If you’re a big Alfred Hitchcock fan like I am, the entire month of September is great on TCM, as every Sunday it’s all Hitchcock all day. Amongst the highlights this week are some Hitchcock films.
8:00pm Foreign Correspondent
1940 was a pretty good for Hitchcock. It’s not often that a director has two of his films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but that’s what happened to Hitch. Alongside Rebecca, this film also received the nomination that year. This tale of foreign intrigue at the onset of World War 2 is deserving of this honor. As usual, there’s tons of suspense packed into this film, along with a solid cast featuring such people as the ever-excellent George Sanders.
10:15pm North by Northwest
From the crop dusting plane scene, to the battle on Mount Rushmore, this film features some of the most memorable visuals in movie history. But beyond those famous shots, the overall package is one of Hitchcock’s best films. As with many other Hitch films, at the center is an innocent man (Cary Grant) who finds himself in a dangerous situation. Grant shines here, not only in the moments of drama, but also in providing comedy at some points as well.
8:00pm One Week
This short (only around twenty minutes long) is some of Buster Keaton’s funniest work. It revolves around Keaton and his wife attempting to construct a house. What follows is a flurry of amazing physical stunts and visuals that are unbelievable. The house becomes a plaything for Keaton, the centerpiece for great gag after gag. This is about as good as comedies get.
4:15am Safety Last!
This would probably be a good one to DVR given how late it’s on. Safety Last, Lloyd’s most well-known film, is also a good introduction to what his comedies are like. Lloyd plays his typical go-getter character here, trying to win over the affection of a lady. It all culminates in the famous clock tower sequence, that not only provides comedy but a little bit of tension as well.
12:15am The Bicycle Thief
This Italian film has always received lots of critical acclaim, and deservedly so. There is perhaps no better or stark portrayal of the life of poverty than this film. The struggle of a man to get his bike back that he needs for a job becomes increasingly desperate and engrossing at the same time. It’s realistic and at times heart-breaking, making this a film that must be experienced.