The Films of Alfred Hitchcock Essay

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock Essay

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The films of Alfred Hitchcock, as even the most casual cinephile knows, manage to blend the comic, romantic, tragic, and political, all with a captivating thriller plot. The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, two works from the 1930s, are no exception. In the former, a Canadian man is charged with the task of carrying a secret into Scotland while on the run from the police; in the latter, an older woman disappears, leaving a bewildered young lady who uncovers a foreign spy ring while trying to find her. However, despite the fact that both of these plots contain dominant thriller elements, and stem from the same part of Hitchcock’s career, they are by no means interchangeable. From visuals to characters, these are entirely different works. As such, one of the best places to compare and contrast is in the films’ opening sequences, where Hitchcock sets up for the intense action to follow. In The 39 Steps and Lady Vanishes, both introductory sequences work to capture the viewer’s attention before the thrills begin; however, close analysis reveals that Hitchcock handles them quite diff...

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