The San Francisco Symphony will celebrate Alfred Hitchcock movies and their music scores beginning at 8 p.m. on Halloween eve, October 30, 2013, at Davies Symphony Hall. During Hitchcock Film Week, the San Francisco Symphony will perform the scores for Hitchcock’s Psycho, The Lodger: A Tale of the London Fog, and the world premiere presentation of Vertigo’s full score performed live, in addition to excerpts from To Catch a Thief, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, and North by Northwest.
Alfred Hitchcock’s granddaughter Tere Carrubba will introduce the Psycho presentation on October 30. Hitchcock received his fifth and final Best Director Academy Award nomination for this cheaply made — but highly successful — 1960 thriller starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, and Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Janet Leigh.
Presented with live organ accompaniment on October 31, The Lodger: A Tale of the London Fog is probably Hitchcock’s best known silent film. In this 1927 suspense drama, London stage legend Ivor Novello stars as a man who may or may not be a Jack the Ripper facsimile. Organist Todd Wilson will be making his San Francisco Symphony debut "improvising an accompaniment to the film on Davies Symphony Hall’s Rufatti Organ."
Vertigo will be presented on November 1, with the San Francisco Symphony performing Bernard Herrmann’s score. Considered by some not only Alfred Hitchcock’s best film but also one of the greatest movies ever made, the San Francisco-set Vertigo is a tale of mad love/obsession starring James Stewart and Kim Novak — who was mightily pissed when she heard snippets from Herrmann’s music in Michel Hazanavicius’ eventual 2011 Best Picture Academy Award winner The Artist.
One hour before the presentation of Vertigo, producer and journalist Steven Smith, author of A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann, "will give an informal talk from the Davies Symphony Hall stage to shed light on the working relationship of Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann."
Alfred Hitchcock Film Week comes to a close with the presentation of "Hitchcock! — Greatest Hits" on November 2. None other than North by Northwest’s Eva Marie Saint — Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront (1954) — will be the evening’s host "to guide audiences through some of the most famous scenes from Hitchcock’s films, with their unforgettable scores performed live by the Orchestra."
On "Hitchcock! — Greatest Hits" night, the San Francisco Symphony will perform excerpts along with the respective clips from the following:
- To Catch a Thief (1955), with music by Lyn Murray, and starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly;
- the Dimitri Tiomkin-scored Strangers on a Train (1951), starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Robert Walker, and Dial M for Murder (1954), featuring more Tiomkin music, and starring Grace Kelly, Ray Milland, and Robert Cummings;
- and scenes from Vertigo and North by Northwest (1959), both scored by Bernard Herrmann; Eva Marie Saint stars in the latter movie, alongside suave hero Cary Grant and equally suave villain James Mason.
Joshua Gersen will be making his San Francisco Symphony debut conducting the three orchestral presentations (Psycho, Vertigo, "Hitchcock! — Greatest Hits").
Upcoming San Francisco Symphony film presentations
Upcoming San Francisco Symphony film presentations include Stanley Donen’s Singin’ in the Rain (1952), starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor; "A Night at the Oscars," described as "an evening of excerpts from Academy Award-winning films"; Charles Chaplin’s City Lights (1931), featuring Cary Grant’s future wife Virginia Cherrill; and "Fantasia in Concert," a compilation featuring "the most memorable clips from Disney’s 1940 classic and Fantasia 2000."
For more information on the San Francisco Symphony’s Alfred Hitchcock Film Week, visit the SFS website.
San Francisco Symphony and Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, and Eva Marie Saint photos via the San Francisco Symphony website.