I was curled up on the couch last weekend when a preview for one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films flashed across the screen. Strangers on a Train, starring Farley Granger and Robert Walker, is full of suspense, creepy shots that only Hitchcock can pull off (those crushed glasses at the fair? Yikes.), and terrific acting. No matter how many times I watch it, it never fails to leave me more than a little freaked out!
The Free Library has lots of great DVDS from the Master of Suspense, including Strangers on a Train, so be sure to check out your favorites. Mine are below (and most seem to star a rotating cast of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Grace Kelly):
North by Northwest: Starring the incomparable Cary Grant, paired with an ice blonde Eva Marie Saint, this film features not only the famous scene in which Grant’s character is chased across a Midwestern field by a crop-dusting plane, but also a finale where the characters make a run for their lives—on Mt. Rushmore.
To Catch a Thief: Grant appears again, this time beside Philly’s own Grace Kelly, another one of Hitch’s blonde muses. The witty dialogue is filled with double-entendre, the scenery on the Riviera is “to die for,” and the direction showcases Hitchcock’s lighter side.
Rear Window: Leave it to Jimmy Stewart to bring to life some of the most suspenseful moments from Hitchcock’s repertoire—all from a wheelchair in a tiny New York City apartment. And when he needs someone to run around and do his investigating, he relies on his trusty and glamorous girlfriend, played by—who else?—Grace Kelly.
Vertigo: The first time I saw Vertigo I was a young teenager and I got so scared I kept pushing “stop” on the VCR. Featuring one of the big screen’s eeriest scores, you know from the beginning that Scottie’s (played by Jimmy Stewart) obsession with a blonde stranger (Kim Novak) can only lead to trouble. The American Film Instituted rated Vertigo the no. 1 mystery film (followed closely by other Hitchcock films: Rear Window at no. 3; North by Northwest at no. 7; and Dial M for Murder at no. 9)