August 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Hitchcock, King Of The Director's Cameo

Many directors have inserted themselves into their films.  Some quite obviously, like Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese, and others somewhat more discreetly, like Michael Bay. Perhaps the only discreet thing in his films! 

However, Alfred Hitchcock takes the consistency prize for placing himself in small non-speaking roles in all of his feature films. Often his appearances are comical and can somewhat take you out of the action (i.e. lumbering onboard the train with a large musical instrument in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN).  While other times they are subtle and more organic, such as my personal favorite which is his appearance in the gay guy's apartment in REAR WINDOW, standing behind him as he plays piano. Is he a sugar daddy? An gentleman caller? Or the backer of a potential Broadway show?  All interpretations work and add to the fun of the guessing games involved when spying on your neighbors, which is what the film is all about.

A clever and diligent editor has compiled all of Hitchcock's appearances into a clip on YouTube. I found this through my friend Paul Maggio, who often posts celebrity birthday's on his Facebook feed. Anyway, watching this is a great way to celebrate the master of the movies on what would have been his 113th. Happy Birthday Hitch! :)

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