Good Scene / Bad Scene

Chosen by Craig Lahiff, director of 'Black and White'
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The Independent Culture

The Good: The Verdict, Sidney Lumet, 1982

I watched this before making my film and what I like is its visuals and sound. Paul Newman plays Frank Galvin, an ambulance chasing lawyer who's given a medical malpractice suit about a botched operation that has left a pregnant woman comatose. In the scene when he first visits the woman, the director Sidney Lumet doesn't use any dialogue ­ just the deathly rasp of the respiratory machine. Frank takes a polaroid and as its image starts to materialise Frank changes from seeing a victim to seeing a real person. It's a turning point, and it's the beginning of Frank's road to redemption. It's Paul Newman's best performance.

The Bad: Suspicion, Alfred Hitchcock, 1941

I really liked this film but it's let down by the final scene. It's about Lina (Joan Fontaine) who thinks her new husband (Cary Grant) wants to murder her. Hitchcock builds up the suspense until the end when the audience expects the murder to happen. Instead, they become happily reconciled as she realises she has been mistaken. In actual fact, Hitchcock wanted a different ending where she is poisoned but the studio wouldn't allow its star Cary Grant to be depicted as a murderer and Hitchcock had to change his ending at the last minute. All the reviews complained about the ending.

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