Best 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 persuaded her to do for the sake of patriotism. The most poignant 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.

1. Notorious
2. Strangers on a Train
3. The 39 Steps
4. Rear Window
5. North by Northwest
6. Psycho
7. Sabotage
8. Rebecca
9. The Lodger
10. Vertigo
11. The Birds
12. To Catch a Thief
13. Shadow of a Doubt
14. Suspicion
15. Foreign Correspondent
16. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
17. Rich and Strange
18. The Lady Vanishes
19. Rope
20. Family Plot

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