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History Of The 'Thriller' Genre
Transcript of History Of The 'Thriller' Genre
'Thriller' Genre Monique Fearon Thriller Timeline Continued... Key People
+ Changes Alfred Hitchcock Key changes to the
Thriller Genre Key Films Thrillers
1970's + 1980's Other films released
in the 1950's-1960's: Thrillers Films
1950's Thrillers in the
1940's Welcome to the Timeline of Thriller Films In the 1950's Alfred Hitchcock made a massive change to the thriller genre. He added technicolor to his thrillers, they were no longer in black and white. He also added a touch of glamour to his films, by casting 'icey blondes' to play the leading ladies. The Night of the Hunter (1955) - Charles Laughton's
Touch of Evil (1958) - Orson Welles
Cape Fear (1962) J. Lee Thompson Thriller films in this era began to edge closer to the horror genre, adding violence to the mix, while still maintaining the clear difference between the two genres Hitchcock played a massive part in the development of the Thriller Genre.
His first thriller film 'The Lodger' was the basis for all thriller films, he introduced many of the codes and conventions still used today. His film 'Vertigo' a famous thriller continued to use the classic elements that ceated a good thriller film. His films contained many 'thrills' throughout and often ended with a shock twist.
Alfred Hitchcock is famous for his direction and production of classic thrillers. He has a distinct way of filming, using the cinematography to extenuate the emotions and create suspense, tension and anticipation. Over the course of time there have been many changes made to the genre. For example the stereotypical plots, although still used, have a modern twist. Often including situations relevant to modern society. For example 'Unknown' or 'Taken', including government or terrorist based plots.
As time progressed, music and sounds were used too 'heighten the viewers mood', too make them feel tense and too create suspense.
Lighting and colour also became available to the directors, this allowed them to used dark, shadowing lighting to emphasise the dark side to characters. Alfred Hitchcock's
The Lodger - Considered the first ever 'Thriller' film.
Rebecca - Combined other genres such as romance that made the thriller genre more appealing to a wider audience.
Frenzy - Changed the direction of thrillers and moved closer to the horror genre, with an array of blood, gore and death. Early Thrillers
1920's + 1930's The thriller movies released in this time period, could be said to be the most key thriller films produced. They used techniques that are widely recognised as the codes and conventions of the thriller genre. Through the repetition of the codes and conventions, it is now clear to any audience if a film fits into the thriller genre Hitchcock films in the 50's:
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Dial M For Murder (1954)
Rear Window (1954)
To Catch a Thief (1955)
Vertigo (1958) Through the use of repetition, these thriller films continue to set down the basic codes and conventions used when creating a thriller film. Thriller films released in this era:
Frenzy (1972) Alfred Hitchcock
Duel (1971) Steven Spielberg
Play Misty for Me (1971) Clint Eastwood
Deliverance (1972) John Boorman
Don't Look Now (1973) Nicolas Roeg Thrillers in the
1990's Misery (1990) Rob Reiner
Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992) Curtis Hanson
Unlawful Entry (1992)
Single White Female (1992) Barbet Schroeder
Malice (1993) Harold Becker
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) Anthony Minghella Thrillers in the 21st Century During the 21st century the thriller genre moved even closer towards the horror genre. Films contained more blood, gore and deaths. Also combining codes and conventions of action movies.
Instead of re-using plots from old thriller movies, they decided to modernise the plots. They did this by adding plots that involved government conspiracy, terrorism and large world-wide issues. Eden Lake (2008)
The Last House on the Left (2009)
Funny Games (2008)
A History of Violence (2005)
Firewall (2006) Dead Calm (1989) Phillip Noyce, a psychological thriller, this film followed a 'villain-driven' plot in which the protagonist is trapped and must escape from the villain, also contained elements of obsession - a plot that had a great influence on the thriller genre In the 1940's Hitchcock continued to
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
George Cukor's directed a psychological
thriller called 'Gaslight' in 1944 In 1926 Alfred Hitchcock (a British director, who directed many famous thriller films) released his first thriller 'The Lodger', a silent thriller that followed a Jack The Ripper plot.