Moviecrazed
  Web www.moviecrazed.com   



HANGING (ALSO STABBING, SHOOTING, SLASHING AND STRANGLING) WITH HITCH

If you don’t live in New York, it’s worth the air fare to hop a jet and join Manhattan movie buffs as they feast on Film Forum’s THE ESSENTIAL HITCHCOCK, a dazzling retrospective (running from December 9 through January 12) of all the master’s top silents and talkies, from the celebrated to the obscure. For complete details on this and other Forum series, visit www.filmforum.org. To read Guy Flatley’s 1972 interview with Alfred Hitchcock, click here. The text below is courtesy of Film Forum; the illustrations are courtesy of Posteritati.

DECEMBER 9, 10, 11
REAR WINDOW
(1954) Laid up with a broken leg in his two-bedroom apartment in the “low-rent district” of . . . the West Village (?!), news photographer James Stewart wiles away the sweaty summertime hours between visits from gal-with-her-eyes-on-marriage Grace Kelly by zeroing in, via telephoto lens, on the human comedy across his apartment courtyard — but, hey, what’s Raymond Burr up to? From a story by suspense titan Cornell Woolrich (aka William Irish), this is one of the Master’s greatest successes, not only an edge-of-your-chair (in Stewart’s case, wheelchair) entertainment but also a technical tour de force and a meditation on the voyeurism of both filmmaker and audience. Plus PSYCHO: THE TRAILER, the legendary five-minute preview, with Hitchcock himself squeamishly taking us on a tour of the Bates house. Click here to read Guy Flatley's 1976 interview with James Stewart.
FRI/SAT/SUN 1:00, 3:15, 5:30, 7:45, 10:00
MON 1:00, 3:15


DECEMBER 12 MON (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)

THE LODGER
(1926) As the corpses of blondes pile up around London, cloaked stranger Ivor Novello arrives in the fog pointing at the sign “Rooms to Let.” Could he be...? Starting with a close-up of a screaming woman, with low-angle shooting through a glass ceiling, this was described as “the first true Hitchcock film” by the Master himself — complete with first cameo. Print courtesy British Film Institute.
7:40
*LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY STEVE STERNER


BLACKMAIL
(1929) After Anny Ondra’s aborted tryst with won’t-take-no-for-an-answer Cyril Ritchard leads to sharp-edged mayhem, her Scotland Yard boyfriend leads the investigation, and every word around her family dinner table seems to be “knife.” Hitchcock’s first sound film had Czech Ondra lip-synching a veddy British actress just off-camera. See the alternate silent version on January 12th.
5:30, 9:30



DECEMBER 13/14 TUE/WED (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)
SABOTAGE
(1936) As London blacks out, Oscar Homolka calmly walks home and washes some sand off his hands. “What’s it like to be married to a saboteur?” might be the theme, as Sylvia Sidney finds out while carving dinner. Classic sequence: the accidentally prolonged trip on a London double-decker with a bomb that’s ticking away. “This adaptation of Conrad’s The Secret Agent may be just about the best of his English thrillers.” – Pauline Kael.
1:00, 4:40, 8:20

SABOTEUR
(1942) Robert Cummings uncovers a spy ring while on a cross-country lam from a phony sabotage rap. Among touches by co-scripter Dorothy Parker: the caravan of circus freaks; echt Hitchcock touch: saboteur Norman Lloyd’s smirking glance out of cab window establishing responsibility for the sinking of the Normandie. Rehearsal for North By Northwest, with spectacular Statue of Liberty climax. “The Hitchcock film par excellence.” – David Shipman.
2:35, 6:15, 9:55


 

 

DECEMBER 15 THU (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)
LIFEBOAT
(1944) Grand Hotel in miniature, as after a sinking at sea, spoiled journalist Tallulah Bankhead, left-wing seaman John Hodiak, right-wing mogul Henry Hull, et al. — plus mysterious Walter Slezak — find themselves in the title conveyance, with Hitchcock’s camera never moving outside the boat. From an original script by John Steinbeck, with the director’s most challenging cameo.
3:20, 7:30

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

(1940) Windmills turning against the wind, an assassination by camera amid a sea of rain-splashed umbrellas and a mid-ocean plane crash, as newspaperman Joel McCrea tangles with a spy ring in pre-war Europe, revealing the unlikeliest of traitors.
1:00, 5:15, 9:25


DECEMBER 16/17 FRI/SAT (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)
THE LADY VANISHES
(1938) “Lady? What Lady?” mutter the bewildered passengers of a trans-continental train after Dame May Whitty disappears during Margaret Lockwood’s trip back from a Balkans vacation — but at least fellow passenger Michael Redgrave believes her. “The very quintessence of screen suspense.” – Pauline Kael.
2:45, 6:30, 10:15


THE 39 STEPS
(1935) “What are the 39 Steps?” When a mysterious femme fatale falls murdered across Robert Donat’s bed, it’s time to head for the hills of Scotland, with cops, spies, and seemingly everybody else on the train hot on his trail — and those blasted handcuffs as an extra handicap! (But not so bad when it’s Madeleine Carroll you’re cuffed to.) The thriller that put Hitchcock on the international map and the prototype for all of his innocent-man-on-the-run movies.
1:00, 4:45, 8:30



DECEMBER 18/19 SUN/MON Tickets to this film available online beginning December 11

REBECCA
(1940) “Last night I dreamed I was in Manderly again...” Gawkily naïve Joan Fontaine finds it’s tough being dominated by a dead woman, as after marrying romantically brooding blueblood Laurence Olivier, her predecessor’s maid (ominous Judith Anderson) keeps reminding her she’ll always be #2. Hitchcock’s only Best Picture winner (the award went to producer David O. Selznick). “The supreme Hollywood entertainment package.” – Leslie Halliwell.
SUN 1:00, 3:30, 6:00, 8:30
MON 1:00, 3:30


DECEMBER 19 MON (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)
MURDER!
(1930) A rare Hitchcock whodunit, as Herbert Marshall (in his first talkie) battles fellow jurors over a girl’s innocence, then decides to solve the crime himself. The Wagner on the radio during the shaving scene came from a 30-piece orchestra just off-camera.
6:00, 10:10


THE RING
(1927) Carl Brisson’s “One-Round Jack” takes on all comers at the fair, but when Ian Hunter tries his luck, they have to bring out the never-before-used sign for round 2. A serpentine bracelet goes back and forth among the ensuing love triangle with a glass of champagne losing its bubbles a visual metaphor for bad news. Print courtesy British Film Institute.
8:00
*LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY STEVE STERNER

DECEMBER 20 TUE Tickets to this film available online beginning December 13
SHADOW OF A DOUBT
(1943) As wealthy widows keep disappearing, Joseph Cotten’s lovable Uncle Charlie visits niece Teresa Wright’s “Young Charlie” in her very average middle American town. But when he starts whistling “The Merry Widow Waltz” . . . Often claimed as Hitchcock’s own favorite and perhaps his ultimate evocation of evil nestling among the pleasantly mundane.
1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:40, 9:50


DECEMBER 21/22 WED/THU (MATINEE ONLY THU)
Tickets to this film available online beginning December 14

NORTH BY NORTHWEST
(1959) “I’m an advertising man, not a red herring!”“Crop dustin’ where there ain’t no crops,” the art auction disruption/ escape, the Mount Rushmore duel, the train going into the tunnel: the classic Hitchcock set pieces just keep on coming as Cary Grant finds a simple case of mistaken identity snowballing into a breakneck chase across the country, menaced by James Mason and his two-man goon squad (including Martin Landau), and alternately aided, teased and thwarted by Eva Marie Saint’s double — or is she a triple? — agent. Click here for Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Cary Grant; for Guy's 1977 interview with James Mason, click here.
WED 1:00, 3:30, 6:10, 8:45
THU 1:00, 3:35


DECEMBER 22 THU (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
(1934) On vacation in Switzerland, a death scene statement tips Leslie Banks and sharp-shooting Edna Best off to a London assassination scheme, and the action begins, complete with a child’s kidnapping, a deadly cantata, and a restaging of the “Siege of Sidney Street.” See Hitchcock’s own remake on December 25 and 26. Print courtesy British Film Institute.
7:40


THE SECRET AGENT
(1936) Shakespearean great John Gielgud essays espionage, aided by a raffish Peter Lorre, with disastrous results. Adapted from Ashenden, Somerset Maugham’s fictionalized memoirs of his own WWI spying. “Hitchcock at his very best: the fake funeral, the murder on the mountainside, the riverside café, and the climax in a chocolate factory.” – National Film Theatre notes.
6:00, 9:10


DECEMBER 23/24 FRI/SAT Tickets to this film available online beginning December 16
PSYCHO
(1960) “Mother’s not quite herself today.” After trysting with married lover John Gavin, Janet Leigh embezzles 40 grand and heads South of the Border, but stops for a rest at taxidermy buff Anthony Perkins’ Bates Motel, where guests check in, but... Hitchcock’s legendary blackly comic shocker vaulted its title into the non-Freudian mainstream and turned comfy shower stalls into places of terror — aided by Bernard Herrmann’s shrieking all-strings score. Plus Hitchcock in the original trailer for The Birds.
1:10, 3:10, 5:10, 7:10, 9:10


DECEMBER 25/26 SUN/MON
Tickets to this film available online beginning December 18

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
(1956) “Que sera, sera — whatever will be, will be,” warbles Doris Day (singing the only hit from a Hitchcock movie — and an Oscar winner to boot), but little does she know that a Marrakech vacation with hubby James Stewart will lead to kidnapping, murder, and a classically nerve-shredding race with a cymbalist — under composer Bernard Herrmann’s baton — in London’s Albert Hall. For Guy Flatley's 1976 interview with James Stewart, click here.
1:00, 3:30, 6:00, 8:20


DECEMBER 27/28 TUE/WED (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)

SUSPICION
(1941) “If you’re going to kill someone, do it simply.” Cary Grant’s first film for Hitchcock, here as the dream husband of Joan Fontaine (in Oscar-winning performance), until she discovers he’s indifferent, a liar, a spendthrift, and possibly even — wait, this is Cary Grant! — a murderer. Echt Hitchcock touch: the ominous light inside an otherwise innocent glass of milk. For Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Cary Grant, click here.
3:10, 7:20


SPELLBOUND
(1945) “Women make the best psychoanalysts until they fall in love. Then they make the best patients.” Psychiatrist — or is he? — Gregory Peck just can’t shake that darned amnesia, but then he’s got fellow shrink Ingrid Bergman to treat him. Salvador Dalí dream sequences and Miklos Rosza’s Oscar-winning score key classic Hitchcockian love/guilt tangle.
1:00, 5:10, 9:20


DECEMBER 29 THU Tickets to this film available online beginning December 22
NOTORIOUS
(1946) Reluctant spy Ingrid Bergman complains “He wants to marry me” to lover/FBI contact Cary Grant, after Nazi fellow traveler Claude Rains falls a little too hard for her undercover activities. Painful sexual politics underscore the high tension set pieces of suspense. “The most elegant expression of the Master’s visual style.” – Roger Ebert. For Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Cary Grant, click here.
1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30


DECEMBER 30/31 FRI/SAT Tickets to this film available online beginning December 23

DIAL M FOR MURDER
(1954) Flat-broke husband Ray Milland, jealous of rich wife Grace Kelly’s friendship with Robert Cummings, plans the perfect murder. And, despite an errant pair of scissors, things look good until Inspector John Williams arrives . . . Given only a limited 3-D release, Hitchcock’s Dial M is rarely seen in its original double-system 3-D, most effectively used in the murder sequence, turning the viewer into a voyeuristic accomplice as only the Master could have planned.
1:10, 3:20, 5:30, 7:40, 9:45

JANUARY 1/2 SUN/MON Tickets to this film available online beginning December 25

THE BIRDS
(1963) “The Birds is Coming!” Bratty playgirl Tippi Hedren, after exchanging barbs with lawyer Rod Taylor in a Frisco pet shop, follows him to Bodega Bay, with a gift of — ulp! — lovebirds... and then nature turns. Hitchcock’s tour de force of terror from the mundane includes a barrage of optical tricks and a completely music-less track of electronic sounds supervised by Bernard Herrmann. From a story by Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca) and a screenplay by Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain). “Enough to make you kick the next pigeon you come across.” – Judith Crist.
1:00, 3:20, 5:40, 8:00, 10:20

JANUARY 3 TUE
Tickets to this film available online beginning December 27

TORN CURTAIN
(1966) Distraught Julie Andrews follows atomic scientist husband Paul Newman as he defects behind the Iron Curtain — or does he? Memorable sequences include an extended chase by bus and one of the most prolonged murder scenes ever shown on screen. “I thought it was time to show that it was very difficult, very painful, and it takes a long time to kill a man.” – Hitchcock.


JANUARY 4 WED (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)

THE WRONG MAN
(1957) Returning at dawn to Jackson Heights, Stork Club bass player Henry Fonda finds himself trapped in a classic mistaken-identity case. Shot in ruthlessly restrained semi-doc style on the locations of the actual case, with harrowing sequences of Fonda’s booking and arraignment, and memorable innocent-to-guilty dissolve. For Guy Flatley's 1970 interview with Henry Fonda, click here.
1:00, 4:40, 8:20

ROPE
(1948) Hitchcock’s boldest technical experiment ever, shot in a claustrophobic single set, as a murder by effete, thrill-seeking rich boys Farley Granger and John Dall (as characters based on the real-life Leopold and Loeb) is exposed by Professor James Stewart. Shot in continuously moving ten-minute takes, with mid-reel cuts cleverly masked, the entire film seems to be composed of only four shots (count ’em). For Guy Flatley's 1976 interview with James Stewart, click here.
3:00, 6:40, 10:20


 

JANUARY 5 THU Tickets to this film available online beginning December 29
MARNIE
(1964) What’s wealthy publisher Sean Connery to do when he finds employee Tippi Hedren is a compulsive klepto? Why, marry her, of course. But the real surprises start on the wedding night. “As sour a vision of male-female interaction as Vertigo. . . thrilling to watch, lush, cool and oddly moving.” – Time Out (London).
1:10, 3:40, 7:00, 9:30

JANUARY 6/7 FRI/SAT Tickets to this film available online beginning December 30

VERTIGO
(1958) Acrophobic ex-cop James Stewart, hired to shadow seemingly death-obsessed Kim Novak, saves her from drowning in the shadow of the Golden Gate bridge, but not from a fall off a Mission steeple. But then he meets her again... or does he? One of the screen’s most wrenching treatments of loss and — in Stewart’s tormented performance — of sexual obsession. “An altogether deeper investigation of guilt, exploitation, and obsession... the director at the very height of his powers.” – Time Out (London). For Guy Flatley's 1976 interview with James Stewart, click here.
2:00. 4:30, 7:00, 9:30


JANUARY 8/9 SUN/MON Tickets to this film available online beginning January 1

TO CATCH A THIEF
(1955) As jewel robberies proliferate in the south of France, les flics start to look into ex-cat burglar Cary Grant’s supposed “retirement,” but he’s more interested in fireworks over Cannes with fire-and-ice Grace Kelly. Perhaps Hitchcock’s most beautiful-to-look-at work, with ravishing Riviera locations in color, the two stars at their most glamorous, and a “zingy air of sophistication” (Pauline Kael). For Guy Flatley's 1973 interview with Cary Grant, click here.
SUN 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30
MON 1:30, 3:30


JANUARY 9 MON (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION)

YOUNG AND INNOCENT
(1937) Derrick de Marney, on the run for a crime he didn’t commit, is aided by the young Nova Pilbeam, but they’re almost trapped by a child’s game of blind man’s buff; with a memorable dolly over a crowded dance floor zeroing in on the villain’s twitching eyes. “A kind of ‘American Hitchcock film’ ahead of its time... takes its place among the best films of the British period.” – Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer.
5:30, 8:40


DOWNHILL
(1927) Expelled from his school after being accused of theft, Ivor Novello (re-united with Hitchcock after The Lodger) goes down, down, down... with a location-shot London Underground station serving as the perfect metaphor. Print courtesy British Film Institute.
7:10
*LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY STEVE STERNER


JANUARY 10 TUE Tickets to this film available online beginning January 3
FRENZY
(1972) Down-on-his-luck ex-RAF man Jon Finch is on the run from accusations of being The Necktie Strangler, in Hitchcock’s return to London and to fiendish form, making us identify with the killer, even as he must retrieve evidence from a victim’s post- rigor mortis finger. “Hitchcock’s smacking his lips and rubbing his hands and delighting in his naughtiness.” – Roger Ebert.
1:00, 3:20, 5:40, 8:00


 

JANUARY 11/12 WED/THU (2 FILMS FOR 1 ADMISSION ON WED ONLY†)
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
(1951) Suave demento Robert Walker (“makes Norman Bates look positively well-adjusted” – Time Out London) offers to switch murders with tennis pro Farley Granger. Screenplay by Raymond Chandler. “Intensely enjoyable — in some ways the best of Hitchcock’s American films.” – Pauline Kael.
WED 1:30, 5:10, 9:10* (*NOTE NEW SHOWTIMES)
THU 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 9:30
(†NOTE: PLAYS AS SINGLE FEATURE ON THU)


I CONFESS
(1953) Just another day at the office for Canadian priest Montgomery Clift as he takes the confession of murderer O.E. Hasse — only problem is, Hasse’s victim was blackmailing Clift over a pre-ordination love affair, and now guess who’s the top suspect? And then there’s that “seal of confession” to deal with.
WED ONLY AT 3:20, 7:10
(NO SCREENINGS ON THU)


JANUARY 12 THU Tickets to this film available online beginning January 5

BLACKMAIL (SILENT VERSION)
(1929) Before it was re-shot as a talkie (see description, December 12), Hitchcock had completed this much rarer silent version. Print courtesy British Film Institute.
7:30*
*LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY STEVE STERNER