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Added by Citizen Caine

on 2 May 2010 07:24

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Sir Alfred Hitchcock Films Ranked

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People who added this item 510  Average listal rating (330 ratings) 7.1  IMDB Rating 7.2 
1. Marnie (1964)
I love this film, in fact it's not far from being by favourite Hitchcock, certainly his most powerful work in my opinion - I know others would say Vertigo. Some question Tippi Hedren's acting credentials but I think she does a fine job and, to be honest, as much of a wonderful actress Grace Kelly was, I can't see her taking on a role of this kind, for Marnie isn't the typical Hitchcock blonde that Kelly defined. Sure, Marnie is icy cool and mysterious, but she is of course practically asexual, hence she lacks eroticism which is an essential trait amongst the Hitchcock blondes à la Eva Marie Saint or Kim Novak. I'd say this is Connery's finest performance too, although I haven't seen The Hill. Rutland's fetish could have been explored a bit more. I mean, it doesn't have to be completely conspicuous, but it would have added more depth and weight to his character and in turn his relationship with Marnie had it been more obvious. I dunno. It all comes together so well during the final scene, and it features one of Herrmann's best scores in my view. The lighting is terrific at times too, most notably the kiss in the stable and Louise Latham's shadowy figure at the top of the stairs early on in the film. The theft at Rutland's is one of my favourite Hitchcock sequences, very well conceived. And the artificiality? I like artificiality. Besides, I've seen worse back-projection and backdrops.
Yeah, it's just a brilliant film.
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People who added this item 2360  Average listal rating (1434 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating 8.4 
2. Vertigo (1958)
Admittedly I don't like the ending (it's far too abrupt, even by Hitchcock's standards) and it's far from my favourite film from the master of suspense but I can't help myself from being swept up in it all, particularly the majestic use of colour.
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People who added this item 3441  Average listal rating (2187 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating 8.6 
3. Psycho (1960)
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People who added this item 328  Average listal rating (181 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating 7.5 
4. The Wrong Man (1956)
Another excellent film, with Hitchcock even introducing it. Henry Fonda is superb in this true story about Manny Balestrero, an innocent family-man with debt problems, who is falsely arrested for robbery and assault. The absorbing story aside, Vera Miles is outstanding as Balestrero's wife - and the first scene that she appears to be unwell in is genuinely chilling - aided by Bernard Herrmann's score. Anthony Quale is decent too as the lawyer assigned to help the couple. The technical work is fantastic too.
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People who added this item 644  Average listal rating (381 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating
5. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
*Possible Spoilers*

Sublime. While it takes a while to get going, once the Macguffin is introduced in the guise of a myesterious ring, I was hooked. While at first I wasn't sure Joseph Cotten (who is an actor I greatly admire), was completely believable as the 'good Uncle Charlie', I came to realise that it doesn't really matter, it was never really the intention for him to start the film as a 'nice guy', that it was more to do with him brainwashing his loving family. I fell in love with Teresea Wright as 'Young Charlie' and could understand how quickly Macdonald Carey's detective did as well. I feel it was unfair that Truffaut, in his Hitchcock book, critisised Carey as a poor casting choice as I think he did a very good job. He wasn't supposed to stand out from Cotten. Cotten himself is excellent playing Uncle Charlie with a cold steeliness and vice. I love the great little touches such as his encounter with the widow at the bank and of course his various outbursts throughout the film. Enjoyed Hume Cronyn and Henry Travers as well. Hell, the whole cast are great. Stand out scene? I personally loved the scene where Cotten walks up the stairs and turns to see young Charlie, who appears heartbroken.
What a wonderful film.

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People who added this item 1581  Average listal rating (1019 ratings) 8.3  IMDB Rating 8.5 
6. North by Northwest (1959)
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People who added this item 1021  Average listal rating (648 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating 8.2 
7. Dial M for Murder (1954)
Absolutely perfect from beginning to end.
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People who added this item 2268  Average listal rating (1532 ratings) 8.5  IMDB Rating 8.6 
8. Rear Window (1954)
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People who added this item 599  Average listal rating (382 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.9 
9. The 39 Steps (1935)
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People who added this item 228  Average listal rating (141 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 6.8 
10. Family Plot (1976)
Considering it is the last of Sir Alfred's films I wasn't expecting much. Either I was totally wrong, or because I hadn't watched a Hitchcock in a while, I enjoyed this immensely!
It was a really fun film and the two leads were fantastic. The balance of comedy and suspense was done to perfection. And I thought the John Williams score was great too - certainly an underrated one.
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People who added this item 202  Average listal rating (109 ratings) 7.1  IMDB Rating 7.1 
11. Stage Fright (1950)
Great film that unfortunately starts rather slowly but it soon picks up and I was utterly absorbed in the story. Stellar cast including Marlene Dietrich, Michael Wilding, Richard Todd, Alastair Sim and Sybil Thorndike (who is terrific), along with Joyce Grenfell in a small part. But this is really Jane Wyman's film and she's absolutely lovely. Best scene? For me it's got to be the romance between Wyman and Wilding in the taxi. But the final scenes with Wyman and Todd are also superb. The opening shot of London's St Paul's Cathedral is also stunning. Its refreshing to see a Hitchcock murder mystery that's completely different from his usual formula.
Excellent film - would be 5 stars if it wasn't for the slow start. Although I'll probably change my mind sometime.
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People who added this item 238  Average listal rating (133 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.3 
12. I Confess (1953)
Excellent film with Montgomery Clift giving a very good performance as a priest in Québec who, due to his religion, cannot tell anybody about the murder he hears about during a confession. The standout scene involves the priests' lover, Anne Baxter, recollecting the moments they spent together during and after the second world war. The use of locations in this film are particularly stunning up until the tense climax.
Great film.
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People who added this item 184  Average listal rating (106 ratings) 5.7  IMDB Rating 6.3 
13. Topaz (1969)
Wow. A hell of a lot better than I remembered. I’m going to be controversial and say this is the closest Hitchcock got to Bond, as much as I love North By Northwest. Whilst that film was a more light-hearted precourser to From Russia With Love, this is the thinking-man’s Thunderball. Frederick Stafford is Connery, Topaz is SPECTRE, Soviet/Cuban missiles replace stolen atom bombs, John Forsythe is Felix Leiter, Brandy and Scotch, plenty of gadgets, and we even have former Bond girl Karin Dor, who is damn hot in this film. The first hour is superb, love the scenes in Harlem in particular, Roscoe Lee Browne is very cool as Stafford’s ally. Everything in Cuba is spot on, plenty of espionage, torture, the purple dress scene etc. But it’s not a film without flaws, that’s for sure. It should’ve ended once Stafford leaves Cuba and returns to Washington. Then suddenly “oh yeah, we forgot to actually find out who was involved in Topaz” and the film drags on for a further half hour. Not the most thought- provoking comments I’m writing here but what I’m really trying to say is that for the most part, I loved it this time.
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People who added this item 83  Average listal rating (36 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating 6.3 
14. The Ring (1927)
What a great film. I can't understand why this doesn't get more appreciation than it does. On the surface, it's a simple sporting tale as a young man progresses in his boxing career to win back his wife from another lover of hers. And yet, there's so much more to this film than that, mainly the astounding and ingenious technical aspects to the film such as the the scene of the notice board changing throughout the seasons as Carl Brisson's "One Round Jack" defeats his opponents until he is left fighting Ian Hunter's Australian champion who stole his wife's love. The visual metaphors such as the snake bangle reresenting the original sin of Adam and Eve as well as every circular object reffering back to the film's title is just brilliant, and it amazes me that Hitchcock uses such metaphors so early on his career. Hithcock's "Pure cinema" ideal is used to perfection here as of course, there is no sound. The only thing that let's the film down is it's ending which I find rather difficult to believe. Other than that, The Ring is excellent.
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People who added this item 90  Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.4 
15. Murder! (1930)
A pretty damn good 'whodunit'. The climax is as gripping as that of any Agatha Christie play. I suppose the film could in fact be described as an ode to Christie's work, or at least her very early work, as she's even name dropped during the course of the film. But of course this is a Hitchcock film, and his use of imagery is at its best here, whether it's the shadowy noose that looms over the convicted Norah Baring, or the sponge-like carpet that indicates the jelly-like legs of a nervous Esme Percy. Okay, admittedly that last one was quite bizarre! A top performance from Herbert Marshall really sets the film a class above the other talkies I’ve seen from Hitchcock’s early work, with the exception of The 39 Steps. There’s plenty of humour too and good humour at that. A tad slow at times but satisfying on the whole.

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People who added this item 2443  Average listal rating (1552 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.8 
16. The Birds (1963)
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People who added this item 897  Average listal rating (548 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating 8.1 
17. Strangers on a Train (1951)
It was certainly entertaining but if anything I felt it lacked Hithcock's main trademark - the suspense, and I felt the climax was unsatisfying.
Still, decent performances overall and some great scenes (as with any Hitchcock film). The murder scene is outstanding.
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People who added this item 304  Average listal rating (196 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.3 
18. Saboteur (1942)
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People who added this item 258  Average listal rating (168 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating 6.7 
19. Torn Curtain (1966)
Unfortunately, unlike the poster suggests, it did not tear me apart with suspense. Other than the decent murder scene (one of Hitch's most famous scenes), this was a so-so thriller. Great cinematography and shots boosts this up to 4 stars.
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People who added this item 391  Average listal rating (243 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.2 
20. The Trouble with Harry (1955)
Very clever film, but lacking in tension, unlike other Hitchcock films. Decent performances from the cast and beautiful locations along with Hithcock's brilliant use of colour.
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People who added this item 73  Average listal rating (33 ratings) 5.9  IMDB Rating 5.9 
21. Number 17 (1932)
Like 1948's Rope, I personally feel that Number Seventeen would probably have worked better as a play, in this case as originally intended. It's interesting to see that Leon M. Lion (who I remember from The Amazing Quest Of Earnest Bliss) is credited as the main star even though he plays a secondary character, although he is probably the best thing about this film with plenty of comedic appeal. Similarly to Rope again, this film is technically brilliant with atmospheric, shadowy, brilliantly lighted opening scenes as well as a thrillng climatic chase between a train and a bus, but the story itself is relatively simple but very effective. In fact a lot more effective than Rope. John Stuart, despited being a Scotsman, plays a typical cinematic English gentleman of the era and Ann Casson overplays her role but is nice enough before being put to one side when Anne Grey enters the picture. The fight scene near the middle of the film, is still pretty damn good, although it begins to drag and in doing so, the sped up film becomes more noticeable and rather dated.
A minor but entertaining Hitchcock thriller.
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People who added this item 60  Average listal rating (27 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.3 
22. The Manxman (1929)
Hitchcock himself described The Manxman as only being of note because it was his last silent film and, indeed, it's fun to see how the film acts as a bridge between silent pictures and talkies - several lines of important dialogue are left to be lip-read without the need of a title card. The film also has an early example of the classic Hitchcock love triangle as Malcolm Keen's Deemster falls in love with Anny Ondra whilst her admirer, Carl Brisson, is away on leave to make some money and impress her father. There's wonderful location work in Cornwall, doubling for the Isle of Man, and there are plenty of twists. Like Young And Innocent, it's not much, but it's not bad at all.
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People who added this item 139  Average listal rating (77 ratings) 6.5  IMDB Rating 7.1 
23. Young and Innocent (1937)
Decent British Hitchcock film with a cast that was fairly new to me (Nova Pilbeam and Derrick De Marney). Great atmosphere and tension, its the plot that lets the film down - a clone of the vastly superior, The 39 Steps. Still, there is a spectacular scene in a mineshaft and quite possibly the first use of the phrase "Step on it!". Entertaining.
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People who added this item 553  Average listal rating (326 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.7 
24. Spellbound (1945)
Out of all the Hitchcock's I have yet to see, this was the one I most wanted to, if only for Salvador Dali's involvement (I'm a fan of his work, somewhat). Unfortunately, like Suspicion before it, this turned out to be a disappointment. It tries hard, but it's too talky, slightly melodramatic and could do with a considerable cut down in length, even if it is only about 110 minutes. On the plus side I think it has probably the best non-Herrmann score, from the Hitchcock's I've seen at least - I'm not overly familiar with Miklós Rózsa's work. There's a lot of innovative technical work too, typical of a Hitchcock film (the red flash when the gun is fired is genius ; I'm not sure if that was hand painted like the flag in Battleship Potemkin.) And of course, Dali's dream sequence which is by far the highlight of the film for me. Here's an interesting tidbit from the Hitchcock/Truffaut book :

"Dali had some strange ideas ; he wanted a statue to crack like a shell falling apart, with ants crawling all over it, and underneath, there would be Ingrid Bergman, covered by the ants!"


Quite ambitious! Truffaut goes on to say that he feels Gregory Peck is not the typical Hitchcock leading man and, whilst he doesn't have to be the typical Hitchcock leading man, I agree that something is lacking in his performance. Not "robotic" as Truffaut bluntly puts it, but slightly underwhelming for a talent man such as himself. Bergman is,well, Ingrid Bergman - beautiful, captivating and all the rest, not to mention a hell of an actress. Rhonda Fleming makes quite an impression in her brief appearance early on in the film as a sexy, man-hating, violent, mental, well, bitch. And of course there's Hitchcock regular Leo G. Carroll in a much more substantial part and Norman Lloyd, the villain from Saboteur!

For me, this is middle-of-the road Hitch fare.
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People who added this item 682  Average listal rating (434 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.5 
25. To Catch a Thief (1955)
Cary Grant. Grace Kelly. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. A recipe for success, am I right? Well, not this time around. First off, Robert Burks' photography, for which he one an Oscar, is, well, beyond words. The guy was a genius. Secondly, a decent, overlooked score from Lyn Murray. Thirdly, the wonderful production design and costume work. And of course Grant (was in the French sun a bit too long) and Kelly, for many they are the perfect screen couple. So where does it go wrong? I just don't know. It shouldn't be underwhelming but it is. Perhaps it's because I'm familiar with what came after it (North By Northwest and Vertigo) that this feels just a bit tame and a tad limp, like the fifties version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. But there we are.
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People who added this item 270  Average listal rating (152 ratings) 6.4  IMDB Rating 6.9 
26. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
I enjoyed it more than the remake, mainly thanks to Peter Lorre's performance.
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People who added this item 934  Average listal rating (617 ratings) 8  IMDB Rating 8.1 
27. Rope (1948)
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People who added this item 388  Average listal rating (244 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating 7.5 
28. Suspicion (1941)
Eh. Held in high regard by some, I know, but this really didn’t do a lot for me. Sure, the twist is good, Cary Grant is very good, Joan Fontaine is a fine leading lady (still haven’t seen Rebecca yet) and the “Picasso Perplexity” is a nice touch, but for the most part I found this very underwhelming. Hitchcock nailed everything that is being explored here (minus end twist) two years later in Shadow Of A Doubt and this film feels like a flawed precursor. Well maybe not flawed, but something’s missing, it just lacks something. An early scene with Grant and Fontaine at the clifftop is the highlight for me with Hitchcock cleverly cutting to what appears to be a struggle with murderous intent. But that’s about it.
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People who added this item 764  Average listal rating (466 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.5 
29. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Unfortunately forgettable and a bit too gimmicky. This one doesn't do anything for me at all.
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People who added this item 55  Average listal rating (27 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.4 
30. Bon Voyage (1944)
Going into this French-language progaganda film, I didn't know what to expect. It's running time is just over 24 minutes, and thus I was interested to know what Hitchcock managed to do in such a short space of time. It tells the tale of a young RAF pilot, who gives his version of how he managed to escape from German-occupied France back to Britain, the twist being that his version of the story is not entirely correct. But it's the twist that, although being the whole point of the film, undoes the film somewhat as it swings from a morale-booster to suddenly telling the audience how ineffective the French Resistance is. It's well made but has none of Hitchcock's technical mastery, tension or a great performance from his lead actor. But at less than half an hour long, what should I have expected?

3/5 for historical purposes only.
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People who added this item 495  Average listal rating (314 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.5 
31. Frenzy (1972)
A very mixed but interesting bag. There was a lot I liked, but there was a lot I disliked. I'll start with what I didn't like. First off, Ron Goodwin's score. It is by no means bad, in fact excellent, but fo I felt the majority of it belonged to a totally different film. A joyful, happy, family friendly film, not the bleakness of Frenzy. I much prefer Henry Mancini's efforts that Hitchcock discarded. Another think I strongly disliked was the use of London. Other than the opening, all we see is covent garden and the market and stereotypical British pubs. Everything looks so dull. I thought the dialogue was pretty bad too, particularly the poor uses of the word b******, at one point aimed at a woman, feeling absurd. The 'humour' that Hitchcock tries to inject by introducing Vivien Merchant and her foul dinners (reminiscent of 'Eraserhead') falls flat to me, and I fail to see the supposed "visual metaphors". It's interesting that Hitchcock makes his familiar 'wrong man' character completely unlikeable and I felt Jon Finch was very poor. Not necessarily wrong for the role or bad in general, just pretty bad in this particular film. I thought the first rape scene was neither shocking or well made, just 'there'. All this said, the scene with Barry Foster's Rusk in the Truck is superb, with Hitchcock's black humour at it's finest and I love the final scene. That just about lifts the film above two stars, but that's it really. The film's intriguing but so bland. Obviously it's supposed to be a darker film, but it's lack of characters I can emotionally engage with let the film down. Set-pieces aside, I didn't like it. I'm not sure if it will grow on me.
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The films of his I've seen, ranked.

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21 votes
Classic Male Stars Lists (168 lists)
list by Fimc14
Published 1 year, 8 months ago



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Comments

Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Mar 16 9:22
Great work. Enjoyed reading your comments. Glad to see such a devoted Hitchcock fan around here! Heh, also happy to see I wasn't the only one disappointed with 'Suspicion'.

Check my list out if you're interested!

Ranked: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Mar 16 14:18
great list...ilove hitchcock...i would have included rebecca(only film he directed to win best picture academy award), and i think marnie and family plot are a bit too high, but hey, it's your list. you've got my vote..
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Mar 16 15:15
My favorite is Vertigo
Posted: 3 years, 5 months ago at Mar 16 16:59
Thanks very much. This list is still very much a work in progress (I've added a few more comments since you guys posted). I haven't seen Rebecca yet, hence it isn't on the list.
Edit: 3 years, 5 months ago
Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Oct 7 4:52
I really like Hitchcock's work. Great list!
Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Oct 7 9:49
I don't think that anyone in the history of film criticism has Marnie ranked as highly as you do. And I don't mean that in a negative way- it's just an observation. If anything it makes me want to rewatch the film for myself!
Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Oct 7 10:42
I feel I bit guilty receiving all these votes for a list I have yet to complete, but I'm very appreciative nonetheless.

Marnie, to me is just one of those rare, truly mesmerising cinematic experiences. And it helps that I'm a massive Connery fan. :) On another day, it's probably my favourite Hitchcock.

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