NUMBER 8: ALFRED HITCHCOCK
In high school, I began to discover a whole new world of film and television. Sometimes I would stay up late at night watching strange movies on my sisters TV. It’s where I began to learn the ropes of what was to become one of my favorite past times. Watching Alfred Hitchcock films. His style of direction and sharp witted way of telling a good story was something that has remained with me since I watched Rear Window for the very first of many times. You see, that’s the thing about Hitch. You can watch his movies over and over without ever feeling like they have become a tired concept.
Perhaps the greatest of Hitchcock films could be more of a rare gem. For many years, I held “North By Northwest” as my shining star in the back catalog of his works though as I have grown older, “Rope” has grown more and more.
Released in 1948, “Rope” was the first mainstream Hollywood picture to bring homoerotic influences into a story line. Well, as far as I know anyway. At the time of release, “Rope” was banned in many US towns due to its subversive content. For those who knew him best, it was just typical of Hitch to crash through the barriers of controversy and bring a tough subject into the laps of movie goers of the day. And that’s what made Alfred Hitchcock such a formidable force for so many decades. He was always looking to open up new doors of perception.
From “Number 13”, released in 1922 to his final release, “Family Plot”, a minor success released in the summer of 1976, Alfred Hitchcock never failed to surprise his legion of fans. Even today, cinema’s around the world screen his classic films as film students from all walks of life are drawn into a man of great influence and intelligence. Everybody wanted to be the star in a Hitchcock feature such was his pulling power at the box office.
You can always play it safe and watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster however, if you want to tap into uncharted yet exciting waters, picking a weekend off to sit through a dozen or so Hitchcock films can be time well spent. And this is exactly why Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most influential people on my life thus far. A man without peer.