Posts tagged: Alfred Hitchcock
North by Northwest, 1959.
“I know. But I couldn’t see straight or think straight. I was a fatheaded guy full of pain. It tore me up not having you.”
My very good friend Parthicus asked me, “What movie should I watch?”
And God, I love answering this question.
My suggestion would be American Psycho, starring Christian Bale. I know you’re a Bale fan from the Batman films so this will be an interesting spin as he is still the main character but a villain disguised as a charming, successful Manhattan business man. Seeing any parallels?
As I’m sure the Master of Suspense would, I’d call this a dark comedy, though it is officially classified as a psychological thriller (and a satirical novel, published by Bret Easton Ellis). I can picture Ed Gein, who inspired many of the most insidious characters in film, such as Norman Bates, Buffalo Bill, and Leatherface, watching this film, nodding his head and saying, “Yeah, that’s pretty much it.”
The film is pretty violent, pretty sexual, and pretty hilarious so watch it in a padded room with plenty of blankies, teddy bears, and Dr. Pepper to keep you company.
Anybody else curious about a film suggestion? Check out my ask.
Photo from theGoodFilms tumblr.
Sincerely, the movies
Alfred Hitchcock’s secret cameo?
In North by Northwest (1959) there is a short sequence onboard the train where an old lady has her ticket checked by a pair of rail guards. After a brief exchange of words, the guards move on and the lady half turns to the camera and gives a slightly comical shrug of the shoulders.
Hitchcock had already made a cameo near the start of the film. However, did he decide to play one of his many practical jokes by slipping into a blue dress to make a second cameo in drag?
Although the lady does indeed bear a resemblance to Hitchcock, the role was actually played by actress Jesslyn Fax (who had already appeared in Rear Window and in some episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents).
International Poster Tour: THE 39 STEPS (dir. Alfred Hitchcock) 1935
— PART TWO —
So I’m not sure how many of you out there are aware of this, and I’m hoping a lot of you are, but for those who aren’t, I’d like to inform you that there is a fabulous stage version of the 39 Steps made in 2006 that has been on Broadway and the West End and toured for some time.
It is the exact same story, but with a few considerable twists to it. First of all, there are only four actors, one playing Richard Hannay, one playing his three romantic encounters, and the other two playing every other role imaginable from the cops to the villains to children and even inanimate objects. Secondly, it is an outstanding mystery, thriller, comedy. And last, it is filled with hilarious jokes on some of Hitchcock’s greatest films, including the Rear Window, Vertigo, and North by Northwest.
If you have the chance, you should definitely see it. It is a great tribute to the Master of Suspense and a great feature of the madness of quick changes and playing multiple roles.
Kim Novak is brilliant in this film. She perfectly distinguishes between Madeleine and Judy. (So much so that when I first saw it, I wondered if it was the same actress for a good ten minutes.)
This is also Jimmy Stewart’s last role as a romantic lead.
(reposting with pictures)
First on today’s agenda would have been Bringing Up Baby, but we were all terribly worn out yesterday. So instead, we saw I’m No Angel with Mae West and a very young Cary Grant. Oscar-nominee costume designer and costume historian Deborah Nadoolman Landis introduced the film, pointing out some of the great fashion Mae West portrays in the film. Incidentally, Mae was only 4’6” and wore huge platforms to compensate. To appear normal, she would only wear floor length costumes, including her lion tamer’s outfit, which could account for her odd walk. Mae West is a true artist in this film, having come up with the story and dialogue for I’m No Angel. The sexual dialogue is comedic genius. And the young Cary Grant shows us a side of him from before he blossomed as a versatile actor. There is a humbleness that he loses quickly after hitting it big.
Second on our list was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which was introduced by Ben Mankiewicz and Kirk Douglas. Mr. Douglas was charming and very entertaining for the short time he was there. He talked some about breaking the Black List, his wife, and sang a Whale of a Tale. He was somewhat hard to understand, but for a 95 year old man, I don’t blame him. The movie itself was the single greatest movie-watching experience I’d ever had. The giant squid was even more real than the kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I really couldn’t guess how they made it look so real. Not only that, but I could see where other ocean-related Disney movies drew inspiration from the classic. For instance, the cannibals chasing Captain Jack Sparrow or the shark chasing after Ariel and Flounder when they go searching for treasure on a sunken ship, as my mom pointed out. I laughed at Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre’s relationship, I held on for dear life when the squid attacked (especially when the tentacles came in the Nautilus, I jumped), and I cried when James Mason died. Such a wonderful experience.
Right after, we grabbed some Hard Rock cafe to go with us to Vertigo, introduced by Robert Osborne and Kim Novak. She looks great! And I really wish we had time to watch her handprint ceremony tomorrow at Grauman’s, but I have my movies planned. Kim looked beautiful and talked, of course, about her grey suit and working with Alfred Hitchcock. Apparently, she didn’t quite agree with some of his ideas and she was terribly uncomfortable in the suit. The movie was a masterpiece, really. The storyline was great, but what really is considered is Jimmy Stewart’s psychological journey. It’s just in Hitchcock’s style, combining supernatural suspicion and psychological mayhem into one great thriller. Both the lead actors show just how well they can stretch themselves as well. The difference between Charlotta/Madeleine and Judy was so striking that for a good ten minutes, even though I could plainly see it was the same woman, I kept expecting her to be an entirely different actress. And Jimmy Stewart, his variety is always pleasing while still keeping a hint of his humor in all his work.
The last movie was terribly difficult to choose from. It was Swing Time or Young Frankenstein. I eventually settled on Young Frankenstein as Mel Brooks presented. He spoke mostly on his best friend, Gene Wilder’s genius and the process of getting the film together. He too is looking great for a guy in his 80’s. Now, I’ve seen this movie a billion times, but I still found so many new things to laugh at. I knew Marty Feldman did a lot of stuff in the background, but I didn’t realize how much I was truly missing, like when they’re transferring the brain fluids, he’s up on the platform, shuffling! With the big screen, you see so much more detail and with the whole audience, it was like watching it for the first time again. And just as Mel says, it’s Gene’s best performance ever.
**Fun Realization: When we sat down to see I’m No Angel, I realized that Deborah Landis, you know, the Oscar Nominee and costume historian, was the same woman who commented to me on how much she loved my dress on Friday. I may or may not be purposely seeking her out the rest of the festival to show off my other amazing outfits I brought this weekend!