Alfred Hitchcock has for long been thought of as the father of the suspense thriller. Though not much has been known of what preceding filmmakers apparitions have found their way into his films, if one were to pay closely, certain elements of inspiration can be drawn. In order to understand what has influenced a man who was so innovative we must understand what has shaped his life into the great director and screen writer he became. Analysis from three of Hitchcock's films will be used to try to understand what elements of his films were similar to some of those who came before him. The Lodger (1926), The Thirty Nine Steps (1935) and Spellbound (1945) will serve as comparisons for what might have influenced him during the beginning and middle of his career.
Comparisons to filmmakers that came before Hitchcock would be unjust. Hitchcock, as well as other directors of his time, was experimenting with a new type of cinema. Instead of simply shooting images for the sake of shooting images, Hitchcock developed in depth sociofactors to discuss within his films. Hitchcock was perhaps most often inspired by fellow filmmakers of his time. While his style of film, often referred to as film noir or a look into the human psyche, was innovative for his time, it can still be said that certain characteristics of previous filmmakers works have found their way into some of his work.
In 1925 Hitchcock obtained a position at the UFA's Neubabelsberg Studios in Germany making films (Phillips, 1984). It was here during the Weimer period of expressionalism where Hitchcock developed his characteristic style which is aptly named film noir, or dark cinema. Hitchcock was now faced with a different type of cinema that was drastically different than what he had seen working in England. The expressionalist movement influenced German cinema profoundly during this time. The basic elements of this type of cinema include selectively darkened lighting, and... [continues]
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