Things To Do

In Honor of Hitchcocktober, We Rated the Filmmaker's Cameos By Laziness

Alfred Hitchcock made a cameo in nearly every one of his films, but some are lazier than others.
Alfred Hitchcock made a cameo in nearly every one of his films, but some are lazier than others. Wikimedia Commons
Halloween season is right around the corner, and so is Halloween season. That’s right, after four decades Michael Myers is still trying to kill Laurie Strode, and he’s trying again this year in the latest sequel Halloween Kills. At what point does a guy just need to find a new gig?

Thankfully, we’re getting some slightly more elevated fare too, and two North Texas theaters have a great October slate lined up for film buffs and emerging cinephiles alike. The Angelika Film Centers in Dallas and Plano have renewed their yearly “Hitchcocktober” series celebrating the works of the Master of Suspense. Whether you're seeing these films for the first time or you’ve never had a real Hitchcock theater experience before, it’ll be hard to pass up the opportunity to see these classics on the big screen where they belong.

Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t only one of the greatest directors of all time, but one of the most prolific, with 52 feature films credited to his name. His directorial hallmarks trademark each film, but if you’re ever in doubt as to whether or not you’re watching a Hitchcock movie, just look for the man himself as he pops up for a fun cameo in nearly all of his films, with some more obvious than others.

We broke down the Angelika Hitchcock selections and rated each of his cameos.


Rear Window
Why It’s Essential: Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly star in this classic murder mystery, which practically invented the “contained location thriller.” Voyeurism was a real thing, even in 1952! Catch it on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m.
Cameo Rating: 7/10. Hitchcock is just winding his clock in his apartment and seems rather bothered that he’s even in the movie.

North By Northwest
Why It’s Essential:
The film makes the clear case as to why Cary Grant is the sexiest, even when he’s running from a gun-blasting crop duster plane in the middle of a cornfield. This case of mistaken identity ends with the iconic sequence of Grant hanging off Mount Rushmore. Catch it Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.
Cameo Rating: 9/10. One of Hitchcock’s funniest cameos, where he shows up late and misses a bus. It’s two minutes in, so don’t be late getting to your seat before this one starts.

Vertigo
Why It’s Essential:
 The British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine gave Vertigo the title of “greatest film of all time” after Citizen Kane held the title for years. We can’t argue with either choice, but Vertigo is the rare film that truly captures the essence of descending into madness. Catch it on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m.
Cameo Rating: 4/10. One of Hitchcock’s best movies, one of his laziest cameos. As a guy walking back and forth with a suitcase, you could easily mistake him for any portly, middle-aged white guy.

Strangers on a Train
Why It’s Essential:
Ever wonder what Hitchcock really thinks about people? In this psychological thriller based on the book by Patricia Highsmith, he observes a pack of seemingly average train passengers, and his impressions of humanity aren’t very favorable. Catch it on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.
Cameo Rating: 1/10. The man is just loading luggage. Come on, Hitch, you could’ve had one of the crewmembers do that.

Psycho
Why It’s Essential:
Yeah, you know the shower scene, but Psycho is so much more. The creeping suspense and brilliance of Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates created one of the greatest movie villains ever, long before Michael Meyers, Chucky, Freddy Krueger or Jason. Catch it on Sunday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m.
Cameo Rating: 2/10. Blink and you’ll miss Hitchcock as Janet Leigh walks into an office. We’re giving him a bonus point here because in some of the original posters he takes up more space than his stars.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Liam Gaughan has been covering film and television since before he had a driver's license, and in addition to the Observer has been published in About.com, Schmoes Know, Taste of Cinema and The Dallas Morning News. He enjoys checking classic films off of his watchlist and working on spec scripts.