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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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Alfred Hitchcock: The Legacy of Victorianism

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Alfred Hitchcock: The Legacy of Victorianism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This provocative study traces Alfred Hitchcock's long directorial career from Victorianism to postmodernism. Paula Cohen considers a sampling of Hitchcock's best films — Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho — as well as some of the more uneven ones — Rope, The Wrong Man, Topaz — and makes connections between his evolution as a filmmaker and trends in the larger society.

Drawing on a number of methodologies including feminism, psychoanalysis, and family systems, the author provides an insightful look at the paradox of a Victorian era. His career, she argues, can be seen as an attempt to balance "the two faces of Victorianism": the masculine legacy of law and hierarchy and the feminine legacy of feeling and imagination.

Also central to her thesis is the Victorian model of the nuclear family and its permutations, especially the father-daughter dyad. She postulates a fundamental dynamic in Hitchcock's films, what she calls a "daughter's effect," and relates it to the social role of the family as an institution and to Hitchcock's own relationship with his daughter, Patricia, who appeared in three of his films.

Cohen argues that Hitchcock's films reflect his Victorian legacy and serve as a map for ideological trends. She charts his development from his British period through his classic Hollywood years into his later phase, tracing a conceptual evolution that corresponds to an evolution in cultural identity — one that builds on a Victorian inheritance and ultimately discards it.

About the Author

Paula Marantz Cohen, professor of humanities and communications at Drexel University, is the author of The Daughter's Dilemma: Family Process and the Nineteenth-Century Domestic Novel and many articles on literature and culture.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 The Rise of Narrative Film
2 Novel into Film: Sabotage
3 Psychoanalysis versus Surrealism: Spellbound
4 The Father-Daughter Plot: Shadow of a Doubt, Stage Fright, Strangers on a Train
5 Digression: Rope, I Confess
6 The Daughter's Effect: Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much
7 Transition: The Wrong Man, Vertigo
8 The Emergence of Mother: Psycho
9 Beyond the Family Nexus: Topaz, Frenzy, Family Plot
10 After Hitchcock
Notes
Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780813108506
Author:
Cohen, Paula Marantz
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Author:
Cohen, Paula Marantz
Subject:
General
Subject:
Film - Direction & Production
Subject:
Performing arts
Subject:
Stage and screen
Subject:
Hitchcock, alfred, 1899-1980
Subject:
Film & Video - Direction & Production
Subject:
Film and Television-Production
Publication Date:
19950731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9.05x6.06x.64 in. .82 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » General
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Production » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Production » General

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