Watch 25 Alfred Hitchcock Trailers, Exciting Films in Their Own Right

“Mur­der!” exclaims the first word in the trail­er above. “Mys­tery!!” the next con­tin­ues. “Treach­ery!!! Romance!!!!” Before these claims can rack up a fifth excla­ma­tion point, we learn the plight of the pro­tag­o­nist — “hound­ed by spies,” “hunt­ed by police,” and “dou­ble-crossed by the woman he loves.” The film? Alfred Hitch­cock­’s The 39 Steps, (watch free online here) his 1935 British thriller star­ring Robert Donat and Madeleine Car­roll. The film has tak­en so many crit­i­cal lau­rels since its release that the way this trail­er bal­ly­hoos it like a pot­boil­er comes as a shock. “It STARTS with a MURDER,” “and ENDS in a THRILL” — not to men­tion a cer­tain cin­e­mat­ic craft in between.

If you sim­ply let the video run, it will treat you to 24 more trail­ers in a row for var­i­ous Hitch­cock fea­tures, from 1940’s For­eign Cor­re­spon­dent, “the thrill spec­ta­cle of the year,” to 1946’s Noto­ri­ous, “dar­ing­ly direct­ed by that mas­ter of sus­pense,” to 1976’s Fam­i­ly Plot, by which point breath­less onscreen text had gone out of style, replaced by sil­ly gags.  These come cour­tesy of, which main­tains an Alfred Hitch­cock Trail­er Col­lec­tion. Their rep­e­ti­tious promis­es of thrills, sus­pense, mys­tery, and intrigue of all stripes reminds us that, for all his pure film­mak­ing skill, Hitch­cock also act­ed simul­ta­ne­ous­ly as his own best sales­man: or rather, his pic­tures, pre­sent­ed in these tan­ta­liz­ing con­densed forms, sell them­selves. Can we assume that, like every­thing else about a Hitch­cock movie, this did­n’t hap­pen by chance?

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rules for Watch­ing Psy­cho (1960)

Hitchcock’s Sev­en-Minute Edit­ing Mas­ter Class

37 Hitch­cock Cameos over 50 Years: All in One Video

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on lit­er­a­ture, film, cities, Asia, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.