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The Finest Hours Of Alfred Hitchcock, As Decreed By Us

Unfortunately for our leading meanie, his crimes come back to bite him when a victim's murder is blamed on her boyfriend - who proves his innocence the 'attempted murder' way. Don't try this at home, folks; two wrongs don't make a right.

Then there's Rope, cinematic proof that mates who think they're clever than you are like, really annoying. In this case, two men murder their pal just to prove their intellectual superiority - that's taking it a bit far if you ask us, but hey it's not our plot. Even worse, they then have a party for all their other mates with the dead guy stuffed in a chest.

Luckily, Jimmy Stewart is on hand to figure it all out using a couple of hats and a touch of movie magic. Ah! One of the first proper psychological thrillers and still one of the best.

Imagine something really, really scary. Like the most terrifying thing EVER. Chances are it's not a bunch of birds flapping around your head and threatening to poke your eyes out, but that just means you haven't yet seen The Birds. Hitchcock's avian mafiosos can blow up petrol stations, peck their way into houses and are the sole reason why we'll never set foot in a phone box again. Shudder.

1946's Shadow of a Doubt was Hitch's personal favourite of all his films, and it's really not hard to see why. The central performance by Joseph Cotton is uber-creepy, and this was the first film to set terror in the heart of a quaint suburban neighbourhood. Halloween, Scream and all the rest of them have a lot to thank this one for. And isn't 'Merry Widow Murderer' a cheerful term for serial killer?

Two men meet on a train. They're strangers, but you probably got that from the title of the movie being Strangers on a Train. Anyway, they agree to each kill a member of the opposite guy's family (because apparently they're annoying and that's the first thing you think of on meeting a stranger.) Cue murderousness, double crossing and a trip to the theme park you'll never forget.

Now we come to the masterwork. Vertigo, another Jimmy Stewart flick, is one of our favourite movies in the history of ever. Stewart is everyman no more - here he's cold, obsessed and kinda neurotic. We like it.

Plot-wise it's not that new: private detectives, body doubles, hoaxes and a man who wants his wife dead are all par for the course. But it's also one of Hitch's most personal movies - apparently the idea of remaking a woman in the image of one lost is related to Hitchcock's obsession with casting blondes who looked like Grace Kelly, who retired from acting in 1956 to become a princess. Isn't that sweet!

Oh yeah, and he made some movie called Psycho too. It's pretty good, you should probably go check it out.

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