Roger Enlow: A good evening with Hitchcock

December 15, 2012

A good evening with Hitchcock

The young ticket lady had more than a blank stare.

She looked at me like I had a giant Double Bubble head.

“Do you know I’m a big Hitchcock fan?” I asked. “You know, the movie director Alfred Hitchcock who took three minutes to announce two words – ‘Good Evening’?”

Little response.

“You realize that ‘Hitchcock’ is showing here. At your theater.”

A smile, and maybe a nod of the head.

“Have you ever seen an Alfred Hitchcock movie?”

She smiled again, shaking her head.

“But you must see a Hitchcock movie. They’re classic. They’re great. ‘North by Northwest,’ ‘Vertigo,’ ‘The Birds’ …”

Wait.

“What year were you born?”

1994, she said.

That’s almost 15 years after Alfred Hitchcock died, I thought.

No wonder.

Then I felt “that look” off to my left. “That look” that said, “Roger, please leave that poor girl alone before she calls mall security.”

Ah, Hitchcock would have liked that. Officers sprinting, guns ready to fire. He said the thriller is not the bomb exploding but the bomb ticking, ticking, ticking.

The Master of Suspense.

This movie “Hitchcock” is about the challenges he and his wife Alma encountered in making 1960’s “Psycho,” which became the pacesetter for future horror films.

Reviewers say “Hitchcock” is a love story about Alfred and Alma. Mrs. Hitchcock is wonderfully played by Helen Mirren (she earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance).

The ’60 movie was, of course, famous for the stabbing in the shower that inflicted many a nightmare. It was said that people never took showers without thinking of that shocking scene.

A couple of twists in “Psycho” – near the beginning – and at the end – were vintage Hitchcock.

I vaguely remember “Psycho” showing in tiny Granbury. At the cavernous (so it seemed) Palace Theater downtown. It created quite a stir.

I believe I was in the first grade. I don’t think I saw the movie, maybe just the previews. But that was enough to scare the husky Lee’s off my bohinder.

The infatuation with Hitchcock movies started maybe 20 years ago. I discovered that Hitchcock movies are more about entertainment than gore. Sophisticated, original. Splicing mystery and suspense with adventure, romance and humor.

How many movies have been made in the last 30 years with a self-proclaimed “Hitchcockian” theme?

And yet Hitchcock never won an Oscar for best director. Nominated five times, but never won.

In 1968 he was given an honorary Oscar.

So young lady, if you want to see movie making at its best, I suggest you check out a Hitchcock film.

In the meantime…

Good evening.

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