If you could only study one filmmaker for the rest of your life you could hardly select anyone with a better catalog of films than Sir Alfred Hitchcock.  Known as the master of suspense, his broad range of films encompass much more.  Next month Turner Classic Movies is delving deep into the works of Hitchcock as it presents TCM Spotlight: 50 years of Hitchcock, exploring 44 of the films he directed.

You already know his most popular films: Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo, The Birds, Strangers on a Train, The Man Who Knew Too Much, North by Northwest, Rope, Dial “M” for Murder, To Catch a Thief, Rebecca, The Birds, The Paradine Case, Lifeboat, The Wrong Man, The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Jamaica Inn, and Shadow of a Doubt.  But have you seen The Ring, Foreign Correspondent, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Blackmail, Murder! (aka Mary), The Skin Game, Saboteur, Suspicion, Stage Fright, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy, and Family Plot?  TCM is airing all of these, and more.

   

TCM isn’t leaving much out.  But you’ll need to track down eight of the earliest of Hitchcock’s works on your own: His directorial debut The Pleasure Garden (1925), the Jack the Ripper inspired The Lodger from 1927, the 1928 romance Easy Virtue, the Irish civil war story Juno and the Paycock (1930), the 1930 musical Elstree Calling, the musical Waltzes from Vienna (1934), the Peter Lorre/John Gielgud mistaken identity film Secret Agent (1936), and the 1937 crime thriller Young and Innocent.  The line-up also does not include the 1949 Ingrid Bergman/Joseph Cotton historical thriller Under Capricorn and the 1955 Cary Grant/Grace Kelly hit To Catch a Thief.  Hitchcock directed another full-length film, the 1926 film The Mountain Eagle–a lost film considered by many to be the most sought after missing film of all time. 

And TCM isn’t going to stop with only a screening of 44 of Hitchcock’s films.

   

TCM is partnering with Ball State University to offer a free online course on Hitchcock’s films.  For those who have never taken an online course, this will also be a great introduction to online college coursework.  This will be an interactive experience from June 26 – August 7 with multimedia materials including interviews with film experts and industry talent, daily course messages with movie clips and conversation starters and ongoing interactions with other film fans on the TCM message boards or at #Hitchcock50.  Check out more information about the free course here.  You can also download and create your own fun card game at the TCM website here.  Keep an eye out for Hitch as you watch the TCM screening, as he featured himself in a brief cameo in most of them.

       

The TCM screening of the 44 Hitchcock films will take place on Wednesdays and Fridays in July.  Check out the complete schedule at the TCM website here.  It all begins with the 1927 movie The Ring on July 5 and wraps with his 1976 film Family Plot on July 28.  The films loosely are presented chronologically.

Set your DVRs–after July you’ll have no excuse not to know the bulk of his motion picture magic.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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