You must have seen some of his movies already, since they have had an astonishing impact on the entire film industry and it is sometimes hard to fully understand the creations of modern day Hollywood directors without having some insight in what Hitchcock used to do back in his day. Nevertheless, even in the unlikely event that you haven’t, this is definitely one of those things you just must do before you die.
In case you decide not to see all of his marvelous creations, here’s our list of suggestions of Hitchcock movies you absolutely must see:
1. Psycho (1960)
If not for anything else, you must see this movie for the famous shower scene (see picture below).
The story is based on the novel of the same name written by Robert Bloch, starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh and John Gavin. The movie depicts the encounter between a secretary who went to a motel after embezzling money from her employer, played by Leigh, and the motel’s disturbed owner, played by Perkins.
This is considered to be one of Hitchcock’s greatest works and it had outstanding box office returns, and four Academy Award nominations. Apart from its deep and complex story, this film was considered highly controversial back in the day. At that time, scenes of an unmarried couple in bed together or flushing the toilette were not in accordance with the U.S. mainstream film and television standards. The sex and violence scenes depicted in this film were completely different from everything previously seen in a mainstream film.
2. Rebecca (1940)
This is a gothic tale about the lingering memory of Rebecca, Maxim de Winter’s (played by Laurence Olivier) dead first wife, which affects his new wife (starring Joan Fontaine) and his housekeeper (starring Judith Anderson). This film won 2 Academy Awards one of which was Best Picture, and it received a total of 11 nominations.
3. The Birds (1963)
Starring Tippi Hedren, this classic is definitely one of the movies that marked both Hitchcock’s career and the entire movie industry. This is a story of a town called Bodega Bay in California which was unexpectedly and for inexplicable reason the subject of numerous violent bird attacks.
The movie is also known for its soundtrack and sound effects as well as for the special effects done at Walt Disney Studios by the famous American Academy Award winning animator/ cartoonist Ub Iwerks.
4. Marnie (1964)
Another amazing psychological thriller starring Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery.
Marnie is a troubled young woman who is afraid of thunderstorms and the color red and who has an unusual mistrust of men. Sean Connery’s character is a wealthy widower who will help her find the origins of her fears and assist her in dealing with her inner struggles.
It is interesting that the shooting of this movie was scheduled to begin three days after John F. Kennedy was assassinated and it was, therefore, postponed.
5. Vertigo (1958)
The film starts James Stewart and Kim Novak and it depicts the story of an early retired police detective who suffers from vertigo and is diagnosed with clinical depression. He was hired to follow a peculiar young lady named Madeleine Elster. This quest will lead him to some quite unexpected discoveries.
This particular film is on our Top 5 list because it contains all the essential elements of Hitchcock’s creative process: the dolly zoom technique that creates disorientation, the thrilling plot, the unexpected twist, the psychological aspect and the gorgeous “icy” blond.
Cover photo: thefilmstage.com