Ranked: Alfred Hitchcock Movies, From Worst to Best
Like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, we've spent a lot of time watching.
by Rick Paulas
This Monday was National Alfred Hitchcock day. Between that and the recent news of Scarlett Johansson being cast as Janet Leigh in the upcoming behind-the-scenes dramatization Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho (Anthony Hopkins is, awesomely, set to star as the iconic director), we're on a Hitch kick. And what better way to honor an obsessive and meticulous director than with an obsessive and meticulous ranking of all his films? (Any non-attributed quotes come from Francois Truffaut's amazing book-length interview, Hitchcock.)
51. Waltzes from Vienna (1933)
This was "a musical without music" taken as a for-hire gig when Hitchcock had no other film projects and just wanted to keep busy. It shows.
50. Easy Virtue (1927)
If anything, Easy Virtue is a disturbing look at the life of women in the not-so-distant past: the movie is about a woman who's "disgraced" when her terrible husband divorces her.
49. The Manxman (1929)
The Manxman was Hitchcock's last silent movie before his first "talkie;" Hitchcock himself called it "a very banal picture."
48. Champagne (1928)
Made as an excuse to "do a picture with the title Champagne," this was a bomb upon release and is only notable now for showing a lot of British people acting drunk.
47. The Farmer's Wife (1928)
One of the first "light-hearted" Hitchcock productions, it's kind of an upstairs-downstairs portrayal of Britain in the twenties. But silent. And slow. And over two hours long.
46. The Skin Game (1931)
There's a really cool auction scene in this, but that's about it.
45. Jamaica Inn (1939)
Hitch's final film before he moved to America was also his most profitable to that date, but that may have been due to Brits wanting to see why super-producer David O. Selznick had invited the director overseas. Jamaica Inn wouldn't give them much of an idea.
44. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
This story, about a divorced couple who just can't seem to stop running into each other at the most inopportune times, is the only pure comedy Hitchcock made while in America. There's a reason for that.
43. Downhill (1927)
While this story about a boy in boarding school accused of theft is generally a snooze, hints of the director's future visual style (especially in a memorable dream sequence) make it a point of interest for Hitch completists.
42. The Paradine Case (1947)
This was a courtroom drama set in England, meaning everyone got to wear those strange white wigs. The story is decent, but ultimately a waste of Hitchcock's talents.
41. Number Seventeen (1932)
You'd think a story about a detective on the hunt for a gang of thieves in London would be prime Hitchcock fare, but the chase sequence at the end is really the only worthwhile part of Number Seventeen.
40. Juno and the Paycock (1930)
Based on the widely-popular play by Sean O'Casey — who would become the inspiration for the doom-sayer in The Birds — Juno and the Paycock isn't bad, but as a straight adaptation, it lacks the directorial flair of a "Hitchcock film."