Hitchcock Movies from the MysteryNet Top 50

Hitchcock’s oeuvre will live longer than that of anyone else because each of the films that compose it was made with such art and such care that it’s able to rival the most attractive new work in movie houses and on television sets today.
François Truffaut

Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock (1958)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
Screenplay: Alec Coppel and Samuel Taylor.
Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes.
Ex-cop Stewart can’t face heights which puts him in real jeopardy when he becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman he’s been hired to tail. Murder and a beauty makeover add to the enigma. Novak holds her own in heady company as Hitchcock and Stewart deliver a complex puzzle that’s enhanced by Bernard Herrmann’s majestic musical score and the beautiful San Francisco settings.
Noteworthy Facts: Regularly voted one of the greatest movies in history by international critics.

Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
Screenplay: Joseph Stefano.
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, and John Gavin.
The shower murder scene is justifiably famous, but Psycho has much more to offer thrill-seeking movie-watchers. Perkins is outstanding as quirky Norman Bates, devoted to his mother, and enamored of visiting thief Leigh who just wants a motel room for the night. Bernard Herrmann’s score is entirely composed of string instruments. A classic that stands up to repeated viewings.
Noteworthy Facts: When it was first released, Hitchcock’s promotional gimmicks included not allowing theaters to let any one in once the movie had begun. And they stuck by his request. Followed by two sequels (Psycho III was directed by Perkins), and a television movie. Based on the novel by Robert Bloch.

Rear Window (1954)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
Screenplay: John Michael Hayes.
Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, and Raymond Burr.
Photographer Stewart is confined to a wheelchair because of an accident, so he spends his idle time peering out his apartment window watching his neighbors live their lives. Believing he’s seen Burr kill his wife, Stewart enlists the help of his fiancee (Kelly) and his nurse (Ritter) to find out the truth. Hitchcock deftly handles the confining spaces and delivers a claustrophobic mystery that’s wonderfully well-acted.
Noteworthy Facts: Based on a story by Cornell Woolrich.

North by Northwest (1959)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
Screenplay: Ernest Lehman.
Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G. Carroll, and Martin Landau.
Flawless example of Hitchcock’s ability to entertain. Grant is spirited away by thugs who think he’s a secret agent. This starts a cross-country adventure that includes the classic crop dusting scene and a breathless battle atop Mount Rushmore. Saint is a superb femme fatale. Bernard Herrmann contributes another perfect musical score.

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
Screenplay: Raymond Chandler and Czenzi Ormonde.
Cast: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock, Marion Lorne.
Tennis pro Granger meets his match in psychotic Walker who wants to swap murders: his father for Grangers’s clinging wife. Granger’s in love with Roman. Set amidst Washington politics and a superior example of Hitchcock’s love affair with trains and railroading. The carousel scene is a classic.
Noteworthy Facts: Patricia is Hitchcock’s daughter. Additional writing credit: adapted by Whitfield Cook. Based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
Screenplay: Thornton Wilder, Sally Benson, and Alma Reville.
Cast: Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, Macdonald Carey, Henry Travers, and Hume Cronyn.
Suspense-filled drama about a favorite Uncle (Cotten) visiting his adoring niece (Wright). When she discovers he’s a murderer, her ideal little world falls apart. Hitchcock said this was his personal favorite of all his movies, and it’s easy to see why. The movie is a slice of American pie laced with poison.
Noteworthy Facts: Co-screenwriter Reville is Hitchcock’s wife. Based on a story by Gordon McDonnell.


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