ACADEMIC ENGLISH PROGRAM
ENGLISH AND COMPOSITION II
Hitchcock, Blondes and Cinema: Bermuda Hell Triangle
Submitted by Mirac Ethem Özdağ
ID# : 20700401
Submitted to Bengisu T. Akalın
HITCHCOCK, BLONDES and CINEMA: HELL TRAINGLE
There are thousands of topics and articles written about Hitchcock films, because of his being undoubtedly one of the greatest directors in our decade. In today’s cinema world, many directors do not hesitate to admit that they are inspired by Hitchcock. Most of the symbols in Hitchcock films have been used by many directors. The most eye-catching symbols in his films are certainly blonde women. He always worked with blonde actresses. His technique of using blondes in his films rose in popularity in cinema world. Besides his films, Hitchcock himself and his way of treating women also have been discussed and criticized by many. There have been lots of controversies about him using blondes and the way he portrayed women in his films. Whereas some praised him for his outstanding talent, others claimed that he was a kind of psycho or a misogynist since Hitchcock liked to quote the nineteenth-century French playwright Victorian Sardou’s advice, “Torture the women!” Hitchcock says: “The trouble today is we don’t torture women enough.” adding provocatively. He responded to these claims by using his art. His ambition to prove that blonde women in his pictures have always been more effective than those in other pictures, the perfection in the way he filmed his obsession towards blonde women, and his indisputable contribution to the movie industry in terms of setting a trend for including blonde women in pictures, makes Hitchcock an unreachable director.
The way blondes were traditionally portrayed in films became a stereotype, before Hitchcock era. Blonde characters were used in movies in different roles depending on the perspective of the director and how he or she wants to portray them. Generally, blonde characters were chosen to act the dumb and promiscuous in movies. “Because of this, many believed that blondes “are more fun”. Blonde jokes are derogatory based on a “dumb blonde” stereotype of women being unintelligent.” (Clout, 2007, 1). Why is it so? Why and since when blondes are tried to be shown as dumb people? According to a common rumor; back in olden days, when a women needed a husband to make it in this world, the blondes figured out that men like to feel smart. So, the blonde girls acted dumb to make their prospective husbands feel smart. The men were so dumb, in fact that they began to perpetuate the myth that blondes are dumb. This has become a phenomenon which spread over the world and people’s minds. This phenomenon started to become popular in 1950’s. The foremost avant-garde actress, who had the most effective style, was Marilyn Monroe. Besides her appearance, in fact, she was intellectual, extremely clever and also humorous. She played the role of stupid woman in order to take place in film industry, in order to keep up her permanence, but the most important reason was to earn money. She did not care to look like a clever woman. For her stupid blonde image, she said: “To tell you the truth, I did not lie to anyone. I just let people to lie themselves. They did not even try to look for who I really am, but created a new character for me. I did not argue with them. They obviously liked the women of me who am not real. But when the truth shows up, people will accuse me of being a liar.” (Leaming, 1992, pp.64) What we understand from this quotation is that her dumb stupid role was tried to be charged on her in real life. After Marilyn Monroe died, many actresses followed her and tried to look like her. In recent years, in Hollywood; films, which make use of the dumb blonde concept, have been quite popular. There are many examples but the most noticeable ones are surely...
Cited: 1) Clout, L. (2007). Blonde women make men less clever. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/19/sciblonde119.xml
2) Leaming, Barbara. (1998). Marilyn Monroe. (1st Ed.). New York: Crown
3) Kemp, P. (1999). The Icy Blondes. In K.Mogg(Ed.), The Alfred Hitchcock story. (pp.64-66). London: Titan Books Ltd.
4) Draski, L. (2008). The best of Hitchcock blondes. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from http://classicfilms.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_best_of_Hitchcock
5) Truffaut, F. (1986). Hitchcock. (Revised Ed.). London: Grafton Books
6) Merritt, S. (2004). Hitchcock’s revenge on the woman who spurned him. Retrieved April 5, 2008, from http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,1227602,00.html
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