This summer, our weekly celebration of classic films, Vintage Sundays, revisits the unmissable work of the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. From 27 May, we’re screening half a dozen of his finest films, giving you the opportunity to experience them in the way he intended – on the big screen.
Vertigo (1958) is considered by many critics to be the greatest film of all time. James Stewart delivers one of his defining performances as a hapless detective who becomes dangerously obsessed with the woman he’s investigating. Vertigo is mesmerising, mysterious and fodder for a thousand post-viewing discussions (what does it really mean?), and the opportunity to experience it on the big screen is one no film fan should miss.
“Psycho is as shocking now as it was when it first had audiences shrieking from the stalls 60 years ago”
But if it’s scares you’re after, then might we suggest you check into the Bates Motel? With its unforgettable shower scene and a stupendously chilling performance from Anthony Perkins, Psycho (1960) is as shocking now as it was when it first had audiences shrieking from the stalls nearly 60 years ago.
Action thrillers don’t come more effortlessly entertaining than North By Northwest (1959), which has Cary Grant chased by a crop-duster, and up the side of Mount Rushmore, for one of cinema’s greatest ever denouements. (Fun fact: Grant was originally meant to hide in Lincoln’s nose and be given away by a sneeze – an almost perfect Hitchcockian joke that was nixed for being too disrespectful.)
Jimmy Stewart makes a second appearance in our Hitchcock season, in Rear Window (1954), playing a wheelchair-bound photographer who becomes convinced one of his neighbours has committed murder. Playful, and for the time sexually daring, it has influenced directors as diverse as David Fincher with Gone Girl, and Brian De Palma’s Body Double.
Strangers On A Train (1951), from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, is a fiendishly well-crafted thriller in which two aspiring murderers meet by chance and agree to swap victims in order to evade detection, while Notorious (1946) stars Cary Grant, Claude Rains and Ingrid Bergman as a trio whose lives become entangled during a Second World War espionage operation. Why keep yourself in suspense? Book now!