Alfred Hitchcock has directed over 50 feature length films in an amazing career that spanned six decades with many of them becoming some of cinema’s most classic films. Because he has directed so many movies it’s not all that surprising that a lot of them have slipped through the cracks. I’m assuming that most of us have all seen the likes of Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds, and North by Northwest so I thought it would be a bit more interesting to make a list of 5 great Hitchcock films that you may not have seen before. While the films I just mentioned are some of his absolute best, there are plenty of others that deserve just as much attention. So with that, here are 5 Great Hitchcock Films You Might Have Missed.
Luck is everything… My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I’m fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn’t make a good suspense film.
Shadow of a Doubt
Often regarded as Hitchcock’s best American film, Shadow of a Doubt was purportedly Hitch’s own personal favorite film. The film was actually shot on location in the small town of Santa Rosa, California and had such a middle-American charm to it that when the dark secrets are revealed it makes the film that much more effective. The noir style of filmmaking mixed with a fantastic score adds to the true mystery of Uncle Charlie’s arrival. One of my personal favorites from Hitchcock’s library because the film shows the dualities of good and evil and how you can truly never completely know someone.
A young woman discovers her visiting “Uncle Charlie” may not be the man he seems to be.
Rope is a complex film which was subversively based on the Leopold and Loeb murder case. What makes Rope such a unique film is because Hitch decided to shoot the film in such a way that it seemed as if you were watching a stage performance by shooting the film in very long takes. There are about eight cuts in the entire film producing some extremely raw and unforgettable performances from the cast. This film is really something special and marked the first color film from Hitchcock. From the unforgettable cast and long takes to the amazing set design that featured a model of New York City in the background, complete with moving clouds and a sky that would fade from day to night, Rope proves that Hitchcock’s vision may be one that will never be matched again. Ah, they don’t make them like they used to folks.
Two young men strangle their “inferior” classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the “perfection” of their crime.
The Trouble with Harry
Much like Shadow of a Doubt, Hitch often mentioned The Trouble with Harry as being another one of his personal favorites from his filmography. Although this was one of his rare box office failures, The Trouble with Harry became one of Hitch’s most charming and outrageous films when it released back in 1955. While it’s far from being one of his most impressive films, Harry manages to show a fantastic side of Hitchcock with its quirky and fun premise. Hitchcock said, “With Harry, I took melodrama out of the pitch-black night and brought it out into the sunshine. It’s as if I had set up a murder alongside a rustling brook and spilled a drop of blood into the clear water. These contrasts establish a counterpart; they elevate the commonplace in life to a higher level.”
The trouble with Harry is that he’s dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body…
Dial M for Murder
Dial M for Murder is a perfect example of a classic murder mystery that will certainly make you think twice before you go cheating on your spouse. Another film from Hitchcock that takes place in one location — an apartment of a married couple struggling to be in love. What makes this film work so well is its characters and their inner struggles of lies and deception. The actors in this film are everything as Hitch chose Ray Milland and Grace Kelly who give jarring performances in this brilliantly directed film about carrying out the perfect plan that becomes littered with life’s surprises.
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.
A Hitchcockian thriller at its best is this post-war psychological suspense film, Notorious. Inspired by a two-part short story in the 1921 Saturday Evening Post called “The Song of the Dragon” by John Taintor Foote. How Hitch became known as the “Master of Suspense” shines in this film as it is masterfully told and created a level of suspense for its time that wasn’t often seen. Notorious is a compelling story about a spy’s mission intertwined with love. Notorious is simply one of Hitchcock’s best films as he brilliantly combines themes of political betrayal, trust, friendship, and relationships. Led by the amazing cast of Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman who where both at the top of their game deliver fantastic performances in this classic Hitchcock film.
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?
What about you guys? Is there a Hitchcock film that you absolutely love that not a lot of people have seen? Let me know in the comments below and as always, thanks for reading.