Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho redirected the entire horror genre, and in doing so dismantled the prudent 1950’s societal barriers of cinema. Although unseen for its potential by the large studios of the time, Psycho became one of the crowning achievements of film history. While based partially on a true story of murder and psychosis from Wisconsin, the widespread viewing of this tale made way for a new era of film and ushered in a new audience of movie goers. The use of violence, sexual explicitness, dramatic twists, sound, and cinematography throughout this film gave Hitchcock his reputable name and title as master of suspense. In 2018, reviews of films often are headlined with “the book was better.” But, in 1960 there was no such thing
Hollywood has always done a terrible job of depicting real women in film, and although his work has a somewhat misogynistic reputation, Alfred Hitchcock has done so much involving the progression of female roles in Hollywood cinema. Although many of his female victims wind up dead, the survivors have lots of power – and without reliance on their male counterparts. Women remain the central focus in many of Hitchcock’s films, not just because of their beauty, but because the narrative is dependent on them. When you look at his work in the context of this specific Hollywood era, Hitchcock’s female characters are very much out of the ordinary. Looking past the obvious presence of gender roles (male and female) that just so happened to be a part of the social norm during that time, Hitchcock sought to represent women with having more depth, realism, and independence than ever before in women in Hollywood.
To the unknown eye, Hitchcock has carefully and skillfully used Mise-en-scene to his advantage, causing the audience to feel fear and a sense of caution towards the character of Norman Bates. It isn’t until we reflect back on the scene and notice how intelligently Hitchcock uses the positioning of props and the characters, lighting, camera angle and staging, that we notice how he has added meaning to his characters but has also to the film, creating suspense and fear from one scene to the end of the film. Ultimately proving the point that Hitchcock “the master of suspense” uses Mise-en-scene to not only help make a brilliant film but also uses it as his disposal to add meaning in his
These were explored by the use of the motifs of birds, eyes, hands and mirrors (Filmsite.org, n.d.). Hitchcock skilfully guides the audiences through a tale
Gender roles and marriage- a thematic approach Alfred Hitchcock was a successful English film director and producer. He was often known as “the master of suspense.” He filmed psychological thrillers, one of these thrillers include “Rear window” which in mostly all of his films, he portrays women to look and act a certain way. Two significant themes portrayed throughout this film include marriage and the gender roles within the film.
While Marion is eating in the parlor, we can see small birds placed next to her near the lamp. The bird can be translated to a powerless and weak figure that can be related to Marion since she is the weak and helpless character in this film being preyed upon by Norman. The idea of Marion being a powerless figure is supported in the next shot where we see bigger birds like an owl hanging from the ceiling. The owl can be translated to a powerful figure that can be related to Norman, who is the predator foreshadowing a misfortunate event is going to occur to Marion. The idea does an effective job of letting the viewers relate the bird to Marion by foreshadowing her death since Norman is placed in scenes with bigger birds like owls.
Hitchcock clearly shows many scenes in the film to portray the fear and suspicion that many Americans had after the war. In the film, Hitchcock also uses dramatic events such as the yelling of Mrs. Thorwald or the arguments he had with the NYP policeman, Tom Doyle. These scenes all add to the fear of communism and paranoia that was based on someone’s perspective of the world. In the film, it was illustrated that if you were not friendly towards your neighbors it meant that you were of suspicion. The film also illustrated that the way in which you acted towards other people contributed to the overall suspicion of somebody.
Hitchcock utilizes sound, camera work, MacGuffins, and plot twists to tell the storylines of the movies. Hitchcock understood the importance of camera work and sound because he began his career making silent films.12 It is why he uses many close up shots so the audience can pay attention to specific details and the emotions on the character’s face. He does not rely on dialogue to tell the story. He uses sound to help convey the message of a scene.
Both of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, North by Northwest and Rear Window, were great movies with lots of suspense. The suspense, however, would not have been created without the entire mise-en-scene of the movies. Hitchcock was a master at using the elements of lighting, sound, and cinematography to heighten the suspense in his movies. The first key element of mise-en-scene that played a significant role in both movies was lighting.
The Suspense and Mystery created successfully by Alfred Hitchcock in Spellbound and Rope When mention about suspense, “Hitchcock” must be the first word appears out in the mind. Alfred Hitchcock produced plenty of films which are suspense and thrilling. In his filmography, Spellbound and Rope were produced in a bit earlier stage. Spellbound is the first batch of film using the topic of Psychoanalysis.
Hitchcock's perspective to the attitudes of the characters in Rear Window also
Alfred Hitchcock was a very famous film director who also made very good movies. He filmed famous movies like The Birds (1963), Saboteur (1942), and of course, Psycho (1960). He starred in his movies as cameos most of the time, and for the rest he just helped direct. His movie Psycho revolutionized a lot of horror/thriller movies today, as it brought in new ideas and innovative thoughts. He was born August 13th, 1899 and died April 29th, 1980.
In the movie Psycho, Hitchcock used suspense in several ways to shock his audience and keep them intrigued. Hitchcock does this by using scary music and lighting. One of the false suspense that was created in the movie is when Lila's sister screams when she sees her own reflection in the mirror in mother's bedroom. She screams when she sees herself in many reflections in a long mirror, but she is soon relieved when she discovered that she is only seeing a reflection of herself. The shower scene created the biggest shock in the movie.