Hitch and Jack in Isolation
Written by Brad Miner
Monday, March 30, 2020
From the bunker we used to call “our house,” where Herself and I now dwell in isolation – not sick but staying distant from our neighbors (besides, New York’s closed until further notice) – we read and walk and talk and watch movies.
And it’s a good time to really watch them, looking for those aspects of a film that sometimes flash by unnoticed, but which are part of what makes a film great. Where better to begin than with the films of Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) and John Ford (1894-1973), both Catholic filmmakers?
As you know, Hitchcock always made quick (blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em) cameo appearances in his films: from The Lodger (1927) – he’s a man sitting at a desk – right up to Family Plot (1976) – his famous silhouette behind a translucent glass door.
Hiding in plain sight.
His cameos were always wordless scenes, often of him crossing paths with the film’s female star: in Psycho, he’s standing outside the real estate office where Marion (Janet Leigh) works, as she returns from a noontime tryst; in The Birds, he’s leaving a pet store as Melanie (Tippi Hedren) enters. (By the way, the typist in that Psycho scene is Hitchcock’s daughter, Patricia.)