Have just finished watching one of the two great Hitchcock films. I know them so well, I haven’t watched them in a bunch – grouping them – like the other directors whose work I hardly know at all.
It is an amazing film, if for nothing else than it is quintessentially the product of where Hitchcock’s head was set, in the 1950s. Although it was released in 1960 and falls into the broad category of 1960s films, it was the last film he made in the 1950s. Post-production was completed in 1960 and the film was screened in New York in June 1960 (citation needed) and its release was in September, Hitchcock having just turned 61.
If you listen to popular music from the fifties, anything that you don’t actually (specifically) know the date it was released, the early years of a decade sound very much like the predominant sound of the previous decade. With fashion, painting, art, music and film, it always takes two or three years before the new look-feel-sound of the new decade really starts to take over.
Amongst Hitchcock’s creations, it followed a period of filmmaking which yielded the three films (four on the Directors’ List: North by Northwest ) on the Critics’ List: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958) and Psycho (1960).
It’s curious, because he adopted a new style in the fifties where his films were very knowing in their treatment of his style and they were in transition from I Confess and Strangers on a Train, darker films, to more glamorous thrillers with stars who were in the Top Ten most highly paid and popular actors.
Grace Kelly made Rear Window, Dial M For Murder and To Catch a Thief within a period of three years. In 1955 she was an Academy award-winning actress. She was now a big star. So were James Stewart (3-films), Henry Fonda (1-film) and Cary Grant (4-films) and Doris Day (who had always – nearly – always, well, mostly) played a character who was a singer.
She sang in The Man Who Knew Too Much, but as a mother singing a lullaby to a child.
Less than 3-hours sleep, but it was worth it. I was writing down so many things about Psycho (1960).
Heading off to get to the SCG by 7am when the gates open for members. I need to get in line with people who have been in line since 4. 30am so they can get front row seats in the Ladies Stand or the Members Pavilion. There are three entrances for members and all three probably have four or five hundred people in the queue in front of me. There aren’t a thousand front-row or second-row seats available so I’m still going to be scrambling for really good seats.