18 Hitchcock Masterpieces Every Movie Lover Should Experience

Alfred Hitchcock is one of the most famous Directors in cinema. He is responsible for Directing over 53 pieces of film and TV. His work is critically acclaimed globally and often credited as the father of cinema. Born in 1899 in London, Hitchcock had a film career spanning six decades, with his first movie made in 1925 and his last in 1976. All of Hitchcock’s films can be called good in some way, but here is a list of 18 that are great.

Rear Window

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Made in 1954, Rear Window is still rated 8.5 stars on IMDB, which is a testament to the brilliant film it was and still is. Starring James Stewart as a wheelchair-bound photographer who watches his neighbors through the rear windows of his New York apartment, he becomes convinced that one of them has committed murder. 

 

North by Northwest

Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Starring Cary Grant, this action, adventure, and mystery tells the story of a New York advertising executive who goes on the run after being mistaken for a government agent by a gang of spies. While on the run, he falls in love with a woman who might not be all she appears. 

 

Psycho

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Alfred Hitchcock’s most iconic film, Psycho, is an acclaimed work of cinematic genius still influencing filmmakers today. Made in 1960, it is still rated 8.5 stars on IMDB, which is pretty impressive after more than sixty years since its release date. 

 

A Shadow of a Doubt

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Filmed in 1943, this film noir thriller tells the story of a teenage girl who begins to suspect that her favorite uncle is the notorious Merry Widow killer the police are seeking. A truly thrilling movie with an excellent plot, brilliant acting, and cinematography, it still holds a rating of 7.8 stars on IMDB.

 

Notorious

Photo Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

Starring Carey Grant, Notorious tells the story of the daughter of a convicted German spy who Americans ask to gather information on German scientists in South America. Audiences are enthralled and intrigued by how far this young lady will go to integrate herself with the enemy. 

 

Strangers on a Train 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Rated 7.9 stars on IMDB, this classic Hitchcock film depicts a psychopathic man who tries to persuade a tennis star to agree to his theory that two strangers can get away with murder by agreeing to kill each other’s most hated person. 

 

The Lady Vanishes

Photo Credit: Gaumont-British Picture.

While traveling Europe, a rich young woman notices that an elderly female passenger seems to have disappeared from the train. This mystery thriller takes audiences on a journey of suspense and intrigue like only Hitchcock can. 

 

Rebecca

Photo Credit: United Artists.

Starring Laurence Olivier, Rebecca tells the story of a self-conscious young woman who struggles to adjust to her role as an aristocrat’s wife, especially as his first wife is still lurking around. This drama, mystery, captivates viewers with its intricate plot.

 

Foreign Correspondent

Photo Credit: United Artists.

This action, romance, and thriller depicts a young American reporter who attempts to expose secret agents in London on the eve of World War II. Filmed in 1940, this movie set a precedent for exceptional standards within film, and it still holds a rating of 7.4 stars on IMDB. 

 

Dial M For Murder

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Another of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous films, Dial M for Murder, is a truly iconic movie. The film is about a former tennis star who arranges for his unfaithful wife to be murdered. It was controversial at the time of its release in 1954, but the controversy only added to the film’s notoriety.

 

Vertigo

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

It is a mystery, romance, and thriller about a former police detective who wrestles with his demons while becoming obsessed with a beautiful woman whom he has been paid to follow. Often referred to as “Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece,” this film is a masterpiece. 

 

The 39 Steps

Photo Credit: Gaumont British.

Made in 1935, this is one of Hitchcock’s earliest films. This movie is about espionage, spies, and double agents in London, and it takes the audience on a thrilling ride of dramatic intrigue. Another Hitchcock classic that still holds a star rating of 7.6 on IMDB. 

Frenzy

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Filmed in 1972, this is a later installment of Hitchcock’s work, but it’s still nonetheless a work of cinematic art. Based on the story of a serial murderer in London who is killing women with a necktie, the police have a suspect, but it’s the wrong man. 

 

To Catch a Thief

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, this thrilling, romantic mystery follows an ex-jewel thief who must prove his innocence after being accused of returning to a life of crime. This film has been praised for its quality script, acting, and plot as an all-around jewel of cinema. 

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Photo Credit: Woolf & Freedman Film Service.

Filmed in 1927 and still within the realm of silent movies, this mystery, crime, and drama has plenty of all three. It follows a landlady in London who suspects that her new lodger is a wanted serial killer who has been murdering women across London. 

 

Saboteur

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Filmed in 1942, this thrilling war movie depicts a young man who has to go on the run after he’s accused of sabotage. Another brilliant film from Alfred Hitchcock that captivates audiences with a carefully crafted plot, suspense, and intrigue. 

 

Life Boat

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

A controversial film at the time, filmed in 1944, it depicted the journey of shipwrecked survivors of a merchant ship in World War II who ended up sharing their lifeboat with one of the U-boat crew members who sank their ship. A cleverly crafted masterpiece of war and drama. 

 

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Starring James Stewart and Doris Day, Hitchcock made this movie twice, first in 1934, then re-released a remastered version in 1954. This second version was deemed far more successful than the first. The film documents the life of an American doctor and his wife, a former singing star, who witnessed a murder while on holiday in Morocco. An ominous chain of events occurs, and their young son is kidnapped as they are drawn into a plot of international intrigue. 

 

 

 

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Catherine Keating

Writer & Blogger

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