Hitchcock - Master of suspense.

Essay by emmlaaHigh School, 11th gradeA, July 2009

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"Hitchcock is considered to be the master of suspense…""There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it." -Alfred Hitchcock. Suspense is taken to be the state of mental uncertainty, the point where extreme trepidation sets in and the intended audience is placed in an anxious state. The films Blackmail (1929) and Notorious (1946) are examples of Hitchcock's exceptional skill of heightening the audience's emotions in order to create suspense. Because of his proficiency at engineering reactions from the audience Hitchcock is regarded as an Auteur. He expertly utilises the four facets of film; editing, sound, cinematography and mise-en-scene; to play on social values and new technologies with the intent to instigate a profound sense of uncertainty in the responder. Hitchcock's immense understanding of the human psyche and his adroit manipulation of film techniques make him a master of suspense in a patriarchal industry.

As a master of suspense the focus of Hitchcock's films are directed towards males, seen with the male gaze in order to appease sexist stereotypes.

A necessary yet pathetic characteristic of film is the need to create a profit, in order to reimburse the producers for their original capital investment. A subsequent result of this sad truth is that classic film is made to be appreciated by men. In the context of the twenty first century the treatment of Alice White in Blackmail (1929) is remarkably disconcerting. A Freudian interpretation of her attempted 'rape' is that "give the men the last laugh, thereby defusing the threat of women's infidelity, her refusal to treat with proper seriousness patriarchal law and authority." It is imperative that Alice be restored to justice for subjugating a male, the audience on at least a subconscious level would understand that punishment is mandatory and therefore is anxiously...