Herewith: the definitive Alfred Hitchcock game.
For some, if not many, of us, Hitchcock was the greatest filmmaker of them all. Anyone with more than a passing interesting in film needs to know his work, and to come to terms with it. His reputation continues to rise, as witness the recent Sight and Sound poll that ranked Vertigo in the number one position.
We have had a number of Hitchcock games, but I for one find the rules as established curiously unsatisfying. For one thing, forced absolute rankings may please the obsessive-but is, say, Vertigo better than Notorious in any absolute sense? Furthermore-voting down any film strikes me as disrespectful, and I extend that courtesy even to films I dislike. Finally-rankings coming out of the current game seem to me to be rather odd.
Therefore: a new form of the Hitchcock game. The simple rules are as follows:
1. There will be three rounds of voting, each lasting two weeks.
2. In each round, you are asked to select films by group, without any other ranking within that group.
3. The first round we will call the First Division. Select Hitchcock's very best films with the additional criterion that they be among the best films ever made. You may select as many as you like, or select none.
4. At the end of two weeks, I will tally and publish the results. How many films are named to the first division will depend on the number of voters and votes-most likely, selection by some percentage of those voting.
5. We will them remove those films and continue with the Second Division-very good films, not at the top rank.
6. We will then follow with a Third Division-good films.
7. The remainder will form a Fourth Division. We may have an additional round to ferret out films that too few people have seen to evaluate.
8. Please vote only for those films you have seen.
9. You may modify your selections at any time up to the closing of each division.
10. As moderator, I reserve the sole right to eliminate any posting that is inappropriate or abusive.
The following is a list of all Hitchcock films, excluding lost films and his contribution to the anthology film Elstree, in chronological order.
The Pleasure Garden (1926 - Silent)
The Lodger (1926 - Silent)
The Ring (1927 - Silent)
Easy Virtue (1927 - Silent)
Champagne (1928 - Silent)
The Farmer's Wife (1928 - Silent)
Blackmail (silent version) (1929)
Juno and the Paycock (1930)
Mary (German version of Murder!) (1930)
Skin Game (1931)
Rich and Strange (1932)
Number 17 (1932)
Waltzes from Vienna (1933)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
The 39 Steps (1935)
Secret Agent (1936)
Young and Innocent (1937)
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Jamaica Inn (1939)
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Bon Voyage & Aventure Malgache (1944)
The Paradine Case (1947)
Under Capricorn (1949)
Stage Fright (1950)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
I Confess (1953)
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Rear Window (1954)
To Catch a Thief (1955)
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
The Wrong Man (1956)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
North by Northwest (1959)
The Birds (1963)
Torn Curtain (1966)
Family Plot (1976)
After this post, I will post my own first division selections. Commentary is welcome-particularly positive commentary.
Voting for the first division will close on January 22, at 10:00 AM PST Amazon.
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