Good Evening…

8 Nov

Alfred Hitchcock

Sir Alfred

We’ve liked Alfred Hitchcock movies for years. “Suspicion”, “Spellbound”, “North by Northwest”, and “Vertigo”, are only a few of the Hitchcock films we’ve loved. (We would mention “Psycho”, but we’re too scared to utter its name.) In our eyes, Hitch could do no wrong. That is, except when he could.

In last year’s HBO film “The Girl” and in interviews Tippi Hedren has given, Hitchcock is depicted as an mean-spirited old letch who made Hedren’s life miserable during the making of “The Birds” and “Marnie.” Should we believe Ms. Hedren’s allegations? In reply, we answer “Why not?” After all, Ms. Hedren made herself vulnerable to criticism by coming forward with these allegations.

Several of Hitchcock’s leading ladies are on record as having spoken positively about him. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/9766218/BBC-under-fire-over-Hitchcock-drama.html) OK, but if these actresses were telling the truth, it doesn’t follow that Hedren must be lying. Eva Marie Saint, Doris Day, and Kim Novak were already established actresses when they worked with Hitchcock. Hedren was newcomer; it’s certainly possible that Hitchcock made the calculation that he could push her around in a way that he never could these other women.

We don’t really know where we’re going with this, except to say that when artists we like are alleged to have behaved in a beastly fashion, we don’t think they should get a pass just because we’ve liked their work. To state the matter another way: can we like an artist’s work even if we discover that they’ve behaved disgracefully? We’re still mulling this one.

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