Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Buddy Alfred

Once a week when I was a kid, a famous movie director would stop by the house for a little humorous banter, employer-insulting, and a ripping good yarn. He felt right at home in our den, and we were justifiably hospitable to this quirky, avuncular guy because he was so darn entertaining. His stories usually scared us out of our wits, but we didn't take them too seriously, as our friend made us laugh somehow over the whole frightening situation.

Thanks to Netflix and Hulu, that old friend has begun paying visits to me again. Yeah, he's been dead for years, and in this blindingly colorful world he still appears in black and white. But his black-and-white domain is often more colorful than anything the real world has to offer. Yes, it's so good to welcome my buddy Alfred Hitchcok back into my home.

I'm catching up on Season 1 of Alfred Hitchcock Presents' 25-minute episodes now that Netflix offers a way to watch them on-demand on my computer. I was probably too young in 1955-56 to be able to stay up to greet dear Alfred, and though I've seen several of the stories in re-runs on TV, many are new to me.

Hulu offers the later The Alfred Hitchcock Hour via computer. The first one I had to see was "An Unlocked Window," which scared me out of my wits as a teenager. One word: nurses. Anyone who's seen it will know exactly which episode I'm talking about. Oh, by the way? Still scary as all git-out, and I knew what was coming.

Watching Alfred every night got me thinking. Is there another legendary film director who has bothered to relate so thoroughly with his/her audiences? I mean, Scorsese or Tarantino go on talk shows or whatever and talk about themselves and their work, but I don't feel like I know either of them.

But Alfred Hitchcock? Why, he was like an uncle. He came into our house, brought wonderful gifts, and made us laugh. Especially when he ribbed his sponsors. Hitchcock was more than a film director, he was a buddy.

Good evening, Alfred. And now a word from our sponsor.


Joy Des Jardins said...

Good post Mary. I loved Alfred too. I remember his show and his entrance walking into his silhouette...I loved it. You're right, directors just connect with their audiences like that these days.

Anonymous said...

Theme music: Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Gounod.
So perfect, eh?