wed 12/08/2020

Hitchcock

Hitchcock

A pedestrian talent hitches a ride on genius in Hitchcock, director Sacha Gervasi's often cringemakingly banal look at the filmmaker in the run-up to the mother of all horror movies, Psycho. One can only imagine what the Great Man himself would...

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The Girl, BBC Two / Miranda, BBC One

The BBC makes a habit of dramatising the difficult lives of those who have entertained us – tortured comedians, anguished singers, even troubled cooks. Whatever you make of their merits, the message accumulating across all these biodramas is that...

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Hollywood Costume, Victoria & Albert Museum

Going to the movies will never be quite the same again, as the Victoria & Albert illuminates the work of the costume designers for anybody who has ever been seduced by the world of the cinema, which I guess means all of us. This anthology is a...

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The Hitchcock Players: Barbara Harris, Family Plot

Alfred Hitchcock famously loved his blondes, and they didn't come much more lovable than Barbara Harris. A Broadway star during the 1960s who later shifted her attentions towards film, Harris was at the peak of her talent in Family Plot, a...

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The Hitchcock Players: Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford, The Lady Vanishes

Never one to underestimate the potency of a cameo (as evidenced by his own appearances in his films), Alfred Hitchcock had a particular genius with supporting roles – generating menace, intrigue or comedy with the fewest of brush strokes. Two of his...

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The Hitchcock Players: Hume Cronyn, Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt was reputedly Hitchcock’s personal favourite among his films. Joseph Cotten was cast against type as the glamorous, homicidal uncle, fleeing from the police and pitching up unexpectedly in his sister’s household in a sleepy...

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The Hitchcock Players: Grace Kelly, Dial M for Murder

Aside from the platinum hair and the porcelain beauty, there is no identikit Hitchcock blonde. She can be an ice-hearted femme fatale or a traumatised hysteric, or she can be Grace Kelly, a peachy embodiment of femininity whom the director enjoyed...

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The Hitchcock Players: Cary Grant, Notorious

Like his great contemporary Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant not only gave some of his best performances for Hitchcock, he also grabbed the opportunity to darken his screen persona. It was never the case, with either of them, of simply playing “baddies”....

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The Hitchcock Players: Lila Kedrova, Torn Curtain

There’s an affecting moment in the café scene in Torn Curtain (1966) when the physicist Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) and his fiancée-assistant Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews), desperate to flee East Berlin, are awed into compassion for the jittery...

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The Hitchcock Players: Tippi Hedren, The Birds, Marnie

The relationship between Hitchcock and Hedren was already subject to scrutiny, and is symbolic of his fascination with blondes. Soon, with Sienna Miller playing the leading lady of 1963’s terrifying The Birds and Toby Jones as the director, it’s...

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The Hitchcock Players: James Stewart, Rear Window

Hitchcock was fond of the locked-box mystery, but never in the obvious form: whether it’s the leads in Rope, stuck in their apartment with a body shut up in a trunk, or the survivors from a ship murderously bobbing along together in Lifeboat, the...

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The Hitchcock Players: Farley Granger and Robert Walker, Strangers on a Train

Some actors build their characters from the feet up. In fact, it’s a theatrical commonplace to think that shoes can hold the key to a character's psychology. Hitchcock takes the idea and applies it to the opening sequence of Strangers on a Train,...

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