View Full Version : Favorites by Alfred Hitchcock

04-17-2002, 12:25 PM
It's about time someone started a good old Hitchcock post, I guess I'll be the one. Which are your five favorite Hitchcock movies and why?

Probably my favorite of all the Hitchcock movies I have seen. Magnificent camerawork, original story, greate atmosphere, superb music. And on top of all that theres James Stewart whom I absolutly love - hes such a symphatetic actor!

Is there anyone who has not seen this one yet!? I think the entire cast is brilliant, the music is fabolus and the black and white photography gives the movie a sort of gothic edge that I really enjoy. And, oh yea - I still think the shower scene is awesome!!!

North By North West
It's hard to think of a more entertaining movie than this if you ask me. Theres about 5-10 minutes of character introduction at the start of the movie and then BOOM its about two hours of a rollercoaster ride from there. Highly enjoyable!

The Trouble With Harry
Ok, I'm standing up for the 'little guy' here. This isn't one of Hitchcocks more highly regarded movies, but I think it's really good! Very funny dark/morbid comedy!

The 39 Steps
Probably the best of Hitchcocks pree-hollywood movies. (Though Lady Vanishes DOES kick some searious butt to...) The story isn't exactly original or anything but the direction by hitchcock and the acting by the two leads (can't remember theri names right now) still make this a very enjoyable and memorable movie even though it isn't as actionpacked as some of Hitchcocks later movies.

Runner ups:
Rear Window
Lady Vanishes
The Man Who Knew Too Much (Remake - am I the only one who preferes the remake over the original? James Stewart Rules!! :D)
The Birds

04-17-2002, 04:30 PM
1. Vertigo: Ha ha! Still the king! Hitchcock's gloriously sad fable of losing a person you love and trying to find them again everywhere you look. Oh, and there's a career-best performance by James Stewart and some fantastic suspense. Great FX for the day too. I'll confess... it's one of my favorite films of all time.

2. Shadow of a Doubt: Hitchcock and the author of Our Town (!) happily dissect the seething evil of small town America like a biology student poking at a frog's liver. Joseph Cotton is the perfect gentleman and the perfect sociopath. Some of the best B&W cinematography of Hitch's carreer.

3. Strangers on a Train: The suspense classic, with dabs of black humor and a truckload of BARELY veiled erotic tension. Wildly stylish and influential, and the Merry-Go-Round from HELL is a classicly surreal image.

4. Frenzy: I don't know. Maybe it's the forbidden appeal of a 70's R-rated Hitchcock that gets to me. But this is a usually underrated minor masterpiece, and a departure from the usual "innocents tainted" theme of Hitchcock. Almost nobody is innocent here...

5. Stage Fright: What? Why this? Because it is no less than Hitchcock deconstruction and gently mocking the "man on the run" genre he popularized himself. See it, as you may have missed it!

Peter Vincent
04-17-2002, 08:30 PM
My favorite is of course Psycho. The atmosphere, the music, Norman....his mother.....what more can I say?!?! C'mon!!!!

I just viewed my Rear Window DVD not too long ago. I've always had a soft spot for this flick! I love the set! Anyody else think 'ol Jimmy Stewart turns into a big "butt" at the end when he's confronted by Raymond Burr's character? Maybe its just me!

Vertigo also holds a place in my collection too! What a tight a$$ story! Its scary this classic almost got lost forever!

04-18-2002, 03:08 AM
For me it's
The Birds
Rear Window
North by Northwest

04-18-2002, 11:45 PM
VERY difficult this. I honestly don't have one favorite movie of his, because he's directed so many I consider my favorites I couldn't pick a #1. Not even a Top 5. I will say this though, what's all the fuzz about "Vertigo" ?. People think you're a complete idiot if you don't like it, but I must admit it's not that high on my list. Yes, it's gorgeous to look at, but hey, that's about it !. It's not very exciting to follow Stewart around or anywhere near the rollercoaster ride "The 39 Steps" or "North By Northwest" is. I don't mind a slow pace at all, in fact I often prefer that, but here, I don't know. Maybe I just expected something fast because it's Hitchcock and need to watch it again. You'll really think I'm insane now, but I actually like "Jamaica Inn" better !. Speaking of Leslie Banks, the original "Man Who Knew..." is way superior to the remake IMO, although the remake does have some good scenes. My favorite Hitch movies with Stewart are "Rear Window" and the underrated "Rope". The only sure thing I can say is that "Frenzy", "The Birds", "Lady Vanishes" and "Sabotage" are all somewhere in my Top 10, together with "The 39 Steps", "Strangers On A Train", "Rope" and "North By Northwest". It's a real mixed bag, and the nuts keep changing place. ;)

04-18-2002, 11:47 PM
let's see...I avoid the "big" Hitchcock films, not because they're bad (they're great!), but a little over-analyzed. There's great films that get little publicity:

1. North by Northwest. OK, this IS a "big" Hitchcock film, but it's friggin great...

2. Saboteur. A vastly overlooked "warmup" version of NXNW

3. Rope. Actually saw this in a theater a few years ago

4. Frenzy. Dark and violent, a sign that Hitch would have easily adapted to 70's and 80s style of film had he kept going.

5. Lifeboat. Excellent film with one setting, but never boring.

04-19-2002, 12:00 AM
"Torn Curtain" and "Rope".

04-19-2002, 05:14 AM
Right, "Lifeboat". I always forget about that one, I guess most people do. I wish Hitchcock would've worked with actor Henry "Werewolf Of London" Hull again. Other actors I like he only worked with once include Sylvia Sidney ("Sabotage") and Frank Cellier ("The 39 Steps"). "...Steps" was remade twice, isn't it about time they remake it again ?. Not that I usually applaud remakes, on the contrary, but Michael Douglas and Kathleen Quinlan would be ideal, only this is an old casting dream of mine and now they'd probably both be considered way too old - or in Quinlan's case not blonde enough. How about Sharon :p Stone then, she hasn't worked with Mikey for a while. Or better yet, forget the whole damn thing :rolleyes:. Maybe we ought to have a law against touching anything Hitchcock ever touched, there's just no way you could top it. -The "Psycho" remake clearly proved that. Think I'll go watch "Vertigo" now, give it another shot. Now, there's an obvious candidate for a remake !.:D ;)

04-19-2002, 06:26 AM
It really is difficult to choose, but in no particular order:

Shadow of a Doubt: From the juxtaposition of Uncle Charlie lying on his bed facing one direction and Niece Charlie lying on her bed, in the opposite direction, right up to the finish the film is pretty well poetry. Stopper moment after stopper moment throughout; "But they're alive! They're human beings!"; Cotton twisting the napkin in the bar, nearly throttling it and the quick smile when he realizes what he's doing, Hume Cronyn's debut (if I remember correctly) and an enjoyable one. Hitch's personal favorite is likely one of his best.

Rope: for several reasons; Hitch, if I remember correctly, decided to shoot this in one take (the only cuts imposed by the running out of film between reels) partly to prove he could do it. Technically a joy to watch--the swinging kitchen door a nice way around having to push through to follow Stewart in--and dramatically as strong as anything he's done. Stewart gives another dynamite performance.

The Man Who Knew Too Much: sorry, but I've always preferred the first one. Edna Best is a solid leading lady; Leslie Banks' character gets a little annoying now and then (but my respect for him doubled when I re-watched The Most Dangerous Game recently, for the first time in around fifteen years, and realized that was him, dangit ;)); and Peter Lorre--what can you say. Lorre was typed as the rotund fall-guy later in life, a broad charicature of himself, and he was probably one of the best actors of his generation.

Psycho: of course. There's really not much one can say about it that hasn't been said over and over.

Five...toughie because it's hard to choose from the rest, but subject to change as I've only seen Rebecca once and suspect it should be in this spot:
The Birds: One of those that grows on you with viewing. The slow roosting in the schoolyard is one of the creepiest moments in film; Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette all doing top-notch work and it definitely leaves you with a sense of impending doom. Besides, how can you not love a film with the tagline 'The Birds is coming!'

Joel Groce
04-19-2002, 09:11 AM
"Rope" - yeah this is great. I love the really dark conversations they have about murder and so forth - this I wasn't expecting at all.

"Birds" - the ending was very apocalyptic!

"North by Northwest" - just a really fun watch all the way through!

But my fav will always be "Psycho" - the mother of all slashers!

04-19-2002, 09:19 AM
Damn, i completly forgot "Rope" when I wrote my list... incredibly underrated Hitchcock movie. Highly enjoyable and not at all as slow/boring as some say (if you ask me that is).