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ucme's avatar

What for you, was Hitchcock's finest hour?

Asked by ucme (50031points) July 13th, 2010

Not just a movie, but rather a particular scene therein. There are obviously many classic iconic moments to choose from, from the shower scene to the foot chase on Mt. Rushmore to the image of all those pesky birds at the end of that movie. So yeah, what I suppose i’m asking is sure, which movie, but which scene was his most suspenseful or best crafted in your eyes at least?

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20 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

The Birds. The scene when the birds arrive and surround the school. Everything is silent and still. You just know something horrible is going to happen. That scene always gives me the willies.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, my. I don’t think I could possibly answer this, partly because there are so many that exhibit supreme craftsmanship, but also because there’s the matter of context and continuity and buildup. My film textbook devotes more than twenty pages just to the crop-dusting sequence in North by Northwest. I’m not even sure I could zero in on one picture, but if I did, it would probably be either The Birds or Psycho.

ucme's avatar

Forgot to mention, my two favourites are Rope & Strangers on a Train. In Rope the stand out scene for me is where Rupert, James Stewart’s character, slowly realises that those two must have committed an actual murder. In Strangers’ it would have to be when Bruno looks in the eyes of Barbara as he playfully shows a dinner guest how to strangle, brilliant, hugely watchable movies.So I do, again & again.

Austinlad's avatar

I think my #1 favorite scene in a Hitchcock movie (I saw this just a few nights ago, for about the 50th time) is when Jimmy Stewart has to watch Grace Kelly in the clutches of the murderer across the court year. In his wheel chair, he’s absolutely powerless to help her and also he doesn’t want to attract attention to himself. The panic on his face and body language are brilliantly acted!

Austinlad's avatar

“The Man Who Knew Too Much” is also filled with a number of incredibly great scenes. And how about Cary Grant running from a plane in the middle of a cornfield in “North by Northwest”?

BoBo1946's avatar

da Birds also!

Aster's avatar

“The Birds” but it does seem to drag a little.

cockswain's avatar

Not entirely certain why, but Norman Bates sitting in the kitchen stirring a cup of whatever with a sinister grin on his face, staring back through the doorway always stuck in my head.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tinyfaery The Birds, definitely. But for some reason the scene that sticks in my mind is when the birds attack that lady…

ipso's avatar

The closeup in Rear Window of Grace Kelly looking into Stewart’s eyes. That scene is staggering to me.

I also like the boat scene in The Birds, with pert sassy little Tippi Hedren in the boat going back and forth on the lake. Hitch uses zero dialogue to stunning effect there.

Also the highly abstract bird collage moment inside the attic .

filmfann's avatar

The shower scene in Psycho.
Hitchcock turned his back on big Hollywood movies, like North By Northwest, to make this very small film that amazed the world.
The shower scene was amazing because he just spent 40 minutes of a movie building the conflict and character of the star of his movie, then kills her off. Everyone went “What????”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Was this question inspired by “Any one know of a GOOD horror movie” question?

ucme's avatar

@Dutchess_III No. Would have said so if that was the case.Why do you ask? I mean Hitchcock movies are more defined as thrillers rather than horrors. Ah well moving right along.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just wondered!

jenandcolin's avatar

Pretty much any scene in Vertigo. I am obsessed with that movie. Of course, there is the scene when Judy sees the nun’s shadow and falls. But even the scenery. The fact that the movie used San Fran scenery- breathtaking! I love that movie. Now I want to stay home and watch it again!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wish more of the scary movie producers would examine Hitchcock more, and special effects less…..

Pachy's avatar

There are many of them in many of his films, but one of them is when Grace Kelly is breaking into Raymond Burr’s apartment to search for evidence that he’s a murderer, and Jimmy Stewart, confined across the courtyard in a wheelchair, sees Burr on his way up the stairs. And of course there’s nothing he can do about it. I think that scene is brilliant Hitchcock.

ucme's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Thanks for refreshing my old threads & yeah, that’s one of my favourite Hitchcock film’s, along with Rope & Strangers on a Train.

Pachy's avatar

@ucme, I’m, a big fan of “Rope” too. I discovered it years ago and and try to re-watch it once a year. The critics called it an experiment that didn’t work, but I always disagreed with that. I loved the staging. I’m sure you’ve noticed how the lighting changes outside the window (a painted backdrop) as day turns to night. Really nice.

ucme's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Yeah & the seemingly endless roaming camera scenes, damn fine movie.

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