Vertigo

Talk about a turnaround.

This Alfred Hitchcock-helmed psychological thriller was misunderstood and ignored in its prime, yet has gone on to be hailed as one of the best American films ever made.

While it may have taken people time to pierce all the layers in a often very-complex tale of obsession and murder, the work was worth it.

Jimmy Stewart, playing somewhat against type, gets downright squirrely at times as a former cop who falls in love with a dead woman, and tries to shape her doppelganger into the original woman with tragic results.

Miss this one at your peril.

 

Notorious (1946)

You’re as cold as ice.

The moment when Cary Grant locks the car door, sending romantic rival (and poisoner) Claude Rains back to face his fate at the hands of fellow Nazi spies, remains one of the harshest fade-outs in cinema history.

And hey, before you complain about spoilers, the film celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

If you haven’t seen one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best yet, less whining, and more viewing.

What you’ll find is an elegant slice of film noir, with a zippy Ben Hecht script filled with mystery, intrigue, and dialogue which crackles with every word.

 

Darth by Darthwest

You got your Hitchcock in my Star Wars!

No, you got your Star Wars in my Hitchcock!!

Whichever way you look at it, this fun mashup, which plops Cary Grant into the world of Tie-Fighters and protocol droids, is a great way to fritter away six minutes of your life.

It’s not terribly deep, but not everything needs to be freakin’ Shakespeare now, does it?

So, basically, it’s footage from North By Northwest, reimagined and repurposed to imagine what would happen if our most urbane of heroes found himself in a galaxy far, far away.

Good times, good times.

 

Rear Window

He likes to watch.

Confined to a wheelchair as he rehabs a broken leg, amiable Jimmy Stewart starts peeking at the neighbors with his trusty binoculars, only to stumble across murder most foul.

Maybe.

Our long ‘n lanky hero sees right through sweaty Raymond Burr, down there disposing of his “recently-departed” wife, but convincing anyone else of his suspicions may not be as easy as hoped.

One of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, it earned the legendary director the fourth of his five Oscar noms as Best Director.

That he never won the award? The biggest crime of all.

Psycho (1960)

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”

Norman Bates is devoted to his madre, and if that means dancing a bloody tango with those who dare to threaten family bonds, so be it.

By now, everyone knows the twists and turns of Alfred Hitchcock’s slasher, and it doesn’t matter.

It all still works, from Anthony Perkins subtle twitches and tortured looks, to Janet Leigh’s realization she should have taken a bath and not a shower.

North by Northwest is still my favorite Hitchcock, but you can’t deny this film’s power.

It carved out a deserved place in movie history.