At once the most beloved mass entertainer in Hollywood
history and the most personal of directors, Alfred Hitchcock gave his obsessions
free creative reign for all the world to enjoy. His command of both cinematic form and
content, integrating them into seamless motion picture entertainment, is virtually
unrivaled. From early classics like REBECCA through mid-period spellbinders DIAL
M FOR MURDER and REAR WINDOW, to later suspense spectaculars NORTH BY
NORTHWEST and THE BIRDS, Hitchcock delivers on all fronts, both popular and
artistic. Not to mention the incomparable groundbreaking tension of his hair-raising PSYCHO,
a movie still sending shock waves more than four decades after its release. View these
titles, and you begin to realize the astonishing versatility and scope of this universally
recognized virtuoso. Join us to once again marvel at a handful of the masters
classics, including underrated and rarely screened gems like I CONFESS and STAGE
Thursday, January 22 - 7:30 PM
NORTH BY NORTHWEST, 1959,
Warner Bros., 136 min. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Cary Grant gives one of his
greatest performances as womanizing, mamas boy executive Roger Thornhill -- whose
cozy life of afternoon cocktails with the boys is turned upside down when hes
mistaken for elusive government operative George Kaplan by suave villain James Mason
and his murderous crony, Martin Landau. Eva Marie Saint co-stars as
Masons elegant mistress, with the wonderful Jesse Royce Landis as
Grants fur-clad society mom ("You gentlemen arent really trying to
murder my son, are you?"). Brilliantly scripted by Ernest Lehman (THE SWEET SMELL
OF SUCCESS) and photographed by veteran Hitchcock collaborator Robert Burks (STRANGERS ON
A TRAIN, REAR WINDOW).
Friday, January 23 - 7:30 PM
John Michael Hayes Tribute Double Feature:
John Michael Hayes began writing for the radio, and his scripts are
marked by supremely stylish dialogue as well as plotting that doesn't insult the
audience's intelligence. He was known for smart, original crowd-pleasers including PEYTON
PLACE and the four classics he wrote for Hitchcock: REAR WINDOW, TO CATCH A THIEF, THE
TROUBLE WITH HARRY and THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH,
1956, Universal, 120 min. Alfred Hitchcock remakes his own entertaining but
lightweight 1934 thriller as a melancholy examination of the pleasures and nightmares of
family life. When the son of James Stewart and Doris Day is kidnapped while
on vacation, the couples long-simmering resentments threaten to get in the way of
their attempts to rescue him. Although the film is rightly celebrated for setpieces like
the famous Albert Hall assassination sequence, the depth of Hitchcocks vision is
more effectively felt in the films quieter moments: The scene in which Stewart tells
Day their son has been kidnapped is one of the most powerful in all of Hitchcocks
TO CATCH A THIEF, 1955,
Paramount, 106 min. Retired cat burglar Cary Grant and ravishing American party
girl Grace Kelly fall in love against a backdrop of fireworks, the French Riviera
and a string of unsolved jewel robberies -- all the while wearing some of Edith
Heads most singularly stunning costumes. Alfred Hitchcocks
tongue-in-cheek soufflé, complete with surprisingly daring sexual innuendoes for the
time, is perfect escapist fare. With Charles Vanel (WAGES OF FEAR), Brigitte
Saturday, January 24 - 7:30 PM
REBECCA, 1940, Walt Disney Co., 130 min.
Director Alfred Hitchcocks Gothic romance asks the question: Did
guilt-ridden, rich widower Laurence Olivier do away with his notorious wife
Rebecca, or not? And what secrets does sinister, manipulating housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Judith
Anderson) hold that may unlock the mystery? Naïve young Joan Fontaine wants to
know because shes in love with Olivier and has just moved into his haunted seacliff
mansion as his second wife. Will the answers come too late? Adapted from Daphne Du
Mauriers novel (who also supplied the source for Hitchcocks later chiller THE
BIRDS) and winner of the 1941 Oscars for Best Picture and Best Cinematography.
NOTORIOUS, 1946, Walt Disney Co., 101
min. "Notorious woman of affairs
Adventurous man of the world!"
Director Alfred Hitchcocks crackerjack espionage thriller set in South
America during WWII is also an intoxicating love story that mirrors the personal
subterfuge and emotional upheaval amongst the three major characters. Hard-nosed Allied
agent Cary Grant convinces Ingrid Bergman, the disillusioned daughter of a
supposed traitor, to marry, then spy on a wealthy friend of her fathers (Claude
Rains) who is leading Nazi Germanys search for weapons-grade uranium in Brazil.
The catch is Grant and Bergman are in love with each other.
Sunday, January 25 - 7:30 PM
REAR WINDOW, 1954, Universal,
112 min. "See It! - If your nerves can stand it after PSYCHO!" That was
the tagline for the 1962 re-release of one of director Alfred Hitchcocks most
rigorously structured thrillers. Adapted from a short story by noir master Cornell
Woolrich, REAR WINDOW stars James Stewart as L.B. Jeffries, an ace photographer
stuck in a wheelchair after breaking his leg on assignment. Despite receiving visits from
his high-fashion sweetheart, Lisa (Grace Kelly), Jeffries is bored and soon resorts
to spying on his tenement neighbors through a telephoto lens. Suddenly, he has cause to
regret his indiscretion - it seems the ailing wife of a traveling salesman neighbor
(superb heavy Raymond Burr) has taken an abrupt trip. Or has she? "The
experience is not so much like watching a movie, as like ... well, like spying on your
neighbors. Hitchcock traps us right from the first." - Roger Ebert, Chicago
DIAL M FOR MURDER, 1954, Warner
Bros., 105 min. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Suave, cold-blooded Ray Milland plots
to murder his beautiful wife (Grace Kelly), and leaves the key to their apartment
outside for his hired killer (Anthony Dawson) But the killer has a bit of trouble
with a pair of scissors -- to put it mildly -- and a new Pandoras box of
complications opens up. Unfortunately, scheming Milland may still be able to pull off his
plan -- that is, unless Kellys old flame, Robert Cummings and unflappable
Scotland Yard inspector John Williams can determine what really happened that
fateful night. Maestro Hitchcock masterfully adapts Frederick Knotts hit stage-play
to the big screen (it was originally presented in 3-D).
Wednesday, January 28 - 7:30 PM
PSYCHO, 1960, Universal, 109 min. Coming
off the comparatively big-budget NORTH BY NORTHWEST, director Alfred Hitchcock
decided he wanted to make a nice little, low-budget B&W film for a change of pace.
PSYCHO was the result, and the shockwaves are still reverberating. Lovely embezzler Marion
Crane (Janet Leigh) is forced to take refuge from a rainstorm off the beaten track
of a lonely California highway. Unfortunately, she checks in at the Bates Motel, presided
over by young Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a strange fellow living with his
mother in a nearby mansion. Hitchcock used the small crew from his popular TV show for
this hair-raising example of California Gothic, and it still remains one of the most
influential thrillers ever made. With Vera Miles and John Gavin.
THE BIRDS, 1963, Universal, 119 min.
Director Alfred Hitchcocks love affair with northern California (begun in
SHADOW OF A DOUBT and continued in VERTIGO) climaxed with this stunning shocker about the
residents of picturesque coastal town Bodega Bay, who find themselves targeted by a
murderous invasion of birds. Adapted from Daphne du Mauriers novelette. Starring Tippi
Hedren, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy and Veronica
Thursday, January 29 - 7:30 PM
Underrated Double Feature:
I CONFESS, 1953, Warner Bros., 95 min.
Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Montgomery Clift plays a priest who undergoes a
crisis of faith when he hears a murderer's confession; as the film progresses, he takes on
the man's guilt as his own, both literally (as police wrongly suspect him of the murder)
and psychologically. The French critics of the 1950s considered this to be one of
Hitchcock's major works, and it remains among his most underrated masterpieces.
STAGE FRIGHT, 1950, Warner Bros.
110 min. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Jane Wyman is a struggling actress who helps
hide fellow student Richard Todd when he's accused of killing his lover's husband. Marlene
Dietrich co-stars in this murder mystery set in the world of the theater, a setting
that allows Hitchcock to explore deception from varying perspectives in every scene.