An Alfred Hitchcock Extravaganza

I’ve been recently watching all of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films and it’s safe to say the experience has been exhilarating. Before you had Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan, or Ridley Scott and James Cameron, directors whose very names drive you to the movie theaters to see their latest works, you had Alfred Hitchcock.

He was the pioneering director who made himself the attraction to see his next great masterpiece. Before making American films that would thus change the world of cinema and wow his fellow movie making peers, he was over in England astonishing his viewers with his masterfully suspenseful flicks that leave one wide-eyed.

It was, of course, his later films made in America (Psycho, Vertigo, etc.) that turned the British director into a household name. A few years ago, I watched Psycho for the first time. I had no idea it was going to be as good as it was nor did I expect it to be that terrifying. My recent second viewing of the movie reiterated to me just how scary the film really is. In fact, it seemed even scarier and more suspenseful the second time I watched it.

After that, I suddenly found the urge to start finding and watching Hitchcock movies and of course I forged ahead to the films that are deemed the best in his repertoir. Today, I will share my ranking of the six Alfred Hitchcock movies I’ve seen and my miniature reviews on each film. Enjoy!

6. The Birds

The Birds (1963)

I have to admit, when I see a mass of birds on wires lately I’m a bit freaked out, just slightly, after watching this movie. The thought of a horror movie featuring killer birds sounds hilarious until you realize just how scary birds can be if they attacked you with ruthless impunity.

Now, besides the obvious fear factor that Alfred Hitchcock so effortlessly conveys in this film, it is still, overall, kind of boring, It takes a long while for anything to actually happen and then it ends rather abruptly.

We are provided a mysterious conclusion that leaves much to the imagination and the film’s protagonist just doesn’t feel likable enough to really care about. I found myself caring about her love interest’s well being than her…unfortunately.

Yeah, this movie is a classic but ultimately, compared to these other Alfred Hitchcock films, it pales in comparison.

4/5 stars

5. Rear Window

Rear Window was the third Alfred Hitchcock movie I watched after Psycho and North by Northwest and I have to say, I was mildly surprised by this one.

Unlike his faster moving thrillers that get to the point of suspense instantly, Rear Window is a slow-burn mystery that takes its time over the course of I think three days. However, when things start to crack down you can’t help but stare at the screen in horror as the suspense rises to an all-time high.

Alfred Hitchcock is such a genius and this movie is another testament to his brilliance.

4/5 stars

4. Dial M for Murder

"Dial M For Muder," Grace Kelly. 1954 Warner Bros.

Oh my goodness, this movie had me on the edge of my seat. Most murder mysteries leave you in the dark on who the culprit is. The brilliance of this film is it tells the viewers who’s going to be murdered, how they’re going to get murdered in haunting detail, and when they’re going to get murdered.

I sat in my chair wide-eyed as the suspense grew and grew. The story’s twists and turns never seemed to end, that is, until the last few minutes of the movie when things took a final turn to provide a conclusion to the story. I’m not going to lie. The end was a bit boring but after so much tension and suspense it was a well-deserved letdown.

Anthony Dawson in Dial M for Murder (1954)

I found myself feeling moved by the performance of Anthony Dawson as he portrayed the coerced murderer of the antagonist’s wife, Charles Swann. Spoiler Alert: he dies but he didn’t even have to die. It’s all very unfortunate all because of one man who wanted his wife killed. Yikes!

4.5/5 stars

3. North by Northwest

Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)

This movie had me gasping and oh-my-goshing for its entirety because this film just does not let up on the pedal. From the first ten minutes to the last ten minutes, North by Northwest feels like one of the best suspenseful action movies I’ve ever seen, if not the best.

There’s a twist after every turn it seems and by the end, I was just staring at the screen in gaped-mouthed awe. This was the film that ultimately made me an Alfred Hitchcock fan but of course, it is the next two movies on this list that have solidified that fact.

5/5 stars

2. Pyscho

Janet Leigh in Psycho (1960)

When one thinks of this movie you may immediately think of this scene here, the famous shower scene that left viewers in 1960 utterly shocked and horrified. This is just a facade to the real story though, a story that features one of the most frightening murder mysteries depicted on the big screen.

Hitchcock rarely delves into horror territory but when he does…

I thought my second viewing would be easier to watch but honestly, I was even more scared than the first time. Knowing the plot twist in the movie provides an extra layer of psychological horror that left me, as a super scaredy-cat, barely able (or unable) to look at the screen during the film’s most tense moments.

The fact that Anthony Perkins didn’t get an Oscar nomination for playing the ultra-creepy psychopath Norman Bates in this movie is simply astonishing and just thinking about this film is freaking me out.

Next!

5/5 stars

1. Vertigo

James Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)

If you had told me several months ago that I would like another Alfred Hitchcock movie more than Psycho I would’ve laughed but yeah, I think Vertigo is a better film.

The movie’s creepy theme–a former detective is hired to follow a woman after her husband thinks she’s been possessed by a ghost–was enough to latch me in but I did not, I repeat, DID NOT expect the twists and turns in this masterpiece.

Have you ever seen a mystery thriller that has a twist inside a twist? Well, that’s what happens in this movie and I’m not going to tell you anything else because if you haven’t seen this film you need to watch it, pronto.

Oh my goodness, it is so good and is undoubtedly one of the best films I have ever seen. It’s rare to find a great movie, leastwise a great mystery thriller, but this film is a true gem and I am so glad I finally saw it.

10/5 stars! (It’s that good!)

Well, there’s my Alfred Hitchcock extravaganza. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched all of his best movies but if you have any suggestions please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments because I’m really trying to watch a bunch of these Hitchcock films.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day.

2 thoughts on “An Alfred Hitchcock Extravaganza”

  1. There are times when I feel like, as much of a movie buff as I am, there’s a lot that I’m missing, and I definitely feel that way sometimes when I read your stuff. Your comment that you’ve seen LOTR a hundred times left me like, “I don’t think there’s any movie I’ve ever seen more than… thirty?” Although there’s definitely scenes I’ve probably watched 100 times in rapid succession, because I’ll get to them and watch them over and over.

    I don’t think I’ve seen any of these except Psycho, and even that I saw when I was in high school… which is a lot longer ago for me than it was for you. Maybe it’s time I dug them up again. Where you watching these, HBOMax? I just got the trial and probably have had it for more than a week, so I’ve probably got it for at least a month more now. 😓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. HBO Max, Peacock, and Quibi. North by Northwest and Psycho are on HBO Max. Vertigo, The Birds, and Rear Window are on Peacock. And Dial M for Murder is on Quibi.

      Great fact: Peacock and Quibi are free services. There’s no payment whatsoever. You just have to watch the films with short 15-30 second commercial intervals.

      Like

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