Known for epic hits and some of the best films which have settled in the world of cinema as classics, Alfred Hitchcock made films such as The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Suspicion, Notorious, Rear Window, The Birds, Psycho and Frenzy, in addition to his American TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
You must you must have heard of North By Northwest, To Catch A Thief and Vertigo at the very least, but the world remembers him by Psycho.
We commemorate his work during his birthday month by sharing links to watch our personal favourites from his long list of amazing films, along with their movie posters!
Rope – 1948
Rope is a 1948 American psychological crime thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton which stars James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger in the first of Hitchcock’s Technicolor films in which two young aesthetes, strangle their former classmate from Harvard University to death, and host a dinner party right after. They commit the crime as an intellectual exercise: they want to prove their superiority by committing the ‘perfect murder’ – a movie based off a play that was said to be inspired by the real-life murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.
Dial M For Murder – 1954
A murder mystery starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, and John Williams involves an affair, wealth and revenge based off of a play written by Frederick Knott. Dial M For Murder actually influenced a range of mystery movies which were made a few decades later, too! We love the thrill of anticipation in this film.
To Catch A Thief – 1955
An American romantic thriller based on the 1952 novel of the same name by David Dodge, the film stars Cary Grant as a retired cat burglar who has to save his reformed reputation by catching an imposter preying on the wealthy tourists of the French Riviera and prove his innocence by catching the new Cat in the act! Grace Kelly stars as his romantic interest in her final film with Hitchcock.
Vertigo – 1958
This film noir psychological thriller was based on the 1954 novel D’entre les morts (From Among the Dead) by Boileau-Narcejac, and stars James Stewart as a former police detective who is forced into early retirement because an incident in the line of duty has caused him to develop acrophobia (an extreme fear of heights) and vertigo (a false sense of rotational movement). Scottie is hired by an acquaintance, Gavin Elster, as a private investigator to follow Gavin’s wife Madeleine (Kim Novak), who is behaving strangely and Gavin thinks she is in danger – after which we see things unfold!
Psycho – 1960
A psychological horror film which stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles, and Martin Balsam, was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film is centred on an encounter between Marion Crane (Leigh), and a motel owner, Norman Bates (Perkins), wafter she ends up at his secluded motel after stealing money from her employer. This film is widely considered to be the earliest example of the slasher film genre and listed as one of the greats. (There is even a show called ‘Bates Motel’ which is set as a prequel to the movie)
The Birds – 1963
Loosely based on the 1952 story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, The Birds focuses on a series of sudden and unexplained violent bird attacks on the people of Bodega Bay, California, over the course of a few days starring Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren (her debut film). The plot was elaborated but kept du Maurier’s title and concept of unexplained bird attacks. In 2016, The Birds was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress, and selected for preservation in its National Film Registry.
We hope you enjoy watching these as much as we have!