Notions of the Gothic in the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

CLARK, Dawn Karen. (2004). Notions of the Gothic in the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The films of Alfred Hitchcock were made within the confines of the commercial film industries in Britain and the USA and related to popular cultural traditions such as the thriller and the spy story. However, many of the films possess characteristics associated with 'high' culture. Part of the interest in his work lies in the ways in which such traditions intersect with and accommodate each other and how they relate to the other determining contexts of the director's work. This thesis focuses upon the cultural and literary tradition of the 'Gothic' and the German Expressionist cinema of the 1920s as key influences upon Hitchcock's work in general and on some of his films in particular. Part of the work consists of an overview of Gothic literature in its many forms with specific attention to the classic English Gothic. A definition is provided, based upon the identification of the main elements and motifs of the tradition. There is also a study of the German Expressionist film which identifies its main features, locates it in the history of silent cinema and relates it to the tradition of the Gothic. The main part of the work is a detailed study of the films of Alfred Hitchcock, relating them to the cultural tradition of the Gothic and to its specific manifestation in the German Expressionist film. This involves consideration of the concept of'influence' and the extent to which Hitchcock's films derive from such traditions; an analysis of the films which identifies Gothic and Expressionist features; an assessment of the ways in which such traditions were mixed with others, including classical narrative structure and style, generic traditions of suspense and romance, to produce the distinctive form and content of the Hitchcock film; and a consideration of the ways in which such traditions played a role in much of Hitchcock's output, regardless of the different genres in which he worked. Research has included primary sources: Gothic novels (from 1764 to the present day) and the films of both Hitchcock and the German Expressionist directors; and secondary sources and critical studies of the Gothic texts and the films. There has been much written on the Gothic tradition although many critics fail to explain the term or to identify what the genre actually represents. Similarly, though much has been written on the subject of Alfred Hitchcock's films, the topic of Gothic has only really been referred to briefly and no one has addressed it in any detail.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2004.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:19
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2018 13:15
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19471

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