Culture Your Ass: “I Confess”

Written by Barfoot June 27, 2011

This is the first in a series of attempts at “Culturing Your Ass”. Don’t worry, none of these delineations are what your mundane, narrow-scoped facebook usually updates you on. These are actions against the only posts that seem to spread: The intimate and the global; the adorable and the sexed-up (the news feed quad-squad of our daily bread and briefing).

But, what of the nobler pursuits? What of the obscure and those things of an older, finer taste? These articles will be no more than aphoristic meandering. Each article will set before you around 250 words—maybe in video form — to do the simple and awesome task of “Culturing Your Ass”.

Forward by Patrick Barfoot[divider /]

Alfred Hitchcock’s “I Confess”


It is known that Hitchcock was such a prepared director that he considered his productions the “boring” part of film making. This made things rather difficult whenever Hitchcock worked with method actors such as Paul Newman, in”Torn Curtain, and Montgomery Clift, in “I Confess”.

Montgomery, although known for his raw performances, was often unpredictable, ruining take after take for not following Hitchcock’s well planned and precise directions.

“I Confess” actually had the longest preproduction of any of Hitchcock’s films, nearly 8 years.This is daunting when one looks at the fact that during those years Hitchcock finished 5 other films.

What makes this film interesting is that it was largely shot in Quebec City around the Château Frontenac and based on a French play, which Hollywood deemed ‘un-doable’ for various reasons I will not utter since it would ruin the plot.

The lead character in the film, Father Michael Logan (Montgomery Clift), is a Priest with a past. He has loved, he has lost and now he is framed for a murder in which the real culprit has confessed to him in the confessional booth–oh dear!

The religious symbols are rampant throughout as Father Logan keeps the killers confidence even at the cost of Logan’s innocence, integrity and– dare I say it — life.  Logan may remind you of another man who was destined to take the sins of others upon himself. But, will Father take another man’s sins to the grave?

I recommend you watch this movie. It is a classic Hitchcockian murder-framing delight. It is another great performance from an extremely forgotten ghost of old Hollywood, Montgomery Clift. And, like other films that Hitchcock adapted from plays, it places a conceptual punch to Culture Your Ass.

by Patrick Barfoot

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