Monday, March 8, 2010

Hitch your -cock to a star


Following in the footsteps of fellow movie blogger Silents and Talkies, I thought about my top 20 movies by Alfred Hitchcock. He's one of my favorite directors because he had such fun making us watch him toy with us and share his obsessions. He was one of the big star directors, and one of the few whose films that average moviegoers would eagerly anticipate. He had a few misses, and was best when he dealt with subjects dear to his heart like the oppressive incompetence of authority and the suspense of the unknown.

1. Strangers on a Train
2. North by Northwest
3. Shadow of a Doubt
4. The 39 Steps
5. The Birds
6. The Trouble with Harry
7. Rear Window
8. Psycho
9. Vertigo
10. Rope
11. Suspicion
12. Frenzy
13. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
14. Rebecca
15. Notorious
16. Lifeboat
17. Secret Agent
18. The Wrong Man
19. "Lamb to the Slaughter"
20. Saboteur

Conspicuously absent: The Lady Vanishes. By the end of the movie I wished it was Throw Momma from the Train. To Catch a Thief- more like to catch a few Z's. Spellbound has lovely visuals but is rather tepid.

I love The Trouble with Harry and its dry morbid humor, but my all time favorite is of course, Strangers on a Train. Cris-cross! I wish he'd directed more Patricia Highsmith stories, especially The Talented Mr. Ripley, but he wouldn't have gotten the asexuality of a sociopath correct. The first ten are among my favorite movies, period. I don't know of another director who's made TEN movies I can watch again and again, other than Hitch. I still haven't seen many classics- The Lodger, Marnie, the first Man Who Knew Too Much, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Stage Fright, and more- but I look forward to every one of them.

© 2010 Thomas Pluck.

2 comments:

Kate Gabrielle said...

I haven't seen a lot of his earlier ones either, but Stage Fright is a really great one! It has a bad reputation for some reason but it's one of my favorites.

I agree about To Catch a Thief - which didn't make my list either - I still think it's a pretty good film, but compared to what Hitch usually put out, it is pretty dull.

Reel Whore said...

I've only seen a handful of Hitchcock films, but have enjoyed them a lot. I need to power through them over the course of a couple of months.

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