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Classic Mystery and Suspense Movies: 5 Movies That Shaped the Genre

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 08:34 AM

When it comes to classic mystery and suspense movies, there are two categories: the ones directed by Alfred Hitchcock and the rest. Although there were many great suspense and mystery movies made before 1970, a good many of them were made by the English director, including "Rear Window," "Dial M for Murder," "Strangers on a Train," among others. His films, and certain others in the genre, set the gold standard for the films that would follow.

Here is a look at some of the best classic mystery and suspense movies ever made:

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1. "The Thin Man" (1934)

One of the first movies to spawn sequels in the era of talking motion pictures, "The Thin Man" followed the exploits of high-society couple Nick and Nora Charles, who solved mysteries on the side. "The Thin Man" movies were among the first to mix mysteries with romance and even a touch of comedy at the same time, so much so that MovieFone called the series "frothy exercises in style and light comedy."


2. "The Maltese Falcon" (1941)

One of Humphrey Bogart's most memorable roles is that of detective Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon," based on Dashiell Hammett's mystery novel of the same name. The film is "regarded as a landmark in the film-noir movement" of films that would follow, noted Good Movies List. This film, along with "Casablanca," sealed Bogart's standing as one of the premiere leading men of the 1940s.

3. "The Third Man" (1949)

A movie that was set, at the time it came out, during the current era of post-World War II Europe, "The Third Man" is another film noir thriller involving murder and international intrigue. "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotton, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard and featured twists and turns that had never been seen on film before.

4. "Vertigo" (1958)

The second collaboration between Hitchcock and actor Jimmy Stewart, "Vertigo" used the lead character's affliction almost as another character in the film. This psychological thriller also starred Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Henry Jones. Hitchcock's use of the dolly zoom in this movie created the stunning visual effects that made the audience feel the same disorientation as the lead character, eventually known as the "Vertigo effect." "Vertigo" ranked as the No. 1 mystery movie of all time, noted the American Film Institute.

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5. "Psycho" (1960)

Another top-rated Hitchcock film, "Psycho" set the standard for all of the horror thriller movies that would follow, such as "Rosemary's Baby," "The Exorcist," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and "The Silence of the Lambs." The story of Norman Bates and his "mother," based on the real-life story of Ed Gein, contained scenes that had never been seen on film before, including the famous shower scene.

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When it comes to classic mystery and suspense movies, there are two categories: the ones directed by Alfred Hitchcock and the rest. Although there were many great suspense and mystery movies made before 1970, a good many of them were made by the English director.
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2015-34-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 08:34 AM
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