Hitchcock's Reoccurring Themes And Techniques In The Macguffin

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Let us now turn to the reoccurring themes and techniques Hitchcock employed in his works. Hitchcock was amongst the first, if not the first to popularise the MacGuffin, which also alludes to his beginnings as a silent film director. He believed the plot of the story was less important than the way the story is told. Although it is not proven until the end, a part of the audience already knows Thorwald is guilty of murdering his wife. However, the audience is not compelled by knowing how the movie ends, but by watching how the main character arrives at that conclusion via a series of tense scenes, incriminating realisations, intriguing encounters and narrow escapes. The MacGuffin is essential to this technique. Here the MacGuffin is the imagined murder of Mrs Thorwald, the nagging and bedridden wife of Mr Thorwald. She has very little screen time at the beginning and has no real purpose,…show more content…
With so many montages and storylines going on at once, the camera must jump from apartment to apartment frequently. In order to help the spectator distinguish between different apartments and orientate themselves quickly, Hitchcock was considerate in the elaborate design, furnishings and colour palette of the opposite apartments. For example, Miss Lonelyhearts’s apartment is overwhelmingly red, which symbolises the warmth and heat of passion and love, which she longs for and is unlucky in finding in her ‘silent movie,’ or it could even symbolise danger. She wears green clothing which stands out strikingly against the red backdrop of her apartment. About an hour and half through the movie, Jeff does indeed find her in danger as she is on the brink of committing suicide following an unsuccessful date. This care and attention towards often overlooked details was not uncommon of Hitchcock, which made his movies so rich and vibrant. This also meant that the movie ‘could never have been accomplished on location with the same dramatic

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