Notorious (1946)

You’re as cold as ice.

The moment when Cary Grant locks the car door, sending romantic rival (and poisoner) Claude Rains back to face his fate at the hands of fellow Nazi spies, remains one of the harshest fade-outs in cinema history.

And hey, before you complain about spoilers, the film celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

If you haven’t seen one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best yet, less whining, and more viewing.

What you’ll find is an elegant slice of film noir, with a zippy Ben Hecht script filled with mystery, intrigue, and dialogue which crackles with every word.

 

Darth by Darthwest

You got your Hitchcock in my Star Wars!

No, you got your Star Wars in my Hitchcock!!

Whichever way you look at it, this fun mashup, which plops Cary Grant into the world of Tie-Fighters and protocol droids, is a great way to fritter away six minutes of your life.

It’s not terribly deep, but not everything needs to be freakin’ Shakespeare now, does it?

So, basically, it’s footage from North By Northwest, reimagined and repurposed to imagine what would happen if our most urbane of heroes found himself in a galaxy far, far away.

Good times, good times.

 

Gunga Din

For Queen and country!

Three rough-and-ready British sergeants team up to carouse, create havoc, and, eventually, be inspired by their native water bearer to become better men in this rollickin’ classic.

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s immortal poem, which pays homage to a man of lowly status who rises to be revered for his sacrifice, it has comedy, dastardly villains, and some truly-thrilling action sequences.

A vital part of one of the deepest years (1939) in movie history, Gunga Din was shafted at the Oscars in the year of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

But awards aren’t everything.

Bringing Up Baby

Nobody puts baby in a corner.

Do so and you might get a case of cat scratch fever, as the “baby” in this fast-talkin’ classic comedy is a pouty leopard.

The feline’s owner is an impressively scatterbrained heiress with her sights set firmly on stealing a dithering paleontologist away from his epically boring bride-to-be.

Katharine Hepburn could rattle off dialogue faster than just about anyone — except maybe Jennifer Jason Leigh paying tribute to her style in The Hudsucker Proxy.

Meanwhile, Cary Grant stumbles, bumbles, and somehow is both dashing and a giant dork.

It’s a matchup for the ages.

North by Northwest

The chase is on.

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint scamper across America, exchanging witty banter as evil spies pursue them with malice in mind during my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film.

Vertigo, Rear Window, Psycho — and that’s just the tip of what might be the greatest career put together by a director.

But North is the most rewatchable for me, a near-perfect film which takes our most charming movie star and drops him into a plot roiling with danger and deception.

The showdown on Mount Rushmore.

The attack of the crop duster.

Grant verbally sparring with mother.

Pretty dang flawless.