I told him I was a big fan of Somebody’s Watching Me, a voyeurism-and-stalking flick that Carpenter made right before Halloween (but which aired on 11.29.78, or a month after Halloween opened). I noted, however, that the main-title sequence — bold color, aggressive music, white parallel lines blending into a shot of a high-rise — was clearly “lifted” from the beginning of Alfred Hitchcock‘s North by Northwest.
My observation was offered in the vein of that famous T.S. Eliot remark: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” All enterprising artists “take” from the masters, and Carpenter had stolen from one of the best…no biggie.
For some reason Carpenter took umbrage. “Lifted?” he said. “Well, yeah,” I replied. “Borrowed from, inspired by, affectionately stolen…that line of country.” Carpenter frowned, grumbled, hemmed and hawed. But after some discussion he finally blurted out, “Okay, fine…I stole it!”
Shout Factory released a Somebody’s Watching Me! Bluray on 8.7.18.