Sunday, August 19, 2012

Some Hitchcock notes

Tonight's selection for TCM's Essentials Jr. is North by Northwest, at 8:00 PM. It's a good movie, and I don't know that there's too much that parents would find highly objectionable, but I just have this nagging feeling that at about 135 minutes, it might be a bit long for the kids. I've also blogged in the past that I believe Saboteur tells much the same story, but better, and in 25 fewer minutes too. I suppose in that regard, The 39 Steps might be best of all at under 90 minutes, but then that has the British accents which might present a bit of a problem for some children.

That having been said, it's not as if TCM has much choice in the matter. North by Northwest was made at MGM, while most of Hitchcock's other movies weren't. Although TCM doesn't have unlimited access to the library that Ted Turner amassed when he purchased MGM, they seem to have a much easier time renting films from their corporate brethern in the Time Warner complex than from other studios. Specifically in the case of Saboteur and other movies whose rights ended up with Universal, those films seem to be showing up on the Encore family of channels right about now. Meanwhile, TCM has been able to come up with a few more showings of I Confess and the other films Hitchcock made at Warner Bros. in the early 1950s.

Following North by Northwest at 10:30 PM is Destination Hitchcock, a 40-minute documentary about the making of North by Northwest, narrated by Eva Marie Saint and well worth the watch.

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