Hitchmania: Partners in Crime

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Family Plot (1976)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Frenzy (1972)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Topaz (1969)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Torn Curtain (1966)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Marnie (1964)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: The Birds (1963)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Psycho (1960)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Vertigo (1958)

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.

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Hitchmania: The Wrong Man (1956)

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 […]

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Hitchmania: Rear Window (1954)

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.

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