Warner Archive has recently upgraded three Alfred Hitchcock films to Blu-ray, retaining the extras from their previous DVD releases. One film was a hit while two weren’t. In his book-length interview with Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock tended to define his “good” and “successful” films in box-office terms, dismissing the others as failures and mistakes because they didn’t do well. It’s a modest and hardly “artistic” stance, while Truffaut tended to be one of those critics, to paraphrase Raymond Durgnat’s own Hitchcock book, who divide the master’s work into the major and minor masterpieces.
The hit was 1941’s Suspicion, which feels calculated to remind audiences of the director’s Oscar-winning Rebecca (1940). The same actress, Joan Fontaine (winning her own Oscar this time), plays a woman who makes a hasty marriage when she falls for a charming stranger and spends the rest of the movie in an agony of second-guessing as she fears he really hates her.