Films: Alfred Hitchcock | The List

Films: Alfred Hitchcock

Double Take

  • 4 stars
  • 2009
  • UK
  • 1h 20min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Johan Grimonprez
  • Written by: Johan Grimonprez, Tom McCarthy
  • Cast: Alfred Hitchcock

Dazzling montage-based film which uses Alfred Hitchcock's fascination with doubles as a springboard to re-examine the socio-political anxieties of Cold War-era America. Zapping between past and present, fiction and 'reality', cinema and television, the filmmaker interweaves a trio of narrative strands - Hitchcock's…

Family Plot

  • 1976
  • US
  • 2h
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris

Hitchcock's final film follows a fraudulent psychic and her private investigator boyfriend on the trail of a missing heir in California, who hit trouble when they encounter a pair of serial kidnappers.

Frenzy

  • 1972
  • UK
  • 1h 56min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Alec McCowen

Hitch's penultimate film is the bloody tale of a serial sex killer called the 'Necktie Murderer'. Gloriously capturing the colour of 1970s London, its critical reception has thawed over the decades.

Topaz

  • 1969
  • US
  • 2h 23min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Frederick Stafford, Dany Robin, John Vernon

Hitchcock's most complex film, based on Leon Uris's tale of international intrigue, would make a fine double-bill with Tinker Tailor Solider Spy.

Torn Curtain

  • 1966
  • US
  • 2h 8min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Lila Kedrova

An American Scientist defects to East Germany and is followed by his fiancée. Hitchcock's exploration of the effect of espionage on relationships features a famous, elongated fight scene.

Marnie

  • 3 stars
  • 1964
  • US
  • 2h 10min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker, Martin Gabel

Hedren (in a role intended for Grace Kelly) is the glacial blonde heroine in this most florid of Hitchcock's psychological melodramas. After her boss Connery catches her robbing his safe, he becomes attracted to her and the two marry, but her frigidity in the bedroom hides a much darker secret. The usual late Hitch…

The Birds

  • 1963
  • US
  • 1h 59min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Tippi Hedren

Brilliant macabre idea from a Du Maurier tale to have our winged friends turned into malevolent killers. This is Hitch at his most mischevious. Oh and for the amateur psychologists among you, there is a glacial blonde leading lady and she is mistreated.

Psycho

  • 5 stars
  • 1960
  • US
  • 1h 49min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Janet Leigh

Hitch's misogynistic masterpiece has a young secretary take off to hicksville with a bagful of her boss' money. Unfortunately for her, she chooses to put up at the Bates' Motel, run by that nice Norman boy. The ironic dialogue ('Mother's not quite herself today') make it a joy to catch any time around. We liked it, didn't…

North By Northwest

  • 5 stars
  • 1959
  • US
  • 2h 16min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Written by: Ernest Lehman
  • Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G Carroll, Martin Landau

Hitchcock's evergreen 1959 thriller starring Cary Grant, James Mason and Eva Marie Saint on a new digital print.

Vertigo

  • 5 stars
  • 1958
  • US
  • 2h 8min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Written by: Alec Coppel, Samuel A Taylor
  • Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Detective Scottie Ferguson (Stewart), a man afraid of heights, falls in love with a woman who apparently commits suicide. When he meets her double, he becomes obsessed with the possibility that she is still alive. Extraordinary plotting in this undervalued Hitchcock study of romantic mania, with Stewart memorably cast…

The Man Who Knew Too Much

  • 3 stars
  • 1956
  • US
  • 2h
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie

Not the 1934 original with Leslie Banks and Peter Lorre, nor the Bill Murray spoof with the 'Little' appendix, but Hitch's remake of his own film with the monumental James Stewart as the doctor on vacation in Marrakech who witnesses a murder and thereafter gets into all kinds of trouble. A passable remake.

The Wrong Man

  • 1956
  • US
  • 1h 45min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle

Based on a real-life case, jazz bassist Manny Balestero is arrested for robbery. Bureaucracy thwarts his attempts to clear his name in typical Hitchcock fashion.

To Catch a Thief

  • 4 stars
  • 1955
  • US
  • 1h 47min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Charles Vanel

Not considered one of Hitch's best, this lightweight comedy thriller about a cat and mouse game between Grant's thief and Kelly's French Riviera socialite nevertheless scores for its breezy screen couple and picturesque locations. This film is not seen nearly as often as the likes of the superior Psycho and Vertigo, so…

The Trouble With Harry

  • 3 stars
  • 1955
  • US
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Mildred Natwick, Mildred Dunnock, Jerry Mathers, Royal Dano

Black farce set in the New England woods in which various characters dig up and bury a body that just won't stay underground. Not one of the master's best, but interesting nevertheless.

Dial M for Murder

  • 4 stars
  • 1954
  • US
  • 1h 45min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Written by: Frederick Knott, (play & screenplay)
  • Cast: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams

Hitchcock's suspense film, drawn from Frederick Knott's stage play, chronicles an ex-tennis pro plotting to murder his wife, and the subsequent police investigation.

Rear Window

  • 5 stars
  • 1954
  • US
  • 1h 52min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr

Laid up with a broken leg, Slim Jim takes to neighbour-spotting with binoculars and camera at the ready. Before long, he's getting hot under the collar about the dirty deeds done across the yard. Is it murder? Or just naked voyeurism? One of Hitch's darkest movies, with an intense, unrelenting claustrophobia derived from…

I Confess

  • 4 stars
  • 1953
  • US
  • 1h 35min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Written by: George Tabori, William Archibald, Paul Anthelme
  • Cast: Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden, Brian Aherne, O E Hasse, Roger Dann, Dolly Haas

Quebec priest Clift hears a confession from a murderer, but discretion and duty lead him to become the prime suspect. Fascinating, wonderfully atheistic mid-period Hitchcock.

Strangers on a Train

  • 1951
  • US
  • 1h 41min
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker

Classic Hitchcock about two strangers who concoct a plan to each murder someone on behalf of the other, thus committing the 'perfect crime'.

Stage Fright

  • 1950
  • UK
  • 1h 50min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Richard Todd

A man suspected of murdering the husband of his mistress goes on the run. Hitchcock examines the relationship between real life and performance in this London-set thriller featuring a great British cast.

Under Capricorn

  • 1949
  • UK
  • 1h 57min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Michael Wilding

A young man sets of for Australia to reconnect with his childhood sweetheart, but she is no longer the girl he used to know.

The Paradine Case

  • 3 stars
  • 1948
  • US
  • 1h 55min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Alida Valli, Charles Laughton

Barrister Peck falls in love with the murder suspect he is defending, and so puts his own marriage at risk. Hitchcock's take on blind passion is rather bleak and the courtroom scenes are a bit laborious.

Rope

  • 1948
  • US
  • 1h 21min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Written by: Patrick Hamilton (play Rope (1929), Adaptation:, Hume Cronyn, Screenplay:, Arthur Laurents, Ben Hecht (uncredited)
  • Cast: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Joan Chandler, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Douglas Dick

Just as the two young gay protagonists play an intellectual game of murder to prove their superiority, Hitchcock shows off his skills by constructing the movie in uncut 10-minute takes. Some of the dialogue is a little philosophically heavy, which weighs down the parlour fun of the concept, but it does provide another…

Notorious

  • 4 stars
  • 1946
  • US
  • 1h 41min
  • U
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Written by: Ben Hecht
  • Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains

World War II. Cynical intelligence agent Grant enlists playgirl Bergman to help him uncover a Nazi atomic plot in Rio de Janeiro. She marries suave plotter Rains and then finds her life in alarming danger. Re-release of this taut, classic thriller, with a fine Ben Hecht script that effectively blends romance and suspense.

Spellbound

  • 1945
  • US
  • 1h 51min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G Carroll, Rhonda Fleming

Complex, not entirely satisfactory suspenser as psychiatrist Bergman comes to the aid of mentally disturbed amnesiac Peck, who is passing himself off as Dr Edwardes. It transpires that he has witnessed a murder. This is the one with Salvador Dali's dream sequences, amateur Freudian analaysis, lush Miklos Rosza music and a…