June 1, 2008

Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Me

Ah, I have fond memories of watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents when I was a little thing, with my dad. My dad launched my love of old B&W movies and shows, even though when he was making me watch them I hated them.

Anyway, he didn't need to force me to watch Hitchcock Presents, I just did. On my own, even. It was more accessible than his movies, like Psycho and the Birds which pretty much scared the piss out of me.

Anyway, the reason I got into Hitchcock Presents more is because even though Hitchcock's movies weren't all necessarily horrible, grim tales of evil birds and crazy trannies and Jimmy Stewart, frankly after being tricked into watching Psycho I was thoroughly traumatized and swore off them for a while, whereas Hitchcock presents were more along the lines of murder mysteries where the villain was usually caught and the body count wasn't as high. It was essentially still the Hitchcock experience, only toned down for TV, which was fine with me.

And they were still frightening too because they had the man's signature touches. The zooms, the themes (damn those adulterous wimmens!), the atmosphere, even in the ones he didn't direct himself. Take the episode I just finished watching, the Creeper: a tale about a serial killer preying on blond women alone in their apartments. All through the half-hour episode you get hints at the killer, various likely suspects, and it just builds and builds until the killer strikes!--


Well, unless hands count.

That makes it just more terrifying, the "more is less" attitude that you can see in his other movies, Psycho being the most noted.

I didn't actually get Hitchcock's dry wit when I was younger, and it didn't even help to take the edge off the episode which probably had me crying or deeply confused by the end. Not much has changed, except every so often I get his jokes.

Anyway, I also loved how the episodes would usually end with some moral ending with the villain getting caught, but Hitchcock told it in such a way that you suspected that wasn't what really happened at all.

So that's my retrospective for today, until then, I bid you all, good evening.

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