Hitchcock’s Classic Blonde

In both The Lodger and Blackmail Hitchcock casts a young blonde woman as his main female role.  In many more of his movies to come, he will often use a famous blonde actress in his leading female roles including greats like Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren.

In his first film, The Lodger, Hitchcock casts a young woman named June Tripp in the role of Daisy Bunting.  Daisy is a young model who is at risk of being hunted by a serial killer called The Avenger who pursues young women with fair curly hair.  Another thing we see with this classic Hitchcock motif is that not only are these women beautiful, but they also start as sort of a naïve girl, but then by the end of the film they show a stronger or more mature attitude.  Daisy at the beginning of the film flirts and plays around with the Lodger, but by the end she seems to have matured and becomes a caring wife figure.  She also shows a hint of defiance because even though her father and mother warn her not to be with The Lodger, she does so anyway.  She also helps him to get away from the police when he is first accused of the murder.  These actions help to convey a sense of maturity and fight in this female character. Lodger1Lodger2

In Blackmail, Hitchcock casts Anny Ondra as his leading lady and she plays the role of Alice White.  Alice, like Daisy in The Lodger,  in the beginning of the film is a naïve and almost immature girl who in trying to get back at the man she is dating at the time ends up going to a weird and mysterious man’s home.  When she is in the man or artist’s home he makes inappropriate advances toward her and at first she is playful as well, but then when he kisses her without her permission and then tries to rape her we see that she defends herself and in doing so kills the artist.  In this first big sequence of the film we see a drastic change in Alice.  She goes from a flirty girl to someone who has to fight to defend herself.  And we see throughout the rest of the film how she struggles with the choice to let Frank(the man she was dating who cares for her) cover it up and help her get away clean or to turn herself in.  This to me, shows a maturity that is way beyond the Alice the audience meets in the beginning of the film.

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Blackmail1

Both of these leading ladies were both beautiful blonde women who played characters that could sometimes seem fragile on the outside, but when put to the test could change and fight for themselves and what they want.  In many of his other films, Hitchcock leading ladies were not only beautiful blondes, but they also seemed to have a little spunk or strong attitude that we sometimes would not expect.

One thought on “Hitchcock’s Classic Blonde

  1. evekendall

    Alfred Hitchcock’s obsession with using blonde leading actresses clearly persisted beyond his silent film era. Later blondes include Grace Kelley in “Dial M for Murder,” “Rear Window,” and “to Catch a Thief, “Ingrid Bergman in “Spellbound” and “Notorious,” Tippi Hedren in “The Birds” and “Marnie,” Kim Novak in “Vertigo,” and Eva Marie Saint in “North by Northwest.” As the author of the above blogpost mentioned, many of the Hitchcock blondes do have “a little spunk or strong attitude that we sometimes would not expect.” Eva Marie Saint’s character in “North by Northwest” is certainly more than just a demure, romantic girl- she has hidden motives, sassy, seductive quips, and intense bravery as she clambers around on Mount Rushmore and works for spies. Tippi Hedren in “The Birds” is also a blonde with a little bit of spunk, as evidenced by her reputation as a prankster, and her attempts at tricking Mitch. Grace Kelley’s character in “Rear Window” also demonstrates unlikely skill and courage as she scales the window of a suspected murderer in heels and a dress. Although Hitchcock has somewhat of a reputation for inserting misogynistic views into his art, at least some of his leading ladies are given unexpected strength.

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