Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hitchcock

Hitchcock is a lot like Shakespeare & The Rolling Stones: I'm willing to tolerate the crap (& there are mountains of it) because the good so is so fucking good (well, I won't tolerate Some Girls, that is just downright awful). I DVRed Marnie a few weeks ago & finally got around to it last night which got me thinking about all the Hitchcock films I've seen. Of his 34 films, I've seen 1/2 of them. Here is a quick overview of each 1... & be on the look out for my little Hitchcockesque cameo.*Family Plot (1976): I love Bruce Dern as Joe Danby in Support Your Local Sheriff which makes me more tolerant of other Bruce Dern films, but for Hitchcock's swansong, one would expect a bit more.
*Torn Curtain (1966): My dad will tell you this is the best Hitchcock film... I'll tell you he's wrong.
*Marnie (1964): Straight from her success in The Birds, Tippi Hedren (or as she is listed in the credits, 'Tippi'... why the quotation marks? Your guess is as good as mine) made another mediocre film. It takes a while to get going, but it's definitely worth the wait. The ending is pretty intense. Oh, & Sean Connery's character isn't quite the rapist the poster makes him out to be.
*The Birds (1963): Ehhh. Mel Brooks did attack-minded birds funnier in High Anxiety, & they were even funnier when they attacked us on the Diag 15 years ago.
*Psycho (1960): Unlike North by Northwest, this one deserves every little bit of praise it gets. Don't be fooled by the money... it's a red herring. Something ain't right w/ that Bates dude.
*North by Northwest (1959): Loved by millions... tolerated by me. It's better than most movies, but it's not as good as its reputation would lead you to believe. The airplane scene was story-boarded in the Intro to Film book I had @ Schoolcraft College in 1993. It was one of the best classes I had there.
*Vertigo (1958): See this movie... NOW! It is by far my absolute favorite. I would go so far as to put it on my list of the 10 best films of all time. I watched this in my Film Theory class in Grad School & have loved it ever since. It's got everything I want in a Hitchcock film: weird suspense, deranged sexuality, a hot chick, & a fantastic plot (like Rear Window on acid). It also has some of the very 1st CG effects. This is the movie that made me realize that James Stewart is really good... not just that drivel bullshit in It's a Wonderful Life. *The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956): if it weren't for all the others, this would be my favorite of the James Stewart/Hitchcock films.
*The Trouble with Harry (1955): The 1st Hitchcock film I ever saw. It's funny & oddly disturbing. A corpse keeps turning up & everyone in a small New England town thinks she or he is responsible & proceeds to hide it.
*To Catch a Thief (1955): In general, I like Cary Grant & heist movies so I like this film, but really, it's not that great.
*Rear Window (1954): I wrote about this one on the old Leshlush blog. I dig it. James Stewart pulls off some hilarious masturbation jokes that seem way, way ahead of their time.
*Strangers on a Train (1951): The best thing about this film is that it made Throw Mama from the Train possible.
*Rope (1948): I watched this based on a recommendation from one Mr. Barry Hall. The sexuality is interesting & the real-time plot is cool, but it's not his best film, that's for sure.
*Notorious (1946): A stylish thriller w/ Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, & Claude Rains. Although if I'm gonna watch a stylish film w/ Ingrid Bergman & Claude Rains, I'll take Casablanca any day of the week.
*Suspicion (1941): Probably my least favorite of all the Hitchcock films I've seen. Joan Fontaine's character thinks her new husband played by Cary Grant is a murderer. 90 minutes later we find out she was wrong & all of the drama & suspense end in them having a little chuckle about it.
*Foreign Correspondent (1940): I watched this while in college and high on pain-killers after having wisdom teeth removed. Even that didn't help this rather boring film.
*The Lady Vanishes (1938): I got the 2 disc Criterion set for my dad for X-mas. I don't think he liked it very much, but I dug it. It's pretty goofy. Not The Trouble w/ Harry goofy, but for his early films, goofy none-the-less.

1 comment:

stephanie said...

Rear Window is pretty awesome. We should watch it again soon. I saw it again a few months ago, but I'd be willing to see it again anyway.
That movie poster is pretty intense! I don't remember him going nuts quite like that in the movie!