The title of this post really says it all, so no further introduction is needed other than to say that I think Alfred Hitchcock was a genius and I haven’t watched enough of his movies but these are the ones I’ve seen. Films are listed in chronological order. (In the order they came out in theaters, not the order I watched them.)
~The Lady Vanishes (1938) – One of my favorite Hitchcocks and one of my favorite movies in general, too. Lots of tense, intriguing mind games mixed in with plenty of good British humour, and a lovely ending. Gilbert/Michael Redgrave is hands-down my favorite Hitchcock hero, and who doesn’t laugh over Charters and Caldicott?
~Rebecca (1940) – This film seems a bit out of character for Hitchcock, since it’s a period piece and all, but he did a great job as usual. I was surprised – and pleased – by how closely the movie followed the book, since most old adaptions of classic novels tend to completely change the story (like the 1940 Pride & Prejudice). But it was a lush, dramatic, faithful adaption and I loved that.
~Spellbound (1945) – I watched this one quite a while ago…and I don’t feel like revisiting it any time soon. Yes, it’s Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, and if I did see it again it would be just for those two, but overall, Spellbound didn’t really grip me the way most Hitchcocks do. It seemed rather slow and meandering and the plot/characters didn’t really go anywhere in the course of the film. Not one of my favorites.
~Notorious (1946) – This one, however, is one of my favorites. Easily in my top five Hitchcock films. Don’t you think it’s a liiiittle like Casablanca, what with Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains starring and the doomed love triangle and spies and Germans and so on? Absolutely fascinating. Loved every minute of it and Cary Grant’s role in here is my favorite of his (even though I don’t like him as much as everyone else seems to, it’s easy to see that he’s a great actor).
~Strangers on a Train (1951) – Possibly my favorite Hitchcock. Reasons why: one of the most exciting plots I’ve ever seen in a movie, Farley Granger, an EPIC villain (Bruno’s one of the best Hitchcock villains ever), a nail-biting climax, and one of those funny, book-end endings that I love. All in all, a super film.
~Dial M for Murder (1954) – Again, this is one of my five favorites. Grace Kelly is completely believable and sympathetic as Margot, a woman framed for murder by, of all people, her husband. The strangle/stab scene is one of the most scarily intense sequences I’ve ever seen. Tony amazes me with how quick he is to come up with plausible lies to explain away all sorts of difficulties to his plan every time I watch this . And the Inspector made my ‘ten favorite screen characters’ list, so he’s pretty awesome as well.
~Rear Window (1954) – Just watched this a few nights ago (a re-watch). I still find the casting of James Stewart in any Hitchcock film a bit odd, but he did a great job here. Even though the plot takes a while to get going (something I’ve noticed is characteristic of most of Hitchcock’s movies), once it does start rolling, it’s impossible to look away. It’s neat seeing all the different neighbours’ stories develop (Elisabeth and I love Stanley). Edith Head designed some luscious outfits in here, like she always does, and Grace Kelly trips lightly across the screen in all of them. LOVE.
~To Catch a Thief (1955) – TCAT has been called ‘Hitchcock champagne’ and I think that pretty well sums it up. Cary Grant dashing dashingly across gorgeous French scenery while trying to prove his innocence and catch the real thief, with Grace Kelly by his side, sparkling in about twelve different Head outfits. Lots of humour and glitz and glamour, culminating in a bona fide masquerade ball. Excellent entertainment.
~The Wrong Man (1956) – I watched this one simply because Henry Fonda starred in it, but it was some time ago, and nothing really left an impression on me. TWM is almost like a documentary, and it’s a bit weird, and quite depressing, and not very much like a Hitchcock. Meh.
~North by Northwest (1959) – The latest new-to-me Hitchcock I’ve watched. Put off seeing it for so long, even though my grandparents own the DVD, because Cary Grant isn’t reeeeally my cup of tea and the premise didn’t sound all that interesting (at least compared to other films of its ilk). I did enjoy it, though, especially James Mason’s villain, but there was a bit too much innuendo to suit me and it did seem a tad longish in places, so I don’t think I’ll be re-watching it any time soon.
~The Birds (1963) – I saw The Birds on my semi-official quest to watch as many classic films as possible, and while all the bird scenes were appropriately creepy, the movie took so long to actually get to the birds that I didn’t end up liking it as much as I thought I would. Still, I can’t see a swarm of seagulls without a little shudder, so I suppose the film did its job.
As you can see, my repertoire of Hitchcocks favors the 40s and 50s. I’ve seen almost none of his earliest films (which I hope to remedy soon, as my family owns quite a few), and I’ve heard that many of the films he made in the 60s were more disturbing (Psycho, anyone?) and they had more Content, since by the 60s the stringent censoring of movies was falling into disarray. But I really dig the films he did in the earlier decades.
Eventually, I’d like to see every Hitchcock movie ever made, but these are a few that I’m interested in seeing as soon as possible:
~The 39 Steps (1935)
~Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
~Under Capricorn (1949)
~The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
What’s your favorite Hitchcock film? (And if you’ve never seen one, I recommend you do at the earliest opportunity.)