Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Scary Movies For Hallowe'en... or Anytime!

--by Hanje Richards

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was a British filmmaker and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in his native United Kingdom, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood. In 1956, he became an American citizen while retaining his British citizenship.

Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades. He remains one of the most popular and most recognized filmmakers, and his works are still popular today. Often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker of all time, in 2007 Hitchcock was ranked #1 by film critics in The Telegraph's list of 21 greatest British directors, which writes:

"Unquestionably the greatest filmmaker to emerge from these islands, Hitchcock did more than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters and from us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else." (With thanks and apologies to Wikipedia)

The Copper Queen Library has a large selection of Hitchcock favorites. We invite you to check them out during this Hallowe’en season... or any time at all. Here is a list of some of the movies we have in DVD format. (Hint: Check under "Hitchcock" and then under the title in our alphabetical files of movie slips.)

The Birds Thousands of birds descend upon the town, attacking and terrorizing its residents.

Dial M For Murder A man devises a plan to murder his wife, not only because he wants her money, but because she is in love with another man.

Family Plot In his final picture, Hitchcock weaves together suspense and humor in this tongue-in-cheek thriller about a wealthy woman who innocently hires a phony psychic to find her missing heir.

Foreign Correspondent A reporter sent to Europe to cover a peace conference falls in love with a diplomat's daughter, but discovers that her father is the head of a Nazi spy ring.

Frenzy The Necktie Murderer has the London police on red alert and an innocent man is on a desperate quest to find the real sex criminal and clear his name.

I Confess A priest hears a murderer's confession and then becomes the murder suspect himself.

Jamaica Inn An undercover officer joins a band of smugglers and cutthroats with hopes of thwarting them, but they soon discover his real identity.

Lady Vanishes A young woman on a train, to England from Switzerland, meets a charming older lady who promptly disappears.

Man Who Knew Too Much A thrilling tale of international espionage, assassinations and terror.

Marnie Marnie is a compulsive thief who attempts to rob her boss, Mark Rutland, but instead ends up marrying him.

Psycho Norman Bates is a troubled son who believes "a boy's best friend is his mother." Marion Crane is an ill-fated traveler who checks into the eerie Bates Motel wanting only a hot shower and a warm bed. Her journey ends sooner than she planned in the shocking scene that has haunted generations of movie-watchers.

Rear Window It only takes one witness to spoil the perfect crime in one of the most acclaimed suspense films of all time. Professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbors while confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg.

Rope Two thrill-seeking friends strangle a classmate and then hold a party for their victim's family and friends, serving refreshments on a buffet table fashioned from a trunk containing the lifeless body.

Saboteur Barry Kane is a Los Angeles aircraft factory worker who witnesses a Nazi agent firebombing his plant. However, it is Barry who is accused of the fiery sabotage, and to clear his name he sets off on a desperate, action-packed cross-country chase.

Shadow of a Doubt Uncle Charlie is a seemingly charming man visiting his relatives in their small and peaceful hometown. But his niece suspects that he may in fact be the psychopathic Merry Widow killer and Uncle Charlie must plot the death of his favorite relation in order to remain one step ahead of the law.

39 Steps Follows the escapades of Richard Hanney, who stumbles into a conspiracy that involves him in a hectic chase across the Scottish moors.

Topaz An American CIA agent hires a French operative to travel to Cuba and investigate rumors of Russian missiles and Topaz, a NATO spy. The inquiry soon spins into a life-threatening escapade of espionage, betrayal and murder.

Torn Curtain An edge-of-your-seat Cold War thriller set behind the Iron Curtain.

Trouble With Harry The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and while no one really minds, everyone feels responsible. Shirley Maclaine makes her screen debut in this New England romp.

Vertigo When tragedy strikes, Scottie must overcome the vertigo that haunts his dreams in order to unravel the secrets of the past and find the key to his future.