JamesWhitehead said:
The Hitchcock Message Board is evolving into a Wiki format. One very curious matter under discussion there is whether Hitch did a cameo in drag in North by North West! I have my doubts - the nose looks too long. The screen captures are here.

Somewhere a family are feeling very offended on behalf of their great-grandmother right now.
Ah, TMWKTM34! An Evil Temple of the Sun - in Wapping!

Who'd have thought it!

A very concentrated and somewhat codified movie. One which grows on repeated viewings - especially in view of Lorre's previous part as the child-murderer in M! :eek:
JamesWhitehead said:

... - especially in view of Lorre's previous part as the child-murderer in M! :eek:
What I was just thinking.

Lorre gives a first class performance as a nasty, on several different levels.

Yes. Download that one from the Internet Archive. Pretty well set up and satisfying pay off. :yeay:

Apparently, Lorre had to learn his lines phonetically, since he had not yet learned English. If true then even more impressive performance.
I heard Lorre got the role from an interview with Hitch where he laughed and smiled at the great director's jokes, and it was only later that Hitch realised Lorre wasn't sure what he was talking about through the entire conversation.
1st - Hi (I felt a newbie ought to at least introduce herself).

2nd - To answer the OP, I can't see how anyone could consider Hitch overrated. He is no doubt the master of suspense (I love his term, the macguffin). He had a splendid dark humor. I feel he basically trademarked the god's eye view perspective in filming. He wasn't afraid to break the mold, so to speak: Consider Rope & it's minimal takes & Psycho & it's killing of the top billed star so quickly into the film. Nor did he fear cultural taboos (even if sublime), such as homosexuality in film. I could go on, but suffice it to say, he's likely my favorite director.

My 3 faves: Psycho, Rope, & Rear Window,
It's nice to see Rope getting some respect in this thread. A lot of critics (even Hitchcock biographers) dismiss it as a "gimmick" film. But I'd say it's in his top five.

On the other hand, I hate Spellbound and The Birds. Yet I liked Jamaica Inn, which I've never heard anyone say a good thing about.
Hmmm Spellbound is a curious one - even by Hitchcock standards - an attempt supposedly at the first Psychoanalytical thriller - which doesn't quite work - notable mostly for the Dali dream sequence -

I really like "The 39 Steps" - A surprisingly sexy and feisty (for 1935!) Madeleine Carroll

John Laurie (from Dad's Army) and Sigourney Weaver's mother - Elizabeth Inglis - as Professor Jordan's daughter.


IMO...he was one of the all time greats......
my favorites are:
Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo, and North By Northwest.
For those wanting to explore the earlier British features of Hitch, Studio-Canal have just issued a rather splendid nine-disc set. It includes the silents, The Ring, The Farmer's Wife, Champagne & The Manxman with five early talkies: Blackmail, Murder, The Skin Game, Number Seventeen and Rich & Strange. Each disc has a short introduction by a French film scholar and the set includes a 52-minute documentary, again originally in French, presented here with subtitles.

Murder is given in its longer UK version. Most PD versions use the shorter American print. The American ending is also included as a bonus.

These are careful transfers made from the best available elements and blow the public-domain dupes out of the water. The silents have newly-composed piano scores. The most you will pay on the High Street is £35 for the lot, so I almost posted this on Film Bargains.

Cheap "public domain" versions exist of The Lodger, Easy Virtue and Juno & The Paycock. These can be picked up for as little as a pound. There is a superior bfi version of The Lodger but it may be out of print. That leaves only The Pleasure Garden and Downhill as needing to be sourced from online dealers. Completists may want Elstree Calling too, where Hitch directed the comic interludes. Universal (France) have issued a fine Waltzes from Vienna, which includes Downhill as a bonus.

If the early stuff does not appeal, then it is worth exploring the television work from the fifties and sixties. Series One and Two of Alfred Hitchcock Presents are now available in very good transfers from the original materials. These twenty-three minute shows are still entertaining today and feature a lot of famous stars. Hitch's own involvement with these was sometimes arm's-length but he directed a few of them himself and they kept up a pretty high standard. :)
Thanks for that, most enjoyable.
Flap About the Birds!

Tippi Hedren has laid an autobiographical egg which is creating a stink among Hitchcock's surviving supporters.

Miss Hedren has actually been saying similar things about her Svengali for twenty years. Now the allegations are being picked over and circumstantial details compared with the shooting schedules.

It's all ancient history and gossip at one level. Hitchcock's sexual misdemeanors are documented at other stages of his career, though they tended to be lewdly exhibitionist rather than hopelessly romantic. There seems to be little doubt that he was obsessed by the actress, though by this time he claimed to be impotent.

As a celebrity victim-narrative, however, it seems topical. The pudding has almost certainly been egged, though it may be that Miss Hedren has come to believe the stories she has been elaborating for years. :rolleyes:
I read the allegations from Tippi in the sensationalist, muck-raking Spoto biography back in the 90s and believed them at the time, but they don't seem to add up now I've read many differing accounts. I think he did send Melanie Griffith a coffin with a Tippi doll in it, but that might not have been a "coffin". Once again, the past shifts and becomes murky.
Found this info-graphic absolutely ages ago. Had to split it up in order to fit it in. Credits on the last image.

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I always liked Hitchcock's stuff, only thing I know
about him was he always or near always appeared
in his own films, a face in a crowed that sort of thing.
The Birds: I watched The Birds again last night, it's been years. I'd forgotten a lot of the melodramatic set up,I guess it was reflective of it's time ,But the juxtaposition of the tame caged songbirds versus the savage seagulls makes works well.. The horror elements are still effective. First a minor attack, then a house invasion, deaths, the attack at the school. It;s the tension though and psychological horror in between these attacks which is most effective, Still, Tippi Hedren in the phone box watching as a man has his eyes pecked out is terrifying. as is her own experience of being swarmed by the birds in the attic. Plenty of interesting character roles especially Ethel Griffies as Mrs. Bundy, the know-all ornithologist. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock., Screenplay by Evan Hunter, Still deserves 8/10.

Recorded it on TV a while back.
I haven't rewatched The Birds for maybe a decade, I must pop in my Blu-ray some time in the near future - it has a palpable atmosphere of tension, suspense and of course horror that really makes you feel for the characters.

I have though recently rewatched some of my absolute Hitchcock favorites, namely the masterpieces that are Vertigo and Rear Window, also the rather fun North By Northwest, among others.
I quite enjoyed the Three Investigators books that had our trio explaining things to Hitchcock at the end, although Hitch was nowhere near involved with the books!
Saw The Birds years ago as a teenager and was baffled by the total collapse of Tippi Hedren's character, Melanie Daniels. She starts off as a capable, smart woman and ends up as a nervous wreck. Absolutely no woman I knew would have broken down like that.
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Saw The Birds years ago as a teenager and was baffled by the total collapse of Tippi Hedren's character, Melanie Daniels. She starts off as a capable, smart woman and ends up as a nervous wreck. Absolutely no woman I knew would have broken down like.

even after being attacked savage seagulls out to kill them?