Special Report

Alfred Hitchcock’s Best (and Worst) Films

Wikimedia Commons

The Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock is one of history’s most skilled directors, known for his expert abilities in the thriller genre. Hitchcock was extremely prolific, directing over 50 feature films over a career that spanned about as many years.

Of course, not all of Hitchcock’s films are of the same caliber. Having begun his career in England, Hitchcock did his best work once he relocated to Hollywood. It didn’t take him long to receive accolades – his first American film, “Rebecca,” already won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1941.

In the 1950s he would direct some of his best-known and most critically acclaimed films, including “Vertigo,” “North by Northwest,” and “Rear Window.” These films are still popular with audiences today, often appearing on television and screened in theaters.

Many of the films that are considered Hitchcock’s worst were made before “Rebecca.” One could argue that the reason for this is that the director had yet to master his craft. The few Hitchcock movies released in the late 60s and 70s – including “Torn Curtain,” “Topaz,” and “Family Plot” – are also considered to be lesser works. By this time, Hitchcock, who was born in the late 19th century, was himself in his 60s and 70s and may have had trouble adjusting to a changing Hollywood that was giving young auteurs more creative control over their work. Still, these late films are not included among Hitchcock’s very worst on our list.

As the director’s nickname implies, he was at his best when directing suspense flicks. Almost all of the highest ranked films on this list take the viewer on an intense ride, with excitement, surprise, and anxiety spilling out of nearly every frame.

Click here to see Hitchcock’s films, ranked from worst to best.

To determine the best and worst films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on each film’s Rotten Tomatoes’ average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes’ average audience rating, and Internet Movie Database’s average user rating. To be considered, each film needed to have data available for all three metrics.

We averaged the user ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb and weighted these by the number of votes for each. The combined user rating was then averaged with the Rotten Tomatoes critic rating. The year released, starring actors, and awards won for each film came from IMDb.

Source: Courtesy of Synergy Entertainment

51. The Shame of Mary Boyle
> Year: 1930
> Starring: Sara Allgood, Edward Chapman, Barry Fitzgerald
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Darker Images Video

50. Strauss’ Great Waltz
> Year: 1934
> Starring: Edmund Gwenn, Jessie Matthews, Fay Compton
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of National Film Museum

49. The Skin Game
> Year: 1931
> Starring: Edmund Gwenn, Jill Esmond, C.V. France
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

48. Champagne
> Year: 1928
> Starring: Betty Balfour, Jean Bradin, Ferdinand von Alten
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

47. When Boys Leave Home
> Year: 1927
> Starring: Ivor Novello, Ben Webster, Norman McKinnel
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of TGG Direct

46. Jamaica Inn
> Year: 1939
> Starring: Maureen O’Hara, Robert Newton, Charles Laughton
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

45. Under Capricorn
> Year: 1949
> Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Michael Wilding
> Awards: 1 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

44. Easy Virtue
> Year: 1928
> Starring: Isabel Jeans, Franklin Dyall, Eric Bransby Williams
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of British Film Institute (BFI)

43. Number 17
> Year: 1932
> Starring: Leon M. Lion, Anne Grey, John Stuart
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

 

42. The Farmer’s Wife
> Year: 1928
> Starring: Jameson Thomas, Lillian Hall-Davis, Gordon Harker
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of TGG Direct

41. East of Shanghai
> Year: 1931
> Starring: Henry Kendall, Joan Barry, Percy Marmont
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

40. Mr. & Mrs. Smith
> Year: 1941
> Starring: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

39. Topaz
> Year: 1969
> Starring: Frederick Stafford, Dany Robin, John Vernon
> Awards: 3 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of MGM

38. The Paradine Case
> Year: 1947
> Starring: Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Charles Laughton
> Awards: 0 wins and 1 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

37. The Manxman
> Year: 1929
> Starring: Anny Ondra, Carl Brisson, Malcolm Keen
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

36. Torn Curtain
> Year: 1966
> Starring: Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Lila Kedrova
> Awards: 0 wins and 2 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of British Film Institute (BFI)

35. The Ring
> Year: 1927
> Starring: Carl Brisson, Lillian Hall-Davis, Ian Hunter
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of British Film Institute (BFI)

34. Blackmail
> Year: 1929
> Starring: Anny Ondra, John Longden, Sara Allgood
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

33. Family Plot
> Year: 1976
> Starring: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris
> Awards: 2 wins and 5 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Canal Plus UK

32. Murder!
> Year: 1930
> Starring: Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Janus Films

31. Secret Agent
> Year: 1936
> Starring: John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Young
> Awards: 1 wins and 0 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

30. Saboteur
> Year: 1942
> Starring: Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, Otto Kruger
> Awards: 0 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

29. Stage Fright
> Year: 1950
> Starring: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Richard Todd
> Awards: 2 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

28. The Man Who Knew Too Much
> Year: 1934
> Starring: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre
> Awards: 2 wins and 4 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

27. I Confess
> Year: 1953
> Starring: Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden
> Awards: 0 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

26. The Girl Was Young
> Year: 1937
> Starring: Nova Pilbeam, Derrick De Marney, Percy Marmont
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

25. Sabotage
> Year: 1936
> Starring: Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, Desmond Tester
> Awards: 0 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

24. Marnie
> Year: 1964
> Starring: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Martin Gabel
> Awards: 0 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

23. The Trouble with Harry
> Year: 1955
> Starring: John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn
> Awards: 1 wins and 4 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

22. The Lodger
> Year: 1927
> Starring: June Tripp, Ivor Novello, Marie Ault
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

21. Spellbound
> Year: 1945
> Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov
> Awards: 2 wins and 6 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

20. Frenzy
> Year: 1972
> Starring: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt
> Awards: 2 wins and 7 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

19. The Man Who Knew Too Much
> Year: 1956
> Starring: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
> Awards: 1 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

18. Suspicion
> Year: 1941
> Starring: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke
> Awards: 0 wins and 1 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

 

17. The Wrong Man
> Year: 1956
> Starring: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle
> Awards: 0 wins and 0 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

16. The Birds
> Year: 1963
> Starring: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy
> Awards: 3 wins and 6 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

15. To Catch a Thief
> Year: 1955
> Starring: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis
> Awards: 1 wins and 5 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

14. Dial M for Murder
> Year: 1954
> Starring: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings
> Awards: 3 wins and 3 nominations

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

13. Lifeboat
> Year: 1944
> Starring: Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak
> Awards: 2 wins and 3 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

12. Foreign Correspondent
> Year: 1940
> Starring: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
> Awards: 1 wins and 6 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

11. Rope
> Year: 1948
> Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
> Awards: 0 wins and 3 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

10. The Lady Vanishes
> Year: 1938
> Starring: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas
> Awards: 1 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

9. The 39 Steps
> Year: 1935
> Starring: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
> Awards: 1 wins and 1 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

8. Strangers on a Train
> Year: 1951
> Starring: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
> Awards: 2 wins and 2 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

7. Shadow of a Doubt
> Year: 1943
> Starring: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
> Awards: 2 wins and 3 nominations

Source: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

6. Notorious
> Year: 1946
> Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
> Awards: 3 wins and 3 nominations

[in-text-ad]

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

5. Rebecca
> Year: 1940
> Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
> Awards: 6 wins and 10 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

4. Vertigo
> Year: 1958
> Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
> Awards: 8 wins and 6 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

3. Psycho
> Year: 1960
> Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
> Awards: 5 wins and 13 nominations

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

2. North by Northwest
> Year: 1959
> Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
> Awards: 8 wins and 7 nominations

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

1. Rear Window
> Year: 1954
> Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
> Awards: 6 wins and 12 nominations

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.