The Stanford Theatre


And Other Masters of Suspense

plus, Frankenstein at 200

Alfred Hitchcock knew bette than any other director how to manipulate the compulsive emotions of an audience in a darkened theatre. The movies of the Master of Suspense remain among the most popular ever made.

The Stanford Theatre is dedicated to bringing back the movie-going experience of Hollywood's Golden Age. It is one of the few places where you can still watch movies on a big screen projected the way they were intended — in 35mm prints. Great classic films were not made to be watched on a video screen in your living room. They depend on a larger-than-life image, and the shared reactions of a real audience.

The Stanford Theatre first opened in June of 1925. For decades nearly every important Hollywood picture played there on its first release. The people of Palo Alto saw them all for the very first time in this theatre.

In 1987 the Packard Foundation bought the theatre and restored it to its original condition. It quickly became America's most popular classic movie house. More people saw Casablanca there on its 50th anniverary in 1992 than at any other theatre in America.

The non-profit Stanford Theatre Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and public exhibition of films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. This means classic movies in a classic movie palace, complete with Wurlitzer organ rising from the orchestra pit every night before and after the 7:30 show, or providing the accompaniment to “silent” films.

Note: This is an unofficial posting of the Stanford Theatre schedules, from published information. This site is in no way connected with the Stanford Theatre nor the Stanford Theatre Foundation. Please check out the official site at in case this schedule isn't quite up-to-date! Programs are subject to change. For information, call (650) 324-3700.

(Showtimes in parentheses are for the Saturday and Sunday screenings.)

Apr 2 – 5: closed

April 6 – 8:
"With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas. Lisbon became the great embarkation point. But not everybody could get to Lisbon directly; and so, a tortuous, round-about refugee trail sprang up: Paris to Marseilles, across the Mediterranean to Oran, then by train, or auto, or foot, across the rim of Africa to Casablanca in French Morocco. Here the fortunate ones, through money, or influence, or luck, might obtain exit visas and scurry to Lisbon, and from Lisbon to the New World. But the others wait in Casablanca... and wait... and wait... and wait."
Casablanca (1942) (3:30), 7:30
d Michael Curtiz. w Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, from the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett & Joan Alison. m Max Steiner. ph Arthur Edeson. Warner Bros. 102 min.

Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Konrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, S. Z. Sakall, Madeline Le Beau, Dooley Wilson, Joy Page, John Qualen, Leonid Kinsky, Helmut Dantine, Curt Bois, Marcel Dalio, Corinna Mura, Ludwig Stossel, Ilka Gruning, Charles La Torre, Frank Puglia, Dan Seymour.

Everybody comes to Rick's café — exiles from the Nazis, corrupt officials, and Ilsa Lund, the great lost love of Rick's life.

We can debate whether Casablanca is the best movie ever made. It may be. Certainly few other movies are so universally recognized as expressing the deepest truths about human life — and are also so much fun.

As time goes by, it becomes increasingly unlikely that anyone will ever make a movie better than Casablanca. On its 50th anniversary in 1992, more people saw Casablanca at the Stanford Theatre than anywhere else in the world.

"Of all the movie theatres in all the towns in all the world, they walk into ours."

Casablanca has been the most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 115,664 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 24, 1943; last played Sep 2017

Gaslight (1944) 5:25, 9:25
d George Cukor. w John Van Druten, Walter Reisch, John L. Barderston, from the play by Patrick Hamilton. ph Joseph Ruttenberg. m Bronislau Kaper. MGM. 114 min.

Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Dame May Whitty, Barbara Everest, Angela Lansbury, Edmund Breon, Halliwell Hobbes.

In this moody and atmospheric Victorian melodrama, a young wife is slowly driven insane by her charming but treacherous husband.

Ingrid Bergman won her first Academy Award for her emotional performance, and 18-year-old Angela Lansbury made her film debut as the insolent maid.

"It's good scary fun all the way." Pauline Kael

first played at the Stanford Theatre July 23, 1944; last played Mar 1999

April 9 – 10: closed

April 11 – 12:
Gaslight (1940) 7:30
d Thorold Dickinson. w A.R. Rawlinson, Bridget Boland, from the play by Patrick Hamilton. ph Bernard Knowles. m Richard Addinsell. British National. 88 min.

Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard, Frank Pettingell, Cathleen Cordell, Robert Newton, Jimmy Hanley, Minnie Rayner, Marie Wright.

A murderer tries to drive his wife insane while searching for the missing loot in a house where he committed a crime 15 years earlier.

Anton Walbrook is all malevolent charm as the scheming husband. Many critics prefer this original British version to the U.S. remake with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 30, 1993; last played Apr 2009

The Uninvited (1944) 5:30, 9:05
d Lewis Allen. w Dodie Smith, from the novel Uneasy Freehold by Dorothy Macardle. ph Charles Lang. m Victor Young. Paramount. 98 min.

Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Gail Russell, Donald Crisp, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Dorothy Stickney, Barbara Everest, Alan Napier.

A composer and his sister impulsively move into a cliffside mansion, despite warnings that it is haunted.

first played at the Stanford Theatre July 9, 1944; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation

April 13 – 15:
"We can never go back to Manderley again. That much is certain. But sometimes, in my dreams, I do go back to the strange days of my life which began for me in the south of France..."
Rebecca (1940) (3:40), 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Robert E. Sherwood and Joan Harrison, from the novel by Daphne du Maurier. ph George Barnes. m Franz Waxman. Selznick International. 130 min.

Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Gladys Cooper, Florence Bates, Reginald Denny, C. Aubrey Smith, Melville Cooper, Leo G. Carroll, Leonard Carey, Philip Winter, Edward Fielding, Forrester Harvey, Lumsden Hare.

Max de Winter brings his young new wife home, but the new mistress of Manderley is haunted by the memory of the mysterious Rebecca and the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danver.

Best Picture of 1940 and undoubtedly one of the greatest romantic films ever made. David O. Selznick brought Alfred Hitchcock to Hollywood under contract to direct four pictures. Both men were already masters of their trade, but their collaboration yielded this timeless masterpiece, which combines the distinct genius of both. Selznick fought to cast little-known Joan Fontaine for what was her finest performance.

Waxman's music insidiously suggests the ghostly presence of the dead Rebecca. The score employs a novachord, an early electronic keyboard instrument.

Hichcock's cameo appearance: walking by a telephone booth.

Rebecca has been the seventeenth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 39,281 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 26, 1940; last played Mar 2016

Sabotage (1936) 6:00, 9:50
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Charles Bennett, Ian Hay, Alma Reville, Helen Simpson, E.V.H. Emmett, based on the novel The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. ph Bernard Knowles. m Louis Levy. Gaumont. 76 min.

Sylvia Sidney, Oscar Homolka, John Loder, Desmond Tester, Joyce Barbour, Matthew Boulton, S.J. Warmington, William Dewhurst, Austin Trevor, Torin Thatcher.

The Verlocs manage a small movie theater in London. Mr. Verloc, however, moonlights as an anarchist bomber and saboteur, something his wife doesn't realize until too late.

Compelling and stark, this film was banned in some countries as a textbook on terrorism. It is actually based on Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, but the title had to be changed to avoid confusion with Hitchcock's previous film.

"It may be just about the best of his English thrillers." Pauline Kael

first played at the Stanford Theatre Apr 23, 1990; last played Aug 2007

April 16 – 17: closed

April 18 – 19:
Ministry of Fear (1944) 7:30
d Fritz Lang. w Seton I. Miller, from the novel by Graham Greene. ph Henry Sharp. m Victor Young. Paramount. 85 min.

Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, Carl Esmond, Hillary Brooke, Dan Duryea.

In this Hitchcockian espionage thriller, mental patient Ray Milland is released from the asylum and becomes involved with Nazi spies.

first played at the Stanford Theatre May 2, 1945; last played Nov 2010

Journey Into Fear (1942) 6:10, 9:10
d Norman Foster, (Orson Welles). w Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, from the novel by Eric Ambler. ph Karl Strus. m Roy Webb. RKO. 71 min.

Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio, Orson Welles, Ruth Warrick, Agnes Moorehead, Jack Durant, Everett Sloane, Eustace Wyatt, Frank Readick, Edgar Barrier, Jack Moss.

On his return to the US, a man finds himself pursued by murderous Nazi agents. He flees to a ship, only to discover that he's been followed.

first played at the Stanford Theatre July 14, 1943; last played Mar 2003

April 20 – 22:
"Oh, what a terrible wedding night!"
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) (4:40), 7:30
d James Whale. w William Hurlbut. ph John J. Mescall. m Franz Waxman. Universal. 75 min.

Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Ernest Thesiger, Gavin Gordon, Douglas Walton, Una O'Connor, E.E. Clive, Lucien Prival, O.P. Heggie, Dwight Frye.

Further adventures of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Having survived the fire that destroyed the laboratory, the Monster demands that the doctor create him a mate.

Hollywood's supreme masterpiece of the horror genre, written and directed with style and wit, and with striking expressionistic sets. The thrillingly bizarre scene of Elsa Lanchester's birth as the Bride is a supreme triumph of Hollywood fantasy.

Franz Waxman's outstanding music, his first Hollywood score, was essential to the success of this remarkable film and helps elevate it far above its genre.

"Probably the best of the man-made monster genre from any period." William K. Everson

"One of the oddest and most memorable films ever made in America." Baseline Movie Guide

first played at the Stanford Theatre May 11, 1935; last played Mar 2009

Frankenstein (1931) 6:05, 8:55
d James Whale. w Garrett Fort, Francis Edwards Faragoh, from the novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecroft Shelley. ph Arthur Edeson. Universal. 70 min.

Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Edward Van Sloan, Dwight Frye, Lionel Belmore, Marilyn Harris.

Dr. Frankenstein creates his famous monster and launches Universal on its trademark genre.

Boris Karloff's sympathetic portrayal of the Frankenstein Monster brought him instant stardom (after having played nearly 70 secondary roles).

first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 27, 1931; last played Oct 2012

April 23 – 24: closed

April 25 – 26:
The Night of the Hunter (1955) 7:30
d Charles Laughton. w James Agee, from the novel by Davis Grubb. ph Stanley Cortez. m Walter Schumann. United Artists. 93 min.

Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, Don Beddoe, Evelyn Varden, Peter Graves, James Gleason.

A psychopathic "preacher" insinuates himself into the lives of a young widow and her two children.

"One of the most frightening movies ever made." Pauline Kael

first played at the Stanford Theatre June 19, 1998; last played June 1998

The Window (1949) 6:05, 9:15
d Ted Tetzlaff. w Mel Dinelli. ph Robert de Grasse, William Steiner. m Roy Webb. RKO. 73 min.

Barbara Hale, Bobby Driscoll, Arthur Kennedy, Paul Stewart, Ruth Roman, Anthony Ross.

A young boy witnesses a murder, but because of his penchant for telling lies, no one will believe him. Except for the murderer...

first played at the Stanford Theatre June 30, 1949; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation

April 27 – 29:
"No, no, no reading up, I like you just as you are, Mr. Jones. What Europe needs is a fresh unused mind."
Foreign Correspondent (1940) 3:45, 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Charles Bennett, Joan Harrison, James Hilton, and Robert Benchley, from the novel Personal History by Vincent Sheean. ph Rudolph Maté. m Alfred Newman. United Artists. 120 min.

Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, Albert Basserman, Edmund Gwenn, George Sanders, Eduardo Cianelli, Robert Benchley, Harry Davenport, Martin Kosleck, Barbara Pepper, Eddie Conrad, Charles Wagenheim.

Another four-star Hitchcock masterpiece, with an American reporter stumbling upon a Nazi espionage ring. The film contains a remarkable series of set-pieces, including the Dutch windmill rotating backwards.

"The picture was pure fantasy, and as you know, in my fantasies, plausability is not allowed to rear its ugly head." Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock passes Joel McCrea on the street.

Foreign Correspondent has been the fiftieth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 20,508 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 27, 1940; last played Mar 2016

"There are 20 million women in this island, and I've got to be chained to you."
The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935) 5:55, 9:40
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Charles Bennett, Alma Reville, Ian Hay, based on the novel by John Buchan. ph Bernard Knowles. m Louis Levy. Gaumont. 85 min.

Madeleine Carroll, Robert Donat, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle, Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie, Helen Haye, Wylie Watson, Frank Cellier, Peggy Simpson.

When a woman stumbles into his room with a knife in her back, a Canadian vacationing in London finds himself a police suspect. He has only one clue to clear himself: find the secret of the 39 steps. Seeking to prove his innocence, he travels to Scotland and becomes entangled with a spy ring and — even better — Madeleine Carroll.

This film, remarkable for its humor and suspense, captivated audiences everywhere.

"Simply one of the best films of its genre" Baseline Movie Guide

The Thirty-Nine Steps has been the forty-first most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 23,322 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 4, 1935; last played Mar 2016

April 30 – May 1: closed

May 2 – 3:
"One — Eight — Nine"
The Spiral Staircase (1946) 7:30
d Robert Siodmak. w Mel Dinelli, based on the novel Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White. ph Nicholas Musuraca. m Roy Webb. Vanguard. 83 min.

Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore, Kent Smith, Rhonda Fleming, Gordon Oliver, Elsa Lanchester, Sara Allgood, Rhys Williams, James Bell.

Eerie atmospheric chiller about a young mute woman who catches the eye of a psychopathic killer.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 20, 1946; last played June 2010

On Dangerous Ground (1952) 5:55, 9:05
d Nicholas Ray. w A. I. Bezzerides, from the novel by George Butler. ph George E. Diskant. m Bernard Herrmann. RKO. 82 min.

Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond.

A New York cop has a harsh lonely life, but things look up when he is sent out of town and meets the blind sister of the killer he is pursuing.

As you would expect, the Bernard Herrmann score is masterful.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 18, 1952; last played Feb 2003

May 4 – 6:
"He dislikes you. But his criticism of your talents wouldn't go that far — to imagine that you are married to an American agent. You are protected by the enormity of your stupidity."
Notorious (1946) (3:30), 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Ben Hecht. ph Ted Tetzlaff. m Roy Webb RKO. 101 min.

Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Louis Calhern, Leopoldine Konstantin, Reinhold Schunzel, Moroni Olsen, Ivan Triesault, Alexis Minotis.

U.S. agent Cary Grant enlists the help of notorious party girl Ingrid Bergman to infiltrate a ring of Nazis in South America.

Notorious is without doubt one of the supreme creations of Hollywood's golden age. Many persons (including Truffaut) regard it as Hitchcock's greatest film, and it is a leading candidate for top rank among the films of Ingrid Bergman and of Cary Grant. In any case, it is one of the most popular films at the Stanford Theatre (topped only by Casablanca, Roman Holiday, and Sabrina).

Notorious has been the fourth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 67,577 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 5, 1947; last played Feb 2016

Spellbound (1945) 5:25, 9:25
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Ben Hecht, Angus MacPhail, from the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes by Francis Beeding. ph George Barnes. m Miklós Rózsa. David Selznick. 111 min.

Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Leo G. Carroll, Michael Chekhov, Rhonda Fleming, John Emery, Norman Lloyd, Steve Geray.

A psychiatrist (Ingrid Bergman) falls in love with the new head of a mental hospital (Gregory Peck), then must try to help him when she discovers he is an amnesiac imposter and quite possibly a murderer as well.

Rozsa's celebrated score introduced the theremin, an electronic instrument with an unfamiliar, surrealist quality that seems to float up out of the subconscious mind, especially in the dream sequences (designed by Salvador Dali).

Spellbound has been the eightieth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 14,422 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 3, 1946; last played Sep 2009

May 7 – 8: closed

May 9 – 10:
Niagara (1953) 7:30
d Henry Hathaway. w Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch. ph Joe MacDonald. m Sol Kaplan. 20th Century-Fox. 92 min.

Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Marilyn Monroe, Don Wilson, Casey Adams.

In this noir-ish suspense film (beautifully shot on location), a scheming wife plots the demise of her obsessive, neurotic husband while they vacation at Niagara Falls.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 19, 1953; last played May 2013

"What did I do to deserve you?"
Sudden Fear (1952) 5:30, 9:15
d David Miller. w Lenore Coffee, Robert Smith. ph Charles Lang. m Elmer Bernstein. RKO. 111 min.

Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame, Bruce Bennett, Mike Connors.

A successful playwright marries an aspiring actor. They seem happy, but then Gloria Grahame shows up...

first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 19, 1952; last played Oct 2010

May 11 – 13:
"We're not just an uncle and a niece. It's something else. I know you. I know you don't tell people a lot of things. I don't either. I have a feeling that inside you there's something nobody knows about… something secret and wonderful. I'll find it out."
Shadow of a Doubt (1943) (3:35), 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson & Alma Reville, from a story by Gordon McDonell. ph Joe Valentine. m Dimitri Tiomkin. Universal. 108 min.

Joseph Cotton, Teresa Wright, Hume Cronyn, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collings, Henry Travers, Edna May Wonacutt, Wallace Ford.

A young woman gradually discovers the shocking truth: that her charming visiting uncle may be the notorious Merry Widow murderer.

The film was shot on location in Santa Rosa (highly unusual for 1943). The younger daughter is played by a Santa Rosa girl whose father ran the local grocery store. Thornton Wilder's screenplay captures the flavor of small-town America.

Tiomkin's score is great fun, twisting the "Merry Widow Waltz" into a phantasmagoria.

Hitchcock claimed this was his favorite.

Hitchcock (cameo appearance as a bridge player on the train):

He's a killer with an ideal; he's one of those murderers who feel that they have a mission to destroy. It's quite possible that those widows deserved what they got, but it certainly wasn't his job to do it. There is a moral judgement in the film... Uncle Charlie loved his niece, but not as much as she loved him. And yet she has to destroy him. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: `You destroy the thing you love.'

Shadow of a Doubt has been the thirty-eighth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 24,125 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 7, 1992; last played Oct 2016

"I beg your pardon — but aren't you Guy Haines?"
Strangers on a Train (1951)
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Raymond Chandler, Czenzi Ormonde, Whitfield Cook, from the novel by Patricia Highsmith. ph Robert Burks. m Dimitri Tiomkin. Warner Bros. 101 min.

Robert Walker, Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock, Marian Lorne, Howard St. John, Jonathan Hale, Laura Elliott, John Brown.

In one of Hitchcock's most fascinating films, a sympathetic psychopath (Robert Walker) ensnares a champion tennis player (Farley Granger) into a murder pact.

This film is noteworthy for Robert Walker's remarkably subtle portrayal of the demonic Bruno, who is one of Hitchcock's greatest creations.

Tiomkin's score is especially effective in the famous tennis match, alternating the musical themes of the two characters.

"One of the best things... is the explosion, with the follow-shots on feet going one way and then the other. There are also the crisscrossing rails. There's a sort of symbolic effect in the way they meet and separate." - François Truffaut

"A key exposition of the madman hero." David Thomson

Cameo appearance boarding train with double bass.

Strangers On a Train has been the thirty-fourth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 25,278 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 8, 1951; last played Apr 2016

May 14 – 15: closed

May 16 – 17:
"I hope we have a lot of boys, and we can name them all after you!"
Charade (1963) 7:30
d Stanley Donen. w Peter Stone, from the story The Unsuspecting Wife by Peter Stone and Marc Behm. ph Charles Lang, jr.. m Henry Mancini. Universal-International. 113 min.

Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, George Kennedy, Ned Glass, Jacques Marin, Paul Bonifas, Dominique Minot.

A woman (Audrey Hepburn) returns from a trip to discover her home has been ransacked, her husband has been murdered, and the killers are now after her. Cary Grant is the mystery man who shows up to assist her, but can she trust him?

Audrey Hepburn's only movie with Cary Grant was this Hitchcock-inspired blend of suspense, comedy, and romance, made in Paris.

Charade has been the thirtieth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 27,158 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 3, 1992; last played Nov 2009

Arabesque (1966) 5:30, 9:35
d Stanley Donen. w Julian Mitchell, Stanley Price, Pierre Martin, from the novel The Cipher by Gordon Cotler. ph Christopher Challis. m Henry Mancini. Universal. 106 min.

Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel, Kieron Moore, Carl Duering, John Merivale, Duncan Lamont.

A professor becomes involved with spies and an international murder plot. Along the way, he is helped by the mysterious Sophia Loren, but can he trust her?

This was director Donen's follow-up to Charade, with gorgeous locations, music by Henry Mancini, and a wonderful lead actress. Unfortunately, leading man Peck is awkward and uncomfortable in a role meant for Cary Grant; one finds oneself missing the latter's self-assured exasperation ("Every time I try to listen to you someone either hits me over the head or tries to vaccinate me!").

first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation

May 18 – 20:
"I look up, I look down. I look up. I look down. There's nothin' to it."
Vertigo (1958) (3:10), 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Alec Coppel & Samuel Taylor, from the novel D'entre les morts by Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac. ph Robert Burks. m Bernard Herrmann. Paramount. 128 min.

James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey, Ellen Corby, Konstantin Shayne, Lee Patrick, Paul Bryar, Margaret Brayton.

A San Francisco man engages a detective to investigate his wife's unusual fantasy that she comes from a different time. Widely regarded as Hitchcock's greatest masterpiece, Vertigo is a film that deserves to be seen over and over. Here is another chance!

Despite Hitchcock's outspoken reservations about her, Kim Novak gave one of the greatest performances in the history of the cinema.

The film was photographed in and near San Francisco. If you are inspired to make a pilgrimage to San Juan Bautista, you will discover that the actual mission does not have a tower.

"That whole erotic aspect of the picture is fascinating... when Stewart hauled Kim Novak out of the water... he takes her to his place, where we find her asleep in his bed. As she gradually comes to, there's an implication, though it's not specifically stated, that he's probably taken the girl's clothes off and has seen her in the nude. The rest of that scene is superb, as Kim Novak walks around with her toes sticking out of his bathrobe and then settles down by the fire, with Stewart pacing back and forth behind her." Truffaut

"So it is a masterpiece and an endless mystery — a love story, yet a hate story, too… If you are moved by this film, you are a creature of cinema." David Thomson

Hitchcock makes his cameo appearance crossing the street.

Vertigo has been the sixth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 53,569 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre June 15, 1958; last played Apr 2016

"They talk about flat-footed policemen. May the saints protect us from the gifted amateur."
Dial "M" for Murder (1954) 5:30, 9:50
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Frederick Knott, from his play. ph Robert Burks. m Dimitri Tiomkin. Warner Bros. 105 min.

Ray Milland, John Williams, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, Anthony Dawson.

A man plots to have his wealthy wife killed, but when his plan backfires he frames her.

"I should mention that this is one of the pictures I see over and over again. I enjoy it more every time I see it. Basically it's a dialogue picture, but the cutting, the rhythm, and the direction of the players are so polished that one listens to each sentence religiously. It isn't all that easy to command the audience's undivided attention for a continuous dialogue. I suspect that here again the real achievement is that something very difficult has been carried out in a way that makes it seem quite easy." Truffaut

Cameo appearance in a college photo on wall.

Dial "M" for Murder has been the thirty-sixth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 24,724 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 14, 1992; last played Mar 2016

May 21 – 22: closed

May 23 – 24:
Cape Fear (1962) 7:30
d J. Lee Thompson. w James R. WEebb, from the novel The Executioners by John D. MacDonald ph Sam Leavitt. m Bernard Herrmann. Universal-Intl. 106 min.

Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Martin Balsam, Lori Martin, Jack Kruschen, Telly Savalas, Barrie Chase.

Robert Mitchum is terrifying as an ex-convict who stalks the family of the man (Gregory Peck) who sent him to prison.

first showing at the Stanford Theatre

The Desperate Hours (1955) 5:25, 9:30
d William Wyler. w Joseph Hayes, from his novel and play. ph Lee Garmes. m Gail Kubik. Paramount. 112 min.

Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Arthur Kennedy, Martha Scott, Dewey Martin, Gig Young, Mary Murphy, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton, Alan Reed, Bert Freed, Ray Collins, Whit Bissell, Ray Teal, Michael Moore, Don Haggerty, Ric Roman, Pat Flaherty, Beverly Garland, Louis Lettieri, Ann Doran, Walter Baldwin.

In a role recalling The Petrified Forest, Bogart leads a trio of escaped convicts who hide out from the law in the home of respectable Fredric March and his family.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 16, 1955; last played Jan 1998

May 25 – 27:
"Well, it's better than anything we have back in Portland, Oregon."
To Catch a Thief (1955) (3:30), 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w John Michael Hayes. ph Robert Burks. m Lyn Murray. Paramount. 103 min.

Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber, Jean Martinelli, Georgette Anys, Roland Lessaffre, René Blancard.

Cary Grant plays a retired cat-burglar who is suspected of a series of jewel thefts committed by a copy-cat.

More romantic comedy than suspense thriller, the film was made on location on the French Riviera, where Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier.

"Grace Kelly actually looks alive, and she's sexier than she is in anything else." Pauline Kael

"Sex on the screen should be suspenseful, I feel. If sex is too blatant or obvious, there's no suspense." Hitchcock

Hitchcock's cameo appearance is on a bus, next to Cary Grant.

To Catch a Thief has been the seventh most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 48,807 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 14, 1955; last played Mar 2016

"That's a secret private world you're looking into out there. People do a lot of things in private they couldn't possibly explain in public."
Rear Window (1954) 5:25, 9:25
d Alfred Hitchcock. w John Michael Hayes, from the novel It Had to be Murder by Cornell Woolrich. ph Robert Burks. m Franz Waxman. Paramount. 112 min.

James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn, Ross Bagdasarian, Georgine Darcy, Sara Berner, Frank Cady.

A reporter confined to his apartment with a broken leg passes his time watching the neighbors from his rear window.

"To my mind, Rear Window is probably your very best screenplay in all respects: the construction, the unity of inspiration, the wealth of details." Truffaut

"He's a real Peeping Tom. [A critic] complained that Rear Window was a horrible film because the hero spent all of his time peeping out of the window. What's so horrible about that? Sure, he's a snooper, but aren't we all?" Hitchcock

"We're all voyeurs to some extent, if only when we see an intimate film. And James Stewart is exactly in the position of a spectator looking at a movie." Truffaut

Cameo appearance winding a clock.

Rear Window has been the twelfth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 46,012 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 19, 1987; last played Apr 2016

May 28 – 29: closed

May 30 – 31:
"Scandal, murder, insanity, suicide. The history of Hill House was ideal."
The Haunting (1963) 7:30
d Robert Wise. w Nelson Gidding, from the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. ph Davis Boulton. m Humphrey Searle. MGM. 112 min.

Richard Johnson, Claire Bloom, Russ Tamblyn, Julie Harris, Lois Maxwell, Valentine Dyall.

A group of psychic investigators (and one skeptic) arrive at Hill House to study the things that go bump in the night. Genuinely and unrelentingly frightening. Do not see this one alone!

first showing at the Stanford Theatre

The Innocents (1961) 5:40, 9:35
d Jack Clayton. w William Archibald, Truman Capote. ph Freddie Francis. m Georges Auric. 20th Century-Fox. 100 min.

Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin.

In this elegant and suspenseful Gothic chiller (based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James) Deborah Kerr is hired as a governess by Michael Redgrave to look after his niece and nephew, since he is frequently absent. The house is dark and spooky, the children's behavior becomes increasingly unsettling, and then there are the rumors about the now-deceased groundskeeper and the previous governess.

"The best ghost movie I've ever seen..." Pauline Kael

first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 9, 1962; last played Feb 2017

June 1 – 3:
"Tell me, what do you do — besides lure men to their doom on the Twentieth Century Limited?"
North by Northwest (1959) (3:15), 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Ernest Lehman. ph Robert Burks. m Bernard Herrmann. MGM. 136 min.

Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll, Philip Ober, Joseph Hutchinson, Martin Landau, Adam Williams, Edward Platt, Robert Ellenstein, Les Tremayne.

In Hitchcock's most successful blending of romance and suspense, and one of Hollywood's most enduring classics, mild-mannered advertising executive Cary Grant answers the wrong page one afternoon and finds himself embroiled with spies, murderers, the FBI, and Eva Marie Saint — which only gives Hitchcock the chance to display some of his most extravagant fantasies, such as the crop dusting scene and the Mt. Rushmore climax.

"Cinema, approached in this way, becomes a truly abstract art, like music... It's obvious that the fantasy of the absurd is a key ingredient in your film-making formula." François Truffaut

"The fact is I practice absurdity quite religiously." Hitchcock

"Since that [crop-dusting] scene doesn't move the action forward, it's the kind of concept that would simply never occur to a screenwriter; only a director could dream up an idea like that." Truffaut

Hitchcock appears crossing the street.

North by Northwest has been the eleventh most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 46,518 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 24, 1990; last played Apr 2016

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) 5:45, 10:00
d Alfred Hitchcock. w John Michael Hayes, Angus Macphail, based on a story by Charles Bennett and D.B. Wyndham-Lewis. ph Robert Burks. m Bernard Herrmann. Paramount. 120 min.

James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie, Bernard Miles, Ralph Truman, Daniel Gelin, Mogens Wieth, Alan Mowbray, Hillary Brooke, Christopher Olsen, Reggie Nalder, Richard Wattis, Noel Willman, Alix Talton, Yves Brainville, Carolyn Jones.

When a doctor on vacation in Morocco (Stewart, in his third Hitchcock film) accidentally hears a secret message, his son is kidnapped to ensure his silence. This is a remake of Hitchcock's 1934 British film with the same title and basic story, and the famous suspenseful scene in Albert Hall where a murder is planned to coincide with a cymbal crash during a concert.

Doris Day sings the Oscar-winning Que sera, sera.

"The reason why the cantata record is played twice is to prevent any confusion in the viewer's mind about the events that are to follow... It was also important that the public be able not only to recognize the sound of the cymbals but to anticipate it in their minds. Knowing what to expect, they wait for it to happen. This conditioning of the viewer is essential to the build-up of suspense." Hitchcock

Cameo appearance from the back, watching Arab acrobats.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) has been the sixty-third most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 18,119 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre June 14, 1956; last played Mar 2013

June 4 – 5: closed

June 6 – 7:
The Wages of Fear [Le salaire de la peur] (1953)
d Henri-Georges Clouzot. w Henri-Georges Clouzot & Jerome, Geronimi, from the novel by Georges Arnaud. ph Armand Thirard. m Georges Auric. Filmsonor. 148 min.

Yves Montand, Folco Lulli, Peter Van Eyck, Charles Vanel, Vera Clouzot, William Tubbs, Dario Moreno.

A group of misfits volunteers to drive truckloads of nitroglycerine through the treacherous mountains of South America. Fasten your seatbelts, this one is not for the faint of heart!

first showing at the Stanford Theatre

Diabolique [Les diaboliques] (1955) 5:20, 10:10
d Henri-Georges Clouzot. w Henri-Georges Clouzot & Jerome Geronimi, from the novel Celle qui n'était plus (The Woman Who Was) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. ph Armand Thirard. m Georges Van Parys. Filmsonor. 117 min.

Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Jean Brochard, Thérèse Dorny, Michel Serrault, Charles Vanel.

At a small boarding school in France, the wife and mistress of the abusive head master plot his murder. Clouzot's masterpiece is a requirement for all lovers of the art of cinema.

Hitchcock was interested in the film rights for Boileau and Narcejac's novel Celle qui n'était plus (Les diaboliques), but when French director Clouzot beat him to it, Hitchcock settled for D'entre les morts (by the same authors), which became Vertigo.

first showing at the Stanford Theatre

June 8 – 10:
"A man should have a hobby."
Psycho (1960) (3:20), 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Joseph Stefano, from the novel by Robert Bloch. ph John L. Russell, Jr. m Bernard Herrmann. Paramount. 109 min.

Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntyre, Lurene Tuttle, Simon Oakland, Frank Albertson, Patricia Hitchcock.

Hitchcock's most notorious and terrifying film. A lonely young man and his mysterious mother run a small roadside motel where people check in... but don't always check out. Taking a shower was never the same again after 1960.

Psycho was shot by a television unit at a cost of $800,000. The notorious shower scene took 7 days to shoot, has 70 camera setups, and lasts 45 seconds on screen. What we see and what we think we see are two different things: the knife never touches the body.

When originally released, no late-comers were admitted once the film had started, and audiences were asked not to reveal the ending to their friends.

"Psycho has a very interesting construction and that game with the audience was fascinating. I was directing the viewers. You might say I was playing them, like an organ... I take pride in the fact that Psycho, more than any of my other pictures, is a film that belongs to film-makers... The way in which it was told caused audiences all over the world to react and become emotional." Hitchcock

"Despite decades of parody and imitation, this picture has lost none of its power to manipulate auidences' emotions. Pure filmmaking at its finest." Leonard Maltin

Cameo appearance on sidewalk in Texas hat.

Important notice: Many who first saw Psycho in their youth have reported lasting emotional disturbances. Parents are cautioned, therefore, against bringing young children to this film.

Psycho has been the forty-fourth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 22,744 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Aug 21, 1960; last played Mar 2016

"Birds are not aggressive creatures, Miss. They bring beauty to the world."
The Birds (1963) 5:20, 9:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Evan Hunter, based on the story by Daphne du Maurier. ph Robert Burks. m Bernard Herrmann. Universal. 120 min.

Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright, Ethel Griffies, Charles McGraw, Ruth McDevitt, Joe Mantell, Doodles Weaver, Richard Deacon.

Birds begin to take over a small oceanside town in northern California, launching mysterious attacks on the humans who live there.

The Birds took three years to complete, due to technical requirements and special effects. Cary Grant turned down the lead. Filmmaker Federico Fellini considered The Birds "One of the great films of all time."

Bernard Herrmann, who composed many memorable scores for Hitchcock films, also created every bird sound in this film.

"The story construction follows the three basic rules of classic tragedy: unity of place, and of time, and of action. All of the action takes place within two days' time in Bodega Bay. The birds are seen in ever growing numbers, and they become increasingly dangerous as the action progresses." Truffaut

"An audacious use of science fiction apocalypse to dramatize intimate emotional insecurity." David Thomson

Cameo appearance walking two small dogs.

The Birds has been the fifty-first most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 20,311 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 30, 1992; last played Apr 2016