Hollywood was made by and thrives on singular people – and no one was or is more singular than Alfred Hitchcock.
He is on virtually every list of great directors, one of the masters. He didn’t do everything, didn’t work in every genre, but he did what he did better than anyone else, and, by the end, had made his own genre – the stylish thriller, the witty mystery, the impudent horror show, the Hitchcock film, and those films, some of them made more than 70 years ago, are as fresh and crisp and sassy as they were when they were released.
Turner Classic Movies will screen 36 Hitchcock films on seven nights, beginning on Monday, October 24, and ending on Sunday, October 30.
The evenings’ themes delineate the director’s rather baroque interests: “Obsession and Repression, Romantic Suspense, Hitchcock in Britain, Political Intrigue, Everyday Killers, Wrongly Accused, and Hitchcock’s Blondes.”
The series will get off to a fast start next Monday with writer/director Richard Schickel’s 1973 documentary look at the master: “The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock” at 5 p.m., followed by Vertigo, Psycho, Spellbound and Marnie.
Pretty heady stuff, yes? Tuesday night’s line-up is just as dazzling with To Catch a Thief, Notorious, Rebecca and Suspicion.
Wednesday night, it’ll be six films, including Murder! and Juno and the Paycock, that Hitchcock made between 1929 and 1939 in England before he immigrated to Hollywood.
Thursday’s screenings will begin with the 1934 and 1956 versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much back-to-back, and the astonishing The Lady Vanishes, among other treasures.
The Friday portion will begin with Hitchcock’s favorite work, Shadow of a Doubt. The screenplay was written by the distinguished novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder, who reported that he thoroughly enjoyed working in Hollywood with Hitchcock.
North by Northwest will get the Saturday evening schedule off to a classy start, and the night will end with a TCM premiere, Young and Innocent from 1937.
The finale, Sunday, will begin with Rear Window and The Birds, and end on a light note with The Trouble with Harry and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
After a week of Hitchcock, Halloween night on Monday will be an anti-climax.
The Hitchcock screenings will begin each evening at 5 p.m. and run until 1 a.m. or later.
And all the films will be shown, in the most laudable TCM tradition, uncut and without commercial interruptions, and will be introduced by the very knowledgeable Robert Osborne.For the complete schedule, go to www.turnerclassicmovies.