Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 20, 1972 · Page 86
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 86

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 20, 1972
Page 86
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Page 86 article text (OCR)

Hitchcock enjoys ^artist of anxiety 9 role By Norman Goldstein NEW Y O R K - W - T o Alfred Hitchcock, frightening people is fun. He is the grand master of the ma* cabre, an "artist of anxiety." At 73, be remains age* less in the Ai*e of the Director, a rare filmmaker who is the pudgy pet of both movie people and mass audiences; a technician and an entertainer. And with 53 films to his credit, he still is tops at both. Books have been written about the chubby, red-faced cherub whose distinctive speech and paunchy profile have become familiar to both movie and television audiences. A line drawing of his profile has become his. "autograph." The volumes analyze his technique, his symbolism, his cinema psv- chology. Yet, mass audiences around the world may not have read a word about his style and still wouldn't miss a "Hitchcock film." His is a reputation based on suspenseful.murder mysteries dating back to the silent days, from "The Lodger," which established his movie style in 1926 through "The Man Who Knew Too Much," "Thirty- Nine Steps," "The Lady Vanishes," "Foreign Correspondent," "Spellbound" "Strangers on a Train," "Dial M for Murder," "North by N o r t h w e s t " "Psycho" and the latest, "Frenzy." "All my films a r e full o f mayhem and what-have- \IJOLLYWOOI) lOOSQuamffSt 3 4 6 0 0 4 1 RATED ADULT ACTION FILMS 2 1 and over DOUBLE FEATURE PROGRAM Show Changes Each Wednesday H A M thru 11.00PM SHOW STARTS AT DUSK VALLEY DRIVE-IN THEATRE ST. AL1ANS NOW ~vSHOW!NG JOHN WAYNE A Howard Hawks Production STARTS TNURS. "WETTY IM»S |» ROW Question Box you," smiled the Puckish Hitchcock. "It's a cross I have to bear. I'm typed." It is a stereotype he obviously relishes, however. H e wouldn't want it any other way. "I got a letter once," he relates, his hands folded over his ample lap, ffitch- cockian impudence in his eyes. "From a father who wrote that his daughter had been so frightened by the murder scene in the bathtub in 'Diabolique, 'not a Hitchcock film' that s h e wouldn't take a bath. And then she h a d seen 'Psycho' 'the murder takes place in t h e showers' and wouldn't take a shower. "I wrote back and suggested he send her to the dry cleaners." The wry tale is typical of the man who has made a success out of combining horror and humor, who perhaps best exemplifies that English characteristic of macabre humor. "You can't make a picture like 'Psycho' without laughing up your sleeve a little," he says. "People enjoy being frightened; scaring hell out of them. A haunted house. A roller coaster. There's a fine line between screams of excitement people pay money to endure and the screams of real fear. "Kids go 'boo' and scare the bejeebers out of the other child. It's as common a practice as there is." Then, should audiences take Alfred Hitchcock seriously? An impish grin, a suspenseful pause, then, slowly: "At the time they see the movie. . . yes. When they come out. .. no." Despite the similarity of Alfred Hitchcock subject matter in nearly all of Hitchcock's films, his Inventiveness has made each of them fresh and unconventional. The key, says Hitchcock, is to avoid the cliche. His classic example is the film- famous attempted murder of Cary Grant in "North by Northwest." "It's the old situation of setting up a man for murder. Putting him under a lamp on a dark etreet corner; the limousine goes by, there are shots. . . "In 'North by Northwest,' I put him out in bright sunshine, on a deserted road; not a light, not a tree. Where will the man come from?" Hitchcock came up with a crop duster to chase the supposed victim--"dust tire crops, then dust him." He notes that there was a similar scene in a later James Bond film, where the hero is chased by a helicopter. And another in "A Man from Rio." "Machine after man is now a cliche," he says. Again, there is what he describes as the cliche scene in the detective's off- i c e, where h e and an assist ant discuss the case and the clues in search of a solution. But, in "Frenzy," he and scenarist Anthony Shaffer decided to give the detective a wife and have the couple talk about the murders over "gourmet" dinners. The result is bright and witty scenes, avoiding the cliche. Hitchcock finds current scenes of nudity in the movies have become cliche, too. "It's time we had some fun with nudity and did some satirizing. Now, it's all just two-in-a-bed, an all-in wrestling matching." His latest film, partially because of the new permissiveness, has more nudity than any of his previous efforts. The opening scene shows a dead woman floating nude in the river. Another victim is disposed of, nude, in the back of a potato truck. "I took great care in the potato truck scene." roles Hitchcock. "I had both h e r hands covering her breasts. She w a s wearing a bikini n f potatoes so the movement wouldn't uncover anything. In the interests of decency. "Previously, in 'Psycho,' I had a scene where she was wearing a full bra. It was obviously not true. But that was in prepermissive days. Had there been no restrictions, I would have had her nude--which would have been correct." In the famous shower scene in "Psycho," the victim is not seen nude. "I didn't need her nude there," Hitchcock explains. "It's a murder; the nudity is secondary." "If I'm tackling nudity any further," he adds., "I would try awfully hard to get some fun out of it. There are lots of jokes you can do about nudity. You can't take it seriously." Still thinking horror and humor, Hitchcock is looking for material to suit his somewhat macabre tastes. He has no thoughts of retirement. "Retire? That's crazy. It would be like opening the pages of the New York Times, looking for your obituary." It's a page you would s o m e h o w picture Alfred Hitchcock chuckling over as he read it. Q.--Is Burt Reynolds really starring in a movie with Tony Randall and Woody Allen in which the three play r o m a n t i c roommates? I think this sounds hilarious. --Mrs. D. E., San Antonio, Tex. A.--Woody Allen wrote and is directing the comedy, "Everything You Always . Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)," in which Burt Reynolds, Tony Randall and Woody share a strange menage, which should prove very funny. 1:35,3:35 :45,9:50 X RATED-ADULTS ONLY M.lttm K TERRY GIBSON · PATTY SMITH A PURE GOLD PRODUCTION A BOXOFFICE INTERNATIONAL PICTURES RELEASE TECHNICOLOR®-From WarnPi B?os A Warner Communicalions Company lOWENS Mid town THEATRE OPEN SOON OWENS DRIVE IN THEATIE Watch For Dot* 2 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS! BEST ACTOR-GEORGE C.SCOTT BEST SCREENPLAY- PADDY CHAYEFSKY GEORGE C.SCOTT "THE HOSPITAL" Features: 1:15 3:20 5:30 7:40 9:35 GATES OPEN AT 8:00 P*. FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT THE BISCUITEATER" STARTS AT DUSK WALTDISKEYpwiiKicTKiiis' JOHN WAYNE STARRING IN RIOLOBO SHOW TIME, AUGUST 20, 1972 Cc,,,;e.rnihq Specii AT 7ioo - TLAY AT S'-OO - Restaurant Ofen Dwty - Except Tues. 7AM. CHARLESTON, W. VA. 11s

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