all the Hitchcock films I’ve seen

Alfred Hitchcock:

The title of this post really says it all, so no further introduction is needed other than to say that I think Alfred Hitchcock was a genius and I haven’t watched enough of his movies but these are the ones I’ve seen.  Films are listed in chronological order. (In the order they came out in theaters, not the order I watched them.)


Every Alfred Hitchcock Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best:

~The Lady Vanishes (1938) – One of my favorite Hitchcocks and one of my favorite movies in general, too.  Lots of tense, intriguing mind games mixed in with plenty of good British humour, and a lovely ending.  Gilbert/Michael Redgrave is hands-down my favorite Hitchcock hero, and who doesn’t laugh over Charters and Caldicott?


~Rebecca (1940) – This film seems a bit out of character for Hitchcock, since it’s a period piece and all, but he did a great job as usual.  I was surprised – and pleased – by how closely the movie followed the book, since most old adaptions of classic novels tend to completely change the story (like the 1940 Pride & Prejudice).  But it was a lush, dramatic, faithful adaption and I loved that.

Gregory Peck Ingrid Bergman in Spellbound, 1945 (dir. Alfred Hitchcock):

~Spellbound (1945) – I watched this one quite a while ago…and I don’t feel like revisiting it any time soon.  Yes, it’s Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, and if I did see it again it would be just for those two, but overall, Spellbound didn’t really grip me the way most Hitchcocks do.  It seemed rather slow and meandering and the plot/characters didn’t really go anywhere in the course of the film.  Not one of my favorites.

Alfred Hitchcock's wonderful romantic thriller, NOTORIOUS (1946). Starring, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains:

~Notorious (1946) – This one, however, is one of my favorites.  Easily in my top five Hitchcock films.  Don’t you think it’s a liiiittle like Casablanca, what with Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains starring and the doomed love triangle and spies and Germans and so on?  Absolutely fascinating.  Loved every minute of it and Cary Grant’s role in here is my favorite of his (even though I don’t like him as much as everyone else seems to, it’s easy to see that he’s a great actor).

Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train:

~Strangers on a Train (1951) – Possibly my favorite Hitchcock.  Reasons why: one of the most exciting plots I’ve ever seen in a movie, Farley Granger, an EPIC villain (Bruno’s one of the best Hitchcock villains ever), a nail-biting climax, and one of those funny, book-end endings that I love.  All in all, a super film.

Grace Kelly and Anthony Dawson in Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder." 1954. An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.:

~Dial M for Murder (1954) – Again, this is one of my five favorites.  Grace Kelly is completely believable and sympathetic as Margot, a woman framed for murder by, of all people, her husband.  The strangle/stab scene is one of the most scarily intense sequences I’ve ever seen.  Tony amazes me with how quick he is to come up with plausible lies to explain away all sorts of difficulties to his plan every time I watch this .  And the Inspector made my ‘ten favorite screen characters’ list, so he’s pretty awesome as well.

Grace Kelly and James Stewart in 'Rear Window', 1954 - Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.:

~Rear Window (1954) – Just watched this a few nights ago (a re-watch).  I still find the casting of James Stewart in any Hitchcock film a bit odd, but he did a great job here.  Even though the plot takes a while to get going (something I’ve noticed is characteristic of most of Hitchcock’s movies), once it does start rolling, it’s impossible to look away.  It’s neat seeing all the different neighbours’ stories develop (Elisabeth and I love Stanley).  Edith Head designed some luscious outfits in here, like she always does, and Grace Kelly trips lightly across the screen in all of them.  LOVE.

Grace Kelly & Cary Grant - To Catch a Thief (Hitchcock, 1955):

~To Catch a Thief (1955) – TCAT has been called ‘Hitchcock champagne’ and I think that pretty well sums it up.  Cary Grant dashing dashingly across gorgeous French scenery while trying to prove his innocence and catch the real thief, with Grace Kelly by his side, sparkling in about twelve different Head outfits.  Lots of humour and glitz and glamour, culminating in a bona fide masquerade ball.  Excellent entertainment.

Image detail for -henry fonda #133510 - uludağ sözlük galeri:

~The Wrong Man (1956) – I watched this one simply because Henry Fonda starred in it, but it was some time ago, and nothing really left an impression on me.  TWM is almost like a documentary, and it’s a bit weird, and quite depressing, and not very much like a Hitchcock.  Meh.

Cary Grant about to get a dusting in Hitchcock's “North by Northwest.”:

~North by Northwest (1959) – The latest new-to-me Hitchcock I’ve watched.  Put off seeing it for so long, even though my grandparents own the DVD, because Cary Grant isn’t reeeeally my cup of tea and the premise didn’t sound all that interesting (at least compared to other films of its ilk).  I did enjoy it, though, especially James Mason’s villain, but there was a bit too much innuendo to suit me and it did seem a tad longish in places, so I don’t think I’ll be re-watching it any time soon.

~The Birds (1963) – I saw The Birds on my semi-official quest to watch as many classic films as possible, and while all the bird scenes were appropriately creepy, the movie took so long to actually get to the birds that I didn’t end up liking it as much as I thought I would.  Still, I can’t see a swarm of seagulls without a little shudder, so I suppose the film did its job.


As you can see, my repertoire of Hitchcocks favors the 40s and 50s.  I’ve seen almost none of his earliest films (which I hope to remedy soon, as my family owns quite a few), and I’ve heard that many of the films he made in the 60s were more disturbing (Psycho, anyone?) and they had more Content, since by the 60s the stringent censoring of movies was falling into disarray.  But I really dig the films he did in the earlier decades.

Eventually, I’d like to see every Hitchcock movie ever made, but these are a few that I’m interested in seeing as soon as possible:

~The 39 Steps (1935)

~Suspicion (1941)

~Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

~Lifeboat (1944)

~Rope (1948)

~Under Capricorn (1949)

~The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

~Vertigo (1958)

What’s your favorite Hitchcock film? (And if you’ve never seen one, I recommend you do at the earliest opportunity.)



the behind-the-scenes writing tag


This tag has been circling the blogosphere for several weeks, but it always seemed to pass me by (and I reeeeally wanted to do it, too – I’m totally into tags now) until Maribeth AND Hamlette tagged me within days of each other.  So then I just had to do it, ’cause it’s not often that I get tagged once, let alone twice, and with NaNoWriMo coming up in a week (SQUEEEE), this seems like the perfect time to answer these tag questions.

~Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?  Since I usually have my ear buds in (to listen to music), I don’t eat while I’m writing because it sounds weird inside my head (does that make sense?).  Also, I don’t want to get crumbs on my new computer.  But I’ll almost always have a big mug of coffee sitting beside me – thing is, whenever I get caught up in my writing (which happens often), the coffee goes cold.  I still drink it, though.

The more i see these the more i miss the city by Surrealiste, via Flickr.:

~When do you normally write? Night, afternoon, or morning?  Almost always in the early morning, but if I get really caught up in what I’m writing at the time, I’ll tap out words any time of day.  Usually, though, I get everything out of my system by seven o’clock (AM, not PM).

~Where do you write?  My room, the one that adjoins my bedroom (my sisters and I are lucky – we get two rooms).  I’ve got my lovely, wooden desk, my laptop, all my junk piled around me (library books, a mug that I keep random stuff in, and my high school diploma), and a giant poster of Captain America above me.  Once I get a frame for it, my Henry Fonda/Ox-Bow Incident movie still will go up somewhere close to my writing space, too. (Especially now that I’m writing lots of Western stories.)

~How often do you write a new novel?  Um.  I once wrote three novels (all roughly 60K words each) in about six months.  But they were awful.  Since then, I’ve never written a full novel, and since my next one will be at least partly written during NaNoWriMo, I’m not sure I can answer this question accurately.

~Do you listen to music while you write? ALWAYS.  Movie soundtracks, mostly.  I’m currently obsessed with the scores for Hour of the Gun and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  I’m also listening to a bunch of Christmas songs (Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Vera Lynn) as I write some Combat! Christmas fanfiction.  Music helps me get into the writing mood and nothing feels right until I put something on.  When I was writing the aforementioned three novels (a dystopian trilogy – HOW CLICHED IS THAT?) I practically wore out the soundtracks to The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and hearing the music now always brings back writerly memories.

~What do you write on? Laptop or paper?  Laptop, for the most part.  I did go through a stage where I wrote everything down on paper and then transferred it onto my computer, but for convenience’s sake, I’m pretty much all digital now.  However, I still write quite a bit of fanfiction long-hand and, of course, ninety percent of my story notes are scribbled into one of my gajillion notebooks.  Brainstorming always goes better on actual paper, in my opinion.

~Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?  *shrugs* Not really.


~What do you do to get into the mood to write?  I just write.  I can write any time, as long as I have my music.

~What is always near the place you write? All the stuff I talked about in the ‘where do you write?’ question.  I like writing when my desk is a mess, and I like writing when it’s neat and tidy and organized.  Clutter doesn’t distract me, and neither does immaculateness. (No red squiggle under ‘immaculateness’?  Wow.)

~Do you have a reward system for your word count?  Well, I don’t set myself a specific word count goal when I write (unless it’s NaNoWriMo) so I don’t need any kind of a reward.  Writing is fun!  It’s its own reward (for me, anyway – I don’t understand the writers who talk about how writing is like opening a vein and bleeding all over the keyboard).  Though I do remember that I was very sick for most of last NaNo and I rewarded myself with episodes of Combat! (I’d just discovered the show) if I reached my goal for the day.  Great memories.

weapons of mass creation Art Print - want for my classroom! love!:

~Is there anything about your writing process that others might not know about?  How about… *thinks* I never cry/get emotional when I’m writing.  And this from the girl who tears up over all kinds of books and movies that most people probably wouldn’t think were sad at all.  But really, I don’t.  I envy writers who say that they sob over their characters and all that, but I suppose those are also the writers who bemoan the tortuousness (no red squiggle there, either!) of the writing process.  Guess I can’t have it both ways.


Ah, this was lots of fun.  Most everyone I know has been tagged already, soooo…

If you’ve watched a Harrison Ford movie within the last two weeks, I’m tagging you right now! 🙂

(I thrive on randomness.)


friday finds {#17}


Audrey with Mr Famous.


Newsies praying before they go on.


It’s what I try to do.

Clint Eastwood playing golf on the set of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (Kinda random, but still cool.)


Lily James meeting Cinderella fans.

Antique photo from around 1900 of a doting mother and child dressed in their spring finery. (Photographer unknown.) // Isn’t this gorgeous???


Very handy. 🙂

Prince Rainier and Princess Grace ❤


How I’ve felt this past week, planning for NaNoWriMo.

Fan-made collage for The Blue Castle. (LOOOOOVE it!)


“there’s two kinds of people, my friend…”


(Or ‘why I love The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly so much’.)

(I couldn’t write a proper review, so I settled for this.)

(Honestly, this post will be ridiculously fangirly and make little to no sense, so just be warned.)


~Opening credits.  All that colour and energy and the EPIC music.

~*freeze frame* “the ugly.” *freeze frame* “the bad.” *freeze frame* “the good.”

~THE MUSIC IS INSANELY AMAZING.  I could rave about all day.  That theme played over and over again in so many different ways (my favorite is the whistle version) + The Ecstasy of Gold (I can’t count the number of times I’ve listened to that).  I’d watch the movie a hundred times just for the soundtrack.

~Blondie + that little kitten = adorable.

~Also, I love Blondie and I want to watch the other two films in the Man With No Name trilogy because hours and hours of him being epic sounds like a great idea.  He’s so cool (like, SUPER cool, as in giving-Josh-Randall-a-run-for-his-money cool) and mysterious and just….WOW.  His introduction scene is my favorite of the three and Elisabeth and I fangirl over him lots.

~Okay, I really, really love the look of surprise on Blondie’s face when Angel Eyes shows up at the graveyeard.  I want a gif.


~The film is so long that by the time they all get to the graveyard, you feel like you’ve gone on the whole, long journey with Tuco and Blondie and, to some degree, Angel Eyes.  And THEN the director keeps building up the tension until, when that bag of gold finally splits open, you feel just as excited and exuberant as Tuco.


~GBU is completely epic in scope but it’s also a simple story: three guys hunting for a fortune in gold.  Every other thing that happens is just an obstacle in the way of the three characters (and they really are CHARACTERS) coming together in one of the biggest and best finales in movie history.

~Um…Blondie setting off the cannon with his cigar is unbelievably awesome.

~THE SHOWDOWN.  I can’t even talk about the showdown.  It was too ASOIDFJOAWJRIJASDFMKWROO.  Really.  It was.


~Me throughout the whole film: *freaks out because of awesomeness*

~Tuco and Blondie’s relationship is one-of-a-kind.  They hate each other but they’re sometimes friends, too, and I don’t know how that works, but it does.  The scene where they take out every guy in Angel Eyes’ gang in the dusty, deserted town is great.  And their little scam system at the beginning…LOVE it.

~Again, THE MUSIC.

~Favorite quote: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

~Basically, the entire movie is unique and brilliant and epic and I really couldn’t write a review because it would be less than useless when it comes to conveying all my thoughts.  This hodge-podge of a post was all I could do. (And, believe me, it doesn’t do this movie or my feelings for it justice.)  The only two things I don’t like about GBU are the scenes that drag the Civil War into the story (meh) and the bit where Tuco doesn’t let Blondie save Shortie (UGH).  Other than that, it’s all kinds of awesome.


movie review: the monuments men

During World War II, the Nazis steal countless pieces of art and hide them away. Some over-the-hill art scholars, historians, architects and other experts form a unit to retrieve as many of the stolen masterpieces as possible. The mission becomes even more urgent when the team learns about Hitler’s “Nero Decree,” which orders destruction of the artworks if the Third Reich falls. Caught in a race against time, the men risk their lives to protect some of mankind’s greatest achievements.


I don’t normally review movies or books until I’ve watched/read them at least twice (the second viewing always cements my ideas concerning story + characters), but after watching The Monuments Men this afternoon, I decided to review it right away for two reasons: 1) I don’t know when I’ll get to see it again because I had to pay to watch it with language filters and 2) I doubt my opinion of this movie will change because I LOVED IT SO MUCH.  Watching it felt almost like watching an episode of Combat! or a movie like The Longest Day.

Maybe it was because I watched it without the swearing, maybe the director/producer was going for an old-school feel, maybe the actors watched a bunch of old movies to prep their roles in this…whatever the reason, The Monuments Men felt almost like an old war movie and that’s what I loved most about it.  Change it from colour to b&w and one could hardly tell the difference.  I think a lot of the vintage feel came from the fact that the film isn’t all depressing and hopeless, with a ‘war is pointless and idiotic’ message like so many modern war films these days.  Yes, people die but there’s always that undercurrent of hope and good, old-fashioned themes of good versus evil.  And the music helps – it really harks back to all the rousing scores for movies like The Great Escape or The Longest Day.  So, add all those elements up, and it was love at first watch.

There’s lots I like about this movie.  I like how it covers the whole war in two hours (but never feels rushed).  I like the montage near the beginning when all the characters are called up.  I like the land-mine scene. (Or would it be a mine-mine scene?)  I like Claire and Granger and all the other characters.  I like, as I mentioned before, the music. (SO much.)  I like that it made me laugh and cry.  ‘Cause I totally cried.  A lot.  I might’ve just been emotional today in general, but it seemed like I was at least tearing up every other scene.  The two deaths.  When they discover the barrels of gold teeth.  When Granger says goodbye to Claire.  THE ENDING.  Snifffff.  OH AND THE CHRISTMAS PART.  I was a mess.  Also, some of the tears were probably just because, DUH, it’s WWII.

The characters were EPIC.  Matt Damon was the main reason I watched this movie, and he didn’t disappoint.  I first saw him in Saving Private Ryan, and rather liked him.  Then I watched The Bourne Identity and really liked him, and then I watched The Monuments Men and…yeah.  He’s one of the few modern actors I like just as much as the older ones. (Harrison Ford is another.)  Granger was such a sweet character and it was awesome how he stayed true to his wife.  Really appreciated that. ❤  I can’t recall any of the other characters’ names, really, because I’ve only seen this once, but they were all a truly likable bunch.  Made me smile more than once.  That French guy (Jean Claude?) reminded me of Caje (from Combat!) so much it was crazy.  Oh, and the German-Jewish kid intrigued me to no end.  I’m assuming his grandfather died…?  I don’t remember anyone saying yes or no, but he was sent to Dachau, so… (UGH IT’S ALL SO SAD.)

Anyway, that’s my review.  Probably not too coherent, but it’s the best I could do.

Have you seen The Monuments Men?


why I love old movies


Reason #1: No Objectionable Content – This is huge for me and my family and one of the main reasons that I watch as many old movies as I do.  I don’t have to worry about massive amounts of swearing, gratuitous violence, or bedroom scenes (I mean, honestly, old movies make it seem like every married couple slept in separate beds). (There is an awesome website that filters stuff like that in modern movies, and my family uses quite often.)  It’s so relaxing to watch a good film and not having to worry about fast-forwarding scenes or having one’s ears assaulted with profanity every minute.  Plus, old movies prove that it’s possible to tell a great story without a bunch of inappropriate stuff that supposedly panders to the masses.


Reason #2: The Outfits – All those glorious, glamorous clothes that the heroines wear.  All the guys wear suits, whether they’re lawyers or restaurant managers or hardened criminals.  And it’s not just the main characters!  Everyone in the background is dressed in the old clothes that Retro Girls tend to swoon over, ’cause it was just a way of life back then.  The gloves, the hats, the high heels…ohhhhh, it’s wonderful.

There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South...Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization gone with the wind.:

Reason #3: “IN COLOR” – I don’t know if anyone shares my opinion on this, but there’s just something about the richness and glowiness of Technicolor that the color in modern films can’t match.  All those swashbucklers with the crimson reds of pirates’ clothes and blues of cresting waves and lustrous jewels spilling out of hulking wooden chests.  Period films where the soft candlelight reflects off the glossy silks and satins of ladies’ dresses.  And Westerns, where you can almost taste the sandy, yellowish dust billowing up in the air and see the sun glinting off silvery spurs. (Black and white was awesome as well, though.  Especially for all those war movies and film noirs.)


Reason #4: Manners of Days Gone BySort of goes with the clothes thing, as far as the time capsule angle is concerned.  Men hold doors open for women, help them with their parcels, stand up when they enter a room, tip their hats, etc.  People actually say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’.  Can you imagine how awesome the world would be if that were the norm today?

Reason #5: The War Movies – Oh, I know it’s easy to be cynical about those old movies made during WWII (after all, so many of them are quite blatant propaganda), but there’s something about them that gives me a warm feeling inside.  All that patriotism and optimism (after all, when many of those films were made, the final outcome of WWII was still up in the air) and just plain awesomeness.  LOVE IT.  The people who worked on those movies were all involved in the war to some degree or another and that lends an air of credibility and emotion that modern war films just can’t match, in my opinion.

"The Sound of Music" - a classic for all ages - enchants generation after generation with sounds and images that are truly timeless... our fashion designers at Isabella G. by GEIGER know the value of timeless classics and for SS 2014 we had fun again re-interpreting tradition for our customers. Enjoy!:

Reason #6: Music – Those amazing soundtracks.  The Best Years of Our Lives, The Magnificent Seven, Robin Hood (Errol Flynn version, of course), Casablanca, High Noon, Around the World in 80 Days, Laura…and those are just a few, a very few of my favorites.  Composers actually made music back in those days, and most films had an excellent score.  Of course, there are some modern movies soundtracks that I love (most of which, surprisingly, come from animated movies), but there are so many good films these days with forgettable scores.  The richness of the old soundtracks never fails to stir my imagination.


Reason #7: The Actors And ActressesHad to put them on the list, because it’s SO true.  (Disclaimer: I’m fully aware of the fact that the people in old Hollywood were sometimes just as bad as modern actors and actresses today – I’m not excusing or ignoring that at all).  There are a few modern actors and actresses that I like, but almost all of the people on my list come from the days of old Hollywood.  Harrison Ford and Matt Damon are awesome, but I think I’ll always prefer Gregory Peck and Dana Andrews and Steve McQueen.  And Audrey Hepburn will ALWAYS be my favorite actress.  Everyone has their own preferences, and mine are firmly planted in the 40s and 50s (and, to some extent, the 60s).  There’s a classiness about the old actors and actresses that hasn’t been matched since and I don’t think ever will be.  And I think my heart belongs, at least for the moment, in another century.


read banned books!

{Idea taken from this post.}

Books | 著作 | книга | Livre | Libro | Reading | F-READ-OM!:

I know I missed Banned Books Week, but whatever.  I still wanted to list all the banned books I’ve read + all the ones I want to read in the future, beause I’m a book rebel, and proud to be so.  It’s a crime to ban books, people.  FREADOM FOREVER.  Right?  So whip out your copies of To Kill A Mockingbird and Farenheit 451 and join me in the wonderful world of banned books!  (There are some books like Mein Kampf or 50 Shades of Grey that I think the censors were right to ban, but a lot of banned books don’t need to be on the list, in my opinion.)

Banned Books I’ve Read

Because sometimes you wanna reminisce about books that were meaningful to you. | 27 Reasons Literary Nerds Will Love Tumblr:

  • The Bible (King James Version)
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (what???)
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy


Banned Books I Want To Read

WWII Presidential Posters, 1939-1945:

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • All Quiet On the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift
  • Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville

And don’t forget…

Barry Lyga talks about comic books, banned books, and more. #bannedbooksweek: