Alfred Hitchcock's Ambivalent Films

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More than any director Hitchcock depended on his actors for his films. Hitchcock’s ambivalent films required complex characterisations and we have seen the most brilliant performances through Teresa Wright as Charlie in The Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Jessica Tandy as Mrs Brenner in The Birds (1963). Hitchcock utilized the flexibility and range of actors like Cary Grant and James Stewart which made the characters memorable. Excellent character delineations of Cary Grant can be seen in films such as North by Northwest (1959) and To Catch a Thief (1955). And James Stewart in films like Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), Rope (1948) and the American version of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). In England Hitchcock always collaborated with top stars and finest writers but in America things were quite different. He was turned down by many stars and writers who looked down their noses at the genre Hitchcock worked in. Hitchcock felt gratified as the playwright Thorton Wilder the eminent American playwright worked with him willingly in Shadow of a Doubt and treated the film seriously (Truffaut…show more content…
According to Robin Wood “Hitchcock returns repeatedly to the suspense thriller for his material; he generally uses established stars who were “personalities” first and actors second; there is a strong element of humour in his work, “gags” and “comic relief” which effectively undermine any pretensions to sustained seriousness of
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