Hitchcock Festival, Stanford Theater, Downtown Palo Alto

The Hitchcock festival at the Stanford Theater, which began over a month ago, has been great fun.  Self and The Man have only missed two weekends.  Self really wishes she were not such an inveterate blogger, for the lines for some screenings have been around the block, and it would really be great to have less people in front of her when she presents to purchase a ticket.  But, on the premise that generosity is its own reward, Blog Mistress Kanlaon will go ahead and post about what a good time will be had by all who attend a screening (The festival ends Apr. 6)

Here are the movies self and The Man have seen thus far:

  • Secret Agent (This was hilarious.  The heroine had a pet dog that went everywhere with her, self knows not why.  Oh, self knows why!  There was need of a dog to further a plot twist later on in the movie!  Not Hitchcock at his best, but sweater tops looked great on the women —  demure and at the same time revealing)
  • Young and Innocent (Self and The Man saw this on a double bill.  She fell asleep for part of this movie.  It ended happily, which was self’s most important concern, as she liked the two leads)
  • Strangers on a Train (Great.  One can feel Hitchcock getting a feel for his power.  Self especially liked the climax, on an out-of-control carnival carousel.  Wee innocent tykes were screaming with terror, while the hero and his nemesis battled each other under the carousel horses’ hooves, and the audience waited with bated breath for the ancient carousel attendant to crawl underneath the platform and turn off the machines.  Naturally, it took the attendant FOREVER)
  • Rope (Terrible.  The worst Hitchcock ever.  Like Noel Coward, without Noel Coward.  In order to demonstrate self’s absolute impartiality, she will link to the Rotten Tomatoes site, where Rope has a stupendous 97% Certified Fresh rating)
  • To Catch a Thief (Hitchcock at the height of his infatuation with Grace Kelly.  He has her looking tigerish after planting a kiss on Cary Grant, after their first meeting.  Also, they have to struggle for a pistol while Grace is wearing a very low-cut gown.  Must have been titillating to the max for every male in the audience —  at least, in that period!  Will the gown fall or not?  What’s holding it up?  Oh, breasts!)
  • Vertigo (So far, the best — because of its ambiguity, because of Jimmy Stewart, because of Barbara Bel Geddes, because of Kim Novak’s fitted grey suit, because of San Juan Bautista and Mission Dolores.  The costuming was by Edith Head, who incidentally also did To Catch a Thief.  But while Grace Kelly in TCAT was tricked out in the most opulent fashion —  the role was her audition for becoming a real-life Princess! — the clothes worn by Kim Novak in Vertigo were much less flashy but also much more seductive)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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