Women 's Portrayal Of Women

1952 Words8 Pages
It is strange how one director can convey two entirely different depictions of women. Due to the time period in which Hitchcock filmed Vertigo and Psycho, women had limited capability in regards to what they could do in a film. Women could not be action heroes; in fact they were often depicted as damsels in distress. The easiest answer to this sort of prejudice is that it was a reflection of the culture of the 50s and 60s. Although this is partially true, it does not excuse the fact that male directors made misogynistic choices that could have been remedied without being considered radical or societally unacceptable. The inconsistencies in Hitchcock’s portrayal of women reveals this much, as shown by a study in the narrative, mise-en-scėne, and cinematography of Vertigo (1958) and Psycho (1960).
The main female character in Vertigo is two people, in a sense, but even this duplicity does not help her gain control in the film’s narrative. Judy Barton is the woman 's’ real name, but she spends the first half of the movie charading as Madeleine Elster. One of the first scenes in which we see ‘Madeleine’ is when John is stalking her at the request of Gavin Elster. The cinematography of this sequence reveals a lot about their relationship and how John objectifies Madeleine and Judy.
As John follows her from the flower store to the graveyard to the museum, Madeleine is almost always shown from afar, in long shots, and almost never takes up the whole frame. This is all filmed from

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