What's your favorite Hitchcock?

..and why not?
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GoogaMooga
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What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby GoogaMooga » 22 May 2024, 14:33

***WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE HITCHCOCK***

"North by Northwest" landed in the middle of Hitchcock's winning streak, his purple patch that lasted from 1956 to 1963. It's the only film that I have ever seen as many as seven times.

We are talking unbroken streak here, for of course there were masterpieces prior to that, like "Rear Window".
What you get in 1959 is the master at the top of his game. "North by Northwest" is the summation of Hitchcock's work and his technical craftsmanship. He had a good team working for him:

Writer: Ernest Lehman
Cinematographer: Robert Burks
Editor: George Tomasini
Music: Bernard Herrmann

And of course that title sequence by Saul Bass, with the grid pattern set against a canvas of forest green, cleverly dissolving into the reflective façade of the C.I.T. Building in Manhattan.

The title sequence is the best thing about the film, and sets the stage for a jolly good ride lasting 136 minutes. This was unusual for Alfred Hitchcock, but point me out some slow or boring parts and I will eat crow.

When I was in my early twenties and a starry-eyed film school student, I sometimes fantasized about having a small altar with candles and all, reverently built in front of the cinema screen, but that would have been a fire hazard and after further contemplation, I thought also a bit immature of me.

What more can I say about this stone cold classic? I am not going to bore you with plot, I hate those things.

But how about the cast, then? Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and my favorite actor in the whole wide world, James Mason. He was the classic urbane character and the epitome of elegant evil. Admit it, all the best villains are English.

My neighbor in my student hostel in Odense, Denmark, once quipped, "I only want to see films with James Mason in them."

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Last edited by GoogaMooga on 22 May 2024, 17:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby naughty boy » 22 May 2024, 15:55

For once ( ;) ) I agree with you. I adore North By Northwest - it's ahead of all other Hitch films I've seen by some distance.

And yes, the title sequence is fabulous. Every visual and auditory aspect of film-making works together in perfect unison to create something almost unbearably exciting. And then you get a brief cameo by the man himself before the film starts in earnest. It's an absolute joy (I think I laughed out loud when I first saw it).

I have to say the film is maybe a tad too long (there's a dialogue near the end that goes on for about 10 minutes longer than it needs to, if I remember well) - but everything else is just a treat. It's one of my very favourite movies.

As far as other Hitchcock movies go....maybe I'd put Rear Window in second place. And I like Strangers on a Train quite a bit, too. Most other things by him that people praise have left me cold, to be honest.
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GoogaMooga
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby GoogaMooga » 22 May 2024, 17:50

naughty boy wrote: Most other things by him that people praise have left me cold, to be honest.


You are a hard man to please... but we know that from music already. ;)
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby BARON CORNY DOG » 23 May 2024, 16:43

Notorious
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby swiftie » 24 May 2024, 18:55

Difficult

In no particular order

39 Steps
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Vertigo
The Birds
Psycho

The lad was born in Leytonstone, then Essex, now London - the same as my eldest two (and David Beckham, Fanny Cradock and Graham Gooch - the later I ran three Brentwood Half Marathons with)

My younger two are Kentish Men




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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby robertff » 24 May 2024, 19:13

Probably seen loads of them but can only remember a few of them, The Birds and the one where a couple are being chased through a field by a plane (NbNW?), one where the setting is Mount Rushmore, Psycho and did he do the original Double Jeopardy?

The Birds is the one clearest in my memory.

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The Modernist
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby The Modernist » 26 May 2024, 18:29

Vertigo - my favourite film full stop.
Psycho and Strangers on a Train would be second and third.

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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby Jimbly » 26 May 2024, 21:53

Rear Window
Psycho
The 39 Steps
Notorious
The Man Who Knew Too Much 2nd version
NBNW
Shadow of a Doubt
So Long Kid, Take A Bow.

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Mike Boom
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby Mike Boom » 31 May 2024, 17:28

Rear Window
Vertigo
Psycho

I love Jimmy Stewart, Rear Window is a real treat from start to finish.
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby Minnie the Minx » 31 May 2024, 18:35

For a billion reasons, Vertigo.
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby mudshark » 31 May 2024, 23:30

Does anybody like Family Plot?
I think it's in my top-3 of AH movies
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby Neige » 04 Jun 2024, 11:26

Vertigo
Rear Window
.
.
.
North by Northwest
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Strangers on a Train
Notorious
The 39 Steps
Lifeboat

I never warmed to Psycho, probably because I don't like Anthony Perkins.
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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby naughty boy » 04 Jun 2024, 13:18

mudshark wrote:Does anybody like Family Plot?
I think it's in my top-3 of AH movies


Crikey! I've got a box and I might give that one a watch this weekend. But you're literally the first person I've ever heard say anything good about it. I thought it was like a soapy TV movie.
Matt 'interesting' Wilson wrote:So I went from looking at the "I'm a Man" riff, to showing how the rave up was popular for awhile.

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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby mudshark » 08 Jun 2024, 00:01

It's a bit of a satire, I guess.
Did you watch it?
There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over

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Re: What's your favorite Hitchcock?

Postby Rayge » 11 Jun 2024, 16:05

I've seen all the ones he made since he move dto the USA, and written about a few last century, but try as I might to be elitist and different, another vote for Rear Window.
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