Even for someone as petty as Welles seemingly was, this revelation might still be a bit shocking. After all, Hitchcock is widely considered to be one of the best directors of the entire medium, so what could have possibly caused these comments? Simply put, he thought that Hitchcock was a bad and overrated filmmaker. In his taped conversation, he criticized the way the master of suspense’s movies were lit, as well as made direct insults to him.
“Egotism and laziness,” he elaborated. “And they’re all lit like television shows.”
Throughout the conversation, Welles directly references two of Hitchcock’s movies. One of these was “Rear Window,” the director’s 1954 mystery that is considered to be one of the best thrillers of all time. Of course, the “Citizen Kane” director felt otherwise.
“I saw one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen the other night [referring to “Rear Window”]. Complete insensitivity to what a story about voyeurism could be. I’ll tell you what is astonishing. To discover that Jimmy Stewart can be a bad actor. Even Grace Kelly is better than Jimmy, who’s overacting.”
However, it is Welles’ takedown of his second least-favorite Hitchcock movie that might be even more devastating. Not only is it even more well-regarded than “Rear Window,” but you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone that isn’t Welles that doesn’t like this one.
“‘Vertigo,'” he remarked. “That’s worse.”