Major Actors: James Stewart (L.B. Jefferies), Grace Kelly (Lisa Fremont), Wendell Corey (Thomas Doyle), Thelma Ritter (Stella), Raymond Burr (Lars Thorwald), Judith Evelyn (Miss Lonelyhearts), Ross Bagdasarian (Songwriter), Georgine Darcy (Miss Torso), Sara Berner (Woman on Fire Escape), Frank Cady (Man on Fire Escape), Jesslyn Fax (Miss Hearing Aid), Rand Harper (Newlywed), Irene Winston (Mrs. Emma Thorwald), Havis Davenport (Newlywed)
To this day Rope, Alfred Hitchcock’s first color film, remains one of the most original motion picture dramas. With the exception of the opening credits, Rope was shot on one individual set located within a soundstage, similar to as if a play was being performed on stage. Despite the confined space the film occupied, the atmospheric anxiety carried on up until the very end. Furthermore, Hitchcock successfully created a deception, of the same repetitive shot. Nonetheless, during the one hundred and eight minute film, it’s hard not to notice the closeness Phillip and Brandon shared sexually together, making them homosexuals.
Throughout the 1950’s, the United States belonged to the Leave It To Beaver era. Families were structured around a strong, hard working father and a wonderful homemaker mother. Children were brought up with solid ideologies on what society expects from them and were warned about living a different and dangerous life. Only one-year separates Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room from there publishing dates during this decade of unwavering beliefs. These texts were seen as extremely controversial during their time due to their themes of homosexuality. Sexual orientation was an awkward topic during such a “to the book” time period and these texts pushed the limits, making them remarkable and memorable works. Both Tennessee Williams and James Baldwin explore the panic men experience while trying to comprehend what sexual orientation they belong to and highlight the masculine gay man. These texts also examine the woman’s role in the mist of it all.
Alfred Hitchcock uses many techniques throughout the film “Rear Window” to convey suspense. The major theme of the film regards L. B. “Jeff” Jefferies voyeurism. His intrigue in the everyday lives of his neighbours is viewed as intrusive and morally wrong on principle. However, without this voyeuristic tendency the crime committed by Thornwald would never have been solved. Thus, the audience is lead through emotional turmoil in questioning whether it is wrong to invade someone’s privacy, or just and heroic to solve a crime. We see the climax of the film when Lisa and Stella venture out of Jefferies apartment to investigate the murder of Mrs Thornwald. This leads to a confrontation between Thornwald and Jefferies. These scenes build suspense through the use of detachment, the use of ‘split-screen’, ‘red-herring’ plot devices, lighting, music and diegetic sound.
The first half of this course focused on Alfred Hitchcock and how his techniques are now recognized as iconic. From class discussions and film screenings, it is clear that Hitchcock pays every attention to detail when he crafts a scene. Many Hitchcock films we have seen this semester highlight how he builds suspense through cinematic elements such as shadow, dialogue, and composition. While many of his suspenseful scenes stir feelings of intensity and uncertainty, Alfred Hitchcock builds a more romantic suspense in his 1955 film To Catch a Thief in the fireworks scene (1:06:35-1:11:00).
Alfred Hitchcock’s film Shadow of a Doubt is a true masterpiece. Hitchcock brings the perfect mix of horror, suspense, and drama to a small American town. One of the scenes that exemplifies his masterful style takes place in a bar between the two main characters, Charlie Newton and her uncle Charlie. Hitchcock was quoted as saying that Shadow of a Doubt, “brought murder and violence back in the home, where it rightly belongs.” This quote, although humorous, reaffirms the main theme of the film: we find evil in the places we least expect it. Through careful analysis of the bar scene, we see how Hitchcock underlies and reinforces this theme through the setting, camera angles,
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a bird and it doesn’t look too happy. The Birds is a classic story that takes place in Bodega Bay that is one day unexpectedly and strategically attacked by the entire bird population in the area. Alfred Hitchcock’s film, “The Birds” better utilizes suspense compared to Daphne Du Maurier’s “The Birds” because it shows the birds destruction and harm, the sudden hardship of the animal, and the use of words and angles.
going back to the other views to see where the policeman is and how is
drives from the city to her lover and, on the way, stops at the Bates
The two novels Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin published in 1956 and Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith published in 1956 share the interest of both the main characters having trouble publicizing their sexual orientation due to the way society would view them. There location of living have a big impact on their actions of expressing their sexuality towards other people or themselves. During the 1950’s, homosexual activity was prohibited. People who were found having an affair with the same sex was often given a consequence for their actions. Even though, gay men were given more of an punishment, lesbianism was not supported or approved of by the public eye. Regardless of the danger, gay men and women were able to find places to meet up
Throughout the course of history, films have been greatly influenced by the environment in which they were made. Two examples of movies that were impacted due to the surrounding factors are Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” (1935) and Guy Hamilton’s “Goldfinger” (1964). During the time that “The 39 Steps” was being made, Britain’s movie industry was mainly focused on documentaries, historical dramas, and suspense. After the stock market crash of 1929 in America, Hollywood was still working therefore Britain had to compete. They had formed the British International Pictures (BIP) studio which was ultimately as important to Britain as UFA was to the U.S. Furthermore, Britain was still in a hole after World War 1 and were still paying debts, so
Alfred Hitchcock’s attention to detail in his films is one of the many things that makes him one of the most recognized film auteurs of all time. He was very particular what about he wanted seen on screen and how he wanted to get those shots. From camera movements to the things found in the mise-en-scène, Hitchcock was very precise about every little thing that is seen in his on screen worlds. He would strategically place objects throughout the mise-en-scène and have characters wear certain clothing. By doing this, Hitchcock is able to let the audience know things about the characters and the plot without it having to be said on camera. Hitchcock once said that “If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on” (Tiffin). That’s why there’s no surprise that when Hitchcock finally made his first color film, he began to use color as another way of communicating with his audience.
In The Uncanny, Freud discusses the different definitions and claims that various theorists have made regarding the feeling of uncanny. He defines the different factors that provoke the uncanny in humans and demonstrates how these factors elicit that strange and seemingly inexplicable feeling. Similarly, in Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock, adopts the various factors that cause the uncanny to alter Scottie’s identity and beliefs. Ultimately, when Scottie is transformed from a rational being to a psychotic obsessive, it serves to indicate the severity of Scottie’s mental instability and his detachment from reality.
When it comes to movies, many directors are good at their jobs. However, other directors are great in the art of film making. There is no doubt such statement is considered utterly subjective, but what would life be without subjectivity, for it is our differences that make us thrive against a monotonic existence. By the same token, Alfred Hitchcock and Christopher Nolan utilize their singularities to create films that for decades have impacted the movie making universe. In fact, it is their differences that provide us with a high contrast to compare and scrutinize their job and find what made them great at it.