Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Cock’d Hitch

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. At last Spring’s TCM Film Festival, a number of Alfred Hitchcock films were screened for those attending. I overheard a discussion between patrons of what was their first Hitchcock, their initial exposure to The Master’s work. I knew immediately what it was for my two children because I screened it for them — North by Northwest. Me? I’d turn over a few leafs before I finally got to this one.

“When we get home, I’ll explain that we had a lover’s quarrel… That you ran away… That I went after you and brought you back. That’ll please Dad. He admires action. Then I’ll explain that we’re gonna be married before the week is out… That I can’t bear to have you out of my sight. He also admires wholesome animal lust.”


The Huntington Park Warner Theatre:




July 1964: Ah, being 10 years old and on the verge of puberty. If that doesn’t confuse the hell out of you, nothing else will. I know my mother took every question offered toward the subject of sex from her oldest quite seriously, and without much freak out. She leaned heavily on metaphor in her explanations, though. Granted, she had no choice as dad was enjoying that very thing and not around much. Divorce and girlfriends tended to get in the way of his marriages. My grandparents, specifically my mother’s mom, on the other hand had a pat answer, in Spanish, to all such inquiries:

“Just go talk with your mother about this.”

Of course, there were the informal, but still prevalent means of finding out about girls and sexual what-not. The tried-and-not very-true asking your friends on the street. Which by the way, led to the most bizarre, made-up explanations I ever had to unlearn during my teens. Or, what could be parsed out from the movies. The latter being the one I determined was a tad more straight than whatever my peers were making up back then. Hey, you followed the best evidence or source at your disposal via whatever means available. You know, in the dark ages…before the internet.

Heading to Huntington Park’s main drag was a weekly event, especially its movie theaters during summer. The Huntington Park Warner Theatre taking much of my coin money regularly. Most of the time, between it, the California and the Park venues, we would just select what we’d (usually, my kid brother) see by the movie title or the ad on display. The ‘Sex’ on Marnie‘s poster, naturally, sold us. And who exactly was this Alfred Hitchcock fella, anyways? Was that him next to the girl? Funny name, I thought. What did I know. Afterwards, I knew I had a bunch of questions to ask, and where to go for answers.


The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

23 Responses to “TMT: Cock’d Hitch”

    • le0pard13

      It is a notable Hitchcock film, in more ways than one. Besides the provocative subject (for the time), and noteworthy pairing of Sean Connery and Tippi Hedren, the latter actor had a difficult time in this film. Hitchcock’s sexual advances on Ms. Hedren being the cause, and in direct response to her rejection, he moved to ruin her career. Worth seeing in either case. Thanks, ckckred.

  1. Colin

    Great stuff. I’ve seen a fair few Hitchcock films in the cinema as re-runs (not Marnie) but never on first run.

    • le0pard13

      Same here. Most of Alfred Hitchcock’s films were either watched on television, tape or disc since, or screenings at a revival movie theater by me. This being the key exception to it all. Many thanks, Colin.

    • le0pard13

      Great one to start off with, for sure. My kids sure loved it. Although, I haven’t as yet shown them Psycho ;-).

      Thanks, Morgan.

  2. Family Room Film Critic

    Actually, I think The Birds was my first Hitchcock film. However, I remember seeing Marnie for the first time in a film class while still in college — immediately fell in love with it as well. Thanks for the post – haven’t thought about this film in quite some time.

    • le0pard13

      The Birds would be quite a first Hitchcock, FRFC. Marnie remains an interesting work by the director in many ways. Thanks very much for the read and comment :-).

  3. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop

    I liked Marnie, although there’s a really bad scene with a fake horse that looks terrible! Ha! I would love to see some Hitch on the big screen, I wish my local cinema would do some re-runs. Great piece Michael.

    • le0pard13

      Yeah, that scene gathers a lot of criticism. I’d agree, too, that seeing Hitchcock on the big screen, in a packed theater of his fans, is the best way to present his films. Thanks so much, Chris :-)

  4. ruth

    WHOAH! How in the world did I not know Connery was in a Hitchcock movie?? I’ve heard of this one but had no idea it starred Mr Bond himself, so thanks Michael, I definitely should check this out. Great TMT as always!

  5. Eric @ The Warning Sign

    Excellent piece, Michael. This is one of the select Hitchcock films I still need to see, and it was actually scheduled to play at a local theater last month (with Tippi Hedren in attendance, no less). Unfortunately, the event was canceled for reasons unknown, and I still have yet to see it. :(

    • le0pard13

      Thank you very much, Eric. That really is too bad, especially if it was to include Ms. Hedren. Saw her in person last April at the TCM Film Fest doing the discussion intro for THE BIRDS. She’s a marvelous personality and promoter of Hitchcock and his film. That is saying something since he gave her a really bad time of it in this film, which came after THE BIRDS, and basically ruined her film career as a result. Hopefully, they’ll reschedule, and you’ll get a chance to see her and the film together.

  6. Novroz

    I was about to say the same thing as Ruth! I didn’t know Connery ever been in Hitchcock’s movie.

    I have only seen 2 or 3 of his movies, I should see more.

    Great post Michael :)

  7. iluvcinema (@iluvcinema)

    Cool. Marnie is definitely one that has grown on me in the years subsequent to my first seeing it. It would be an interesting experience seeing this on the big screen. So far I have seen North by NW, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Lodger, The Farmer’s Wife, Notorious, Lady Vanishes, The Birds, and Easy Virtue. Definitely want to see many many more of his :)


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