Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone


Thomas McKenzie's Blog.


A bit over a month ago, my wife, children, and I vacationed in Florida. We stayed at a beach house owned by a friend of ours. The house was stocked with several TVs, including a huge projection TV in a “media room.” Along with the TV were several DVDs.

One night, while the kids slept, my wife and I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. I had seen it many years before, and she had never seen it. Well, we loved it. And it got us started on a kick.

For the past weeks, we have been renting Hitchcock films from our local Blockbuster (2 for $5) and watching them at night. Often we see them one over two evenings.

I have one thing to say. The fact that Alfred Hitchcock never one an Academy Award for Best Director is a crime. I mean, lock them up and throw away the key type crime. Lots of these movies are fantastic. Some are dated (especially the more recent ones, weirdly enough), but they are great. Great characters, great stories, great directing. In an age of action film explosions and huge budgets, these films of pure suspense, in which the action is almost all in the character’s heads, prove the old adage “they don’t make them like they used to.”

So, in an effort to inspire you to watch some of these films, I am going to start a new feature: One-minute Movie Reviews, focusing for now on Hitchcock. Now, to be fair, we haven’t seen all of them yet. In fact, we have yet to see any films he made before 1940. 1940 is when he came to America and began making films here. But, as we see them, I’m going to review them. In the mean time, I’m going to give you my top seven so far, and (to put this in context) a list of the films we’ve seen together in the past weeks. I’m also going to give you my list of three films I wouldn’t bother with (in my opinion). I would recommend ANY of the rest, but my top seven are my favorites.

My Current Top Seven
1. Vertigo
2. Rebecca
3. North by Northwest
4. Psycho
5. Suspicion (with an important caveat—wait for the review!)
6. Foreign Correspondent
7. Shadow of a Doubt

Three Hitchcock films I didn’t really like that much
1. Frenzy
2. The Trouble with Harry
3. Topaz

The Hitchcock films we’ve seen so far.

• Frenzy (1972)
• Topaz (1969)
• Torn Curtain (1966)
• Marnie (1964)
• Psycho (1960)
• North by Northwest (1959)
• Vertigo (1958)
• The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
• The Trouble with Harry (1955)
• Rear Window (1954)
• Dial M for Murder (1954)
• Strangers on a Train (1951)
• Rope (1948)
• Notorious (1946)
• Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
• Saboteur (1942)
• Suspicion (1941)
• Foreign Correspondent (1940)
• Rebecca (1940)

ReviewsThomas McKenzie