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.

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Birds Show Up For School


This is from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 masterpiece, The Birds.

This is how you edit a scary scene!

It’s interesting to consider that The Birds was apparently not a big hit with critics when it was first released in 1963.  Much like Kubrick’s The Shining, it’s gone on to become one of the definitive horror films of all time.  It’s certainly one of the most influential.

4 Shots From 4 Alfred Hitchcock Films: The Lodger, Psycho, The Birds, Frenzy


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.

This month, we’ve been using 4 Shots From 4 Films to honor some of our favorite filmmakers!  Today, we pay tribute to the one and only Alfred Hitchcock!

4 Shots From 4 Alfred Hitchcock Films

The Lodger (1926, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

Psycho (1960, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

The Birds (1963, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

Frenzy (1972, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Alfred Hitchcock Edition


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!

121 years ago today, the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, was born!

In honor of the most influential director all time, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Films

Spellbound (1945, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

Vertigo (1958, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

Psycho (1960, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

The Birds (1963, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

4 Shots From 4 Films: In Tribute To Joseph Cotten


The Third Man (1949, directed by Carol Reed)

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!

As you can probably guess from my pen name and my profile pic, Joseph Cotten is one of my favorite actors.  Born 115 years ago on this day, Cotten may be best known for his association with Orson Welles but he worked with several great directors over the years.  Along with playing Jedediah Leland in Welles’s Citizen Kane, he starred in Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt and Carol Reed’s The Third Man.  Even while his film career was flourishing, Cotten continued to appear on the Broadway stage and, during the early days of television, he frequently appeared on anthology series, the majority of which were broadcast live.  Cotten even had a memorable cameo in Michael Cimino’s infamous film, Heaven’s Gate.

In honor of Cotten’s birthday, here are four shots from four of his best films.

4 Shots From 4 Films

Citizen Kane (1941, directed by Orson Welles)

Journey Into Fear (1943, directed by Norman Foster and Orson Welles)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943, directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

Portrait of Jennie (1948, directed by William Dieterle)

 

4 Shots From 4 Cary Grant Films: The Awful Truth, The Philadelphia Story, North by Northwest, Charade


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 is the 116th anniversary of one of the greatest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Cary Grant!  And that means that it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Cary Grant Films

The Awful Truth (1937, dir by Leo McCarey)

The Philadelphia Story (1940, dir by George Cukor)

North by Northwest (1959, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

Charade (1963, dir by Stanley Donen)

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.

Scenes That I Love: Norman and Arborgast Talk In Psycho


When it comes to Psycho, everyone always talk about the first half of the film, in which Marion Crane steals the money, gets interrogated by the highway patrolman, meets Norman Bates, and eventually takes that fateful shower.

Those are all great scenes that are wonderfully acted and directed.  But they’re also the scenes that always get shared whenever anyone shares something about Psycho.  So, for today’s scene that I love, I’m sharing a scene from the 2nd half of the film.  In this scene, Milton Arborgast (Martin Balsam) attempts to question Norman (Anthony Perkins, of course!) about whether or not Marion came by the motel.  Detective Arborgast thinks that Norman is hiding something.  Norman thinks that he can out talk the detective.

This scene is a master class in great acting.  Balsam and Perkins are like two tennis players, just knocking the ball back and forth without missing a beat.  What I love is that both men are pretending as if they’re having a friendly conversation, whereas they both know that they’re not.  Of course, when audience saw this movie for the first time (before the famous ending became common knowledge), they probably thought that Norman was trying to protect Arborgast from his mother.

Anyway, here’s the scene.  It’s Arborgast vs. Bates, Balsam vs. Perkins, and it’s rather brilliant:

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Gas Station Attack From The Birds


This scene, of course, is from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 revenge of nature film, The Birds.

Seriously, what type of idiot smokes a cigar near a gas station?  It kind of makes you think that maybe the birds had a point.

 

Alfred Hitchcock’s Last Ride: FAMILY PLOT (Universal 1976)


cracked rear viewer

Critics in 1976 were divided over Alfred Hitchcock’s FAMILY PLOT, which turned out to be his final film. Some gave it faint praise, in an “it’s okay” kinda way; others decried it as too old-fashioned, saying the Master of Suspense had lost his touch – and was out of touch far as contemporary filmmaking goes. Having recently viewed the film for the first time, I’m blessed with the gift of hindsight, and can tell you it’s more than “okay”. FAMILY PLOT is a return to form, and while it may not be Top Shelf Hitchcock, it certainly holds up better than efforts made that same year by Hitch’s contemporaries George Cukor (THE BLUE BIRD), Elia Kazan (THE LAST TYCOON), and Vincente Minnelli (A MATTER OF TIME).

Hitchcock reunited with screenwriter Ernest Lehman (NORTH BY NORTHWEST) to concoct a devilishly clever black comedy about phony psychic Blanche Tyler who, along with…

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