Motherhood In The Film Jo Conway Mckenna

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Meeting of the minds between the director Hitchcock and screen play writer John Michael Hayes produced one of the most beautiful pictures in the Hitchcock canon. Jo Conway McKenna (Doris Day) is an internationally famous singer who has abandoned her Broadway career in favour of her husband. Her transition from a singer to a dutiful, responsible house wife can be seen strictly according to the set norms of the decade which glorified the image of an “ideal woman” as good housewives and mother. Dr Ben (James Stewart) early in the film is projected as bossy and always domineering. When Jo hears the news from Ben that her son has been taken away, we see a complete transformation from a cheerful mother talking about conceiving a second child to a near hysteric. From there on…show more content…
American values of motherhood finds its finest expression in Jo McKenna who’s scream at the Albert Hall is the “mother’s cry in childbirth, a liberating cry of anguish and a triumph over death- and it literally brings their son back to them” (Spoto 245). It also releases the audience from the mounting tension. For the memorable performance by Day Hithcock constructed the sequence with meticulous care, building suspense by brilliantly juggling its various elements: the orchestra and chorus, the assassin and his target, and the worried mother. The most marvellous was the shots of Day conveying the distress of a woman torn between her desire to thwart the assassination and her knowledge that her doing so may cost the life of her child. Actually this anchored the scene and make it work . Hithcock clearly demarcates gender roles in his films. Like Jo Conway most of the women in the 1950s wants to come out of their confinement after the Second World War. In Sloan Wilson’s bestseller The Man in the Gray Flanner Suit (1955), Tom Wrath’s wife Betsy’s aspirations were similar to Jo McKenna. Both broke the impression that women only know how to be responsible, cheerful and dutiful even

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