Our Guide to the Best Movies of 2018

In 2018, a selection of stellar movies has showed that, regardless of genre, excellence abounds at the cinema.

In this modern cinematic era, you’d think that the visceral experience of going to the movies, buying popcorn and, extreme I know, putting your phone away, would be under threat. However, rather than retreating in dismay, cinema – notably in 2018 – has come out swinging in a Rocky Balboa-esc blaze of glory.

So, with a month to go until the calendar turns, we thought we’d share with you our picks for the best movies of 2018.

Bohemian Rhapsody

This long-awaited biopic is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their iconic mustachioed frontman – one of, if not the greatest entertainer ever to grace a stage.

The movie chronicles the years preceding Queen’s legendary performance at Live Aid in 1985 where Mercury, played by Rami Malek – who replaced Sacha Baron Cohen in July 2013 – led the band in one of the most iconic performances in music history.

Bohemian Rhapsody does, however, have its shortcomings – its tameness being one of them. Mercury lived a dramatic, hedonistic existence which doesn’t come through in the movie.

Nevertheless, the biopic regains its best-movie status when Mercury, in all his pomp and pageantry, performs at Live Aid in front of 72,000 computer-generated people.

A Prayer Before Dawn

A Prayer Before Dawn isn’t for everyone nor is it one to gather the family for, however, Joe Cole’s ferocious yet unblemished performance is one that transforms actors into megastars.

Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s reworking of boxer William Moore’s 2014 memoir that documents the three years he spent in the infamous Bangkok Hilton – Thailand’s toughest prison – is a primal masterpiece.

Cole is at home in Liverpool when recording Peaky Blinders; the period drama of which he is most known, however, in A Prayer Before Dawn – which was largely shot on location in Klong Prem Prison – he couldn’t be any more removed.

This bubbling volcano of a movie is worthy of being one of 2018s best pictures.

A Star is Born

Renowned movie expert and, aptly, musician Mark Kermode summed up A Star is Born in the opening sentence of his October review: “a timeless tale,” he hollered.

This maxim works wonderfully to describe this movie which, is most certainly timeless. Not only was this picture one of the best, but it was also one of the biggest, grossing £152,518,456 worldwide.

In A Star is Born we have Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga: the former making his directorial bow, the latter in her big-screen debut and, whilst Cooper is awesomely assured behind the camera, it is Gaga who stands out; a star is truly born.

On reflection, A Star is Born may be the best movie of 2018.

Black Panther

The newest big-screen superhero story is both an uproarious adventure and success.

Showcasing Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and Michael B. Jordan as N’Jadaka, this Marvel masterpiece is a staple of 2018 cinema viewing. Visually handsome with a captivating plot to match, Black Panther is not only a good superhero movie, but it is also a good movie in general.

Not wanting to ignore the important themes the movie tackles Black Panther, subsequently, paved the way for future superhero movies in 2018 and, therefore, is deserving of a place on our list.

Crazy Rich Asians

Like Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians is a watershed moment for Hollywood.

Directed by Jon M Chu, Crazy Rich Asians follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu who journeys to Singapore to meet her spouses’ kin. Nevertheless, like every rom-com ever, there’s an adorable twist. Rachel’s boyfriend is from one of China’s most moneyed families and shock, Rachel doesn’t know.

Normally, a movie such as this wouldn’t pop up on a list like ours, however, Crazy Rich Asians is a lesson on how to both cast a movie and adapt a best-selling novel.

Lady Bird

Lady Bird is a movie overflowing with warmth, humour and sadness that manages to feel current despite the “overly stacked nature” of the teenage-angst genre.

This evocative performance by Saoirse Ronan as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson is deserving of acclaim and award; however, it is Greta Gerwig’s absorbing screenplay and spectacular directorship that empowers this movie.

Arthouse Hotel

best movies

At Arthouse Hotel, we have an array of amazing offers for celebrating Christmas & New Year in Liverpool.

Bring the whole family together and take advantage of our excellent facilities and movie-inspired rooms that wouldn’t look strange in some of the marvellous movies listed above.

So, come and join us! We’d love to hear from you today to organise a magical stay at Arthouse.

You can contact us on 0151 601 8801

Teen Movies That Changed Pop Culture Forever

Ariana Grande pretty much broke the internet after she released the much-anticipated video for her self-love anthem ‘Thank U, Next’. The video is the actual millennial dream with multiple cultural references to various noughties films, leaving us feeling inspired…and unbelievably jealous of that Elle Woods outfit.

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So, after much thought and deliberation, here is our round up some of our favourite teen movies – all of which we feel have changed pop culture (and our lives) forever.

Mean Girls (2004)

Now, this film was a game-changer, and it’s no wonder it was included in Ariana’s video. At the time of release, Lindsay Lohan was the it-girl of ’04. SO fetch. A painfully accurate depiction of American high school politics, Mean Girls also managed to resonate with UK audiences with its brutal but hilarious portrayal of teen angst, awkwardness and social hierarchy.

On top of all that social commentary are also some of the most quotable lines of this day and age. It’s a well-known fact that on Wednesdays we wear pink. We are constantly haunted by the age-old question: IS butter a carb? You go, Glen Coco!

Honestly, we could go on for hours.

Superbad (2007)

Sony Pictures

Ah, Superbad. A timeless, modern classic. No seriously! Eleven years later, it still resonates with us. In a similar way to Mean Girls, the film deals with the realities of young adulthood whilst still managing to be a comedy goldmine.

The film makes sure to constantly remind us how the struggle really is real when you’re an uncomfortable, confused & ridiculously hormonal adolescent. This film set itself apart from its immature – and pretty terrible – predecessors, and led the way for a new generation of teen movies.

McLovin’ is the hero we never knew we needed.

Legally Blonde (2001)

Bennnd…and snap! With one of the most incredible aesthetics of all time, Legally Blonde is easily one of the best teen movies out there. Elle Woods shows the world that despite the fact you love a bit of pink leather, have a penchant for fluffy stationary and pretty much live the life of a high fashion Barbie – you can still become a kick-ass lawyer and prove that idiot of an ex-boyfriend wrong.

Legally Blonde served to break stereotypes and pave the way for a new kind of role model for girls. A career woman AND a fashion icon? Yas!

Princess Diaries (2001)

Walt Disney Pictures

One of our favourite makeover montages. Hands down. And that’s all we have to say on the matter.

Bring It On (2000)

Universal Pictures

Brr, it’s cold in here! There must be some Toros in the atmosphere! Bring It On taught us the all-important difference between jazz hands and spirit fingers. For teens living in the UK, the concept of cheerleaders alone was fascinating.

By the end of the film you’d end up attempting a back-handspring-basket-toss-arabesque-cradle-catch off the couch then spend the rest of the night sulking in your room ‘cos you fell into the telly.

Grease (1978)

Paramount Pictures

Featuring one of history’s biggest glow-ups in the form of Sandy and her high-waisted satin pants, Grease is easily one of the most memorable teen movies out there. It might be 40 years old, but it still stands as a firm favourite in our eyes.

The ‘teenagers’ in this cult classic definitely look just as old as the movie and we continue to be baffled by how we didn’t clock all that risque subject matter, but we just don’t care. Catchy show tunes, infectious dance moves and let’s face it, young John Travolta as Danny Zuko, Grease is one the best teen movies ever made. If you see yourself as a Pink Lady or T-Bird, book a stay in our Grease themed room at Arthouse. You’re born to hand-jive, baby!

As you can tell, we love all things movies here at Arthouse Hotel. Sound like your cup of tea? Why not come and pay us a visit! Give us a call on 0151 601 8801 to get yourself booked in.

Movie Diners | The Most Famous American Diners on Screen

With their chrome counters, bubble-gum chewing waitresses and menus filled with classic American delights of key lime pie, fluffy pancakes and plenty of filter coffee, the diner is an icon of state-side culture.

Not unlike a British pub, the humble diner is a staple of American life. It’s no wonder they pop up in all genres of American movies from cult classics, to comedies and even our favourite rom-coms.

From the Frosty Palace in Grease to Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Pulp Fiction, diners have been the backdrop for some of the most famous scenes in movie history. And with the opening of Arthouse’s new diner experience in the centre of Liverpool, we though we’d take a deep dive into some classic movie diners we all love seeing on-screen.

Open now, Mulholland offers a brand new singing waiter diner experience, where you can enjoy fantastic US-inspired food and drink with a musical accompaniment of all the best power ballads, movies hits and musical showstoppers. From indulgent milkshakes to rainbows nachos and sizzling hot-dogs, it’s the ultimate Hollywood hangout.

But to get you in the mood for some diner-excellence, let’s take a look at the most iconic burger joints in movie history. These are our favourite movie diners on screen…

Pulp Fiction’s Double Trouble Diners

Who hasn’t wished they could visit the fictional diner of Jack Rabbit Slim’s in Pulp Fiction? With it’s slot car race tracks, classic-car shaped booths and waiting staff dressed as Hollywood stars, we all wanted to take Mia Wallace out for a meal at this “wax museum with a pulse” (Vincent’s words, not ours). And of course, it’s the location of that very famous dance…

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But Slim’s wasn’t the only diner that made it into this cult classic. Who could forget the iconic opening (and closing) scenes set in a bog-standard US diner with Pumpkin and Honey Bunny? Tarantino’s love-letter to pop culture found the perfect setting to start the film inside America’s favourite dining establishment.

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The Frosty Palace in Grease

Rydell High students’ favourite out-of-school hangout might not have technically been a diner but we all still call it one. Officially a ‘malt shop’, this icy palace looked like a classic, old-school diner to the untrained eye, with its uniformed waitresses, 50s chromatic furnishings and menu of fries, shakes and burgers (always with not enough ketchup).

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But whether a diner or not, it undoubtedly makes the list of the most famous movie diners on screen thanks to the iconic Beauty School Dropout musical number that took place within its tiled walls, as well as all the Sandy-Danny dates that went to disasterously wrong at its tables.

Call yourself a Grease mega-fan? Why not stay in Arthouse’s incredible Grease suite for a (summer) night you’ll never forget. Sleeping up to six guests, with luxurious amenities including kitchenette, large-screen TV and a Jacuzzi bath, you’ll have the chills and they’ll be multiplyin’ when you book this incredible movie suite in Liverpool’s city centre.

The Diner in The Big Lebowski that’s More Famous than the Film

You might recognize the movie diner spotted in The Big Lebowski – it’s a bit of a location star. Featuring in numerous mega movies, music videos and TV shows, including Reservoir Dogs, Gone in 60 Seconds and the video for Sean Kington’s top hit ‘Beautiful Girls’, it’s arguably had more success than most of the actors who’ve filmed inside it.

The diner was, at the time of filming The Big Lebowski, still an operating diner called Johnie’s Coffee Shop Restaurant. Today, it’s only used as a filming location but you can still see visit the iconic exterior on Wilshire Boulevard in midtown Los Angeles.

Blade Runner’s Futuristic Food Establishment

Again, not a traditional diner, but the noodle bar in Blade Runner offers a 1980s interpretation of what an LA diner in 2019 might look like and it sure is iconic.

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The cramped chrome-clad restaurant with its steaming bowls of broth and unsociable customers still provides weary travellers and hungry cliental the same classic American service that a traditional diner does – just with a significantly Japanese twist.

And anyway, it’s one of the best examples of the film’s incredible set design that looked seriously futuristic but still recognizable as downtown LA.

The Home-From-Home Diner in Pineapple Express

One of Hollywood’s best loved bromance comedies, Pineapple Express puts the American diner to good use in its closing scenes. Like all best friends, Dale, Saul and Red end the movie with a classic diner breakfast – eggs, bacon and plenty of coffee – while rehashing their action-packed night before.

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There’s no fancy 50s-style thrills here – director David Gordon Green made sure the movie diner was a bog-standed US food stop, perfect for a greasy food fix after a night running away from mobsters and corrupt police officers.

The Notorious Goodfellas Diner

When Martin Scorsese was looking for a location to film his then titled ‘Wiseguy’, his eyes settled on a small, space-age style diner in Maspeth, Queens (New York City).

Then called the Clinton diner, it was owned by Dimitra and Michael Diamantis who were about to see their small establishment become a famous tourist hotspot, with avid fans including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Pierce Brosnan heading to the location to grab a selfie and experience the atmosphere.

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The movie, of course, was the legendary Goodfellas, which filmed two of its most memorable scenes inside the diner, making the Diamanti’s family business one of the most famous diners in movie history. The famous phone-bashing scene was set at a phone booth outside the diner.

Lou’s Cafe in Back to the Future

Who could forgot Marty’s famous trip to Lou’s Café in Back to the Future? This perfect example of a 1955 diner was where Marty first realizes how different the past can be after attempting to order a Pepsi Free and being told by an irate server “You want a Pepsi, pal, you gotta pay for it”.

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An integral location in the film, Lou’s is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie diners, with it’s minty colour scheme and retro interiors.

The History Behind American Diners

They’ve been a stable of American culture for over a generation, but did you know that the very first food diners had wheels?

The word diner can officially be defined (according to Webster’s Dictionary) as ‘a restaurant in the shape of a railroad car’, harking back to the origins of these classic US food-spots.

movie diners

A classic 1950s diner in New Jersey. Credit: Wiki Commons | Jaboyce

Back in the 1800s, the first iteration of diners were called ‘lunch cars’ and we can thank Rhode Island’s Water Scott for their invention. Scott re-purposed a horse-pulled wagon into a cart that served sandwiches, coffee, pies and eggs to people heading home at night and his side-line hustle was so successful that he ended up quitting his day job to sell food from the wagon all-day, everyday. Soon, other companies followed suit.

Buoyed by the success of these businesses, T.H. Buckley from Massachusetts decided that manufacturing purpose-build ‘lunch cars’ was more profitable than doing the actual food selling. He started the Worcester Lunch Car Company which produced ‘dining cars’ fitted with basic stoves and an ice box for foodie entrepreneurs. Soon, these portable cars were popping up all over America, offering food to weary travellers and tired workers.

movie diners

One of the classic Worcester Lunch Cars in Somerville, Massachusetts. Credit: Wiki Commons | Vistawhite

But as the number of lunch cars jumped higher, many towns and cities passed civil laws restricting their hours of operation. Attempting to loophole these restrictions, lunch car owners started permanently parking up their cars in busy locations and the diner as we know it was born.

By 1913, the idea was really starting to catch on and Jerry O’Mahoney established the first ever purpose-built stationary diner in the United States. He would go on to become the largest manufacturer of diners ever, producing a rumored 2,000 diners between 1917 and 1941 across the country.

As the years ticked by, the traditional diner became more and more extravagant and by the time the 1950s hit, the stream-lined silver space age carriages were all the range, cementing what we all now think of when someone says the word ‘diner’.

Visit the UK’s Only Singing Waiter Diner Today

To celebrate the launch of the UK’s only singing waiter diner at Arthouse Hotel, we’re offering you the chance to get 50% off all food at the newly opened Mulholland bar for this month only!

Enjoy out-of-this-world milkshakes, Spice Girl-inspired pizzas, rainbow nachos and much, much more  all for half price this October by showing this Facebook voucher on ordering.

movie diners

A magical eating experience like no other in Liverpool, our musical-minded singing waiters will serenade you with classic ballads, musical showstoppers and movie top hits, transporting you straight to LA and the silver screen musical numbers we all love so much.

Make sure you’re following Mulholland on all our social media channels to keep updated on all the lastest news, competitions and offers from this incredible new eating experience. We’e hanging out on Facebook and Instagram.  Be our guest and join us today at the brand-new Mulholland!

The Best Autumn Movies for a Cosy Night In this Season

There’s an autumn chill in the air and that calls for plenty of cosy film nights! If you’re stuck for what to watch, we’ve compiled a go-to list of some of the best autumn movies of all time.

Arthouse Hotel is the perfect spot to bring friends together for the ultimate autumn night in. So, why not enjoy a spectacular group stay at the most unique hotel in Liverpool?

The Best Autumn Movies

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

You’ve Got Mail is without a doubt one one of the best autumn movies of all time. Witten and directed by Nora Ephron, this cosy film captures the feel-good essence of 90s nostalgia.

Find yourself immersed in the story of Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) and Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) as they exchange anonymous thoughts via dial-up internet and simultaneously cross paths on the streets of New York.

Harvesting the back-to-school season with one memorable line, Tom Hanks reads: “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Arguably Nora Ephron’s most famous film, When Harry Met Sally is another autumnal gem, perfect for a lazy Sunday with a mug of hot chocolate. Get ready to be charmed by this mismatched duo as they stroll the leafy streets of Central Park to a truly charming soundtrack.

Not forgetting, Harry and Sally showcase a flawless autumn wardrobe. From cosy knitwear and roll-neck jumpers to stylish bowler hats, this iconic movie is sure to leave you with plenty of outfit ideas.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting is a must-watch for your autumn movies list. Starring Matt Damon alongside the late Robin Williams, this triumphant tale won an impressive 5 awards at the 1998 Academy Awards.

Prepare for plenty of words of wisdom as inspiring therapist (Williams) attempts to treat a young genius (Damon) amidst the scenic Boston foliage.

The Harry Potter Franchise

A day of autumn movies wouldn’t be complete without a sprinkle of Hogwarts magic. The Harry Potter franchise is perfect for binge watching on a rainy day this October and November.

Literally showcasing the back-to-school feeling, Harry Potter has it all. From knitted jumpers and candlelit pumpkins to woodland adventures, revisiting Harry Potter is a must for this autumn.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Creating an enchanting autumn backdrop, this Disney classic invite you to the mystical town of Salem. A family favourite for the autumn season, Hocus Pocus tells the tale of the Sanderson sisters.

The 3 mischievous witches are accidentally brought back to life, and with their immortality at stake, this fun-filled adventure is sure to keep you hooked!

 Offers in Liverpool – Arthouse Hotel

At Arthouse Hotel, we have a range of fantastic offers for spending autumn in Liverpool in style. Bring your nearest and dearest together for a cosy stay in the heart of Liverpool city centre.

autumn movies

You can look forward to making the most of our indulgent facilities and atmospheric movie-themed rooms. Our glamorous Psycho room and weird and wonderful Rocky Horror Show room are particular favourites over the Halloween period.

So, what are you waiting for? We’d love to hear from you today to plan an unforgettable stay with us! You can reach us on 0151 601 8801.

All About Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock is undeniably one of the world’s most famous and influential directors of all time. From Birds to Psycho to Vertigo, it is hard to find someone who hasn’t seen at least one of ‘The Master of Suspense’s films. As we approach the anniversary of the legendary director’s death, nearly 40 years ago on April 29th 1980, we take a look back on all things Alfred Hitchcock.

He was celebrated throughout the cinematic world for his distinctly recognisable directorial style, with shots framed to maximise the feeling of unease within his viewers, creating a sense of fear, dread or anxiety in his innovative forms of film editing.

It was this iconic style that earned him his ‘Master of Suspense’ title and paved the way for Hitchcock’s pioneering evolution of the thriller genre.

Alfred Hitchcock

The Early Life of an Icon

Born to a William Hitchcock, a greengrocer in Leytonstone in 1899, Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was the second son and youngest of three children. Often found drawing and inventing games in his spare time, he was quiet and described as a bit of a loner – a trait that was mainly due to his size, which was large even as a child.

A story often told about Hitchcock’s upbringing, and the subsequent influence on his life and career is the story of Hitchcock’s time spent in prison.

When he was five years old, Hitchcock’s very strict, Catholic father punished the young boy for being naughty by sending him to the local police station with a note, asking the officers to lock him away for several minutes. This was Hitchcock’s only brush with the law, thanks to a deep-seated fear of authority because of this very moment.

After graduating from London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation, with fantastic draftsmanship skills under his belt, Hitchcock took a job at Henley Telegraph Company as an estimator for their manufacture of electric cable.

With a job he saw as mind-numbing, Hitchcock used his free time to attend the cinema (often by himself0, read cinema trade papers and take drawing classes at London University. This creative side shone through in Henley’s Social Club magazine, where his short stories with twist endings and caricatures were published. These published works got Hitchcock promoted to the advertising department, as a creative advertising illustrator.

The Birth of a Director

Hitchcock’s first endeavour into film was a job as a title card designer (the text in silent movies that explains actions or shows dialogue) for Famous Players-Lasky (which later became Paramount). He used this job to get his foot in the door for screenwriting, assistant director, set designer and all other aspects of filmmaking.

After a few failed attempts at directing while at Famous Players-Lasky, during which he met his future wife, Alma, Hitchcock scored a hit with The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog in 1927. The film was a major success in the United Kingdom and is regarded as the first ‘Hitchcockian’ film, heavily influenced by expressionist techniques that Hitchcock witnessed while directing The Pleasure Garden in Germany in 1926.

The 1930s saw Hitchcock make film after film, with many becoming a success both on home soil and across the Atlantic in America. His 1938 film The Lady Vanishes, won the New York Critics’ Award for Best Film, which helped catch the attention of American film producer and studio owner David O. Selznick, who extended a contract offer of three motion picture films. Hitchcock accepted and moved his now wife Alma, and ten-year-old daughter Patricia, to Hollywood.

Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick

Iconic Films

Hitchcock was one of the first directors to which the ‘auteur theory was applied, a theory which stresses the artistic authority of the director in the filmmaking process. Such artistry is what contributed to so many of Hitchcock’s films being regarded with such icon status.

Perhaps the most well-known film from Hitchcock didn’t come until later in his career, Psycho, released in 1960, was the most shocking film of its time. With twists and disturbing themes that thrilled moviegoers across the world. The cheap budget ($800,000) gave Hitchcock motivation to be creative with his filming techniques, to such an extent that the now iconic shower scene, where the heroine is brutally murdered, is composed of more than 90 shots and 70 different angles. The scene is revered as one of the most thrilling pieces of work of all time.

Janet Leigh in Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock

Keeping with his later fashion of one-word titles and suspenseful thrillers, Hitchcock’s other most memorable films, which hold permanent places on the majority of ‘Top Films’ lists, includes Birds (1963), where a town is attacked by menacing flocks of birds, and Vertigo (1958), a story of obsession, manipulation and fear and a cycle of madness and lies.

The endless list of classics produced by the Master of Suspense is one of the many reasons he is considered to be one of, if not the, best directors of all time.

Hidden Gems

Not to be ignored are Hitchcock’s lesser known films, iconic in their own right, but often overshadowed by is creative giants. Early works such as Notorious (1946), Spellbound (1945) and The 39 Steps (1935) all have their place in film history for their technical ingenuity.

With more than 50 feature films under his belt throughout his career, there is a plethora of hidden and niche Hitchcock films that document his development to the style he was admired for.

Aesthetic

Often cited as a pioneer and auteur, Hitchcock’s filming style is what places him in the director’s hall of fame, with signature filming techniques and styles that help identify any of his films as distinctly Hitchcockian.

He appears as a cameo in 39 of his films, often with no lines and as a brief background character in early scenes. The tradition began When filming his first major success, The Lodger (1927), when there weren’t enough extras to fill the newsroom in the opening scene.

Alfred Hitchock's cameo in Rear Window

Certain camera angles and techniques have become associated with the director’s feature films, as he creates a feel of voyeurism for the audience, with point of view shots and roving tracking to guide the audience to the subject at hand.

Hitchcock also gained a reputation for using ‘icy blondes’ as his chosen heroines, from Grace Kelly to Janet Leigh to Ingrid Bergman. He once said that blondes are thought to be innocent and glamorous – the perfect recipe for a victim. The icy attitude was for added suspense, and to confuse the audience with their lack of empathy for the poor femme fatale.

He was also noted for his rigorous planning of his productions, with every detail of every scene meticulously storyboarded, with every camera angle, sound effect and movement accounted for and unchanged throughout the filming process.

Personal Life

Hitchcock met his wife, Alma, while working at his first studio, Famous Players-Lasky. She worked on continuity and editing for several of his early works and the two were married in 1926 and she became his chief collaborator on all films. Alma took a backseat to the limelight as she did not want the public attention that came with her husband’s rise to fame.

The couple welcomed their first and only child, a girl named Patricia, in 1928, and the entire family moved to Hollywood when David O. Selznick offered Hitchcock a three-film contract in March 1939.

hitchcock behind the scenes

Awards, Honours and Death

Being one of the most well-noted directors in history comes with a string of awards and honours across a lifetime of hard work and dedication to the industry. Along with innumerable Oscar, Golden Globes and BAFTA nominations and awards, Hitchcock also received five lifetime achievement awards, eight Laurel Awards and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hitchcock became Sir Alfred Hitchcock after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1980 New Year Honours.

In the first few months after his knighthood, Hitchcock worked on a script for a new spy thriller, The Short Night, but the project never came to fruition due to the director’s rapidly declining health. In April of 1980, he passed away in his home of renal failure at 80 years old.

The Hitchcock Floor at Arthouse Hotel

Arthouse Hotel, close to Liverpool’s city centre and just minutes walk to the vibrant and ever-growing nightlife, pay special homage to Hitchcock’s legacy and the impact he left on the cinematic world with an entire floor dedicated to his most iconic films.

Choose from eight Hitchcock themed rooms, sleeping between four and six guests, and indulge in the luxury of a bygone era of cinema.

Spellbound room at Arthouse Hotel

Experience an elegant take on Bates Motel in Pyscho, or indulge in Notorious, there’s glamour in Suspicion and dark decadence in The Birds.

Be enchanted in Spellbound or experience life on the run in Stage Fright, there’s also the mystifying magnetism of Vertigo and a 1920s vibe in Easy Virtue.

There’s stylish accommodation for everyone whatever your favourite Hitchcock film, and with an amazing location in the heart of cultural Liverpool, there is no better place for group accommodation that the Arthouse Hotel.

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk to book your stay at Liverpool’s best movie theme hotel.

Behind The Scenes of The Sound of Music

Discover the best behind the scenes photographs from The Sound of Music along with heartwarming, hilarious facts.

The Sound of Music (1965) is undoubtedly one of the best-loved and most timeless movies of all time.

And at Liverpool’s Arthouse Hotel, we’ve captured the very essence of the classic with our fabulous Sound of Music themed hotel room.

Join us on this nostalgic look back at the film that truly brought the hills alive with the Sound of Music!

Julie Andrews almost wasn’t Maria von Trapp

Though we can’t imagine anyone else twirling over the mountains, the truth behind the scenes is that Julie Andrews very nearly missed out on bringing Maria von Trapp to life.

Whilst director Robert Wise affirmed that his heart was set on Andrews, it has been reported that Shirley Jones, Doris Day, and Anne Bancroft were considered for the part.

And despite Wise’s eagerness, Andrews herself almost turned the part down. The young star worried that the role would be too similar to Mary Poppins (1964)

There “should have” been a romance…

It’s safe to say that the sparks between Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews on-screen may not have required too much acting after all!

Both Andrews and Plummer confessed to having a soft spot for each other while filming The Sound of Music, with Plummer describing working with Julie Andrews as like “being hit over the head with a big Valentine’s Day card”.

The flirtatious pair remain close friends to this day and insist that their feelings never amounted to anything more than a friendship. Whether that’s true or not, their connection has certainly lasted the decades.

Plummer told ABC News:

“We should have ended up together. We should have had a huge smashing affair. But there was no time because she had her children with her, it was most inconvenient”.

Kim Karath didn’t really climb the mountain

The adorable Kym Karath wasn’t actually sat on the Captain’s shoulders for the infamous mountain scene.

Plummer found Karath too heavy to carry and requested a stunt double while climbing the mountain.

Ironically, Plummer had put on weight during filming himself – the director’s even had to alter his clothes!

Christopher Plummer wasn’t exactly a fan

In fact, Christopher Plummer’s weight again whilst filming wasn’t for the reason you may think.

Though we suspect there was plenty of fun on set, Plummer was unhappy with various aspects of the film, particularly being asked to sing “Edelweiss”.

Plummer admitted that he indulged in plenty of comfort eating and excessive drinking during this period, and was even drunk when they filmed the music festival scene.

Though the film went on to become iconic, Plummer recalls disliking filming so much that he would refer to the movie as “The Sound of Mucus”.

Meanwhile, Julie Andrews was a fan of her wardobe

Unsurprisingly, showcasing the Sound of Music wedding dress definitely wasn’t a chore.

In fact, the stunning dress chosen for Maria von Trapp’s big day was a hit with Julie Andrews herself.

The classic gown was designed by Dorothy Jacobs, a renowned costume designer at the time.

Equipped with visible water stains, the iconic dress later sold at auction for $23,040.

“That dress was exquisite,” Andrews recalled.

Filming began tucked up in bed

On their first day of filming, Julie Andrews and the children shot the bedroom scene, in which Andrews sang the timeless “My Favourite Things”.

We can’t think of a better way to spend the working day!

Mary Poppins may have made an appearance or two

Disney’s Mary Poppins (1964) hadn’t been released when filming for The Sound of Music began.

Julie Andrews would keep the children entertained with renditions of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” on set, yet they hadn’t heard the song before.

Later becoming one of the most memorable songs of all time, the children had assumed that Andrews thought up the song herself just for them!

Dinner was served in style

While films don’t always use real place settings and food for meal scenes, The Sound of Music definitely did.

When the children are first introduced to Maria over dinner, real place settings and food filled the table!

The Sound of Music cast found themselves in deep water!

The Sound of Music cast may not have anticipated being hosed down time and time again, but that was what happened!

The tuneful bunch had to be hosed down in order to maintain looking the soaking wet look from falling into the water.

Julie Andrews and Kym Karath also landed themselves in deep water with the boat scene. On the second take, the boat tipped, sending Andrews one way into the water and Karath the other.

Andrews was responsible for catching Karath (who couldn’t swim) but on this occasion, Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa) had to take control!

The Sound of Music was chosen to boost morale

 

One of the most unlikely facts about The Sound of Music links back to the Cold War.

The same way that The Sound of Music was awarded an impressive five Oscars, the BBC were busy building a nuclear bunker.

In an era filled with Cold War anxieties and paranoia, it’s easy to see why this slightly bizarre decision was being made!

Television execs picked the uplifting musical to be broadcast as part of 100 days of television showings if a nuclear strike should hit.#

Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer just couldn’t stop laughing

This scene may look seriously heartfelt, but behind the scenes this particular duo were in fits of laughter.

Behind the camera, the famous kiss between Maria and the Captain in the gazebo was a far cry from intense…

Both Andrews and Plummer couldn’t seem to shake the giggles as they sang close to each other’s faces.

Andrews recalls:

“Chris and I were standing very close. We were face to face, about an inch away from each other, looking into each others eyes. We were just getting to the point where we would say ‘I love you’ or we’d start kissing… and then those old arc lights would let out a loud ‘raspberry!’ It was like a comment on our scene! Well, Chris and I would start laughing. We couldn’t help it. Then we’d go back to the scene again, and those lights would start groaning at us again! Our giggling got even worse. In fact it got to the point where we couldn’t get through the scene!”

Director Robert Wise found himself with little choice but to film the scene in silhouette, concealing the laughter behind that passionate kiss!

Why not treat yourself or someone special to a stay in our Sound of Music themed hotel room? We’re sure it’ll become one of your favourite things in no time.

Our spacious rooms are equipped with everything you could need for an unforgettable group stay in Liverpool, in the heart of the city’s best sights and vibrant nightlife scene.

To enquire further, you can speak to our team today on 0151 601 8801.