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Alfred Hitchcock: Comparison Of 4 Movies

905 words - 4 pages

Alfred Hitchcock is the undoubted master of suspense, and virtually invented the thriller genre. He began his film career in 1919, illustrating title cards for silent films at Paramount's Famous Players-Lasky studio in London. His first directed film was The Pleasure Garden in 1925. From there Hitchcock went on to make such films as The 39 Steps in 1935, an espionage thriller involving spies and murder set in London, Vertigo in 1958, a mystery about a man with a near insane obsession, North By Northwest in 1959, a cross-country manhunt for a mistaken government agent by a group of spies, and Psycho in 1960, a thriller based around murders inside of an isolated motel. In these four movies, ...view middle of the document...

What would normally be an ordinary situation quickly escalates when his accusers take him off to be killed instead of listening to reasoning. Psycho, the 1960 suspense movie, Marion steals $40,000 on an impulse, and runs away to start a new life. In each of these movies, the main character starts off just as an ordinary person would. The events that take place, put the person into an extraordinary position, which is frequent in Hitchcock's films.Hitchcock has become famous for his many suspense techniques, seen in many of his films. Showing the viewer of the film the danger involved, but not the characters. For example, in North by Northwest, Vandamm and his associate are speaking while Eve is upstairs. Vandamm's associate fires the blanks at Vandamm showing that Eve did not commit a murder, but instead faked it. They talked about throwing her out of the plane over the water later in the film. The viewer becomes aware of this, but Eve is up in her room preparing, unaware. This method of suspense is also in Psycho after Marion is killed, and the viewer knows that there is a killer in the house. Sam doesn't know anything, but the viewer feels the suspense due to the last murder.The McGuffin has been attached to the Hitchcock name due to its use in many of his films. A McGuffin is something that the characters in the movie focus their attention around, but the viewers don't. A McGuffin can be used to draw a story line to a certain point,...

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