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hitch's best, for free

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Some Of The Best Films in History, by Leytonstone's finest 

Honouring Alfred Hitchcock, Leytonstone’s favourite son, The Birds are proud to bring you 10 of the legendary director’s favourite films in the 3rd annual Hitchcocktober.

All movies are free, and we invite you to join us for a spectacle of film.  






thursday 3rd October 2019 - 20:00

Strangers on a Train (PG)

USA 1951 | Colour | 108 mins | Cert PG | Crime
Cast: Leo G. Carroll, Farley Granger, Marion Lorne, Kasey Rogers, Ruth Roman

Strange thing about this trip, so much occurs in pairs. Tennis star Guy (Farley Granger) hates his unfaithful wife. Mysterious Bruno (Robert Walker) hates his father. How perfect for a playful proposal: I'll kill yours, you kill mine. Now look at how Alfred Hitchcock reinforces the duality of human nature. The more you watch, the more you'll see. "Isn't it a fascinating design?" the Master of Suspense often asked. Actually, it's doubly fascinating. For Hitchcock left behind two versions of Strangers on a Train. The original version is an all-time thriller classic. A recently found longer pre-release British print offers "a startling amplification of Bruno's flamboyance, his homoerotic attraction to Guy and his psychotic personality"; (Bill Desowitz, Film Comment). The laying bare of Bruno's hidden nature, along with the great set pieces (head-turning tennis match, disintegrating carousel) and suspense as only Hitchcock can deliver, makes for a first-class trip.

 Friday 4th October 2019 - 20:00

The Birds (15)

USA 1963 | Colour | 119 mins | Cert 15 | Horror
Cast: Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette

Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) travels from San Francisco to the quiet coastal town of Bodega Bay. Once she is there, the birds start acting strangely. What begins as a single gull attacking Melanie soon becomes much more dangerous. As everyone takes cover inside their boarded up homes, people are killed and the townsfolk are traumatised by the unprovoked and unexplained attacks of the vicious feathered flocks.

Thursday 10th October 2019 - 20:00

Vertigo (PG)

USA 1958 | Colour | 128 mins | Cert PG | Thriller
Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson (Stewart) leaves the police force after a harrowing roof-top chase that leaves him with acrophobia. Months later he is hired to investigate the bizarre behaviour of his friend’s wife; Madeleine Elster believes that she is possessed by the spirit of her ancestor, Carlotte Valdes. After rescuing Madeleine from drowning, Ferguson begins to fall for her and is determined to solve the mystery. However, a surprise is in store for him when they visit the Mission San Juan Bautista. 

Sunday 13th October 2019 - 18:00

Hitchcock (12A)

USA 2012 | Colour | 98 mins | Cert 12A | Biography/Drama
Cast:  Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson

In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville, are at the top of their creative game as filmmakers amid disquieting insinuations about it being time to retire. To recapture his youth's artistic daring, Alfred decides his next film will adapt the lurid horror novel, Psycho (1960), over everyone's misgivings. Unfortunately, as Alfred self-finances and labours on this film, Alma finally loses patience with his roving eye and controlling habits with his actresses. When an ambitious friend lures her to collaborate on a work of their own, the resulting marital tension colours Alfred's work even as the novel's inspiration haunts his dreams.

Thursday 17th October 2019 - 20:00

The 39 Steps (U)

USA 1935 | Colour | 93 mins | Cert U | Thriller

Richard Hannay is a Canadian visitor to London. At the end of "Mr Memory"'s show in a music hall, he meets Annabella Smith who is running away from secret agents. He accepts to hide her in his flat, but in the night she is murdered. Fearing he could be accused of the girl's death, Hannay goes on the run to break the spy ring.

Friday 18th October 2019 - 20:00

North by Northwest (PG) 

USA 1959 | Colour | 136 mins | Cert PG | Drama | Hollywood Classics | Thriller
Cast: Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G Carroll, Martin Landau

Arguably Hitchcock’s most consistently entertaining movie, this romantic thriller comprises many of his most memorably virtuoso set-pieces.  Thanks simply to a paging announcement in a hotel lobby, New York advertising man Roger O Thornhill finds himself the victim of a catastrophic case of mistaken identity. To clear his name – and stay alive – he suddenly has to leave town, first for Chicago, then on to South Dakota. En route, protection from his pursuers is provided by the evocatively named Eve. 

A masterpiece of the picaresque, famous for superb scenes set in locations suggestive either of claustrophobia or of agoraphobia (the UN building, a barren crop-field, an auction room, Mt Rushmore), it also charts, with a deceptively light touch, its protagonist’s progress from cynical detachment (the ‘O’ stands for ‘nothing’) through a sense of vulnerability to eventual commitment. Witty, impudently sexy, suspenseful throughout, this is Hollywood at its most urbanely glamorous.

 Thursday 25th October 2019 - 20:00

Dial M for Murder (PG)

USA 1954 | Colour |105 mins | Cert PG| Crime. Film-Noir, Thriller
Cast: George Alderson, Pat Allen, Robert Cummings, Anthony Dawson, Grace Kelly, George Leigh, Raymond Milland

Alfred Hitchcock's screen version of Frederick Knott's stage hit Dial M for Murder is a tasty blend of elegance and suspense casting Grace Kelly, Ray Milland and Robert Cummings as the points of a romantic triangle. Kelly won the New York Film Critics and National Board of Review Best Actress Awards for this and two other acclaimed 1954 performances. She loves Cummings; her husband Milland plots her murder. But when he dials a Mayfair exchange to set the plot in motion, his right number gets the wrong answer and gleaming scissors become a deadly weapon. Dial "M"; for the Master of Suspense at his most stylish.

Sunday 27th October 2019 - 14:00

Rebecca (PG)

USA 1940 | Black & white | 130 mins | cert PG | Drama, Mystery, Romance

Cast:  Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidated by his first wife's spectral presence.

 thursday 31st October 2019 - 20:00

Psycho (15)

USA 1960 | Black & white | 109 mins | Cert 15 | Horror
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Alfred Hitchcock's iconic horror film is ranked among the greatest films of all time and was Oscar-nominated. Psycho is a psychological thriller which caused controversy with film censors around the world. Famous for its shocking shower scene, the film is a great title with Halloween just around the corner.

Phoenix office worker Marion Crane is fed up with the way life has treated her. She has to meet her lover Sam in lunch breaks and they cannot get married because Sam has to give most of his money away in alimony. One Friday Marion is trusted to bank $40,000 by her employer. Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam's California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into The Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother.

 Friday 1st november 2019 - 20:00

78:52 (15)

USA 2017 | Colour | 91 mins | Cert 15 | Documentary

Cast: Marli Renfo, Alfred Hitchcock, Tere Carrubba, Elijah Wood

An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), the "man behind the curtain", and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.