Alfred Hitchcock’s Silent Films

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About the Book

Alfred Hitchcock called the silent “the purest form of cinema,” and the ten silent films he directed between 1925 and 1929 reveal the young director’s mature artistry. Hitchcock’s silents have often been characterized as the work of a talented amateur, a young director practicing his craft during a pre-sound era of antiquated instruments and poor film techniques—the director experimented with myriad points of view, unique camera angles and movements, and special effects such as dissolves, blurriness, and violent cuts. These films, however, contain the first appearances of some of his greatest and most familiar techniques: the vertigo-inducing crowd scene, the symbolic use of inanimate objects, the manipulation of the audience’s emotions, and the self-conscious, often macabre wit.
This work discovers Hitchcock’s early talent and skill through close readings of the films from The Pleasure Garden to the silent version of Blackmail, using shot-by-shot descriptions and interpretations. Each film’s chapter includes technical information, a summary of the critical response from the film’s release to the present, and detailed analysis of the camera techniques and themes Hitchcock uses.

About the Author(s)

Marc Raymond Strauss is a professor emeritus of theater and dance from Southeast Missouri State University.

Bibliographic Details

Marc Raymond Strauss
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1901-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8192-7
Imprint: McFarland