Why We’ve Been Watching Hitchcock Movies Wrong


Hitchcock is one of the most famous directors of all time. He has produced over 30 films in his lifetime. There are so many books written about him, so many legends about his movies, and so many iconic scenes that sometimes people get lost in the myth. I’m hear to clear things up and say my honest opinion about Hitchcock.

My mom is a huge fan of Hitchcock,and for a good reason. He’s an enormously successful and extremely talented director who speaks truths with his art. The first of his films that I ever watched was Rear Window, about voyeurism and relationships. It start off slow, with time spent evaluating the relationship between lead character Jeff and his love interest. There is a chemistry between Jimmy Stewart  and Grace Kelly, but this takes a backseat to the interesting plot and sharply written script. It’s a flat out experimental film, with no music to speak of except for the tunes that waft from the pianists room next door. By the end of the film, we are caught up in the sheer heart pounding suspense of  the situation at hand, a testament to Hitchcock’s ability.

The next film I watched is one of Alfred’s most underrated films: Strangers on a Train. This film is overlooked by many, despite its evident strength. I don’t have much to say about it besides the fact that its enjoyable, well made, and artful film that deserves a watch.

Which brings us to the most famous and controversial film in his filmography: Psycho. The power in this film lies in Anthony Perkin’s astoundingly realistic performance as Norman Bates, and the moody and powerful musical score of Bernard Herrmann.  The script is atmospheric and contains the most overt “scares” in his films: the infamous shower scene and the horrifying reveal of Bates mother.

But the point of this article isn’t to blab about these 3 films. It’s about what most critics tend to think is his best film: Vertigo. Why this film is so popular totally escapes me. Let me tell the truth:


And I’m not saying that just because it’s not in Hitchcock’s style. I’m saying it’s just bad. It’s boring, it’s contrived, it’s poorly acted. Jimmy Stewart’s voice is grating if heard over and over, and Kim Novak’s performance makes me think of the hideous plastic surgery job she got a few years ago.


The colors are washed out, the plot is overly complicated and unnecessary. The reason this film is so popular escapes me, but I do have a theory: people are enamored by the fantasy in this film. Scottie, the lead character, finds a beautiful woman and is able to find her again after she dies. People who are lovelorn must gravitate towards this film because it’s a tragic fantasy that would never happen but just might. The boredom that washed over me while I watched is excruciating. There was no chemistry, no good writing, cliched music.

There was something about this movies dreamlike, repetitious quality that felt unintentional. People call Hitchcock a genius for making the entire movie feel like a dream, but is that a good thing? I think not. The whole film feels contrived, searching for suspense in moments where there are none. Even Bernard Herrmann’s score feels cliched and tired, with it’s sluggish, sappy, and syrupy strings.

Overall, this is just my personal opinion. I think Vertigo is massively overrated, and wanted to get my opinion out to the world. Hopefully you agree, but if you don’t, that’s perfectly fine. You’re entitled to your own opinion.