Ranking Alfred Hitchcock films

The languor of Vertigo is the attraction, but if you don’t believe, as I don’t, that Kim Novak deserves the cinder-block-heavy rhapsodizing and a near joke-free Jimmy Stewart performance at her feet, then it doesn’t work. Maybe queerness interferes with my affection. Gay men become obsessed with inaccessible beauties, but we can usually still dance and drink and recoil from carpets as thick as the ones in Ernie’s.

Gimme Notorious, where an iceberg-cold Cary Grant chews on his loathing for Ingrid Bergman for pulling the Mata Hari act that he forced her into for the sake of patriotism. The most poignant camera movement isn’t the celebrated dolly from the top of the staircase to the wine cellar key hidden in Bergman’s fist, although it is audacious; it’s a reaction shot of husband Claude Rains stumbling through the ballroom of that same dinner party, destroyed by the thought that she might be cheating on him with Grant but forced to smile anyway — and worse awaits him.

The Hague

Topaz
Torn Curtain
I Confess
Stage Fright

Meh

The Wrong Man
Dial M for Murder
Rope
Spellbound
Frenzy
Family Plot
Juno and the Paycock
Lifeboat
Marnie
The Paradine Case
Jamaica Inn
Under Capricorn

Sound, Solid

The Lady Vanishes
Rebecca
To Catch a Thief
The Lodger
Shadow of a Doubt
Foreign Correspondent
The Secret Agent
Rich and Strange
Suspicion
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934 and 1951)
Blackmail
Mr and Mrs. Smith

Good to Great

Notorious
Strangers on a Train
The 39 Steps
Psycho
Rear Window
North by Northwest
Sabotage
The Birds
Vertigo

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