We missed the beginning of the Paramount Summer Film Series' Hitchcock week, but frankly, we've never thought Rope was much more than an airless experiment in technique and The Birds… well, okay, yes, The Birds is terrifying. But now's a great time to jump in: Tonight and tomorrow, the double bill boasts The 39 Steps – one of Hitch's last British films and an early example of the accidental-hero type he would tap repeatedly – and the 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, an underrated, rather ingenious thriller starring Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day, belting out "Que Sera Sera." Rounding out Hitchcock Week are perennial favorites North By Northwest and Strangers on a Train, screening Saturday and Sunday.
Then in July, the Drafthouse kicks off a monthlong run of lesser-seen Hitchcock films – although surely the first outing, Notorious, is branded on the brain of any serious film student (I swear we spent half a semester in college dissecting the key sequence) or fan of tortured romances (remember the lip lock?). Other films in the series, which screens Monday nights at the Ritz through July, include The Wrong Man, Lifeboat, I Confess, and trippy series capper Spellbound, in which Hitch literally turned a gun on his audience. Try not to take it personally.