Tag Archives: Alfred Hitchcock

High Anxiety

Directed by Mel Brooks
Produced by Mel Brooks
Written by Mel Brooks
Ron Clark
Rudy De Luca
Barry Levinson
Starring Mel Brooks
Madeline Kahn
Cloris Leachman
Harvey Korman
Ron Carey
Howard Morris
Dick Van Patten
Music by John Morris
Cinematography Paul Lohmann
Editing by John C. Howard
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date December 25, 1977
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
High Anxiety isn’t one of Mel Brooks’ funniest films but it is watchable and in quite amusing at times. The film is a spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers and is meant to be a tribute to Hitch, but it is one that I feel is not really necessary. For one thing Hitchcock’s movies are filled with enough humour themselves, as they never take anything too seriously. They have an underlying dark humour unlike Mel’s obvious pie in the face style.

High Anxiety isn’t as good as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein or The Producers and is probably the point at which Mel Brooks’ films started to become less and less funny. I think that after the monumental success of Blazing Saddles Mel started to half-ass things as his movies after 1974 are merely amusing and not laugh out loud funny.

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I Confess

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Alfred Hitchcock Written by George Tabori
William Archibald
Paul Anthelme (Play)
Starring Montgomery Clift
Anne Baxter
Karl Malden
Brian Aherne
O. E. Hasse
Roger Dann
Dolly Haas
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Cinematography Robert Burks
Editing by Rudi Fehr
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date March 22, 1953
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

This is a Hitchcock movie where he once again revisits one of his favourite themes of someone being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. It is a theme that he would also look at again in The Wrong Man a few years later. The difference here is that the accused knows who the murderer is but cannot tell the police. The reason for this is that the accused is a priest and the murderer told him about what happened during confession. The murderer ends up framing Father Logan in order to save his own neck, while Father Logan cannot say anything in his own defence. It’s an interesting concept and the film is quite entertaining.

There is also a documentary about the film on the DVD and as usual it features Peter Bogdanovich. I know he’s a well-known director and some of his movies are pretty good, but does he do anything these days other than appearing in documentaries about Hitchcock? He seems to be in every one that I have seen. It’s also the same with when you are watching a documentary on an old horror or sci-fi movie and you hear from Bob Burns, isn’t there anyone else?


Mr & Mrs Smith

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Harry E. Edington
Written by Norman Krasna
Starring Carole Lombard
Robert Montgomery
Gene Raymond
Music by Edward Ward
Cinematography Harry Stradling Sr.
Editing by William Hamilton
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date January 31, 1941 (US)
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language English

To those who thought that this would be a review of the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie films from a few years ago…sorry. This is the Alfred Hitchcock screwball comedy from the 1940s starring Carole Lombard. All I want to say about the Pitt/Jolie film at this stage is that it really dumbfounds me how Jolie can be nominated so often as being the most beautiful woman in the world when so clearly she is not. She looks like John Voight in drag, which ain’t a very sexy thought. She’s gross. It makes me wonder who decides these things anyway? Is it the flamboyant gossip columnists who so often promote this myth or have women come to the conclusion that because Pitt is so hot that therefore Jolie is hot too? It’s just astounding and I’ve wasted to much space talking about this as it is.

Of course there is a reason I have spent so much space talking about crap, because this film is not much to write about at all. I know that a lot of Hitchcock’s films are humourous, like Psycho, but Mr & Mrs Smith is the only comedy that he ever made and it’s awful. It’s almost impossible to believe that the person who had just directed Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent and had not too long ago made The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes could also make something this horrid.

The film is only an hour and a half long but it drags on forever. The dialogue is not witty but stupid and Carole Lombard is annoying. Apparently she was close friends with Hitchcock and wanted to make a film with him, and so is the person who roped him into making this mess. I think it shows that Hitchcock’s heart was really not into this film at all. The movie is extremely boring.


Alfred Hitchcock

I guess that you could call me a fan of Alfred Hitchcock. I enjoy his films enormously and think that I have most of them in some form or another.  For the record these are the Hitchcock directed movies that I have. If I haven’t already reviewed these I hope to do so very soon.

I am currently trying to acquire Under Capricorn, whilst Dial M For Murder, Stage Fright and Suspicion are all on my most wanted list. I am not so sure about The Parradine Case or Family Plot but probably will have them in some form by the end of the year.


North By Northwest

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Alfred Hitchcock (uncredited)
Written by Ernest Lehman
Starring Cary Grant
Eva Marie Saint
James Mason
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Cinematography Robert Burks, ASC
Editing by George Tomasini
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) July 28, 1959 (US)
Running time 136 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Along with Psycho and The Birds, North By Northwest is perhaps Alfred Hitchcock’s best known work. Of all of Hitchcock’s films North By Northwest is probably the one that is the most critically acclaimed. It is also the film that contains a couple of the most well-known scenes in all of Hitch’s movies and indeed of all of cinema. While the shower scene from Psycho may be the most famous of Hitchcock’s signature scenes, Cary Grant being chased by the crop duster through the corn field in North By Northwest as well as the backdrop of Mount Rushmore while Grant and Eve Marie Saint battle their would be assassins have both become just as iconic in their own right.

In this exciting movie Cary Grant plays Roger Thornhill, a nobody advertising executive who is mistaken for fictious spy George Kaplan. He is initially kidnapped by a couple of thugs who believe he is the spy Kaplan and who try to murder him. Once he escapes a cat and mouse adventure begins, with Thornhill being chased across the United States as he searches in vain for Kaplan. The film is just thrilling in every sense, with this being one of Grant’s best films. Bernard Herrmann’s score is once again brilliant and matches the excitement of each scene.  In my opinion this is simply a great film that everyone should see once in their lifetime.

* Early in the film watch for a cameo by Ed Platt as Thornhill’s lawyer. A few years later Platt went on to play the Chief in Get Smart, my favourite TV show of all time!!!


Rear Window

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Cornell Woolrich (story) & John Michael Hayes
Starring James Stewart
Grace Kelly
Thelma Ritter
Wendell Corey
Raymond Burr
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography Robert Burks
Editing by George Tomasini
Distributed by Paramount Pictures/Universal Studios
Release date(s) August 1, 1954
Running time 112 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Rear Window is one of Hitchcock’s most acclaimed films which came from his most prolific period of the mid-1950s. It features two of Hitch’s favourite stars in Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. Stewart is L. B. ‘Jeff’ Jeffries who has a broken leg and spends his time viewing the world from his apartment window.

I think that everyone knows the plot of this film. Jeff sees what he thinks is a man murder his wife. Grace Kelly’s character Lisa investigates but then the suspected murderer returns home. It is a great film that goes from Jimmy trying to work out whether a crime has occurred or not, to the suspense when Grace Kelly is in the murderer’s apartment, to when the murderer realizes that Jimmy has discovered his secret at the climax of the film. My words don’t really do the film justice, all I can say is that if you haven’t seen Rear Window you really need to watch it. If you have seen it you need to watch it again!


Alfred Hitchcock Interview From 1973

Here’s an interview that I found on Youtube of master director Alfred Hitchcock. You may have noticed from some of the movies I have watched so far this year that I really like Hitch’s films. I will watch many more before the year is over! This is from the Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder.

The interview is quite fascinating and shows the motivation and utter genius of Hitchcock.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part4

Part 5

Part 6

This interview is a must watch for anyone who is a fan of not just Hitchcock but of movies and good movies in particular.