10 Classic Thrillers Streaming On Prime Video This Month

Horror

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Did anyone else notice that Prime Video has added a ton of thrillers from the 1940s -1960s this month? Because I sure did! Obviously, that includes the usual Alfred Hitchcock standards like, The BirdsPsycho (1960)Rear Window, Ropeand VertigoHowever, what’s even more interesting is the collection of noir, crime, and mysteries from other filmmakers of that bygone era. Because I’m a film nerd excited to finally cross some of these titles off my list or revisit them now that I’m a little older, I had to mark this occasion with a list. Here are 10 classic thrillers you can watch on the streamer this May!

Anatomy Of A Murder (1959)

Secrets and lies bubble to the surface during a murder trial in this thriller. This movie sees James Stewart play a lawyer defending an Army Lieutenant who murdered an innkeeper. Ben Gazzara, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, Orson Bean, and George C. Scott round out the cast in this gripping courtroom drama. For people who want more time in this world, it’s based on the 1957 Robert Traver’s novel of the same name.

The Big Heat (1953)

A detective suspects there’s more to the story of an officer’s suicide and finds himself untangling a web of corruption in this 1950s noir film. One thing that gets me jazzed to revisit classic thrillers is the gritty trinity of police corruption, mistress who knows too much, and organized crime. The last time I thought about this movie, video stores were still thriving. So, I’m excited to see if this is as cool as I remember it. 

Breathless (1960)

An aspiring crook kills a policeman and hides out in his girlfriend’s apartment. As she pieces together what’s going she begins to wonder if running off with her lover is really the best decision. Jean-Luc Godard’s French new-wave crime film is all about tension and drama. I love a messy couple with the threat of the ultimate betrayal hanging over them. I might make this a brunch movie this month and hold a watch party because this gem is a cinematic event. 

In A Lonely Place (1950)

Two neighbors become romantically linked right as one of them becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a girl he met. Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame star in this twisty noir that proves you never really know anyone. This title goes out to all of those with trust issues who like to check in on characters that could stand to be a bit more cynical. This woman could never be us, and I accept this win on our behalf. 

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)

A small-town doctor finds himself in the middle of an alien invasion. I have loved every version, adaptation, and blatant knockoff of this story. So, when I watched this version a few years ago, I was happy to see that it still holds up. There’s something about the inherent creepiness of aliens who can wear the faces of the people you trust the most. This sci-fi thriller is a gem, and I can’t wait to revisit it while it’s on Prime Video.

Isle Of The Dead (1945)

A General visiting the Greecian island where his wife is buried gets stuck when a plague breaks out, and a quarantine is set in place. If you’re not familiar with this classic mystery, look forward to discovering how this all leads to accusations of vampirism. Boris Karloff leads this tale of terror as a special treat for classic horror fans. I hate the idea of being trapped. Adding layers of paranoia and potential monster danger to the recipe makes this title stand out above the rest for me. 

Knock On Any Door (1949)

A lawyer defends a young kid from the neighborhood he grew up in, who is accused of killing a cop. I love that we have another Humphrey Bogart sighting on this list and that it’s a courtroom noir. While I’m sure the conversation about class and privilege is probably shaky at best, I’m buckling my seatbelt and getting on this ride. I look forward to reporting my findings in what I imagine will be a helluva ride.

On The Waterfront (1954)

A fallen boxer teams up with other people fed up with the violence and corruption in their New Jersey city. This award-winning Elia Kazan thriller stars Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, and Rod Steiger. In addition to earning 8 Oscars, it was also deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and put onto the National Film Registry preservation list. So, it’s an important stepping stone in crime thriller history, if nothing else.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

A family’s vacation takes a dark turn when they witness a murder that is part of an assassination plot. This is the only Alfred Hitchcock cheat on this list. While I wish I could say I made this allowance because the cast includes James Stewart and Doris Day, it’s because it’s one of my more embarrassing movie gaps. As a kid in the 90s, I’ve seen many riffs on this story but have never seen the film. I plan to take advantage of it streaming on Prime Video this month and finally cross it off my neverending list of movies I should’ve seen already.

The Night of The Hunter (1955)

This movie follows a reverend who is also a serial killer targeting women he’s attracted to. While serving time in prison, he learns another murderer has hidden $10,000 in stolen money and makes a beeline for the widow to find this stash. This Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters is based on a novel of the same name written by Davis Grubb. This Charles Laughton-directed adaptation is often cited as an influence for directors like Robert Altman, Spike Lee, and the Coen Brothers. So, this thriller landing on Prime Video makes my inner-film nerd so damn happy.

Are you also planning to put all of these classic thrillers into your eyeballs while they are streaming on Prime Video? Then find me at @misssharai.

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