The Brat Screen 2 articles

The Brat

1931

The Brat Poster
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    Sight & Sound: Glenn Kenny
    November 04, 2016 | December 2016 Issue (p. 102) | Critic's Rating: 4/5 (Letterboxd)

    The pre-echo of Stagecoach doesn't change the status of The Brat from minor to major but, like Hitchcock's borrowing of a torn-curtain shot from DeMille's 1923 The Ten Commandments for 1960's Psycho, it highlights what the critic Dave Kehr (who, in his capacity as a MoMA curator, brought The Brat to Venice) has called the magpie-like industriousness of certain filmmakers of genius.

  • The somber look is deceptive, as the scenes skate not only from high to low angles, but also from sentimental to near-slapstick. This seems to be the milieu that interested Ford the most; one character, a broken-down alcoholic actress played by Louise Mackintosh, gets a chance to declaim part of Portia’s speech from The Merchant of Venice while posing so she appears to be bathed in footlights. It’s such a perfect bit that you expect her to appear again, but she doesn’t.