The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

ALFRED HITCHCOCK Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.  United Kingdom, 1927.  Gainsborough Pictures, Carlyle Blackwell Productions.  Screenplay by Eliot Stannard, from the novel and play by Marie Belloc Lowndes.  Cinematography by Gaetano di Ventimiglia.  Produced by Michael Balcon, Carlyle Blackwell.  Production Design by C. Wilfred Arnold, Bertram Evans.  Film Editing by Ivor Montagu. This early classic by Alfred Hitchcock shows the master…

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Topaz (1969)

ALFRED HITCHCOCK Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.  USA, 1969.  Universal Pictures.  Screenplay by Samuel A. Taylor, based on the novel by Leon Uris.  Cinematography by Jack Hildyard.  Produced by Alfred Hitchcock.  Music by Maurice Jarre.  Production Design by Henry Bumstead.  Costume Design by Edith Head.  Film Editing by William H. Ziegler. Alfred Hitchcock returns to a Cold War theme following his underwhelming Torn Curtain, this…

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Family Plot

BBB (out of 5) A wealthy dowager (Cathleen Nesbitt) enlists her psychic (Barbara Harris) to help her with a very private family matter: years ago she forced her sister to give up her illegitimate son for adoption and, now nearing her death without an heir in sight, wants to find the lost child and bequeath…

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Frenzy

BBBB (out of 5) Masterful work from the last period of Alfred Hitchcock’s career, this penultimate film shows that the auteur was in no danger of slowing down three decades after his Hollywood debut. The film touches upon one of his favourite themes, that of the innocent man pursued for a crime he didn’t commit,…

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I Confess

BBB.5 (out of 5) Though even the most diehard Hitchcock enthusiasts find this to be a lesser entry in his oeuvre, it still packs some good punches after so many years.  Montgomery Clift is terrific as a parish priest in Quebec City who takes a confession one night and is told about a murder. When it…

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Rebecca

BBBBB (out of 5) A young woman who remains nameless throughout the film (Joan Fontaine) falls in love with moody aristocrat Max deWinter (Laurence Olivier) while working as an old lady’s companion at a fashionable resort. She marries the gentleman, and upon going home to her new mansion abode discovers that her husband’s first wife…

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Torn Curtain

BB.5 (out of 5) One of Hitchcock’s dullest thrillers is this uneventful espionage adventure. Two scientists (Paul Newman, Julie Andrews) are attending a work-related conference and having a steamy affair in between lectures. He announces that he is flying off to Sweden for some research, which she has no problem with until she discovers that…

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Strangers On A Train

BBBBB (out of 5) Exceptional Alfred Hitchcock thriller that fans of The Talented Mr. Ripley will not want to miss. Written by Ripley author Patricia Highsmith, this one also features a social outcast in the form of a gay serial killer, this time a charismatic and brilliant Robert Walker. Tennis champion Farley Granger is travelling back…

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Jamaica Inn

BBB.5 (out of 5) Alfred Hitchcock’s last film in England before being brought to America was this exciting gothic tale. It’s about an innocent Irish lass (Maureen O’Hara at her loveliest if it’s even possible to pick only one time that she was so) who travels to a distant relative’s tavern in Cornwall to live…

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Marnie

BBB (out of 5) This middling effort by Alfred Hitchcock is a psychologically sound study into the mind of a frigid, deranged kleptomaniac (Tippi Hedren). At the film’s beginning, Hedren has ripped off yet another big business enterprise that she has been working for, but this time she hasn’t managed to escape notice. The man…

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Stage Fright

BBB.5 (out of 5) Even the camera plays tricks on you in this endlessly fun Hitchcock mystery, the first film he made in England after moving to Hollywood. Jane Wyman plays a London drama student whose friend (Richard Todd) asks her to hide him from the police. He has done some covering up for a…

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The Lady Vanishes

BBBBB (out of 5) Stunning Hitchcock thriller made before his move to Hollywood two years later. A young woman (Margaret Lockwood) shares a train ride with a kindly British governess (Dame May Whitty) while travelling through a fictional European country. When she wakes up from a brief nap in their train compartment, the old lady…

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