Hitchcock

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My next Netflix film festival will be Alfred Hitchcock films, mostly from the Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection. Most of them I have not seen yet. The three I have seen are the three I’m starting off with: North by Northwest, Dial M for Murder and Strangers on a Train. I viewed North by Northwest yesterday, and geez what an entertaining film.

The others upcoming will be I Confess, Foreign Correspondent, The Wrong Man, Stage Fright, Suspicion and Mr. and Mrs. Smith (not the one with Brangelina). Though it’s not part of this particular collection, I’m also renting Notorious just for fun. It’s my choice for favorite among Hitchcock’s oeuvre.

So, what is everyone’s favorite Hitchcock film?

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

8 responses »

  1. Probably either North by Northwest or The 39 Steps, with the ackowledgment that I really ought to watch Notorious again.

    I always felt that Hitchcock was vaguely overrated, in that as good as he could be, he was also very lazy in a lot of aspects: too many narrative shortcuts, indifferent work with actors, etc., even in his best films. It seems that a lot of critics tend to ignore this kind of thing, or in some cases even find it endearing, but to me it’s always been a mark against him.

  2. Hitchcock is also a director that directors love, I think it’s because he accomplished what they wish they could–an incredible body of work, almost total autonomy, and fame bigger than most of the actors in his picture. He was also, as Brian points out, more gifted technically than in regards to story or acting.

  3. North By Northwest, Strangers On A Train and Vertigo. Long time since I saw 39 Steps, and don’t think I saw the whole thing, but I remember liking it a lot.

    Rear Window is great cinematically, and has an amazing opening sequence, but the story and tension don’t hold up as well.

    And Psycho is just too much of a pop-cultural phenomenon to appreciate by itself nowadays. It’s like watching Empire Strikes Back with my little sister. The whole “I am your father” bit was spoiled a long time ago.

  4. One of my favorites is the original The Man Who Knew Too Much. It’s definitely early Hitchcock, but that’s not a bad thing. The performances are excellent-Peter Lorre is especially good. I much prefer this film to the remake with Doris Day and Jimmy Stewart, although I love watching Doris scream “Que Sera Sera” up the staircase.
    I also like North by Northwest immensely, and count the kiss on the train as one of my favorite liplocks on film…which is odd, since Hitchcock was not quite the romantic.
    My Aunt Shirley once wrote a letter to Hitchcock, asking about a particular scene she found confusing. His response began something like, “My dear girl, it’s obvious that you weren’t watching very carefully.” That made me like him all the more.

  5. I am ridiculously under-watched when it comes to Hitchcock. I have seen Psycho and The Birds, that’s it. I loved both of them, but I don’t think I’ve seen enough of his films to say I have a favorite. I also loved the Hitchcock TV show when I was little.

    I’m working on getting around to some of the better Hitchcock films, but when you have over 100 movies in your Netflix queue it takes a while to get to all of them. This weekend I have Ripley’s Game, Unleashed, and an MST 3000 flick (Boggy Creek 2).

  6. Chris, I hear you. I have just under the limit in my queue (which is 500 movies). I put the Hitchcock movies in there months ago and they’re just now rising to the top.

  7. I watched Hitch’s final film ‘Family Plot’ tonight for the first time in years.

    It’s certainly not Hitch at his best as the film lacks the punch and tautness that he could’ve produced in its prime. One of the big setpieces (when the two heroes are in a car that they can’t stop because the brakes have been tampered with) looks technically quite shoddy by today’s standards.

    Having said that, the film almost is made more enjoyable by not being intense and instead being a laid-back affair.

    It’s got a pretty good script and a good cast to compliment it. No real big names but lots of good actors who prospered in the 1970s (Devane, Dern, Black, Harris) but seemed to fade away once the 1980s came around.

    As for my favourite Hitchcock film, it would go to ‘The Lady Vanishes’.

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