Alfred Hitchcock was a cinematic master. We can all agree on that. Look back on his incredible filmography and you’re sure to find a number of classic films and unforgettable scenes. That’s what today’s Phenomenal 5 is examining – great Hitchcock scenes. Now when starting this talk there is one that will automatically come to everyone’s mind – the shower scene from “Psycho”. For that reason I’m leaving it off. There are still so many superb scenes to choose from so I wouldn’t call this the definitive list. But there is no denying these five Hitchcock scenes are certainly phenomenal. Oh, and be warned, since these are scenes within the movies there are POTENTIAL SPOILERS.
#5 – The Gas Station Scene – “The Birds”
You could probably pick out five or six scenes from Hitchcock’s 1963 horror thriller “The Birds” and each would deserve a spot on this list. I’m going to stay away from a couple of obvious choices and go with the spectacular gas station scene. Let me just put it this way, birds attack gas station, gas pours out of nozzle, man lights match near gas, BOOM!
#4 – The Murder? – “Dial M for Murder”
Why would anyone want to murder Grace Kelly – the beautiful, elegant, entrancing Grace Kelly? Ray Milland wanted to in Hitch’s 1954 crime thriller “Dial M for Murder”. There are so many dramatic threads that lead to this incredible murder scene. Hitchcock’s camera and Rudi Fehr’s strategic editing makes it one of the director’s most intense and satisfying sequences.
#3 – Intersection & Cropduster – “North By Northwest”
This particular scene from 1959’s “North By Northwest” could be broken down into two different but equally glorious parts. The first features Cary Grant alone at an isolated crossroads with farmland all around. The mystery behind the scene is enhanced by Hitchcock’s superb camera work. But then it transitions into one of Hitch’s most famous scenes – the cropduster attack. It’s equally brilliant.
#2 – The Carousel – “Strangers on a Train”
Hitchcock’s 1951 psychological thriller “Strangers on a Train” is a testament to the filmmaker’s incredible talent at creating tension and carrying it through his entire film. In this particular case it all comes to a head when our two main characters have a showdown on (of all things) a merry-go-round. The scene offers one of Hitchcock’s most visually thrilling moments.
#1 – Thorwald Returns – “Rear Window”
Here we are again, talking about great tension and Grace Kelly in trouble. Such is the case in this superb scene from 1954’s “Rear Window”, my favorite of Hitchcock’s films. You know it’s not going to go well the very moment Kelly breaks into the mysterious Mr. Thorwald’s apartment. A wheelchair bound Jimmy Stewart can only watch from his apartment window as Thorwald returns to find Kelly snooping where she doesn’t belong. And that glance Raymond Burr gives. Priceless.
So there are my choices for the best Hitchcock scenes that didn’t come from “Psycho”. See any you disagree with? How about ones that would have made your list? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.