CHARADE (Stanley Donen, 1963)

Stanley Donen’s best film by far, the scintillating mystery-comedy-thriller-romance Charade, has often been described as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock didn’t direct.” Not so—not by a long shot. A stylish, purely superficial entertainment that is not really about anything, Charade is dwarfed by the achievement of North by Northwest (1959), the “Hitchcock movie” with […]

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Norman Z. McLeod, 1933)

Although not quite so wonderful as the Disney-produced 1951 animated version directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske, Norman Z. McLeod’s Alice in Wonderland, which is populated by heavily made-up actors, is a gem. It is quaint, richly Victorian although much simpler than the two books upon which it is based, Alice’s Adventures […]

TO CATCH A THIEF (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955)

Amiable, sexy, witty, lighthearted entertainment, Alfred Hitchcock’s romance on the French Riviera, To Catch a Thief, nevertheless contains elements that stress this description of it. The principal element of this kind has to do with the past of John Robie, whose inconspicuous retirement from notorious jewel thievery is interrupted by a series of “cat burglaries” […]