Best of Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock is my favourite film director of all-time, as he is the master of suspense. What I particularly enjoy about Hitchcock films is how he takes ordinary people and places them in extraordinary circumstances where they face increasing jeopardy from an outside force. This allows the audience to identify with the main characters. Here, Hitchcock takes the audience on a ride, continually raising the stakes as the film moves towards its climax. Although he never won an Oscar for Best Director, he has received numerous awards and nominations during his career.

In order, here are my favourite Hitchcock movies:

  1. Rear Window (1954)
  2. Vertigo (1958)
  3. Rebecca (1940)
  4. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  5. Psycho (1960)
  6. North by Northwest (1959)
  7. Suspicion (1941)
  8. Dial M for Murder (1954)
  9. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  10. Spellbound (1945)
  11. Rope (1948)
  12. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
  13. Notorious (1946)
  14. To Catch a Thief (1955)
  15. Lifeboat (1944)
  16. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
  17. The Birds (1963)
  18. The 39 Steps (1935)
  19. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
  20. The Trouble with Harry (1955)
  21. The Wrong Man (1956)
  22. I Confess (1953)
  23. Stage Fright (1950)
  24. Sabotage (1936)
  25. Marnie (1964)
  26. Frenzy (1972)
  27. Topaz (1969)
  28. Family Plot (1976)

I have always loved how Hitchcock described the art of creating suspense in a film:

“Imagine a restaurant where there’s is a ticking bomb under the table, and we in the audience know it’s going to go off in fifteen minutes.  Now imagine one of the characters knows it as well, but can’t reveal it.  With this, the suspense ratchets to another level. Not only are we aware of the impending explosion, we share in the character’s anxiety to get away and the excruciating effort of acting totally unconcerned even as the bomb ticks down.  The emotional connection we have to a character for whom this situation is a matter of life or death makes the suspense we feel that much greater.”

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