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The World of Alfred Hitchcock


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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}Yes, I saw some of the Hitchcock Hours yesterday. They werent some of the better ones. I think the show was better in the half hour format.........

Could not agree more, Hibi.


And speakin' o' which, here's one of my favorites. It features a perfectly cast Keenan Wynn...


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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}Yes, I saw some of the Hitchcock Hours yesterday. They werent some of the better ones. I think the show was better in the half hour format.........


They seem to have started at the beginning, and are showing them in order. I'm hoping we get to see all three seasons of the hour show. I like the half-hour show too, but I think the hour long shows hold up. They mostly have great casts, and good directors. Of course, some are better than others. And, Hitch's wrap-arounds are always a treat.

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Well, they stopped showing them at midnight. I'm not sure when they started, but I dont think they showed too many of them. There were some good one hour shows, but I find many of them drag in the storyline when seen today. They dont have the "punch" of the half hr shows.......


I thought there were more than 3 seasons of the hour length show? One of the best, I think was the very last (or close to it) the one where Dana Wynter played a nurse and there was a nurse killer on the loose. Great show (with a twist! :D)


Edited by: Hibi on Nov 2, 2011 2:29 PM

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  • 3 weeks later...



I enjoyed watching 'Tippi' Hedren's screen test for *The Birds* (on the Universal DVD) and it can be seen here, at YouTube:




The test seems only loosely scripted, if at all and mostly consists of her showing how she looks and moves in different clothes and flirting with Martin Balsam (Oh, his life was tough). What's remarkable is how much poise she shows for a rather inexperienced actress. It was astonishing to me. She's more natural and at ease than in the actual film, which is a very directed performance (which I'm sure is what Hitch wanted).


Ok, looking at the "Making of the Birds" documentary, I see that 'Tippi's' test consisted of scenes from *Rebecca*, *Notorious* and *To Catch a Thief*. The last one is the only I recognized!


Edited by: MissGoddess on Nov 27, 2011 2:54 AM

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That was fascinating! Those clothes!!!!!!!!!!


I think they were improv- ing the first three segments.


Tippi (or Tupsie) was really poised, maybe not relaxed, because she had to think on her feet (or heels) and maneuver in that tight dress. She had a lot of charm and was very confident in herself - I would have been shaking in my shoes standing like that in front of Hitch and a well seasoned actor like Balsam. Who looked like he was having a GREAT time. Ooh la la!

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'Tippi' was exquisite, and yes, very poised. I've always liked the way she speaks. But it is Martin Balsam who made me do a --double--, no, triple take. He was kind of sexy to me. He leaned in for the kiss, his sonorous voice.


Why have I never seen him that way before? Guess he never had a beautiful woman playing up to him. Ooooh, Marty...

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I think 'Tippi' was the closest blonde to Hitch's ideal: *Grace Kelly* and the audition twisted 'Tippii' any which way but loose to see if she could deliver the Kelly goods. But l see a bit more of a feistiness in her than I saw in Gracie. A bit more "answering back."


I'm sorry other directors didn't see Hitch's 'Tippi' tapes. I think they would have gotten an actress who would have given them a good performance..


Guess the imprimatur of Hitchcock was too strong.

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> {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=Hibi wrote:

> > }{quote}They are still showing the 1 hr episodes on Encore weeknights at 11pm. Dunno how long it will last!Indeed. I have been recording them all. They have been showing them in release order...




I'd like to be recording them all, but I don't get the Encore channels any more. But I had to get the one that was on last Friday night, "The Paragon", as the child actress in it, Susan Gordon, is a friend of mine and we're trying to get good copies of all her films & TV shows. So I visited a friend who gets the Encore Channels and recorded it there.


By the way, speaking of Susan G., I just discovered this recently. So proud to hear her talk about me here!:




Hey CineMaven,

How you doing?

Sorry to hi-jack your discussions...

Now, back to The World of Alfred Hitchcock...



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LOL. Hitchock in the morning. Not really my cup of tea. I've found many of the shows disappointing so far (when I remember to watch) but I love Hitch's segues (which since there are no commercials) are even funnier! I dont know how he got away with that stuff in the day.........

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  • 3 months later...



*Lifeboat* (1944)


I looked up an interesting correspondence from *John Steinbeck* to the producers at 20th Century Fox regarding his displeasure with some aspects of Hitchcock's *Lifeboat*, for which he received screenplay writing credit:


New York

January 10, 1944


Dear Sirs:


I have just seen the film Lifeboat, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and billed as written by me. While in many ways the film is excellent there are one or two complaints I would like to make. While it is certainly true that I wrote a script for Lifeboat, it is not true that in that script as in the film there were any slurs against organized labor nor was there a stock comedy Negro. On the contrary there was an intelligent and thoughtful seaman who knew realistically what he was about. And instead of the usual colored travesty of the half comic and half pathetic Negro there was a Negro of dignity, purpose and personality. Since this film occurs over my name, it is painful to me that these strange, sly obliquities should be ascribed to me.


John Steinbeck


Later he sent this wire to his agent:



FEBRUARY 19, 1944




Fox did not honor his request. I now have to watch this movie again because I didn't remember much about the character "Joe" or even that Steinbeck was associated with this project. He and Hitchcock don't seem an ideal match.


Hitch's own words describing the intent behind the picture:


?We wanted to show that at that moment there were two world forces confronting each other, the democracies and the Nazis, and while the democracies were completely disorganized, all of the Germans were clearly headed in the same direction.?


Correspondence is from the book Steinbeck: A Life in Letters.

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this correspondence is quite interesting miss g. it's been a long time since i've sat in the "lifeboat" but i don't recall canada lee portraying his character with any mantan moreland-esque buffoonery.


by the sound of steinbeck's wire to his agent, he sounds too-through with it all. i wonder if hitch and steinbeck ever met to discuss the way hitch would unfurl steinbeck's story. many a great american writer had his words/works cannibalized by hollywood just to get that big name or big story up on the silver screen. then again...a book is not a movie.


i always felt hitch was using "lifeboat" as a means to create another film-making challenge for himself; to have a plot take place in one particular setting, of course with the bigger issue being a war of the worlds.


i'm of a mind to think that writer & director should be on the same page when telling the story. i can see why steinbeck was p.o.'d. and i can see why hitch was trying to tell the story he wanted to tell.


p.s. i see the little southern girl who was in "gwtw" and who opened up "the women" looking for her grandma.

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*i always felt hitch was using "lifeboat" as a means to create another film-making challenge for himself; to have a plot take place in one particular setting, of course with the bigger issue being a war of the worlds.*


This is what I think, too! I can see him very interested in the problems with making such a limited setting interesting and suspenseful. Not to mention juggling all those personalities.


And yes, that's "Maybelle Merriweather". :D Sharp eye! I didn't even make the connection!

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The mind reels at what amusing responses this would have elicited from Hitchcock:


From UPI.com (June 2008):

Health News: Some movies affect more brain activity


Using advanced functional imaging, U.S. and German neuroscientists found some motion pictures can exert considerable control over brain activity.


Study authors New York University neuroscientists Uri Hasson, Barbara Knappmeyer, Nava Rubin and David Heeger and doctoral candidate Ohad Landesman as well as Ignacio Vallines of the University of Munich used fMRI and inter-subject correlation, or ISC analysis, used to measure similarities in brain activity across viewers.


The study, published in the Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind, found:


*The Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Bang! You're Dead"* evoked similar responses across all viewers in more than 65 percent of the neocortex, indicating a high level of control on viewers' minds.


Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" evoked 45 percent of the neocortex.


Lower ISC — 18 percent was recorded for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and less than 5 percent for an unstructured video clip filmed during a concert.


"The fact that Hitchcock was able to orchestrate the responses of so many different brain regions, turning them on and off at the same time across all viewers, may provide neuroscientific evidence for his notoriously famous ability to master and manipulate viewers' minds," the researchers said in a statement.

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He probably would have found a way to make a movie about it, right? This is fascinating. I just said in another thread that Hitchcock always gave us all the visual and verbal information we need to follow his story and keep us engaged. There were plenty of twists and turns in his films, and occasional shocks, but the long passages in between which were always so pregnant with possibility probably account for the 65% response rate. Granted, that was a half-hour TV episode, but it seems as though it would apply to his work in general.

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I agree, Dougie...his movies and shows are so well done, so dense with, for lack of a better word, information, that I seldom tire of watching them over again. I generally pick up some detail I missed previously. With some other shows or movies, once is enough.


But, boy, do I wish Hitch could have lived to see this "research", lol.

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