Under Capricorn | Chicago Reader

Under Capricorn

Easily one of Alfred Hitchcock's half-dozen greatest films, Under Capricorn has been senselessly neglected for years just because it isn't a thriller. Set in colonial Australia, at a time when many of the citizens were convicts working off their sentences, the film follows an Irish noblewoman (Ingrid Bergman) and her lower-class husband (Joseph Cotten) through a hellish milieu of guilt and repression. Never has Hitchcock's obsession with death and sexuality seemed so Lawrentian (the comparison, if anything, sometimes seems unfavorable to D.H.). Shot in astonishingly elaborate long takes, this is the kind of film that finds the most brilliant poetry in the slightest movement of the camera—a paradigm of cinematic expression (1949).

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