Guillermo del Toro doesn’t hold back about his love for his favorite movies. If you’ve spent any time on his Twitter feed over the years, you’ve likely seen him praise Stanley Donen’s use of the color red throughout the late director’s body of work, and hail everything from William Wellman’s 1931 film “Other Men’s Women” to David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future” from 2022. The man has wide-ranging taste, and a deep awareness of cinematic history that’s informed his own films.

Now he follows Turner Classic Movies advisors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Paul Thomas Anderson in giving his own picks from TCM‘s lineup, all titles that will be airing in October. Watch the video, exclusive to IndieWire, above.

First up, he picks one of the most sorely underrated titles from Alfred Hitchcock’s filmography, 1941’s “Suspicion,” airing on TCM at 2:00am on October 13.

“‘Suspicion’ is one of my favorite Hitchcock films,” del Toro said. “Along with ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ and ‘Strangers on a Train’ it forms a trilogy of shadow — which informs the darker aspects of the human mind. One of the main resources of suspense is ‘not knowing.’ And the other one, by the way, is hope. They go hand-in-hand. And not knowing is the moral of this tale. Joan Fontaine and by extension us, we spend the entire picture trying to figure out if Cary Grant is the man we hope he would be or we fear him to be. That makes him perfectly cast: No one wants to believe anything bad about Cary Grant. But it also shows you the darker, more strange aspects of Joan Fontaine’s character.”

He continued, “At the end, which was reshot by Hitchcock, there is an ambiguity that’s preserved. And I won’t spoil it but I will say that he uses a resource, which is shooting Cary Grant from behind, showing only the back of his head, which he will reuse in his introduction in ‘Notorious.’ And there is a final gesture with the arm that can either be protective … or capturing. You decide!”

That’s an incredible pick, because some have unfairly maligned “Suspicion” over the years because of that very ending. Bur a closer look at the film shows that it’s Hitchcock’s most profound exploration of subjectivity to that point, the story largely built around shots of Fontaine’s face followed by POV shots of what she sees as she tries (and fails?) to piece together the truth of her reality. Ambiguity is the point. “Suspicion” is an absolutely crucial stop on the road to “Rear Window” and “Vertigo” and all the more interesting for having its subjectivity centered on a woman.

It’s October, so a spooky vibe runs through del Toro’s picks. Next up, he chose Tod Browning’s “Freaks” (airing on TCM on October 19 at 4:00pm ET), which he calls “a singularity in the history of film. No one could have made it but Tod Browning, who was at one point himself a carny, and who is full of pity and full of cruelty in that carny heart, who is attracted and repulsed by the depravity of the human soul and who has this prurient, sweaty, pulp-ish attraction to images and an enormous love and compassion for the grotesque. He abhors normality because he knows it masks cruelty and superiority and arrogance.”

Then, because you can never get enough Joan Fontaine, del Toro chose the 1943 Robert Stevenson adaptation of “Jane Eyre” (October 6 at 10:00pm ET) starring Fontaine as the title character and Orson Welles as Mr. Rochester. He calls it “the perfect adaptation of a classic” and notes how its Gothic story influences so many others that follow, including horror titles such as “I Walked with a Zombie,” even if “Jane Eyre” itself is not entirely horror.

So it makes sense then that del Toro would also pick “I Walked with a Zombie” (October 10 at 4:15pm ET), the moody, death-obsessed story of voodoo from producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur. “[Lewton’s] collaborations with Tourneur exist now as paradigms of how beautiful, classy, deep, poetic, and powerful a movie can be made even under the restraints of a tight budget.”

And finally, to wrap things up, del Toro picked Mario Bava’s “Black Sabbath” (October 16 at 12:15am ET) which he called a “superb example” of the Italian director’s work. “He was a technician of the highest order but also a stylist of supreme intelligence.”

Watch the video above. And let the reappraisal of “Suspicion” begin!

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