But the thing is that even within the thriller genre, there’s versatility. His 30s films are lightning fast, bare bones plot with whimsical dialogue throughout. When he came to America in the 40s, his thrillers became more lush and romantic (Notorious, Rebecca, Suspicion, even Spellbound). Then in the 50s, he lays on the psychology in films like The Wrong Man, Vertigo, Strangers on a Train. The Black and White is even starker than the beautiful lighting of his 40s romantic thrillers.
Outside of the genre, you could mention Rebecca, which doesn’t really have thriller elements (and more of a potboiler courtroom sort) until the last 3rd or so. I’d also add 2 underrated films: Richa nad Strange is a very surreal comedy shot in multiple locations that has some fairly edgy humor for 1932. Under Capricorn is a strong period piece with some psychology, but a great deal of history as well.
And yes, films like Trouble with Harry, North by Northwest and Lady Vanishes are howlingly funny (in the right ways) films.
I also have to give a nod to Frenzy for its comedic elements. The sub-plot with the detective and his cuisine-obsessed wife is hilarious. Also, the sequence where Rusk tries to get his pin back from a corpse is maybe Hitch’s greatest blending of suspense and black comedy.
" with utterly ridiculous and laughable sequences, but that’s the point! De Palma was onto Hitchcock’s smirking nature long before many others."
Yeah, but De Palma’s films push that tendency towards complete parody. It’s often laughable. When i’m laughing at Hitchcock, i’m laughing because quite often the humour is more sly and prickly and at times even subtle.
I think the drunk driving sequence in North by Northwest is incredibly clumsy and the same can be said for the cut brake sequence in Family Plot and those are two of my favorite films of his
And who could forget the hilarious ending to North by Northwest? The train speeding into the tunnel has to be right up at the top of the list for endings imbued with sexual innuendo. Probably only Dirk Diggler taking his dick out at the end of Boogie Nights could be more blatant.
“De Palma’s films push that tendency towards complete parody.” Like in Body Double when the main character is tailing the woman at the mall, and he’s basically standing a foot behind her the entire time? I know, I know, but that’s why I’ve grown to love De Palma. Believe me, he’s no Hitchcock, but he does know how to take seemingly mediocre material and turn it into something more (even if it does border on parody at times).