WARNING! SPOILERS ABOUND IN THESE CAPSULE SUMMARIES!! WHATEVER YOU DO, IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THESE HITCHCOCK FILMS, THEN DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER (By all means, go to the attic OR the basement, take a shower OR a ride on a carousel, wait in a corn-field OR the schoolyard, visit Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Bates Motel, OR the beach on the French Riviera, or for that matter, just sit in your room and watch your neighbors, but for the love of an omnipotent uncaring God...) I REPEAT, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!!!
(Thank you and have a nice day)
Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window" (1954) A continuation of the filmmaker's obsession with making films in an enclosed space (like "Lifeboat," "Rope," and that same year's "Dial 'M' for Murder"), "Rear Window" takes place on a single set--but what a set it is. A complete New York brownstone with courtyard that allows the laid-up L.B. Jeffries, a confirmed bachelor and thrill-seeking photographer, to spice up his boring recuperation **** with some not-so-innocent spying on his neighbors. It's a hot summer week, and he's also sweating and feeling helpless because his gorgeous fashion-designer girlfriend finally has him trapped in his apartment, so she can press the subject of marriage. It's a brilliant stroke of the screenplay that all those windows open up on various stages of love stories, from a honeymooning couple to a dancer warding off unwanted advances to the childless couple throwing all their attention to their dog to the composer trying to write a love song, to "Miss Lonelyhearts" unlucky in love and life. Then there's the Thorwalds upstairs--she's an invalid, and he's a brusque angry man at the end of his rope. Then when Mrs. Thorwald goes missing one day and Stewart's character begins to suspect the worst. The police are skeptical so, soon, it's not enough to spy on Thorwald, you have to gather evidence, too. And that's when things get interesting.
It's a perfect screenplay (by John Michael Hayes), especially for Hitchcock--everything clicks and resonates with the characters, and our identification with them is complete: we're just as much voyeurs as Jeffries is...and just as helpless when bad things happen to good people (Hitchcock always liked to tell the story of Mrs. Joseph Cotton at the premiere grabbing her husband during a particularly scary scene and telling him "DO something! DO something!"). Stewart and Kelly are marvelous (as is Raymond Burr's scary but oddly sympathetic knife salesman), and Thelma Ritter, who has all but been forgotten, shows again why she was the perfect sounding board/comic relief/greek chorus of films. All the themes and techniques that Hitchcock has been experimenting with over the last couple of decades comes together in this story. With all the single-set experience already under his considerable belt, Hitchcock's direction is seamless and full of clever touches that always maximize the situation and is never restricted by it. And the entire movie seems to adhere to the Look/See/React strategy of movie-making that Hitchcock excels at. Despite the one location and a protagonist (you can't really call him a "hero") who is restricted in his movements, it is the perfect Hitchcock film...and one of the most thrilling.
Hitchcock can be seen winding the clock in the composer's room at 30 minutes into the film. That composer, by the way, is Ross Bagdasarian, who, as David Seville, would create hits with "Alvin and the Chipmunks."
Alfred Hitchcock's "I Confess" (1953) It's probably the best idea for a suspense gimmick that a Catholic boy could come up with: a priest hears confession about a murder, but when suspicion for the crime falls on him, he cannot break the Seal of Confession and reveal the truth, even though it may cost him his life. A good idea, based soundly on priestly vows, but audiences didn't buy it. If he was going to his death, why doesn't he just SAY something? What good will his vows do him if he's dead? And the murderer will go free to kill others! They didn't buy it back in '53, and given the recent clergy scandals, it especially rings hollow now. I'm a recovering Catholic, so I understood the theory, but what I never bought was Father Logan's sudden conversion to the priest-hood, and old flame Anne Baxter's stalker behavior towards him. Baxter's always been a "moony-goony" kind of actress, but her situation here is frustrating...especially considering the object of her affection is Montgomery Clift. I mean, c'mon, lady, get a clue!
I mock, but Clift is great in this movie. Enigmatic and haunted, he makes you think his Father Logan would make a great martyr, and that lends some credence to the concept. And Hitchcock's direction is never less than assured and squeezes the last bit of suspense out of every situation, though I'm sure dealing with Clift's uber-method might have been frustrating for him.*****
Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" (1951) The best film Hitchcock made that people are unfamiliar with. First off, it's an adapatation of a Patricia Highsmith novel (she of the "Ripley" series) and her dark take on life and people's motivations must have appealed to Hitchcock a great deal. Raymond Chandler is credited with the screenplay, but he didn't do much of it, per Hitchcock. Two men "meet cute" on a train and through an extended conversation it is assumed that the two are going to switch murders--remove an obstacle in the other's life. "Criss-Cross," says the sociopathic Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker, revealing a savage wit previously unseen in his previous work--sadly, he died after making this movie--his son RW, jr., who is the spittin' image of him, played "Charlie X" on the original "Star Trek"), who murders the trampy wife who won't grant tennis player Guy Haines a divorce, and then sets out to stalk him to make sure he doesn't renege on the "bargain. The Antony character is so strong that only a slightly hysterical climax can be enough to snap the tension he creates and Hitchcock provides a spectacular one. Mention should be made of the wonderful Marion Lorne (she played dotty "Aunt Clara" on "Bewitched") as Bruno's mother ("She's as crazy as her son," said Hitchcock ) and also Kasey Rogers who played the targeted wife and also ended up on "Bewitched" playing Larry Tate's wife. She is far better than the studio-insisted Ruth Roman, who belongs to the "Loretta Young School of Acting" all eyebrow-arching and reflecting tension by using her REM skills. Then, in her first of many appearances in her dad's work, Patricia Hitchcock, who's terrific playing the cheerily morbid little sister--not unlike the daughter that appeared in "Shadow of a Doubt."
Hitchcock can be seen 9 minutes into the film, getting on the train as “Guy Haines” exits. In another of his musical cameos, he’s carrying a double bass fiddle.
Alfred Hitchcock's "Stage Fright"(1950) One would think this movie was a slam-dunk for Hitchcock. He had just come off the disappointing “Under Capricorn” and dove back into the suspense/mystery genre with a setting of back-stage intrigue. ****** But one can see why he was interested. The movie starts with Richard Todd running from the British police, and saved by wanna-be actress Jane Wyman. Todd tells her of a murder plot, and how he’s trying to protect the woman he suspects of being the killer (Marlene Dietrich). To help her friend discover the truth Wyman goes undercover, using her actress skills to secure a job as a maid to Dietrich. And as they say, the plot thickens.
"Congeals" might be a better word. Hitchcock got a lot of flack for this movie for using one character’s recollection of events as a smokescreen—in other words, an unreliable narrator. But Hitchcock had his own problems with the film, the first being Jane Wyman. Wyman became disinterested in keeping her maid disguise consistent when she saw how unglamorous she looked, next to Dietrich. So she took it upon herself to change her wardrobe and appearance, quite destroying any credibility she had in the film. Hitchcock also felt the film broke as he put it: “the cardinal rule. The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture, and in this picture the villain was a flop!” 
Hitchcock can be seen 38 minutes into the film looking at a passing Jane Wyman—no doubt wondering if that really is the dress he asked for in wardrobe.
Alfred Hitchcock's “Under Capricorn” (1949) The movie that inspired the line “Ingrid, it’s only a movie!” “Under Capricorn” was an uncharacteristic film for Hitchcock (after this, he'd never again make another "period" picture), but he secured the rights to entice Ingrid Bergman—then Hollywood’s hottest star—to headline it. It’s an overheated story of love triangles and betrayal ala “Wuthering Heights," although set among the penal colonies of Australia. Joseph Cotten (a lifelong Hitchcock friend and star of "Shadow of a Doubt"--we'll get there!) is a former convict, now wealthy, and married to alcoholic Ingrid Bergman. Her cousin, the governor's nephew, comes to visit from England, and finds things very strange. The housekeeper, for instance, is in love with her master, and is psychologically torturing her weak mistress, shades of "Rebecca." It's the oddest blend of psycho-drama and bodice-ripping romance, and The Hollywood Reporter groused you "had to wait a hundred and five minutes for the first thrill of the picture." 
Things were thrilling on the set, however. Hitch decided he wanted to do a lot of those long-take scenes he'd tried with "Rope," which threw Bergman into tizzies (She told Truffaut she had "harrowing memories of the way large pieces of the decor would vanish into thin air" in some shots.) It would be Hitchcock's last film with Bergman, and the last period picture he ever attempted. "Besides," he reminisced, "there wasn't enough humor in the film. If I were to make another picture in Australia today, I'd have a policeman hop into the pocket of a kangaroo and yell, "Follow that car!" 
** Alfred and Alma did not attend wedding to Prince Rainier though they were invited.