Results for the Hitchcock poll

HitchWell, the polls are now closed and the results are in. First things first though – the response to this celebration of the 53 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock was really gratifying, so special thanks to everyone who joined in.

Ultimately nearly 650 votes were cast and nearly every one of his films got at least one vote – if you want to see which didn’t, and which came out on top, then keep on reading, where you will also find a poll of polls – we have now a top 10 based on the results and we have the opportunity to rank these 10 – but beware, you only get one vote, so make it count!

First off, while it might seem cruel, with only two votes per decade available, inevitably some films were not going to get any kind of mention, but I was amazed just how few were excluded. From the 1920s it was, predictably I think, such little seen efforts as The Pleasure Garden and Champagne to get the chop; and from the 1930s it was equally  no surprise to see the musical biopic Waltzes from Vienna and the family melodrama The Skin Game failing to make the cut. Murder! also got excluded, and I thought it might just get by with one vote, but it is a film that isn’t that easy to see on home video in fact and I suspect this would have been a contributing factor.

From the 1940s, while the likes of The Paradine Case and Under Capricorn surprisingly did get a look in, the atypical crime-free screwball comedy Mr and Mrs Smith was in fact the only one that got left out. From the 1950s, the decade that got the most responses in the end, the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much and The Wrong Man failed to make the grade. But everything else got a mention. So, let’s get to the results, with a breakdown by decade first:

The 1920s [67 votes cast]
This was, right from the beginning a two-horse race, with The Lodger coming out way ahead with 38 votes and Blackmail (which personally I prefer) coming a distant second with 21.

The 1930s [129 votes cast]
This was a very, very tight race, with The Lady Vanishes and The 39 Steps neck and neck vying for supremacy, though ultimately there was a clear winner, with the Lady getting 47 votes and 41 Steps getting a respectable 40 while the underrated Sabotage came a distant but still creditable third with 12 votes.


The 1940s [149 votes cast]
This tuned unto the tightest fight of all, ending almost in a tie. But at the last minute for Shadow of a Doubt pulled ahead with 35 votes, beating Notorious by just 1 vote.Rebecca came  respectable third with 26 and Rope did surprisingly well with 14 for fourth place.

The 1950s [159 votes cast]
This was a three-horse race throughout the voting, with Rear Window emerging at the last-minute as the winner with 42 votes; and in a photo finish, Vertigo and North By Northwest ended up joint second with 40 votes a piece, making this a top 11 and not a top 10 in fact! Strangers on a Train and Dial M for Murder came fourth and fifth with 13 and 12 votes respectively.

The 1960s & 70s [139 votes cast]
Well, I suspect there was never any doubt about this with Psycho the clear winner from the start, ultimately receiving 48 votes while The Birds came second with 39 but I was impressed that all the films from this period got votes, even the generally unloved Topaz, which came last but still managed 6 votes.


Oh, and how did I vote? Well, to my great surprise, the top 10 is made up entirely of the ones I voted for, with the exception of North By Northwest which rallied at the last minute! This suggests that I am either really tapped in to the Hitchcock zeitgeist out there or that I went for the traditional firm favourites – or maybe I did something a bit crooked to rig the results, but frankly I lack to savvy to bed the polling software to my will.

But now, as the cherry on top, here is your chance to rank the top 11 – they are listed below in chronological order so you get one vote to see which you think should come top of the list.As for the top 10, well, I’ll be voting for Vertigo – but that is no surprise to those of you who have read this blog before.

Thanks for voting!

This entry was posted in 'In praise of ...', Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia, Arizona, Boileau-Narcejac, Cold War, Cornell Woolrich, Ed McBain, England, Espionage, Film Noir, Film Poll, London, New England, New York, Psycho, Robert Bloch, San Francisco, Scotland, Spy movies. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Results for the Hitchcock poll

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Thank you, Sergio, for compiling all of this. It’s absolutely fascinating! And, speaking as a Hitchcock fan, it was hard for me to choose. But choose I did, and was quite happy to see Shadow… and Psycho, my two top, make the cut. I’ll be really interested to see which the winner is.

  2. realthog says:

    Such a pity that most of my favorite Hitchcocks didn’t make it to the final . . .

    I’m very surprised that The Man Who Knew Too Much remake went entirely voteless. It’s not a fave of mine, but it’s still a pretty damn’ fine movie.

  3. le0pard13 says:

    This was great, Sergio. Interesting results no matter how (Psycho) slice’em. 😉

  4. John says:

    How can any one reduce it to just one?! I think I’m going to resort to picking four from the four decades I voted on (I’ve seen only one from the 20s and I don’t even remember it!), writing the titles on slips of paper, popping them in an empty bowl (I own no hats) and then choosing one at random. It’s the only way I can do it. HA!

    • I wish I could have figured a way for the poll to provide a first, second and third ranking but couldn’t finesse it – this would never have happened to the Puzzle Doctor!

  5. Bev Hankins says:

    Yes, thanks for hosting this, Sergio! It’s been great fun. I have little hope that my favorite will come out on top, but we’ll see. I’m also disappointed that Rebecca didn’t make it to the finals–very atmospheric once they get to Manderley.

  6. neer says:

    Only 1 vote! Thats cruel dear. Allow us at least 2….plz 🙂

  7. neer says:

    ohhh ohhhh I hv just seen the list properly. No Rebecca, no Strangers, no Dial M for Murder….This poll surely has a lot of surprises but now makes my work easy to choose just one:)

  8. Colin says:

    Interesting. Almost everything I voted for made the final list, only Young and Innocent & Marnie failed to make the cut. How will I vote this time? Let’s see…

    • Thanks Colin – I was amazed that everything I voted for got in (plus North Bu Northwest) but I didn;t vote for anything that radical either.

      • Colin says:

        No me neither, I suppose. The two I mentioned – Marnie & Young and Innocent would probably be the most “radical” of my own choices.

        • I was going to vote for Young and Innocent but ultimately, I think, just couldn’t live without 39 Steps

          • Colin says:

            Fair enough. I was happy to see the 40s selections matched my own, and I think there was a kind of justice in the way the 50s vote forced three rather than two picks.
            The whole thing offers a nice, and I think fairly accurate, snapshot of the shape and content of Hitchcock’s career. My own final choice was a hard one to make – a very close run race between two 50s titles.

          • Yes, spot on Colin, thanks – the 50s results are I think meaningful – it was the decade that got the most traffic so it seems only right. What comes out on top is, I think, probably fun but not important per se, just a nice indicator of where we are this weekend in the land of Hitchcock. Might watch Topaz tonight …

          • Colin says:

            Been ages since I watched that one, and I’ll have to be honest and say that, apart from maybe two scenes, there’s nothing much about the movie I like.

          • I really enjoying Leonard Maltin’s talk on it as the main extra on the Blu-ray but admittedly mainly only remember the set pieces in New York and Cuba with any great clarity. It has several good bits but the blah casting of the main lead does hurt it incredibly badly.

  9. JJ says:

    I am frankly delighted to see Shadow of a Doubt win its decade – and to think I’ve been telling people for the last 20 years that it’s his underappreciated masterpiece! What fabulous taste your readers clearly have…

  10. Rosemary says:

    Considered whether to vote tactically for my favourite Jimmy Stewart to help keep Vertigo off the top (sorry Sergio), but, in the end, had to vote for my favourite Cary Grant, which had given me more (and shared) enjoyment than any of the others.

  11. What an interesting list that produced – and what a great project Sergio. These aren’t my absolute favourites (I am clearly not tapped in to the zeitgeist) but all great films…. what to choose, what to choose?

  12. Bill Ectric says:

    Reblogged this on Bill Ectric's Place and commented:
    TIRED OF THE CIRCUS OF THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE? Here’s a vote that really matters! From the blog Tipping My Fedora, the Hitchcock Movie Poll!

  13. Bill Ectric says:

    Of all Hitchcock’s movies, Rear Window most effectively brought me into the picture as a participant, placed me in the observer’s chair, and thrilled my imagination with grisly suggestion.

  14. tracybham says:

    It is hard to pick just one, but I do have a clear favorite… don’t know if it is a better movie but it is the one I watch most often. We will be watching Vertigo again sometime soon, because I am going to read the book it was based on in the near future.

  15. Great stuff, Sergio! Your last few posts on Hitchcock are like a ready reckoner, to be folded and kept in a corner of the wallet. I’m glad REAR WINDOW topped in the 50’s decade. I’m more AH fan now than I was before I read your chronicles of his cinematic history. Thanks for the infotainment. Enjoyed it even though my own contribution was nil.

  16. Pingback: What’s It All About, Alfred Hitchcock?* | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

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