Saturday, August 13, 2011

Conclusion (or 'Post Mortem'?)

When I began this blog all that time ago, I made it clear that this was not for any sort of academic study or to be a detailed critique of any high standard; it was merely a jaunt, a jolly little saunter through the back catalogue of Alfred Hitchcock's work.

I would begin with a quick introduction to my current mood with a few trivial bits of information thrown in about my attire or my nibbles.
Then I would list the main cast members, the synopsis of the film (I had said something about not giving away any plot details or "spoilers" but I did away with that nonsense!) and then mention a few of the lines within the film which entertained me the most.
Once that was done, I'd thrown in a few comments and anecdotes about the film without dwelling too often on the aesthetics of the occasional male star. How gay.
Finally, my verdict. And that is all it was; MY verdict. I have no pretentious delusions of grandeur about my ability to critique film and all its intricate detail, but I can certainly form an opinion.

Sometimes my ratings would differ greatly from other professional movie reviewers, but, as I always say, if everyone thought the same thing, it'd be a dull world in which everyone loved Titanic! *shudder* That might induce nightmares when my head hits the pillow.

But what is the purpose of a blog like this? It's a fair question. Not much point, to be frank. It entertained me and it kept me off the streets (Oh, how I love to loiter) and it was a hobby of sorts for nearly sixteen months. However, I did want to try and figure out my all-time favourite Hitchcock film, so let's have a look at the results...

The Bottom Four

Aventure Malgache 1/10
Juno and the Paycock 3/10
The Skin Game 3/10
Topaz 3/10

Frankly, they are not utter travesties. There's no Plan 9 From Outer Space or an Anaconda among them. If it's a Hitchcock film, even a 1/10 is more entertaining than anything starring Paris Hilton, for example.
These four just 'punch below their weight', as the saying goes.

My Favourites
It is too hard to pick a top ten, so here are the films which got a 9 or a 10.

Blackmail 9/10
The 39 Steps 9/10
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) 9/10
North by Northwest 9/10
Marnie 9/10
Vertigo 9.5/10

The Lady Vanishes 10/10
Rebecca 10/10
Lifeboat 10/10
Strangers on a Train 10/10
Rear Window 10/10
Psycho 10/10
The Birds 10/10
Frenzy 10/10

Some of those 'nines' could creep higher depending on my mood. I still think Blackmail is one utterly brilliant film, but I shall leave it as my original score so as not to complicate things.
Look at the eight films I gave ten out of ten to! All superb (I know people will disagree and I know some deride The Lady Vanishes for a number of reasons, but I love it!)

The overall winner?
This is the hardest thing to choose.
I have always debated over which of two Hitchcock films is my favourite.
It has always been a toss-up between The Birds and Strangers on a Train - it usually depends on what mood I am in.

But how to choose??

I love both of the original authors - Daphne Du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith - so I cannot use them as a decider. Damn it.

I have often said that if I could ever own just one piece of movie memorabilia, it would be the cigarette lighter 'From A to G' from Strangers on a Train, so that means a lot to me...

When I visited Bodega Bay in 2008, I was in my element, I was so blissfully happy...


Decision time...

The winner is...

The Birds

It has to be, really. It is so iconic, so technically brilliant for its day and so deeply disturbing. It is celluloid proof of Hitchcock's mastery of the art.

(But I will keep Strangers in reserve, just in case...)

So, What Next?
Well, I have debated doing a blog as I sit through every episode of The X Files (yes, even the awful episode 'Fight Club'!) or, even more daunting, Doctor Who with all the audio soundtracks to the lost episodes - but I shan't do that until I have a laptop or something. It's rather annoying having to watch and then blog later at my PC situated in the kitchen. It'd be more fun to do it simultaneously.

So, for now, I look forward to one day watching Hitch's films randomly and normally - not armed with pen and notepad - to sit down, with the good old Yorkshire Gold tea in one hand and a McVitie's Dark Chocolate Digestive in the other (ready to dunk), with Fizzgig by my side and then be entertained by the genius of Alfred Hitchcock.
In my mind he is, without doubt, the greatest movie director of all-time. He was an entrepreneur, an auteur and a revolutionary. His films will be watched, loved and studied for centuries to come.

I raise my glass.
"To Sir Alfred Hitchcock; the man who scared the bejesus out of me and made me love the world of cinema."

Cheers, matey.


  1. Thanks for the ride; and I utterly approve of the outcome. :)

  2. hated Topaz too
    excellent blogs by the way