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The Indomitable Mr. Hitchcock

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Bryant Crisp

on 24 February 2015

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Transcript of The Indomitable Mr. Hitchcock

The Indomitable Mr. Hitchcock
Began his trademark practice of walk-on cameos when he was short one actor for The Lodger (1927). He took it upon himself to play the small part, appearing twice in the film.
Used numerous close-ups of women’s hairstyles, often as symbolic elements
Used numerous close-ups of women’s hairstyles, often as symbolic elements
Often used bathrooms used as a plot device
Had a real thing for blonde leading ladies
His films addressed (overtly or covertly) the concept of voyeurism
In order to create suspense in his films, he would alternate between different shots to extend cinematic time (e.g., the climax of Saboteur (1942), the cropduster sequence in North By Northwest (1959), the shower scene in Psycho (1960), etc.) His driving sequences were also shot in this particular way. They would typically alternate between the character's point of view while driving and a close-up shot of those inside car from opposite direction. This technique kept the viewer 'inside' the car and made any danger encountered more richly felt. Often used shadows to increase suspense.
He hated to shoot on location. He preferred to shoot at the studio where he could have full control of lighting and other factors. This is why even his later films contain special effects composite and rear screen shots.Greatly favored diagetic over non-diagetic sound.
Often based his stories on real murders
Often portrays dominant mothers
Uses mirrors/reflections often (duality of the human psyche)
In a lot of his films (more noticeably in the early black and white American films), he used to create more shadows on the walls to create suspense and tension (e.g., the "Glowing Milk" scene in Suspicion (1941) or the ominous shadow during the opening credits of Saboteur (1942)).
Employs low angles for aggressive or dangerous characters
Often addresses the theme of the “wrong man” or “mistaken identity”
Name often appears before the film titles, as in "Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho".
Did not like dialogue, and preferred to tell the story visually
Often addresses the theme of incompatibility of the male-female relationship
Established the length of feature films based on the durability of the human bladder
1941 Nominated for Best Director Oscar
for Rebecca
1945 Nominated for Best Director Oscar
for Lifeboat
1946 Nominated for Best Director Oscar
for Spellbound
1955 Nominated for Best Director Oscar
for Rear Window
1961 Nominated for Best Director Oscar
for Psycho
1979 Won the American Film Institute’s
Lifetime Achievement Award
Alfred Hitchcock was born Alfred Joseph Hitchcock on August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, England, and passed away on April 28, 1980.
He suggested his tombstone read, “This is what we do to bad little boys.” It actually reads, “I’m in on a plot.”
Though he never won a best director Oscar, he won an American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1979.
The Thirty Nine Steps is the film that established Hitchcock as the master of the mystery spy thriller.
“Funeral March for a Marionette” is the title of the theme song for “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”
Hitchcock considered Shadow of a Doubt (1943) to be his best film.
Psycho was the first Hollywood film to show a close-up of a toilet.
Rebecca (1940) was the only Hitchcock film to win a Best Picture Oscar.
Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929) was England’s first sound film.
In order to understand Hitchcock, it helps to understand the film climate of his era and how it shaped him. Hitchcock is interesting to study because, among other reasons, his career spanned a critical period in the development of modern cinema, allowing him to witness the advent and development of sound in film. Early in his career, when British cinema considered his films to be too far outside the mainstream, he decided to go to Germany, where his film aesthetic was shaped in large measure by the German Expressionist Movement (from 1913 through the 1920s and into the 1930s).
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