Alfred Hitchcock “bought the construction” when he purchased Frederick Knott’s Dial M for Murder, a hit play that the filmmaker would transform into a 1954 motion picture. Hitch changed very little from the source material because he was very fond of the sleuthing, murdering and blackmailing contained in the little apartment.Read more "Hitchmania: Dial M for Murder (1954)"
A favourite of the French New Wave filmmakers, Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess is a compelling if somewhat scrambled motion picture. This 1953 picture took quite some time to put together and represents one of the biggest gaps in his productivity due to some personal issues, like the wedding of his daughter.Read more "Hitchmania: I Confess (1953)"
Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train is really one of the most primal examples of the director conducting his elements at a jubilant, almost breakneck pace. This 1951 entry comes at an interesting time, with the opportunity to transition clear in front of the filmmaker. He’d had four less-than-stellar outings prior and was looking for something […]Read more "Hitchmania: Strangers on a Train (1951)"
One of Alfred Hitchcock’s strangest motion pictures is Stage Fright, a 1950 outing that is quirky, verbose and enigmatic at best. Based on Selwyn Jepson’s novel Man Running, this movie was originally planned for Transatlantic Pictures. After that calamitous venture folded, Stage Fright was released by Warner Bros.Read more "Hitchmania: Stage Fright (1950)"
Alfred Hitchcock’s Under Capricorn is a curious entry in the famed director’s output. The 1949 motion picture is a historical romance and it was met with negative reaction upon its initial release, so much so that it was actually repossessed by financiers. It has regained some of its lustre over the years, with French critics […]Read more "Hitchmania: Under Capricorn (1949)"
From a historical standpoint, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope is interesting for a number of reasons. It is his first feature in Technicolor, for one, and it finally represents a break from the David O. Selznick pictures that initially greeted the director’s arrival in the United States. Rope was released by Transatlantic Pictures, the production company founded […]Read more "Hitchmania: Rope (1948)"
The last outing to come out of the partnership between producer David O. Selznick and director Alfred Hitchcock, The Paradine Case is a courtroom drama infused with romantic and sexual tensions. The 1947 motion picture is based on a novel by Robert Smythe Hichens, with Selznick taking nearly all the credit for the screenplay.Read more "Hitchmania: The Paradine Case (1947)"
Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious is one of his best pictures, a sexually-charged thriller that is as passionate and alluring a film as he would make. The 1946 movie is perhaps based on a serial the director read by John Taintor Foote, but it’s really the work of writer Ben Hecht, who stabilized the screenplay for Spellbound, that […]Read more "Hitchmania: Notorious (1946)"
Spellbound purports to be one of the first movies to take psychoanalysis seriously. Indeed, this 1945 Alfred Hitchcock entry opens by telling us about the benefits of the practice and how psychoanalysis can drive the “devils of unreason” from an otherwise unhinged mind. Problematically, it presents psychoanalysis as a cure rather than a process.Read more "Hitchmania: Spellbound (1945)"
After completing Jamaica Inn in 1939, Alfred Hitchcock made his way to Hollywood. His reputation had been growing with a series of successful British pictures and he was making waves around the world. The New York Times had already called him “the greatest director of screen melodramas” in the world, while Variety was also singing […]Read more "Hitchmania: Alfred Hitchcock Settles in Hollywood"
Alfred Hitchcock’s war panic era, which has produced its fair share of less-than-compelling motion pictures, culminates with Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache. The two pictures are 1944 shorts and are hardly ever discussed as part of the filmmaker’s oeuvre, even if they do prove instructive as to his attitude at the time of World War […]Read more "Hitchmania: Bon Voyage (1944) and Aventure Malgache (1944)"
Alfred Hitchcock is once more pressed into the propaganda service for the Americans with Lifeboat, a 1944 film that signifies one of his first confined-space narratives. The director was indeed very conscious of the fact that many of his first Hollywood movies were certainly supportive of the war effort and the Allies, what with Foreign […]Read more "Hitchmania: Lifeboat (1944)"
Shadow of a Doubt may or may not be Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite of his films, but it’s certainly one of mine. It’s also one of his most ominous, unnerving, psychologically dense motion pictures. Even today, this 1943 movie seems every bit as peculiar and every bit as haunting. Its tale of expectation, tension, treachery, and […]Read more "Hitchmania: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)"
Another thriller from Alfred Hitchcock’s uneven 1940s, Saboteur is an overstuffed triumph of mediocrity. It features underwhelming lead actors and a tangled knot of a plot, but the location shooting and relative excitement of some of the set pieces nearly makes up for the slapdash production. There’s also some good humour, although sometimes the muddled […]Read more "Hitchmania: Saboteur (1942)"
Suspicion is another odd duck from Alfred Hitchcock. It seems to represent the trouble he has colliding with the Hollywood system and with meeting its desire for the prototypical “happy ending.” In this instance, the 1941 picture is based on the 1932 novel Before the Fact by Francis Iles.Read more "Hitchmania: Suspicion (1941)"
Alfred Hitchcock’s comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith follows on the heels of Foreign Correspondent with a relationship-centred set-up that feels like a departure. The 1941 film is light and airy in tone, but a lot of the material is on the darker side. It may be an issue of the subject matter being old-fashioned and […]Read more "Hitchmania: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)"
Alfred Hitchcock followed up the Oscar-winning Rebecca with Foreign Correspondent, a sweep in the other direction to say the least. Categorized as an adventure B-movie, this 1940 picture gave the British filmmaker a solid one-two punch in terms of critical reception and award recognition. It actually went up against Rebecca for Best Picture at the […]Read more "Hitchmania: Foreign Correspondent (1940)"
When Alfred Hitchcock reached America to make movies, he thought he was going to be crafting a version of Titanic. He met producer David O. Selznick upon arrival and was taken to a giant ship to be told that this was going to be his first film in Hollywood. A series of events sunk that […]Read more "Hitchmania: Rebecca (1940)"
It was early in 1934 when Alfred Hitchcock was installed at the Gaumont-British offices at Shepherd’s Bush. The move ended his time with British International Pictures and commenced a period that produced a series of classic British pictures.Read more "Hitchmania: The British Classics of Alfred Hitchcock"
The last of Alfred Hitchcock’s British films (sort of) is 1939’s Jamaica Inn. The director wasn’t a big fan of this picture and it is often cited among his worst by critics, even though it did pretty brisk business in the box office. By this point, it was widely known that Hitch was headed to […]Read more "Hitchmania: Jamaica Inn (1939)"