Alfred Hitchcock's greatest work is the most emotionally resonant tragedy of his long career. Jimmy Stewart is the San Francisco cop, afraid of heights, who falls for Kim Novak, loses her, and then gradually loses his mind while trying to recreate her image with another woman (also Novak, unbeknownst to him). The 1958 psycho-thriller is less overtly Freudian than, say, Psycho, but plunges deepest into the psyche of a guy so in love with a dead woman (who claims to be a reincarnation) that his urges push a live woman—who can't live up to his ideal—to her death. It's eros and thanatos dancing to a classic score by Bernard Herrmann (to say nothing of the Saul Bass poster), pulling Stewart inexorably into the fatal whorl of his own passion, like the spiral curl of Novak's blond hair, like the twisted tissues of his own cortex. Movie screens at midnight. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Fri., April 13; Sat., April 14, 2012

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow