Old Movies Nostalgia

Choosing a Favorite Alfred Hitchcock Movie: Is it Even Possible?

Alfred Hitchcock

What makes a great director? I’m almost embarrassed to say I don’t really know. I’d love to be more knowledgeable about the role of a director and more specifically what qualities make one great, but I don’t exactly know what to look for to make that determination.

So I certainly would never make the claim that Alfred Hitchcock is the best director ever, but just based on how many of his movies I really like/love, I can definitely say he is my favorite.

Alfred Hitchcock Movies on the Big Screen

I recently had the chance to see the Hitchcock directed movie The 39 Steps (1935) at a local theater. Well, if you can call a 2 1/2 hour round trip drive, local. :-) The theater was running a special promotion that day where if you wrote the name of your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie on a card, admission was free.

Notorious (1946) Cary Grant & Ingrid Bergman

The theater also mentioned that they will consider showing another of Hitchcock’s movies in the future from the titles they collected. So when it came time to choose a movie, I realized I could either pick my true favorite or instead go with one that I thought would be more impressive to see on the big screen.

For example, even though it’s not one of my top favorites, I considered writing down North by Northwest (1959) just because I think it would be awesome to see in a theater. Crop dusting scene anyone? :-)

My Top Five Favorite Alfred Hitchcock Movies – Or Are They?

I ended up writing down what I think is my true favorite, Notorious (1946), but before I did I expressed on Twitter that I wasn’t sure if I could even choose a favorite. When prompted by a follower to narrow it down to a top five, I deliberated quickly and came up with the following:

  1. Notorious (1946)
  2. Vertigo (1958)
  3. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  4. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
  5. Rebecca (1940)

The top three were fairly easy to decide upon, but the last two were a bit tougher and could easily be interchanged with a few others including Rear Window (1954), Marnie (1964) or possibly even The 39 Steps, which I just saw and thought was a great movie. Obviously there is no right or wrong answer and this list can and probably will change over time, but it was still fun to look through Hitchcock’s filmography and realize just how many of his movies I love.

What is your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie? If like me, it’s too difficult to choose just one, go ahead and list your top 5, top 10. And hey, if you’re not a fan of Hitchcock, let me know that as well. It’s always interesting to hear differing opinions.

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P.S. I’m super excited that I get to see Rear Window on the big screen tonight, thanks to Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events! Were you able to attend one of these screenings?

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George Cukor: Not Just a “Woman’s Director”

When I thought of writing about my favorite old movie director, the first thing I thought to do was decide between Frank Capra and Alfred Hitchcock.  I love so many of the movies they’ve directed that they are usually the first names that come to mind when thinking about my favorites.  But after deciding to take a look at a few other popular directors, I realized that George Cukor could also be considered a serious candidate. When looking at the list of films directed by George Cukor, I was reminded that he had directed many of my favorites including Holiday, Gaslight, and the film that originally helped me discover my love of old movies, The Philadelphia Story.

George Cukor with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Philadelphia Story

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