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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Hitchcock Double Feature on SoCal's KCET Friday the 13th

Tomorrow, KCET's "Must See Movies" is doing a special Friday the 13th chills and suspense-filled double feature of back-to-back Alfred Hitchcock thrillers. The two classic films are Suspicion and North by Northwest starring Hollywood icon Cary Grant. This is a particularly inspired choice of programming since the master of suspense himself was born on a Friday the 13th. I wonder why no one's ever thought of this before? It makes the feared day a lot more fun and gives you something to look forward to on a day that is normally dreaded.

First up is the 1959 American thriller North by Northwest listed on many critic's lists as one of the greatest films of all time. And why not? The entertaining film that places a twist on the espionage tale was made in an era in which Hitchcock was undeniably at the peak of his abilities. The film is also credited for laying the groundwork for countless action thrillers that followed (the "Bourne Identity" and "Die Hard" franchises). In fact, the U.S. Library of Congress selected NXNW for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1995 for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Considering the registry began in 1989 and the small number of films added annually (just 25), that's quite an impressive achievement. On the same bill, Grant's last collaboration with the great director is followed by his first, the 1941 psychological thriller Suspicion. This is the film that won actress Joan Fontaine the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1941, and is also significant as the only Oscar winning performance in any Hitchcock film. Both films will make their network debut on KCET Friday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. PT respectively.

North By Northwest is about a hapless New York advertising executive who is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies and is therefore pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. The film stars Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. Use image to the side as link to a full review on this site.

Suspicion is about a shy young heiress (Joan Fontaine) who marries a charming gentleman (Grant), and soon begins to suspect him of planning her murder. The cast includes Hitchcock regular, Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Nigel Bruce of 1940s Sherlock Holmes fame. It's charming as an early American Hitchcock film, and neatly bookends Grant's career with one of the greatest directors the world has ever known.

If you enjoy such movie nights, I encourage you to use the image at the top of the page as a link to the complete schedule for KCET's Must See Movies. It really is a nice resource for classic movie fans who don't get TCM or other premium movie channels. You can also join the conversation on social media using #MustSeeMovies. And of course, be sure to turn into KCET this Friday the 13th. It'll change your whole view of what Friday the 13ths have to offer, and possibly start a whole new Friday the 13th tradition.

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