I have been a bad, bad blogger. I have neglected you and anyone who reads it for far too long. So I am making my New Year’s Resolution early. I promise at least five blog entries a week, starting today.
So welcome to Movie Monday. Today is all about the Romantic Films of Alfred Hitchcock. How could he not be, he was married to his wife Alma from 1926 until his death in 1980. She worked on every film that Hitchock ever made. They had a daughter, Patricia who appears in several of her father’s films, most notably in Strangers on a Train.
I know romance is not the word that we associate with Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, the film that most people think of when you ask them about Hitchcock the film people most often remember is Psycho. Though even in that film there is romance of a sort. Marian Crane is having an affair which leads to a series of events that lead her to the Bates Motel. Then by the end of the film, Marian’s sister and the reporter have fallen in love.
There is a romance, even if it has gone wrong in almost every film that Hitchcock made. True, some of those romances were affairs, but it was love of a sort, nevertheless.
The films I am thinking of though, are ones that don’t get as much attention when the critics talk about Hitchcock. There are of course the obvious ones. Rebecca and Suspicion. Who can ever forget the words, “I dreamed I was at Manderly again” or the image of Cary Grant walking up the staircase with a glass of milk for Joan Fontaine and you aren’t sure if she should drink it or not?
The most romantic film that Hitchcock ever made is one of his that doesn’t get much attention. It was Shirley MacClaine’s first film role with a cast that includes Jerry Mathers(yes the Beaver of Leave it to Beaver) as the little boy who finds the body of Harry in the woods in The Trouble with Harry.
I know most people wouldn’t find a film that centers around a dead body and the fact that several different people think they have killed him and keep trying to cover it up to be romantic, but trust me, try it and you will be in for a pleasant surprise.
Also one should never forget that the director had a huge crush on Grace Kelly and he made three films with the actress. Dial M for Murder involves a romance, but since it sets up the entire complication for the film, it doesn’t give you a nice warm glow, but Kelly’s other two films are quite romantic, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief. Watch Kelly as she banters with Jimmy Steward and Cary Grant. The murders, deaths and robberies are secondary to the audience falling in love with Grace as her leading men and director obviously do.
So the next time Alfred shows up on TCM, which seems to be at least once or twice a week look at the master of suspense in a different way.