Homage to Hitchcock
A little more than a quarter century ago, I began to study Alfred Hitchcock. This was more labor intensive than I had ever imagined, especially compared to the absolute ease with which you can source film and video these days.
This required several dozen trips to the video store; a membership in the silent movie club; and a formal inquiry to the film library at UCLA … which rejected my request for a screening of Downhill, an early Hitchcock effort.
The efforts at which I was successful yielded a proverbial bumper crop of films, and I managed to view 52 of the Master of Suspense’s 55 feature efforts. Or, 51 of 54. Or, 51 of 53. It’s a little hard to get an exact count, depending upon whether a Hitchcock purist counts his wartime propaganda films or not.
It required two years of steadfast viewing to get through Mr. Hitchcock’s canon, which runs through the history of cinema from the latter stages of the silent era to his final film in the mid-70s, Family Plot. His brilliance might be exceeded only by his consistency.
Over the next few months I’ll write about Hitchcock’s top twenty. These are the movies that so many people know by name. Among them, “North By Northwest,” “Psycho,” “The Birds,” “Rebecca,” “The Lodger,” “Vertigo,” and “Rear Window.”
Check back once in a while. Of course, as soon as I figure out how to alert my members to a new column, I’ll be able to share this Homage to Hitchcock more quickly and completely.