Monday, August 13, 2007

5 Off The Top Of My Head - Hitch Flicks

Today would've been Alfred Hitchcock's 108th birthday. If I believed in an afterlife, I would picture Alfred and Alma sitting in some stuffy drawing room right now having their morning tea over a newspaper (The Heavenly Times perhaps, or The New Elysium Tribune) and not talking to each other, which is what I picture as being heaven to the both of them (nevermind the blonde stuffed in the closet, of course).

Anyway, I'll take this opportunity to list my five favorite Alfred Hitchcock movies, as they strike me this morning, and in no particular order because to do so would be to rend my mind from end to end with horrific agony.

"Intelligence. Nothing has caused the human race
so much trouble as intelligence"

Strangers on a Train (1951)

"I still think it would be wonderful
to have a man love you so much he'd kill for you. "

Notorious (1946)

"There's nothing like a love song to give you a good laugh."

Vertigo (1958)

"You shouldn't keep souvenirs of a killing.
You shouldn't have been that sentimental. "

The Birds (1963)

"I think you're the cause of all this.
I think you're evil! EVIL! "

The runners-up are so close that the line excluding them could only be seen if scientists trained a sub-atomic microscope on it. They are North By Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Shadow of a Doubt, and (damn it hurt to not include this one, but for some reason I'm favoring The Birds this morning) Psycho.

List your faves in the comments!


TheoSav said...

What?!! Whattabout ROPE?!

Jason Adams said...

Heh. I do love Rope, but it never feels like a complete film to me; the long takes feel gimmicky and the single set makes it feel too stagey. I do love it, though.

TheoSav said...


Glenn Dunks said...

Rope isn't considered one of Hitchcock's true best though is it?

It really is hard to just think of five but here goes.

1. Psycho
2. The Birds
3. The 39 Steps
4. Rear Window
5. Lifeboat

...? Aagh. But Notorious! North By Northwest! Vertigo! Rebecca! To Catch a Thief! So many titles...

Jason Adams said...

I need to watch Lifeboat again, I've only seen it once about ten years ago and don't really remember it all that well. 39 Steps and To Catch a Thief, they both came close. And I love The Lady Vanishes too. And the original MWKTM! Gah.

John T said...

For me, it's gotta be Vertigo, Psycho, Notorious, Rebecca, and North by Northwest (though I kind of want to throw Alfred Hitchcock Presents in at the fifth slot). I, however, am going to admit that the classic which I have inexplicably missed, despite wanting to see it, but just never getting around to it (you know the one-we all have them) is Rear Window. It's sailing up my Netflix list at an alarming rate, but for some reason I've never gotten around to it. I will have to push that up my list.

Scott said...

Only 5 favorites? That's so hard, but okay: Vertigo, Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, North by Northwest, and ... well for my 5th favorite I'm inclined to pick Shadow of a Doubt - but instead I'll throw one of his movies that's not great but has some fun bits in it into the mix - Stage Fright. Yeah, it's got flaws, but Alastair Sim is fun in it, and c'mon, it stars Dietrich.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca because June Anderson fondles the dead wife's underwear. (dirty!)

The Birds for Jessica Tandy's silent scream and for Suzanne Pleshette whipping an entire schoolhouse of children into a screaming panic.

Marnie because it's endlessly quotable and just plain disturbing.

To Catch a Thief for all the speed racing around the cliffs in the Riviera.

J.D. said...


Jason Adams said...

john - I can say Rear Window is my favorite Hitch movie; picking it for this list was the easiest choice. Hell it's in my top 5 movies of all time. So this is where I shriek for you to see it immediately.

scott - I've never seen Stage Fright! Shame on me. There aren't that many Hitch movies left that I haven't seen yet; I keep meaning to sit down and watch all the ones I do have left at once. It'd take a whole day, or possibly a weekend, but I imagine it'd be a wonderful time; even with Hitch's lesser films there's joy to be had.

JD - please tell me you're kidding! Agh!!!

John T said...

Ja-I've moved Rear Window to the top of Netflix queue, so I'll have it done by the end of the week. I'll make sure and report back my thoughts.

J.D. said...

I am 14, but there is an eventual expiration date to that excuse, I know...

Anonymous said...

I know it's not his BEST movie...but I will always love The Birds most of all. That movie has such a great atmosphere the whole way through, and it manages to make what could be ridiculously stupid into a genuinely scary film. (Now the remake...that's gonna be funny)

Jason Adams said...

That expiration date has passed, JD. No more excuses! ;-)

rj, I'm with ya on The Birds. He really just creates the most palpable mood with it; it's one of those movies I get caught up in every time, even though I've probably seen it dozens of times by now. And it is genuinely scary; Tippi sitting outside the schoolhouse with the birds slowly multiplying behind her freaks me out every damn time, as does her going into the attic; I just want to scream at her to stop, for the love of god, stop Tippi!


I am horrified that you excluded PSYCHO (it didn't used to be my favorite but it kept moving up the charts the more times I saw it... and I don't think i've ever seen a horror movie as many times as I've seen it. actually i know i haven't)

anyway. my five (in rough order of affection)


but i still have some of the earliest ones left to see... and really they're all so awesome in their own way. I even kinda like FRENZY (though it's more gross than fabulous)

Glenn Dunks said...

Psycho is my #2 of all time so that was my easy choice. Rear Window used to be in my top 10 as well, but it's slipped a bit. The Birds is just really eerie. I love it's atmosphere and it's set pieces. And I have a big major soft spot for The 39 Steps for whatever reason.

It does seem odd that Ja of all people wouldn't have Psycho on there though.

Jason Adams said...

Well I'm unpredictable like that! Seriously, Hitch is my #1, has been since I was like 15, and I love with the depths of my heart about 10 of his films, so narrowing it down to 5... tough. Nothing, not even Psycho, beats Rear Window for me, but any of the others including the alternates I mentioned could've made top 5. I feel the need for excuses! See what you've driven me to! ;-) I have every single frame of Psycho memorized, I've probably seen it more times than any of the others, and so I'm SO familiar with it I sometimes give it short shrift. It's like those albums you've listened to so many times you can't listen to them anymore.