Alfred Hitchcock was the Master of Suspense. He inspired other artists to direct stylish thrillers. These Hitchcockian movies seem like they were directed by the Master, but their director was not Alfred. They were directed instead by Trouffaut, Donen, and Marshall.
Favourite Hitchcockian Films Alfred Never Directed
Hitchcock had a style of movie making in genre, camera angles, and pacing that earned him a nickname and admirers among his peers. These peers paid homage to him.
Hitchcock Inspired Other Directors to Make Hitchcockian Films
These Are Three Films That Seem Like They Were Dierceted By The Master of Suspense
Alfred Hitchcock was the Master of Suspense. He had a style of directing a thriller all his own. His movies shout out at the audience that they are his films. However, there a number of movies that he did not direct that were Hitchcockian in nature. They feel like they were directed by Alfred, but he didn't direct them.
I am not talking about movies that are remakes of his movies. I mean films with which Hitchcock himself had nothing to do beyond inspiring other artists. Nor am I talking about movies made after Hitchcock died and containing graphic violence or sex that was not allowed when Hitchcock was alive and working in movies.
These are three of my favourite non-Hitchcock Hitchcockian films. They are all stylish thrillers containing elements of Hitchcock's technique as well as artists in front of and behind the camera who worked with the great director. They are listed in alphabetical order.
The Bride Wore Black (1968)
Francois Truffaut directed this revenge thriller as an homage to his idol. Truffaut had interviewed Alfred Hitchcock on his directing career. Here the Frenchman directed a tribute in French. If you ever wondered what a Hitchcock film would be like with subtitles instead of dubbed dialogue, this is it. The movie is based on a book written by William Irish/Cornel Woolrich. That name should be familiar to Hitchcock fans as the man who wrote the short story "Rear Window."
The plot sounds like classic Hitchcock. A beautiful bride and groom are just coming out of the chapel as a newly married couple. Everything is perfect. Menwhile, there is a group of five men in a hotel room across the street. The screen goes back and forth with wide angles and quick images. A shot rings out and the groom drops to the ground, killed by a bullet. Was he targeted, or in the wrong place at the wrong time?
The bride is devastated and tries to commit suicide. Her mother prevents her. From that point forward, she decides to track down these men who have never met her and exact revenge. She is patient and is willing to wait a lifetime. She will have to go to jail to complete her plan.
Can you believe that Stanley Donan directed this stylish thriller starring four-time Hitch leading man Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn? That's right: this movie's director is the dancer-choreographer-turned-director who started his career behind the camera co-directing musicals with Gene Kelly for MGM. If an audience member were to enter the theatre after the credits had rolled, who could blame him for thinking the director was Hitchcock himself?
This film has a Hitchcockian plot. Newly widowed Hepburn discovers that her husband had been lying to her. She had known him only under what she discovers is an assumed name. She arrives home to an empty flat save for a letter. Meanwhile, an odd assortment of strange men come to the funeral and talk to her about her husband as if she knew exactly what her husband did. They believe she knows where he hid something they consider to belong to them. Throughout the film people keep turning up dead-usually in their pajamas.
Enter Cary Grant. Who is he? Is he one of the gang of dangerous men who want her dead if they don't get the money? Maybe he is just on vacation and wants to help a lady in distress. Unbeknownst to her, he is known by another name to George Kennedy and James Coburn. Grant could be a murderer, or he could be a professional thief with no thought of violence. Walter Matthau warns her against Grant. Hepburn doesn't know what to believe or whom to trust.
Consider the people involved in the movie. Cary Grant is the leading man, playing a character his leading lady cannot trust. Henry Mancini wrote the movie score; Mancini was the composer for Torn Curtain. Character actor Ned Glass had appeared as the ticket seller in North By Northwest; he was the man who asked Grant if his eyes have something wrong with them, to which Grant replied "Yes, they're sensitive to questions." In Charade, his role is larger. Glass is one of the group of men who had been in the war together and who are looking for the money. He is perpetually sneezing, especially whenever death is discussed. These cross-overs cannot be completly coincidencal.
The Gazebo (1959)
George Marshall directed this Hitchcockian romp. Think The Trouble with Harry-with blackmail and mistaken identity. Glenn Ford is a director and scriptwriter for both movies and television. He is married to Stage Star Debbie Reynolds who took some very revealing photographs before she was famous. Believing that the pictures will ruin her career, Ford decides to pay a blackmailer to retrieve the photographs and lies in wait for the villain in the dark, gun in hand.
The blackmailer arrives and Ford shoots a warning-only he is a bad shot and accidentally kills the blackmailer. Now where to put the body!? In the not completed Gazebo, that's where. Then it turns out that the blackmailer died of natural causes-Ford killed the wrong man-who's buried under the gazebo? Even worse, Debbie has decided she hates the gazebo and wants it removed.
Alfred Hitchcock is an unseen character in this macabre comedy. The audience hears Ford's side of their conversations over the telephone. Hitch wants Ford to write his next screenplay. Of course, Ford is too busy with his catastrophe to have written word one-but he plays along and pretends his real life situation is the plot. He asks Hitch's advice about what to use to bury a body when you don't have a shovel. Hitch knows exactly what to do.
Hitchcock fans will note that I have left out Les Diaboliques. This is indeed a hitchcockian film of the classic era. The reason I did not include it is because Hitchcock almost did film this movie. He had lobbied for the rights to the book. Unfortunately, Henri-Georges Clouzot out bid him and directed the movie, casting his wife opposite the great Simone Signoret. Hitchcock turned his attention instead to a movie that many people would consider his masterpiece long after he died. Vertigo was misunderstood at the time.
|The Bride Wore Black|
An engrossing, enigmatic tale of passion and revenge, this 1969 Golden GlobeÂ(r) nominee* from FranÃ§ois Truffaut and co-writer Jean Louis Richard is "cool, witty and disturbing...
Internet Movie Database Profiles of These Directors
|Charade [DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary)|
Hollywood legends Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn light up the screen in the stylish thriller Charade. Regina finds herself pursued through the streets of Paris by several men in ...
Cary Grant and Audr...
|The Gazebo (Remastered)|
What would you do if a blackmailer showed up peddling nudie pictures of your sweet wife? Why, plug the scoundrel and bury him under the backyard gazebo, of course! Delightful sc...
An Example of A Gazebo
You might also likeFilm Review of A Kiss for Corliss: Shirley Temple Reprises a C...
Diaries and divorce impact characters played by David Niven and Shirley Templ...Review of Frida (2002), a Movie About Mexican Painter Frida Kahlo
Salma Hayek is superb as Frida Kahlo in this biopic directed by Julie Taymor....
Regi_B : Thanks for the suggestions. I have seen the Cape Fear remake as well as the original- both had Hitch actor Gregory Peck too. I found the original to have elements of Hitch as well.
As for Breakdown, I have yet to see it. I will have to check it out. Thanks.
I like to suggest the remake of Cape Fear, which actually had some Hitchcock people on the crew, as well as Breakdown. :-D
Audrey- Do you get Turner Classic Movies? They air it every now and then. If you love Hitchcock, you'll enjoy The Gazebo too.
Oh--I don't know The Gazebo--but I love the Hitchcock style, so I am sure that I would love it--
Vinaya- Wasn't The Gazebo fun? I love that film. Thanks for sharing waht you thought of the film.
Katie-Aren't old movies better than the films out now? I love Turner Classic movies: they give me the opportunity to see films that I wouldn't otherwise be able to see because I cannot afford to buy all the films I love. Hitchcock is my favourite director, bar none. Thanks for the lovely compliment.
Cindy-both you and your husband are Hitchcock fans? That is great that you share the same taste in movies. Sometimes this isn't the case with partners at all. If you can't remember seeing these films, it will be like seeing them for the first time even if you did see them too long ago to remember that you saw them :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Very interesting, I love old movies Hitchcock really knew a thing or two about making a great film. It was refreshing to learn about Hitchcock films Alfred himself never directed.
I love Hitchcock movies almost as much as my husband! I have not seen a couple of these, at least that I can remember, so I will have to check them out. Great article!