Alfred Hitchcock has been dead for 32 years. The last film he made, Family Plot, was released in 1976 yet his popularity among movie fans and cineastes alike has never seemed to wane. To put it bluntly, Hitch has never been hotter. This week proof of that was offered by the ascension of his 1958 classic Vertigo to the No. 1 spot on the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound survey of the so-called 50 Greatest Films Of All Time as selected this year by 846 critics, film scholars and historians, the largest sampling ever in the once a decade list that has been compiled every 10 years since 1962. Ever since the inception of the esteemed poll the British international film journal has named Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane as the Number 1 greatest film of all time — until 2012 when suddenly Hitchcock vaulted to the top after a slow, steady ascent since first appearing on the list of the Top 10 films in 1982. It is certainly interesting that this particular Hitchcock film starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, not even a huge hit in 1958 and recipient of only two minor Oscar nominations, for Color Art Direction and Sound, has become the master’s masterpiece in the eyes of the world’s top film writers and scholars. The only other Hitchcock film on the list is Psycho at number 35, although I personally count numerous others including North By Northwest, Rear Window, Notorious, even The Birds as equally deserving. I’m not at all sure Vertigo, great as it is, is the greatest of all time. Really? David Lean who directed such immortal greats as Lawrence Of Arabia and The Bridge On The River Kwai doesn’t have a single film in the top 50 and you could argue all day about other omissions and inclusions (there’s no DAVID Lean but there is DAVID Lynch at No. 28 with Mulholland Drive. Hmmm).
Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ The Greatest Movie Of All Time? And The Director Could Have New Oscar And Emmy Contenders
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
“He ruined my career but he didn’t ruin my life.” That was the defiant stance actress Tippi Hedren took this afternoon during HBO‘s panel session at TCA promoting the original HBO Films docudrama The Girl that premieres in October. The film stars Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Hedren in the story of the iconic director’s obsessive relationship with his leading lady during the making of the features The Birds and Marnie in 1963 and ’64. In a macabre moment, the real-life Hedren emerged for the panel carrying a stuffed, frightening-looking bird. But the winged creature, and Hedren’s intense scenes in the horror film, were nothing compared to her nightmare in staving off the unwelcome advances of Hitchcock. Asked to describe what it was that the director felt for her, Hedren admitted, “I don’t know what to call it. It was something I’d never experienced before. It wasn’t love. When you love someone, you treat them well. We are dealing with a mind here that is incomprehensible. And I certainly am not capable of discerning what was going through his mind or why. I certainly gave no indication that I was ever interested in a relationship with him … He was evil, deviant, almost to the point of dangerous because of the effect he could have on people who were totally unsuspecting.”