#AlfredHitchcock – Revenge Is Sweet And Not Fattening


The bulky character with a cherubic face was a master of his craft. Alfred Hitchcock’s works in the mystery and suspense genre has made him an icon in his field.

Suspense means Hitchcock.

He had that skill to keep the audience in his grips with tales of gruesome murders, clever thieves, psychopaths, disturbed men with skeletons in the cupboard, women with a murky past and what have you.

Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest are some of his best films which have been appreciated by audiences and watched frequently. He also made fleeting appearances in his films in walk-in parts, sometimes at a bus stand or even as a shadow.

Here are five films to brush up on the Master:

Rear Window (1954)

Rear Window (1954)Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

An injured photographer Jeff (Stewart) with a cast on his leg whiles away his time on hot summer days by using a pair of binoculars to peep into the open windows of his neighbours.

His socialite girlfriend Lisa (Kelly) and his nurse Stella (Ritter) suddenly get involved when Jeff spots a salesman (Burr) behaving strangely. He hears a scream on one thundery night and is convinced that the salesman had killed his sick wife.

Nobody believes at first but Jeff convinces them to investigate. The salesman pays him a visit when he realises that Jeff knows something. The mystery is solved and Jeff ends with two casts.

Dial M For Murder (1954)

Dial M For Murder (1954)Cast: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams, Anthony Dawson
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

A retired professional tennis player Tony Wendice (MIlland) learns of his socialite wife Margot’s (Kelly) past affair with crime-fiction writer Mark Halliday (Cummings) and decides to do something about it.

Dependent on his wife to maintain his high lifestyle, he comes up with a plan to kill Margot with the help of her blackmailer Swann (Dawson). Wendice follows Swann and traps him into killing his wife.

He comes up with a water-tight alibi while Swann tries to strangle Margot. But things go horribly wrong and everything depends on a second key.

The Birds (1963)

The Birds (1963)Cast: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hendren, Veronica Cartwright, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

A young socialite Melanie (Hendren) who loves practical jokes meets a lawyer Mitch (Taylor) in a San Francisco bird shop and later falls in love with him.

Though annoyed by the fact that Mitch deliberately mistook her for a sales girl she seeks out Mitch’s house to deliver a pair of love birds for his sister Cathy (Cartwright).

She meets his domineering mother Lydia (Tandy) and his ex-love Annie (Pleshette). All is well until they hear a thud. Then the birds start to appear from nowhere and start invading.

Strangers On A Train (1951)

Strangers On A Train (1951)Cast: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G Carroll
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

A famous tennis star Guy Haines (Granger) get trapped when he meets a charming psychopath Bruno Antony (Walker) who coaxes him into a “swap murder”.

Guy wants to get rid of his wife and marry a senator’s daughter to further his ambitions. He laughingly agrees and that decision puts into a nightmarish situation as Bruno actually means what he says.

After Guy’s wife is disposed by Bruno, he demands that the former kill his Dad. Guy is only freed after a climax on a carousel.

Frenzy (1972)

Frenzy (1972)Cast: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Alec McCowen
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

A fruit merchant Robert Rusk (Foster) is a serial killer but the blame for his murders fall on his friend Richard Blaney (Finch) who has been sacked from his job in a pub.

Rusk keeps killing his victims and the blame always falls on Blaney who is in the vicinity at those times. However, Chief Inspector Oxford (McCowen) believes that things are not as it looks.

Blaney seeks his revenge after escaping jail and goes to Rusk’s living quarters. But things get complicated before he is finally exonerated.


#Originally curated by Babu Kalyanpur for Pune365. First published in 2017