The Master Storyteller

When it comes to the big names, the icons of film, you can’t get much bigger than Alfred Hitchcock. I can’t remember when I came across his work, I think Psycho may have been the first, but I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

I went through a phase getting as many Hitchcock movies out as I could find, in the library and from friends, wherever I could lay my hands on them, and I still haven’t seen them all.

The Christchurch City Library has a great collection to assist you in getting excited about these wonderful films. I suggest you start with the earliest ones and work through to the most recent, that way you can watch the fine tuning of his film techniques, dark humour and use of the ‘McGuffin’ – a plot device he created that focuses on a fact or plot line that seems pivotal,  but in the end is irrelevant. You can also see some of his breakthrough techniques, that have now been used by so many other directors, but he did them first.

The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder

—Alfred Hitchcock

I love his humour, his way of making the upper classes of Britain look like less than upper class and he truly is master of slowly built suspense.

He attracted all the big acting names, such as James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak to name just a few.

It’s hard to pick a favourite, but some of the best for me would be Rear Window (1954), The Lady Vanishes (1938), and of course, Psycho(1960). We presently don’t have Psycho in the library collection, but there is an interesting book The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shower.

He made almost 60 movies, so it is on my bucket list to watch all of them before I go to the great movie theatre in the sky (or would that be the snack bar?)

What would be your favourite Hitchcock movie? Or is there another director who really floats your boat.