Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hitch

Today is the 112th Birthday of probably the greatest movie director of all time, Alfred Hitchcock. By all accounts a bully on the set, Hitchcock's methods probably wouldn't be tolerated today. Still, say what you will about the man, he got the results he wanted and they usually paid off.

Ask me to name 10 of the greatest horror movies of all time, and 2 of them will be his. Ask me to name 10 of the greatest thrillers of all time, and 5 will be his.

I won't go on and on about his style and his camera work or even his obsession with beautiful blondes. There are enough books written about him and his films to fill an entire library. What I will go on about is the enduring quality of his movies. 31 years after his death, we still revere and talk about his movies (not to mention watch them over and over again). And while we may say a movie is "Speilbergian" or "Lynchian" or even "Felliniesque," he is probably the first director to have an adjective named for him. You know when a film is described as "Hitchcockian," you are in for a treat.

And there was also his TV series, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." At a time when the major studios feared television would kill the industry, Hitchcock embraced it. His weekly forays into the macabre are just as good as his films and his corny appearances at the beginning and end of each episode are iconic, if only for the fabulous silhouette into which he walked each week. So, to honor his memory (and my love of his works), here are a few of my favorite Hitchcock moments:

Who else would kill his star in the first 20 minutes of the picture?

Damn, Rod Taylor was hot!

Perhaps Bernard Herrman's best score of all time...

So creepy...

Jimmy Stewart... No!

Farley Granger... No!

Perry Mason... No!

If you younger readers are unfamiliar with the master's works, line up his films in your Netflix queue ASAP. You're missing out on true geniius.

Happy Birthday, Hitch. And thanks for so many great movie and TV memories.

More, anon.

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