Necktie Party: Alfred Hitchcock’s FRENZY (Universal 1972)


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Alfred Hitchcock’s  previous two films, TORN CURTAIN (1966) and TOPAZ (1969) weren’t well received by critics, who claimed The Master of Suspense was too old-fashioned and had lost his touch. One wag even suggested that, after fifty years in films, it was time to put Hitch out to pasture! But Hitchcock wasn’t quite ready for a life of tea and crumpets in the garden, and came back with 1972’s FRENZY, complete with all the blatant sex, nudity, gore, and profanity of other early 70’s auteurs, proving he could not only keep up with the times, but surpass them by giving us the blackest of horror comedies.

Hitchcock had returned to his native England before to make a few films, but always with actors who had box office appeal in America (Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten in UNDER CAPRICORN, Marlene Dietrich and Jane Wyman in STAGE FRIGHT). This time around, he…

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4 Shots From 4 Films About The London Fog: The Lodger, A Study In Terror, Murder by Decree


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, we celebrate the horrors of the London Fog!

4 Shots From 4 Films About The London Fog

The Lodger (1927, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

The Lodger (1944, dir by John Brahm)

A Study in Terror (1965, dir by James Hill)

Murder By Decree (1979, dir by Bob Clark)

Horror on the Lens: The Lodger (dir by Alfred Hitchcock)


A serial killer known as “The Avenger” is murdering blonde women in London (which, once again, proves that its better to be a redhead).  And while nobody knows the identity of the Avenger, they do know that the enigmatic stranger  (Ivor Novello), who has just recently rented a room at boarding house, happens to fit his description.  They also know that the lodger’s landlord’s daughter happens to be a blonde…

Released in 1927, the silent The Lodger was Alfred Hitchcock’s third film but, according to the director, this was the first true “Hitchcock film.”  Certainly it shows that even at the start of his career, Hitchcock’s famous obsessions were already present — the stranger accused of a crime, the blonde victims, and the link between sex and violence.

Also of note, the credited assistant director — Alma Reville — would become Alma Hitchcock shortly before The Lodger was released.

The Yin & Yang of Alfred Hitchcock’s STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Warner Brothers 1951)


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Alfred Hitchcock , like many great artists before and since, was in a bit of a career slump. The Master of Suspense’s previous four films (THE PARADINE CASE, ROPE, UNDER CAPRICORN, STAGE FRIGHT) were not hits with either critics or audiences, and did poorly at the box office. Then came 1951’s STRANGERS ON A TRAIN and Hitch was back on top with this devilish mélange of murder, suspense, romance, and humor, featuring a stunning star turn by Robert Walker, cast against type as a charming sociopath.

Our story opens with two pairs of shoes (one two-toned, one staid brown loafers) emerging from two separate cabs, walking separately to catch a train and their date with destiny, as we cut to two separate train tracks merging together. Hitchcock’s playing with one of his classic themes: “the double”, or more importantly, duality. Even Dimitri Tiomkin’s score highlights the differences, as a jaunty…

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Games People Play: Alfred Hitchcock’s DIAL M FOR MURDER (Warner Brothers 1954)


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Alfred Hitchcock  wasn’t afraid to take chances. When the 3-D craze hit in the 1950’s, the innovative director jumped on the new technology to make DIAL M FOR MURDER, based on Frederick Knott’s hit play. The film is full of suspense, and contains many of The Master’s signature touches, but on the whole I consider it to be lesser Hitchcock… which is certainly better than most working in the genre, but still not up to par for Hitch.

Knott adapted his play for the screen, and keeps the tension mounting throughout. The story is set in London, and revolves around ex-tennis pro Tony Wendice, whose wife Margot is having an affair with American mystery writer Mark Halliday. Tony comes up with an elaborate plot to have her murdered by stealing a love letter Mark has written and blackmailing her, then setting up his old school acquaintance C.A. Swann, a man…

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The Covers of Alfred Hitchcock Presents


From 1955 to 1965, Alfred Hitchcock hosted a very successful television program called Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  In order to capitalize on the popularity of the show, a series of Alfred Hitchcock Presents literary anthologies were also issued.  The covers all featured Hitchcock in some sort of potentially ghastly situation.  Below are just a few of the covers from Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

(I tried to pick a favorite but I couldn’t decide between Death Can Be Beautiful and Once Upon A Dreadful Time!)

20 Shots from 20 Alfred Hitchcock Films


Happy National Hitchcock Day!

20 Shots From 20 Films

The Pleasure Garden (1925)

The Lodger (1927)

Blackmail (1929)

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

The 39 Steps (1935)

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Rebecca (1940)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Lifeboat (1944)

Notorious (1946)

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Rear Window (1954)

The Wrong Man (1956)

Vertigo (1958)

North by Northwest (1959)

Psycho (1960)

The Birds (1963)

Topaz (1969)

Frenzy (1972)

Family Plot (1976)