This is a no-brainer, right? Everyone loves Hitchcock. But it was not always so. The great director, whose North by Northwest comes out on a new, 50th Anniversary DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday, was once considered a populist panderer with little artistic value in his work. Even if you were a film critic, it was not the done thing to explore the mood and structure of a film. And even the rare critic that did that, such as Manny Farber or James Agee, tended not to go crazy over Hitchcock's work. (He was too popular and supposedly did not need defending.) At the time, it was more important in film to have a strong moral message, or to impress audiences with size and scale. Hitchcock worked in the lowest genres, telling stories about creeps and murderers and kidnappers, none of which had any benefit to society. Yes, Hitchcock was nominated for Best Director five times, so it's clear that other filmmakers at the very least acknowledged his skill, but he was mostly nominated for his biggest hits, like Rebecca, Spellbound, Rear Window and Psycho (just as George Lucas was nominated for Star Wars) and he never won.