently reading a novel by a chap called Alan Furst who's very good at that sort of pre-war Mitteleuropaisch spy writing.

Actually, that having been said, wouldn't it be interesting to get the 'cast' together and write it? Say, one chapter each?

Let me know what you think...
wemyss From: wemyss Date: August 10th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Why not?

I leave it in yr capable hands.
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