Archive for the ‘classics’ Category
Vacationing in northern California, Alfred Hitchcock was struck by a story in a Santa Cruz newspaper: “Seabird Invasion Hits Coastal Homes.” From this peculiar incident, and his memory of a short story by Daphne du Maurier, the master of suspense created one of his strangest and most terrifying films. The Birds follows a chic blonde, Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), as she travels to the coastal town of Bodega Bay to hook up with a rugged fellow (Rod Taylor) she’s only just met. Before long the town is attacked by marauding birds, and Hitchcock’s skill at staging action is brought to the fore. Beyond the superb effects, however, The Birds is also one of Hitchcock’s most psychologically complicated scenarios, a tense study of violence, loneliness, and complacency. What really gets under your skin are not the bird skirmishes but the anxiety and the eerie quiet between attacks. The director elevated an unknown model, Tippi Hedren (mother of Melanie Griffith), to being his latest cool, blond leading lady, an experience that was not always easy on the much-pecked Ms. Hedren. Still, she returned for the next Hitchcock picture, the underrated Marnie. Treated with scant attention by serious critics in 1963, The Birds has grown into a classic and–despite the sci-fi trappings–one of Hitchcock’s most serious films. –Robert Horton
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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore
Blue Beard starring John Carradine
The Corpse Vanishes starring Bela Lugosi
Night of the Living Dead starring Judith O’Dea
Doomed to Die starring Boris Karloff
The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, Sr.
The Indestructible Man starring Lon Chaney, Jr.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Lon Chaney, Sr.
Nosferatu starring Max Schreck
Swamp Women starring Mike Connors
The World Gone Mad starring Pat O’Brien
The Little Shop of Horrors starring Jack Nicholson
Tormented starring Richard Carlson
The Monster Walks starring Rex Lease
Monster from a Prehistoric Planet starring Tamio Kawaji
The Gorilla starring The Ritz Brothers
A Shriek in the Night starring Ginger Rogers
Bloodlust starring Robert Reed
The Amazing Mr. X starring Turhan Bay
Last Woman on Earth starring Robert Towne
The Bat starring Vincent Price