Five Day Discipline: Watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie that I had never seen each night. The only Hitchcock film I had seen prior to this week was “Rear Window” (which I love).
Before I go on let me dispel any fear you may have about reading further: I am not about to review the films I watched. I have opinions on them, but I’m not an educated cinephile and my tastes are anything but refined.
Day 0: To Catch A Thief. I don’t normally start a Five Day Discipline early but I had rented six movies and I didn’t want to leave any of them out.
Day 1: Vertigo. When I mentioned that I was going to be watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie each night several people told me that this one was their favorite.
Day 2: The 39 Steps. I chose to watch The 39 Steps because several years ago my wife and I had seen a stage adaptation of it and it was hilarious. It was also one of the more memorable nights of my life. We bumped into friends at dinner and when I asked our waiter for the check he informed me that our meal had already been paid for, by our friends. As if that wasn’t enough, when were standing in line to buy our tickets to the show an elderly gentleman offered us some extra tickets they had for free. Two acts of kindness, one from friends one from strangers, in the same night! I’ll never forget that.
Day 3: Psycho. I don’t like to be scared so I was anxious to start this one. I was surprised by many elements of this film (most of which I can’t describe without spoilers) and I enjoyed it more than I expected. Plus, I’m glad to finally know where that “wreak, wreak, wreak” sound came from. I’m not going to mention that I actually sympathized with Norman Bates and liked his character quite a bit because I don’t want to frighten you or make you think I’m unbalanced.
Day 4: North by Northwest. I went into this movie blind knowing nothing other than the fact that at some point a plane would chase Cary Grant. This movie turned out to be right up my alley and had humor and espionage and chase scenes. There is a suspenseful scene at the top of Mt. Rushmore and here is where the beauty of Five Day Discipline happened: I posted a picture saying that I was watching North by Northwest and my mom commented that this movie made her want to visit Mount Rushmore but she’s never been. In fact, she said it’s on her imaginary bucket list. Her family traveled a lot when she was growing up but mostly to the east or west coasts so they never made it to see Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Well, we’ve already started talking about taking a family vacation to see it this summer. This is what I mean when I say things like, “You never know what might happen when you do Five Day Discipline”. I expected this week to be a fun week of watching classic movies but I never could have guessed that it would end up triggering a vacation I took this summer. Lifelong memories made because I watched Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest”. Go figure.
Day 5: The Man Who Knew Too Much. Apparently, and I didn’t know this until right before I watched this film, Hitchcock made two films titled “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, one in 1934 with Peter Lorre and the other in 1956 with Jimmy Stuart and Doris Day. Well, I got the 1934 version and feel like I need to see the 1956 version now. I want to know what the differences are and what would possibly drive someone to make two films of the same name 22 years apart.
Bonus Day 6: The Birds. It didn’t feel right to spend an entire week dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock and not watch “The Birds”. For some inexplicable reason the city I live in has five libraries and zero copies of “The Birds” so I had to rent this one off of my TV (thank god for the fancy, have-whatever-you-want-instantly world we now live in). Again, I went in blind and was thrilled to find out that Rod Taylor is in this one. I love him most as the voice of Pongo in “One Hundred and One Dalmations” but also in “The Time Machine”.
This week was actually one of the more difficult Five Day Discipline’s I have done. It was really tiring and time-consuming and I didn’t get anything done this week outside of watching a Hitchcock movie each day. I won’t be doing a Five Day Discipline like this again, and I don’t recommend it for others, but I’m glad I did it. Now I’m caught up on many classic films and can join in on the conversations about them but most important of all is the family vacation happening this summer to Mount Rushmore that never would have happened without this week. You never know what will happen when you try doing new things.