This week marks the standalone Blu-ray debut of Torn Curtain, one of the last of the Alfred Hitchcock films that were previously only available as part of the expensive Masterpiece Collection box set. Those films, ranging from black comedy to quiet mystery to all-out horror, show the wide range of genres that can fall into the overall (and often overused) classification of “Hitchcockian.” After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few classic and modern films that bear the earmark of Hitchcock’s profound influence.
French master Henri-Georges Clouzot based this 1955 thriller on a novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, whom Hitch himself would adapt three years later for Vertigo. (Rumor has it that Hitch had his eye on this property, and Clouzot acquired the rights mere hours before he made his intentions known.) This moody, black-and-white psychological chiller is best remembered for a terrifying bathtub murder set piece; years later, when his Psycho was released, Hitch received a letter from an angry parent who said his daughter had refused to take baths after Diabolique and now refused to take showers after Psycho. His advice? “Send her to the dry cleaners.”