Palace Theatre Film Fests: Hitchcock from August 7th to the9th. $5.00 per ticket, 2 for $8 on same night or a pass for all 6 for $20.
One of the greatest horror and suspense films of all time, Psycho tells the story of a woman on the run, who ends up at a hotel run by a young man living an isolated life, seemingly alone. As it turns out, nothing is as it seems, and the end result is deadly, and utterly terrifying. The film shocked and horrified audiences at the time of release, and the unsettling content still holds up to today’s standards, though far more subtly done than contemporary slasher movies. In what was considered a revolutionary filmic act in the 1960’s, Hitchcock at times thrusts the viewer into the perspective of the killer. And it is once you are drawn in, that it becomes impossible to look away.
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
North By Northwest
At its foundation, North by Northwest is a story of mistaken identity—but the movie is so much more than that. Cary Grant, at his most charming and witty, plays a New York advertising executive who is mistaken for a government agent by a shady and mysterious collection of foreign spies. What could easily be the treatment for a more comedic narrative, North by Northwest is instead intense and gripping as the audience follows Grant in his confusion and desperation as he navigates his way through treacherous territory, looking for answers and trying to survive.
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Telling the story of photographer Jeff Jefferies who is begrudgingly confined to a wheelchair and his apartment because of a broken leg, and for entertainment, spies on his neighbours, Rear Window seems simple enough at first glance. There are no exotic locals, no glitzy parties or high-speed chases down a dark and winding road—or across a famous national landmark. But the film is made infinitely more complex through its claustrophobic setting. The viewer remains stuck with Jefferies in his tiny room and shares his horror and desperation as he witnesses a brutal act one night through his binoculars. Neither we, nor he, can escape, even as the tables turn, and danger moves closer and closer to his own doorstep…
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Another Jimmy Stewart/Hitchcock masterpiece, Vertigo is a dizzying tale of obsession, romance and mystery. Stewart plays an acrophobic detective in San Francisco who is approached by an old friend with a strange request. The man asks Stewart to follow his wife, Madeleine, after he expresses concern that she might be going insane, and fears she might commit suicide. What follows is a complex and compelling narrative, as Stewart is drawn to the beautiful and enigmatic Madeleine, and falls further and further down the rabbit hole, and into the strange mystery that surrounds her.
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
The 39 Steps
One of Hitchcock’s greatest, yet lesser-known films, The 39 Steps is full of intrigue, espionage and suspense. Robert Donat plays a Canadian visiting England, who gets caught up in the plight of a woman running from secret agents, and agrees to hide her for the night—only for her to stumble into his room in the dead of night with a knife in her back! Terrified that he is going to be accused of her murder, Donat goes on the run, desperately trying to survive, and trying to clear his own name.
*Watch Hitchcock’s classic, and then come back to The Palace in September to see the stage production—which is a comedic retelling of the film with only 4 actors, parodying it and many other films in our Hitchcock marathon--presented by The London Community Players, directed by Phil Arnold!*
Starring: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
One of the best ‘animal attack’ horror films of all time, The Birds seems almost silly when summarized: a wealthy socialite follows the man of her dreams to a small town in Northern California, where suddenly and bizarrely, birds of all breeds start to attack people, for seemingly no reason at all. In fact, the movie is extremely unsettling as the attacks occur abruptly and grow increasingly vicious, culminating in, while extremely simple, what is arguably one of the most chilling and memorable finales in horror film history. You will never look at birds the same way again!
Starring: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette