It’s Halloween. No shortage of scary movies on TV right now. TCM always goes all in on Halloween. Love it. The classic stuff. “Dracula.” “Frankenstein.”

I stumbled across something though that reminded me of the genius of the genre. Alfred Hitchcock. A retrospective of his work.

Now, I get it… “The Birds” and “Psycho” get all the credit for Hitchcock’s scariest stuff. Especially at Halloween. Birds pecking out Suzanne Pleshette’s eyes. Tony Perkins slashing Janet Leigh in the shower.

It’s another movie though, that to this day, scares the bejesus out of me. “Rear Window.” No matter how many times I see it, it still gets me. Is it a helpless, broken legged, Jimmy Stewart? A wisecracking Thelma Ritter? A meaner than mean, pre-Perry Mason, Raymond Burr? Or, an at her loveliest and most fashionable,a brave and powerful Grace Kelly? (Edith Head sure knew how to dress her.)

It’s a combination of all of the above. Mostly though, it’s the man that put it all together. Alfred Hitchcock. Nobody did it better. Not before. Not during. Not since.

Okay, let’s get it out there. If Alfred Hitchcock were here today, he would be a “me too” poster boy. Just ask Tippi Hedren. I think he treated his leading ladies about as badly as anyone ever has. You can say “time and place.” But… even then, it was unacceptable. I will not defend any of it.

That was Alfred Hitchcock, the man. Alfred Hitchcock, the filmmaker, was a genius.

You watch a Hitchcock film and you learn something about movie making. The story. The build up. The music. The shots. The editing. It all comes together perfectly.

“Rear Window” is a prime example. The concept is incredible. A wounded photographer watching what goes on out his window through his camera lens.

“North by Northwest.” Cary Grant at his peak of charming. Eva Marie Saint at her peak of loveliness. Martin Landau at his peak of evil.

There’s another Hitchcock film that I love. It might be my favorite. “Shadow of a Doubt. Joseph Cotton and Teresa Wright. He’s her uncle. They share the same name. “Charlie.” He comes to visit. He is pure evil. Watch it. Hitchcock said it was his favorite film. It doesn’t hurt that Thornton Wilder wrote it.

It’s Halloween. Our time for fun and scares. We need the escape right now. I’ll be home tonight. Watching some Alfred Hitchcock. Wishing Grace Kelly would not go into that apartment alone.

5 thoughts on “Hitch”
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