" Strangers on a Train", which is your favorite Hitchcock film, and TCM
" Strangers on a Train" ( 1951)-is my favorite Hitchcock film. It is on TCM right now. I love this film with its homosexual subtext, its commentary about class and madness, and it is a tight, engaging story. Farley Granger is very handsome man for his time. He is sexually ambiguous in that great fifty's way. This is Robert Walker's best performance. He was a kind of sexually ambiguous actor. And Hitchcock's direction of his only child. Did she make any other movies?
I have noticed, over the past year, that between 4 and 8 PM-east coast time TCM plays great and interesting films. I love TCM.
I would have to say Notorious and North By Northwest. I like most of Hitch's films, but these two stand out for me because they are so seamless and well put-together. It's like they are the cinematic versions of Swiss watches.
Strangers has Hitchcock's finest scene.
The murderer slowly driving that ridiculous little carnival boat over to the island and back when he murders the girl is brilliant.
Pat Hitchcock was also in her father's TV show plus in two other movies of his: Psycho (she played Marion's co-worker who offers her pills) and Stage Fright (her character's name is Chubby Bannister!) I wish she'd have worked more, I liked her a lot.
North by Northwest
Strangers on a Train
Dial M For Murder
Shadow of a Doubt
To Catch A Thief
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The 39 Steps
Am a real Hitchcock fan - Vertigo and Rebecca are two films I watch at Christmas (or any other time I feel like it.)
"Vertigo" is my favorite, by quite a large margin. It's a very strange film, but the combination of the the beauty of 1950s San Francisco, the sense of reality giving way, and the twisted relationship between the principals get me every time. I understand why other people don't love it the way I do, but I think of it as 19th century love/death romanticism brought into the 20th century.
Runners-up are "Psycho", "Shadow of a Doubt" and "Rebecca".
North by Northwest, Psycho, and Vertigo are my favorites, but I'm also very fond of Rope and Rear Window.
North by Northwest and Rear Window
I think The Birds is actually overrated.
Lifeboat is far and away my favorite.
I love Rope, but I think maybe I love it most because I would definitely kill someone and shove him in a trunk to have that apartment.
"Vertigo" is my favorite.
I have a soft spot for "Suspicion" and "Dial M for Murder" and I have never warmed to "The Trouble With Harry" but I'm not sure why I don't like it.
[quote]I have never warmed to "The Trouble With Harry" but I'm not sure why I don't like it.
I'll watch Torn Curtain and Topaz before I watch "Harry". There's just something about it that is unappealing and I can't get into it.
I like The Wrong Man with Henry Fonda and Vera Miles but it's not one I watch that often.
His early hits The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes are well worth checking out -- droll and suspenseful.
Never have seen a Hitchcock film that didn't have at least one totally brilliant scene.
What was up with Robert Walker's character? Has anyone read the novel? His mother seems to know he's crazy but she makes excuses for him, and nothing is ever explained about his Dad.
Rope and Rear Window are my favorites.
I find it hard to pick a favorite and stick to it.
Shadow of a Doubt
Strangers on a Train
North By Northwest
Agree that The Birds is overrated, though there are some excellent sequences.
The Trouble With Harry is rather flat, and not helped by having the rather dull John Forsythe as the lead.
Not another Best of Hitch thread !
Strangers on a Train is quite different from the original novel by Patricia Highsmith (one of my favourite writers) - the book is equally fascinating in itself and seeing how they changed it for the film. It was a great idea which Hitch took and ran with.
Somehow I love the less-that-excellent, "I Confess."
No love for Family Plot? I'd never call it a favorite but I make a point of watching it whenever it airs and I enjoy it every time.
Rebecca, The Lady Vanishes and The Birds are my favorites.
How about a worst Hitchcock thread?
I put the 39 Steps when I meant to put The Lady Vanishes as another favorite. I've never even seen 39 Steps.
NOTORIOUS is one of the deepest romances ever put on film, and one of the most beautiful.
Who knew that Hitchcock could give Frank Borzage a run for his money?
I do like REBECKY, but it's a little to David O. Selznick for my taste.
Wonder if that's where Hitchcock got the "What does the "O" stand for?" joke in NORTH BY NORTHWEST?
Anyone watching the marathon on TCM today?
I'm watching one of my favorites now Dial M For Murder R24.
I think Notorious is my favorite but sometimes I think I'd like to play, Strangers on a Train.
I never cared that much for "Dial M for Murder," mostly because I don't care for Grace Kelly's performance in it...she was MUCH better in "Rear Window" and "To Catch a Thief."
Shadow of a Doubt because it was filmed in my home town. I grew up on the street where Charlie and her family lived. Of course it was 20 years later, and Santa Rosa had changed. The downtown changed even more after two earthquakes. I love that film.
I tend to have a dislike for anything by Hitch post-Marnie, which started his artistic descent.
I can't believe no one has yet mentioned the one with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman as his shrink though I'm blanking on the title!
Hard to believe but Joan Fontaine is the only actor who ever won an Oscar directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
And there are very few who were even nominated.
Why is that?
Shadow of a Doubt.
I saw it on tv as a little kid and it was one of the only films I ever saw that starred a female character who wasn't an airhead or a sexpot or someone who behaved so stupidly that she had to be rescued all the time. Seeing a smart American teenaged girl was nothing I'd ever seen on tv or in movies growing up in the 60s and 70s.
Then there was the comparison theme. For every bright, happy, innocent thing, there was a dark underside. Watch the opening of the film. Hitchcock films two opposite openings. One is of a dreamy, innocent, sensible girl lying in her bedroom wishing for excitement in her life. The other opening is of a man in a grimy urban neighborhood in a boarding house bedroom, trying to escape his suddenly too-exciting life by evading police. Throughout the film, there are two different sorts of characters, lifestyles and morals being juxtaposed.
Maybe Hitchcock wasn't well liked in Hollywood?
Marnie. Ambiguous and kind of bleak.
R30 is referring to "Spellbound".
Which Hitchcock-directed performances should have earned Oscars or at least nominations?
Robert Walker...Strangers on a Train
Joseph Cotten...Shadow of a Doubt
Robert Donat...The 39 Steps
R35 - You are thinking of Spellbound. Not a bad film, and Bergman and Peck look great, but a lot of the pop psychology is pretty dated. I also think it tends to get overshadowed by Notorious which came out a year or two later.
Notorious and Rear Window probably top my list. I like Rebecca a lot, but in many ways it seems more like Selznick's mark is on it more than Hitchcock's.
I just rewatched Strangers on Train last weekend. I know Granger's acting gets criticized, but I think his deer in the headlight non-acting works. If it would have been someone like Jimmy Stewart I think it would have been all overwrought and overly mannered. Plus, with all the subtext, Granger's good looks and underlying vulnerability worked well. My big complaint with that movie is the merry-go-round scene at the end is a little too unbelievable to suspend disbelief.
I was 16 when i saw all of these in the theatre with my swim coach. He knew I liked movies and said I should see these long out of release films. Sorry guys, nothing happened with him, though I wish it had! I still associate Hitchcock and especially these films (except Trouble With Harry) with sex .It's all I thought about then!
Yes, Farley Granger is very good-looking in Strangers.
My current favorite is: The 39 Steps (Vertigo and The Lady Vanishes have also been my favorites at different points in time)
Also like: Strangers on a Train, North by Northwest, Rope, Lifeboat, Suspsicion, Notorious
The Birds and Psycho are both overrated.
Agree with R29 that the post-Marnie films are not as good. The special Hitchcock magic is not there. I thought Frenzy was repulsive and there was no Hitchcock charm at all.
Associating Alfred Hitchcock with sex...the mind boggles!
I'll bet the swim coach was hot, even if you didn't get any. Was he married or something?
My 3 faves, in descending order:
Dial "M" for Murder (I also like the Douglas/Paltrow/Mortensen version) (the key!).
North By Northwest (the matchbook!).
Frenzy (the tie-tack!).
I love "Spellbound", in spite of the cheesy old-fashioned view of psychiatry. I love it because of the central relationship, where for once a strong female rescues a male damsel-in-distress. Which sounds cheesy, but Bergman and Peck are so good that it works. Peck was a beautiful man, and never looked better than here, where he played a man who is haunted and vulnerable.
So I had to put in a good word for it, even though it's probably my third favorite Hitchcock film. "Vertigo" and "Psycho" are better, they're both perfect films in their way.
The most amazing thing about Spellbound is that Rochester is a thriving city.
r4 named a full 17 films--about half of Hitchcock's entire sound pictures oeuvre.
A list like that is so meaningful.
R39 "Rear Window" has really grown on me. I think it is my favorite. It's just so perfectly constructed, and shot. And of course, Grace Kelly, who I've never particularly liked in any other film , but this. She's perfect. So is Thelma Ritter.
So nobody likes The Man Who Knew Too Much?
Oh that's good too Doris. You do over the top hysterics possibly better then any other actress*
*Beginning in "Love Me Or Leave Me", continuing in "MWKTM", reaching great heights in "Julie", and the apex, "Midnight Lace", where you meltdown like no one else.
Hitchcock was so psychologically astute and misanthropic. His perfectly mocks his heroes in the style of each decade of his films and key lights the darker souls with more interest. Eventually and sometimes he integrated the darker side to his protagonists and allows them to live in a human state. He transferred his vision and control so well to every aspect of his films that he is given more credit for more good movies than he produced.
I like Shadow of a Doubt. Everything he would ever have to say, and every way he could technically show it, is in that film. It was shot on location, minus all those disorienting rear projections.
I like Rebecca which is not really his movie, Strangers on a Train and Psycho very much too.
I am not big on his films of the fifties. The icy blondes, stalwart males stars and the artificial and obvious but not cheap psychology made for some watchable and obsessive films. Not great movies. Vertigo is fun to analyze, but not fun to watch. The Mcguffin's were out of control in these films and his voyeurism was diluted by the need for clear heroes and villains. The auterists would not like it, but most of the enjoyment of these films are derived from the not directable charm of key actors. Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much, Jimmie Stewart in Rear Window, Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest...
Psycho and Shadow of a Doubt are the bookends to his career. They both have a poorly constructed ending. I think that once the pathology, intrigue or mystery was exposed and resolved, Hitchcock didn't care to provide a denouement. He was not a cuddler. The act is over and so is the film, clumsily. But the dumb heroes and heroines are left subversively in a happy vague ending.
The nice part is that he will return again to the same themes and obsessions, in a new location, with a different blonde and whole other climax. Kinky.
I watched a Hitchcock 1936 film called Sabotage for the first Tim e a few months back. Starred Sylvia Sidney. Excellent movie.
Bt I have a soft spot for the Birds. I just loved that movie as a kid. I think it still holds up; maybe not as well as others but its a good time.
I think The Birds holds up too.
I also like "The Birds" and the much-maligned Tippi Hedren.
I'm another that loves 'Spellbound" and don't understand why so few list it as a favorite. Bergman and Peck lovely together --always loved her, never a fan of his but I loved him with her in this film; Michael Chekhov in the cast - so meaningful for theatre actors to see his work; the Salvador Dali dream sequences. What's not to love?!
'THe Birds' -- I laughed through that even when it was first released. Such bad special effects. Never believed any of that cast was committed to their characters. Too hard for them to take seriously, I felt.
'Notorius' and 'Rear Window' -- the best of them all.
To Catch a Thief
North by Northwest
Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, and North By Northwest are probably my top 3 (in no particular order).
But I did like Doris & Christopher Olsen in The Man Who Knew Too Much.
And I think Family Plot is underrated. Everyone groups it among his late-career duds, but I thought it had an interesting plot, and Barbara Harris' performance is among my very favorites. The wink at the end was a perfect final shot for Hitchcock's career.
Favorite? "Notorious," and a very, very close second is "To Catch a Thief."
Overrated? "The Birds." Never understood the love for that one.
Underrated? "Torn Curtain," "Topaz," and "Frenzy." The later films do not get the due they deserve. Yes, I know, "Torn Curtain" is not Hitchcock at his best. However, compare it to a lot of what is released today. In fact, watch it again and notice how it holds its own against a lot of what you would see on cable tv.
r55 have you watched Family Plot recently?
I LOVED it as a college student when it was released (I even hunted down and read the source material novel at the library) but was somewhat appalled when I saw it again this year on DVD. It looks like an inept 1970s TV movie.
Nevertheless, Barbara Harris is still a joy for me and Bruce Dern is surprisingly hot and nerdy (his shirtless scene!); they make for an adorkably quirky couple, but that's about it....a very minor swan song.
My favorite scenes from "The Birds" are when Melanie Daniels first gets pecked in the head while she's in the boat heading towards Rod Taylor. Her character was so smug and coy, and clearly Hitch was trying to humble her - the peck was totally unexpected. The second one was when Lydia Brenner drove over to her neighbor's house to check on him, only to find his corpse lying on the bedroom floor, with his eyes pecked out. Bitch tore up that house trying to get out of there. And when they attack the city, causing that chain reaction that set part of the city on fire. It wasn't Hitch's best, at least not in terms of acting or plot, but it had some very effective moments.
Off-topic, but Robert Walker's son, Robert Jr., was an adorable twink in his prime. He was on TCM last night in [italic]Ensign Pulver,[/italic] the sequel to [italic]Mister Roberts.[/italic]