Psycho

A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

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For two consecutive Halloweens, I’ve watched a classic horror film that has become so ubiquitous in pop culture that its shocks, twists and scares surely shouldn’t surprise me. It came as no surprise when Jack Torrance went crazy and tried to kill his family. I knew from the opening titles that Norman Bates is dressing up as his mother and committing these murders. And yet Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins make me doubt myself with every passing minute. Continue reading “Psycho”

Strangers on a Train

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder – a theory that he plans to implement.

There comes a point in a most thriller films, and the best name for it is “The Point of No Return”, when a character could very easily escape their circumstances – they are presented with an opportunity to explain or provide a warning – but they never seem to take it. Continue reading “Strangers on a Train”

North by Northwest

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

And we’re back for another edition of “Tom Questions His Masculinity”, with your host: Cary Grant. This time, it’s not about drinking scotch or a deliberating monotone – this time, it’s about scathing witticisms in the face of life-threatening adversity, and going head to head with other men for the ultimate prize: Eva Marie Saint. Continue reading “North by Northwest”

Notorious

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

NotoriousNotorious made me question my masculinity. While watching the film last night, I tried to follow in Cary Grant’s hegemonic footsteps. I decided I would start by having a few glasses of scotch, before putting on a suit and mumbling to everybody in the same mysterious monotone. Continue reading “Notorious”