MAGUFFIN AT SEA: Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat

During the 1940’s, Alfred Hitchcock did his bit to help the war effort by filming several propaganda films, two of them – Aventure Malgache and Bon Voyage - at the behest of the British War Ministry. In addition, four of the dozen feature films were connected in some way with the war. Of these, only one, Notorious (1946) can be called … Continue reading MAGUFFIN AT SEA: Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat

CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE: Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

Alfred Hitchcock arrived in Hollywood in 1939 under most auspicious circumstances. Fifteen years of work in his native England had produced over two dozen films, including future classics such as The Lodger (1927), The 39 Steps (1935), and The Lady Vanishes (1938), establishing the 40-year old as Europe’s premiere director. The three films mentioned, along with Blackmail (1929), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) … Continue reading CLAP HANDS, HERE COMES CHARLIE: Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt

WEDNESDAYS AT THE MOVIES: Murders and Maguffins from the Master of Suspense

I’m a mystery book blogger by trade, but I warned you in my very first post that, from time to time, I would also talk about films – mystery films in particular. And who epitomizes such a film better than the Master of Suspense, and my favorite film director – Alfred Hitchcock?  I often tell … Continue reading WEDNESDAYS AT THE MOVIES: Murders and Maguffins from the Master of Suspense

THE EYES HAVE IT: Christie and Hitchcock and the Point of View

So much has been written about my favorite filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock – more than any other director, living or dead – that I would be hard-pressed to come up with any original thoughts about his life or work. That's because the French, including fellow auteur Francois Truffaut, elevated Hitchcock’s oeuvre from “mere” entertainment to art. … Continue reading THE EYES HAVE IT: Christie and Hitchcock and the Point of View

GENRE TRANSCENDANT: A Quartet of Great Films

Christmas is just around the corner (he said two days before Thanksgiving!), and that means movie studios are about to inundate the theatres with their “prestige” films, hoping these will receive consideration for the big awards (the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and the Independent Spirit). Every year, this period where good movies are released shrinks … Continue reading GENRE TRANSCENDANT: A Quartet of Great Films