I like Aliens better than Alien, although I like them both. Did you watch the director's cut or the theatrical cut?
Vertigo is great because it's a great psychological thriller, not because it's the most brilliantly (or plausibly) constructed mystery.
> and the whole last quarter of the film where he turns Judy Barton into his sex doll couldn't be made today,
Wait until you see Marnie.
I like Hawthorn's short fiction but my Twice-Told Tales is just selections, not all of the stories. And as I recall his best short story, Young Goodman Brown, is in another collection. I like M.R. James too but he's too samey. I know you're a big James fan though.
I wish I could comment on your Plato/Cicero posts but I'm miserable at languages and I never attempted Greek. They wait too long to start teaching languages in the U.S., maybe I'd have done better if I'd started earlier. I also think it's waste to teach barbarian languages before college.