This month’s group list at The Film Experience is, I must say, an especially awesome one: the ten most memorable (not “best”) performances in an Alfred Hitchcock film. For all that we think of him as a visual director first, trying to whittle down all those films into a manageable ballot was totally brutal, and as much as I like my own top 10, and the group’s top ten, I think an equally strong list could be made out of performances that failed to make either list at all.
Herewith, my own ballot, and since I could barely live with cutting it down to 20, not only do I have runners-up, I have runners-up to the runners-up. You will quickly note that I gravitate towards Hitchcock’s villains.
1st Runners-up (chronologically)
-Joseph Cotten as “Uncle Charlie”, Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
-Tallulah Bankhead as “Connie Porter”, Lifeboat, (1944)
-Barbara Bel Geddes as “Midge Wood”, Vertigo (1958)
-Martin Landau as “Leonard”, North by Northwest (1959)
-Barry Foster as “Robert Rusk”, Frenzy (1972)
Honorable Mentions (chronologically)
-Peggy Ashcroft as “Crofter’s wife”, The 39 Steps (1935)