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The Alfred Hitchcock Filmography - A Chronological viewing (1 Viewer)

Nelson Au

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For some time, I’ve been collecting any Alfred Hitchcock film I could when it becomes available. Most titles I’ve acquired I’ve seen before. However many I’ve collected, I’ve not seen before. This is true for all his silent films! I’ve never seen his films of that era. The oldest Hitchcock title I think I’ve seen is from 1940. I have several DVD box sets and individual releases and I’ve not watched every title in those box sets. All this collecting was to acquire titles that are favorites and will have multiple viewings. There are other titles that will be my first time viewing. Eventually, I was planning to watch all these titles. That was why I was collecting them.

With that said, I will be attempting to watch all the Alfred Hitchcock films that are available on DVD and Blu Ray. I was inspired by Josh Steinberg and his Cary Grant thread, ( watching all his films) which I’m still following. So this effort would help to cover both. My goal will be to watch them in chronological order and only those available on DVD and Blu-rays. If there’s a laser disc option, I may try that, same with streaming. But I’ll stick to what I have in my collection. So I have a heavy hill to climb if I will be able to match Josh’s effort! I won’t be placing a time limit as I’d get burned out. So let’s see where this goes.

I have titles from Criterion, laserdisc, DVD and the Blu-ray upgrade versions. When possible, the best releases will be the ones I watch. And the timing could be quite fortuitous with the release of Notorious from Criterion in January 2019 on Blu-ray finally! That’s a favorite title and I’m looking forward to that. It just arrived and is on my stack of Hitchcock titles.

My screening will start with the silent films Hitchcock made in Britain at the start of his career. What I learned as I started this is that nine of his British silent films survive and were restored in 2010 by the British Film Institute with the Save the Hitchcock 9 campaign. Unfortunately, there is only two restored silent films I am aware of that are available on DVD and Blu Ray from this restoration effort and are from Criterion, so the remaining will be screened from DVD unrestored copies. When I decided to do this project, I needed to find the silent titles. I made an effort to not buy any public domain copies of the silent films and I found a box set from Millcreek that has several of the silent titles.

I don’t know where this will go, if it will be insightful, and if I’ll learn anything. We’ll see.

Here’s a list of his filmography and I’ll note which I’ve seen below and hopefully provide a link to the post for that title. The ~ denotes titles that are not in my collection or readily available on any format. Titles in bold font are the titles I’ve screened for this project so far. I’ve made a start with the silent titles.

  1. The Pleasure Garden 1925~
  2. The Mountain Eagle 1926~
  3. The Lodger; A Story of the London Fog 1927
  4. Downhill 1927
  5. Easy Virtue 1928
  6. The Ring 1927
  7. The Farmer’s Wife 1928
  8. Champagne 1928
  9. The Manxman 1929
  10. Blackmail 1929
  11. Juno and the Paycock 1930
  12. Murder! 1930
  13. The Skin Game 1931
  14. Rich and Strange 1931
  15. Number Seventeen 1932
  16. Waltzes from Vienna 1934
  17. The Man Who Knew Too Much 1934
  18. The 39 Steps 1935
  19. Secret Agent 1936
  20. Sabotage 1936
  21. Young and Innocent 1937
  22. The Lady Vanishes 1938
  23. Jamaica Inn 1939
  24. Rebecca 1940
  25. Foreign Correspondent 1940
  26. Mr. & Mrs. Smith 1941
  27. Suspicion 1941
  28. Saboteur 1942
  29. Shadow of a Doubt 1943
  30. Lifeboat 1944
  31. Spellbound 1945
  32. Notorious 1946
  33. The Paradine Case 1947
  34. Rope 1948
  35. Under Capricorn 1949
  36. Stage Fright 1950
  37. Strangers on a Train 1951
  38. I Confess 1953
  39. Dial M for Murder 1954
  40. Rear Window 1954
  41. To Catch a Thief 1955
  42. The Trouble with Harry 1955
  43. The Man Who Knew Too Much 1956
  44. The Wrong Man 1956
  45. Vertigo 1958
  46. North by Northwest 1959
  47. Psycho 1960
  48. The Birds 1963
  49. Marnie 1964
  50. Torn Curtain 1966
  51. Topaz 1969
  52. Frenzy 1972
  53. Family Plot 1976
Hitch.jpg
 
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Nelson Au

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8BD768BB-7EF5-40CC-811B-F339CF0EBF31.jpeg
The Lodger A Story of the London Fog
1926
90 minutes
Cast:
Ivor Novello: The Lodger
June Tripp: Daisy
Marie Ault: The Landlady
Arthur Chesney: Her husband
Malcolm Keen: Joe
Writer: Eliot Stannard
Based on the 1913 novel The Lodger by: Marie Belloc Lowndes
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Viewed 10/13/18

The Criterion Collection 885 blu ray. 2017

The Lodger is the first silent film I think I’ve ever seen from start to finish. I’ve seen a few clips from other silent films from Chaplin, but never actually watched a whole film, at least not as an adult. This is also the first Hitchcock silent film I’ve seen.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this. So I was surprised by the music, which I see is a newly arranged and produced for this film’s restoration. Secondly, I wasn’t expecting the animated opening credits. I’m sure there are those here who know the history of this film and can inform about whether the credits are newly created or simply the way it was. The color of the opening titles wasn’t expected as is the tinting of the black and white imagery. It made viewing the film much more interesting.

The story involves a Jack the Ripper type killer called Avenger who is staking blonde women in London. Daisy is a model who happens to be a blonde and lives in a house with her parents. Her mother is also the landlady of the house. The Lodger rents a room. Daisy’s boyfriend is Joe and is a policeman too. During the course of the story, Daisy and the Lodger become more then friends which leads to complications as the story unfolds.

This story uses one of the tropes Hitchcock revisits later and develops more. I don’t want to reveal more of the story for the uninitiated. I was surprised by the turn of events in the story and thought of the later films Hitchcock made that has a main character who the viewer isn’t sure is good or bad. ( Spoiler: In reading up on this film, I see Hitchcock suffered from a similar situation in a later film with the film’s star and that the actor cannot be revealed as a bad guy. ) The film does have a lot of cool camera set-ups that adds to the atmosphere and creates mood. It reminded me of the kind of shots Hitchcock would use later in Vertigo and Rear Window.

The production design is also a surprise to me. Not being familiar with silent films of this era, the sets were really well done and adds to the atmosphere of the film.

This is the third film in the Hitchcock filmography, and the first one chronologically available on disc, in my collection. This is also the first film Hitchcock calls a true Hitchcock film. It shows too.

The next film is called Downhill and it happens to be on the same Criterion blu ray as an extra. So that’s a cool extra and I will view that next as it is the next film chronologically.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Nelson! What a fantastic idea!

And I envy you - I wish I could see The Lady Vanishes for the first time again.

So many fantastic films in that list. I look forward to following your thoughts.
 

Brent Reid

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Great idea for a thread! A correction though: there are no public domain Hitchcock films, not even in America. They're all fully copyrighted worldwide and I'm in the process of documenting every official, high quality release here:
As for the restored Hitchcock 9, there are ongoing efforts behind the scenes to bring the remainder to home video. More details via the above link, with an announcement to come soon...
 

Nelson Au

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Hi Josh, glad you found the thread! I may need to ask for your advice on how to make the links for each title I post about. Yes, the Lady Vanishes is a title I have not seen yet. So many titles to see! And I’ve been saving the Criterion ones. I’ll be interested in your insights too.
 

Nelson Au

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Brent, thanks for the post and the link! Wow, what a site, I have taken a quick look at it and it’s going to take some time to absorb all that content. Thanks for the correction about the public domain. I just assumed.

I see your site looks very detailed. I’d been using the Alfred Hitchcock Zone website for research, now I have yours too.
 

TravisR

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I watched all the Hitch movies (and the AH Presents episodes he directed) in order a few years ago. Admittedly, I started with The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) since the earlier movies I had at the time were all bootleg copies but it was still wonderful to revisit so many amazing movies and watch him grow as an artist over the decades by viewing his work in chronological order.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Great idea for a thread, Nelson. I look forward to reading your thoughts as you go through Hitch's filmography. Personally, I have 39 of his films in my collection, and that is exactly the number of his films that I've seen. I will be interested in reading your impressions of those I have yet to experience. It may spur me to add a few more to my collection.
 

Nelson Au

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Thanks for the feedback and comments guys! I appreciate the encouragement. Regarding The Man Who Knew Too Much, I’ve seen the Jimmy Stewart Doris Day version, but not the earlier Peter Lorre version. So that will be interesting.

Mark, thanks for the tip on those two shorts. I’ll add those to the list! I knew you guys who know Hitchcock would enlighten me on other titles and facts!
 

TravisR

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Mark, thanks for the tip on those two shorts. I’ll add those to the list! I knew you guys who know Hitchcock would enlighten me on other titles and facts!
Don't miss out on those Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, some of them are pretty great. An episode called One More Mile To Go is a clear forerunner of a sequence in Psycho.
 

Nelson Au

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Downhill 1.jpg

Downhill
1927
85 minutes B&W
Cast:
Ivor Novello: Roddy Berwick
Ben Webster: Dr. Dawson
Norman McKinnel: Sir Thomas Berwick
Robin Irvine: Tim Wakeley
Ian Hunter: Archie
Isabel Jeans: Julia
Jerrold Robertshaw: Reverend Henry Wakeley
Sybil Rhoda: Sybil Wakeley
Annette Benson: Mabel
Lilian Braithwaite: Lady Berwick
Writer: Eliot Stannard
Based on a play written by: Novello and Constance Collier
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Viewed 10/20/18

The Criterion Collection 885 blu ray. 2017

Downhill is the next film Hitchcock made after The Lodger. From what I had read about it, Hitchcock had left Gainsborough studio after completing The Lodger for another studio, but there was a period of time before the studio was ready to start work, so there was some down time on Hitchcock’s hands and he used that time to make Downhill back at Gainsborough.

The film is based on a play that starred Ivor Novello that he co-wrote. The story concerns two school friends, Roddy Berwick and his friend Tim Wakeley. Roddy is a Star rugby player for the school. Things were looking very good for young Roddy until his friend gets into trouble with a girl and the blame falls on Roddy. Because Tim’s father was so proud of his son getting into the school they both are attending, Roddy takes the blame and makes a pack with his friend never to tell the truth to protect his friend. Roddy is expelled and goes home. This begins a series of adventures that lead to worse and worse situations for Roddy.

I found this film a little more fun then The Lodger. Though both are very well done films. Maybe it was more the story and how the situations changes that made it more engaging for me. Again, I was impressed by the camera work and lighting work and set designs. Far more details in the sets then I would have thought you’d see during this era. But then I’ve never really seen silent films of this era before. I’d imagine this level of production wasn’t unusual. Again, this film was nicely restored which made it extremely watchable. There is one point of view shot that Hitchcock used that he uses again in Notorious where a female character Julia watches Roddy enter a room while she is leaning back and sees him upside down.
 

Nelson Au

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Easyvirtue.jpg
Easy Virtue
1928
79 minutes B&W
Cast:
Isabel Jeans: Larita Filton
John Whittaker: Robin Irvine
Franklin Dyall: Aubrey Filton
Eric Bransby Williams: Claude Robson
Ian Hunter: Mr. Greene
Violet Farabrother: Mrs. Whittaker
Frank Elliot: Colonel Whittaker
Dacia Deane: Marion Whittaker
Enid Stamp-Taylor: Sarah
Based on a play by Noël Coward
Writer: Eliot Stannard
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Viewed 11/8/18


Easy Virtue is about a woman, Larita Filton, who has a scandalous divorce in England and escapes to the South of France to start over. There she meets John Whittaker (Robin Irvine) who is from a wealthy family and they fall in love. However, it isn’t long before her past catches up with her.

Easy Virtue was more difficult to watch at first. It was clear the source material is unrestored. It was a rough transition from the nearly pristine Criterion releases. Once I got used to the quality of the image, I was able to watch the film. This is accompanied by a musical soundtrack that sounds modern, but adequately works. This film reminded me a bit of Notorious, a scandalous woman, and To Catch a Thief only because parts were filmed in the South of France.

I doubt this film will have any repeat viewings for me. It was an interesting viewing experience. Again a lot of great production design and sets are built. There is a lot of location photography that adds to the visual appeal too.

In reading about this title on the Hitchcock Zone website, this is one of the 9 surviving Hitchcock silent titles recently restored by the British Film Institute. The same organization who restored The Lodger and Downhill. This title was the most challenging.
 
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Vic Pardo

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The only Hollywood films of Hitchcock's I still haven't seen are UNDER CAPRICORN (1949) and I CONFESS (1953). I finally caught up with STAGE FRIGHT for the first time when it played on TCM a couple of years ago and it was just terrible, a real chore to sit through. No wonder it took me so long to see it.
 

TravisR

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The only Hollywood films of Hitchcock's I still haven't seen are UNDER CAPRICORN (1949) and I CONFESS (1953). I finally caught up with STAGE FRIGHT for the first time when it played on TCM a couple of years ago and it was just terrible, a real chore to sit through. No wonder it took me so long to see it.
I Confess isn't too bad but Under Capricorn is one of his weakest movies after he came to the U.S.
 

Matt Hough

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I love Stage Fright, so there you go. A rather uninteresting Jane Wyman falls victim to the allure of Marlene Dietrich, just as Jean Arthur did in A Foreign Affair, but there is still plenty about the movie that I find wonderful. To each his own.
 

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