Film Junk Premium Podcast: Alfred Hitchcock


Welcome to the first in a whole new year of Film Junk Premium Podcasts! On this episode we decided to mix things up a bit and focus on a director rather than a franchise, so why not start with one of the best? Alfred Hitchcock directed over 60 films, so it was certainly a challenge deciding which ones we would end up discussing. After some discussion we came up with a list that we felt was a pretty well rounded representation of Hitch’s prolific career: The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rope (1948), Strangers on a Train (1951), Vertigo (1958), and Psycho (1960). We discuss Hitchcock’s liberal use of rear screen projection, Saul Bass’ wonderful opening titles, Rope’s supposed single shot conceit, and the infamous ‘Vertigo Effect’ camera technique. Oh, and we also manage to spend some time ruminating on Kim Novak’s unfortunate ‘clown brows’. Yes, I do say it’s a spirited discussion to be sure, old man! Now, be a chum and toss four cyber quarters into the Film Junk virtual coin slot and have a listen!

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just 99 cents. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

  • Bob Bobson


    My suggestion for the next Premium Podcast: The Mad Max trilogy!

  • Jay

    Awesome. Thx guys. Not that much interest in Hitchcock but not a big deal. If a podcast has the Film Junk gang it is a must listen.

  • Essie

    thanks a lot for the podcast! i’ve been catching up on Hitchcock in anticipation of the show.

  • mattressman

    over the holiday, i saw 5 hitchcock films i hadn’t seen, rope being the crown jewel. that film only has about 4-5 cuts. amazing. jimmy stewart is on point as usual.

  • Hey, you guys mentioned last week the idea of doing a comedy premium podcast where none of the movies were actually funny, right? How about covering the Friedberg/Seltzer “Movie” movies? That’d be Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, Vampires Suck. It would be torture on you, torture that we’d be happy to pay to listen to.

  • Bob: I’m sure a Mad Max premium will happen eventually but we’re kind of waiting to hear about an official release date for Fury Road.

  • Henrik

    I want Farrelly Brothers! Recently watched Kingpin (KOC CUMS) and it was good :)

    This was a good show, but I thought Greg would get in there more. He always talks about loving Hitchcock! Maybe in part 2, eh? Amazing Spider-Man didn’t live in vain…

  • rjdelight

    Die Hard has to be next, I’m sure.

  • kent88

    “Jaws” premium please!

    If you can do “Jurassic Park”, you can do “Jaws”.

    Sadly, none of the sequels are on Baby Blu yet though.

    Which Stephen King adaptations are you going to discuss? Remember that a mini-series can be counted as a movie too. I’d love to hear you guys discuss the other “The Shining”. Greg says he prefers it. I’d love to hear him defend that one. Steven Weber from greatest-sitcom-of-all-time “Wings” over Nicholson? Really? Also “Salem’s Lot”. Maybe “It”. Don’t go for the obvious choices.

  • The Stephen King premium has been delayed along with the Carrie remake and may end up being replaced with something else horror-related in October.

  • “Escape From” premium: Alcatraz, New York, L.A., Planet of the Apes.

  • Bob

    Thanks for another premium. Looking forward to listening to this one.

    +1 on the Jaws premium.

  • piggystardust

    Surprised to hear you didn’t like the Vertigo ending, that’s one of my favorite parts to the movie. The way the nun comes out of the darkness really creeped me out and the ensuing events happen quickly, I think, because it’s meant to be ambiguous if Jimmy Stewart pushed her or she just fell from being startled.

  • T

    I’m a little shocked Jay isn’t more familiar with the Psycho sequels being they are in that 80’s slasher genre. Psycho II is an extremely well made mystery/slasher while III is a pitch black comedy/sleazy giallo. Skip IV, but the other two are extremely underrated.

  • FDB

    Gotta agree with T, Psycho II is actually an amazing movie that would probably be more fondly remembered if it wasn’t a sequel to Psycho.

    Also wanted to point out that it was Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much from 1963 that started the giallo craze in Italy, making it -technically- the first slasher.

    Not 100% on this last point, but I don’t think the skyline in Rope was rear projection, I’m pretty sure it was a miniature.

    Good episode though, I thought it would be kind of dull since there’s not much to poke fun at in these movies, but it wasn’t at all.

  • Kasper

    Pretty good episode even though I don’t have much interest in Hitchcock. I do prefer when you guys take on more mainstream stuff though. It’d be nice if one of the upcoming premiums were a real cheesefest, perhaps with some Jackie Chan movies or a Kurt Russell special?

  • Jay C.

    FDB, yes The Girl Who Knew Too Much is thought of as the first Giallo, but most would argue a Giallo is categorized slightly differently than a slasher film. I think Giallo films as a whole influenced slasher films, but Psycho and Bay of Blood helped establish some important minor distinctions and pave the way for the traditional slasher films that immediately come to mind today (Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc.)

    And yes, in Rope the skyline is a miniature (and a painted backdrop I believe).

  • FDB

    Yeah, I hope that didn’t come across as like “nuh-uh, I know more than you!” type of thing. In all fairness, it all seems a little arbitrary, deciding where the films that Psycho influenced turned into “slashers”, but I’d say that Psycho, Bay of Blood, Girl Who Knew Too Much and Black Christmas all sort of laid the groundwork for Halloween to kick off the slasher genre in earnest.

    Also, there’s almost no CGI in the world that can impress me like the detail in that photo. Bonkers.

  • samj

    Psycho II is actually pretty good. Directed by Richard Franklin, the Australian guy who did Roadgames and Patrick. Well worth a watch.

  • Cody Lang

    A couple of the scenes besides the opening shot going into the window were changed as well. What is terrific about Hitchcock’s Psycho is the visual style: compositions created with vertical and horizontal lines and diagonal breaks into this composition (i.e. the windshield wipers across Crane’s face as she drives which foreshadows the diagonal swipes of the knife stabbing her in the shower, and so forth). Van Sant shot several scenes with a different depth of field which completely destroyed this visual composition technique. When Vaughn is talking to Crane in his office the hawk in the background is soft whereas in Hitchcock’s version both the hawk and Perkins are in focus creating a bizarre image. Not to bash Van Sant (I’m a big fan of almost all of his films) but this was weird and silly idea to remake Psycho. Just let it be.