During a twenty-five year period, spanning the Second World War and his move from
England to America, Hitchcock showed a particular preference for plots involving an
unjustified accusation against the films central character. The 39 Steps (1935),
Young and Innocent (1937), Saboteur (1942), Strangers on a Train (1951), I Confess
(1953), The Wrong Man (1956) and North by Northwest (1959) are all variations on the
same pattern with different thematic emphases. This article discusses the narrative
logic and moral content of this ‘innocence plot’, running through Hitchcock‘s films
from the mid-thirties to the late fifties.