5 Incredible, but Underrated Alfred Hitchcock Movies

The Master of Suspense is known for his classics, but these movies need a little love too.

If you’re to take a look at any list of some of the greatest films of all time, you’re sure to find plenty of Alfred Hitchcock movies included. There are few filmmakers who have been as impressive or important to the medium as the great director was during the 20th century, and the Englishman is responsible for a list of classics that the most decorated filmmakers can be envious of.

The likes of Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho and North by Northwest are just a few examples of Hitchcock’s work that are widely celebrated, even decades after their release. There are also more than a handful of movies in the director’s filmography that have fallen a little under the radar, though, and deserve to be remembered just as highly as some of his biggest.

With August 13 marking what would have been his 124th birthday, we decided to look back at the Master of Suspense’s legacy and identify five Alfred Hitchcock movies that have been hugely underrated.

5. ‘Frenzy’ is thrilling, despite being one of the final Alfred Hitchcock movies

Despite being one of the final Alfred Hitchcock movies ever, Frenzy was a fun, and thrilling tale | Agents of Fandom
Frenzy is the penultimate movie of Alfred Hitchcock’s career. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

It’s a true indication of the director’s incredible consistency that Frenzy is one of the most underrated Alfred Hitchcock movies, despite being the penultimate film in his career. Released in 1972, the movie sees the filmmaker finally return to England after a long spell in the United States, and follows a young man played by Jon Finch who is accused of murder as a serial killer terrorises London.

In true Hitchcock fashion, rather than leave the reveal of the killer’s true identity until the final third for a big reveal, the mystery is unveiled early on. It’s that sort of storytelling that earns the director his Master of Suspense nickname, with audiences forced to watch on as the killer operates right under the noses of the main cast, almost acting as accomplices.

The movie highlights the influence Hitchcock has on the likes of Brian De Palma not too long afterward, and it deserves a little more love.

4. ‘To Catch a Thief’ is a wonderful tale filled with gorgeous scenery

Grace Kelly and Cary Grant had electric chemistry in To Catch a Thief
Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Over the years, Hitchcock became known for his consistent casting of beautiful blondes for his female leads, and there were none more iconic than Grace Kelly, who appears in three of the director’s movies.

Pairing her with Hollywood A-lister Cary Grant was a guaranteed success, and that’s what makes To Catch a Thief one of the most entertaining, but underrated Alfred Hitchcock movies ever.

Following a reformed jewelry thief in France, the movie sees Grant’s character accused of returning to his old tricks after a new thief starts to target some of the richest occupants in the area.

This leads to Kelly’s introduction as a rich, but suspicious love interest for Grant, who believes he’s responsible for the crimes. As the mystery and their budding romance unfolds on the backdrop of some beautiful French scenery, it’s impossible to have anything but a wonderful time watching this one.

In terms of his more dramatic outings, this is a fairly tame movie from the Master of Suspense, but the thrills come from watching two of Hollywood’s greatest stars going toe-to-toe.

3. ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ is a wonderful remake of another Hitchcock movie

The Man Who Knew Too Much is a fantastic remake of an earlier Alfred Hitchcock movie | Agents of Fandom
To Catch a Thief was a remake of Hitchcock’s own movie of the same name. Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

While Hitchcock is known for the numerous collaborations, for better or worse, that he had with several different leading ladies over the years, he also had a number of leading men that he would return to frequently, none more so than the indelible James Stewart.

The movie star made his third appearance in a Hitchcock movie with The Man Who Knew Too Much, a film that’s significant for a number of reasons. The tale sees a young boy taken from his parents while on holiday and is a thrilling look at the lengths an American couple will go to in order to get their child back. Both Stewart and Doris Day do a wonderful job as the parents, and their chemistry is off the charts.

Over the years, numerous movies from the director’s filmography have received remakes, including Rebecca and Psycho, but this time he remade one of his own films. Not quite convinced by his earlier version released in 1934, Hitch remade The Man Who Knew Too Much 22 years later and the improvements are undeniable.

Not only is it one of the most underrated Alfred Hitchcock movies of all time, but it also gave the world one of the most iconic songs ever in Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) performed elegantly by Day, and if that’s not enough to convince you of the movie’s greatness, nothing will.

2. ‘Dial M for Murder’ is Grace Kelly at her best in Alfred Hitchcock movies

Dial M for Murder showcased Grace Kelly at her peak | Agents of Fandom
Dial M for Murder is the second movie on our list to star Grace Kelly. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

One of the tropes Hitchcock liked to return to throughout his career is the use of a single set. Rear Window and Lifeboat are just a couple of examples, but another fine one is Dial M for Murder (spoiler alert: the final movie on this list is also limited to just one set piece).

Set in an apartment, Dial M for Murder follows Kelly as she returns for another one of the director’s movies, and it’s her greatest performance. After her husband, portrayed excellently by Ray Milland, discovers she’s having an affair, he plans to have Kelly’s character murdered and inherit her wealthy fortune.

In true Hitchcock style, her planned murder goes awry and Kelly’s character manages to fend off the assailant and kill him herself. This leads to her husband planning to frame her for murder, and what follows is a real intriguing battle of the wits.

It’s an incredible tale filled with plenty of twists and turns, and the entire cast is fantastic, but it’s Kelly who stands out. It might not be the best of Alfred Hitchcock movies to feature the actress, that accolade is saved for Rear Window, but it is certainly her greatest performance under the director.

The one-location story is really effective, and it’s a wonder this hasn’t received more attention in the years following its release, making it truly one of the most underrated Alfred Hitchcock movies ever.

1. ‘Rope’ is one of the most ambitious Alfred Hitchcock movies

Rope was easily the most ambitious of Alfred Hitchcock movies | Agents of Fandom
Rope is easily the most ambitious movie in Hitchcock’s career. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Rope is a special movie for a number of reasons. It’s the first time Jimmy Stewart worked with Hitchcock, leading to one of the greatest director-actor partnerships in cinema history. Secondly, it’s the first film the director ever shot in color, a milestone within itself, but it’s also one of the most ambitious of Alfred Hitchcock movies ever.

Also set in one location, Rope tells the story of two young artists, played superbly by John Dall and Farley Granger, who believe they are capable of committing the perfect murder, so they attempt to do so, killing a former prep-school classmate.

What follows is an incredible tale of their arrogance, as they host a dinner party surrounded by family and friends of the victim, with his body lying nearby, determined to prove they can’t be caught.

Having Stewart appear as their incredible former prep-school housemaster, who ultimately inspired their decision, is a stroke of genius and gave the actor the chance to go against type, playing a far darker character than he’d become known for.

Different to most movies of a similar ilk, Rope forces the audience to watch the story unfold from the perspective of the killers, and almost leaves you rooting for them to get away with their acts, despite the heinous nature of the crime. What makes the movie such an ambitious and impressive affair, though, is Hitchcock’s decision to shoot it as though it were almost a play, with several incredibly long shots giving the impression the movie was filmed in one long take.

We’ve seen similar efforts recently, with 1917 a fine example, but it just goes to show how ahead of his time the director was, trying something so unheard of when the movie was released in 1948. It is just a shiny indication of the impact he has had on cinema over the years, and this is without a doubt one of the most underrated Alfred Hitchcock movies ever.

Hitchcock left a legacy that can’t be matched

Despite his last movie being released almost 50 years ago, Hitchcock’s influence in cinema is still felt everywhere today and his legacy can’t be understated. There are few filmmakers who helped mold the industry and shape the future of movies to the degree that he did, and while his greatest movies will always be remembered, these five deserve to be looked back upon just as fondly.

Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest news and reviews.

Leave a Reply
Previous Article
The Incredible Hulk review | Agents of Fandom

'The Incredible Hulk' Pairs Smashing Action With a Lackluster Story

Next Article
Power Rangers 30th Anniversary Logo | Agents of Fandom

Power Rangers 30th Anniversary: The Popular Franchise's Most Definitive Seasons!

Related Posts