Friday, December 7, 2012

From the Priest Who Was There: Alfred Hitchcock Died Catholic

Some people find these late-in-life turns to religion suspect, a sign of weakness or of one's "losing it." But nothing focuses the mind as much as death. There is a long tradition going back to ancient times of memento mori, remember death. Why? I suspect that in facing death one may at last see soberly, whether clearly or not, truths missed for years, what is finally worth one's attention.

Weighing one's life with its share of wounds suffered and inflicted in such a perspective, and seeking reconciliation with an experienced and forgiving God, strikes me as profoundly human. Hitchcock's extraordinary reaction to receiving communion was the face of real humanity and religion, far away from headlines . . . or today's filmmakers and biographers.
What a pleasure it was to read this story in the Wall Street Journal's Friday religion op ed this morning. It was more like reading a blog post than an article. Do go read it for yourself.


  1. Fascinating.
    Meanwhile, I'm listening to William Blattly read the Exorcist on it's 40th anniversary.

    Unfortunately his voice is a little old for the job although he is doing a good job. But my oh my, the whole religious progression - I thought the movie was amazing of course the book is even better.

    1. I read The Exorcist when it was a best seller and it gave me terrible dreams for a long time. Of course, that was when it became a movie and so was many years ago. I recently put it on my "to read" list thought I don't know if I could take listening. No way to skim over the really bad stuff ... :-)

  2. I had no idea he was Catholic! Thanks.

  3. Wow! Thanks for this. I think you mentioned his Catholic background during our discussion of Rear Window.