Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Plugg'n Hitch's Big Ta-Do

Part 1 of 15

Several months ago I was involved in a car accident, as part of the settlement with the guy who rear-ended me I got my necessary auto repairs and medical bills taken car of, as well as some additional money for general compensation. While I have deposited most of that money in my savings I decided that as I was the guy who got hit, I should get a treat. Accordingly I bought for myself the new 'Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection' a 15 DVD set containing 14 movies and a plethora of special features. As one of my projects for this blog I intend to write articles/reviews and/or reflections on each of the movies in this set. Now usually I've tried to keep it my policy to only review films that I have not hither-to seen, but Alfred Hitchcocks (1899-1980) work is always worth writing about and I wouldn't want to break up the set. So you can except to see my Hitchcock articles (both on films I have and haven't seen before) coming to this blog soon.

I would like to take a little time here to comment on some of the non-movie specific special features included in the collection (which as of now is about all I have seen of the set). Their is a 1970's appearance of Hitchcocks on some now doubtlessly defunct movie discussion show that is billed on the DVD as Masters of Cinema: Alfred Hitchcock. On this program Hitch is asked questions by two admiring interviewers and maintaines his wonderfully droll sensibilities through-out. I was particularly impressed with how mentally sharp Hitchcock was even in his later years, the old master had no difficulty recalling even arcane bits of knowledge from the making of his films, be they his early British silents or better known American entries.

Also included are selections from Hitchcocks 1979 salute by the American Film Institute (AFI). Through most of the broadcast Hitch's stone face makes you feel worried that he might not be all-right, or that he is not enjoying himself, but the speech he gives at the end revels just how much the admiration of his colleague's means to him. Particularly touching is the tribute that Alfred gives to his wife Alma at AFI, they truly were partners together in every sense of the term, a very loving though low-key couple.


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