Coo Coo for Hitchcock, Tippi Hedren and other great Films
Tippi Hedren Of The Birds
Well, after watching Hitchcock's The Birds 1963 , I was going to write about it, thought it might be interesting, but I procrastinated, was half way changing my mind, when I was flipping through the channels and seen the movie The Core 2003. Not 5 minutes when guess what? There were birds attacking in THIS movie ALSO!! They were kicking' the bucket, smashing into tall buildings, just being crazy,what are the odds of me watching two movies with crazy birds in them? And you know what I thought,right? It was an omen to write a HUB about the Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds. See, that's how my luck is these days.
The Creator of Suspense
I will tell you like it is, even though he is a genius director, he was a nut, a eccentric,odd person but had a weird sense of humor. Let's just say he was warped, and I like that. He just was a 'odd fellow' as my Grandmother used to say. Hitchcock had his own style with suspense, and with psychological thrillers.
The Movies would not be what they are today if it wasn't for the Great Pioneers of the Film Institute. They didn't have the all the hi-tech equipment, they started from the ground up,from scratch. He did wonderful things with the editing and he had way to move us AND the camera to max-out the anxiety or fear.
Personally, I love the Technicolor and all the special cameras and the people that pushed these very heavy machines around especially when Alfred Hitchcock would take very long takes. And did you know that this director experimented with 3D cinematography.
Drunk Birds? Here comes the Trivia
Rod Taylor once said to get to all the birds to 'stand around', they fed them barley and whiskey.
The only way to get the birds to stay on Tippi Hedren, was to tie the birds onto her clothes.
Tippi was badly cut by one of the birds on her face. (And I can see why).
The schoolhouse that the children were singing, is supposed to be haunted.
Melanie Griffith is Tippi Hedren's daughter, and when she was a little girl, Hitchcock gave Melanie a doll that she said later looked just like her, and the box it came it? It looked like a coffin.(yeek!)
The first time Alfred Hitchcock seen Hedren was in a commercial on TV. A Man whistles at her on the commercial, so Hitchcock told her to do the same thing at the beginning of the movie.
There wasn't any music in The Birds, just some crazy sound, and the children singing in the Haunted Schoolhouse
To make that awful screeching bird sound, they used the sound of a old ( I guess it wasn't old back then) movie reels backwards.
1. Rear Window my Favorite, 4 photos
James Stewart and Grace Kelly in Rear Window 1954 They had Great Chemisty on screen.
Making of Rear Window 1954
A Photographer that is wheelchair bound watches all his neighbors from his window and he thinks that one has committed murder. There is mystery and romance and this is one of my favorite movies.
This film was inspired by the REAL MURDER case of Patrick Mahon, in 1924, in Sussex,England. Mahon killed Emily Kaye, which was pregnant, and proceeded to cut up her body.
Someone interviewed Hitchcock and he said that Mahon burned the head in a fireplace then throwing the body parts out a train window.
The character of Lisa was inspired by the wonderful actress Grace Kelly, and Hayes the Co-writer was to spend hang out with Kelly. Cornell Woolrich wrote the original story, which did not have a love story.
In the year of 2008, in the genre "Mystery", Rear Window was listed #3 pn the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films.
A news article said that Mahon cut her up, then besides putting in a biscuits tin, and a hatbox.
They made Day Light in this studio and the whole crew could changeover in under 45 minutes,thanks to the one thousand arc lights, which also caused a small fire, and made the sprinklers go off.
Alfred Hitchcock was before time, he directed the other actors from small earpieces that were in their ears, because he stayed in Jeff's apartment all the time.
In Paramount Studios, at the time, it was the largest indoor set built.
Robert Capa( war photographer) and actress Ingrid Bergman love affair was to inspire the romantic aspect.
Grace Kelly of Rear Window. She was always a princess.
Turning her back on hollywood
She had the whole world's respect. After being in films and was in three movies of Alfred Hitchcock, and winning a Academy Award in The Country Girl. And Hitchcock was so infatuated with Kelly that I read that he tried making other starlets into her image. She was in three two other movies of his, Dial M for Murder(1954) and To Catch a Thief(1955).
2. Psycho 1960
Psycho 1960 "Mother isn't quite herself today."
It only took 45-seconds to kill Janet Leigh but Cinema was never the same. I think it still ranks high with the top murder scenes. The brutal slaying of a main character shocked audiences around the world.
And to cut down on costs, plus Hitchcock was brilliant because the censors would be white-on-rice, as I see it, he could get be all splattering blood around, and get by with it. And it was unusual for the director, in this stage of his career.
And this movie was the leader, and the start of on-screen violence, and even though Psycho was all together different, it terrified the world,even though the blood was chocolate syrup.
And good ole' Norman Bates(Anthony Perkins), he was NOT a vampire, or a werewolf, he was the young man that helps you across the street, nice but you couldn't get any more creepier! And the audience feels sorry for him, almost in third person, ya cant help but feel sorry for the dude, since his mother over-powers him...ha.
It was the anticipation and waiting that made this a masterpiece of film to this day. Hitchcock understood the angle of the camera, it 'puts' you there, looking through the killer's eyes.
3. The Birds
4. Vertigo 1958
James Stewart OLD?! I don't think so!
They said that the great actor James Stewart was too old for the part or was miscast in Vertigo. He was 50 and she was 24, man...but James Stewart!
"Kim it's only a Movie!" Alfred Hitchcock had said to Novak after advice for motivation.
The technique of the famous Vertigo zoom was inspired by Hitchcock fainting at a party.
It cost 19,000 for just a few seconds of screen time of the view down the mission stairwell. A cameraman named Irmin Roberts invented the "ZOOM OUT AND ZOOM IN" shot to portray dizziness to the watching audience. Roberts was not credited for this technique on Vertigo, but I will on my HUB.
The Famous Phone Booth Scene
While the whole town is being attacked and pecked to death, Melanie(her character) runs into a Phone Booth, why, we don't know. I guess she is drove batty, and looses her mind. When Melanie opens the door, the gulls dive at her,because Hitchcock has gotten a Bird Trainer and has trained these poor birds to fly at the phone booth.
I wonder if Animal Cruelty Laws were in effective in 1963?
There is a great book written by Bill Krohn that has some great photos of these gulls and other scenes of making of this film. It is called "Hitchcock at Work".
Here are some interesting photos.
Hitchcock directing Rod Taylor making the film The Birds 1963 also with Suzanne Pleshhette on the ground.
Can you pass the Hitch Quiz?
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Books about Hitchcock
Barr,Charles: English Hitchcock,1999 early films of Hitchcock
Hitchcock's Notebooks: an authorized and illustrated look inside the unique mind of Alfred Hitchcock. 1999,New York,Avon Books