Alfred Hitchcock, is the master of suspense and perhaps the master of entertainment when it comes to movies. Because here’s a director who can scare the hell out of you and make you laugh hysterically in the same scene. North by Northwest from 1959 is probably the best example of this. Where you have a mystery suspense Cold War movie involving espionage and yet it is also a very funny movie. With funny sarcastic lines and characters in each scene of the movie. With people cracking jokes as they’re facing life and death consequences. Cary Grant, with the quip about he has dinner and theater plans right as he’s being kidnapped. And saying how inconvenient the kidnapping is for him.
Not sure you could put together a better comedic team when it comes to actor and director than Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock. They were like Magic and Kareem, to use an NBA basketball analogy as far as the professional chemistry that they had together especially when it came to humor. They shared the exact same off the cuff out of nowhere sense of humor where they could both make fun of practically anything. What I love about Hitchcock, is that he gave you best of everything when it came to his movies and put everything that he had to offer on a lot of those movies. North by Northwest, my favorite Hitchcock as well as my favorite movie of all-time, is a perfect example of that.
Hitchcock, gave you mystery, suspense, drama, comedy, action and even horror, in the same movie. And he seemed to be the best at all of these types of films at least when he put them all together. North by Northwest and To Catch a Thief, are both mystery suspense movies and yet they are also both very funny. With funny people and a lot of funny lines, funny scenes and with Cary Grant, comedic improvising. And maybe Hitchcock is where I get a lot of my humor as well. He wanted to scare people and then would use humor and charm, perhaps so he wouldn’t lose his audience, but also because that is exactly how he was personally. If you listen to him narrate his TV series The Alfred Hitchcock Hour you see him almost doing standup as his talks about his shows. Hitchcock, is the master of suspense thriller, but he’s also one of the best comedic directors of all-time as well.
Dejean Jancovic: Alfred Hitchcock- Masters of Cinema