The Essential Alfred Hitchcock Films: Six Must-Watch Classics

These are the essential Alfred Hitchcock films. Whether you’re a beginner to the Master of Suspense’s filmography or someone who’s looking to watch his best films, I can guarantee that this list will prove useful to you.

There are no spoilers for any of the following films in this article. Each and every film on this list is critically acclaimed and widely beloved by fans all over the world. You can watch most of these films as part of Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Collection.

Psycho (1960)

The Essential Alfred Hitchcock Films Psycho

When discussing the essential films by Hitchcock, one simply cannot ignore his arguably most famous movie that became a stepping stone for countless thriller films to come. Psycho features a killer performance (pun intended) by Anthony Perkins. It’s an incredibly suspenseful and eerie film. It’s quite unpredictable and keeps you glued to the screen from start to finish.

Vertigo (1958)

The Essential Alfred Hitchcock Films Vertigo

Vertigo is my personal favorite Alfred Hitchcock film, and that’s for many good reasons. Some of them are the beautiful cinematography, the compelling plot that plays with the viewer’s mind, and the psychological thriller elements – just to name a few. I may be a bit biased here, but Vertigo is simply a masterpiece that everyone needs to watch at least once.

If you enjoy this classic film, there’s a video game based on it that might be worth checking out as well.

Rear Window (1954)

Jimmy Stewart Rear Window

Another film that completely manipulates the viewer, Rear Window is not what you expect. Despite being labeled a mystery thriller film, it has a lot of horror elements as well. Like many other films by Hitchcock, the unpredictability of the story is extraordinary. This is a film that will constantly remind you of what a revolutionary director Mr. Hitchcock was.

North by Northwest (1959)

North by Northwest Cary Grant running

This is another film by Hitchcock that had really beautiful shots, and it’s one of my favorite spy-thriller films. North by Northwest is a film that’s full of mind-blowing moments that’ll make you rather anxious at some points. Cary Grant’s performance is just phenomenal in this, and it’s unexpectedly action-packed as well.

Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca Alfred Hitchcock

Rebecca is a particularly memorable film because of its characters and villains. It’s a mysterious tale about a dead woman by the name of Rebecca, and her widower. It features the eerie and gothic manor of Manderley, which plays a major part in the story. While it may not be as compelling as the above movies, it’s still one of the greats and an important film. It’s Alfred Hitchcock’s first American project.

The Birds (1952)

The Birds Alfred Hitchcock

The Birds is a film that simultaneously tells two stories. Other than the plot that’s apparent and chaotic, it also tells a tale that’s somewhat subliminal. It’s slightly different from Hitchcock’s other films but in a good way. It’s riddled with the feeling of mystery and danger of an unknown origin. It’s a horror film, through and through; just one that’s rather unusual. Ever since I’ve seen this film, I look at large flocks of birds in a different way.

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