History of Thrillers (film)

Timeline created by abirose
In Film
  • The Lodger

    The Lodger
    Alfred Hitchcock was the first to introduce the thriller style with his silent film 'The Lodger', which followed the tale of Jack the Ripper.
  • Spies

    Spies
    Fritz Lang released his first independant production 'Spies', one of the earliest spy films. It influenced the future James Bond series
  • M

    M
    Fritz Lang directed the German film 'M', a film based on the story of Peter Kurten, a German serial killer.
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much

    The Man Who Knew Too Much
    Hitchcock had established a very popular style of film and continued to produce similar works. His early suspense-thrillers consisted of 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', 'The 39 Steps' and 'The Lady Vanishes'.
  • Rebecca

    Rebecca
    Hitchcock continued to produce his popular suspense-thrillers, releasing 'Rebecca' - a story about an unusual romance (between a young woman and an emotinal and rich widow) overshadowed by a spiteful housekeeper - and 'Foreign Correspondent' both in the same year.
  • Shadow of a Doubt

    Shadow of a Doubt
    Hitchcock's personal favourite of all his work, this film followed the story of a 1920's serial killer known as 'The Merry Widow Murderer'.
  • Gaslight

    Gaslight
    Directed by George Cukor, 'Gaslight' was the first psychological thriller to be produced. The story followed that of a man plotting to make his wife go insane so that he could acquire her inheritance.
  • The Spiral Staircase

    The Spiral Staircase
    Robert Siodmak directed this psychological thriller about a mute servant terrorized by a serial killer with the constant thought that she would be the next victim.
  • 13 Rue Madeleine

    13 Rue Madeleine
    A war/spy documentary style production, '13 Rue Madeleine' tells the story of an O.S.S agent sent to France in order to uncover a german missile silo.
  • Strangers on a Train

    Strangers on a Train
    Another psychological thriller film by Hitchcock, 'Strangers on a Train' is about two men - Bruno and tennis-pro Guy - who staged a battle of wits and traded murders with each other. This film was also one of the first that Hitchcock introduced technicolour to.
  • 5 Fingers

    5 Fingers
    '5 Fingers' is another spy thriller - The main character is an undercover agent working for the British embassy in Turkey during World War 2, selling secrets to the Nazis. The film was based upon the novel Operation Cicero by real-life "Cicero" L.C. Moyzisch.
  • Kiss Me Deadly

    Kiss Me Deadly
    Produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, this violent and fast-paced film was about a detective encountering a nuclear apocolypse
  • Touch of Evil

    Touch of Evil
    Written and directed by Orson Welles, 'Touch of Evil' is loosely based on the novel 'Badge of Evil' by Whit Masterson. It is also one of the last examples of film noir in the genre's classic era.
  • Peeping Tom

    Peeping Tom
    This British psychological thriller revolved around a serial killer who murders women and records their dying expressions on a portable camera. The concept was highly controversial at the time of publication and the harsh reception essentially ruined the director's (Michael Powell) career. Despite this, it attracted a lot of attention and sparked off the production of many other films to follow a similar style. In later years, it was re-evaluated and is now considered a masterpiece.
  • Wait Until Dark

    Wait Until Dark
    Terace Young's suspense-thriller 'Wait Until Dark' is about a victimized blind woman in her apartment, which is raided by violent criminals hunting for drugs.The film was ranked at #55 on AFI's 2001 '100 Years…100 Thrills' list and it's climax is listed at tenth on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
  • Frenzy

    Frenzy
    'Frenzy' brought a violent start to the thriller genre in the 1970's. Another production by Hitchcock, the film recieved an R rating due to its explicit strangualtion scene. The film is based upon the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Arthur La Bern, who later expressed his dissatisfaction with the film adaption.
  • Blow Out

    Blow Out
    Brian De Palma's film 'Blow Out', starring John Travolta, is about a sound technician who accidently records audio evidence of a murder taking place. Brian De Palma's tense thriller films are very similar to those produced by Hitchcock, with themes of guilt, voyeurism, paranoia and obsession. Similar plot elements include killing off a main character early on, switching points of view, and dream-like sequences
  • Dead Calm

    Dead Calm
    Directed by Phillip Noyce, this psychological thriller had elements of obsession and trapped protagonists who must find a way to escape the clutches of the villain - these devices influenced a number of thrillers in the following years, the early 90's.
  • The Silence of the Lambs

    The Silence of the Lambs
    Directed by Jonathan Demme, 'The Silence of the Lambs' is an American thriller that combines elements of horror and crime. Based on Thomas Harris's novel, the film follows the story of a cannibalistic psychiatrist. It was a sleeper hit that gradually gained widespread success, and has since recognized the film as a "horror masterpiece",