Common Themes and Style in Hitchcock
Common Themes and Style in Hitchcock
The theme of committing the perfect murder is clearly seen in the movies Rope and Dial M for Murder. In both movies, the characters devise a way of committing murder while leaving no clues behind. The movies have a lot of suspense though they differ to some extent. In both movies, Hitchcock used murder as the main theme. He created a set of calculating and conniving characters that were intent on committing the perfect crime. Hitchcock takes advantage of the relationships that the characters have with each other as a way of developing the plot. In the movie Rope, Brandon and Phillip decide to murder their friend David because they consider him inferior. The two of them have a relationship with the victim, as he is their friend. In Dial M for Murder, Tony decides and plots of a way to have his wife murdered. Although Tony did not succeed in his plot, he had already decided that he wanted his wife to die. David knew his murderers well. Hitchcock focuses on the issue of murder and chooses to depict it differently: the people who committed the crimes were well known to the victims.
The criminal characters in the movie are cunning, calculating, and shrewd. They come up with the perfect flawless plan, which will ensure that they are not suspects. Tony deliberates on how he will have his wife murdered, and comes up with a devious plan, which involves blackmail, lies, and an accidental murder. He comes up with a way of blackmailing someone else in order to convince him to murder Margot, his wife. Brandon and Phillip may not have used a deliberate plan to murder their friend. However, their decision to invite David’s friends and parents over for a party was devious. They further proceed to have the dinner over the trunk, which contains David’s body. The characters committing crimes in both movies are not remorseful and do not feel sorry because of their actions. Brandon decides to give the murder weapon to David’s father. He ties the books he gives to Mr. Kentley with the rope that they had used to murder David. This shows his merciless and unremorseful nature. However, Philip is overcome with guilt and is not able to hide his actions as well as Brandon does. He ends up drinking too much and does not enjoy his night as much as Brandon does. In Dial M for Murder, Tony seems to be more interested in his wife’s wealth than her wellbeing. His decision to have her killed is so that he can enjoy the wealth that he will inherit.
Hitchcock avoids much movement and the use of diverse settings in both movies. All the action in Rope takes place in the apartment. Brandon and Philip murder David in that room and they proceed to invite their guests to the dinner party in the same house. This restricts the characters movement. In Dial M for Murder, most of the action takes place in the apartment. Margot kills her attacker in the apartment. Hitchcock uses the setting as a way of enhancing suspense. In Rope, the viewers are aware of all the action taking place since they can see all the characters. However, the viewer’s suspense is enhanced as they wonder when the characters will learn of the hidden body in their midst. In Dial M for Murder, the viewers know that the key to solving the murder mystery and proving Margot’s innocence is in the apartment. However, it is not until the end when the Tony retrieves the key that the suspense is lifted. This action leads to him revealing to be the guilty suspect in the story.
Hitchcock’s use of suspense continued until the movies end. Although the audience knows that the criminals will be arrested, this does not happen even as the movie ends. In Rope, the movie ends when Rupert fires the shots in the air and the audience hears the police sirens. Hitchcock leaves the audience to speculate what happens next. The audience does not watch as the criminals are arrested. This is similar in Dial M for Murder. Tony knows that he has been caught, but the movie does not end in his final arrest. Instead, he pours himself a drink as he admits defeat.
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