Fade Out – Alfred Hitchcock


Episode 1 - Alfred Hitchcock's FAMILY PLOT with Special Guest Scott X

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35 responses to “Fade Out – Alfred Hitchcock

  1. This is going to be a great series!!!! The perfect film to open up this show.
    For the record, I do expect episodes on
    The Shootist
    The Misfits
    It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen Family Plot. It didn’t leave a big impression on me, but, when I saw it, I wasn’t expecting a comedic tone, so that probably skewed my opinion.
    The way you described the scene in the jewelry store between Devane and the cops, makes me think that Hitchcock was perhaps parodying Dragnet. The flat tone, the one shot take, and the actors entering from opposite sides of the screen is sort of a hallmark of that series.
    Again, well done on another great podcast. Looking forward to more

  2. Love, love, love the premise of this new show, Rob! I look forward to future episodes

    I am so glad you started this show off by giving serious consideration to Hitchcock’s last and one of his most overlooked films. I agree with the assessment you and Scott X give that although Family Plot isn’t Hitchcock at his most vital or innovative, it is still made with the same amount of artistry and craftsmanship that Hitchcock was known for.

    Family Plot doesn’t achieve the level of a North By Northwest or Psycho, but it is still a film made by a master – a master who is simply being playful and having fun the whole time. This movie feels like it comes from a Hitchcock who, being at the end of his career. has nothing else to prove as a filmmaker and has decided to use this film to wink at the audience (both figuratively and literally with that final shot) about the artifice of filmmaking.

    Finally, I was happy you guys brought up the question/debate about how and when seeming mistakes or sloppy filmmaking should be considered when analyzing a film and whether or not these instances should be viewed not as mistakes but as deliberate choices by the filmmaker. With auteurs like Hitchcock and Kubrick (since he was mentioned in the podcast), I always fall on the side of such moments being deliberate and give them serious consideration in my analysis. Besides, it is simply more fun to consider the cheesy bluescreen in the car chases as a conscious choice made by Hitchcock rather than just dismiss them as sloppy filmmaking.

    With all that said, I’m anxious to see what the next final film will be. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for listening Steve!

      Sometimes I wonder if certain directors get too much credit, because they are so revered, while if someone else’s film had that kind of “error” they would not be so easily forgiven. But I think Scott hit on it that Hitchcock was playing around with the audience, and could “get away” with it because he had that rapport built up with the audience.

      1. Agreed. The deciding factors have to be the director’s body of work and the audience’s knowledge of the director. For instance, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow works on its own merits, but it takes on a greater significance when the viewer understands the film is an homage to the Hammer horror films Burton was such a fan of.

        Similar can be said of the Kill Bill movies. Knowing these films are written and directed by the man who made Pulp Fiction creates a certain level of trust that the films are going to have more value than just stylish displays of action and violence.

    2. Thanks for tuning in Steve!

      Like you, when Rob shared with me the premise of this new show I thought it was a FANTASTIC premise. So much fertile ground to cover. I was humbled and honored that Rob chose to include me on the first episode.

  3. Great debut Rob! Always a pleasure to hear Scott! He almost makes me want to venture into Twitter more, since the Franklins often spend Saturday nights on METV as well.

    I haven’t seen this film, but it sounds intriguing. I need to watch it before weighing it against Hitchcock’s other films of course, but it certainly has an interesting cast. Karen Black was everywhere in the 70s, wasn’t she?

    Off to a fantastic start!


    1. Chris–

      Yes, ScottX is one of the (few) pluses to being on Twitter.

      And yeah Karen Black kept herself busy in the 1970s. #ZuniVoodooDoll

    2. Chris, my friend, thanks for taking a listen! As mentioned in the episode, FAMILY PLOT wouldn’t probably make most people’s top 10 Hitchcock films, but I still think its worth watching. I enjoyed it and will surely watch it again.

      And the Franklin family definitely needs to join in on some live tweeting on Super Sci Fi Saturday nights on MeTV!! Svengoolie always has some crazy movie or another and as the schedule stands now, its typically followed up by Star Trek (TOS), and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. That’s all right in our wheelhouse! Heck, when public health circumstances allow, I may drive down and sit in your living room with you to watch and live tweet. 🙂

  4. I watched “Family Plot” for the first time this morning in anticipation of this podcast. I’ve really only seen a couple of other Hitchcock pictures, but MAN, I really dug this! Also, apropos of nothing, if you ever want to see William Devane as a detective in a movie that asks: “What if the Zodiac Killer/Son of Sam turned out to be a Werewolf from outer space (with HEAT VISION!)?” See 1979’s ‘The Dark’. You won’t regret it.

  5. Hey everyone!
    Wanted to punt out that Family Plot is currently streaming on PEACOCK.
    If you have Xfinity you have PEACOCK.
    If you don’t, it is a FREE app but there are commercials.
    There are several other Hitchcock films as well
    Rear Window
    The Birds
    Rope (my personal favorite)
    Shadow of a Doubt
    The Trouble with Harry
    The Man Who Knew Too Much
    Torn Curtain

    1. Matt, thanks for listening to the episode and extra thanks for letting people know that it is on Peacock. I didn’t know that. FAMILY PLOT is certainly more obscure and therefore a little harder to find on streaming services. So glad those interested in watching now have a place to see it.

    1. Paul so glad you were able to find the time to listen!

      BTW, in my head canon FAMILY PLOT is Hich’s last movie. However my head is always in a frenzy like state. So we’re really not that far removed. 🙂

  6. Looking forward to this show! I thought for sure the impetus was “Orson Welles last film was as Unicron in Transformers”.

    I just saw Family Plot within the last 6 months. As you say, it was missing the suspense hook of other Hitch films. I had my phone out throughout. Like you I thought some parts were too long and some too silly. But overall I thought it was enjoyable and certainly would watch it again if I ran into it.

    I’d certainly watch it over ‘Torn Curtain’ any time. I watch Torn Curtain when I need sleep. Better than Benadryl.

    Can’t wait to watch more.

    1. Thanks for listening Anj!

      And I can’t speak for Rob, but if the impetus for this show was NOT “Orson Welles last film was as Unicron in Transformers,” it should have been!! 🙂 🙂

  7. Anj–The whole “Orson Welles’ last film” thing is in this show’s DNA as well.

    And I agree–while I didn’t love FAMILY PLOT, I’d watch it over TORN CURTAIN in a new york minute.

  8. I put off listening to this episode until I could watch the film – I’ve never bothered seeking it out as it didn’t look to have the tone I want from a Hitchcock.

    I’ve still not got to it, but listened to the show anyway.. Great stuff, boys, the snippets of information are priceless. And you’ve certainly made it sound watchable.

    I hope you are indeed doing Trog. You might consider a complementary episode in season 2 on Wicked Stepmother, apparently Bette Davis’s last film. I’ve not seen it, but it sounds epic.

  9. I am personally a fan of Family Plot and would rank it in the middle tier (4/5 stars and a “like” on Letterboxd).

    I’m a bit late to the celebration for the new show (huzzah!) so I’ll just drop my capsule review of the film:

    Family Plot was Hitchcock’s last film before he became too ill to work, and it’s a cheeky romp of a thriller about a “psychic” who promises to find a rich woman’s lost heir, her con man boyfriend who actually does the work, and a couple of kidnappers, one of which is that heir. In other words, the heir has many reasons NOT to be found, and no inkling they just want to hand him a fortune, rich ground on which to sow the seeds of misunderstandings and suspense. It’s not serious enough to be one of the greats I suppose, but there’s lots to love, especially the crazy car chase at the center of the film. As exciting as it is ridiculous.

    I love that final wink.

  10. Well done gentlemen on a great show debut! I really enjoy the premise of this show as it can really spotlight some underlooked and underrated films like Family Plot. I like how you talked about the film but in the context of knowing it was Hitchcock’s last film. It was almost like having a short career retrospective centered on one film in particular.

    Scott X was great as he brought some nice trivia notes and quotes and you guys both seemed to enjoy the movie as a fun romp.

    I’m certainly looking forward to the other episodes and am already wondering what films will be chosen! The Orson Welles/Unicron was already mentioned so I’m hoping maybe Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut or Connery’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

    Anyways, this was a fun podcast and I’m looking forward to more! Keep up the great work!

    P.S. – In my head, I thought this was going to be like the House of Franklinstein and cover a movie and a comic. That comic being The Fade Out (set in the golden age of Hollywood) by Brubaker and Phillips. Have you read that series?

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