Alfred Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock Presents- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice 1961

Diana Dors & David Stewart
Diana Dors & David Stewart

Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

If you’re familiar with the movie Berserk from 1967, The Sorcerer Apprentice should look at least somewhat familiar to you. Diana Dors, is in both films. In Berserk, she plays an assistant to a magician at a circus. In The Sorcerer Apprentice she plays an assistant to a magician at a carnival. In Berserk, she thinks she knows who the killer is. In The Sorcerer, she puts the killer up to killing her husband. In neither film is Diana an angel, she just looks like one in both films. As well as anything else she’s ever done, but that is one of the reasons why she was a great actress. Because she could fool people with her hot baby-face looks and play the killer, or a killer angel as well as it can be played. If you’re familiar with the movie The Unholy Wife, where she tries to frame her husband for killing his best friend, you should have an idea what I’m talking about here.

The Sorcerer Apprentice, looks very entertaining to me, but I’m not sure it is very believable. You have a sick kid (I guess) who should be back in the institution that he escaped from (no joke) who gets picked up off the street by a magician. Who picks him up in real-life and is no trick, (ha hah) who I think can tell this kid is not completely there and is told by the kid that he’s escaped from his home. And decides to take him in anyway instead of reporting him to the proper authorities. (Damn! That sounds corny.) Again Diana, is no angel, she just looks like one and can tell Hugo (the kid) likes her and is attractive to her and she’s cheating on her magical husband (lets say) the magician and wants to move on from him. And tries to put the kid up to killing her husband. The kid is at least 4-5 beers short of s six-pack and thinks this would be fun or something.

You would think this couple having seen this kid and figuring out that he’s not completely there and needs close supervision (to put it mildly) and are less qualified to take care of kids than the guy who freaks out when he finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant with his baby and ditches her, that they could give him a bite to eat, find out where he came from, if not turn him in and move on. But instead they keep him around even though they are too busy to take care of him and probably don’t want to either. But no! That could be too boring for the great Alfred Hitchcock. Instead of making it a boring everyday story, they make a killer out of this gorgeous baby-face wife whose cheating on her husband with a high-wire artist (whose probably scared of heights) and this unfortunate boy. Who perhaps nobody wants to take care of him and has really no one who loves him. Just one example of why Alfred Hitchcock was such a great director.

Dejan Jancovic: Masters of Cinema 1972: Pia Lindstrom Interviewing Alfred Hitchcock

Master of Cinema
Master of Cinema

Source: Dejan Jancovic: Masters of Cinema 1972: Pia Lindstrom Interviewing Alfred Hitchcock

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.