PSYCHO
1960, Universal, 109 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Coming off the comparatively big-budget NORTH BY NORTHWEST, director Alfred Hitchcock decided he wanted to make a nice little, low-budget, black-and-white film for a change of pace. This was the result, and the shock waves are still reverberating. Lovely embezzler Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) takes refuge from a rainstorm off the beaten track on a lonely California highway. Unfortunately, she checks in at the Bates Motel, presided over by young Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a strange fellow living with his mother in a nearby mansion. Hitchcock used the small crew from his popular TV show for this hair-raising example of California Gothic, and it remains one of the most influential chillers ever made. With Vera Miles and John Gavin.


THE 39 STEPS
1935, Park Circus/MGM, 86 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

"What are the 39 Steps?" And why is a network of foreign spies so desperate to stop stalwart hero Robert Donat from uncovering the mystery of this most cryptic of Hitchcock puzzles? And will lovely Madeleine Carroll really come to trust that Donat is an innocent man and not an escaped criminal running from the law? With its nonstop suspense, breathtaking setpieces and brain-twisting plot turns, THE 39 STEPS set the pattern for nearly all the great Hitchcock thrillers to come.


ROPE
1948, Universal, 80 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

This startling Alfred Hitchcock film was doubly daring for 1948: First, it risked depicting the Leopold & Loeb-like tale of homosexual lovers committing murder solely for the thrill. If that wasn’t enough, it told the tale in a series of long, 10-minute takes, unlike anything any director had previously attempted. Having passed over the heads of most audiences when originally released, the film is a revelation by today’s standards. With James Stewart, Farley Granger and John Dall (GUN CRAZY).


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