Category Archives: Alfred Hitchcock

PAINKILLER by NJ Fountain

“You wrote my note! My suicide note! You want to kill me!” Although the term ‘gaslighting’ has existed for decades, it is very popular at present to describe stories in which men manipulate the minds of women – and this … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Boileau-Narcejac, England, Film Noir, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, London, Nev Fountain, Patrick Hamilton, Robert Bloch, Ruth Rendell | 42 Comments

THE SECRET AGENT (1907) by Joseph Conrad

Subtitled ‘A Simple Tale’ and dedicated to HG Wells, Conrad’s novel of anarchists, spies, treachery and a terror campaign gone wrong was based on the Greenwich bombing of 1894, though it is actually set eight years before that. Recently adapted for … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 Golden Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, Alfred Hitchcock, Crime of the Century, Joseph Conrad, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 28 Comments

The Thrilling Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann

This small detour is dedicated to the great Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975). He is the composer who, when I was a pre-teen, first got me into serious music via the movies, along with the likes of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Dmitri Shostakovich … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Film Noir, Noir on Tuesday, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 18 Comments

And your favourite Hitchcock movies are …

Drum roll please … Having gone through a week of voting for the favourite films directed by Alfred Hitchcock on a decade by decade basis, this was meant to lead to a top 10, though we ended up with a … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New York, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies, World War II | 51 Comments

Results for the Hitchcock poll

Well, the polls are now closed and the results are in. First things first though – the response to this celebration of the 53 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock was really gratifying, so special thanks to everyone who joined in. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Arizona, Boileau-Narcejac, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New England, New York, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies | 45 Comments

Hitchock in the 60s and 70s – time to vote

Hitchcock’s life and career changed forever with the release of Psycho in 1960. Made on a tight budget, its enormous success made him a very wealthy man and saw him change studios to Universal for the rest of his career. … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Boston, Cold War, Cuba, Daphne Du Maurier, Ed McBain, Espionage, Film Poll, France, Germany, London, New York, Norway, Paris, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Spy movies, Sweden, Washington DC | 63 Comments

1950s Hitchcock – vote for the best

This was the decade when Hitchcock truly became a superstar – along with a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films he became the host of his own TV shows Alfred Hitchcock Presents (and later, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour), … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, California, Canada, Cornell Woolrich, Edmund Crispin, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, France, London, Los Angeles, New England, New York, Noir, Patricia Highsmith, Ray Milland, San Francisco, Screwball, Spy movies | 65 Comments

Hitchcock in the 1940s – vote now!

With the success of The Lady Vanishes, Hitchcock got a contract with producer David O Selznick and headed to Hollywood to make the Oscar-winning Rebecca – and never looked back. This period saw the director blossom as he got to … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Anthony Berkeley, Australia, California, Cold War, Courtroom, Daphne Du Maurier, England, Espionage, Film Poll, Francis Beeding, London, Los Angeles, New York, Noir, Patrick Hamilton, Philip MacDonald, Screwball, Spy movies, The Netherlands, World War II | 59 Comments

Vote for your favourite 1930s Hitchcock movies

In the 1930s Hitchcock hired a PR firm to get his name in the news and very soon he was cultivating the black humour and publicity gimmicks that would ultimately make him as well-known as the films he made. During … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, England, Espionage, Film Poll, Joseph Conrad, Josephine Tey, Scotland, Switzerland | 44 Comments

Vote for your favourite Hitchcock movie – part 1

Spurred on by quizzes and polls so well executed by my blogging buddies the Puzzle Doctor and Margot Kingberg, I thought I’d have a go too – and start with probably the most famous movie director ever, Alfred Hitchcock. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Film Poll | 43 Comments

THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER – guest post by Martin Edwards

Martin Edwards is a pretty amazing fellow. Not only a solicitor and a fine and prolific mystery author, he is also the consulting editor for the bestselling range of vintage mystery reprints currently being undertaken by the British Library (and … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Carter Dickson, Edgar Wallace, England, Gladys Mitchell, John Dickson Carr, Margery Allingham, Martin Edwards, Michael Innes, Ngaio Marsh, Nicholas Blake, Patricia Wentworth, Philip MacDonald, Selwyn Jepson, TH White | 25 Comments

THE FURY (1976) by John Farris

A wannabe blockbuster in its day, John Farris’s expansive novel – and the far more linear movie version he scripted for Brian De Palma – still works as a sui generis mixture of espionage, action and the paranormal. Gillian is a … Continue reading

Posted in 2014 Book to Movie Challenge, 2014 Vintage Mystery Challenge Bingo, Alfred Hitchcock, Brian de Palma, Chicago, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Scene of the crime | 39 Comments

A MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR OF STYLE (2007) by Gilbert Adair

Sequels can be such a pain! Expectations after a success can be unfairly high, the pressure to succeed often crippling artistic instincts, co-opting authors into merely varying a winning formula by just a smidgen. But here I am attempting a … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Evadne Mount, Friday's Forgotten Book, Gilbert Adair, Postmodern | 30 Comments

Top 20 Amnesia Mystery Movies

Whether it’s the intrigue of Jason Bourne adventures or the farcical escapades of the Hangover films, memory loss remains a popular narrative device in fiction in general and at the cinema in particular. Here is a guide to my top 20 favourite … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Boileau-Narcejac, Charlie Chan, England, Eric Ambler, France, Greece, Hammer Studios, James Hilton, Jimmy Sangster, John Frankenheimer, Len Deighton, London, Los Angeles, LP Davies, New York, Orson Welles, San Francisco, Spain, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 87 Comments

EXPO 58 by Jonathan Coe

Jonathan Coe is one of my favourite authors, a witty and wise chronicler of British mores, foibles and eccentricities who, in terms of book sales, is apparently appreciated even more on the Continent than he is at home – but … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Brussels, Cold War, Espionage, Jonathan Coe | 18 Comments

The Passion of Brian De Palma

Well, there is a slight change to our usual schedule today as it’s my birthday, which means I am officially in my mid forties … good grief! So I could commemorate this august moment just by joining a gym (of … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Brian de Palma, Chicago, England, Film Noir, France, Germany, Hollywood, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film, Washington DC | 35 Comments

The Four Just Men (1939) – Tuesday’s Overlooked Film

Edgar Wallace was a popular author who, when it came to adapting his works for the cinema, not only opted to produce them himself but even directed a couple! He remains one of the most filmed of all writers, the vast majority … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, London, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 19 Comments

THE FOUR JUST MEN (1905) by Edgar Wallace

Edgar Wallace made a real splash with his debut novel, though perhaps not quite the kind that he had intended. Originally promoted with the offer of a huge prize for anyone who guessed the ending, Wallace eventually had to declare … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Wallace, Friday's Forgotten Book, Locked Room Mystery, London | 63 Comments

SHOTGUN (1969) by Ed McBain

This is a great example of where reading the 87th Precinct mysteries in order of publication (for my previous reviews, click here) really pays dividends. Along with the series’ usual mixture of clever plotting and good humour, Shotgun also resolves … Continue reading

Posted in 87th Precinct, Alfred Hitchcock, Ed McBain, Friday's Forgotten Book, New York, Police procedural | 20 Comments

THE LIVING AND THE DEAD (1954) by Boileau-Narcejac

Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narjejac’s mysteries in the 1950s and 60s were admired for their great plot ingenuity but not for their plausibility. This is certainly the case with their third novel, a morbid tale with a giant twist adapted … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Boileau-Narcejac, France, Friday's Forgotten Book, Paris | 35 Comments

THE AXEMAN COMETH by Nev Fountain

What do you mean you’ve never heard of cult sci-fi series Vixens from the Void – what about its star, the sultry Vanity Mycroft –  no? Well, that’s understandable because they only exist in the imagination of Nev Fountain, serving … Continue reading

Posted in Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcock, Audio Review, Big Finish, Doctor Who, Film Noir, Mervyn Stone, Nev Fountain, Poirot | 23 Comments

MEMOS FROM PURGATORY (1961) by Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison is a writer with a unique voice, paddling his own caustic canoe (sic), defying all those who would pigeon-hole his talent. His resistance to easy categorisation remains ever more laudable in an age of cookie counter consumerism and … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Book to Movie Challenge, Alfred Hitchcock, Friday's Forgotten Book, Harlan Ellison, New York, Scene of the crime | 20 Comments

Top 20 Spy movies

The release of Ben Affleck’s smart historical satire Argo, based loosely on the true extraction by the CIA and Canadian officials of six American Embassy staff members out of Tehran in 1980, made me reflect on the spy genre as … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Adam Hall, Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Billy Wilder, Brian de Palma, Cold War, Elleston Trevor, Eric Ambler, Espionage, Film Noir, George Smiley, Ian Fleming, James Bond, John Frankenheimer, John le Carre, Len Deighton, London, Michael Powell, New York, Paris, Quiller, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Spy movies | 77 Comments

Vertigo (1958) – Best film ever?

Is Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo the greatest film of all time? The 2012 Sight & Sound critics poll thinks so. And even if this is not true (some don’t even think it’s the best of the director’s thrillers), how well do people … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Alfred Hitchcock, Brian de Palma, Five Star review, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 45 Comments

K is for … Stuart Kaminsky

The prolific mystery writer and academic Stuart Melvin Kaminsky was born in Chicago in 1934 and spent most of his career as a professor of film. Eventually he would spend 16 years teaching at Northwestern University before becoming a Professor … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Alfred Hitchcock, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Friday's Forgotten Book, George Baxt, Los Angeles, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Stephen J Cannell, Stuart Kaminsky | 17 Comments

E is for … Stanley Ellin

Kerrie’s Alphabet of Crime community meme over at the Mysteries in Paradise blog this week reaches the letter E. Those participating will post a review, author biog or a thematic item that matches the letter of the week either with … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Alfred Hitchcock, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Fredric Brown, HRF Keating, Julian Symons, Private Eye, Stanley Ellin | Tagged | 18 Comments

Stolen Face (1952)

Hammer Films came to prominence thanks to the series of bold horror films they made in colour from the late 1950s and throughout the next decade, the best of which were directed by Terence Fisher. But they both got their … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Hammer Studios, London, Terence Fisher, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged , | 25 Comments

Nightmare (1964) – Tuesday’s Forgotten Film

A teenage girl in her nightie walks down an eerie and dark corridor, apparently lost. Becoming increasingly uneasy and hearing voices, she fearfully open a door and finds her mother, grinning, apparently waiting for her. It’s the inside of a … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Gothic, Hammer Studios, Jimmy Sangster, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | 24 Comments

Will the real Alfred Hitchcock please stand up?

Film director Alfred Hitchcock, the self-styled ‘Master of Suspense’, is unquestionably now the most written-about of all movie directors, with Orson Welles perhaps coming a close-ish second though he had a substantial acting career too. Both have also been depicted, … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, George Baxt | 9 Comments