‘Shadow of a Doubt’ on the radio

I’ve said before that my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie is “Shadow of a Doubt,” a 1943 thriller about a serial murderer of widows and the curious relation between him and his loving niece.

But what I didn’t know was that back in the 1940s and ’50s, radio plays were regularly done using popular films as the script. So I’m searching through YouTube for clips on “Shadow of a Doubt” and I find this:

I don’t know who Betsy Drake was, but Cary Grant as Uncle Charlie is an amazing find. He was in four Hitchcock movies (“Suspicion,” Notorious,” North by Northwest” and “To Catch a Thief) but it was so odd to hear him doing Joseph Cotten’s role. And even better, Hitchcock is the director!

And just as I was wowed by this version from the 1950s, I find another version done in 1944, several years earlier:

William Powell, “The Thin Man” of all people,  is Uncle Charlie. And Teresa Wright, who played young Charlie in the movie a year earlier, is of course, a great choice. The director is Cecil B. DeMille (I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille) the master of monumental movies.

Transformation: Michael Bay and ‘The Birds’

The nightmare begins:

After successfully remaking several 80s slasher films, Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes banner look ready to remake one of the master of suspense’s classic films alongside Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures.

Platinum Dunes, Mandalay Pictures and Universal have tapped Dutch filmmaker Diederik Van Rooijen to direct the remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

As a longtime Hitchcock fan, I am so ready to hate this movie. This is the trailer for “The Birds”:

This is the trailer for the next big Michael Bay extravaganza:

The only thing that could make this worse is Michael Bay decides to cast Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the lead roles for “The Birds.”

The MacGuffin

If you’re a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, you’ll understand this cartoon. If not, it’s your loss:

OK. You’ve twisted my arm. Here’s the explanation:

And I can’t wait to see the movie with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren:

All right, here’s a little more “Psycho” history.

As a Hitchcock fan, I can say that of all of his movies, this is the one I wish I could have seen on opening day. To have no idea of what it was about. To be completely thrown when the leading lady is murdered in the first half of the movie. To come to the horrifying realization that “Mother-m-mother, uh, what is the phrase? She isn’t quite herself today.” That would have been one of those delicious movie memories. Instead, I caught snippets of it on television in the early ’60s and it wasn’t until many years later that I saw the whole movie from start to finish.

And I still get a little jittery when taking a shower in an empty house.

‘Rear Window’ in three minutes

According to Vimeo, this timelapse consists of actual shots taken from the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Rear Window.” And if you know the movie, you see that the sequence of events is correct.

Jimmy Stewart never shows up in the field of vision, because his character never leave the apartment from which the events in the courtyard are viewed, but you do see Raymond Burr and Grace Kelly. You also see the dancer through one window, the composer through another, the “active” newlywed couple, the dog owner and Miss Lonelyhearts. I’ll bet if you look close enough, you’ll see Alfred Hitchcock in the composer’s apartment.

One thing that bothered me about “Rear Window,” but was totally logical in the development of the movie was, the sequence where you thought Miss Lonelyheart was about to commit suicide.

As a viewer … actually as a voyeur … you saw all the lives develop in the courtyard from Jeff Jefferies’s (Stewart’s) perspective, and there were no secrets. But in the part where Miss Lonelyhearts (played by Judith Evelyn) seemed ready to end it all, it was extremely troubling that Jefferies never made an effort to call out to stop her, because he was so obsessed by the mystery developing in Lars Thorwald’s (Burr’s) apartment.

But there’s a distraction and everyone comes out to investigate, except for the disabled Jefferies and the cigarette smoking Thorwald.

Miss Lonelyhearts, though, is alive at the end of the movie, and you’re left with the impression that she’s found romance with another one of the tenants. I thought that was a little forced, but I felt better since it wasn’t another addition to the body count.