Hitchcock Collection Viewing

Many apologies to our adoring public. This post was supposed to go up Friday. After a 22-hour long power outage, I then got this typed up… and then forgot to post it. So here it is, nearly a whole weekend late.

I love movies. I mean, I really love movies. Bad movies, good movies, in-between movies. I'll generally enjoy any movie as long as I can calibrate my expectations appropriately, and often I can enjoy a movie upon re-watching it if I happened to dislike it the first time around.

My love of movies means I think about movies a lot, and I watch a lot of movies. Often friends look to me to have a sort of database of movies bouncing around in my head. With this in mind, I have some truly tragic holes in my viewing history of the canon of film history.

Rather than admit to the many embarrassing deficiencies in my movie-watching history, I instead want to focus on just one. I have seen painfully few movies in Alfred Hitchcok's filmography. Some time ago I took the first step towards rectifying that: purchasing a Masterpiece Collection of Hitchcock films. In the nearly two years of owning the collection, however, I have only re-watched one Hitchcock film I already loved and watched one I had not yet seen. The others, so many classics included, are only a part of my vocabulary because of the extent to which they exist in the general film community's vernacular. I have not seen Psycho (or at least, not since I was too young to remember it), The Birds, or Vertigo. I certainly haven't seen Dial M for Murder or North by Northwest.

Those films, among others, are pieces of art I need to get to, and now I have an excuse. Just as Mandy will be reading Hugo and Nebula Award winners, reporting back here periodically, I'll be churning through Hitchcock films. Now, I'm not going to go for the same sort of completion Mandy is. Hitchcock made a lot of movies in his time on this planet. I'm largely going to stay constrained to the movies I already own in the Masterpiece Collection I picked up a while ago, watching them in chronological order of creation. The list is as follows:

  1. Saboteur (1942)
  2. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  3. Rope (1948)
  4. *Dial M for Murder (1954)
  5. Rear Window (1954)
  6. The Trouble With Harry (1955)
  7. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  8. Vertigo (1958)
  9. *North by Northwest (1959)
  10. Psycho (1960)
  11. The Birds (1963)
  12. Marnie (1964)
  13. Torn Curtain (1966)
  14. Topaz (1969)
  15. Frenzy (1972)
  16. Family Plot (1976)

*not part of DVD Masterpiece Collection

Like Mandy, I don't intend to review each of these pieces. Instead, I'll likely discuss themes, novel presentation tactics used, and general thoughts brought on by each movie. I'll also be seeing the very process of filmmaking change before my eyes and will probably make observations along those lines.

My Hitchcock posts should end up alternating weeks with Mandy's Hugo/Nebula Award posts, so be ready for them! Once I finish this list (which will take well over half a year), I'll just have to pick up another library to start work on.

Like Mandy, at the end of each post I'll mention what movie is next. To start, you have just under 2 weeks to watch Saboteur!