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Film fans vote on Hitchcock’s most iconic moments

1st May 2012 Print

Alfred Hitchcock’s terrifying shower scene in Psycho has been voted the most iconic film moment – according to a poll of film fans. In a scene that spawned a thousand spoofs, the moment that Norman Bates appears in the bathroom while young Marion is having a shower took an impressive fifty five per cent of the votes.
Sunday marks 32 years since the death of the renowned director, whose career spanned more than half a century and spawned an unmistakable directorial style. To celebrate Hitchcock’s work, LOVEFiLM – Europe’s largest subscription service instantly streaming films and TV series over the internet and sending DVDs and games by post – asked over 900 people to vote for Hitchcock’s Most Iconic Moment.

Despite having more than 60 titles to his name, it was the director’s frightening plane chase scene in North by Northwest which motored into second place. Taking fifteen per cent of the vote, the moment where Cary Grant’s advertising executive finds himself in the precarious position of being mistaken for a spy couldn’t fail to thrill us.
In third place is the key opening scene from Rear Window – which sets up the voyeuristic feel to the whole film – with eight per cent of the votes.

Taking fourth place is scene from Hitchcock’s first American production, Rebecca, which cemented his fame internationally and won him his first and only Best Picture Oscar. The film’s most horrifying scene, where Mrs. Danvers plots to get rid of Mrs de Winter by encouraging her to jump to her death from an open window, stole six per cent of the vote and chilled viewers to the core.
This was closely followed by the unsettling green-hued scene from Vertigo in fifth place with five per cent, where Scottie has forced his new lover to change herself into an incarnation of a dead lover named Madeline.

The riveting carousel scene from Strangers on a Train careered into sixth place with four percent of the vote.

Three percent of voters were thrilled by a scene from the second spy flick in the list, The 39 Steps. A Canadian rancher becomes embroiled in an espionage conspiracy and opens the door to find a female spy with a map in her hand, a knife in her back, and murmuring something about the 39 steps…
The tense struggle scene between a wife and her lover from adulterous thriller Dial M for Murder, also packed a punch with film fans, pulling in two percent of the vote to take eighth place. We’ll never look at a pair of scissors in quite the same way again.
Floating into ninth place with one per cent of the vote is the Dali-esque dream scene from Spellbound, while the list was completed with the alarming cliff top fall from espionage thriller Secret Agent taking less than one per cent of the votes and tenth place.
The top ten most iconic Hitchcock moments are:
1. Psycho (1960) – Janet Leigh in the shower 55%
2. North by Northwest (1959) – Cary Grant chased by a plane 15%
3. Rear Window (1954) – First scene: Jimmy Stewart, just watching 8%
4. Rebecca (1940) – Mrs Danvers, Mrs de Winter, and the window 6%
5. Vertigo (1958) – Judy horrifies Scottie by mimicking Madeleine 5%
6. Strangers on a Train (1951) – Carousel scene 4%
7. The 39 Steps (1935) – Female spy at the door 3%
8. Dial M for Murder (1954) – The lovers’ violent struggle 2%
9. Spellbound (1945) – Dream sequence 1%
10. Secret Agent (1928) – Fall from a cliff-top 0.5%
Other – 0.5%

Helen Cowley, Editor of LOVEFiLM, commented: “With a career spanning more than half a century, Alfred Hitchcock is undoubtedly one of the fathers of film and his influence is still felt more than 30 years after his death. There are many iconic scenes from his vast array of films, but we wanted to find out which ones have stuck in the minds of viewers. Whether it’s the notorious shower scene from Psycho, or the beautifully crafted dream sequence from Spellbound, there is something unforgettable for everyone.
“Film fans can enjoy Hitchcock’s meticulously-crafted work on LOVEFiLM’s huge catalogue of films available on DVD, Blu-ray or to stream instantly via LOVEFiLM Instant for as little as £4.99 per month.”