Halloween Thursdays: Alfred Hitchcock Movies

TMP

Wandering Through the Shelves has us celebrating Halloween all month, representing a bit of a blindspot for me since I have a pretty low tolerance for being scared. So, when paying tribute to the Master of Suspense, I have selected three of my favourite (but not necessarily the scariest) of his films.

lifeboat

Lifeboat (1944)– I watched Lifeboat last night in a Greyhound bus station. It was the first time I’d seen it in over a decade and I couldn’t believe how well it holds up. Set entirely in a lifeboat, it’s staged and written like a play with some of the best dialogue in Hitchcock history.

Rear Window

Rear Window (1954)– I’ve already written a full post about my weakness for characters that share my love of voyeurism. James Stewart and Grace Kelly find themselves wrapped up in a murder investigation when eavesdropping on their neighbors.

Vertigo-465

Vertigo (1958)– I’ve watched Vertigo several times but almost always skip the last scene. It just gets to me. Most of you will know this classic well but, if you haven’t seen it, the less you know going in the better so I will avoid giving much away. Just see it.

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30 thoughts on “Halloween Thursdays: Alfred Hitchcock Movies

  1. Christopher

    Rear Window is one of my all-time favorites–not just Hitchcock but movies generally. It’s a great story but the little touches of humor–like the couple that sleeps on the fire escape getting rained on–just add to the fun of rewatching it. The best gag is the composer who lives alone…except for Hitchcock standing right behind him.

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  2. Birgit

    I picked Lifeboat also-Of all places to see this film:) Did you catch Hitchcock’s “walk-on”. I thought that was ingenious. Love Rear Window-one of my favorites and we are all guilty of doing this in some form or another. Vertigo is a piece of cinema and one of the saddest of the Jimmy Stewart films

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    1. Matt Post author

      I did catch the cameo and I almost never do. Anes, yes, Vertigo may be the darkest Jimmy Stewart performance that I can think of. I still have to see Rope though…

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  3. renxkyoko

    I had watched all these 3 movies, and liked them. Last week, though, I watched a 1936 Hitchcock murder story The Lady Vanishes , and I think it’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, so far.

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    1. Matt Post author

      Really, eh? A couple of people mentioned it during Trains week a couple of weeks ago and I added it to my list. I hope I like it more than you did.

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  4. Jay

    Well these are inarguable, but I’m trying to think how long it’s been since I saw Lifeboat, and not having been in any bus stations lately, I can’t quite place my last viewing.

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  5. joelnox

    Terrific choices and we match on Lifeboat, one of my absolute favorites of his. Rear Window is so simple in premise but so brilliant in execution. I’ve always been a fan but had the chance to see it on the big screen and it was just so fascinating seen that way, same went for the Doris Day version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. Vertigo, while not among my favorites, is a dark, intriguing film.

    Along with Lifeboat my other two picks are in my top five favs of his film, the first is my number one. As with all great film makers though there are always a few misses and my bonus is one of them.

    Saboteur (1942)-During WWII an airplane factory is sabotaged. Barry Kane, falsely accused of the crime, goes on the run in pursuit of the real culprit and encounters various memorable characters along the way including the expected Hitchcock blonde in the appealing form of Priscilla Lane. Enjoyable chase drama
    is highlighted by its famous Statue of Liberty finale.

    Lifeboat (1944)-A small group of passengers from a torpedoed ship struggle for survival in Hitchcock’s fascinating microcosm of society in the contained space of a lifeboat. Excellent performances across the board but most of all a great showcase role for Tallulah Bankhead.

    Notorious (1946)-Alicia Huberman, played by Ingrid Bergman, has become embittered upon finding out that her father is a traitor. After his conviction she is recruited by Devlin (Cary Grant) to infiltrate a suspected spy ring in South America lead by an acquaintance of hers Alex Sebastian, played by Claude Rains. Once she manages that a deadly game of cat and mouse commences as the tension mounts. One of Hitchcock’s best with amazing work by the entire cast.

    Nobody’s perfect pick-Topaz (1969)-An intriguing premise: An intelligence agent becomes involved in Cold War politics while trying to expose espionage that lead up to the Cuban Missile Crisis and attempting to dismantle a Russian spy ring. Add in a solid if not extraordinary cast and Hitchcock in the director’s chair and this should have been an engrossing entertainment. What it is however may be Hitch’s worst film, certainly his dullest, it just plods along. If they insist on remaking one of the Master’s films this would be the
    place to start. A good idea somehow gone terribly wrong.

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      1. joelnox

        Oh Sabotage is a different earlier film of his, also excellent, from before he came to the States. Saboteur is from his early prime American period which he made just before Shadow of a Doubt. Both deal with sabotage but in different ways.

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  6. nuwansenfilmsen

    Love Hitchcock!!! Rebecca, Notorious, Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes etc etc … I’ve seen almost all his Hollywood films, and some British Talkies. Haven’t seen Lifeboat though. And am yet to watch his films from the silent era.

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  7. Pingback: Halloween Thursdays: Creepy, Evil Kids | Assholes Watching Movies

  8. solosocial

    “Vertigo” is my favorite Hitchcock film, second only to “Psycho”. Hitchcock intended Vera Miles to play the lead female role in the film, but she was pregnant at the time–and Hitchcock was so angry at her for being pregnant (somewhat unreasonable, of course) that he kept her out of “Vertigo” completely, and cast Kim Novak in the lead female role.

    The scene in which Kim Novak’s character shows when she was born using the rings of an ancient, felled tree (“Here, I was born–and there I died. It was only a moment for you . . .”) was later used in Chris Marker’s one-of-a-kind science fiction film, “La Jetee”–and again used in Terry Gilliam’s film, “Twelve Monkeys” (which was inspired by “La Jetee”).

    And Bernard Hermann’s filmscore for “Vertigo” is one of his greatest–certainly one of my favorite filmscores of all time.

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  9. reocochran

    I could not say that I liked all equally but do feel “Psycho” and “North by Northwest” are more psychological than scary, except that knife in the shower scene. “Rear Window” is definitely iconic. Did any of you reviewers watch the “Leverage” episode or “Mike and Molly” homages to the movie?

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