GFT Blog: Alfred Hitchcock


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Shadow of a Doubt - Sun 8 (15.05) & Tue 10 July (17.50)

Alfred Hitchcock casts a long shadow over contemporary cinema - his visual style has inspired hundreds of iconic moments in movies. To celebrate CineMasters: Alfred Hitchcock screening throughout July, August and into September, the Glasgow Film team talk about their favourites. 

Tell us yours! Write about your favourite Hitchcock in the comments, or e-mail us at marketing@glasgowfilm.org. We'll publish a second Hitchcock blog with your picks, and if featured you will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to any CineMasters: Alfred Hitchcock film in August or September! Submit your pick by Friday 13 July to be featured. 

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Rear Window - Sun 29 (14.30) & Tue 31 July (17.45)

My pick of the Hitchcock bunch is Rear Window. It has all the suspense that you expect from the master but it also draws you into a world of nosey-neighbour voyeurism. Photographer, L.B. Jefferies (James Stewart) is housebound following an accident and sates his boredom by watching the comings and goings of his neighbours during a heat wave. Grace Kelly joins him as his sophisticated love interest, Lisa, who swooshes magnificently in and out of every scene and Thelma Witter adds a sharp-tongued wit as his insurance agency nurse. Soon they become a team of super sleuths banding together to solve a crime that Jeff witnessed. Or did he? Captivating viewing from start to finish.

Laura Lawson
Industry Coordinator (Maternity Cover)

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North by Northwest - Sun 19 & Tue 21 Aug (on sale soon)

It is very unfair to have to pick a favourite Hitchcock. But if pushed I would probably go for North by Northwest, as it's the one I return to most; it's incredibly rewatchable. It moves from one giddily enjoyable chase sequence to the next with an enormous sense of fun - more than any other Hitchcock film this feels like him indulging his instincts as a pure entertainer. And this collection of masterfully constructed thrilling scenes is held together by Cary Grant, giving one of his very best performances. Everyone remembers the cropduster sequence, and rightly so, but for me it's the auction scene, where Grant's Roger Thornhill slowly realises how he can manipulate the moment to evade his pursuers' clutches once more, that is the film's highlight. Grant has never been more cool, confident and downright hilarious than in that scene. It delights me every time.  

Paul Gallagher
Marketing Manager

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The Lady Vanishes - Sun 1 (14.00) & Tue 3 July (18.15)

I do love a good mystery. Although The Lady Vanishes has now been remade several times, most recently as a BBC drama in 2013, the 1938 Hitchcock version still holds up today. Adapted from The Wheels Spin but Ethel Lina White, Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave star in a tale of mystery, intrigue, and suspicion. Travelling alone in a train across Western Europe, a young woman finds herself a friendly companion in an elderly fellow passenger. When she wakes up to find the woman has disappeared, all the other passengers claim to no nothing of her existence. Quaint and chilling in equal measure, this Hitchcock classic is one not to be missed.

 Sarah Emery
Glasgow Youth Film Festival Coordinator

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Psycho - Sun 26 & Tue 28 August (on sale soon)

When I was 15 my English teacher decided to make us watch Psycho as part of his slightly off-curriculum filmmaking lessons. It was the first proper horror film I'd ever seen and I was simply not prepared for how unsettling and shocking the whole thing was, even on a small TV in a humid, tobacco-smelling English classroom filled with bored teenagers. The whole class was sucked into it, people were gasping and covering their eyes, even the teacher was surprised by the response. It's a masterful piece of storytelling and spectacle. The final shot still haunts me to this day.

David Devereux
Box Office Assistant

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Vertigo - Fri 13 - Tue 17 July

Crowned the Greatest Film of all Time by Sight and Sound in 2017, Vertigo initially felt like too obvious a choice for my favourite Hitchcock film, but it is, so here we are! Potentially his strangest, Vertigo might not have the same kind of suspense as Strangers on a Train, or horror as Psycho or The Birds, but there is no film quite like it. From Saul Bass’ spiralling opening titles, to the dolly zooms, meticulous framing, twisting plot, layers of meaning, use of colour, and the iconic neon nightmare experience... Vertigo deserves to be seen on the big screen. 

Margaret Smith
Marketing & Press Coordinator

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The Birds - Sun 2 & Tue 4 Sep (on sale soon)

Sings “When the pie was opened the birds began to sing”. The Birds could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever seen. An unmissable thriller, with its slowly ratcheted tension and the fact that everyone in the small seaside town of Bodega Bay is completely baffled as to why the birds have started massing by their thousands and attacking people. The film offers no explanation; it simply shows the increasingly terrifying experiences of ordinary people experiencing extraordinarily horrifying and inexplicable things. With its myriad of unforgettable images: the bird’s amassing on the climbing frames and power lines, the birds-eye view of Bodega Bay, the panic-inducing attack on the children's birthday party, we are drawn into the chaos and incomprehensibility of what’s happening to this conventional small-town community. Melanie trapped in the attic, and the final shot of the terrified and traumatised central characters creeping away from Bodega Bay under the beady gaze of thousands of malevolent birds, will forever haunt my dreams. Remember: “birds of different species don’t flock together – why if they did, we wouldn’t stand a chance!”  

Annie McCourt
Children and Young People Coordinator

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Rear Window - Sun 29 (14.30) & Tue 31 July (17.45)

If you said that Psycho or Vertigo or North by Northwest was Hitchcock’s best film there would be a lot of people who agreed with you. Maybe it’s because it was the first Hitchcock I ever watched but in my mind, Rear Window remains Hitchcock’s best. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly are both excellent and the way Hitchcock stages the film, plays upon the audience's thoughts and fears. The premise is so good that in the hands of the master of suspense it becomes more than just another thriller. It’s scary, it’s romantic, it’s suffocating, it’s exciting. It’s a stone-cold masterpiece.

Gavin Crosby
Design and Digital Coordinator

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Shadow of a Doubt - Sun 8 (15.05) & Tue 10 July (17.50)

Apparently Hitchcock’s own personal favourite of all his films, many of Shadow of a Doubt’s characters are named after his own family and personal memories. Even Glasgow’s Cosmo Cinema (GFT predecessor cinema) programmer Charles Oakley gets a (major) name check as Joseph Cotten’s sinister “Uncle Charlie”. Meticulously crafted, deceptively simple, with career-highlight performances from the two leads, it’s perhaps more subdued than the other films in this GFT season of his films – but that just serves to make it more sinister and insidious.

Jaki McDougall
CEO

Tell us yours! Write about your favourite Hitchcock in the comments, or e-mail us at marketing@glasgowfilm.org. We'll publish a second Hitchcock blog with your picks, and if featured you will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to any CineMasters: Alfred Hitchcock film in August or September! 

Submit your pick by Friday 13 July to be featured. 


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