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Hitchcock 
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Post Hitchcock
G'Day
I have been watching some Alfred Hitchcock films (The master of suspense) lately . I've already seen :

Psycho (1960) (This is the only re-watch after decades since last saw it)
North by Northwest (1959)
Dial M for Murder (1954)

and already at home but not watched them yet:

Vertigo (1958)
Rear Window (1954)

I will write my opinion later on these films 8-)

Now Hitch ( as people used to call him in a friendly way ) directed over 50 films

Can anyone make a ranking of the best ones?

I also found fascinating that in some lists is considered the best movie director of all time

http://movies.amctv.com/movie-guide/the ... l-time.php
http://www.totalfilm.com/features/great ... ver-part-2

Does any one here consider Hitch the best ever too?

If not where he ranks among other directors?

Cheers

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:36 am
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Post Re: Hichcock
If you're ranking the greatest directors of all time, he'd certainly have to be in the discussion.

It's been so long since I've seen any of his films, so I don't feel comfortable ranking them without rewatching a lot more than I have time to.


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Post Re: Hichcock
I'm certainly not an expert on the guy. As a matter of fact, I've been trying to get more into his filmography (I've only seen nine of his films), but the ones that usually get top mentions are Psycho, North by Northwest, and Vertigo.

For what it's worth, I've seen...

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)
The Ring (1927)
Easy Virtue (1928)
Suspicion (1941)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Rear Window (1954)
Vertigo (1958)
Psycho (1960)

The first three are part of a boxset that my wife gave me a couple of years ago that includes most of his early silent films.

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Post Re: Hitchcock
My favorite Hitchcocks are Strangers on a Train, Rear Window and The Lady Vanishes. Others I'd recommend are The 39 Steps, Shadow of a Doubt and Frenzy, aa well as Psycho. Vertigo has never really grabbed me. North by Northwest is fun. Hitchcock's at or near the top of my director list, along with Kurosawa, Lang, Spielberg and (in a different vein) Miyazaki.

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:04 pm
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Hitchcock is definitely one of my favorite directors. I have seen most of his movies several times.

It is hard ro rank his movies. Some were experiments such as "Rope" which is basically a stage play taken in one shot (since 35mm camera mags didn't allow for more than 10 minutes he concealed the transitions). "Rear Window" again is a "confined space" movie, and an excellent one.

With "Psycho" Hitch abandoned the lush Hollywood look and filmed with his tv crew a black and white film. Genius! I think he started to lose his edge after that only to regain it one last time (in full) with "Frenzy".

O.K. off the top of my head (I really would need to rewatch and rethink to come up with a definite list).

from the movies I've seen, I rate in "ties":

Top:
Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northest, Rear Window, Frenzy, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder

Still great:
Suspicion, Rebecca, Notorious, The Wrong Man, I Confess, The Lady Vanishes, The Man who knew too Much (1956), Rope, Shadow of a Doubt

Worthwhile:
To Catch a Thief, Marnie, The Birds, Family Plot, Spellbound, Lifeboat, The Trouble with Harry

below average:
Torn Curtain, Topaz

I really need to rewatch (or watch for the first time)= many of the remaining movies.


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Post Re: Hitchcock
Threeperf35 wrote:
Hitchcock is definitely one of my favorite directors. I have seen most of his movies several times.

It is hard ro rank his movies. Some were experiments such as "Rope" which is basically a stage play taken in one shot (since 35mm camera mags didn't allow for more than 10 minutes he concealed the transitions). "Rear Window" again is a "confined space" movie, and an excellent one.

With "Psycho" Hitch abandoned the lush Hollywood look and filmed with his tv crew a black and white film. Genius! I think he started to lose his edge after that only to regain it one last time (in full) with "Frenzy".

O.K. off the top of my head (I really would need to rewatch and rethink to come up with a definite list).

from the movies I've seen, I rate in "ties":

Top:
Vertigo, Psycho, North by Northest, Rear Window, Frenzy, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder

Still great:
Suspicion, Rebecca, Notorious, The Wrong Man, I Confess, The Lady Vanishes, The Man who knew too Much (1956), Rope, Shadow of a Doubt

Worthwhile:
To Catch a Thief, Marnie, The Birds, Family Plot, Spellbound, Lifeboat, The Trouble with Harry

below average:
Torn Curtain, Topaz

I really need to rewatch (or watch for the first time)= many of the remaining movies.


Threeperf, thanks for the ranking and insight!

Hitch certainly liked to experiment, he even shot a 3D movie: "Dial M for murder" ( I saw it in 2D though)

Other interesting facts were most of his leading ladies were blonds and commencing from his 3rd film onwards he started to have a cameo in each one

Anyone else with opinion about Hitch?

I will start my review of the films that I have seen soon :-)

Cheers

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Last edited by unwindfilms on Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Hitchcock
I have actually seen 31 Hitchcock films, more than any other director. I make sure to see at least one every year. So let's see my tiers.

Tier 1: All-Time Great Films
Psycho:
Best horror film ever made? Probably. Amazing film that holds up today, even in a genre whose appetites change very quickly
Vertigo:
Not as good as Citizen Kane, but an amazing film. The final shot...whoa.
North by Northwest:
Along with Raiders of the Lost Ark, probably as fun an adventure as you can have at the movies.

Tier 2: Second Tier for Hitchcock that Would be First Tier for Anyone Else
Strangers on a Train:
Robert Walker is an all-time great screen villain, the premise is terrific, the climax thrilling...terrific film
Rebecca:
Gothic and brooding rather than white knuckle suspense, but it works completely. A very satisfying mystery
Foreign Correspondent
I'm probably this movie's biggest fan, and I think it's been completely overlooked in his filmography. The just-on-the-edge-of-war setting really helps add atmosphere, the mystery is extremely well done, and that ending! Oh it raises the hairs on my head every time!

Tier 3: Still Really Good Films Here
Frenzy: The only movie he made post-Psycho that's really any good, but it's really pretty good indeed. Very Hitchcockian, wrong man, delightful humor, nice addition of nudity and graphic violence cause it was the 70s...really good stuff.
Notorious: I admire this one more than I truly adore it, but it's an exceptionally well-made movie even if it doesn't quite draw me in the way some of his others do
The 39 Steps: Something of a forerunner to North by Northwest, this is a fiendishly entertaining adventure film even if the exigencies of mid-1930s filmmaking make it look less polished than his later work
The Lady Vanishes: The first 20 minutes is a total snoozefest, but once it gets on the train this is first-rate, grade A Hitchcock action.

Tier 4: The Solid *** Films
Lifeboat: An entire film set in a lifeboat marked a departure for Hitch, but it largely works very well. Tallulah Bankhead is terrific.
Rear Window: Everyone else loves this one but it left me underwhelmed. I don't think it generates that much suspense about how everything's going to end and so while it's a good enough film, I don't think it's a great one
Dial M for Murder: Another one that never should have gotten in the Top Tier Hitch lists, Dial M is a terrific movie for the first 2/3 but the last act is a pretty boring, tedious resolution to what had been a skillful thriller. Still a decent film though.
I Confess: Another film whose ending is a wee bit conventional, this one's been largely forgotten but if you're in need a lesser-known Hitch, it does the job. Features a nice performance by Karl Malden, who I usually don't care for.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956): A remake that improves on the original (though Peter Lorre is sorely missed), it gave the world Que Sera Sera! And, you know, is a solid film
Spellbound: In its literal interpreating of Freudian dream analysis, it's probably the most dated movie ever, but the Dali sequence is terrific and the film is a lot of fun even if it's hokey

Tier 5: Somewhat Flawed But Still Worth a Watch
Suspicion: I've been complaining about endings a bunch, but Suspicion takes the cake in the way it takes a carefully constructed plot which has been all building to one, chilling moment and then throwing it out the window and rendering the entire film a series of contrivances. Boo hiss.
Rope: This pseudo Leopold and Loeb filmed-kinda-in-one-take experimental film has some great dialogue and innuendo but doesn't really hold up as a great film. I'll take Compulsion instead any day.
Saboteur: It ends with a justly-famous, silent sequence atop the Statue of Liberty, but before that it's a ho-hum thriller reminiscent of his best films without approaching them
Shadow of a Doubt: Often mentioned as Hitchcock's favorite of his own film's, Shadow of a Doubt seems like it could have been a great film if it would have had the balls to go all the way with its theme (the duality of its innocent heroin and her evil uncle) but it's too broad and too timid to make the movie truly interesting
Torn Curtain: Julie Andrews and Paul Newman make a pretty shitty couple, but there's an agonizingly tense murder sequence and a couple cool scenes, even if the bus chase that forms the climax fails to deliver

Tier 6: Oddballs and Curiosities
The Wrong Man: Almost a noir, this is the only Hitchcock film that could really be called "gritty" and sticks largely to a little man getting screwed by the justice system. I don't like it as much as others do, but it's interesting
Marnie: Sean Connery shows up to work the frigidity out of a woman by delving into her past. It's obviously a very personal film, but not an especially good one
The Birds: Hitchcock's only other horror film (after Psycho) The Birds has enduring popularity that belies how weird it is, from its central premise to its bizzaro ending

Tier 7: Forgettable
Stage Fright: Famous for "cheating" in its use of flashbacks, but not actually interesting in any real regard
The Paradine Case: A legal (and romantic?) thriller, it's fun enough to watch but doesn't really "thrill"
Sabotage: There's a famous moment that I can't give away, but it's the only point of interest in the otherwise meh film
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) Peter Lorre! And nothing else worth noting really
Young and Innocent: Imagine a Hitchcock film from the 1930s. Wrongfully accused person. Girl who might help. Etc. This is that movie

Tier 8: Actively Bad
To Catch a Thief: There's no plot or intrigue of any kind! It's just two people being pretty for 120 minutes
Number 17: Boring, turgid, slow...it was early in the man's career and we'll cut him some slack

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Post Re: Hichcock
Thief12 wrote:
I'm certainly not an expert on the guy. As a matter of fact, I've been trying to get more into his filmography (I've only seen nine of his films), but the ones that usually get top mentions are Psycho, North by Northwest, and Vertigo.

For what it's worth, I've seen...

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)
The Ring (1927)
Easy Virtue (1928)
Suspicion (1941)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Rear Window (1954)
Vertigo (1958)
Psycho (1960)

The first three are part of a boxset that my wife gave me a couple of years ago that includes most of his early silent films.


Tier approach to the ones I've seen...

GREAT
Vertigo
Dial M for Murder
Psycho

PRETTY GOOD
Easy Virtue
Rear Window

OKAY
The Ring
Strangers on a Train

Meh...
Suspicion
The Lodger

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Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:39 pm
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Post Re: Hitchcock
JamesKunz wrote:
I have actually seen 31 Hitchcock films, more than any other director. I make sure to see at least one every year. So let's see my tiers.

Tier 1: All-Time Great Films
Psycho:
Best horror film ever made? Probably. Amazing film that holds up today, even in a genre whose appetites change very quickly
Vertigo:
Not as good as Citizen Kane, but an amazing film. The final shot...whoa.
North by Northwest:
Along with Raiders of the Lost Ark, probably as fun an adventure as you can have at the movies.

Tier 2: Second Tier for Hitchcock that Would be First Tier for Anyone Else
Strangers on a Train:
Robert Walker is an all-time great screen villain, the premise is terrific, the climax thrilling...terrific film
Rebecca:
Gothic and brooding rather than white knuckle suspense, but it works completely. A very satisfying mystery
Foreign Correspondent
I'm probably this movie's biggest fan, and I think it's been completely overlooked in his filmography. The just-on-the-edge-of-war setting really helps add atmosphere, the mystery is extremely well done, and that ending! Oh it raises the hairs on my head every time!

Tier 3: Still Really Good Films Here
Frenzy: The only movie he made post-Psycho that's really any good, but it's really pretty good indeed. Very Hitchcockian, wrong man, delightful humor, nice addition of nudity and graphic violence cause it was the 70s...really good stuff.
Notorious: I admire this one more than I truly adore it, but it's an exceptionally well-made movie even if it doesn't quite draw me in the way some of his others do
The 39 Steps: Something of a forerunner to North by Northwest, this is a fiendishly entertaining adventure film even if the exigencies of mid-1930s filmmaking make it look less polished than his later work
The Lady Vanishes: The first 20 minutes is a total snoozefest, but once it gets on the train this is first-rate, grade A Hitchcock action.

Tier 4: The Solid *** Films
Lifeboat: An entire film set in a lifeboat marked a departure for Hitch, but it largely works very well. Tallulah Bankhead is terrific.
Rear Window: Everyone else loves this one but it left me underwhelmed. I don't think it generates that much suspense about how everything's going to end and so while it's a good enough film, I don't think it's a great one
Dial M for Murder: Another one that never should have gotten in the Top Tier Hitch lists, Dial M is a terrific movie for the first 2/3 but the last act is a pretty boring, tedious resolution to what had been a skillful thriller. Still a decent film though.
I Confess: Another film whose ending is a wee bit conventional, this one's been largely forgotten but if you're in need a lesser-known Hitch, it does the job. Features a nice performance by Karl Malden, who I usually don't care for.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956): A remake that improves on the original (though Peter Lorre is sorely missed), it gave the world Que Sera Sera! And, you know, is a solid film
Spellbound: In its literal interpreating of Freudian dream analysis, it's probably the most dated movie ever, but the Dali sequence is terrific and the film is a lot of fun even if it's hokey

Tier 5: Somewhat Flawed But Still Worth a Watch
Suspicion: I've been complaining about endings a bunch, but Suspicion takes the cake in the way it takes a carefully constructed plot which has been all building to one, chilling moment and then throwing it out the window and rendering the entire film a series of contrivances. Boo hiss.
Rope: This pseudo Leopold and Loeb filmed-kinda-in-one-take experimental film has some great dialogue and innuendo but doesn't really hold up as a great film. I'll take Compulsion instead any day.
Saboteur: It ends with a justly-famous, silent sequence atop the Statue of Liberty, but before that it's a ho-hum thriller reminiscent of his best films without approaching them
Shadow of a Doubt: Often mentioned as Hitchcock's favorite of his own film's, Shadow of a Doubt seems like it could have been a great film if it would have had the balls to go all the way with its theme (the duality of its innocent heroin and her evil uncle) but it's too broad and too timid to make the movie truly interesting
Torn Curtain: Julie Andrews and Paul Newman make a pretty shitty couple, but there's an agonizingly tense murder sequence and a couple cool scenes, even if the bus chase that forms the climax fails to deliver

Tier 6: Oddballs and Curiosities
The Wrong Man: Almost a noir, this is the only Hitchcock film that could really be called "gritty" and sticks largely to a little man getting screwed by the justice system. I don't like it as much as others do, but it's interesting
Marnie: Sean Connery shows up to work the frigidity out of a woman by delving into her past. It's obviously a very personal film, but not an especially good one
The Birds: Hitchcock's only other horror film (after Psycho) The Birds has enduring popularity that belies how weird it is, from its central premise to its bizzaro ending

Tier 7: Forgettable
Stage Fright: Famous for "cheating" in its use of flashbacks, but not actually interesting in any real regard
The Paradine Case: A legal (and romantic?) thriller, it's fun enough to watch but doesn't really "thrill"
Sabotage: There's a famous moment that I can't give away, but it's the only point of interest in the otherwise meh film
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) Peter Lorre! And nothing else worth noting really
Young and Innocent: Imagine a Hitchcock film from the 1930s. Wrongfully accused person. Girl who might help. Etc. This is that movie

Tier 8: Actively Bad
To Catch a Thief: There's no plot or intrigue of any kind! It's just two people being pretty for 120 minutes
Number 17: Boring, turgid, slow...it was early in the man's career and we'll cut him some slack


Very cool ranking , James! very much appreciated. I liked "Rear Window" very much thou ;-)

I will post about the others that I have seen soon too

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Last edited by unwindfilms on Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:34 am, edited 2 times in total.



Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:38 am
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Post Re: Hitchcock
Rear Window (1954) : 3 Stars 1/2
It is based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder". Can you imagine being confined to your flat without TV and/or computer because of a broken leg? well that's what happened to "Jeff" Jefferies (Jimmy Stewart), lucky him that he had a gorgeous girlfriend Lisa Carol Freemont (Grace Kelly) to help him to solve the murder of one of his front view neighbour as a past time. I loved this Hitchcock's film! I think this is what movies are about to escape real life and dream about having a girl friend like Grace Kelly lol
IMDB : 8.7 from 188,735 votes (top 250#28)
Tomatometer : 100% (62 reviews)
Box Office: $36,764,313 (only USA) ($309,666,144 Adjusted for inflation)
Production cost : 1 Million ($8,420,000 Adjusted for inflation)


Attachments:
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Post Re: Hitchcock
unwindfilms wrote:
G'Day
I have been watching some Alfred Hitchcock films (The master of suspense) lately . I've already seen :


Dial M for Murder (1954)



I like to think of Dial M for murder as a Columbo Episode.
This is especially apparent when the Police detective arrives and if you notice there are very sligfht columbo mannerisms from him
This is very crucial when you consider that Dial m for murder came out in 1965 and Columbo in 1968


Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:11 am
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Post Re: Hitchcock
p604 wrote:
unwindfilms wrote:
G'Day
I have been watching some Alfred Hitchcock films (The master of suspense) lately . I've already seen :


Dial M for Murder (1954)



I like to think of Dial M for murder as a Columbo Episode.
This is especially apparent when the Police detective arrives and if you notice there are very sligfht columbo mannerisms from him
This is very crucial when you consider that Dial m for murder came out in 1965 and Columbo in 1968


Can I poke a hole in your theory by pointing out that Dial M came out 10 years earlier than you think it did, in 1955?

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Post Re: Hitchcock
JamesKunz wrote:
I have actually seen 31 Hitchcock films, more than any other director. I make sure to see at least one every year. So let's see my tiers.


I agree with your rankings, except I'd put Notorious, Strangers, and Rear Window in the top tier, Northwest and Vertigo in 2nd tier. I would put The Birds in 3rd tier, very affecting for what it is, just not a masterpiece. I think his most overrated movie tends to be Shadow of a Doubt, an aggressively average movie with a dry plot and subpar pacing for Hitchcock.


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Post Re: Hitchcock
MGamesCook wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I have actually seen 31 Hitchcock films, more than any other director. I make sure to see at least one every year. So let's see my tiers.


I agree with your rankings, except I'd put Notorious, Strangers, and Rear Window in the top tier, Northwest and Vertigo in 2nd tier. I would put The Birds in 3rd tier, very affecting for what it is, just not a masterpiece. I think his most overrated movie tends to be Shadow of a Doubt, an aggressively average movie with a dry plot and subpar pacing for Hitchcock.


Glad we agree on Shadow of a Doubt, even if I can't believe anyone would take Rear Window over Vertigo (though I'm aware many do)

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Post Re: Hitchcock
JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
I have actually seen 31 Hitchcock films, more than any other director. I make sure to see at least one every year. So let's see my tiers.


I agree with your rankings, except I'd put Notorious, Strangers, and Rear Window in the top tier, Northwest and Vertigo in 2nd tier. I would put The Birds in 3rd tier, very affecting for what it is, just not a masterpiece. I think his most overrated movie tends to be Shadow of a Doubt, an aggressively average movie with a dry plot and subpar pacing for Hitchcock.


Glad we agree on Shadow of a Doubt, even if I can't believe anyone would take Rear Window over Vertigo (though I'm aware many do)

This was me for a while, but a theatrical screening of Vertigo put me in my place. I haven't seen Notorious, but if that's the film I saw a clip from where I felt suspense from Cary Grant walking down stairs, then I need to get around to it.

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Post Re: Hitchcock
Pedro wrote:
I haven't seen Notorious, but if that's the film I saw a clip from where I felt suspense from Cary Grant walking down stairs, then I need to get around to it.


I revisited Notorious just last night, and I'm tempted to put it in my top five Hitchcock films. Grant and Bergman are great as always, and Claude Rains makes for a strangely sympathetic villain. It's fun to watch too as the film lightly tiptoes around the Production Code.

Top tier for me would probably be:
Psycho
Vertigo
Notorious
Strangers On A Train
Rear Window

with North By Northwest, The Lady Vanishes, Frenzy, Rope, and The 39 Steps rounding out the top ten.

I've always enjoyed Family Plot too; a respectable outing for the Master of Suspense to go out on.

Of his films that I haven't seen, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Foreign Correspondent, Shadow Of A Doubt, and The Trouble With Harry are probably the ones I'll move onto next.

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Post Re: Hitchcock
JamesKunz wrote:
I have actually seen 31 Hitchcock films, more than any other director. I make sure to see at least one every year. So let's see my tiers.


You only put 30 films into your tiers. Which one that you've seen did you leave out?


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Post Re: Hitchcock
Thanks guys for all the rankings and opinion about Hitch.

I have already seen : "Rear Window" (my review already out) and "Dial M for murder (2D)" , " Psycho" , "Vertigo" and "North To Northwest" (Reviews to come soon)

I have already at home but not watched yet "Shadow of a doubt" (Favourite of Hitch and written by his wife) and intent to find "Marnie" (because Sean Connery is starring) and 39 steps (because it is supposed to be entertaining lol) and that will be it for this round for me. Now, be my guest to use this thread for anything related to Hitchcock, in fact, if in the future, I watch more Hitch's films then I will report them here :-)

Now some more facts about Hitch

    * Blackmail (1929) was the first truly British "all-talkie"

    * Rebecca (1940) which was his first film in Hollywood won an Oscar for best picture

    * Became a media star himself when he hosted a weekly television show called Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 1955 to 1962

    * Cast his daughter Patricia in the part of Caroline, Janet Leigh's co-worker in Psycho (1960).

    * Finally , Despite being nominated six different times, Hitch never received an Academy Award for directing. However, He was presented with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1968

Note: I just ordered the 3D blu ray for "Dial M for murder" and should arrive in two weeks so I will review this film after seen the 3D version which was as Hitch intended :-)

Cheers

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Post Re: Hitchcock
North by Northwest (1959) 3 Stars 1/4
Debonair advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) is mistaken for government agent by a group of foreign spies and while being chased around US by equally local policemen and thugs, he has to make sense of the situation and try to finish on top. This is an adventure film that it is still fun nowadays which paved the road for the James Bond and Indiana Jones movies to come!
IMDB: 8.5 from 138,531 users (top 250#42)
Tomatometer : 100% (62 reviews)
Box Office: $13,275,000 (Only USA) ($105,465,511 Adjusted for inflation)
Production cost: $3,101,000 ($24,539,459 Adjusted for inflation)


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Post Re: Hitchcock
Love Notorious. The atmosphere (both in term of romance and suspense) is so intoxicating that you'd get swept up in the movie. That said, my favorite Hitchcock is Rear Window. I thought it is a perfect combination of Hitchcock's thematic compexity (Vertigo) and fun (North by Northwest).

I haven't caught up on all his movies yet (almost halfway through), but I still haven't found a movie of his that I haven't liked. Though, The Wrong Man was awfully dry, saved from a few nifty directions and two really good performances. Still would give it along the line of 6.5/10.


Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:58 pm
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