Hitchcock Era (30s-60s)

Section by Samantha Wendler

Alfred Hitchcock remains one of the most recognizable directors both in his movies and his looks. His influence can still be seen today in spoofs of his movies in popular culture as well as in the numerous books still being written about his life and his career.  His movies took on a life of their own and they reflected not only Hitchcock’s view on ?life but society’s difficulties and changes as well.

While many recognize his ability to entice viewers and give just the right amount of information, many may not recognize the deep psychological implications in his movies. Through lighting, dialogue, and camera work, he enabled viewers to take the place of the hero or the villain, allowing the movie to encompass them. How he did this changed over time, as we will explore on this site.

For the purpose of the site, I have chosen to only analyze six of his films : The Ring, 29 Steps, Spellbound, North by Northwest, Psycho, and Vertigo. These represent a wide variety of his themes and allow the observation of the change in his psychological influences as well as the changing of the social and economic structure.

The following pages are laid out to help you to gain a better understanding of Hitchcock’s techniques and the underlying psychological and psychoanalytical meanings in his films. There are links to the trailers of every movie, and in some cases, full summaries. To start, here is a clip of a spoof of Psycho in the popular sitcom, The Simpsons.


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