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Hitchcockian films are those made with the styles and themes similar to those of Alfred Hitchcock's films.
Elements considered Hitchcockian include:
- Climax twist.
- The cool platinum blonde.
- The presence of a domineering mother in her child's life (e.g. Psycho).
- An innocent man accused.
- Restricting the action to a single setting to increase tension (e.g. Lifeboat, Rear Window, Rope).
- Characters who switch sides or who cannot be trusted.
- Tension building through suspense to the point where the audience enjoys seeing the character in a life-threatening situation (e.g. Vertigo, the windmill scene in Foreign Correspondent).
- Average people thrust into strange or dangerous situations (e.g. North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much).
- Bumbling or incompetent authority figures, particularly police officers.
- Use of darkness to symbolise impending doom (dark clothing, shadows, smoke, etc.)
- Strong visual use of famous landmarks (Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, Forth Rail Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, Albert Hall, British Museum, Piccadilly Circus, etc.)
- Mistaken identity (e.g. North by Northwest, The Wrong Man).
- The use of a staircase as a motif for impending danger or suspense.
- Use of a macguffin or plot device that remains unexplained (e.g. the microfilm in North by Northwest).
- Referring to crime for mystery rather than presenting it explicitly (e.g. Dial M for Murder, Alfred Hitchcock Presents).
Films not directed by Hitchcock
Aside from Hitchcock's own films, some films or scenes considered Hitchockian include:
|1956||23 Paces to Baker Street|
|1957||Witness for the Prosecution|
|From Russia with Love|
|The films of Brian De Palma|
- Decent Films Guide: Charade
- Gilligan, Patrick. Alfred Hitchcock: A Light in Darkness and Light. New York City: HarperCollins, 2004. Print.
- we're fighting back on Basic Instinct: "Basic Instinct owes a lot to Hitchcock's Vertigo, and the homage is so obvious as to be a bit embarrassing."
- "…Hitchcockian…" — 12 Monkeys review from Time Out Film Guide
- 'A time-travel thriller that dares to compare itself to Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo."… actually pays back its debt to Hitchcock…' — Salon.com
- Review: 'Panic Room' Screams Hitchcock
- 'Unknown' review: Liam Neeson brings gravitas to pulpy Alfred Hithcock-style action thriller, Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News, February 17, 2011
- The great ‘Unknown’, Lou Lumenick, New York Post, February 18, 2011
- Unknown review, Roger Ebert, February 16, 2011
- Neeson wakes up 'Unknown', Steven Rea,The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 2011