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Which Alfred Hitchcock film would you show to a newbie?


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1 hour ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

Rope was based on Leopold and Loeb (watch Compulsion with  Welles, Bradford Dillman and Dean Stockwell for another take on the story).  Farley Granger was also great in Strangers on a Train.  Too many to choose from.  Also, if the person doesn't have a long attention span, Alfred Hitchcock had a TV Show (which, I believe, the late Norman Lloyd - who went off Lady Liberty and recently died, had a hand in).  Personally, heard about Psycho before I saw it.  What scared me the most was the scene with Vera Miles and Mrs. Bates.

Yes, the mummy dearest scene was more shocking for me as well. Probably because everyone talks about the shower scene and they neglect to mention this hair-raising moment near the end.

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Since I don't know anyone adult age that HASN'T ever seen a Hitchcock movie,  even back when my kids were young, I'd have to start with them( my kids, that is).  But, sometime back in the '80's my older daughter( in her Mother's custody) told me she watched NORTH BY NORTHWEST one night at a friend's house.  She saidd she really liked it, and like her Dad, really dug that cool house.  So I made some suggestions, based on what I knew about her personal tastes in movies.  Like "horror".  So I suggested PSYCHO and she liked that as well.  Black and White doesn't bother her.For my younger daughter, I too started her off with REAR WINDOW, thinking it'd pass muster because it was the first Hitchcock movie I remember ever seeing.  To my knowledge, anyway, because it was at an early enough stage in my life when I couldn't care less about who directed whatever movie( and rot like that).   THE BIRDS was well received by both of them.  And because they both like the movie THROW MAMA FROM THE TRAIN, they became curious about STRANGERS ON A TRAIN which was mentioned in the movie.  And they both liked that one too.  But I decided all I could do was suggest titles and leave the choosing to watch them up to them.  After all, they might enjoy them more WITHOUT a gun to their heads.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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Coincidentally,  TCM is having a  "Hitchcock Binge-Watch Weekend " next Saturday and Sunday (June 26 & 27th).  They are showing 24 of his movies.  

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

Yes, the mummy dearest scene was more shocking for me as well. Probably because everyone talks about the shower scene and they neglect to mention this hair-raising moment near the end.

I don't remember how old I was but my folks took me along to the drive in and Psycho was one of the movies. I fell asleep at some point and woke up at the exact moment mom turns for her close up.  It leaves quite an impression on a sleepy headed youngster!

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1 hour ago, Moe Howard said:

I don't remember how old I was but my folks took me along to the drive in and Psycho was one of the movies. I fell asleep at some point and woke up at the exact moment mom turns for her close up.  It leaves quite an impression on a sleepy headed youngster!

At least you had context.  I remember when PBS stations would show Richard Schickel's "The Men Who Made the Movies" in the afternoon, and seeing all the key shocks from Psycho, The Birds, the toppling merry-go-round from Strangers on a Train, AND the slow "Nothing happening here..." pull away from the door from Frenzy, completely out of context before the afternoon kids' shows came on.   😱

(On the bright side, at least I had now heard of Hitchcock in time to see Family Plot in the theaters.)

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7 hours ago, TomJH said:

I cut a DVD copy of REAR WINDOW and gave it to a friend to view. He's 71, a big fan of THE BIRDS but had never seen REAR WINDOW or, I gathered, most Hitchcock films.

Much to my surprise he had mixed feelings about the film. All of that bantering between Stewart and Kelly in the earlier portions of the film seemed to bore him. He said he enjoyed the film's climax and said that compensated for the film's "draggy" sections. He's a guy who enjoys action films.

When I asked him how REAR WINDOW compared to THE BIRDS it was no contest. It was THE BIRDS all the way for him,

Bottom line, ya never know how someone will respond to a film.

I can see how your friend could have that opinion.

I rank North By Northwest as clearly number one with Rear Window number two.  I also rank Marnie highly as well as To Catch a Thief.  Although I think Thief ranks high because of the setting more than anything else.

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See the source image

i reiterate that FRENZY (1972) is a great choice to show someone in the 21st century because, yes it is in color, but also it moves visually in a way that a lot of classic films do not, and thus are lost on these kids today who have grown up with JOE COCKER holding the camera as Spiderman does MIGRAINE-INDUCING CGI loopdeloops. it is also THE underrated Hitchcock film- prurience never goes out of style (and there are even very clever comedic moments throughout.)

...but if they can take black and white, then yeah- PSYCHO all the way.

**and if it's someone you secretly despise, may I recommend UNDER CAPRICORN?

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Never seen it (!) but CHARLES LAUGHTON is usually worth watching.

Think its in the public domain, so copies of it are everywhere. You can likely see it on YouTube for free. I watched it for Maureen O'Hara, but it was one of those films where nothing quite unfolded quickly enough......

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20 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Jamaica Inn is a bit stodgy as well.....

I agree. A disappointing costumer, with Laughton a complete ham in it. Maureen O'Hara is the best thing about this one. I can't see this film being of serious interest in introducing anyone to Hitchcock, particularly since it's not even typical of the director. More of an odd ball curiosity for Hitchcock completists.

This film, ironically, was done the same year that Laughton gave a brilliant performance as Quasimodo.

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24 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Think its in the public domain, so copies of it are everywhere. You can likely see it on YouTube for free. I watched it for Maureen O'Hara, but it was one of those films where nothing quite unfolded quickly enough......

That's DAPHNE DuMAURRIER (sp?) for you. She's as bad as my mother when it comes to draggging out the "getting to the point" part of a story,

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On 6/20/2021 at 8:45 AM, TomJH said:

 

Much to my surprise he had mixed feelings about the film. All of that bantering between Stewart and Kelly in the earlier portions of the film seemed to bore him. He said he enjoyed the film's climax and said that compensated for the film's "draggy" sections. He's a guy who enjoys action films.

 

My wife had a sister sorta like that.  She'd say how she didn't like some movie because it was "too slow",  which seemed to me she was referencing the movie "wasting time" with character development and the build up of the plot.  I never knew if she liked any Hitch flicks or not(she died in 1990 at age 42)  I only knew her favorite movie was "The Good Earth".

Sepiatone

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

My wife had a sister sorta like that.  She'd say how she didn't like some movie because it was "too slow",  which seemed to me she was referencing the movie "wasting time" with character development and the build up of the plot.  I never knew if she liked any Hitch flicks or not(she died in 1990 at age 42)  I only knew her favorite movie was "The Good Earth".

Sepiatone

I'd know which Hitchcock film to recommend to her if only one of them had plenty of locusts in it.

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On 6/20/2021 at 5:15 AM, SansFin said:

I will be the odd voice here and suggest beginning with: The Trouble with Harry (1955). 

1) It is in color.

2) Comedy is more accessible. 

3) A wider range of character types than most Hitchcock movies.

4) It will ground them in Hitchcock's brand of slightly surreal situations.

I would follow this with: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) because they have been opened to Hitchcock's humor and this will introduce them to black&white.

I would follow that with: Rebecca (1940), Dial M for Murder (1954) and Rope (1948).

I think i wouldn't pick this film for the fact that comedies are kind of an outlier for Hitchcock.  I think to introduce them, i would pick a film that best displays the themes he is known for.  But really, there is no wrong film to pick and you obviously defend your reasons.

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Think I would pick one the classic 4- Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds or North By Northwest.

For me it was Psycho when I was 12.  Probably the first B&W film I ever watches as well.  Hitchcock films can drag at certain points (looking at you Birds) or be too wordy for the average film fan, but I think Psycho is one that holds people's attention very well.

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11 hours ago, Shank Asu said:

I think i wouldn't pick this film for the fact that comedies are kind of an outlier for Hitchcock.  I think to introduce them, i would pick a film that best displays the themes he is known for.  But really, there is no wrong film to pick and you obviously defend your reasons.

1.) Alfred Hitchcock is virtually ubiquitous. Every person knows something about the movies he made and the ways his style is presented. Scenes such as the shower, the airplane and the playground have entered the public consciousness outside the sphere of movies and established expectations of what one will see in his works. It may be supposed that the reason an adult has never watched any of his movies is that they are not attracted to such things. It is therefore best to begin with movies which express his visual eloquence in other ways.

2.) An adult who is interested in movies but has never watched one of his is an aberration. It is the very nature of an aberration that they spring from unnatural causes and have non-standard constructions and can not be attacked or influenced in normal ways. A unique approach must be used.

3.) Starting with the most successful of his movies and those which bear his imprint most strongly leaves only lesser offerings if/when the introduction sparks an interest in his work. His odd little works may be considered opening acts for his iconic movies.

4.) One may consider it in the same manner of seasonings. A diet of thriller-thriller-thriller will quickly pale in the same manner as a meal of salty-salty-salty. Sweet and sour, spicy and umami and savory and smoky evoke richer experiences and invoke more interest. Comedy-romance-thriller will do the same.

5.) A person who has purposely avoided his movies will have constructed a wall to guard against his thriller/murder/noir influences. A comedy will slip under such defenses.

That is five reasons but I have had only twenty minutes. 😉


 

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6 hours ago, Millenniumman said:

Rebecca

I still haven't seen this one but have been wanting to for years.  Seems I run across so many of his films on TCM, but never this one.

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On 6/20/2021 at 11:26 AM, Peebs said:

Coincidentally,  TCM is having a  "Hitchcock Binge-Watch Weekend " next Saturday and Sunday (June 26 & 27th).  They are showing 24 of his movies.  

I'm recording four that I haven't seen before.  Can't wait.

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12 hours ago, SansFin said:

That is five reasons but I have had only twenty minutes. 😉

 

Don't let her kid you -- her only reason is she loves being devious, underhanded, and subversive. If she can blindside someone along the way, she's all for it. Being straightforward is anathema. Traditional is boring, and she'll never submit to being mundane.

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On 6/22/2021 at 2:16 PM, Shank Asu said:

I think i wouldn't pick this film for the fact that comedies are kind of an outlier for Hitchcock.  I think to introduce them, i would pick a film that best displays the themes he is known for.  But really, there is no wrong film to pick and you obviously defend your reasons.

I was looking forward to The Trouble With Harry, when they kept showing the previews during the five "lost" Hitchcocks resurrected for theaters in '83 (along with Vertigo, Rear Window, Rope and Man Who Knew Too Much).  

And I wanted to like a Hitchcock comedy more than I did, but the story and actors were SO arch, and John Forsythe and Shirley MacLaine's dialogue was SO unnaturally and unspontaneously "clever", I couldn't follow anything that even closely resembled human behavior.  Lines that were supposed to be "funny", just got....confused stares from me 🤨  , even though I was already into the Weekend at Bernie's vibe of misplaced cadavers.

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2 hours ago, Shank Asu said:

I'm recording four that I haven't seen before.  Can't wait.

Great! Which ones will you be recording?

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1 hour ago, Peebs said:

Great! Which ones will you be recording?

Sabotage (1936)

The Wrong Man (1956)

The Lodger (1927)

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

Probably looking forward to The Wrong Man and The Lodger the most.  Silent films can be more difficult for me to sit through but I like anything to do with Jack the Ripper.

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