Unit 5: The Master of Suspense
Theme of “Two Strangers on a Train” is set of two (pairs)…two pairs of girls with glasses,
two dads, two tennis players playing doubles, etc.
Cross cutting…going between two different scenes at once
Merry-Go-Round scene one of the most complicated of his career
After “Strangers on a Train” it was vacation time
A family cruise to Europe
Patricia meets her future husband, John O’Connel. Hitchcock didn’t like the guy, and felt
that she had married beneath her station.
Their relationship was never the same after she married.
“Strangers on a Train” was a box office hit. Many folks were offended by explicit murder,
Hitchcock, though, is now named ‘the master of suspense’
Hitchcock is stuck. Hard time finding stories in 1952. Sleznick offered him some work.
Patricia get married and Hitchcock’s 25th wedding anniversary. Alma had only worked on
“Stage Freight” and “Paraden case” in the last 10 years as she was raising Patricia. Alma
found his next film…
“Nos Duex Consciences”
A 1902 stage play by Paul Anthelme
Hitchcock had bought the screenplay version while working on “Rope”
He and Alma had already written several drafts
She suggested they try it one more time
“I Confess” (1953) –renamed play
The story of Father Michael Logan…murder, blackmail, Father Logan is put on
He gets off on a technicality, but everyone thinks he did it
In the end, the real killer confesses as he lays dying from bullet wounds
Plot similar to “Strangers on a Train”
Hitchcock was happy with the casting of Montgomery Clift (Father Logan) and
Anne Baxter (not his first choice)
Baxter had auditioned for the lead in “Rebecca”. Hitchcock had her dye her hair
more blonde for the role.
Hitchcock thought the film was a little heavy-handed
No sense of humor
It didn’t help that Clift was a method actor, and an alcoholic
Hitchcock gave up even trying to direct him, and has his assistant director work
with him instead
Alma was a strong force on this project. Hitchcock was dependent on her. She
was a strong, almost motherly, figure. She was his muse and biggest supporter.
Audiences didn’t like that Father Logan doesn’t speak up.
The audience couldn’t root for him