Alfred Hitchcock, Master Of Suspense: A director who loves to manipulate the audience through his films.

Essay by Dominican4us April 2003

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Alfred Hitchcock, also known as "Master of Suspense," was a director who loves to manipulate the audience through his films. As a director, he always stayed in touch with his childish fears. Ever since his father taught him a lesson about what happens to "naughty boys," he always feared police. Hitchcock recalled that "the sound of that closing cell door and the bolt" never left his memory. Director of such works as Psycho and Dial "M" for Murder, Hitchcock told his stories through suspense.

In the documentary, "Film on Film," Hitchcock lets us know his secrets in successfully making a great film. In all of his films, the Hitchcock villain is a person you'd never suspect. The most everyday character is really the murderer. In Hitchcock's eyes, no one is ever truly innocent. Everyone in his films is guilty of something. For example, in Dial M for Murder, Margot is not really the innocent victim because she was cheating on her husband.

The second technique Hitchcock uses is to have places familiar to the audience as settings for danger. He sometimes uses landmarks to show complete order and have disorder happen there. Other times he uses places that everyday people go to. For example, in Psycho, danger happened in a hotel that the audience is familiar with as a place where you can safely rest. This is to allow the audience to think that danger can happen anywhere and that it can happen to anyone. Another technique that Hitchcock used to build suspense was to let the audience know more about the plot than characters. This is to leave the audience helpless when they know that something is going to happen. This is known as the bomb theory. But must not happen with the bomb theory is that the...