Alfred Hitchcock

The 10 Best Twist Endings in Movie History

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Twenty years ago this week, Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects opened in theaters, and everybody lost their minds. It ended up redefining the “twist” ending, becoming a kind of shorthand for a left-field, eleventh-hour plot development that reconfigures everything that’s come before. But it was neither the first nor last movie to do that ending, or do it well. …Read More

The 10 Best True Crime Movies Ever Made

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Today, New York’s Film Forum kicks off a four-week, 50-film “True Crime” festival, spotlighting some of the most iconic dramas, mysteries, and thrillers based on real events. It’s one of our most durable genres — the festival spans something like eight decades — and for good reason: the best true crime movies are often tense, gripping, and suspenseful (even when we already know the outcome). Here are a few of our all-time favorites.
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From Cannes to Lifetime: A ‘Grace of Monaco’ Disaster Timeline

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Dozing off on the couch Memorial Day evening with a belly full of improperly cooked-out burgers and cheap beer is a bit of a holiday tradition (in our house, anyway), but this year, there’s a particularly fascinating bit of television programming for you to nod off to: Grace of Monaco, in which Oscar winner Nicole Kidman plays iconic movie-star-turned-princess Grace Kelly. This was supposed to be a giant movie: opening the Cannes Film Festival, awards season push by the Weinstein Company, Oscar glory. Instead, it’s quietly making its stateside debut on Lifetime, a network better known for cringe-worthy original biopics and tales of women in jeopardy. So how did such a prestige project end up on a punchline network? Let’s roll the tape.
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Daphne du Maurier Updated the Brontës, Inspired Hitchcock, Was a Gender-Fluid Iconoclast

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Daphne du Maurier, born on this day in 1907, is a difficult author to categorize. While British literature was heading into the realm of complex modernism, her gothic mysteries and twisted love stories were a deliberate throwback to the motifs and concerns of writers like Anne Radcliffe and the Brontës, particularly Jane Eyre. Yet her storytelling was so eerie and compelling, so full of twists on the uncanny, that she inspired a few of Alfred Hitchcock’s most memorable screen efforts.
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5 Noir Classics That Inspired ‘Dark Rooms’ Author Lili Anolik

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Dark Rooms, the debut novel by Lili Anolik, is the sort of mystery that you will rip through in a night. Early on, narrator Grace Baker quotes Edgar Allen Poe: “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” For Grace, however, it’s not so poetic — her beautiful younger sister, Nica, was murdered on the grounds of their prep school, upending Grace’s life. In the aftermath of the killing, Grace is seeing things through a haze of prescription drugs, a college dropout obsessed with solving the crime.
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David Fincher, ‘Strangers on a Train,’ and the Tricky Business of Remaking Hitchcock

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It’s a classic good news/bad news scenario: the good news is that director David Fincher, screenwriter Gillian Flynn, and star Ben Affleck are looking to reteam after the critical and popular success of last fall’s Gone Girl. The bad news? It’s for a remake (or, as Variety inexplicably dubs it, a reboot) of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train. The news is getting a pretty mixed reception among film buffs, even Fincher diehards, and for good reason: remaking Hitch is not, traditionally, a feat wisely attempted or successfully accomplished.
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Cool Illustrations Pair Hollywood Icons with Famous Architects

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Illustrator Federico Babina has carved out an impressive niche documenting and interpreting popular culture through the lens of architecture, fusing building design with music, modern art, and film. Now, he’s used his unique sensibility to combine iconic architects and celebrities with the series Archilife, with each illustration placing a Hollywood star in a home designed by the appropriate draftsman. Check out the entire series on his website; our favorites are collected after the jump.
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The 35 Best Books by Cinema’s Greatest Auteurs

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It’s an old standby that if a person is truly a master at one thing, he’s probably not great at much else. But when it comes to cinema, the auteur’s role is to be good at everything — sound, writing, camerawork, etc. — while also maintaining an overarching vision. So it isn’t surprising that there are so many great books written by cinema’s most famous (and infamous) …Read More