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The five best Hitchcock films on the English scene

The most classic films of his filmography were made during his Hollywood period, but Hitch did a lot more

It was in 1980 that filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock died of natural causes. He, who at the time was already considered one of the most influential directors in cinema and who in the following years only saw this magnificence grow, became popular for his suspensions which balance the angst of a tragedy with a rhythm easily absorbed by the public. Although he never received an Oscar for best director, in 1941 he managed to win the award for best film with Rebecca, the unforgettable woman.

While its most famous phase is Hollywood, which started with Rebecca (but is infinitely more recognized by films such as Psychose and Rear Window), it only started in 1940 and by this time the British were already a familiar name. To do this, he first had to grow up in English cinemas. Here are five of Hitchcock’s best films, or at least some of the most interesting, from his years in the Queen’s Country.

The plot of an ordinary man, or couple, who are suddenly engulfed in a complex criminal conspiracy sounds like the kind of tale Hitchcock loved to dwell on the most. In The Man Who Knew Too Much, the viewer is introduced to a family spending their summer vacation in Switzerland. The comfort situation changes when a family friend is murdered and, on his deathbed, he gives them the key to his room, where he in turn has an important item.

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The presence of Peter Lorre is a considerable strength in the film

The stakes rise when the killers decide the family is involved and kidnap the couple’s daughter, forcing the couple to find a way to save her. The film is largely remembered primarily for the presence of Peter Lorre (Casablanca, M – The Vampire of Düsseldorf) as the villainous Abbott but constantly overlooked in Hitchcock’s filmography. So much so that in 1953 the director made a remake starring James Stewart and Doris Day, this version is much more established.

4) Sabotage (1936)

Another element Hitchcock always liked to play with was family suspicion; when the protagonist is not sure whether the person next to him is dangerous or not. Shadow of a Doubt and Dial M to Kill are more famous examples, but Sabotage is highlighted to have been executed in an earlier period of his career.

Hitchcock was able to represent on the big screen environments where trust was rare

Criminal action ends up jeopardizing the power supply in London, while a Scotland Yard agent closely investigates a couple, suspecting the two may be involved in the sabotage. In this way, the story begins to turn to the woman’s mistrust of her husband, while the figure of himself is conducted in such a way as to arouse suspicion.

This is a case where not only is the film known for its thought-provoking story, but it has also technically advanced the English film industry into a new era. First, the blackmail and confession storyline follows the protagonist Alice, who, in order to defend herself against an attempted rape, kills her attacker with a knife. Seized with fear, she tries to erase all traces of her presence on the spot; however, an acquaintance picks up a glove that she accidentally left at the scene and begins to blackmail it.

The first sound film in British history could be nothing but suspense

As said, the film is famous not only for putting its protagonist in an easily recountable situation of desperation but also for the technical aspect. Initially, the film was designed for the silent cinema format but the studio decided to take a risk and made a change in the rest of the production to make it a sound film. In this way, Blackmail and Confession became Britain’s first talkie film.

Espionage, Hitchcock’s third most popular theme; he dominated his productions in the 1930s and 1940s and in the 1950s he inspired the director’s greatest work in this field: Intriga Internacional. Much like his most famous brother would do in 1959, 39 Degraus places his protagonist, an ordinary Canadian tourist, in the middle of a human hunt after a spy is murdered in his apartment and he is convicted by law. police and newspapers. At the same time, he needs to understand what the mysterious “39 steps” are and why a criminal group is behind.

A misunderstanding launches a great hunt for an innocent

There’s a very loaded plot here, Hitchcock doesn’t repress himself by changing the protagonist of the scene in a short period of time or even using very tense shots (like chase on the train while the protagonist stands outside of the car or the escape rivers and open plains in Scotland, in which the figures in the distance visually stand out in open ground).

1) The retiree (1927)

He is considered the master of suspense and for a long time his setting has been the big or small towns of Great Britain, so it would be inevitable that at some point his filmography had the presence of a serial killer. Specifically, the one that referred to Jack, The Ripper. In The Pensioner, the city of London is threatened by a mysterious murderer who strangles his victims in the early morning hours; at the same time, a family administering a boarding house receives a new tenant in the middle of the night, who immediately arouses suspicion.

Retiree condenses a series of elements to create an exciting film

Arguably, this movie has a lot going on together, not only the murders but also a love triangle involving the tenant, the owner couple’s daughter and her boyfriend – as well as personal information related to one of the characters. which appear towards the end of the film. movie. He has these subplots going on and yet Hitchcock’s direction finds a way to develop a romance between the two, reaching a climax that closely resembles the public lynching that Fritz Lang recorded for M – The Dusseldorf Vampire. It’s a very interesting suspense that captures a dark and expressionist vision of London without ever escaping the stylistic style of the director.

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