KIDS, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! The Mini-Mega Hitchcock Draft, Home Edition

Screen Drafts is a podcast that helped me survive the pandemic and, along the way, captured my heart through the sense of camaraderie that permeated each conversation. Since I first wrote about it nearly seven months ago, I have caught up with all the publicly posted episodes, and I have joined the Patreon group and dabbled in the wealth of material that Co-Commissioners Clay Keller and Ryan Marker have gifted to those of us supporting their efforts. 

If you don’t know about Screen Drafts, you should. Feel free to read my earlier post here, where I go into how the game is played. The salient point that you should retain from my review is that I had just one request of the boys: somewhere between the homages to Kristen Stewart and the blood-drenched excitement of Screeeeeaaaaaaaaaammm Draaaaaaafftts, I really wanted a draft of my favorite director of all time – Alfred Hitchcock. 

It’s not that the guys haven’t discussed this idea. In a special Patreon episode about Hitch’s 1940 film Foreign Correspondent, Ryan said it’s gonna happen, that it has to happen because it’s an important draft. I couldn’t agree more, and although this discussion occurred nearly two years ago,  I was heartened when the podcast designated this past January to be “Steven Spielberg” month and then tackled, in five separate episodes involving fifteen GMs, every one of the films that Spielberg had directed and the top 30-something films he had produced. 

It was a resounding success, and I couldn’t help hoping that Hitchcock would come next. But with the rumor hanging about that next January will focus on Martin Scorsese – and with Clay’s continued trepidation over how to do justice to the work of Hitchcock – I fear it will still be quite a while before we see a discussion befitting the Master of Suspense. 

And so to pass the time, I took the bull by the horns and decided to create my own private Home Edition of Screen Drafts and do a Hitchcock draft with two friends who are fellow Hitchcock nuts and fans of the podcast. Yesterday, Saturday, April 22, at 10:30am, I met online with my friends Nick Cardillo, an author and actor who lives on the East Coast (I’m in California) and Sergio Angelini, film buff and former blogger, who lives in London and whose new project is a special commentary that can be found on the latest video release of John Frankenheimer’s Black Sunday

I would have loved to have Clay and Ryan act as commissioners and color commentators to this draft, but my chutzpah was already out of control for even attempting a home draft. And so Nick, Sergio and I acted as our own commissioners. Since the conversation and draft that followed took us six hours and nine minutes to complete (NOTE TO SELF: consult with Clay about time management!), I’m only going to give you the highlights of our day. 

The first thing we needed to do was discuss Hitchcock, how we were introduced to him and what he means to us. It turns out that we all discovered Hitchcock at an early age. Sergio grew up in Italy, and so his first experiences of Hitch were dubbed in Italian. I learned about the director the way I learned about so many favorite things: from my baby-sitter Steve, who liked to relate his favorite horror movies to us as bedtime stories. This time, he told us the tale of The Birds, which I have to say was a whole lot bloodier than the film I watched a few years later. Nick was given the Hitchcock Masterpiece edition for an early birthday and cut his teeth on the Master.  The passing years have given us a chance to watch the films over and over, read some of the incredible writings about Hitch, and really soak in his mastery of film. We all agree (as Hitchcock felt himself) that the man was a true auteur who was never given the artistic respect he deserved by the U.S. film industry during his lifetime. We salute the Cahiers du Cinema and all those wonderful French directors who saw not merely a propagator of entertainment but a true artist who had a particular world view he was trying to communicate through the gift of suspense. 

Our next task was to figure out which GM position each of us would hold. On Screen Drafts, this is accomplished through a round of trivia, and so we each brought a few questions to ask the others. Except . . . Nick forgot to create questions, so things went a bit differently. Frankly, I don’t think all the questions were fair . . . but then I did end up with last pick. Here are the questions: YOU decide . . . 

  1. In which of Hitchcock’s films is Agatha Christie mentioned? (Answer: SHADOW OF A DOUBT – Nick got this one)
  2. Why is the ending to STRANGERS ON A TRAIN so controversial? (Answer: The conclusion on the carousel is stolen from Edmund Crispin’s The Moving Toyshop – Nick got this one, too)
  3. What British actor appeared in six Hitchcock films, playing the villain in only one of them, before going on to appear in a popular TV show about spies. (Answer: LEO G. CARROLL – Sergio got this one.)
  4. How many hard cuts are there in Rope? (Answer: FIVE – Brad got this one)
  5. For what film did Henry Mancini write a score that was rejected?  (Answer: FRENZY – Nick got this one.)
  6. Which author did Hitchcock adapt the most? (Answer: DAPHNE DU MAURIER -Nick got this one and had to name the films: Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, and The Birds)
  7. Who played the couple who sheltered the hero in Frenzy? (Answer: BILLIE WHITELAW AND CLIVE SWIFT – Sergio got this one . . . of course)

With four correct answers, Nick had first choice, and he chose to be DRAFTER A

  • Drafter A has the best placement, with picks #10, #7, #4, and #1. He also gets a bonus veto. 

With two correct answers, Sergio selected to be DRAFTER C

  • Drafter C picks the most films, but they are the lowest in placement: #13, #12, #9, #6, #3. In addition to his veto, he also receives the veto override: if a person vetoes another player’s pick, the veto override allows that pick to stay in place. (But Drafter C cannot override a person’s veto of his own pick.) 

That left one position open to me, that of DRAFTER B

  • Drafter B picks #11, #8, #5 and #2. He receives no special blessings, just the veto he came in with. 

And thus, we began the draft. I have always been aware in the longer Screen Drafts episodes that stamina was required. Fortunately, as tired as we got, the excitement of playing the game kept us going. I won’t go into heaps of detail about our conversations over each film, but I’ll let you see the play of the game and point out a few salient details . . . 


Sergio started us off with the film Dial M for Murder (1954). This is one of his personal favorites. He loves Hitchcock’s experimentation with 3-D technology and the brilliant use of a small space. (With almost no exception, the film doesn’t leave the Wendice’s apartment. With one exception, the cast is fantastic, especially Ray Milland as the villain and John Williams, a British prototype for Columbo, who eventually traps Milland into confession. It’s Grace Kelly’s weakest role for Hitch, but how can she not glow onscreen. The only weak spot is Robert Cummings, who is uninteresting as Kelly’s mystery writing lover. 

Anthony Dawson and Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder

Nick saw no reason to veto this. He finds it stagey but entertaining. The MVP for him is And Anthony Dawson as the doomed assassin.

I had just watched the movie again on TCM and found it talky. Jack Warner had insisted Hitchcock use 3-D, and while the director reluctantly complied, the film was ultimately shown mostly in 2-D because its opening was timed to the dissolution of interest in the technology. I found watching it in 2-D gave me a bit of a headache, and the film is very talky. But John Williams just saves it for me. And this is the gift to Drafter C: getting to play some quirkier choices at the bottom of the list. So, no veto from me.


Sergio got the next pick as well, and he dropped the first bombshell of the day by selecting North by Northwest. (At least he had the good grace to be embarrassed by this!) Nick immediately dropped his first veto, forcing Sergio to re-select. This time, he picked Rope (1948). Inspired by the Leopold and Loeb case, the film was adapted by Arthur Laurents from Patrick Hamilton’s 1929 play. Sergio first saw it dubbed in Italian and considers it a superb film, like Dial M an adaptation of a stage play, but one that works better due to Hitchcock’s experiment with long takes. 

Neither Nick nor I felt compelled to veto this choice. We all agreed that Cary Grant would have been much better playing the pivotal role of Rupert than James Stewart was, and that Montgomery Clift would have been a delectable Brandon (instead of John Dall). Stewart’s presence eliminated much of the emotional tension of the play, where the two murderers and their professor are gay men, and where Rupert feels deep guilt over sharing his Nietzschean philosophy with these sociopaths. 

Philip (Farley Granger,l) and Brandon (John Dall, r) murder a friend in Rope

But Farley Granger is great, as are the secondary party guests, especially Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Constance Collier. Arthur Laurents, whom one must take with a huge grain of salt, wrote a lot about the film in his memoir, Original Story By, and I shared a quote about Hitchcock from that book that I felt summed up a lot about him: 

The camera was his true obsession: essentially, he was a voyeur; Rear Window could have been his epitaph. He was consumed with his camera, and the infinite possibilities, in intricate maneuvers: how differently he was going to use it in this picture this time; what tricky, difficult shot he was going to pull off. Although his objective was to highlight the story, he could become so fascinated with the technical challenge that his camera got in the way of the story. I think that’s what happened with Rope.


It was time for my first pick, and I was as nervous as Ryan Marker gets before a draft!! Certain passing comments had suggested to me that Sergio was going to proceed one way and Nick another, and all I had to protect the sanctity of the draft was one measly veto. I had to ask myself: “What would Brian Cogman do?” Then I thought that this was low enough on the draft to play a more eclectic choice . . . and that is exactly what I did. For #11, I chose The Wrong Man (1956), which had been my #13. The true story of musician Manny Ballestrero, who was wrongly accused of robbing an insurance company, beautifully showcases Hitchcock’s beloved “wrong man” theme in a wholly different way from the usual, creating a film that is part realistic procedural and part film noir

Henry Fonda IS The Wrong Man

Nick doesn’t love this film, but he recognizes the wonderful work of Henry Fonda as Manny and Vera Miles as his loving wife Rose, who is mentally broken by this ordeal. He saw no reason to veto. However, it wasn’t on Sergio’s list at all, and my London friend was beginning to worry that the early British films he wanted to draft might not see much love as we proceeded. (NOTE TO CLAY: You might want to break your eventual super-draft between London and Hollywood.) 

Being Sergio, however, he recognized that he had just played two of Hitchcock’s most experimental films back to back with no flack from his fellow GM’s. If The Wrong Man deserved any place on this draft, standing next to Rope seemed the perfect spot. And so we moved on to the TOP TEN!!!!

NUMBER TEN           

This was Nick’s first selection, and he chose Marnie (1964). You could have cut the online tension with a knife as Nick tried to justify his choice. He opened by admitting that Marnie is not a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination. It’s strange, and Nick doesn’t love all the choices. How are we supposed to feel about Sean Connery? But it’s a compelling movie, especially the first part where we are following Marnie around without knowing anything about her. As he watches, Nick wants to know more about this woman and why she reacts to certain stimuli (i.e. the color red) the way she does. Tarantino once said that Hitch ultimately didn’t go where he wanted to go in the industry, but in Marnie he is pushing boundaries, trying to catch up to an industry that is changing around him.

Thankfully, Sergio vetoed this choice. Marnie is a fascinating movie for some people, but not for me. I think Tippi Hedren drags it down, and Sean Connery is great in a role that is especially troubling for modern viewers. 

And then . . . Nick replaced that film with Notorious. As much as he loves the movie, seeing it as an exotic film with its Argentinean setting and noting the great acting work of the three leads, he had other fish to fry in higher spots. 

I vetoed Nick’s choice with as much contempt as I could muster. Both Sergio and I agreed that Notorious had to be significantly higher on the list. This eliminated my blessings, a situation I knew I would come to regret. For his next attempt, Nick played Foreign Correspondent (1940.) This film had dropped off Sergio’s list because he felt the themes were played in other films more effectively. I, however, had put the film slightly higher on my own list. In the end, Sergio decided not to veto, and we spent some time relishing this wonderful film (much more beloved to me than the other 1940 film, Rebecca). 

Chaos reigns in Amsterdam in Foreign Correspondent

McCrae need not have had any concern of walking in Gary Cooper’s shoes (the actor had refused the role) because he is so charming that I wish Hitchcock had used him again (specifically, in place of Robert Cummings in Saboteur.) It is a most graceful and exhilarating pro-war propaganda film, and the moments where the great Albert Basserman and, in the end, McCrae seem to address the audience directly, pleading with them to help battle the Nazis, are really stirring. Plus, the additional cast is amazing, from Laraine Day to Herbert Marshall, to the marvelous trio of George Sanders, Edmund Gwenn and Robert Benchley. 

This is a film that never stops, moving from one exciting set piece and plot twist to another. Full of Hitchcock and Benchley’s humor, it is also an incredibly earnest film by the newly Americanized director. The way it highlights the importance of the Fourth Estate makes Foreign Correspondent resonate today.

We took a ten-minute break here to grab some food. No grapefruit vodka was at hand. And then we plunged into the final nine. With three choices apiece, only Nick possessed a veto, and Sergio had the override. Pressing on . . . 


Sergio selected Shadow of a Doubt (1943). Between working on the script with the great playwright Thornton Wilder and leading the production pretty much the way he wanted to for a change, this was one of Hitchcock’s personal favorites. It beautifully portrays a small town family and their reaction to the introduction of nihilistic evil in their lives. While the film doesn’t necessarily have the big set pieces we come to expect from Hitch, it is superbly put together. The cast headed by Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten does excellent work. One of Hitchcock’s favorite tropes was the idea of doubles, where hero and villain have more in common than might prove comfortable. He stresses the doubling in this and other films with excellent camera work (i.e., both Charlies lying reflectively in their beds on opposite sides of the country.)

Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright in Shadow of a Doubt

Nick likes the film, especially the depiction of small-town life. I had placed the film a few notches higher on my list, but at this point we are dealing with solid gold, and the matter of placement is not something we can be too picky about. It’s my favorite film with a female lead: watching Wright’s Young Charlie react as her emotional world begins to crumble around her is the heart of this movie. In a way, the same thing happens to her mother, heartbreakingly played by Patricia Collinge, and yet Charlie manages to shield her family from the worst. Finally, the repartee between her father, played by Henry “Clarence the Angel” Travers and his best friend, played by Hume Cronyn, is a highlight. Here are two men who have found the exact right place to put evil in their lives: in their reading! (And Agatha Christie gets a mention!)


Time for my second pick, and I selected The Birds (1964). Over the week that I worked out my strategy, (whatever “strategy” there was for my first draft), this film had been all over the middle and lower end of my list. It has so many brilliant set pieces, but it also has Tippi Hedren, who is much more a “presence” than an actress. In a way, that works here, because her character, Melanie Daniels, is all show until the guano hits the fan.  Meanwhile, the brilliance of the attacks, of Bernard Herrmann’s electronic score, of the effects, and of the magnificent performances of Jessica Tandy as the most complex of Hitchcock mother’s and Suzanne Pleshette as the most sympathetic “other” woman makes this film well worth watching. 

“The kids are out of school.” Tippi Hedren in The Birds

As he did in Psycho, Hitchcock gives us an opening that is tonally different from the rest of the film. We seem to be in the throes of a romantic comedy as socialite Melanie and lawyer Mitch Brenner “meet cute” in a San Francisco pet store. (Please ignore the ominous swarms of birds over Union Square!) Things proceed charmingly from the City up the coast to Bodega Bay when, with the swoop of an angry gull, things take a turn. Hitchcock then expertly juggles the escalating horror with a relationship drama – only this time a happy ending probably isn’t in the cards.

Nick rated the film much higher; it was his #4 – but he liked my arguments for leaving it here. Sergio and I were totally copacetic, however: The Birds was his #8, and he spoke about the film’s effectiveness as an apocalyptic thriller. Hitchcock got darker and darker in the latter part of his career, and so even though Melanie breaks through and finds a future husband in Mitch and an actually loving mother in Lydia, the chances look good that once this new family leaves their car at the end of whatever voyage they are taking, they will all be pecked to death. 

That is, if the lovebirds don’t get ‘em . . . 


Nick had been talking earlier about his love of Hitchcock’s later work, flawed though it may be. This elicited worried looks from his older co-drafters, but when he selected Frenzy, Sergio and I knew that this was the one late-Hitchcock film we could accept – even though neither of us had it on our respective lists and it meant losing a beloved early film from our lists.

Frenzy is the film Hitchcock made when the studios shut down his avant-garde drug-addiction thriller, Kaleidoscope. It is his final “wrong man” thriller, but it is also the most violent, prurient and nihilistic example. The first murder is one of the ugliest things Hitchcock ever made. Fortunately, it endows the audience with enough information that he can continue to scare us without further equally  graphic depictions of the murderer’s craft. Thus, the best moment in the film comes when Rusk (Barry Foster) accompanies Babs (Anna Massey) to her flat and says, “Babs, you’re my kind of woman.” As the camera reverse tracks down the stairs and out the front door of Bab’s flat with only the ambient sounds of the city to accompany the shot, we know exactly what is happening to poor Babs! The film is still full of Hitchcock’s humor and technical brilliance, but it’s a bitter, cold film as well. 


At this point, things got a little strange. Sergio played The Thirty-Nine Steps. It’s the first British film that had been played, and while it sealed the doom of one of the remaining classics, both Nick and I felt that Sergio, who had professed much love for the British films, should have his pick. And it is a wonderful film! It still holds up as a charming and completely successful thriller, the template for the “wrong man” saga that Hitch kept re-using. As a spy story, it has lots of great set pieces. The scene with the crofter and his wife is a great addition that has nothing to do with the rest of the film. The comedy still works ,and Madeleine Carroll is great as the quintessential Hitchcock blonde. 

And then, suddenly,  Sergio realized that his top six WEREN’T covered: he had previously vetoed a film earlier that he felt should place much higher. And so, to our surprise, Sergio pulled The 39 Steps, leaving the list free of all pre-Hollywood films. (NOTE TO CLAY: yes, this made us all feel bad, but we know it won’t happen to you when you guys do a super-draft. P.S. Sergio says it had better not!!!)

 Sergio then played that very film: North by Northwest. Nick surprised us by revealing that it was his #1. And yet, he didn’t veto it. If he had, things might have ended differently . . .

Cary Grant, post crop duster, in North by Northwest

For Nick, North by Northwest is the perfect Hitchcock suspense piece. For Sergio and me, it goes on a bit too long. (Too much time spent on Mount Rushmore!) But, oh! does it have amazing stuff in it. That cast: Cary Grant, James Mason, the perfect Hitchcock Blonde in Eva Marie Sainte, Jessie Royce Landis as Grant’s mom, Martin Landau as Mason’s lover, er, henchman, Leo G. Carroll as . . . well, as the prototype for Alexander Waverly in the original Man From U.N.C.L.E.. It’s also an incredibly sexy film: even my high school students understood what the train going through the tunnel meant!!! I used to begin my film class every year by showing the crop duster scene: what first seemed to the students like a plain old attack from the air becomes laden with meaning when they start to understand how Hitchcock used shots and angles. (The scene begins with Cary Grant standing at a crossroads . . . Get it?)

We were now at the top five and, having played for nearly five hours, tensions were high as to getting the right films on and getting them into the right order. But this is Screen Drafts, Home Edition, and like its mentor, such things are basically impossible. 


I started us out with Notorious. This is a film that gets better and better for me every time I watch it. The villainy of the Nazis is completely clear . . . so why do we feel such a bad taste in our mouth over Louis Calhern’s American Secret Service group of misogynistic a-holes, who attempt to prostitute Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) for the nation’s good and then treat her like a whore. Bergman is great, Cary Grant is magnificent as a man who has lost almost all his faith in humanity. And, of course, Claude Rains nearly steals the show as a sympathetic Nazi mama’s boy. (His mother, played by Madame Constantine, is so wonderful horrible, part Mrs. Bates, part gangster.)

Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant can’t keep their feelings undercover in Notorious

This turned out to be Sergio’s #2 film. He voiced my own experience by pointing out that as we move forward in life, the darker aspects of the story become more appealing. It’s a glossy, dark Hollywood romance, but the characters of Devlin and Alicia deepen it into something even richer.

Nick was kind enough to add, “I need to watch it again through a more humanistic lens to focus on the characters rather than the technical brilliance. As an espionage thriller, it gets to the heart of what the morally gray zone of spies is like. I had it lower, but this is the catalyst for me to watch it again.” That’s what a good draft does to ya!


Turns out we all had to make sacrifices on this day. Nick played my #1 (and really my favorite film of all time) Rear Window (1954) in this all too low slot!! Of all the “stagey” Hitchcock films, this for Nick is the most successful. The actors are fine, but the main “character” of the movie for him is the set. Despite its artificiality, it is so intriguing that  Nick wishes he could travel down that alleyway and find out what’s behind the courtyard. The only thing that detracts from this movie is all the time devoted to the “rear window” characters. “I want to spend more time with Jeff and Lisa,” said Nick, before I threw a cracker at the screen. 

Obviously, I disagree with much of what Nick said, as well as his placement, and he and Sergio were really patient with me as I waxed on and on and -considering it was now midnight in London – on about the film. I will not do so here, but I have written extensively about the film on my blog; this is an example

Stella (Thelma Ritter), Jeff (James Stewart) and Lisa (Grace Kelly) are NOT bird-watching in Rear Window

Sergio tried to soften the blow by saying he agreed with me, that he would have placed Rear Window in his top 2 or 3 (along with Notorious – how we both suffered for our drafting!) But now it was time to move on to the top three and each of our final picks.


Sergio played Strangers on a Train (1951) here, calling it a fascinating adaptation of the much weirder and darker Patricia Highsmith book. Robert Walker is fabulous in his final role (he died before seeing the film) as Bruno, the charming psychopath. He and Farley Granger are matched well here, as Granger’s Guy seems weak-willed enough to possibly follow through with Bruno’s “pact.” But then the film is about how Guy learns to grow a pair and battle Bruno to the death in a brilliant finale (stolen from Edmund Crispin’s The Moving Toyshop) on board a carousel run amok. 

Miriam’s murder captured through the lens in Strangers on a Train

Me? I love everything about this movie except Ruth Roman, but then it seems Hitchcock himself agreed with me! Roman was foisted on him by Jack Warner, and Hitchcock paid her back by treating her like hell. Meanwhile, his own daughter Patricia nearly steals the show as Roman’s man-crazy sister, who just so happens to resemble Bruno’s victim. A shout-out also to Marian Lorne, who played Bruno’s daffy mother. This was the first collaboration of many between Hitchcock and cinematographer Robert Burks, and it was a very happy union indeed. The film looks incredible, and I used it a great deal in film class to show exactly how editing should be done!


Here came my final choice, and I was still smarting from Rear Window having been played too low. And so I played Vertigo, knowing full well that Nick would burn his final veto to push that film higher. (NOTE TO CLAY: when you invite the three of us on as guest GM’s, we will arrive with no extra blessings. Just put that in your notes . . .)

That means the film I had to play – of course – was Psycho. Perhaps Hitchcock’s most daring and subversive film, Psycho created a whole new sub-genre of horror movie without even being a slasher movie itself. Hitchcock broke a slew of rules, including killing off his star halfway through the movie, (graphically – and she was naked), turning the ostensible hero into a transvestite killer, and flushing a vital clue down one of filmdom’s first toilets. He defied Paramount, who refused to okay finance or supply personnel for the project, and made the film with $800,000 of his own money with his TV crew from Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Psycho ended up grossing 32 million, the second highest earning film of 1960 (after Spartacus). Since Hitchcock paid himself with a percentage of the profits, he grew very wealthy indeed.

Marian Crane (and Janet Leigh, it seems) takes her last shower in Psycho

Sergio first saw the film dubbed in Italian and then couldn’t find an uncut home video for the longest time. He doesn’t think Robert Bloch gets enough credit: most of the good stuff is already in the book, and Joseph Stefano took a little too much credit.

Nick  calls Psycho one of the most important movies ever made, and for those who love Brian de Palma, the majority of his career wouldn’t exist without that shower scene. Nick also had an actual reason for not letting me bump Psycho to #1: in this film, Hitchcock allows surprise to share the screen with suspense which, for Nick, lessens the suspense in the end. It was an interesting point that would come up again in our discussion of our final film. 


As anyone who has stayed with me so far will guess, Nick played the only film left that could be our top film: Vertigo (1958). And by the end of our discussion, we all believed that it belonged here. I loved how Sergio put it: “Vertigo is my #1 because it is a mysterious movie rather than a mystery movie. It is a strange, dreamlike film which, on a rational level, makes little sense. (The book upon which it is based is much more of a down-to-earth whodunnit.) 

Anyone who dismisses Vertigo as a thriller or a whodunnit is missing the point. One could argue that, once Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes) leaves Scottie (James Stewart) at the sanitarium after the death of Madeline (Kim Novak) and never returns to the film, then all reality ceases. As an actor, Stewart was reticent of playing sexual obsession, but he is adept at it here. The tension caused by our realization for the final half of the film that he has been duped by his client and by Novak (as Judy) heightens the tension so much that it’s amazing to us that Hitchcock balked at revealing Judy’s secret mid-film and demanded the scene be excised from the final print. We’re lucky this time that the studio stood its ground. 

Kim Novak embodies a living dream in Vertigo

We talked at length about the dreamlike quality of the film, about its bleakness – and Hitchcock’s courage to stand by that bleak ending, foregoing a more hopeful final scene where Scottie is reunited with Midge.  Nobody should come out of what he experienced quite intact, and thankfully for all of us, Scottie is left standing on the precipice of the tower looking down – for the second time – at the dead body of the woman he loved. 

And that was our Screen Draft of Hitchcock’s top films. My amazement and respect for Clay and Ryan knows no bounds, considering how often they record material for both the regular podcast and the Patreon page and how boundless their energy always seems to be. If you love films but have never listened to Screen Drafts, I urge you to check it out wherever you find your podcasts. Meanwhile, I hope the Commissioners will forgive us for playing at home. We’re already planning our next draft – classic mystery whodunnits – but we’ll probably rest up for six months or so before we attempt it! 

And now, for the final time, I give you Sergio, Nick and Brad’s  Home Draft Mini-Mega of the Top Thirteen Films by Alfred Hitchcock

13. Dial M for Murder

12. Rope

11. The Wrong Man

10. Foreign Correspondent

9. Shadow of a Doubt

8. The Birds

7. Frenzy

6. North by Northwest

5. Notorious

4. Rear Window

3. Strangers on a Train

2. Psycho

And the Number One Hitchcock film of all time . . . 

1. Vertigo


8 thoughts on “KIDS, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! The Mini-Mega Hitchcock Draft, Home Edition

  1. Such a fun experience, Brad. So glad that I could take part in it (as cutthroat as it could be)! Any time (in this case six hours) spent discussing Hitchcock films, is time well-spent!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We were three men bound together by our love for Hitchcock; other than that, we were coming from different places. This game makes you sacrifice things to save other things!! In the end, what you come up with is truly a result of both competition and collaboration!

      Liked by 1 person

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