In 1954, Alfred Hitchcock released a movie about a man laid up after an injury, who may or may not have witnessed one of his neighbors disposing of a dead body. Starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, two of the biggest stars he would ever work with, it would become one of the biggest hits of his career and go down in history as one the finest movies he ever made. It’s a film that’s not merely a murder mystery, but one absolutely rife with subtext.
Hey everyone, it’s Friday, time for another entry in the Reader Recommendations series!
The Reader Recommendation series is intended to help me formally pursue all the great films that commenters bring up each week in discussion which I’ve never seen. If there’s a movie that comes up that I haven’t seen, but you think I should, email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or let me know in the comments that you’d like to participate!
This time up, our movie recommendation comes from Melissa Hunter of The Soul of the Plot! Melissa’s selected a classic Alfred Hitchcock movie for us, 1951′s “Strangers on a Train”!
I’m a big fan of Hitchcock, and have seen many of his films. But somehow this one has eluded me until now, so I’m all too happy that Melissa gave me the opportunity to formally check it out!
“Hitchcock”, in part, tells the story of the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s most controversial and most successful film, “Psycho”. It also portrays a period of strain in his marriage to his wife, Alma Reville, brought on by the Great Director’s obsession with the project.
Featuring two awards calibre performances by Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren in the lead roles, “Hitchcock”, I’m sad to report, is weighted down by some unfortunate creative choices and (ironically for a film about Hitchcock) an overall lack of suspense.
The year is 1960. It’s an election year. Kennedy narrowly defeats Nixon. The civil rights movement is underway. Elvis returns from Army Duty. He would chart a major number one song that year with “Are You Lonesome To-night?” Meanwhile, “The Beatles” are still playing in Germany. It is the first appearance of a U.S. flag with 50 stars, Hawaii having achieved statehood in the previous year. The Flintstones and the Andy Griffith show make their first appearances. “Gunsmoke”, “Father Knows Best” and “Dennis the Menace” are all top 20 tv shows. “Leave it to Beaver” is in the middle of its six-year run. The highest grossing movie of that year? Disney’s “Swiss Family Robinson”.
Into this Americana mix, Alfred Hitchcock released Psycho. A tale about Norman Bates.
SPOILERS BEYOND! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN PSYCHO, KEEP OUT!!