The legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was born on Aug. 13, 1899, making yesterday his 115th birthday. Unfortunately, “The Master of Suspense” passed away in 1980. However, he left behind an incredible legacy of some of the greatest films in cinematic history. He was a true auteur, through his camera techniques mimicking the human gaze, MacGuffins, and films filled with constant twists and turns, his work is uniquely Hitchcock.
My last semester at Bucknell, I took an English course on Alfred Hitchcock. To preface, this course was not simply constant movies. Instead, we learned about Hitchcock’s unique ideas, innovative camera techniques, and his decisions in relation to the current culture at the time. Hitchcock was quite a character and broke all the rules of film making, which made room for all of his new ideas. He even became a cultural icon for his cameo appearances in his films (which became earlier and earlier in the movie so the audience would focus on the film after spotting him!) This course became one of my absolute favorites from my college career and expanded my love of Hitchcock films. Prior to taking this class I had only seen Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, and Vertigo. These are arguably Hitchcock’s more famous films, but his earlier projects show the techniques and suspense that made him famous.
In honor of Hitchcock’s birthday yesterday, here are my top 7 favorite films by Alfred Hitchcock. They are in chronological order, because putting them in my ultimate favorite list would be way too difficult!
1. Rebecca (1940)
2. Notorious (1946)
3. Strangers On A Train (1951)
4. Rear Window (1954)
5. Vertigo (1958)
6. Psycho (1960)
7. Marnie (1964)
Each of these films is unique and exciting in its own right. If you have never seen these films, I highly recommend that you rent them for a night of true cinematic magic.