So last week ended my Year of Hitchcock challenge meaning that I have now officially watched every Hitchcock film. From the year of doing the blog I believe I have learnt several things about films particularly good ways to build tension; that will ultimately improve my personal filmmaking and scriptwriting.

The challenge has been extremely rewarding and although lots of perseverance was needed – particularly during the first few weeks of silent movies – it was worth it.  For this post I was going to order all the films and write a paragraph so about each but then decided against that as there are countless blogs that already do so. I have however ordered the films based on my Hitch rating and were rather surprised with the ratings to which certain films where given. I have therefore broken down each section into Hitch rating and will briefly summarise that category.

FILMS GIVEN 1 HITCH:

Hitchcock

52) Juno & The Paycock

51) Topaz

50) Easy Virtue

The 1 Hitch category was a small one containing just three films; all of which where dire and the ones I struggled to watch. Juno & The Paycock and Topaz are to be honest tied for being the worst Hitchcock film in my opinion as both are dire films; where not much happens apart from talking. I decided to put Juno & The Paycock slightly behind because I do remember being mildly entertained by the opening of Topaz.

FILMS GIVEN 2 HITCH’S:

Hitchcock Hitchcock

49) The Pleasure Garden

48) Under Capricorn

47) Champagne

46) The Ring

45) Waltzes from Vienna

All of the films that where rated 2 Hitch’s are fairly early Hitch films. This summarises Hitchcock’s early career when he was attempting to find his feet as a director. One surprise in this section for me was that I only gave Waltzes From Vienna 2 Hitch’s. Waltzes from Vienna is for me a stand out film and one that I remember well in comparison to the others; I have very fond memories of this film and was therefore surprised by my poor rating.

FILMS GIVEN 3 HITCH’S:

Hitchcock Hitchcock Hitchcock

44) Jamaica Inn

43) The Skin Game

42) Number 17

41) The Paradine Case

40) The Manxman

39) Torn Curtain

38) Secret Agent

37) The Farmer’s Wife

36) Murder!

35) Mr & Mrs Smith

34) Downhill

33) To Catch a Thief

32) Young & Innocent

31) The Lodger

30) The Man Who Knew Too Much (UK Version)

The 3 Hitch category is one I might as well have nicknamed the forgettable category as it contains all the films watched in the challenge that I struggled to remember properly. For example I remember Mr & Mrs Smith is a comedy and that is about all I know. Young & Innocent, The Lodger and The Man Who Knew Too Much (UK Version) top this category as these are the three I remember in the fullest. The Lodger in particular stands out as being a particularly tense Hitch film. These three films where perhaps rated a little too low considering those which appear at the start of the 4 Hitch category.

FILMS GIVEN 4 HITCHS:

Hitchcock Hitchcock Hitchcock Hitchcock

29) Stage Fright

28) I Confess

27) Suspicion

26) Foreign Correspondent

25) Family Plot

24) Sabotage

23) Blackmail

22) The Man Who Knew Too Much (US)

21) The Wrong Man

20) Marnie

19) North by Northwest

18) Shadow of a Doubt

17) Rich & Strange

16) Trouble with Harry

15) Life Boat

14) Frenzy

13) Spellbound

The four Hitch category is a mixed bag of films that I rated too highly (Stage Fright, Family Plot) and films rated too low (Frenzy, Spellbound). There are several fantastic films in the category including Rich & Strange, which is the highest of Hitch’s silent films in my list.

North by Northwest and Shadow of a Doubt also appear in the section rated as the 19th and 18th best Hitch films respectively. Both of these films are generally in the top 10 when you see a similar list however neither of them really hit me with amazingness; Shadow of a Doubt is one of the films that I would most like to re-watch however but I think that is mainly due to the fact that it is referenced in Chan-Wook Park’s Stoker.

One surprise I found in this category was the inclusion of Spellbound a film I loved and presumed would I gave 5 Hitch’s. Spellbound is one of my personal favourites and would most likely have made the top ten if I were asked to order the films without looking at the ratings I had given.

FILMS GIVEN 5 HITCHS:

Hitchcock Hitchcock Hitchcock Hitchcock Hitchcock

12) Saboteur

11) 39 Steps

10) The Birds

9) Rope

8) Psycho

7) Rebecca

6) Dial M for Murder

5) Notorious

4) The Lady Vanishes

3) Strangers on a Train

2) Rear Window

1) Vertigo

So 12 films where given the highest accolade and most of them are spot on; I would perhaps have rated Saboteur a four if I where to re-rate them however it is borderline.

Putting the films into an order was difficult in this section as each of the film has many merits making it extremely hard to order; the choice of Vertigo and Rear Window as one and two where fairly simple as they are both simply outstanding and as close to perfection as Hitchcock would achieve.

The majority of the top 10 will not surprise many people as these are generally the films which critics praise as the best Hitchcock films; one that may surprise people if the inclusion of the Lady Vanishes at number 4. I really enjoyed the Lady Vanishes and remember it being the best film I had seen at the time of watching; it is a true stand out and a film I could watch over and over as there is some charm to it that is rare in any film.

And so my yearly challenge is done. I will not set out on a new challenge in which I will watch every feature length film directed by the messed up mind of David Lynch, beginning with Eraserhead!

I would like to thank everyone whose read the blog in the last year and hope that you’ve enjoyed my rambling about the master of suspense. Thank you!