Bell Theater to host month of Hitchcock

Published 11:13 am Friday, January 5, 2018

The Pineville Players, LLC and the Bell Theater continue to offer unique and varied events to local citizens through art with their January showcase of films directed by famous filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.

Hitchcock is one of the very few Hollywood directors to ever achieve “household name” status. His career was prolific and filled with not only classic films, but classic television as well. While known for his later films, he got his start all the way back in the mid 1920s, with silent films.

Over the course of his career, Hitchcock cultivated an image of himself almost as famous as the classic films he directed. He hosted his very own television program, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” as well as starred in the trailers for his films, where he would address the audience with his mix of wry and devilish humor. The trailers rarely featured much footage of the films themselves-Hitchcock used his persona to sell his films instead of the standard way film trailers are executed.

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Hitchcock was dubbed “The Master of Suspense” due to his expertise in manipulating his films to achieve maximum dramatic potency. His films are known for their masterfully orchestrated suspense, twists and technical craft and are still thought of today as some of the best films ever made.

The Pineville Players and the Bell Theater will be paying homage to Hitchcock by showcasing three of his most famous works. First, is 1963’s “The Birds.” At that time in Hollywood, films that feature killer animals were strictly regulated to B-movie fare until Hitchcock took what could have easily been yet another forgotten cheesy monster film and gave it the world class treatment. His skill at directing suspense and actors elevated “The Birds” into a film that genuinely frightened audiences everywhere.

The next film will be his most famous work — “Psycho.” Made in 1960, “Psycho” was controversial when it first came out for its then-lurid subject matter and violence. By today’s standards, the film is tame. But an effective thriller is not about simply shocks and violence. “Psycho” is often cited as one of the best films ever made and its success spawned three sequels and a recent hit television series from the A&E Network.

The last film to be showcased at the Bell Theater will be “Rear Window” from 1954, a film that is often in competition from film fans and critics alike with “Psycho” as Hitchcock’s best film.

Each showing is a one night event. “The Birds” is set to roll Jan. 6 with “Psycho” on Jan. 20 and “Rear Window“ on Jan. 27. Each film will begin at 7:30 p.m. and admission for each show is $5.