Daily Archives: February 17, 2015

Clintington Presents Hitchcock 2.

I was just 8 years old (1985) when Jimmy G. ruined “Psycho” for me.

(Originally I had the dialogue of the actual spoil that occurred in 1985, but I omitted it because I didn’t want to do the same to any of you.  Who says I don’t care?)

I was too young to realize I should have been angry, not confused.

Years later when my parents finally allowed me to see it, I was angry.  It could’ve been the scariest movie of all time for me, but instead, it was…okay, had to delete this too.

I admit it, I don’t like to get spoiled.  That’s why I’m not a huge fan of trailers much any more.  They give too much away (especially in comedies) and it ruins the theatrical experience of “shock and awe.”

That is the fuel that fired up Mr. Hitchcock.

How can I shock people into “awe?”

Some of his other films that I watched that summer were:

Strangers on a Train

Classic Hitchcock.  Two men who each need someone “out” of their lives, meet on a train.  The one gentleman (the naive one–there is always one in a Hitch movie), thinks it a mere coincidence, but he has been stalked by the other gentleman.  They do what a lot of people do in Hitchcock films, get onto the topic of murder and discuss how to commit one.  That’s all you’re getting.  Go see it.


I feel this was the master’s last great film (this was his second to last film, the last being “Family Plot” which I did not like the acting in particular).  There are MANY brutal murders (there is a serial killer who strangles people with his neck ties) and a case of mistaken identity/wrongfully accused.  Watch it.  It’s horrifying.


My favorite Hitch of all time:


I love this movie.  It was one of the last ones I had seen that summer.  I remember every time that I tried to rent it, it was not available.  It was finally in the store and I felt like it was Christmas.  We rented 7 Hitchcock films before I could watch it!  After seeing it, I knew why it was always gone.  In terms of setting, it is Hitch’s greatest achievement.  An adventurous photographer is home-bound at his apartment loft in a wheelchair after he broke is leg on the job.  His only contact is with his girlfriend, played by the Princess Grace Kelly, and his maid.  He entertains himself by breaking out one of his large telephoto lenses and “peeps” on his neighbors across the way at another complex.  It’s a Hitchcock movie.  What could he possibly see?  There is no way I am writing another word about it.


It was one of the best summers of movie rentals I every experienced.  My mom, dad, and I would talk about them right after we finished and would ask each other things like, “Why did he do that,” “Who writes these things,” “Remember when … happened,” and “What was she thinking?”

These weren’t the only Hitch films I watched.  I would eventually see “Shadow of a Doubt,” “Rope,” and “Notorious.” I recommend all three, especially “Notorious.”  Cary Grant plays a very different character than what you are likely used to seeing on screen–as only Hitch could force him to do; and Ingrid Bergman shines as a spy, forced into a very dangerous circumstance.

Hitch’s movies will appear to “drag” by today’s standards.  They are full of a lot of “explaining” dialogue that distracts from the flow of the story, even in Hitch’s time of film making (the last explanation in “Psycho” by the doctor explaining the psychology of it all absolutely destroyed a near perfect film).

With that said, the scenes where Hitchcock ensnares us as the viewer and dares us to look away–makes all of the “explaining” and the lengthy monologues well worth the wait for the “AWE” moments.


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