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8/1/17 Lecture Note Discussion: Remakes, Homages, and Films Inspired by Hitchcock

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I want to open this up as a discussion in the spirit of a Daily Dose. 


Let's start to compile a list of all the films and TV shows/episodes that have been inspired by Hitchcock. 


The film or TV show could be a remake, an homage, an example of a Hitchcock story--I am willing to entertain a fairly robust definition of this discussion. 


But my goal is to see how many films and TV shows this community can name that can be traced, in some form or another, back to Alfred Hitchcock as the creative spark.


Please try to read others' posts and contribute new titles to the discussion.


Thanks! Let's see how big a list we can create in a couple of days to show the enormous impact Hitchcock has had on cinematic and televisual storytelling!


Prof. Edwards

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I'm not recommending all these for quality, but some that spring to mind outside of De Palma and the ones listed in the notes.



High Anxiety (a parody)

Psycho (1998) (a remake)

Gaslight (1944)(the british version too but less so, though I prefer it.)


Psycho II



What Lies Beneath

Gone Girl; possibly Zodiac and Se7en as well...even Panic Room to some degree, given all the survelliance and peeping. Ill throw out The Game as well even though I haven't seen it in ages. Fincher might be an underrated director influenced by Hitchcock looking back.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (edit: maybe others can think of other Curtis Hanson movies? To me, this seems the clearest)

Mulholland Drive (didn't occur to me until way later, but Lynch has been a big Hitchcock advocate and I can see why when thinking about this movie; Blue Velvet possibly too but this one even more)

Shutter Island (definitely some differences and twists, but it's the most strongly, imo, Hitchcock-esque Scorsese movie, though one could argue for Cape Fear too)

Peeping Tom

The Conversation (not as sure about this one, but seems worth throwing out there for discussion)

The Spanish Prisoner

Flightplan (lots of psychological elements, ummmm themes since I won't give spoilers although I'm not crazy about this movie at all) 

Disturbia (obvious [bad] knockoff remake of Rear Window)

Jaws (? maybe some will dispute this one, but I put it because of the suspense moments and the techniques used at various points, also the shark's reign of terror is never explained)

Basic Instinct (I don't know what to call this one exactly, but the influence is there in the shots, twists, suspense, the blonde, etc.)

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Films Inspired by Hitchcock


Psycho II, III, IV  Anthony Perkins carried on his Norman Bates  1983 - 1990

Pretty Poison (1968)   Anthony Perkins is nuts, but not the killer


High Anxiety  (1977)  Mel Brooks does Hitchcock, for those who can stand Mel Brooks


Mirage  (1965)      Gregory Peck intrigue and amnesia

Arabesque (1966)


Charade (1963)   Cary Grant


Rafifi (1955)       caper movies 

Topkapi  (1964)

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The first that came to my mind, but BrianBlake beat me to it, was: Mulholland Drive.


So here are some others:

The Shining 

Silver Streak

Foul Play

Pulp Fiction

The Man Who Wasn’t There

The Bride Wore Black

Crimes and Misdemeanors

The Lady from Shanghai

The French Connection

Some Like It Hot

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One of my favorite movies and clearly Hitchcock-inspired.


Also want to add "high places" to the list of motifs.  Maybe it's just too obvious, but thought it should certainly be included.  To a much lesser extent, bridges are a recurring backdrop to some famous sequences... The 39 Steps, Saboteur, Vertigo, and Frenzy.

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Charade has already been mentioned in this list but I wanted to go into a bit more detail about this film as homage to Hitch's work, and specifically to North by Northwest.  I may have been more alert to this connection because I just watched North by Northwest and Notorious last week.


1,  The presence of Cary Grant, though here he is 25 years older than Hepburn. That topic is not shied away from in the film though.


2. A scene in which a series of cabs is hijacked and the people trying to take them are pushed away by Grant.


3. Grant is fighting (he's quite the action hero in this one, though in a darker suit, not his traditional gray suit) with George Kennedy on the roof of American Express, Grant goes over the edge and Kennedy's shoes approach Grant's grasping fingers, like Martin Landau's atop Mt. Rushmore.  He doesn't squash the fingers, fortunately.


4. Instead of the "wrong man," this one is the "wrong woman," though in a sense Hepburn IS the one the bad men are looking for, it's just that she doesn't know she has the goods.


5. Grant goes from room to room in the hotel by climbing out the window and inching along the ledge.  A woman inside one of the rooms exclaims that another man is peeping at her from the balcony.


6. Of course the idea about the stamps is not a Hitchcock take-off but a reference to Poe's "The Purloined Letter"!


Question:  Is there a Hitch film with a kid shooting a water pistol?  That's here too, but I can't bring a specific Hitch reference to mind.


I wonder if Stanley Donen does a walk-on anywhere in Charade?





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I think Henry Hathaway's Niagara has several Hitchcockian elements. Star power and blonde - Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten as the man driven to murder which he does so well. The backdrop of Niagara Falls is used much like Mount Rushmore, Lady Liberty, or the British Museum. Jean Peters as Polly is an ordinary person who begins to suspects things are awry and must fight for he life to escape going over the falls at the climax. There is also the lighting, staircases, high angles and music plays an important roll in the plot.

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I saw Fred Zinneman's The Day of the Jackal (1973) (based on a Frederick Forsyth novel) recently and it struck me that there are several Hitchcockian elements to this movie:


(1) It has a Macguffin - the identity of the villain character (played by Edward Fox) - the authorities never find out who he really is


(2) It has something of a double chase - the bad guy trying to enact his plot, and the security services/police trying to capture him


(3) The villain is an attractive one, as in many Hitchcock movies - he's capable, meticulous, very resourceful, dashing -- it's very interesting to see him work out his plot.


(4) The police/security people are somewhat bumbling, as is the case in many Hitchcock movies (except for "one good man" in particular -- the chief detective played by Michel Lonsdale -- who resembles, say Chief Inspector Hubbard in Dial M for Murder, or Chief Inspector Oxford in Frenzy)


(5) It's an audience-friendly movie - most of the time Zinneman gives the audience more information about what the bad guy is doing than the police characters in the movie have.


At any rate, this is a great thriller movie, and of course Zinneman himself is one of the great directors and you could probably do a class on him if you wanted to.

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For a more modern film, I recently watched Sophia Coppola's The Beguiled. Though subtle I think there are definite Hitchcockian elements playing in that film. There are beautiful blondes and some humorous moments worked in to the story, and the method of the murder is one of those moments when Hitch and Alma would say, "Wouldn't this be a funny way to kill him off." 


Colin Farrell's character spends much of the movie confined to a divan in a single room with a wounded leg much like L. B. Jeffries in Rear Window but instead of looking out of the window, he watches the women pass by his door from time to time. The women of the all-female boarding school are similar to the types found in Rear Window such as Miss Lonelyhearts and the tempting young Miss Torso, but Nicole Kidman is once again a Grace Kelly type role with as similar a relationship status with the Union soldier as Lisa has with Jeff. However, Kidman may also be compared to Lars Thorwald in the third act. A staircase also plays prominently into the story.


The Beguiled doesn't strictly adhere to every Hichcockian theme, but it is good to see that his influence is woven into the fabric of a good suspense movie.  

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To try and capture as many of these Hitchcock inspired films will be a herculean task. Imdb has an interesting list at:




which gives 97 Hitchcock films not directed by Hitchcock. 

One of my own favorites is Duel​ from 1971. How much more of  German Expressionism can you get then a 5,000 gallon fuel tanker following you with malice and being unstoppable. Man versus machine!

      Can't leave out Bogart's ​Dark Passage ​from 1947.

      A few others from the list mentioned above are ​Play Misty For Me, Jaws, Abandon Ship (Tyrone Power 1957) , and ​Witness For the Prosecution (Tyrone Power innocent man indeed).

      BBC's 2016 spy thriller "Secret Agent" with Toby Jones.

      1993 sci-fi Lifepod... sorta of Lifeboat ​in space.

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The Harrison Ford movie The Fugitive (1993) borrows heavily from Hitchcock themes - the "wrong man," for example. It even borrows some scenes directly from Hitchcock movies (as in the scene where Ford/Dr. Kimball escapes the US marshalls by joining the St. Patrick's Day parade - Richard Hannay pulls a similar move at one point in The 39 Steps).

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Mine are the older film but i can see how the Hitchcock touch inspired them.


Crossfire with Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Robert Young

Act of Violence with Robert Ryan, Van Heflin and Janet Leigh

Witness for the Procescution

Shawshank Redemtion

Double Imdemnity

Manchuria Candidate

And Then There Was None


A Touch of Larceny

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Twilight Zone

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Sisters - it was scored by Bernard Hermann and the murder scene is split screen aka "24" a great movie.


Obsession- Same director, same composer (his last works) but if you have never seen it, its great almost a vertigo remake and I even think that Hitchcock saw the film. The score has echoes of Vertigo in it.


It's Alive- scored by Hermann fun fact about the film it was going to be a PSYCHO reunion meaning they were going to cast the psycho cast at least Perkins and Miles as husband and wife but that was not to be in the final film.


the score to Star Wars and Taxi Driver both have a cue from Psycho in the films...can you guess what cue that is?

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This class was awesome and I am happy to have had the opportunity to take it. What strikes me the most about Hitchcock, the "chase", the juxtaposition, the anti....ci....pation, the colorful worlds of quirky characters, the unreliability of witnesses and crowds, the inept police, the black humour, the "double" , mental health, what I call the "wait...what??" factor, can all be seen,  a la Hitchcock,  in the following films/ locations/ books :

Purple Noon

Body double

Drowning Mona

Primal Fear 

Throw momma from the train 

Wild Things

American Perfekt


Manderley Bar


some of Christopher Moore's books (everyday people in very extraordinary/ supernatural circumstances, chassers being chased)

the ice harvest, book and movie


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For me, there are a few that jump out quickly:

The film What Lies Beneath with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Dressed to Kill (as mentioned in the Lecture Notes)

How about Night of the Hunter with Robert Mitchum?   I think Laughton would have been as good as Hitchcock if he had kept at it.

My current obsession on TV:  Good Behavior on TNT with Michelle Dockery (shifting identities, thievery, dark humor).  Michelle's character is fairly close to Tippi's in Marnie.

And as I posted on Padlet very early on, Spielburg had said that when 'Bruce' the shark would not cooperate when making Jaws, he looked to inspiration from Hitchcock.  He decided Hitchcock wouldn't have needed to show the shark to produce suspense.  And the first American Blockbuster is born! 


Awesome lists everyone!

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Split (2016)

Dir: M.Night Shyamalan

Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, M.Night Shyamalan among others and an uncredited cameo by Bruce Willis


I felt this movie was highly inspired with "Psycho" as the main character Kevin Wendell Crumb was like one of Norman Bates's close relatives. Not to mention the horror show that it has. Even certain scenes was inspired by Hitchcock movies. One could see that Kevin impersonates a woman and the hostages mistook her for someone who could have helped them out, only to find that her was "him" all along. This scene reminded me of Mrs Bates/Mother sequence from the Hitchcock film.


What amazed me even more is that the title design resembles as that of Saul Bass's Psycho and it was a great homage to him.


Here's the trailer to the film:




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I watched Truffaut's Day for Night yesterday on TCM. Truffaut plays a film director trying to make a movie with all sorts of behind the scenes drama. There is a scene when he receives a package of about 20 books he has ordered - they are all biographies of great film directors. Close up on The Great Films of Alfred Hitchcock. Nice touch.

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Still of thte Night a Robert Benton film starring Roy Scheider and Meryl Steep in 1982 had a very Hitchcockesque feel to it.  Murder, a bit of voyeurism, obsession and some "dream sequences"  and in this case the "wrong woman" theme.  A psychological thriller somewhat reminiscent of Marnie.  I don't think it was well received when released but I remember really liking the film, both stars being in their prime.

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Two of the most Hitchcockian films I’ve seen that are by directors who aren’t Alfred Hitchcock are Charade (1963), directed by Stanley Donen, and the French film Diabolique (1955), directed by H.G. Clouzot.


Charade features murder, romance, mistaken identities, and espionage.  The combination of suspense and humor are what really echo Hitchcock, in my opinion.  Charade has a fantastic score by Henri Mancini.  Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are the charismatic leads. 


Diabolique deals with a murder gone awry and is very suspenseful.  The cinematography reminds me of Hitch’s B&W Hollywood films.  The plot, which involves the gaslighting of one of its characters, strikes me as something Hitch and Alma would have loved.


A more recent Hitch-inspired film is Disturbia (2007), starring Shia LaBeouf.  LeBeouf’s character, who becomes a voyeur while under house arrest, witnesses what he thinks is murder.  The film, directed by D.J. Caruso, is an homage to Rear Window.   

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I am thinking of another movie that may have had some Hitchcock influence.  "Dont Look Now" was directed by Nicholas Roeg and involved a couple grieving the death of their child. It starred Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie.  Some of the scenes occurred in a church and the setting itself was Venice.  So you have a mystery/suspence feel, the travelogue aspect, and it was adapted from a story by Daphne du Maurier. There were scenes that appeared surreal and I remember there were lots of flashbacks and innovative use of light and sound.  Checking out google it was released in 1973.  I saw it on Netflix a couple of years ago.

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