My favorite Hitchcock

March 05, 2010

I was inspired by a post over at Rupert Pupkin Speaks to do my own Top 20 Hitchcock list. It says a lot about a director when you can fill up a "top 20" list with their films alone -- and have trouble narrowing it down to 20 at that!

These are in no particular order, except for the first four.

1. Dial M For Murder
2. Young and Innocent
3. The Birds
4. Sabotage
5. The 39 Steps
6. Foreign Correspondent
7. Shadow of a Doubt
8. Stage Fright
9. Lifeboat
10. Spellbound
11. Psycho
12. Marnie
13. Notorious
14. Rope
15. Strangers on a Train
16. The Trouble with Harry
17. The Lady Vanishes
18. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
19. Murder!
20. Breakdown

Number 20, Breakdown, is an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents directed by Hitch and starring Joseph Cotten. It's on YouTube - if you haven't seen it, you must! I had to include it because, despite it's short running time, it is one of my all time favorite things directed by Sir Alfred. It would seem silly to leave it off my list just because it wasn't released in a theater :)

What are your top 20 Hitchcock films? Or top 10?

(The art is a linoleum cut that I did a few years ago when I was teaching my brother printmaking)


Artman2112 said...

interesting list Kate! I can't believe Rear Window or Vertigo didnt make your top 20!! a top 20 Hitch aint too hard but a top 10 would be pretty tough, for me anyway. although i have only seen one film earlier than the original Man Who knew Too Much (Blackmail) so there are still a few i have yet to see.

here's my top 20 in no particular order:

1. Vertigo
2. Rear Window
3. Strangers on a Train
4. Dial M for Murder
5. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
6. North by Northwest
7. Frenzy
8. Psycho
9. The Birds
10. Marnie
11. Rope
12. Notorious
13. Lifeboat
14. Shadow of a Doubt
15. Foreign Correspondent
16. Rebecca
17. The Lady Vanishes
18. The 39 Steps
19. Suspicion
20. To Catch a Thief

while we're at it i'll name the 2 Hitch films i almost cant bear to watch becasue they're so dull:
Under Crapicorn and the Paradine Case.

* R e N a * said...

I can't choose 20 but my favorites are


and those are the only ones that I've liked so far....he was such a great director :)

Matthew Coniam said...

In chronological order:

1. The Lodger
2. Murder!
3. Rich and Strange
4. The 39 Steps
5. Young and Innocent
6. The Lady Vanishes
7. Jamaica Inn
8. Rebecca
9. Foreign Correspondent
10. Suspicion
11. Notorious
12. Rope
13. Strangers On a Train
14. Dial M For Murder
15. Rear Window
16. Revenge
17. Wet Saturday
18. One More Mile To Go
19. The Perfect Crime
20. North By Northwest

In attempting this exercise I discovered that I loved exactly 20 Hitchcock films!
The only ones I feel at all guilty for leaving out are Mr & Mrs Smith and To Catch a Thief. (I still haven't seen Shadow of a Doubt!)

Kim said...

I will do a top 7 in no order except no. 1

1) Rear Window
2) The 39 Steps
3) Notorious
4) Shadow of a Doubt
5) Lifeboat
6) North by Northwest
7) Vertigo

And this list is subject to change because sometimes I will rewatch a Hitchcock film and change my mind about it.

Elizabeth said...

Hmm. It's hard to say what my favorite Hitchcock's are. I don't think I've seen enough to really reach a definitive decision, but I would have to say my favorite so far is "Rear Window" or "Mr. and Mrs. Smith".

Miss McCrocodile said...

With a few exceptions, I love British Hitch the best.

1. The 39 Steps (my first DVD)
2. The Lady Vanishes
3. The Man Who Knew Too Much 1934!
4. Foreign Correspondent
5. Young and Innocent
6. Sabotage
7. Shadow of a Doubt
8. Rebecca swoon young Sir Larry swoon
9. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
10. North by Northwest

Terence Towles Canote said...

Great list! I've never sat down and made a list like this, but I do know North by Northwest and Rear Window would be #1 and #2 respectively. I love those films.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Lifeboat is tops for me - it's so clever

Millie said...

GREAT LIST! Now, I'm gonna have to do this! Haha!

And yes, Breakdown is so incredibly DESERVES to be there!

Millie said...

Oh, and I ADORE the art!

Trippy Trellis said...

In my list of 100 favorite films of all time, 10 are by the Master:

2. NOTORIOUS (Ingrid gives the best performance by an actress in a Hitchcock film.)
4. FAMILY PLOT (Dreadfully underared. Barbara Harris gives the most charming performance in all Hitchcock.)
5. VERTIGO (James Stewart, in the best performance of his career, deserved the Oscar.)
6. PSYCHO (Tony was robbed of a nomination!)
7. THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (Love it; HATE the song.)
9. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Miriam's strangling reflected on her glasses is the best set piece of all time!)
10 FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (Favorite line: "If you knew how much I love you, you'd faint."

Artman2112 said...

i'm with Trippy, that song in the Man Who knew Too Much really does get to be too much after a while! but the Albert Hall Sequence, Bernard Herrmann's score and Jimmy Stewart's performance more than make up for it.

Kendra said...

Ah, love The 39 Steps and Notorious. Mind if I snag this for my own blog?

Anonymous said...

Interesting list! I need to check out "Breakdown." I adore Joseph Cotten. Makes me want to break out a list over on my own blog!

The Kid In The Front Row said...

For some reason, 'The Birds' doesn't really hold up for me, it kinda sucks.

Other than that though, great choices- although a shame you didn't choose Rear Window!

I love Rope.

Meredith said...

love this man and his brilliant work. haven't seen #20 and am only veery slowly working my way through presents (considering I've only watched... the first one. I will get there!) thanks for the rec!

Anonymous said...

Dial M for Murder is one of my tops as well, I made my own list on my blog :)

Sally said...

Great list!! I really need to watch more Hitchcock. He's such a classic film staple.

Paul D Brazill said...

I can't do lists but Rear Window, Strangers On A Train and Psycho would be hanging around at the top.

Thomas Pluck said...

Strangers on a Train has always been my favorite. and I don't think The 39 Steps gets enough love. What a great idea, I posted my 20 on my blog.

Gordon Pasha said...


I am late to the dance but must cast a ballot for “Vertigo,” not only for James Stewart and Kim Novak but also for Barbara Bel Geddes as Midge Wood. Then I suppose: “39 Steps” and “The Lady Vanishes.” Then “The Birds” because of Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette, “Rear Window” because of the glorious Thelma Ritter, and the second “Man Who Knew Too Much” for Brenda DeBanzie. I have a weakness for character actresses or major players in character parts. And thank you for the tip on “Breakdown.” I had never seen it but watched it yesterday and was taken with it, particularly because of Joseph Cotten.

These days, it makes sense to include both films intended for theatres and television films on lists of favorites. (I am partial to “The Wire.”) So many of us now watch film in a television format in a television environment. The lines blur.


Unknown said...

Terrific post! I am yet to see Vertigo and I cant wait to. Psycho, Rope and Strangers on a Train are a few of my favourite Hitchcock films. It is hard not to like this epic director, who has contributed so much to cinema.

I was wondering if you could spread the word about my blog. I ask you because you seem quite popular, and I am in need of more followers. Much appreciated and keep up the good work here at your blog.

kate gabrielle said...

Film Master - Thank you so much :) I'm afraid I can't be much help with your blog, though, as my readers all seem to have disappeared after I took a little hiatus last year. I'll definitely give you a shout out in my next post, but unfortunately I doubt it'll be much help since it seems like nobody reads my blog anymore :(