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The 39 Stats

39 THE STATS .... CHARTING HITCHCOCK'S OBSESSIONS I From his early silent films in the UK to his 'golden years' at Paramount, Alfred Hitchcock returned to the same motifs and themes time and time again. Here we analyse some of these trademark obsessions. Warning: there are spoilers throughout. A DYING FALL Like Wile E Coyote, Hitchcock characters are always plunging to their doom from great heights. But who falls the furthest? MR CAYPOR C. 500M A mountain ledge, Secret Agent FRY 93M Statue of Liberty, Saboteur VALERIAN 150M Mount Rushmore, North By Northwest MALONEY C. 75M Drives over cliff, Family Plot RIEN 10M ROWLEY 64M Theatre box, Man Westminster Cathedral Who Knew Too Tower, Foreign Correspondent Much (1956) 50M FOUSSARD 15M JUDY/ MADELEINE Sea wall, To Catch a Thief Mission San Juan Bautista, Vertigo JARRE 15M C. 50M POLICE OFFICER Apartment window, Topaz Apartment building, Vertigo 20M SQUIRE PENCALLON TRACY 3ом Mast of ship, Jamaica Inn British Museum Reading Room, Blackmail Dr Edwardes in Spellbound, Leonard in North by Northwest, Mrs Elster in Vertigo and Ramon in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) are not included because they were shot or dead before their fall. Others (like Eve in North by Northwest) dangle but don't fall and some (like Jeff in Rear Window) fall but don't die. THE LONGEST JOURNEY? 12 Hitchcock's characters are often sent on long journeys (usually in gently-rocking vehicles against an unconvincing back projection). Here we look at some of Hitchcock's longest, and most famous, journeys. HITCHCOCK'S WORLD MAP EDINBURGH ISLE OF MAN ICOPENHAGEN / LONDON I MOSCOW AMSTERDAM BERLIN 1'BANDRIEKA ISWITZERLAND RAPID CITY -:- CHICAGOI NEWARK .... NEW YORK SANTA ROSA. WASHINGTON PHILADELPHIA GLENDALE LOS ANGELES PHOENIX PORT SAID NORTH ATLANTIC I MARRAKECH MIAMI HAWAII COLOMBO -- SINGAPORE I RIO JOHANNESBURG Roger O Thornhill, North by Northwest Fred and Emily, Rich and Strange Uncle Charlie, Shadow of a Doubt The Kusenov's Defection, Topaz Mark and Marnie's HH H HH HHH HHH H The shipwrecked passengers, Lifeboat honeymoon cruise, Marnie Gilbert and Iris, Michael Armstrong's Defection, Torn Curtain The Lady Vanishes Ben and Jo McKenna, Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) Huntley Haverstock, Foreign Correspondent Bob and Jill, Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) Richard Hannay, The 39 steps Ш Marion Crane, Psycho Barry Kane, Saboteur Devlin and Alicia, Notorious Pete, The Manxman BLONDE/NON-BLONDE? 13 Hitchcock once said, 'Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints'. But what percentage of his heroines have blonde hair? However 54% te, that his fellow ALFRED HITCHCOCK' "Golden Age' HOWARD HAWKS directors were almost as 39% obsessed?: FRITZ LANG 52% 39% BILLY WILDER ' Where there are two leading ladies (e.g. in Stage Fright or The Paradine Case), the 'points' are shared 2 We looked at leading ladies in these directors' filmographies. However films with few or no women (and therefore no leading lady) have been omitted. Lost films have also been omitted ONE BAD MOTHER Hitchcock's mothers get a bad press. So we scanned scholarly articles, reviews and interviews to look at the words and phrases most commonly used to describe the mothers in Hitchcock's films. Are they all bad? Very positive Positive Neutral Negative Very negative MOTHER 5 OF THE MOST COMMONLY USED WwORDS Rose Balestrero, The Wrong Man Devoted Loyal Sympathetic Poignant Moving Mama Balestrero, The Wrong Man Sympathetic Wise Consoling Winning Ноpeful Juno, Juno and the Paycock Strong Supportive Hard-working Jill Lawrence, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) Resolute Tough Protective Active Pleasant Jokey Col Mrs White, Blackmail Stable Jo McKenna, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) Loving Nurturing Hard-working Pragmatic Winning Sympathetic Moving Emotional Tortured Jennifer Rogers, The Trouble with Harry Sympathetic Winning Independent Disarming Bland Lady Berwick, Downhill Supportive Devoted Loving Unassertive Passive Mrs Bunting, The Lodger Supportive Hard-working Sympathetic Anxious Powerless Jessie Stevens, To Catch a Thief Unpretentious Sympathetic Funny Forthright Direct Clara Thornhill, North by Northwest Endearing Delightful Comic Dominant Controlling Mrs Gill, Stage Fright Kindly Well-meaning Absent-minded Dotty Ineffectual Emma Newton, Shadow of a Doubt Endearing Doting Average Over-indulgent Ineffectual Mrs McLaidlaw, Suspicion Sensible Proper Overprotective Disapproving Rigid Nicole Devereaux, Topaz Ladylike Reserved Worried Complacent Plastic Lydia Brenner, The Birds Sympathetic Complex Reserved Distant Neurotic Mrs Krausheimer, Mr and Mrs Smith Comic Flustered Bossy Interfering Puritanical Mrs Hillcrist, The Skin Game Strong Snob Arrogant Ruthless Chilling Bernice Edgar, Marnie Troubled Victimized Calculating Neglectful Monstrous Mrs Antony, Strangers on a Train Daffy Dotty Crazy Twisted Appalling Mme Sebastian, Notorious Dominant Jealous Tyrannical Malignant Ruthless Mrs Whittaker, Easy Virtue Dominant Manipulative Nasty Scheming Overbearing 'Mrs Bates' (as portrayed by Norman Bates), Psycho Demanding Clinging Unstable Monstrous Possessive 50 WAYS TO KILL A CHARACTER' In Hitchcock films, people rarely die peacefully in their sleep. Here we look at the variety of ways in which Hitchcock's characters die and count the number of characters who are killed by each method (with apologies to Otto Preminger) Percentage of deaths that can Car driven off cliff Hit with poker or iron bar be classed as mur 1 Hanged 63% Drowned 5 Blown up Fall from 4 great height (see the first Gassed Suicide chart)? 8 Stabbed Shot Bird attack 2 Burned alive 33 10 9 Strangled 2 Poisoned Train crash 2 Beaten to death Neck broken 1 Run over by train Decapitated by safety curtain Crushed by carousel With all forms of death, more men are killed than women - with one Miriam, Strangers on a Train exception. Six of the nine victims of strangulation are women Christine Clay, Young and Innocent Rusk's four victims, Frenzy "We have only counted deaths of significant characters or where the death is a major element in the plot. Mass fatalities in disasters (eg plane crashes, ships sinking, bird attacks) are not counted, partly because final numbers are impossible to assess and partly because it overestimates Hitchcock's thematic interest in them. However if an identifiable character dies in a disaster (e.g. Stevie when a bomb explodes in Sabotage, Annie in the bird attacks in The Birds), we count it. Where cause of death is unknown (e.g. Mrs Thorwald in Rear Window), we leave this character out. We have also omitted the numerous murder and suicide attempts that fail. 2 Note that in the first chart, there are 12 characters included. Here we have classed Squire Pengallon as a suicide and Maloney's fall gets its own sub-category: "Car driven off cliff." THE LEADING MAN Hitchcock's favourite leading men were Cary Grant and James Stewart – appearing in four films each. We found out how each film performed against a number of indicators and created a composite score. So who leads and who follows? $43,592,934 Lifetime gross' S $47,989,742 2.5 Awards and nominations? 1.5 64,140 Number of DVDS sold3 192,290 32.8 IMDB ranking JAMES STEWART 31.7 CARY GRANT 181 Critics' ranking5 155 Rope Rear Window Suspicion The Man Who Knew Too Much 145 Notorious Directors' ranking To Catch a Thief Vertigo North by Northwest Although Cary Grant's four films are more popular, James Stewart wins because his films have a better reputation with critics and directors 1 0.5 points for a nomination/second place, 1 point for a win. James Stewart: Oscar nomination (Director) for Rear Window, Palme D'Or for Man Who Knew Too Much, 2 San Sebastian Silver Shells for Vertigo (Actor and Director), Cary Grant: Cannes Grand Prix for Notorious, San Sebastian Silver Shell (Director) for North by Northwest 3 Units sold Jan 2011-May 2013, Source: Nielsen * IMDB ranking (as of May 28, 2013) 6 They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? agglomeration of 10 key critics' polls and turned into top 1000. Plus New York Times Top 1000 films. Ranked by where they appear in these polls and indexed 0-100. 0-low, 100-high * Sight and Sound poll of directors' favourite films 2012 - Top 100. Ranked by where they appear and indexed 0-100. 0-100. 0=low, 100=high -7 THE VLTIMATE HITCHCOCK Do any Hitchcock films have all of his customary themes and motifs? The hero is a middle- There are sinister 6 henchmen There is a scene in 11 a hotel3 class Everyman' Perversity, voyeurism or fetishism are key plot elements 14 (or henchwomen) Somebody gets 2 murdered The heroine is blonde There is a scene 12 in a cinema, The villain is caught or dies and the hero 15 theatre or Hero is wrongly 3 suspected of a crime and heroine live The heroine believes concert hall in the hero's innocence happily ever after There is a nun, priest 13 or deeply religious There is a double chase There is a staircase? 15 (e.g. police chase hero, hero chases villain) character 14 13 12 The villain is charming 5 and initially trusted 10 There is a journey 11 by train 10 The Pleasure Garden Downhill The Ring The Lodger Farmer's Wife Easy Virtue Champagne Manxman Blackmail Murder! Juno and the paycock Rich and strange Skin Game r 17 Number 1 Waltzes from Vienna The Man Who Knew Too Much'3 39 Steps Sabotage Secret Agent Young and Innocent Lady Vanishes Jamaica Inn Rebecca Foreign Correspondent Mr and Mrs Smith Mre Şuspleur Shadow of a Doubt Lifeboat Spellbound Notorious Paradine Case Rope Under Capricorn Stage Fright Strangers on a Train I Confess Dial M for Murder Rear Window 15 Catch a Thief 14 13 The Man Who Knew Too Much'56 Vertigo North by Northwest The Trouble with Harry 12 11 The Wrong Man 10 Psycho The Birds Marnie Torn Curtain Topaz Frenzy Family Plot "We've taken 'middle class' to encompass lower middle-class jobs (such as police officer) HOORAY and upper middle-class jobs (such as a lawyer or doctor). However there are limits: Mark in Marnie is definitely upper class and George in Family Plot and Manny in The Wrong FOR Using these criteria, The 39 Steps is the only film with all of Hitchcock's Man are lower class. 2 Some critics argue that there are staircases in all of Hitchcock's films except Rope and Lifeboat. But we've omitted staircases that appear fleetingly or as a background elements. motifs. The Skin Game is HANNAY! the only film with none. We've also included boarding houses and cruise ships as hotels. 00 THE NATION'S FAVOURITE HITCHCOCK Both the general public and film critics love Hitchcock. But they don't always love the same films. Which movies are popular with everyone? I FILM FANS TOP 101 CRITICS TOP 102 THE LADY VANISHES STRANGERS ON A TRAIN SHADOW OF A DOUBT ROPE VERTIGO MARNIE REAR WINDOW REBECCA NORTH BY NORTHWEST THE BIRDS DIAL M FOR MURDER NOTORIOUS THE 39 STEPS PSYCHO TO CATCH A THIẾF SPELLBOUND GENERAL PUBLIC TOP 103 RUNAWAY WINNER Shares in sales, by film: 20% 13% 67% Of Hitchcock's 52 films, 20% of DVD sales are generated by one film: North by Northwest. The second placed DVD, The 39 Steps, generated 13% of sales. North by Northwest The 39 Steps Total DVD sales of Hitchcock's films The other 50 films 1 IMDB Hitchcock films: Top 10 ratings (as of May 28, 2013) 2 They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?: Agglomerated 18 leading film critics' polls, including Sight and Sound, Time Out and others Source: Nielsen. Units sold, DVDS, North America, Jan 2011-May 2013 © Adam Frost and Zhenia Vasiliev 2013 .......

The 39 Stats

shared by gDigitalAgency on Jan 03
Charting Hitchcock's Obsessions From his early silent films in the UK to his 'golden years' at Paramount, Alfred Hitchcock returned to the same motifs and themes time and time again. Here we analys...


Adam Frost


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