A CUT ABOVE: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho

I can just imagine the Hollywood studios in 1959 watching North by Northwest and heaving a great big sigh of relief! At last - they thought – the Master of Suspense has finally gotten the message!! NO more art films, NO more experiments. Just good old fashioned exciting-but-wholesome entertainment. Certainly they had cause for hope: Alfred Hitchcock had come this close to … Continue reading A CUT ABOVE: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho

A KISS BEFORE DYING: Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo

Throughout most of his life, Alfred Hitchcock was both appreciated and dismissed as a maker of entertaining mystery thrillers. After his first American film Rebecca won the Academy Award, Hitchcock’s critics got wise and considered him first and foremost a genre filmmaker; the best of his movies might get nominated for Sound Design or Art Direction and … Continue reading A KISS BEFORE DYING: Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo

“SLAUGHTER AND BE GAY”: Hitchcock and Farley Granger

My opinion of actor Farley Granger changed forever last year when our film noir class watched 1948’s They Live by Night(aka Thieves Like Us).  It was only Granger’s third film, his first with top billing, and he is revelatory here. I wrote previously about that film, about his heartbreaking performance and the disappointing trajectory his career would take … Continue reading “SLAUGHTER AND BE GAY”: Hitchcock and Farley Granger

A DIVINE SYNERGY: Hitchcock’s Notorious

“Of all your pictures, this is the one in which one feels the most perfect correlation between what you are aiming at and what appears on the screen . . . “(Francois Truffaut to Alfred Hitchcock) Notorious is the shining light of Alfred Hitchcock’s output in the 1940’s and his first true masterpiece. Oh, Rebecca won the Oscar, Foreign Correspondent is … Continue reading A DIVINE SYNERGY: Hitchcock’s Notorious

CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE: Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

Alfred Hitchcock arrived in Hollywood in 1939 under most auspicious circumstances. Fifteen years of work in his native England had produced over two dozen films, including future classics such as The Lodger (1927), The 39 Steps (1935), and The Lady Vanishes (1938), establishing the 40-year old as Europe’s premiere director. The three films mentioned, along with Blackmail (1929), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) … Continue reading CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE: Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

WEDNESDAYS AT THE MOVIES: Murders and Maguffins from the Master of Suspense

I’m a mystery book blogger by trade, but I warned you in my very first post that, from time to time, I would also talk about films – mystery films in particular. And who epitomizes such a film better than the Master of Suspense, and my favorite film director – Alfred Hitchcock?  I often tell … Continue reading WEDNESDAYS AT THE MOVIES: Murders and Maguffins from the Master of Suspense

UN VOYAGE DANS LES TENEBRES: Week 10 – Worshipping at the Alton of Noir

Ten weeks ago, I decided to share with you my journey through a world of 40’s film noir that I watched as part of my course “Primacy of the Visual,” taught by Elliot Lavine through Stanford University. Twenty-four films later, I am so grateful to Elliot for allowing me to visit a few favorites, for introducing me … Continue reading UN VOYAGE DANS LES TENEBRES: Week 10 – Worshipping at the Alton of Noir