Undefended: Hitchcockian

Brian De Palma. Steven Spielberg. M. Night Shyamalan. David Fincher. Over the years, any number of filmmakers have been hailed as “the next Alfred Hitchcock,” though the title rarely sticks for long. This month, FilmFisher’s writers picked the best Hitchcock films Hitchcock never made.

mulholland drive

Timothy Lawrence

  1. Jaws (1975, dir. Steven Spielberg) – Duh. Spielberg’s answer to The Birds.
  2. Blow Out (1981, dir. Brian DePalma) – Hitchcockian in both the precision of its suspense sequences and the obsessiveness that drives them.
  3. Mulholland Drive (2001, dir. David Lynch) – A profoundly terrifying investigation of erotic desire fueled by some Vertigo-level blonde/brunette switcheroos.
  4. Minority Report (2002, dir. Steven Spielberg) – A high-wire act of filmmaking virtuosity in the tradition of North by Northwest and, like more than one of Hitch’s filmsa modern gloss on Oedipus.
  5. Phantom Thread (2017, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) – P.T.A.’s homage to Rebecca is also his homage to Hitchcock himself (whose name and temperament are reflected in Reynolds Woodcock) and his wife/editor, Alma Reville.

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Travis Kyker

  1. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
  2. Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
  3. The Village (M. Night Shyamalan, 2004)
  4. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)
  5. Bad Times at the El Royale (Drew Goddard, 2018)

gone girl

Robert Brown

  1. The Stranger (1946, dir. Orson Welles). Like Notorious, a 1946 post-war thriller about the complications of marrying a covert Nazi.
  2. One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961, dir. Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, and Wolfgang Reitherman). If Hitchcock had pulled a Wes Anderson and adapted a children’s book into an animated heist film with talking animals, the result couldn’t have been much different than this.
  3. Charade (1963, dir. Stanley Donen). A shoe-in for this list, so on-brand you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a Hitchcock film.
  4. Mission: Impossible (1996, dir. Brian De Palma). Classic Hollywood elegance and star power? Check. Suspense and paranoia? Check. Wrong man on the run? Check. Train sequence? Check. Echoes of Oedipus? Check check check.
  5. Signs (2002, dir. M. Night Shyamalan). I could’ve picked any of the three Shyamalan supernatural thrillers that start with ‘S’, but this one best fits the bill. Hitchcock would’ve come up with a better ending, though.

mission impossible

William Connor Devlin

In no particular order:

  1. Les Diaboliques (1955, dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot)
  2. Charade (1963, dir. Stanley Donen)
  3. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970, dir. Dario Argento)
  4. Halloween (1978, dir. John Carpenter)
  5. Fright Night (1986, dir. Tom Holland)

Honorable Mention: Frantic (1988, dir. Roman Polanski)

frightnightb10

Tom Upjohn

  1. Dunkirk (2017, dir. Christopher Nolan)
  2. The Usual Suspects (1995, dir. Bryan Singer)
  3. Shutter Island (2010, dir. Martin Scorsese)
  4. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016, dir. Dan Trachtenberg)
  5. Catch Me If You Can (2002, dir. Steven Spielberg)

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Timothy Lawrence

A graduate of the Torrey Honors Institute at BIOLA University, Timothy Lawrence teaches great books through Emmaus Classical Academy in Southern California. He writes essays and fiction and counts the Coen Brothers and George Lucas among his personal heroes.

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