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Tuesday, August 17, 1999 Published at 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK


Read your favourite Hitchcock moments

What's your favourite Hitchcock film? Is there a particular scene that really makes your hair stand on end? Click here to tell us.

The twist just before the end of Psycho - fave moment in cinema, not just Hitch. I pity all the poor people who knew the whole story before they watched it.
David Cahill, Ireland

I saw a re-released version of North by Northwest a few years ago just off Leicester Square and I was stunned by the lighting of the scene when Cary Grant is first brought in to see James Mason in that house. I have always enjoyed Hitchcock's movies for their entertainment and artistic creativity, but realised what I had missed by watching them on T.V.
Simon Griffiths, The Netherlands

In any assessment of Hitchcock, it's important not to overlook his vast capability for comedy. It's there in a lot of his work. Strangers on a Train is my favourite Hitchcock film, and for me its staying power derives from a blending of the comic with the traumatic. So, a master of comedy as well as suspense -- but much to my delight he had a very twisted sense of humour (from most accounts).
Maggie Cobb, USA

Rope. The scene at the end of the dinner party when Mrs. Wilson starts to clear the things off the chest. I think it was just brilliant when the camera stayed on her while she tidied up. In fact I had to rewind the tape to hear what the rest of the cast were talking about during that because I was concentrating so much on watching her.
Niall O'Keeffe, Ireland

I am a longstanding fan and admirer of Alfred Hitchcock's movies. I have so many favorite scenes that I recall are equally brilliant. Best ones: Vertigo: Kim Novak opens the bathroom door and walks into a bedroom, lit up by a green neon light outside. The kiss that ensues between Kim Novak and James Stewart is one of the most erotic and eerie film moments I have ever seen. Rebecca: Joan Fontaine leaning out of the window peering into the foggy gloom below while 'Mrs Danvers' is whispering in her ear to jump. Masterfully done with incredible suspense. Also watch how Hitch plays with shadows, making Mrs Danvers even more sinister and terrifying. Hitchcock truly is a master of supense.
Anjana, United Kingdom

Psycho, along with most of the master's films, is a work of art. Long live the memory of one of the best filmmakers this world has ever seen.
Peter Cardwell, Northern Ireland

The scene in North By Northwest when Cary Grant is arrested by the police and taken back to the police station and he phones his mother! That has to be one of the funniest scenes ever...
Steve Bacon, England

ROPE is one of the best Hitchcock films ever... It creates great suspense from the very beginning... to James Stewart finally twigging that Brandon and Phillip are responsible for David not turning up..with those subtle hints that heighten the whole experience...pure genius
Jamie, UK

My favourite all time hitchcock movie is in Under Capricorn. The housekeeper is in love with Joseph Cotton, who is married to Ingrid Bergman. The housekeeper has been influencing the fragile Ingrid Bergman to drink heavility, and has also been scaring her in the night with shrivelled human heads obtained from Aborigine scavengers and sold on the black market in New South Wales.
We do not know for sure whether this is happening or is actually Ingrid Bergman hallucinating. But we find out in one jarring moment when we see a head in Bergman's bed for the first time. Later we see the maid creeping in and removing the head, when she believes Bergman is asleep.
Newly brought to Hollywood by David Selznic, it's as if Hitchcock chose then to say "Now I shall truly terrify."
Milon Robbins, USA

Forget "From Here To Eternity!" The sexiest kiss on film is when Grace Kelly plants a big fat wet one on Cary Grant in "To Catch A Thief." She shuts the door to her room; Grant looks into the camera, says nothing, turns, and walks away. Perfect!
John David Ford, USA

The Secret Agent - when Gielgud realises that the church organist he is meeting is dead, and still playing his final chilling chord.
Rope - when the kitchen door swings back as Dall puts the rope away. This brief display of his blatant delight in the simple action creates a fascinating insight into his mind and motives.
Jimi, England

Early in Psycho, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) absconds with several thousands dollars that she has been asked to bank by her employer. She drives out of Phoenix into the Arizona desert for a rendezvous with her boyfriend. When a typically sinister and inscrutable Highway Patrol Officer pulls her over to the side of the dust-choked and empty road for speeding, her guilt and terror are reflected in his mirrored sunglasses. The scene is set to Bernard Herrman's imcomparable score and leaves you feeling cold and small. Our heroine appologises and the cop passes on. But the event is enough to cause her to admit the futillity of her scheme.
Col McKay, UK

Rear Window: The moment when James Stewart realises that the person on the other end of the phone is actually Lars Thorwald, the murderer. Also when he and Grace Kelly question the death of the dog, concluding that perhaps it knew too much. Finally the way in which the maid speaks out loud what the audience only dares to think: "Let's see what's buried there. I've always wanted to meet Mrs Thorwald!".
Anna Lipinski, UK

My favorite Hitchcock moment has to be from the scene in 'Frenzy' on the potato truck. I just hate that bit where the killer has to snap the dead woman's fingers to get his tie-pin back. Ouch!
Gary, UK

The final reel of 'Notorious' is extraordinary - there is a combination of danger, determination, real love and terrible fear under the surface (for the Claude Rains character). No other director has quite achieved this - only Kubrick's detached style sometimes comes close.
Lawrence Bailey, UK

Many people will pick the shower scene in "Psycho" or the attack sequence from "The Birds", but I have three great Hitchcock moments worth checking out. I'll never forget the scene in "Shadow of a Doubt" when a close-up of widow killer Joseph Cotten talks obsessively about his hatred for rich single women and when his niece Charlie says that they are people like everyone else, Cotten turns, looks directly into the camera and replies, "Are they?" Don' t tell me you can watch that moment and not get a chill up your spine. Another classic moment of Hitchcock manipulation is in "Rope" when two college students strangle a fellow student and leave the body in a cabinet moments before hosting a party. An hour into the film, the party ends and the maid cleans the food off the top of the cabinet where the body is hidden. While she clears things off, we are manipulated to the point where we don't want the maid to open to top part and discover the body, even though we should. Great suspense. Then of course, there is the stunning moment in "Rear Window" when killer Raymond Burr looks into Jimmy Stewart's camera lens and discovers who has been spying on him. To me, that moment is more frighten than all the " Friday the 13th" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" films combined. For me, Alfred Hitchcock is the finest director of the 20th century. Is there anyone better?
Richard Motroni, USA

Loads of favourites - the realisation from Jimmy Stewart in 'Rear Window' that the murderer knows who and WHERE he is; the murder scene in 'Torn Curtain' (which is so brutally over the top that it's actually quite funny, in a sick way); and the 'resurrection' scene in 'Vertigo' where Judy becomes Madeleine, bathed in a glow of sickly green light. Beautiful!
Paul Condon, UK

In Rear Window. Grace Kelly is explaining things to the disbelieving policeman and we have a close up on James Stewart's face as he watches intently, not saying anything - this is when he finally realises that he is in love. In the same film, the opening sequence panning around James Stewart's flat gives you everything you need to know about his character in 30 seconds. Perfect storytelling.
Ian Scott, UK

North By North-West definitely!! Always loved it from the first time I saw it aged about 11. So many good bits, but one of my favourites is the auction scene when he tries (and succeeds) to get arrested, and manages to annoy everyone there. Fantastic!
Melenie, England

The scene in "The Birds" - where the birds are lined up on the telephone cables, roof tops and fences, waiting.......
A Lowton, UK

My favourite scene is in Vertigo when Madeleine and 'Scotty' are in the Giant Redwoods forest and Madeleine says in a voice beyond this world, 'here I was born and here I die' as she points to the cross section of one of the oldest living trees in the world.
Louise Camilleri, Denmark

Hitchcock 100
I loved "39 Steps". Why? Mr. Hitchcock shows four of his most famous techniques to great effect in "39 Steps". First, his use of foreshadowing set a standard that is very often attempted to this day, but not often as well done. Second, his juxtaposition of sounds was simply inspired (when the lady who found the corpse shrieked at the same time that the train whistle did; with a quick cut, we're with Robert Donat on the train - genius!) The quick cuts keep the suspense high - could Hitchcock have foreshadowed music videos?
And finally, his judicious use of sarcasm in the script put Donat's talents to great use; Hitchcock used Cary Grant's wickedly sarcastic sense of humour in the same way in "North by Northwest". If I had to pick only one scene as Hitchcock's best scene? There were too many of them to pick just one - but Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman's romantically sensual scene in "Notorious" (as they first arrive in the apartment in Rio) was probably the best, in technical and artistic terms, that Hitchcock ever made.
Theodore Kamis, United States

Without a doubt, the second-last segment of "Rope": from James Stewart cranking up the metronome, to the maid slowly clearing the books off the "coffin", all the way to the monogrammed hat that gives the game away. All shot in one incredible take - Hitchcock's finest eight minutes.
Gordon Irvine, UK

The shower scene in "Psycho" is the most terrifying in film history. One is so involved in Marion's getaway, that the murder comes totally unexpected. Plus: The editing makes you think you see the killing in all its brutal details. In fact you don't see anything, which allows your subconscious to make it even worse.
Matthias Mittermeier, Germany

Definitely Cary Grant being chased through a Cornfield by a low flying Aircraft in North by Northwest. Definitely a Classic.
Jacques Abramowicz, Germany

The Birds was the best... I now avoid the things thanks to an evil teacher forcing us to sit through it at 10 years old.
Mr M, England

The runaway wheelchair scene in "39 Steps" is one of my favourite suspense/comedy scenes.
Don Wiseman, USA

My favourite Hitchcock film has got to be 'Spellbound'. That brilliant scene by Dali was a cinematic classic, and the film just continued to build up the suspense. Classic.
Jonathan Harford, Belgium

Notorious. Best kissing scene ever.
Donna DeRosa, USA

It has to be the scene in North by North West where Cary Grant is being chased through the corn fields by the low flying aircraft trying to get him with the crop spraying. Love it - pure class!
Katie Paxton, UK

It has to be THE shower scene!
Nik, UK

I love the scene in rear window where Grace Kelly is in the murderer's apartment and he comes in while her boyfriend is left watching helplessly
Rachel Sykes, England

My fave Hitchcock film is North by Northwest for the crop sprayer scenes. I saw it again recently and it's your typical innocent guy in a mistaken identity chase but I love it! When I first saw the film (a good few years ago now) I thought wow. I recently saw Rear Window for the first time too and really enjoyed it. Other faves are The lady Vanishes and the 39 Steps in original black and white of course. I prefer a thriller to a chiller and haven't seen the infamous Psycho yet as I may never shower again if I did!
Ali, UK

Psycho: When Norm Bates finds out about the victim's sister snooping about in the house! Very scary moment in history!!!!!!!!
Paul Barry, Scotland

Rope: When James Stewart finally clicks that Brandon and Philip have murdered David. Rear Window: Grace Kelly searches Raymond Burr's apartment for evidence that he has murdered his wife and he returns.
Alison Gibson-Stark, England

Favourite film: North by Northwest Why? The best of Hitchcock! Humour, plot, action - the plane scene is a classic in it's own right and a normal guy (Cary Grant) being chased by the bad guys - a theme used by Hitch in other films such as the Man Who Knew Too Much and The 39 Steps.
Ian Skelton, UK

The opening credits/music from Vertigo are possibly the greatest audio/visual combination of all time. It's just a shame they used the music to sell Ford mondeos as well, never mind.
Roy Mackenzie, UK

Favourite film: Vertigo. Reasons:
The most gripping film on an emotional level - the only one which I felt unpredictable. The other films tend to be action-based. The beauty of this film is that it draws the viewer into the same obsession as Stewart's character. It is a film of obsession rather than one of thrills - good though the thrills are of the other films often are. The ultimate moment is the climax of the film when the faked death is brought to reality in truly tragic form.
David Ryder, UK

It has to be the shower seen in Phsyco, it cannot be beaten. Mind you The Birds had its moments!
Emma-Jayne Gillard, United Kingdom

My favourite moment is in the film "Pyscho". Right at the end when Norman Bates refuses to Kill a Fly. "I will show them it was not me. I will not even kill that fly" Said chillingly in Norman's mothers voice.
Lance Tonks, England

The opening scene (not to mention all the other 8-minute takes) in Rope.
Stephen R Ward, UK

Rear Window has to be one of the best Hitchcock's. I love the idea that Jimmy Stewart's character is incapacitated and yet becomes embroiled in the mystery, but the most remarkable thing is his acting. The very idea that he is reacting to the events purportedly unfolding before him though his window, when in fact he would have been acting to marks on the set, is just incredible. A great example of fine suspense and fantastic acting...
Siobhan, UK


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