Posts Tagged ‘Vertigo’


Romantic Crime Films Part II In Mystery Scene

June 29, 2009

Mystery SceneThe new issue of Mystery Scene magazine has just been released, and I was pleased and honored that “Love Bites,” part two of my survey of top-twenty romantic crime films, not only stands as the main cover story but also earned the center-section spot within the magazine, featuring some beautiful full-color stills and poster images from films including Sunrise, Vertigo, Bonnie and Clyde, Basic Instinct and Slumdog Millionaire. And the issue offers great articles throughout, including Oline Cogdill on Tom Rob Smith, Ed Gorman interviewing The Rap Sheet‘s J. Kingston Pierce (one of the first stops on my own morning blog-reading agenda), Kevin Burton Smith with some recommendations from “mystery fiction’s second wave of feminism,” and Jon L. Breen reviewing, among other reference books, John Buchan: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction. A don’t-miss issue, even if I say so myself.

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Pitter-Pat And Rat-A-Tat-Tat

November 25, 2008

To Catch A ThiefThe November 25th Washington Post carried an announcement that screenwriter John Michael Hayes had died on November 19. Hayes, 89, was the screenwriter behind several classic Hitchcock films, including Rear Window (1954, adapted from a Cornell Woolrich story), To Catch a Thief (1955, from a novel by David Dodge), and the 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much. Hayes’ work on Rear Window earned him both an Academy Award nomination and an Edgar Award.

While I hadn’t been thinking about Hayes in particular, a couple of those films have been on my mind recently as part of a project I’m working on now: a search for romantic crime films. Hitchcock’s movies often existed at the intersection of crime and romance, of course, from The 39 Steps and Notorious to Rear Window and (in their own way) Vertigo and Marnie. But To Catch A Thief certainly stands as one of the frothiest combinations of those two elements — not just in Hitchcock’s ouevre but in all of film history. The heart races nearly as much from that kiss against the backdrop of fireworks as it does from the gunfire ringing out over the rooftops.

Even my quick list of romantic crime films has already topped 30 titles, but I’m eager to see that list grow, especially with regards to 21st-century movies. Suggestions anyone? Please post as a comment below.

And in the meantime, here’s my suggestion to you: Rent To Catch A Thief, open a nice bottle of champagne, and toast a master screenwriter whose work contributed heavily to some of the finest films of Hitchcock’s career.

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