Top 10 Alfred Hitchcock Movies



Top 10 Alfred Hitchcock Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Niki Neptune.

He was the Master of Suspense. In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 Alfred Hitchcock movies. For this list, we're looking at the most iconic movies from one of cinema's most influential directors. Although he made over 50 films throughout the course of his lifetime, these are the ones that helped define an entire genre and have inspired filmmakers for generations.

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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 Alfred Hitchcock Movies

He was the Master of Suspense. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Alfred Hitchcock movies.

For this list, we’re looking at the most iconic movies from one of cinema’s most influential directors. Although he made over 50 films throughout the course of his lifetime, these are the ones that helped define an entire genre and have inspired filmmakers for generations.

#10: “Dial M for Murder” (1954)

Based on a stage play, this film follows a former tennis pro as he plots to have his wealthy, adulterous wife murdered. But his plan hits a snag when she kills her hired assassin, making this anything but a predictable whodunit. Starring perennial Hitchcock leading lady Grace Kelly as the cheating wife and Ray Milland as the jilted husband, the film’s status as a pop culture staple and Hitchcock standard was cemented by numerous remakes and reinterpretations. But even so, the key to this mystery remains the key.

#9: “The 39 Steps” (1935)

This British classic is a story of espionage, murder, and a man on the run. After running into a spy who winds up dead at the end of the night, Richard Hannay takes off on a cross-country chase to prove his innocence and to stop a spy ring known as the “39 Steps” from stealing military secrets from the British government. With visual elements he refined and reused in his later films, as well as his typical brand of cold-as-ice heroine, this has Hitchcock’s fingerprints all over it.

#8: “Notorious” (1946)

This spy story-slash-love triangle drama features some of old Hollywood’s biggest stars. Starring Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant and Claude Raines, the story follows the daughter of a Nazi spy who has been recruited to snoop for the U.S., but she manages to fall in love with her government recruiter. With many innovative shots and some subversive romance, the film was a hit with both audiences and critics alike, and it showcased Hitchcock’s willingness to grow as a director even at this stage in his career.

#7: “Rebecca” (1940)

Marrying a man you’ve known for two weeks is ill advised in most situations. It holds especially true in this instance, when a young woman weds a grieving widower she just met and must contend with the memory of his first wife. Actually, it’s not just the ex-wife’s ghost she must deal with; she’s also up against her husband’s unstable housekeeper and the ex-wife’s lover. A faithful retelling of Daphne du Maurier’s novel, Hitchcock’s film version was a triumph that earned the Best Picture Oscar.

#6: “Strangers on a Train” (1951)

It seems that tennis pros hate their wives – at least in Hitchcock’s universe. This story centers on a clandestine meeting between two strangers, during which the idea of a crisscross murder scheme is floated. But when the tennis pro’s wife ends up dead, he must rush to stop his coconspirator from framing him for the crime, while also trying to avoid committing murder himself. By highlighting the story’s themes of contrast with his visual choices, Hitchcock turns this melodrama into one of his signature, electrifying thrillers.

#5: “The Birds” (1963)

If you didn’t have a functional fear of pigeons prior to this movie, this Hitchcock classic will be sure to at least having you viewing them with some skepticism. Starring typical Hitchcock blonde Tippi Hedren, the movie tells the story of a remote California town that’s beset with murderous birds. While it’s full of suspense, it’s a horror movie in every sense of the word, complete with gouged-out eyes and vicious bird attacks – however, with Hitchcock’s classic visual flair, it stands above your typical blood-and-gore slashers.

#4: “North by Northwest” (1959)

Hitchcock’s soft spot for spy stories and men on the run sees another turn in this thriller. Cary Grant plays a man who’s wrongly mistaken for a spy, and goes on the run to save his life and clear up his identity. But he’s chased cross-country by a team of spies looking to take him out. A box-office success, the film is widely considered one of Hitchcock’s best. But it’s the director’s conscious effort to avoid the symbolism of his other works that makes it truly stand out.

#3: “Vertigo” (1958)

A love story, a murder mystery, and acrophobia go hand-in-hand-in-hand in this definitive Hitchcock thriller. The story centers on an unstable detective, portrayed by Jimmy Stewart, who’s suffering from a fear of heights so debilitating it prevents him from saving lives. After he falls in love with his friend’s wife and she jumps to her death, he goes on an emotional tailspin until he stumbles upon the truth about her demise. Though “Vertigo” originally earned mixed reviews, it has since been reassessed as a standout on Hitchcock’s resume.

#2: “Rear Window” (1954)

Being a peeping tom can have its upside. This classic sees Jimmy Stewart in the lead again, this time as a wheelchair-bound photographer who thinks he’s witnessed a murder from his bedroom window. He enlists his girlfriend, played by Grace Kelly, to help uncover his neighbor’s crimes – while trying to avoid being killed in the process. Not only did this suspenseful film snag Hitchcock four Oscar nominations and solidify his legacy as a cinematic heavy-hitter; it also became a familiar pop culture reference with retellings like 2007’s “Disturbia.”

Before we break the suspense and reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943)
- “Rope” (1948)
- “The Trouble with Harry” (1955)
- “The Lady Vanishes” (1938)
- “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1956)
- “Spellbound” (1945)

#1: “Psycho” (1960)

Widely considered one the greatest films ever made, this ‘60s chiller is a cultural milepost and has influenced filmmakers for decades. A young woman on the lam is murdered in her hotel room by a shadowy figure, later revealed to be disturbed serial killer Norman Bates. The shower scene depicting her stabbing death is one of the most recognizable sequences in movie history, and with its many cuts, angles and subtle hints of violence and nudity, Hitchcock changed the norms of what was accepted in mainstream cinema.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie? For more suspenseful Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to
The Lady Vanishes an honorable mention with Dial M For Murder being in front of it? I don't think so.
Frenzy and Family Plot are good too