Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hitchcock's Genius

Still a little bit on a movie kick...and since I don't actually have any of Monday's Disney movies in the house...I pulled out a favorite Hitchcock:  To Catch A Thief.  Got my Cary Grant fix...my Grace Kelly fix...my French Riviera fix...

I had imagined I was quite the Hitchcock connossieur, but when I actually went to look up all the movies Alfred Hitchcock produced/directed on Wikipedia, it was clear I have a good amount of viewing still to do.  Not a problem.

A few of my favorites:
1.  Rear Window
A photographer based on Robert Capa, must temporarily use a wheelchair; out of boredom he begins observing his neighbours across the courtyard, and becomes convinced one of them (Raymond Burr) has murdered his wife. Stewart tries to sway both his glamorous model-girlfriend (Kelly) and his policeman buddy (Wendell Corey) to his theory, and eventually succeeds

What I love: the cinematography is wonderful, the idea is clever, and Grace Kelly is divine.

2.  North by Northwest
In North by Northwest, Cary Grant portrays Roger Thornhill, a Madison Avenue advertising executive who is mistaken for a government secret agent. He is hotly pursued by enemy agents across America, one of them Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), who turns out to really be an American double agent.

What I love:  the confusion, the danger, the tension...that scene where Cary Grant is nearly mown down by a crop duster!

3.  Dial M for Murder
 Ray Milland plays the scheming villain, an ex-tennis pro who tries to murder his unfaithful wife Grace Kelly for her money. When she kills the hired assassin in self-defense, Milland manipulates the evidence to pin the death on his wife. Her lover, Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), and Police Inspector Hubbard (John Williams), work urgently to save her from execution.

What I love: the utter audacity of the crime, Grace Kelly's fighting spirit, the scissors!!

4.  To Catch a Thief
(pairing Cary Grant and Grace Kelly...clearly, Kelly is a favorite, both of mine and Hitchcock's.)
Grant plays retired thief John Robie, who becomes the prime suspect for a spate of robberies in the Riviera. An American heiress played by Kelly surmises his true identity, attempts to seduce him.

In my mind this isn't exactly classic Hitchcock, but it's got so much to love...a visual feast...

So...what's your favorite??

[Summaries courtesy of Wikipedia]


Sarakastic said...

I love "The man who knew too much", because my mom used to sing que sera sera to me when I was little but change it que sara sara.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

HUGE fan here. You're preaching to the choir. One of my faves is "Strangers on a Train." And "To Catch a Thief." Naturally.

Stacy said...

I love Hitchcock, too. The suspense movies, not the horror ones like Psycho.

And Rear Window is definitely my favorite. I think it was the first one that I watched, actually.

Do you keep your eye out for Hitchcock's cameos when you watch a new one?

Silver Strands said...

I love old movies. For a few years when our kids were little we'd make a trip to the library and borrow a ton of old movies on video - spend each night watching a new one. LOVE em!

Alyssa said...

That's cute, Sarakastic. :)

Rear Window was my first too, Stacy. There are several, though, that I think I need to watch again. I was too confused (and possibly too young) the first time I saw them. And I definitely watch for old Alfred.

Adding Strangers On a Train to my list, Green Girl!

I love old movies too, Silver Strands!

scribblingmum said...

Yes, yes and yes. As a 9 year old I wrote to James Stewart and got a signed photo back which I still have! I love love love him and Cary Grant.

Tell me. Have you ever spotted Mr Hitchcock in Rear Window. I have watch it a million times and not seen him yet. Is it an urban myth that he is in every one of his films do you think? That's killed me for years!

Stacy - do you know which scene he appeared in Rear Window?!!!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Scribbling mum, If I remember right, he is in a phone booth down on the street in Rear Window, but I'd have to watch it again to be sure.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Forgot to say how cool it is that you have an autographed photo!

(And I think Hitchcock did have a cameo in all the films--at least the later ones.)

Frank Loose said...

Wow, no one mentioned VERTIGO. It is far and away my favorite Hitchcock film.

Alyssa said...

I need to watch that one again, Frank. I think I was too young to appreciate it the first time around.

Thanks for visiting!

Katie said...

Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, The Birds and Rope are my favorites

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Hey Katie,
Thanks for visiting! Sounds like I need to add Rope to my list too! :)