The Paradine Case (1947)

This is one of the few Hitchcock films I didn’t see in my younger years. And, considering that Hitchcock is one of my favourite directors, and Gregory Peck one of my favourite actors, that is odd indeed. Perhaps I should put it down to the fact that The Paradine Case is not one of Hitch’s best-known works; in fact, he more or less washed his hands off it. And Peck, too, seems to have not really liked it.

Gregory Peck in The Paradine Case

Continue reading

Kohraa (1964)

I feel that, no matter how high an opinion one may have of oneself, it is risky business to attempt to remake a classic. If (for example) Alfred Hitchcock made a film, don’t attempt to remake it—especially if you plan on tinkering with the way the story plays out. Biren Nag (who had already made the pretty good suspense thriller Bees Saal Baad) tried his hand at remaking Hitchcock’s atmospheric Rebecca here, and while he got some things right, the end result is not quite as memorable as Rebecca was.

Waheeda Rehman in Kohraa

Continue reading

Spellbound (1945)

When I posted my review of Charade a couple of weeks back, I ended up being reminded of this film. Firstly, because Charade is referred to as ‘the best Hitchcock film Hitchcock didn’t direct’. Secondly, because in the comments, a couple of readers mentioned a film in a similar vein, the Gregory Peck-starrer, Arabesque. My mind did a quick jump ahead, and came up with this: Hitchcock + Peck = Spellbound.

And, as if fate itself had decreed it, I realised just as I was beginning to write this review, that today – August 29 – is the birth anniversary (and, oddly, death anniversary, too) of Spellbound’s leading lady, the lovely Ingrid Bergman. This was the day she was born in 1915, and this was the day she died, in 1982. Happy birthday, Ms Bergman – and RIP.

Continue reading

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

It’s been a long time since I reviewed a film by one of my favourite directors, so I decided this one merited a rewatch. Like The 39 Steps and Young and Innocent, The Lady Vanishes is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s early British suspense films. I saw it first when I was about 12 years old; but in the years since, I’ve never forgotten the story – I still remember almost every twist and turn of this film. And I still think that it’s one of the best train journey films ever made.


Continue reading

Lifeboat (1944)

The other day, just for kicks, I was trying to make a mental list of all the directors, 30’s-60’s, whose work I admire. Guru Dutt. Akira Kurosawa. Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Bimal Roy. Raj Khosla (usually). And, of course, the inimitable Alfred Hitchcock. That led to another realisation: I haven’t seen, or reviewed, a Hitchcock film in months. Therefore this, an unusual Hitchcock in that it’s not a suspense film. Instead, it’s a ‘journey’ film, set in a lifeboat bobbing about on the high seas during World War II.

Continue reading

Rebecca (1940)

Last night I saw Rebecca again.

Really; I’m not trying to be corny, but that’s it. I was in the mood for a Hitchcock film, and having recently seen Pride and Prejudice again, I was also very keen on watching more of Olivier’s work. So Rebecca it was. Based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel, this was Hitchcock’s first Hollywood film, even though it’s set in England (in Cornwall, to be precise) and has an almost totally British cast.

Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in Rebecca

Continue reading

The Trouble with Harry (1955)

Looking through my blog archives, I realised that the last Hitchcock film I reviewed, Dial M for Murder, was way back in November 2008. For someone who’s a self-confessed Hitchcock fanatic, this amounts to blasphemy. Service recovery seemed in order.
May I present, therefore, one of my favourite Hitch films: The Trouble with Harry. In true Hitchcock style, it’s full of suspense—but a suspense that’s quirky in the extreme. This is dark humour: farcical, irreverent, and very funny. No, not typical Hitchcock, but one of his best works.

Shirley MacLaine, John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick and Edmund Gwenn in The Trouble with Harry

Continue reading

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Yes, I know. Another Alfred Hitchcock. But I really can’t help it: this man directed some of the most gripping suspense films ever, and he deserves more than just a passing mention in any site dedicated to the films. So here goes: a great film starring the lovely Grace Kelly, and with some brilliant twists and turns in the plot.

Continue reading

The 39 Steps (1935)

A couple of posts back, I’d mentioned one of my favourite directors: Alfred Hitchcock. And a few posts before that, an actor whom I’d want to see more of: Robert Donat. So here’s one that brings them together: a classic chase across Scotland, in one of Hitchcock’s early British films. This, by the way, was the first Hitchcock film I recall seeing as a kid. I enjoyed it as much then as I do now.

Continue reading

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Alfred Hitchcock is an all-time favourite, so I’m always game for anything he’s directed—and Strangers on a Train certainly delivers. This is one of Hitchcock’s lesser known movies, but it’s suspenseful, and has an interesting premise: does lack of an obvious motive help make for the perfect murder?

Continue reading