“Dial ‘H’ for Hitchcock” – an original series produced by 88.7 KXMS – will continue with a two-part discussion on Alfred Hitchcock’s two 1954 films starring the stunning Grace Kelly.
The series features honors program director Dr. Michael Howarth and co-host Jeff Skibbe.
“I first went on to talk about my book that came out last May and the conversation turned to Gothicism and film and then to the Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock,” Howarth said. “We decided to put together a couple of radio shows on his most important and popular films.”
The first program featured a discussion on “Rebecca” and “The Birds” – both based on literary works by author Daphne Du Maurier.
Part one of the latest discussion will air at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, and will focus on the making of “Dial ‘M’ for Murder,” one of the director’s better-known thrillers that starred Kelly, Ray Milland and Joplin’s own Robert Cummings. Shot for 3D presentation in theaters, Hitchcock’s unhappy experience with the format will be touched upon in a wide-ranging discussion.
Part two, which will air at a later date, will focus on the making of “Rear Window,” which starred Kelly, James Steward and Raymond Burr. The second hour (and, to some extent, the first) will feature film score music from the Hitchcock canon.
Howarth said that he was already “knee deep in Hitchcock” before the KXMS series began.
“I’m a chair of the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association and accept papers from people who want to present on Alfred Hitchcock,” he said.
While both men share a mutual appreciation of film, Skibbe said the series has given him a deeper interest in Hitchcock’s works.
“I went back to some of the films that I didn’t like as much and watched a lot of the DVD extras and commentaries and got a greater appreciation for them,” he said.
Future offerings in the series will include discussions of “Saboteur,” “North by Northwest,” “Spellbound” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”
“We also have another special coming up,” said Skibbe. “We’re going to do an hour on ghost films in October. He’s going to share a list of his favorite films in that genre. I’ll play foil to that, having seen many if not all of them. We’ll talk about the history of ghost films and how they’ve changed through the decades.”