Hitchcock's Villains: Murderers, Maniacs, and Mother Issues

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Scarecrow Press, Aug 8, 2013 - Performing Arts - 196 pages
The films of Alfred Hitchcock are appreciated for a variety of reasons, including the many memorable villains who menace the protagonists. Unlike so many of cinema’s wrongdoers, the Hitchcock villain was often a complex individual with a nuanced personality and neuroses the common person might not be able to relate to, but could at least understand. If such figures did not always elicit sympathy from the audience, they still possessed characteristics that were oddly appealing. And frequently, viewers found them more likable than the heroes and heroines whom they victimized.

In Hitchcock’s Villains: Murderers, Maniacs, and Mother Issues, authors Eric San Juan and Jim McDevitt explore a number of themes that form the foundation of villainy in Hitchcock’s long and acclaimed career. The authors also provide a detailed look at some of the director’s most noteworthy villains and examine how these characters were often central to the enjoyment of Hitchcock’s best films. Whether discussing Uncle Charlie in Shadow of a Doubt or Norman Bates in Psycho, the authors consider what attracted Hitchcock to such characters in the first place and why they endure as screen icons.

Intended for both casual and ardent fans of Hitchcock, this book offers insight into what makes villainous characters tick. While serious students will appreciate observations in Hitchcock’s Villains that will enhance their study of cinema technique and writing, general fans of the director will simply enjoy delving further into the minds of their favorite villains.
 

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Contents

Sabotage 1936
1
2 Hitchcock as His Villains
13
Shadow of a Doubt 1943
21
4 Authority Figures as Villains
35
Notorious 1946
41
6 The Villainy of Ideas
53
Rope 1948
59
8 Villainous Mothers
71
12 The Villainy of Nonvillains
115
North by Northwest 1959
121
14 The Psychology of Hitchcock and His Villains
133
Psycho 1960
141
16 Cruel Women and Opportunistic Men the Other Villains
155
Frenzy 1972
165
Selected Bibliography
177
Index
181

Strangers on a Train 1951
81
10 Villains as Innocents
95
Vertigo 1958
101
About the Authors
185
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Eric San Juan is the author of Lakehurst: Barrens, Blimps & Barons (2011) and Stuff Every Husband Should Know (2011).

Jim McDevitt is a freelance writer who has written numerous articles and stories for a variety of print and Internet publications.

San Juan and McDevitt are the coauthors of A Year of Hitchcock: 52 Weeks with the Master of Suspense (Scarecrow, 2011).

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