Sunday, June 05, 2005

Top 5 Hitchcock Movies

5. Rebecca

This is the only Hitchcock movie to win best picture. One of the things that makes this movie great is Lawrence Olivier's performance as Max DeWinter. Supposedly, he despised Joan Fontaine in real life and used this in his performance... seems to have worked. The best part of the film is when the camera works its way around an empty room as Olivier describes a scene. Check it out.


4. Rear Window

Not much to add to that, since I'm sure you've seen it. As far as Hitchcock movies starring Jimmy Stewart, I think this movie runs circles around Vertigo.

3. Notorious

This used to be higher on my list but has slipped a little. Hitchcock has Grant and Bergman in the same film here, which I think gives one of his best results ever. Rumor has it that Hitchcock was investigated after this movie came out because it has some discussion of an atomic bomb, before the bomb was actually completed. What to watch for: a great crane shot that comes all the way over a party, down to a key in Bergman's hand.

2. Shadow of a Doubt

As a friend of mine once said, this is Hitchcock's most subversive film. I agree with that. Joseph Cotten plays Uncle Charlie spectacularly, and the rest of the cast does well too. Hume Cronyn's bit part in this movie is one of my favorite characters in all of Hitchcock. If the first five minutes of this movie don't lock your interest, I'll give you a rebate.

1. North by Northwest

Textbook. Besides Psycho, of course this is Hitchcock's most referenced movie. This might be Hitch's longest movie, but the script is interesting enough to keep the audience going. Cary Grant delivers some extreme hilarity as well. The scenes to watch are the restaurant at the beginning, the crop duster (of course), the auction house and Mt. Rushmore (of course). My favorite part of the crop duster attack is when he's waiting around on the side of the road. You think one of those cars is going to do a drive-by with machine gun and just take him out.... but it's a crazy crop duster that comes and gets him! Genius. I wish I had seen this movie in the theater originally, without knowing the crop duster was coming.

4 comments:

edburns said...

Did you notice the small blooper in the Mt. Rushmore cafeteria "shooting" scene? If you watch carefully, you'll see that one of the kid extras covers his ears before the gunshot goes off.

Ed

edburns said...

Also, I can't believe you left out Rope!

Trimbo said...

Rope is one of Hitchcock's more experimental movies. I love it conceptually, I just don't love watching it all the time. Same with Lifeboat. Both are cool concept movies, but how many times can you really watch them? All of the ones in my list can be watched over and over.

b said...

According to IMDB, Olivier treated Fontaine horribly because she got the part over his girlfriend Vivien Leigh. To "console" her, Hitchcock told her that everyone on the set hated her which contributed to her edgy performance. Way to go, Hitch!

I would have put Shadow of a Doubt lower. The first half of the movie was brilliant and suspenseful, but when we find out what he's running from, the intrigue is lost. I guess I would have rather saved the discovery of the actual crime as a lead-in to the movie's climax.