Today is the birthday of the great film director, Alfred Hitchcock, famous for his movies as well as his interesting insights in suspense. One of my favorites is, “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.” He also said, “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.” To celebrate the day, I asked my fellow Miss Demeanors if they had a favorite Hitchcock film, and this is what they said:
Connie: I’m not a fan of scary movies, but I have three favorite Hitchcock movies–Strangers on a Train, The 39 Steps, and Rebecca.
Tracee: I had to take a while to dig deep and try to remember, have I ever seen Psycho? I mean, actually, or just in so many clips over a lifetime that I think I have.
I have a fondness for Rebecca (maybe the first of his movies that I saw, and I loved the house), same for Notorious since I first saw it during a Cary Grant festival while living in Paris. Basically my affinity for Hitchcock seems to be personal and unrelated to the qualities of the actual film. Rear Window wins for clothes.
On a side note, Alfred Hitchcock’s only child died this week. Patricia Hitchcock was 93 and in addition to being his daughter she was also played Barbara Morton in the 1951 film Strangers on a Train (directed by her father). Her mother was film screenwriter Alma Reville, Alfred Hitchcock’s wife of 54 years.
Keenan: I don’t like Hitchcock movies. At all. Ever. But I used to watch the TV show without sustaining psychological damage.
Michele: I love North by Northwest, which has an incredible amount of rising tension without the graphic violence we see in contemporary movies. Cary Grant is terrific and the chemistry between him and Eva Marie Saint is fabulous. You didn’t ask but I hated The Birds and Psycho still scares the you-know-what out of me.
Alexia: So hard to choose a favorite Hitchcock movie. I’ll say The Birds. I love that there’s no rational reason behind the birds attack. They just wake up one day and decide they hate people. It’s nature’s revenge.
Emilya: Psycho. I can watch that one over and over. Anthony Perkins is such a perfect combination of innocent, camp, and sinister. Never gets old.
Michele: I just saw Alexia and Emilya’s picks. I guess we won’t be sharing popcorn soon.
Susan: I think the ones I’ve seen the most times are Rear Window and Vertigo. But must confess that I’ve never seen a Hitchcock movie I didn’t find absorbing. How about you? Join the conversation at Twitter and Facebook.
Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove mystery series. Her stories have been published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. The MWA anthology, Crime Hits Home, in which she has a story, just won an Anthony Award. She teaches novel-writing at Gotham Writers and is on the staff of the New York Write to Pitch Conference. www.susanjbreen.com