Daily Archives: February 16, 2015

“…Presents”

My parents were watching what I felt was a rather ODD movie when I walked into the living room one random evening after dinner.

There was a woman in a daze.  Cut to a little girl walking into a room (that she probably was not supposed to walk into).  Back to the woman in a daze.  Cut to a little girl witnessing “abuse” between a man against a woman.  Dazed woman one last time and cut back to a little girl with a blood-stained fire poker with a dead man on the floor.

I may not have all of the details correct.  I have never seen this film in it’s entirety, other than that brief moment when I was a child almost 29 years ago.

I asked my mother what she was watching and she said, “It’s called ‘Marnie’ and it has Sean Connery in it.” Years later I found out that she didn’t like that movie, but she wanted to look at Connery….go figure.

Slightly intrigued, I asked her what was going on and she said, “The typical things you’d find in a Hitchcock film… flashbacks, murder, suspense.”

I really stopped listening at “Hitchcock.”  I was curious why she would assume I knew what a “Hitchcock film” was.  So I asked her and she mentioned “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and gave me a short bio in terms of the suspense that he was known for.

My dad butted in and said, “He did ‘The Birds‘.  We’ll rent that this weekend. It’s way better than this.”

We did.

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I remember that once the heroine, played by Tippi Hedren, realized what was going on with the birds, that I was anxious with anticipation for each scene that followed until the end.

I remember being disappointed with the ending, because I felt it did just that…it ended without any “real” resolution.  It wasn’t until years later when I was watching a special on Hitchcock that someone pointed out that in an era in film when “THE END” was always superposed on the last few frames of every picture, Hitchcock did not do that in “The Birds.”  So, given its time period, that makes for a very ominous and overwhelming ending for a horror picture.

Subtle brilliance.

After that experience, I rented at least one Hitchcock picture on every rental outing until we ran out of options at the rental store.  In one summer I think I watched 9 Hitchcock films. NOTE: the only one mom would not let me see was “Psycho.” (shocking–I know.)

North By Northwest

One of my favorites.  A man, Cary Grant, is set up to be a patsy for things larger than him in the world and has to figure things out along the way in order to clear his name.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Not one of the best, but it has its moments.  It stars Jimmy Stewart who gets caught up in overhearing minor details in an assassination plot while vacationing with his family.  He of course has to get involved and try and prevent the murder.

Vertigo

Not my very favorite Hitchcock, but it is probably number 2 on the list.  It also stars Jimmy Stewart as a man that is asked to follow a woman to ensure that she does not harm herself with suicide.  Stewart becomes obsessed with her as he watches her and if you think I’m going to give anything else away you’re crazy.  This is widely considered a “Classic Must See” and everyone needs to find it and watch it if you are any kind of movie fan that wants to learn about the art of cinema.  Masterpiece, easily.

I’m going to leave this post with those.  Not to worry, I was always planning on doing two posts for “the master of suspense.”  I’ll touch on my favorite “Hitch” film and list a number of others that I was able to rent as a child.

Stay tuned…. 😉

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