Best Alfred Hitchcock Plot Twists, Ranked

Alfred Hitchcock is hands down one of the most legendary directors to live. He is even considered to be one of the foundations of the cinema along with directors like Jean-Luc Godard and Akira Kurosawa. Hitchock actually laid the fundamentals of a number of filmmaking techniques that are still used today.

Hitchcock has directed films of many genres, but he is best known for his work in the thriller genre. Here are some of the best plot twists from his films that truly make him the “Master of Suspense.”

1. The Killer Was Norman Bates – Psycho

After the midpoint shower murder in the film, the audience was led to believe that Norman Bates’ unseen mother was the one behind all the murders at the Bates Motel. And we thought that Norman was just covering up in order to protect her from being arrested. When Sam Loomis and Lila Crane, started investigating around, the truth which came out was far more disturbing than we could have imagined.

Norman was committing these murders dressed as his mother, as he merged her personality with his own. He did all this to cope with the guilt of killing her out of Oedipal jealousy.  This twist was shown with the jaw-dropping reveal of her corpse in the basement. This scene is still regarded as one of the most terrifying scenes in horror cinema.


2. Lars Thorwald Murdered His Wife!!! – Rear Window

In Rear Window, the twist was more of an anti-twist. Jeff is an adventurous photographer who is now in a wheelchair back at his apartment till his injury heals. In order to pass the time, he starts spying on his neighbors. He soon starts suspecting that his neighbor Lars Thorwald has killed his wife.

Throughout the entire film, it builds the suspense as if Jess is just bored and maybe overthinking, but he was right! Thorwald soon realizes that Jeff is onto him and he comes over to his apartment to attack him.


3. An Impersonator Played Madeleine – Vertigo

Vertigo is regarded as one of the finest of Hitchcock’s psychological thrillers. Scottie (played by James Stewart) is an ex-cop who undertakes a private gig following his friend’s suspicious wife aka Madeleine (played by Kim Novak). Scottie ends up falling in love with her during his investigation, but there is a midpoint twist where Madeleine jumps off a rooftop.

But then, Scottie is shocked when he sees Madeleine walking around the town.  It was revealed that the suicide was a fake part of the murder plot and Madeleine was a caricature played by an impersonator named Judy all this time.


4. The Serial Killer Is Uncle Charlie – Shadow of A Doubt

Hitchcock revealed in an interview that Shadow of a Doubt is his favorite of all his movies. The film starts with a sweet premise; a young woman is looking forward to seeing her uncle as he visits her. But things take a deadly turn when Uncle Charlie arrives and it turns out that he is a serial killer.

His niece has to prevent him from carrying on his killing spree. It has some remarkable performances that stay with you for your life.


5. The Confrontation – Suspicion

Throughout the film, Lina fears that her husband is plotting to kill her so he can collect her life insurance policy. When she wants to go to her mom’s house, her husband wants to drive her up there. He revs up to reckless speed on a road along the edge of a cliff.

As Johnny understands that Lina is scared of him, he stops the car and explains that he was going to take his own life after he dropped her off. He later decides to drop this plan and decides to face his responsibilities.

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