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January 8, 2011 / ebretzel

Ree Ree Ree REE!!

I’ve recently been on an Alfred Hitchcock kick. Luckily, I’ve been able to find some of them at the good ol’ public library. The following is a review of the 4 I’ve seen so far and my opinions about them. Be forewarned, they may contain spoilers.

Rear Window
This was one of my favorites so far. An adventurous photographer gets stuck in his apartment after suffering an injury which covers half his body in an extremely uncomfortable-looking cast. With nothing else to do he starts speculating on the activities of his neighbors. He begins to think that one of them has killed his wife and eventually drags his girlfriend and nurse into his personal investigation into the crime.

First of all, I don’t think there’s a single person who hasn’t thought about staring at their neighbors through binoculars. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s kind of like a real-life Facebook from the 50’s! I enjoyed the vivid personalities of the characters, as well as the slowly building paranoia … a signature of Hitchcock. Even though the entire perspective of the movie came from the inside of a small apartment (and it’s view of the outside), the movie managed to pack in quite a bit of action, complete with a hokey – I mean… super realistic… special effect of him falling out the window.

The Birds
I had anticipated this movie to be more compelling than it was. I’ve often thought about “The Birds” when I see an ominous swarm of birds in the sky or roosting in trees, but didn’t really know the plot of the movie except that there were scary birds involved.

While it is a terrifying thought to be pecked to death by a swarm of evil birds, I found the scenes to be quite redundant, and the main character a bit stupid. I mean, if you were boarded up in a house, and you knew that you were surrounded by thousands of birds that wanted to kill you, would you wander away in the middle of the night by yourself to investigate a mysterious flapping noise?!?! But then again, it’s classic horror movie mistake so I guess I can’t give her too much grief for acting mindless as women tend to do in this genre.

We watched Psycho on the “big screen” at a friends home theater, which definitely enhanced the movie experience. Despite the cheesy acting (the norm for the time period) and being in black and white, the movie provides a lot of bang for your buck. It starts right off with a steamy love scene and before long jumps right into the shower killing scene. And the music is great also.

I don’t think there’s anybody creepier than Norman Bates, with his stuffed birds and “special” relationship with his mother, and for this I give it a 2 thumbs up!

This movie was long and seemed to drag on a bit too long for my taste. Do we really need uninterrupted minutes of silent driving and scenes of staring without dialogue? I confess I did have to watch this movie twice after falling asleep. That being said, it really was a masterpiece of a plot with many interesting twists and turns along the way – although it ended rather predictably after the “big reveal.”

I particularly enjoyed the hokey dream graphics (which I’m sure were thrilling at the time), as well as the whole vertigo special effects. All-in-all a class act flick despite the lengthiness.

A fun fact about Hitchcock, he has a cameo in all of his films. I personally enjoyed watching for them.




Leave a Comment
  1. Elliot / Jan 9 2011 10:58 pm

    North by Northwest is my favorite Hitchcock flick. Make sure you give that one a look.

    • ebretzel / Jan 10 2011 11:03 am

      Oh yeah, for sure! I’ve heard good things about that one. Once I’ve exhausted all the movies at the library I’ll have to start searching elsewhere to complete the collection.

  2. hank / Jan 10 2011 8:59 pm

    I watched Vertigo when it was on Netflix instant queue, but it looks like it’s gone now. There are a handful of Hitchcock films still on there according to this (and season 1 of Hitchcock Presents):

    I might have to check out Stage Fright and I Confess before they go offline next week!

  3. Becca / Jan 28 2011 2:22 am

    I personally want to see Rebecca.

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