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Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
The Observer

Suspense at the DPAC: Hitchcock film series

No one can film a thriller quite like Alfred Hitchcock. Okay, Michael Jackson might give him a run for his money, but let's face it: Hitchcock is one of the quintessential thriller movie directors. You have not witnessed cinema until you have watched Hitchcock.

Since August, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC) has been screening Hitchcock films as a part of their movement Celebrating Hitchcock. The screenings are to commemorate his 110th birthday. DPAC is celebrating the very beginning of a man who redefined modern cinema with his surprising plot lines and movies that blended commercial and critical success. The result? A filmography that is nothing less than iconic today.

There are three films left in the series at DPAC. All three star Cary Grant, the actor who worked with Hitchcock the most (he starred in four movies). This part of the celebration is called "Man Leading Leading Man," singling out the man who represents Hitchcock movies almost as well as Hitchcock himself.

"Suspicion" will be at the Browning Cinema on Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. The movie is 99 minutes long, and will be shown in 35mm (only the best for Hitchcock). In the film, gambling Johnny Aysgarth (Grant) tries to get more money by marrying heiress Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine). Sounds pretty simple, right? But with Hitchcock, it never will be.

The next weekend (Oct. 18), "To Catch a Thief" will be the movie on the Browning screen. This movie runs 106 minutes. This time, Grant is a retired thief, John Robbie, who is working with police to find the person responsible for a series of jewel heists. The movie also stars Grace Kelly. 

The final film in the series plays Halloween afternoon (3 p.m.). "North by Northwest" is part action movie, part suspense thriller, and it will keep you guessing until the very last moment. Grant portrays Robert Thornhill, an executive who gets mistaken for a spy, leading him into a series of adventures that he just can't seem to sort out. The movie co-stars Eva Marie Saint, James Mason and Martin Landau. It is particularly well known for a prairie biplane encounter and the film's climax at Mount Rushmore.

So when you feel like someone's watching you, go to DPAC and watch Hitchcock instead. It won't do anything to lessen your paranoia, but it will leave you with a wonderful cinematic experience.