Young and Innocent (1937)

Young and Innocent (U.S. title: The Girl Was Young) is a 1937 British film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Nova Pilbeam,Derrick De Marney and John Longden. It is very loosely based on Josephine Tey‘s novel A Shilling for Candles (1936). Alfred Hitchcock cameo is a signature occurrence in most of his films. He can be seen outside the courthouse, holding a camera at 16 minutes into the film. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_and_Innocent

IMDB Ratings: 7.1/10, Man on the run from a murder charge enlists a beautiful stranger who must put herself at risk for his cause. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029811/

Sabotage (1936)

Sabotage, also released as The Woman Alone, is a 1936 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It is based on Joseph Conrad’snovel The Secret Agent. It should not be confused with Hitchcock’s film Secret Agent released the same year, or his 1942 film Saboteurhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabotage_(film)

IMDB Ratings: 7.2/10, A Scotland Yard undercover detective is on the trail of a saboteur who is part of a plot to set off a bomb in London. But when the detective’s cover is blown, the plot begins to unravel. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028212/

Blackmail (1929)

Alfred Hitchcock‘s first sound film utilized the new sound technology in a rather creative way off-camera. Hitchcock’s lead actress, Anny Ondra, had a strong Eastern European accent that was difficult for English audiences to understand, so Hitchcock’s solution was to have British actress Joan Barry speak Ondra’s lines of dialogue off-camera. The film concerns a woman who kills a man who tries to assault her. Ondra plays Alice White who, while having dinner in a fancy English nightspot with her husband-to-be Scotland Yard Detective Frank Webber (John Longden), begins to flirt with an artist (Cyril Richard) seated at the next table. The artist invites her up to see his studio, and she goes but balks when the artist asks her to pose in the nude. When the request becomes a demand, Alice stabs him to death. She rejoins her fiance and tries to forget the murder, but her conscience keeps bothering her. To make matters worse, sniveling rat Tracy (Donald Calthrop) materializes to blackmail Alice for the crime. http://www.youtube.com/movie?v=R5VJqr9OgIo&ob=av1n&feature=mv_sr

Blackmail is a 1929 British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anny OndraJohn Longden, and Cyril Ritchard, and featuring Donald CalthropSara Allgood and Charles Paton. The film is based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett, as adapted by Hitchcock, with dialogue by Benn Levy. Having begun production as a silent film, the studio, British International Pictures, decided to convert it to sound during shooting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackmail_(1929_film)

IMDB Ratings: 7.0/10, Alice White is the daughter of a shopkeeper in 1920’s London. Her boyfriend, Frank Webber is a Scotland Yard detective who seems more interested in police work than in her…  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019702/

Notorious (1946)

Notorious is a 1946 American thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary GrantIngrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately entangled during an espionage operation. It was shot in late 1945 and early 1946, and was released by RKO in August 1946.

Notorious marks a watershed for Hitchcock artistically, and represents a heightened thematic maturity. His biographer, Donald Spoto, writes that “Notorious is in fact Alfred Hitchcock’s first attempt—at the age of forty-six—to bring his talents to the creation of a serious love story, and its story of two men in love with Ingrid Bergman could only have been made at this stage of his life.”

The film is known for two scenes in particular. In one of his most famous shots, Hitchcock starts wide and high on a second floor balcony overlooking the great hall of a grand mansion. Slowly he tracks down and in on Ingrid Bergman, finally ending with a tight close-up of a key tucked in her hand. So arresting is the shot that an outline of the key became a graphic element in the film’s promotional material. Hitchcock also devised “a celebrated scene” that circumvented the Production Code’s ban on kisses longer than three seconds — by having his actors disengage every three seconds, murmur and nuzzle each other, then start right back up again. The two-and-a-half minute osculation is “perhaps his most intimate and erotic kiss.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notorious_(1946_film)

IMDB Ratings: 8.2/10, A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038787/

Double Indemnity (1944)

Double Indemnity is a 1944 American film noir, directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, and produced by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Sistrom. The script was based on James M. Cain’s 1935 novella of the same title which originally appeared as an eight-part serial in Liberty magazine.

The film stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman, Barbara Stanwyck as a provocative housewife who wishes her husband were dead, and Edward G. Robinson as a claims adjuster whose job is to find phony claims. The term double indemnity refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout in cases when death is caused by accidental means.

Praised by many critics when first released, Double Indemnity was nominated for seven Academy Awards but did not win any. Widely regarded as a classic, it is often cited as a paradigmatic film noir and as having set the standard for the films that followed in that genre.

Deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1992, Double Indemnity was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked #38 on the American Film Institute‘s list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 29th on their 10th Anniversary listhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Indemnity_(film)

IMDB Ratings: 8.6/10, An insurance rep lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator’s suspicions. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036775/

The 39 Steps (1935)

Of the four major film versions of the book, this film has been the most acclaimed. In 1999, the film came in fourth in a BFI poll of British films. In 2004, Total Film named it the 21st greatest British movie of all time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_39_Steps_(1935_film)

IMDB Ratings: 7.9/10, A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and he stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring trying to steal top secret information. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026029/