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#26 Under Capricorn

I call this Hitchcock’s “Gone With The Wind,” minus of course any backdrop of slavery or soldiers at war. There are many parallels however including the setting of a mid 1800’s mansion that if you blinked could pass for a plantation, a love triangle that is all too familiar, all accompanied by a certain esthetic that reminds us of the ‘elegance’ and ‘grace’ of more “simple times” (sarcasm) pre Civil War. Of course the film’s plot has nothing to do with that, as it’s not even set in America but instead a prosperous frontier town in Sydney, Australia. The characters are respectable and the script is decent yet it’s that look of luxury and grandeur where it shines the most, despite my satire and usual indifference for these kinds of films. While many were disappointed in the fact that it plays more like a soap opera than a true conventional thriller, I’d venture to say that its element of mystery gets overlooked with revelations towards the end of the film that do provide a dramatic relief. Although Hitchcock himself called it a disaster and one of his worst films, he truthfully said that about many of his films, in essence revealing that his standards were a little bit higher than our own.

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