Friday, July 06, 2012

Everything You Ever Need To Know About Life...

... you can learn from:

Psycho (1960)

Marion: I better get back to the office. 
These extended lunch hours give my boss excess acid.
Sam: Why don't you call your boss and tell him you're taking 
the rest of the afternoon off? It's Friday anyway, and hot.
Marion: What do I do with my free afternoon?
Walk you to the airport?
Sam: We could laze around here a while longer.
Marion: Checking out time is 3 P.M. Hotels of this sort
aren't interested in you when you come in,
but when your time is up...

Hitch scream queen Janet Leigh was born 85 years ago.

I was just having a conversation with the boyfriend about her last night. It started because of The Film Experience's latest entry in the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series was on the film Picnic, which stars William Holden and that other Hitch chick Kim Novak. Just looking at Kim Novak makes me want to watch Vertigo right that immediate second, you see. 

Anyway after some verbal tussling over the hierarchy of Hitch chicks I got to thinking about something else Hitch-related - I think there might be a chance that Vertigo has started to replace Rear Window as my favorite Hitchcock movie. I've maintained for years when asked that my favorite movie of all time was a tie between Rosemary's Baby and Rear Window. Well I think Rosemary has pulled ahead to take the lead, the jewel in the crown, the forever highest perch, and I think that Vertigo has maybe snuck in ahead of Rear Window...? I just know that Vertigo's become my go-to comfort Hitchock - it's slow dreamlike atmosphere, Bernard Hermann's romantically deranged score (the only score I've consistently had on my iPod since I have had an iPod), and the sad sadder sadness of its story stirs something deep inside every time I go back. 

What about you? What's your favorite Hitch?


Rebecca said...

My favorite is 'Notorious', the love story just makes my heartache. But I'm with you on the sad dreaminess of 'Vertigo'.

Jason Adams said...

Ugh yes Notorious is so wonderful. I think it might be the most romantic movie ever made. And it really is splitting hairs here since Hitch movies are my oxygen.

Rob K. said...

Yes to all of this thread, all the Hitch movies and to Rosemary's Baby being absolute #1, me too.

Fernando Moss said...


Anonymous said...

1. Rebeccca
2. Rear Window
3. The 39 Steps
4. Notorious
5. Rope

Anonymous said...

Since you love the "Vertigo" score so much, you should try to hear John Williams' moody, dynamic score to "The Fury", which has been called a direct nod to Herrmann, and (if I remember correctly) what Pauline Kael referred to as probably the richest ever composed for a horror film. And yet this beautiful work is rarely ever mentioned.

joel65913 said...

Like you I love all Hitchcocks but I've always had a soft spot for two of his more obscure films in my top spots after that the next group all bundle in together.
1. Saboteur: Adore Priscilla Lane and the Statue of Liberty climax.
2. Lifeboat-Tallulah Bankhead of course but the whole ensemble is really brilliant.
After that its a five way tie between Rear Window, Notorious, North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train and The Birds.
8. Vertigo-I enjoy it but its never been my favorite.
9. Stage Fright-I know Hitchcock didn't care for it but Dietrich is fantastic.
10. Again a tie between Marnie and the Doris Day version of The Man Who Knew Too Much.

The only one of his films that I've ever struggled through is Topaz, don't know what happened but boy is it plodding and dull.

As far as ranking the Hitchcock blondes I'd have to go in this order:
1. Ingrid Bergman
2. Grace Kelly
3. Priscilla Lane
4. Eva Marie Saint
5. Kim Novak
6. Tippi Hedren
7. Doris Day
8. Tallulah Bankhead
9. Anne Baxter
10. Joan Fontaine

Chad said...


Not only my favorite Hitchcock - but my favorite movie of all time.

love Love LOVE this post

Anonymous said...

Vertigo rocks my world, is there a greater entrance in any movie than Novaks in this movie? Love the red and green in that restaurant scene.
Hitchcock made so many masterpieces it´s just silly to try rank them but I did love to see To catch a thief on´s fluff but by God, Kelly in that movie...glamour made flesh:)

Jason Adams said...

Thanks for all the great replies, everybody! So glad I've collected so many Hitch fanatics up in here, I could (and have) talk about him forever and ever and never get tired of it.

joel- It has been such a long time since I've seen Saboteur, I looooved it in high school, I really need to revisit it. The Statue of Liberty scene is something you just don't forget though. Hitch was so genius at owning that kind of enormous iconic imagery; I think it's what makes him the greatest American director - that is, his films represent this country for me, the BIGNESS, and all it stands for from top to bottom, more than any other director, for good or more often ill. I think Shadow of a Doubt has more to say about the weirdness of small town America than nearly any movie before Blue Velvet. And Rear Window maps out city-life. You can go corner to corner from there. Ramble ramble. He's da best.

Andrew K. said...

Between you, Nat, Jose and a slew of other people I need to revisit the Hitchock's I watched when I was younger (and those I haven't) to see if my appreciation for him has grown.

For now, my favourite for him (one of two or three that I legitimately LOVE from him) is REBECCA. And, even if I'm generally cold on Joan (and egads, loathe loathe LOATHE her in SUSPICION - okay, maybe just one loathe) she's marvellous in REBECCA.

Vera said...

I preferred that scene in the Gus Van Sant version only because it featured Viggo Mortensen's balls.