Abc family’s tv series “Castle” recently embraced the Hitchcock influences that other popular shows like “The Simpsons” had already incorporated into their programs. In the Castle episode from season 5 “The Lives of Others,” the lead actor has suffered from a knee injury and is homebound for six weeks. Across the street he gets involved in a possible homicide between an adulterous woman and her husband. Throughout the episode, the protagonist, using a pair of binoculars, tracts the apartment to uncover clues about the missing wife. Anyone who has even remotely heard about the basic plot of Rear Window would recognize the basic references to Hitchcocks film. This reference is just one of thousands that have praised Hitchcock, his works, and his legacy.
Alfred Hitchcock uses an expert technique and theme of homosexuality to create Rope, a masterpiece that survives as part of his great legacy. Rope, filmed in 1948, has been widely analyzed throughout the decades as a unique piece of work, in both good and bad ways. The narrative itself, with its strong homosexual components, is unique piece of work. Hitchcock used many new techniques to create this film including Technicolor and “real time.” Hitchcock referred to the film as one of his “most exciting” pictures to design and bring to life. Rope is an exceptionally unique film that presented many challenges to the director, most notably the limited set design of the apartment. In the critical analysis paper I hope to analyze the techniques that Hitchcock used to make the film, and the underlying ideas of homosexuality at the time. By looking at theses two key aspects of the film, I hope to be able to take a fresh look from a different perspective into the mastermind of Hitchcock himself. The paper argues that Rope, even though it was received poorly at the time, is now recognized as one of Hitchcock’s greatest creations.
Pierre Huyghe is a contemporary artist who re-created scenes from movies, usually with the same actors from the original film. Huyghe is a French artist who, in 1995, remade the scenes from Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The film was made in a Parisian suburb with a cast of amateur actors. Huyghe had done similar works with other non Hitchcock films. Remake is a compete scene by scene recreation of Hitchcock’s film; Huyghe intended to compare the two films.
I think Vertigo definitely deserves its spot at number one. While I haven’t seen the other contenders, Vertigo completely amazed me for a movie at that time. While the plot was criticized at the time for being too slow at points (all the scenes of the “Scottie” following Madeline in the car), it is obvious decades later that the movie is a masterpiece. Watching the film for the first time, I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming: when Madeline supposedly jumped and died off the tower the first time, Judy actually being “fake” Madeline, and the realization that this whole movie happened so that a man could get away with murder. Vertigo is definitely one of those movies that has to be watched a second time, or even a third, to pick up on all of the details and to appreciate all of the shots that Hitchcock used. Vertigo is an amazing thriller that gets better the more you watch it.
Throughout Hitchcock’s movies a twisted sense of family is widely expressed and criticized. In Shadow of a Doubt the “average American family” presents with signs of misplaced trust, manipulation, and the strong potential for incest. Strangers on a Train specifically shows a misguided mother-son dynamic that is favored by Hitchcock. Oblivious to the seriousness of Bruno’s obsession with murder, Bruno’s mother is blind to Bruno’s obvious psychopathic mindset. She remains the only character in Strangers on a Train that supports Bruno, even Bruno’s father wants him sent away. Even when she is confronted by Ann, Bruno’s mother refuses to believe that Bruno could in any way be involved with murder, despite his constant fixation with it. She doesn’t even want to entertain the idea that Bruno could be anything more than her innocent son. Many critics believe that the relationship between Bruno and his mother is a foreshadowing of the relationship between Norman and his mother in Psycho, “Bruno, with his close relationship with a crazy mother, is an obvious forerunner of Norman Bates.” Regardless of the movie, twisted family dynamics are a given in Hitchcock creations.
Wood, Robin. “Strangers on a Train.” In A Hitchcock Reader, 172-181. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.