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The Times (14/May/1982) - Electrifying Hitchcock



Electrifying Hitchcock

The Hitchcock season is already under way at the Electric cinema, Notting Hill Gate. This retrospective of 19 films out of the total of 54 comprises most of the films we are likely to be able to see until the National Theatre organizes a full retrospective of this country's greatest film maker.

The films are being screened every Thursday (except June 10) until July 8, with a showing of The Lodger (1926, with Ivor Novello) and Champagne (1928, with Betty Balfour) on Tuesday, June 1 in the season of silent classics.

This Thursday's attraction is the rarely seen Secret Agent from 1956, starring an unbelievably young John Gielgud, with Madeleine Carroll, Peter Lorre, Robert Young and Michael Redgrave. This is the kind of first-rate cast Hitch didn't always assemble and his reliance on good actors is quite surprising for someone who affected to despise the breed.

His best films always had the best actors; just look at Notorious (with Grant, Bergman and Rains) and Rebecca (Olivier, Fontaine, Sanders and Judith Anderson) both showing on May 27 and both bringing out the best in the Master.

June's Thirty-nine Steps and Lady Vanishes have been much seen but they're very welcome again anyway. The lightweight caper movie, To Catch a Thief (1955, Grant and Grace Kelly) is paired with the sombre Shadow of a Doubt (1943, Joseph Cotten) but the latter has a lot of admirers (June 17).