Эссе: Alfred Hitchcock

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... This is a common Hitchcock manoeuvre, as we find him, for example, apologizing for his film experiments in Rope (HI 130-31). Of course, Hitchcock loved technical experiment and indulged this interest in many films besides Rope, just as he indulged the habit of killing off attractive characters in films besides Sabotage (e.g., Psycho, Vertigo, Frenzy). Indeed, Hitchcock often complains about studio decisions demanding that a killing be suppressed or that a handsome leading man be declared innocent, as in the changed endings of The Lodger and Suspicion. Despite his disclaimer, in killing the innocent boy in Sabotage, Hitchcock succeeded in expressing what he wanted. His later confession of regret may be seen as an attempt at suppression. Naturally Hitchcock does not correct Truffaut's assumption that Sabotage is based on Conrad's novel (HI 75), as indeed it was in part. The critical suppression of the less respectable literary source, a failed play, itself an adaptation, is met by Hitchcock's own suppression. One motive has to do with the ambivalence (or downright hostility) of British studio executives in the 1920s and 1930s toward art films, which may have lent some respectability to a film but were at odds with commercial success (AH 89). One distributor in particular, C. M. Woolf, came into conflict with Hitchcock more than once because he "nurtured a suspicion of Hitchcock's artistic qualities" (AH 164). Hitchcock would be safer claiming a novel distant in time-its unpopularity forgotten, its author famous enough to lend some prestige to the film-than to claim a pretentious play which was known to have not drawn an audience. Another motive for Hitchcock's suppression is his own ambivalence toward drama. Though he thought that dramatists are more skilled than novelists in adapting their material for the screen (HI 50), in a sense the closeness of film to drama presented him problems in adapting plays. Hitchcock needed to narrate dramatic materials in cinematic form and felt embarrassed over his version of Juno and the Paycock because it resisted cinematic transformation (HI 48; LT 104-105). Indeed, Hitchcock claimed he felt he had stolen something when he was praised for Juno, leading him to declare his intention to avoid literary masterpieces; his preferred method was to read a story once, forget the material and start to create cinema (HI 48-49).  ...