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Alfred Hitchcock - Essay Example

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Dial M for Murder (1954) is a film produced by Warner Brothers and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The movie was based on the almost identical stage play of the same title by English playwright Frederick Knott (1916-2002). Almost half a century later when we look back the inescapable feeling is that it is a masterpiece of mystery genre…
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Alfred Hitchcock
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Download file to see previous pages Margot once had a relationship with Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), a crime writer for American TV, but broke it off when Mark went to America. The meticulous planning of his wife's murder invariably brings Tony under the spotlight but does not diminish his stature by one iota for the sole reason that he is not desperately trying as someone in his position should do.
Tony's diabolical character and the macabre detail of the film make it not only a three dimensional suspense thriller but also a multidimensional critique of upper echelons of the society. German Expressionism and post-modernism could have influenced Hitchcock to a greater extent because he uses a lot of symbolism and mise-en-scene that borders on imaginative handling of the plot. Mise-en-scene is a production technique that enables the director to achieve some of the mood effects through improvisation. Hitchcock's incredible manner of seamlessly integrating the plot and then resolving it by using that uncannily characteristic deus ex machina in the form an untiring intelligent sleuth is obvious throughout the story. Though a number of films were made in keeping with this novel discovery, none of them could match the 'master effect' of it as "Pandora's Box" did. German Expressionism had a big impact on Hollywood by way of influencing some of the big studios to employ German migrs who were mostly cinematographers and directors fleeing Nazi rule in Germany.
Expressionism, particularly, had a positive effect on horror genre and noir genre - both highly receptive to imaginary influences in design and production. Though the very far fetched features associated with this movement, were gradually rejected, the visual aesthetics of it continue to appeal to generations of film-makers till the present day. The plot thickens here with more suspense being added by Margot's susceptibility and naivety. When Margot is alone at home, Swann the hired would-be assassin sneaks in with a key that's been left for him. Tony calls his wife on the telephone, luring her out of the bedroom, and Swann strangles her with a stocking. But Margot buries a pair of scissors in her killer's back. Through some fancy maneuvering, Tony is able to make it appear that his wife acted against a blackmailer in cold blood. She's arrested and sentenced to death, but a police inspector (John Williams) begins to unravel Tony's story.
Critics have not spared Hitchcock and his films of their poison pen. We should take a closer look at the Montage technique used in this film. From the 1930s to the 1950s, montage sequences often combined numerous short shots with special optical effects such as fades, dissolves, split screens, double and triple exposures and even music. There were special artistes to assemble these effects other than the director. Hitchcock made use of this technique to achieve a coordinated synthesis between the conveyed impression of a set and the anticipated response of the audience.
Critics did not appreciate this technique much. Hitchcock's first American movie, Rebecca (1940), won the Best Picture Academy Award., but in spite of this achievement the critic in "Variety" (March 27, 1940) gave it a bad review. He wrote "Dave Selznick's picture is too tragic and deeply psychological to hit the fancy of wide audience appeal. General ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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