THE INVISIBLE HOST (And the Many Mysteries Surrounding It)

Here’s the first mystery . . .  How does it happen that, on this day of all days, two men on opposite sides of the Atlantic decided to spend part of their Sunday writing a review of this book? That the Puzzle Doctor In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel got his review out before mine can … Continue reading THE INVISIBLE HOST (And the Many Mysteries Surrounding It)

READING BETWEEN THE LINES: Spellbound and Suspicion

Fans of classic crime fiction – and I count these among the majority of my visitors – are unlikely to make a favorite double bill out of today’s two Alfred Hitchcock films. Yes, both are adapted from mystery novels by Golden Age writers: Spellbound from Francis Beeding’s The House of Dr. Edwardes and Suspicion from Before the Fact by Francis Iles, pseudonym for … Continue reading READING BETWEEN THE LINES: Spellbound and Suspicion

MAGUFFIN AT SEA: Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat

During the 1940’s, Alfred Hitchcock did his bit to help the war effort by filming several propaganda films, two of them – Aventure Malgache and Bon Voyage - at the behest of the British War Ministry. In addition, four of the dozen feature films were connected in some way with the war. Of these, only one, Notorious (1946) can be called … Continue reading MAGUFFIN AT SEA: Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat

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

UN VOYAGE DANS LES TENEBRES: Week 8 – Mid(century) Evil Woman

Most of the time it’s easy to kick back and enjoy an old movie for its story, its performances, and – as often happens in the case of film noir – its distinctive look. But sometimes, like when you’ve been sitting isolated for over fourteen months and you’ve been forced to watch one major political party do … Continue reading UN VOYAGE DANS LES TENEBRES: Week 8 – Mid(century) Evil Woman