After the release of Family Plot, Alfred Hitchcock wrote François Truffaut a letter.Read more "Hitchmania: Final Observations"
Of all the Alfred Hitchcock trademarks, perhaps the director’s cameo is the most playful. His unmistakable countenance appeared in 39 of his 53 films.Read more "Hitchmania: 11 Notable Hitchcock Cameos"
Leave it to François Truffaut to push auteur theory to the hilt. The theory uplifts the concept of the director as “author” of a piece of film, meaning that the movie is primarily his or her creative vision. This idea was heavily picked up during the French New Wave and almost inevitably was applied to […]Read more "Hitchmania: Partners in Crime"
With Hitchmania in the bag, I thought I would take the opportunity to publish a few essays as a way of summing up the career of Alfred Hitchcock in my own clumsy way. The first of these essays charts the course to his first feature film.Read more "Hitchmania: The Path to The Pleasure Garden"
Ranking the films of Alfred Hitchcock was always going to be an inevitable problem. At one point and time, the methodology was going to be to rank all of the films reviewed as part of the Hitchmania process. But cooler heads prevailed and the list has been narrowed down to the top dozen Hitchcock movies. […]Read more "Hitchmania: The Top 12 Films of Alfred Hitchcock (#6-1)"
The Hitchmania project commenced way back in February of this year. It began with his first released motion picture, The Pleasure Garden, and finally wrapped with Family Plot. Through the course of over 50 years, he made 53 films. He was also involved in other productions and a television series. From the British silent features […]Read more "Hitchmania: The Top 12 Films of Alfred Hitchcock (#12-7)"
And it all comes down to this. Alfred Hitchcock’s final film is Family Plot, a 1976 feature based on Victor Canning’s The Rainbird Pattern. Ernest Lehman adapted the novel for the screen, marking the second time the writer and director worked with each other. The first was North By Northwest, which was also a film […]Read more "Hitchmania: Family Plot (1976)"
The penultimate film for Alfred Hitchcock is 1972’s Frenzy, a lurid picture that has the honour of being the first of the director’s outings to feature actual nudity. He may have hinted at sexuality before, but this time he means it. One might even say Hitch goes all-in with Frenzy, a flick that returns him […]Read more "Hitchmania: Frenzy (1972)"
The story of Alfred Hitchcock’s Topaz is really a sad one. By this point in his career, the director was deeply frustrated with how things were going in Hollywood. Things were changing quickly and he was dealing with the scorn of test audiences, which in turn set studios to the task of having Hitch drastically […]Read more "Hitchmania: Topaz (1969)"
After Alfred Hitchcock made Marnie, he worked on three projects he wound up dropping for various reasons. MCA/Universal was beginning to meddle in what author Ken Mogg refers to as “an annoying, corporate way” and the director was looking for a way to make a splash with what would become his 50th motion picture. Enter […]Read more "Hitchmania: Torn Curtain (1966)"
Alfred Hitchcock had initially wanted to make Marnie with Grace Kelly in the lead and had planned to do it after Psycho, but the actress had to withdraw due to issues in Monaco. The director went to work on The Birds instead and shelved the idea for the psychologically dense film about a sexually disturbed […]Read more "Hitchmania: Marnie (1964)"
Attempting to find an explanation for The Birds is a lot like being one of the inhabitants of Bodega Bay. There’s a lot to consider about the downy blitzkrieg featured in this 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie and there are a lot of possibilities, from the logical explanation to the suggestion that the ornithological onslaught is […]Read more "Hitchmania: The Birds (1963)"
With Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock streamlines his attack and gears it toward a new generation of filmgoers. This 1960 motion picture is truly tawdry, an instance of shock cinema that brims with complex psychology and horror. It is Hitch at his most Machiavellian; he demonstrates the magnitude of his toolkit with many tricks to keep the […]Read more "Hitchmania: Psycho (1960)"
Another Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece is 1959’s North by Northwest. This thriller is a tale of absorbing themes and characters built around some preposterous set pieces. It forms on Hitch’s common motif of mistaken identity, but inflates the material to almost silly heights and serves as another prime instance of “pure cinema.”Read more "Hitchmania: North by Northwest (1959)"
Among the most compelling of Alfred Hitchcock’s films is the masterful Vertigo, a suitably dizzying web of Romanticism and passionate anguish. Based on Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac’s 1954 novel The Living and the Dead, this 1958 motion picture recently supplanted Citizen Kane for the number one spot on Sight & Sound’s 2012 critics’ poll.Read more "Hitchmania: Vertigo (1958)"
Alfred Hitchcock makes his cameo at the outset of 1956’s The Wrong Man by stepping into a shadowy soundstage shot and informing the audience that the film they are about to witness is a true story. Everything about this introduction is vital, from the black-and-white to the director’s insistence on the strange things that can […]Read more "Hitchmania: The Wrong Man (1956)"
A remake of his 1934 picture of the same name, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much finds the director pairing once more with James Stewart and revisiting material he had wanted to tackle since the Selznick days.Read more "Hitchmania: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)"
One does not understand Alfred Hitchcock without understanding his sense of humour. He was very fond of dry British wit and exhibited a tremendous sense of it himself, leading to many situations that have since gotten him in some trouble after the fact (“Torture the women!” stands out).Read more "Hitchmania: The Trouble with Harry (1955)"
Considered by Alfred Hitchcock to be one of his more “lightweight” films, To Catch a Thief is a breezy and chic entry in his catalogue. It is indeed the on the lean side and strays from some of the more macabre and thrilling themes of many of his more famous movies, but there are still […]Read more "Hitchmania: To Catch a Thief (1955)"
One of the most flawless embodiments of Alfred Hitchcock’s “pure cinema” is the masterful Rear Window. This 1954 motion picture is based on a Cornell Woolrich and once again returns the filmmaker to enticing technical challenges. “It was a possibility of doing a purely cinematic film,” Hitch told François Truffaut.Read more "Hitchmania: Rear Window (1954)"