Friday, November 14, 2014

Good Evening, The Big Picture: Hitchcock! at the Hollywood Bowl

This past weekend (now a couple of months ago) I had the great pleasure of attending The Big Picture: Hitchcock! extravaganza at the Hollywood Bowl.  This was actually my first visit to the Hollywood Bowl after living in Los Angeles off and on for about 12 years.  I now can't believe that I had never been there before and certainly plan to attend more concerts and events there.  It is such a great venue and they offer such interesting programs.

I decided to go to the concert the day of the event, Sunday, August, 31st.  I had hemmed and hawed about it for a couple of days before and then decided to go for it.  I was lucky enough to have lunch with a very well informed friend who had been to the Bowl numerous times and he advised me to bring a blanket, sweatshirt, water and snacks.  I, of course took his sage advice.

Next, came the decision of where to park and whether or not to take advantage of the shuttles.  I decided to park at the Hollywood and Highland structure and then take the shuttle up the hill.  It worked out pretty nicely.  While lugging my things on the shuttle and to my seat I was a little worried that I may have over-packed, but my friend did not steer me wrong.  The blanket came in very handy on the benches, although you could rent a cushion for $1.  It didn't get quite cold enough for the sweatshirt, but I could imagine that on another night it would be necessary and how can you go wrong with snacks?

It was really exciting to soak in this venue, I didn't even mind the trek up the hill to get to my seat, there was something so cool about ascending the hill and then seeing the actual half dome, really amazing.  I was very lucky and ended up with an extremely centered seat, although I have a feeling that any seat in the venue is phenomenal.

Before the concert began they kept the profile of Hitch up on the center screen (as you can see below).  It was really cool to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign past the dome waiting for the show to begin.

While waiting for the concert to begin I spoke to a few people seated around me, one man asked me what my favorite Hitchcock movie was, which is always a tough questions.  I also had a chance to look over the program, which was sold for also $1, quite reasonable prices for this day and age.

Before too long the show began with this:

It was lovely to get an introduction from Hitch himself.  After the intro Eva Marie Saint graced us with her presence and became our emcee/teacher/stand-up comedienne/hostess with the mostest for the evening.  She was so charming and delightful.  It's hard to believe that she turned 90 this year, she was very sharp and witty, really kept the evening moving nicely.

Since this was the best picture I could get of her that night I'm also sharing one of my pictures from the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival where she intro'd On the Waterfront. And a picture from the First TCM Classic Film Festival where she and Martin Landau were interviewed before North by Northwest.

She gave short introductions before each clip/performance.  Her intros were a combination of interesting information and personal stories.  For example, she told us that while filming North by Northwest, Hitch was unhappy with her wardrobe in the movie.  So he took her on a little shopping spree at Bergdof Goodman in New York City and when she saw the beautiful black dress with the red roses she said she liked it and Hitchcock immediately had them wrap it up.  From then on she called him Sugar Daddy.

That is a lovely dress
During one of her introductions she said that it felt like this was a masterclass and she was so right, how often to you get to focus so specifically on the music in a movie?  And have it be performed by a stellar orchestra.  She also had some very hilarious moments, when she was introducing a montage of romance themes she  introduced To Catch a Thief and accidentally said, "starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint."  She then started laughing to herself and declared that it was a very Freudian slip.

Before the Foreign Correspondent clip it was revealed that the conductor for the evening, David Newman's father, Alfred Newman was the composer of the musical score for the film! What a fun connection. When the night came to an end it was hard to believe that they didn't play the haunting, shrill, frightening strings from Psycho.  There was then an encore and Eva Marie suggested that all of us stay away from our showers for the next day or so.

The whole event was wonderful and I'm so glad that this was my first experience with the Hollywood Bowl.  It was a lovely blend of music, film clips and a great opportunity to see Eva Marie Saint.  And it was particularly creepy to see the strings from Psycho played in person.  Since then I've been back for the Simpsons concert there.  I apologize for the delay, oh and you can also check out Laura's post about the event.


  1. Thanks for sharing your memories of the concert. I've been curious to know what it's like to attend a concert at the Bowl. I want your TCM sweatshirt!

  2. Thanks so much for the comment KC. I highly recommend attending a concert there if given the chance. I love that TCM sweatshirt, it's one of my favorite film festival related purchases

  3. This event was extremely great. I had attended this show with my family. We enjoyed a lot there. You know usually there are various events at the local Hollywood venues. I love to attend those shows with my love ones!