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Is This Alfred Hitchcock's Worst Film Of All Time?

Known for masterpieces such as "Psycho," "Rear Window," and "Vertigo," there is a reason director Alfred Hitchcock became known as the Master of Suspense. His greatest work not only had a precise understanding of editing and film grammar, but his films were also packed with hidden meaning while remaining extremely entertaining. Roger Ebert wrote once that "Hitchcock was a classical technician in controlling his visuals, and his use of screen space underlined the tension in ways the audience is not always aware of." Sexuality, violence, and voyeurism bubbled beneath the surface of his movies, drawing in viewers who weren't even sure why they were so enthralled.

That type of skill makes sense for a man who worked in the industry for more than five decades (via Biography). However, the great director also made some mediocre and even poor films. His early movies, often comedies or adaptations of plays, especially still feel like Hitchcock is discovering his artistic identity.

But there's one movie that both IMDB viewers and critics agree may be the worst of a long and illustrious career.

Juno and the Paycock is Hitchcock's worst movie according to IMDB

According to IMDB, by far Alfred Hitchcock's worst film is the 1930 British tragicomedy "Juno and the Paycock," currently rated 4.8 out of 10 on the site.

An adaptation of the play by famed Irish writer Sean O'Casey (via New York State Writer's Institute), the movie focuses on the poor Irish family of the Boyles, led by Juno (Sara Allgood) and the vain and alcoholic Captain Jack Boyle (Edward Chapman). When the family appears set to receive an inheritance, however, the elated Captain borrows against it to spruce up the apartment. Unfortunately, things may have been too good to be true for the Boyles, and the film ends in tragedy. 

Hitchcock was faithful to the play but perhaps to a fault. Ultimately "Juno and the Paycock" received a 27 percent "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with several critics on the page suggesting Hitchcock forgot to make an actual movie by staging the story so accurately. Certainly Jonathan Rosenbaum's description of "Juno" as "canned theater" would be like nothing the director touched for the rest of his career.