How Did Alfred Hitchcock Build Suspense In Film

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Hitchcock Essay Alfred Hitchcock is known as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and is one of the masters of suspense in film. Over his career that spanned more than half a century he created many hits and pioneered techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. He was the first to use a form of camera movement to imitate a person’s view, helping to raise suspense by placing the viewer within the action, and helping to make his films feel more realistic. Hitchcock directed over 50 films over his career and magazines such as the Daily Telegraph and MovieMaker have described him as the “Greatest and most influential filmmaker of all time”. In 1920 Hitchcock got his first job at Islington Studios, as a designer for silent…show more content…
This allowed Hitchcock to add great twists to his films by adding decoy plot elements. In the 1946 film Notorious, a story about a woman who is sent to spy on her former lover who is suspected of something sinister, uranium is used as a McGuffin. This film also demonstrates that it is relatively unimportant what the McGuffin is, as shown through Hitchcock’s decision to change the McGuffin from diamonds to uranium during the production of the film. He once said he was only concerned that ‘it be, or appear to be of vital importance to the characters’. In Notorious the uranium is vitally important to the characters, but has no real importance within the film - showing that the film is less about the object of interest but more about the relationship between the characters. As Hitchcock made more and more films he refined and expanded upon his use of the McGuffin. In North by Northwest, released in 1959, he placed great importance on what he called his emptiest and most non-existent McGuffin, which is described in the line “Oh, just Government Secrets”. This McGuffin appears halfway through the film and is just designed to be the thin storyline connecting the chase scenes throughout the film. Hitchcock said the reason behind the chases were ‘not

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