Today is Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday. I’ve been having something of a Hitchcock revival this summer. It started when Phil was here, and we got tickets to see a restored 70mm print of Vertigo at Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre. Last weekend we watched Strangers on a Train. And in between we’ve been watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents on Netflix. It’s been especially fun to watch that with a fresh pair of eyes. The opening sequence and his somber “Good evening” are just so iconic. I love that you can see a wrinkle in the bottom left of the backdrop with his caricature silhouette. The stories are good – most of them, anyway; we’ve hit a bit of a drab spot just now. The best part, though, is Hitchcock’s introduction and follow-up to each episode. Someone else obviously agrees with us, because there’s actually a montage of all 271 intros on YouTube. I have not got 46 spare minutes lying around today, so I didn’t watch it, but I’m ridiculously pleased that someone took the time to make it. We’re particularly enjoying the ones where he takes the piss out of his sponsor just before or after the commercial break. I remember my mom telling me years ago how much Hitchcock resented advertising interruptions on his shows. His dry, straightfaced loathing is hilarious. I can’t imagine any director or writer being able to pull that off now – sponsors are as gods to networks. (Unless you count the fake ads for real corporations that air on Welcome to Night Vale – those are pretty excellent.) But he managed to get away with some plots that horrified those sponsors; there’s a pretty interesting piece about it here.
When we’ve run through those, there are a surprising number of full length films and episodes of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour on YouTube, so I think we’ll be down this rabbit hole for some time. Happy birthday, Hitch! You’re so creepy.
(This is my thirteenth post for the Blaugust initiative.)