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  1. "Rebecca," Alfred Hitchcock's first American project, is a Gothic tale filled with suspense. There is fine acting, beautiful cinematography and more twists and turns than your favorite roller-coaster. I wanted to see this film because I have watched a number of movies lately starring Joan Fontaine, and this is considered by many to be her finest work. "Rebecca" is the only Alfred Hitchcock-directed film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It is based on the 1938 novel of the same name written by Daphne du Maurier. Filmed in black-and-white, "Rebecca" has a darkly brooding, mys
  2. Why hadn't I seen "No Country for Old Men" before ?! As entertainment, this was pretty darned intense, and very, very well-done. As art, I need to think about it some more, but I think there's a lot to extract from this film. I don't like the sudden, undramatic loss of the anti-protagonist, but there must be a reason for this.
  3. I just watched SE2 EP2 of "Black Mirror," entitled "White Bear." It was the single-most intense thing I've ever seen, TV or movie. If you don't mind not sleeping, and feeling sick all the way down to your soul, then watch it on Netflix, and don't read ANYTHING about either the series, or the episode, before you do. White Bear on Netflix --- SE4 EP1 is the greatest tribute to Star Trek: The Original Series I've yet seen - this, while maintaining its own identity and sense of purpose: It is magnificent. --- So far, I've watched six episodes of this, and it's t
  4. Remembering the wonderful Burt Reynolds, I watched "Deliverance" last night for about the fifth time - I can't get enough of this movie, which is about the ultimate in "guy buddy movies." All four actors have comparably important roles, and both Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty made their major film debuts with "Deliverance" (both of those links should be of interest to you). James Dickey is an outstanding author, and made an important cameo in this film towards the end. I've always enjoyed this poem by Dickey, entitled "Falling" - you can read it in several minutes, and it will leave an im
  5. Hulu has wonderful digital-quality episodes of this wonderful series, but unfortunately, only has 30 of 39 first-season episodes. I'm not sure why, but I'm looking forward to seeing the rest if I can find them - from what I've seen so far, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" is a superior series to "The Twilight Zone," and I say that as a Twilight Zone fan. All episode links are to the wonderful reference website, "The Hitchcock Zone" - in particular, to their "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" subsection, which contains all directors, writers, and actors. If you're a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, The Hitchcock Z
  6. A Clockwork Orange is great but I can only see it once, I'm afraid. I read the book first in a Lit class in college. The movie is a chilling adaptation! For Kubrick I prefer Dr Strangelove, Spartacus, Paths of Glory, Barry Lyndon. You wouldn't believe it but I have never seen Full Metal Jacket or 2001: A Space Odyssey! I don't know HOW but I haven't! I am sure I will, and it won't be on a cell phone!
  7. I thought I'd seen "The Birds" in recent years, but I was wrong - I didn't even realize it was shot in color (emphasizing an array of greens). There were lots of "animal horror" movies during the 1950s (I'm thinking of "Tarantula" as I type this), but "The Birds" may have been the first to place abnormal animal behavior in a completely normal situation (if not the first film, then the first influential film).. When thinking about the things it influenced, I immediately thought of "The Walking Dead," which was, of course, influenced by the original zombie film from 1968, "Night of the
  8. I just finished watching "Psycho" for the third or fourth time - enough so that I was able to study details instead of worrying about the plot. People can talk about "Citizen Kane," or "Vertigo," or <pick your choice> as "Best Ever," but for me, personally, since "Psycho" scared the holy hell out of me when I was about twelve-years old (introduced by, of all people, Count Gore de Vol - I guess I first saw it in 1973), this is a film that has appealed to my most basal childhood terrors, and also still resonates with me as a 57-year-old man. I suppose the ending is now dated, since *everyo
  9. "First Blood" may be my favorite of the original "action-adventure" pictures featuring the lone anti-hero against the mob. We've all seen "First Blood," but Sylvester Stallone (who plays John Rambo) draws an interesting parallel between "Rambo" and "Frankenstein": From Amazon X-Ray: "Stallone compares John Rambo to the monster of Doctor Frankenstein, and Colonel Trautman to The Doctor, in the respect that Rambo is a war machine monster created by America [Sam Trautman is named after Uncle Sam] to do its bidding, but then he escapes and runs amok, but also wants to fit into a society
  10. "Strangers on a Train," is regarded by many critics as one of the top five or six films by Alfred Hitchcock. Roger Ebert, in this review, says only three or four Hitchcock films are superior to it. Having seen most of the other films lauded as his "best," as well as some more obscure Hitchcock movies from his earlier days, I wanted to see for myself how this film stacked up against the others. The movie, based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, tells the story of two strangers who meet on a train and discuss "swapping" murders. While I found this film flawed, there
  11. I'm watching "Firefox" for the first time since it was released in 1982. I distinctly remember the opening scene, with Clint Eastwood jogging (although, for some reason, I thought I remembered him jogging without a shirt). When I was 21 years old, I thought to myself, 'My *God*, he looks old' (he was 52). Now, my impression when I just saw that same scene was, 'My *God*, he looks young.' Unfortunately, other than seeing the movie in the theater vs. on Amazon, there's only one variable in this equation. (Actually, in a later scene, Eastwood was standing around without a shirt - he rea
  12. Yep. It's been so long, though, that I can' really comment on it. I remember it fondly, but am afraid if I revisit it I'll hate it. Some memories are better left alone.
  13. I loved watching "The Saint" when I was in high school - I felt like I'd snuck into a movie theater, and was watching James Bond for free. Last night, I watched Season 1, Episode 1, "The Talented Husband" for the first time ever, and I can honestly say it was one of the single finest hours I have ever seen on television. If you're a Hulu subscriber, I *urge* you to watch this first episode - you will not regret it. I remember the series as being really good, but not *this* good. Sometimes, people have one, great idea, and that's what they use for the pilot in order to sell the show - I su
  14. *** MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW *** As a "companion pre-piece" to "No Country for Old Men" (2004) I watched (for the very first time) "Blood Simple" (1987), and I can sure see how one influenced the other. The difference being that "Blood Simple" is almost - perhaps is - a very, *very* dark comedy, in the tradition of Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors," although "Comedy of Errors" is a farce, and "Blood Simple" is a carefully crafted, methodically worked, mistaken-assumption story that is so subtle that the audience, at times, also makes mistaken assumptions. I don't much care for the te
  15. Earlier in the day, I'd had a minor surgery, and was staying at a hotel nearby. The *last* thing I felt like was something mentally taxing, so I went for some mind candy - something fun, entertaining, and utterly devoid of substance. I remember really liking "Jack Reacher," and the trailer I saw for the sequel (the one with Tom Cruise sitting in a bar, getting arrested by a cocky sherriff, and saying the phone would ring in 90 seconds, etc.), looked like mindless fun as well, so why not "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back?" Sometimes in life, all you want is a hot fudge sundae, you know? *** SPO
  16. I remember watching "The Mechanic" (1972) with my dad when I was a child. I'm in yet another "Jack Reacher" mood, but don't want to completely waste my time - I remembered enjoying this as a child, and it's in a similar genre (sort of), so why not relive my childhood, and watch something with some historical merit? Besides, it features bad-ass Charles Bronson as an assassin - what more could you want in a mindless action film? Note also that producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler would go on to produce "Raging Bull" eight years later. What a difference a superstar director (Martin Sc
  17. I feel like I just ate an entire box of Chips Ahoy! cookies. I am so ashamed that I have now watched - and enjoyed - "Jack Reacher," the Tom Cruise action thriller from 2012, but so I did. Sometimes, multiple external factors converge to make you want nothing but the cheapest, most escapist brand of diversion, and such was it with me, and the previews for the Reacher sequel which just came out were enough to reel me in for the most tawdry brand of entertainment there is. And I enjoyed it. This was my beach book, my Robert Ludlum, my Twilight Zone without the historical signific
  18. Earlier this year, I watched the 1927 silent film "The Lodger," which is widely considered the first "real" Alffed Hitchcock film (after he found his mojo), as well as the first filming of The Lodger, which was remade, in various guises, no less than four times, this being the third of five that I know of. Although this is a remake, Hitchcock had nothing to do with this: It was produced by Robert Bassler and directed by John Brahm, For those who don't know, Jack the Ripper was active in London during 1888 in Whitechapel, a district in the East End of London, in the borough of Tower H
  19. I decided to watch "Notorious," after reading that it is French director Francois Truffaut's favorite Hitchcock film. Truffaut calls Notorious the quintessential Hitchcock film in his wonderful book, Hitchcock, which I highly recommend for any fan of the master of suspense. Perhaps because of Truffaut's high praise I was expecting too much. I enjoyed the film, but I didn't love it. I am a huge Cary Grant fan, and Ingrid Bergman is a fine actress, so I thought I might agree with Truffaut's assessment that this film is the embodiment of the Hitchcock genre. Maybe my disappointment stemmed f
  20. After viewing the 1956 version of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much," I decided to watch the 1934 film by the same name, also directed by Hitchcock. Not satisfied with his earlier work, Hitchcock decided to remake the film. While the basic plot remains the same, I was surprised at just how different the two films are. I liked parts of both films, but loved neither. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day are endearing in the 1956 version in their roles as a Midwestern doctor and his wife on a Moroccan holiday. But the film felt too long as it went on-and-on beyond what I considered the cl
  21. "Hush" (2016) is an independent, low-budget horror film that premiered at South by Southwest (remember this, Eric?) on Mar 12, 2016, and was purchased by Netflix prior to the premiere, thus giving them exclusive rights to it before anyone had a chance to screen it - buying it "on the cheap" is probably going to prove to be a wise decision. This is a classic trapped-in-the-house horror-thriller with a big twist: our heroine, Maddie Young (Kate Siegel) is deaf. "Hush" is only eighty-minutes long, and is very watchable - I read one description of it being like the final scene in "Wait Until
  22. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** In one of the very first scenes of "To Catch a Thief," a woman yells out her window that her jewels have been stolen, and you're immediately transported to Nice - this great webpage on the.hitchcock.zone has all the locations used in filming the movie. In that first scene, the use of the black cat going up-and-down, to-and-fro on the rooftop in the night is Alfred Hitchcock's tongue-in-cheek way of representing the cat burglar, John Robie (Cary Grant), who owns a black cat. When Robie visits his old acquaintance's restaurant, the restaurateur's daughter,
  23. I decided to watch "Charade" tonight for a number of reasons. I recently watched "Suspicion," a 1941 thriller starring Cary Grant directed by Alfred Hitchcock. While "Charade" was not directed by Hitchcock, it has a Hitchcockian feel. I adore Carey Grant, and felt like spending another evening being charmed by this embodiment of the Hollywood leading man. I am obsessed with Audrey Hepburn, and I was born in 1963. It seemed like a no-brainer that I should give this film another viewing. Although I saw this film several years ago, I remembered very little of it. While Hitchcockian in style
  24. "The Lodger - a Story of the London Fog" (1927) is the first silent Hitchcock I've seen - I saw it because I heard him describing some of his techniques in an interview. I've read that Hitchcock had a "thing" for blondes, and was sort of (I don't want to misquote, because I don't exactly remember) "kinky-dominant" - if true, that trait comes right out at the beginning of "The Lodger," as a murderer known as "The Avenger" kills only young blondes, and only on Tuesday evenings. At around the 4:27 mark, when the word "MUR DER" is alternating in color between blue and white (I'm watching the
  25. I watched this film recently, and enjoyed it while at the same time, thought it didn't represent what I "normally" think about Alfred Hitchcock as a Director. A friend and I recently watched Hitchcock being interviewed, and he acknowledged (at that time) that this was his favorite film, and we figured out he was referring to "in terms of technical, cinematic aspects" - remember, this is the era of "Citizen Kane" (1941), which seems very dated, and in parts almost boring, but in the early 1940s, some of the cinematic devices used were groundbreaking, and Hitchcock was undoubtedly proud of incor
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