50DMC #6: Least Favorite Film from Favorite Director

The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here for the full list of questions.

Today’s prompt: What is your least favorite film from your favorite director?

My overall favorite director is Alfred Hitchcock, perhaps an overly safe and mainstream choice, but I can’t deny how much I flat-out enjoy almost all of his films. For as many films as he made, the fact that 99% of them are awesome is pretty amazing, but even he had a few duds. I haven’t seen quite all of his films (yet!) but my least favorite of the many I have is easily Under Capricorn.

It was made in 1949 with Ingrid Bergman (who had recently done Spellbound and Notorious for Hitch) and Joseph Cotten, which ought to be a recipe for success, but its very story of a love triangle in 1830s Australia is deadly dull. It’s not simply that the film isn’t really a thriller, because Hitch made other excellent films that aren’t really thrillers – in terms of a gothic romance, he’s got the very solid Rebecca on his resume, and Under Capricorn is not solid. It’s just there, heavy and uninteresting.

On the other hand, while looking up clips for it, I read that the Cahier critics thought really highly of the film. Maybe it’s time to revisit it.