Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Origins of Wednesday lxii: Girl, 20

  I crib a title of a wickedly funny
  novel by Kingsley Amis, to embrace a
  screen illusion of unforgotten re-
  membrance to Californians of one's
  age in the 1950s. A sudden inspira-
  tion of one's mother, to take my old-
  er brother to Philadelphia to be in-
  troduced to his grandfather via the
  Super Chief, left my father and my-
  self to borrow vacation houses of 
  friends in Palm Springs and Balboa,
  to improvise a sort of holiday in
  sitù. I can just see my brother, an-
  noyed by a fish fork for the first
  time, as I remember the falling in-
  to, in a wicker basket on the Rivi-
  era, of the most thrilling face a
  boy could ever look upon in those
  days, if not still. Even now, our
  archest critics speak of the geni-
  us of Hitchcock, in so many vernac-
  ulars, for all their tortured acad-
  emicism, it can make one car-sick.

  He raised a generation of America,
  on delight to be the ungrown child.
  Neither our director, nor our men-
  tor, he is our trust officer, ad-
  ministering remittances of an es-
  tate in endless probate. We ought
  to be able, it seems upon this ump-
  teenth announcement of Oscar nom-
  inees, to imagine one of these wor-
  thies, sixty years hence, sharing
  chicken with Grace Kelly or Cary
  Grant, from a hamper which will
  shortly frame their kiss. The one
  this canny Magwitch thieved for us,
  as if expecting some future tide
  of artistically advanced maturity,
  and allowed the heart to inherit.

Alfred Hitchcock
John Michael Hayes
Robert Burks
To Catch a Thief
Paramount, 1955©

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