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01.11.13

Friday Rank 'Em: A New Tomasky Blog Feature

I've been puzzling for a while now about ways to ease us into non-political conversations. Maybe this will do the trick. Every Friday afternoon, I'll post an item ranking some collection of things. Could be anything. Movies, records, cars, great speeches, types of cuisine, cuts of beef, you name it. Then you have the weekend to weigh in.

This being the week the Oscars were announced, let's start with movies. Alfred Hitchcock, astonishingly, never won an Oscar. Here are what I think we might all loosely agree are his 10 best films, in no particular order.

Psycho; Vertigo; Rear Window; Shadow of a Doubt; Dial M for Murder; Notorious; Rebecca; North by Northwest; Strangers on a Train; The Birds.

For starters I'm sure many of you will disagree with that list, and if you do, of course, say so in the comments. The Man Who Knew Too Much? I could see it. But I had to narrow it down somehow. All of these are just...wow. Okay. Below the fold, my own rankings.

1. Notorious

2. Rebecca

3. Shadow of a Doubt

4. Rear Window

5. North by Northwest

6. Strangers on a Train

7. Dial M for Murder

8. Psycho

9. Vertigo

10. The Birds

Really hard to do. They're all four stars. All I can say in my defense that I discovered Shadow of a Doubt somewhat later in life, and it is incredible, and I have a bit of a thing for Theresa Wright. But Notorious is clearly the best to me--so taut, so alive. Rebecca is one you almost forget about, but it's a stunner. As for Vertigo, which I read recently is getting all this play as maybe the greatest film of all time...it falls short of many of the others for me, but I confess in part because Kim Novak just looks so strange and asexual in it. Those horribly unflattering 50s fashions. Whereas I saw her just a few nights ago on TCM in something called Boys Night Out from 1962 and she was alla dat, as they say.

So let's hear your thoughts on these, and on the Oscars if you like as well.