In Vertigo, James Stewart's look is as important as the figure of Novak whom he regards and who he transforms by his desires: it combines the objective (the object seen) and the subjective. The Hitchcockian system of shot (object) /counter-shot (look) needs to be considered in this context. Every image in a Alfred Hitchcock film has a double aspect. Even the most documentary, plain and seemingly innocent Hitchcock image contains something disquieting and unsettling. In Vertigo, in Madge's studio and in Elster's office, an initial ordinary frontality and symmetrical balance in the framing and editing of shots becomes distorted, askew, unbalanced and imperceptibly so, less perceived than felt. In Hitchcock what comes into play between shot and counter-shot is the look as in Rear Window where the foreshortening of space (a distortion) is a matter of a perverse, secretive, voyeuristic look through a camera lens that brings the distant close.
Examining Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rebecca in terms of the Gothic convention of non-realist doubled and split characters, this essay argues that the slippage of desire between characters, male as well as female, complicates the containment of the dead Rebecca and whatever she represents. Although the splitting of the female protagonist into the unnamed heroine, the ghostly Rebecca and her surrogate Mrs Danvers has been extensively discussed, the use of this strategy as it concerns the male characters has been less often noticed. The replication of the male protagonist, Maxim, by two other male characters at once deepens him psychologically and contaminates him with ghostliness. These two conflicting manoeuvres strengthen his connection with both his wives, the dead as much as the living. But even while the treatment of Maxim empowers Rebecca and her successor, the movie‘s depiction of male bonding invites a questioning of the extent of female agency.
This article considers the recurring motif of the female driver in a selection of films by Alfred Hitchcock. By placing these screen representations of female drivers within the context of prevailing attitudes found throughout twentieth-century American society, the discussion seeks to evaluate Hitchcock’s creative deployment of potent cultural issues in his work. In this pursuit, the article identifies certain disparities in the portrayals of female drivers, resulting in both positive and negative depictions, which can be related to the director’s broader ambivalence towards femininity throughout his oeuvre.
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.
For a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain, the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This volume of new, spellbinding essays explores their tense working relationship as well as their legacy, from crashing cymbals to the sound of The Birds.
The volume brings together new work and new perspectives on the relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Featuring new essays by leading scholars of Hitchcock’s work, including Richard Allen, Charles Barr, Murray Pomerance, Sidney Gottlieb, and Jack Sullivan, the volume examines the working relationship between the pair and the contribution that Herrmann’s work brings to Hitchcock’s idiom. Examining key works, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Marnie and Vertigo, the collection explores approaches to sound, music, collaborative authorship and the distinctive contribution that Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock brought to this body of films.
Partners in Suspense examines the significance, meanings, histories and enduring legacies of one of film history’s most important partnerships. By engaging with the collaborative work of Hitchcock and Herrmann, the essays in the collection examine the ways in which film directors and composers collaborate, how this collaboration is experienced in the film text, and the ways such a partnership inspires later work.
This is a comprehensive critical study of Anthony Asquith. The author sets the director's work in the context of British cinema from the silent period to the 1960s, and examines the artistic and cultural influences within which his films can be understood. Asquith's silent films were compared favourably to those of his eminent contemporary Alfred Hitchcock, but his career faltered during the 1930s. However, the success of Pygmalion (1938) and French Without Tears (1939), based on plays by George Bernard Shaw and Terence Rattigan respectively, together with his significant contributions to wartime British cinema, re-established him as one of Britain's leading film makers. Asquith's post-war career includes several pictures in collaboration with Rattigan, and the definitive adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1951), but his versatility is demonstrated effectively in a number of modest genre films including The Woman in Question (1950), The Young Lovers (1954) and Orders to Kill (1958).
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (dir. Don Siegel, 1956), The Birds (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1963), and Night of the Living Dead (dir. George Romero, 1968) imbue scenes that take place at a gas pump with a horror so intense, it petrifies. As three of the earliest American horror films to feature a monstrous exchange at the pump, they transform the genre by reimagining automotive affect. This article examines the cinematic mood created when petrification meets petroleum, providing an alternative look at American oil culture after 1956, but before the oil crisis of 1973.
1 Introduction K. J. Donnelly and Steven Rawle F or a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry (1955) to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain (1966), the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This book brings together new work and new perspectives on the
connection was stronger and deeper: Herrmann was a risky alter-ego, a ‘secret sharer’ who took his cinema into darker places than it had gone before, tying the two artists together in ways that enhanced their careers even as it threatened their sense of identity. Before examining this collaboration, it is necessary to evaluate precisely how Bernard Herrmann fits into Alfred Hitchcock’s overall musical achievement. We tend to forget just how rich and varied that achievement was and how deeply Hitchcock had experimented with music long before he met Herrmann. When we
‘individualism and incomprehensibility’. The debt to Hitchcock As suggested above, Truffaut’s exploitation of genre is not as straightforward as it at first appears. If his genre films are, with one exception, films noirs or thrillers, this is attributable in large part to the influence of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Analysis of the latter’s work reveals that Hitchcock himself was