Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
Today is Alfred Hitchcock's birthday. There's no use in saying how old he would be, because he wouldn't be. There is no way he would have lived this long, which is probably something to be thankful for with today's discussion since he likely would have made another 30-40 films for us to choose as our favorites.
It's hard to name a single favorite Hitch movie, or even three favorites, as so many are so great. And various films of his are so great for so many various reasons. There's a difference, too, between which of his films we enjoy the most and which is technically his best (though even this has been up for debate, even if currently Vertigo is listed by Sight & Sound as not only the best Hitchcock but the best film of all time). IMDb users put both Psycho and Rear Window above Vertigo, for instance. And 10 whole films, including Rebecca and Shadow of a Doubt, have better Rotten Tomato scores than Vertigo thanks to a negative review in Time 55 years ago.
Also, how many among us all has seen every Hitchcock movie? Never mind that some of them are not even possibly seen, but given that he worked from the silent era through the 1970s, that's a large filmography. Most of us may have only felt a need to get through the 10-15 essentials, which is less than a quarter of his output. And we all should have at least one guilty pleasure among the bunch, because Hitch just wasn't perfect, yet his lesser movies are almost always entertaining at the very least.
Personally, I'm less interested in his masterpieces of horror and psychological drama as I am his thrilling adventures and capers involving spies and mistaken identitites and Cary Grant being an ass. Of course, it was still difficult for me to narrow to three. So was it, apparently, for some of you (see the Twitter poll results). My immediate runners-up would be Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Saboteur -- for the last, what can I say other than I love film uses of famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty.
Here are my top three Alfred Hitchcock movies:
1. North by Northwest
I've seen it more than any other, mostly thanks to TCM seemingly always airing it, and the fact that it's the one I have the hardest time not watching if it's on. I love Grant in it, and I still get anxious during the cropduster scene.
Few film endings are as tattooed into my brain as this film's. Why in the heck wasn't Claude Rains in more of Hitch's films? (He was at least in a few episodes of the TV series.)
Not a lot of filmmakers could have achieved such a compelling feature film set solely in a lifeboat. Of course, even Hitch may not have delivered so fine a film were it not for actress Talullah Bankhead's help. Hardly cattle, that one.
Your Picks (the top "three" being Rear Window, Vertigo and then Notorious, Psycho and North by Northwest tying for last):
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