HITCHCOCK'S AMERICA: Lifelong Learning Institute: Fall 2001

Hitchcock's Themes and Style of Filmmaking


Hitchcock's themes:

1. suspense-thriller genre

2. transference of guilt: the wrong man accused:

3. the double (doppelganger): related to transference of guilt:

4. the guilty woman: degree of punishment depends upon degree of guilt:

5. the nightmare amidst the commonplace:

6. the moral complicity of the voyeur:

7. obsessive love:

8. the hero is often infirm: must ultimately confront both exterior enemy and himself:

9. the weight of the past upon the present:

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Hitchcock: inclined towards:

1. false leads, suspects, etc.: the MacGuffin: focuses the quest:

2. sympathetic villains:

3. dull-witted police: often connected to wrong man theme:

4. atmosphere of romantic longing:

5. black humor: sometimes pervades entire film:

6. refusal to cloud a good story with ideology: divorced from socialist/realist problems

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Hitchcock's style:

1. bravura manipulation of editing / montage:

2. master of the moving camera:

3. self-conscious naration:

4. sets up challenges for himself: technical innovator:

5. use of actors' images:

6. economy: nothing unnecessary: everything tinged with meaning:

7. preparation:

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bgs: 09-01