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  1. In THE LODGER, we see the back of Hitch's head for a scant few seconds, marking his first of many cameo appearance(as producer Mike Todd would later coin that term)! One of the distinct pleasures of watching a Hitchcock film is the chance to play the game: "Can you find Hitch?" It can range from effortlessly easy(sitting in the back of the bus, next to Cary Grant in TO CATCH A THIEF) to devilishly hard( I had to rely on those far better than me to find the appearance in ROPE). Hitchcock mostly got it out of the way early (as in the opening scene of FRENZY) but in REBECCA it doesn't happen till over 2 hours in! Thank Mr. Hitchcock for being such a distinctive presence through all those years from early hair to late baldness and through thick and thin(or at least thinner, yes, I'm giving a shout out to LIFEBOAT). His valedictory appearance in FAMILY PLOT is one of my favorites: his silhouette had become famous as a result of that wonderful opening, both visually and musically, on his anthology TV series, and we get to enjoy it one last time from behind the door with the frosted glass. But all his appearances provide a small thrill in winning the game he invites us to play and the satisfaction of shouting "Gotcha".
  2. In THE PLEASURE GARDEN, Hitchcock"s first outing we are treated to a view of a spiral staircase. Let me count the ways that we will see that motif repeated throughout his output. A partial list: the windmill steps in FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, the spiral stairs of the Statue of Liberty in SABOTEUR, the outside staircase rigged for murder in SHADOW OF A DOUBT, the final tense walk down the grand staircase in NOTORIOUS, the Mission Campanile stairs in VERTIGO, the descent of Mt. Rushmore step by step in NORTH BY NORTHWEST, the fate that awaits Arbogast at the top of the stairs in PSYCHO, and in his final film, the staircase that leads to the chandelier and its hidden jewels in FAMILY PLOT. Those are just a few that sprang to mind. But, You too can be a carpenter in building a Stairway to Hitchcock Heaven. Please add more stair scenes to the list.
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