As a classic movie aficionado, I love the Hitchcock staples Rear Window and Strangers on a Train. To me, it doesn’t get any more suspenseful than these films. I can’t get enough of the twists and turns; the roller coaster ride Hitchcock takes you on.
But I know that not all people these days can stomach a slow-moving film based around a guy looking out of his window for 2 hours. I have come to realize that people today need fast-moving, flashy films. I may not like it, but I can come to grips with reality as much as the next guy.
So, you’ve heard of Alfred Hitchcock. You may even be able to name some of his films. Maybe even seen a couple. Or maybe you want to watch some, you just don’t know which ones to watch.
If I just described you, then I have the list for you. Here are my choices for Alfred Hitchcock movies for the modern viewer. After all, he is the Master of Suspense. And who doesn’t like suspense?
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North by Northwest (1959)
This thing moves. I mean it really moves. We meet our hero in the first frame of the movie, and 3 minutes 15 seconds in he has already gotten himself into a mess. The amount of twists and turns literally turns your stomach. He just moves from disaster to disaster, finding himself in worse and worse situations. It’s suspenseful, yet fun.
Hitchcock’s filming style and techniques are masterful and modern. This movie really could pass for a 50s period piece that came out in 2017. Every shot is absolutely beautiful (make sure to watch this on the biggest TV you can find). Hitchcock was way ahead of his time on this one.
The acting is superb. The film is cast perfectly. And it stars Cary Grant.
Torn Curtain (1966)
Despite the fact that this has Julie Andrews and Paul Newman in it, you’ve never heard of it. Why? Probably because it gets overshadowed by Hitchcock’s other masterpieces. Also, it didn’t make a whole lot of money in theaters. But trust me, it will be worth every cent you spend to watch it.
It takes a good 20 minutes to get into it, but who hasn’t got 20 minutes?
This film takes place during the Cold War, and it is a real thriller. The way Hitchcock reveals information to the viewer and the characters is really vital to this film. And he does it masterfully… as you would expect.
Widely considered one of the best movies ever made, this film lives up to the hype. Vertigo will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire film. I do truly mean that.
How on earth do you make somebody following somebody else from a distance for 20 minutes interesting? I don’t know, but that’s exactly what happens here. The main character is literally just sitting in his car, turning the steering wheel, and Bernard Herrmann’s soundtrack pulls you so far in you will forget you’re watching a movie. I truly mean it.
Pro tip: don’t skip the opening titles. The opening title sequence for Vertigo is one of the most well-known opening title sequences in movie history. This is not an exaggeration. And for good reason. When I watch the titles, I’m hooked. Even though the story hasn’t even begun yet, I’m on edge already.