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

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After this course, I have started to think that David Fincher has a lot of influence from Hitchcock in many of his films. His movies have many common elements with the psychological thriller, suspense thriller or even film noir. Now, I am thinking about Gone Girl, which has a little bit of these genres and focuses on a falsely accused man, marriage and a psycopath. Also, even when it has a dark tone, there are many moments of dark comedy as well, for example, when Amy Dunne says that she is much happier now that she is dead. In the case of motifs, many important situations in the film are part of bed scenes (the assassination or the first and last shot of Amy), the protagonist is blonde and the covers of the books of The Amazing Amy could function as a painting. Finally, the music is very important for instance in the murder scene when the lighting is quite expressionistic with the blink effect and among other similarities it is possible to identify the many POV shots when Amy is writing her diary.


Gone Girl for sure and Se7en most definitely is Hitch influenced. Think of the final sequence on the dirt road in an open field from a high POV shot.

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It's probably been mentioned but I always think of the final sequence in Se7en where we have dirt roads and empty fields with a high POV shot similar to the bus/crop duster scene in North By Northwest


There are obviously so many more but that one always hits my brain first.



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A film that I believe is the mature version of a Hitchcockian thriller is Fatal Attraction (1987) by Adrian Lyne. The director is English. Involves eroticism to full extreme. A blonde as the main antagonist of the story. Infidelity also plays a major role in the film, as well as the torture and torment of the main character's life. The climax that takes place in the bathroom, not only lifted from Psycho, but also Les Diaboliques (1955). Also, providing some tongue-in-cheek humor.

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Films directed by Brian De Palma are very influenced by Alfred Hitchcock.

Sisters (1973)

The Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Carrie (1976)

Obsession (1976)

The Fury (1978)

Dressed to Kill (1980)

Blow Out (1981)

Body Double (1984)

Wise Guys (1986)

Raising Cain (1992)

Carlito's Way (1993)

Femme Fatale (2002)

The Black Dahlia (2006)

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True Detective, seasons 1 and 2      The Passenger

The Last Wave                                Marathon Man

Picnic at Hanging Rock                     The Fog

Eyewitness                                      Apartment Zero

Bunny Lake is Missing                      Taking Lives

True Crime                                      Blink

Bug                                                China Moon                                

Bad Timing                                      Matchpoint

Laura                                              A Stolen Life

Wire in the Blood series                    Talented Mr. Ripley

Bourne series                                  Absolute Power                          

Parallax View                                   Repulsion

Internal Affairs                                Somewhere in Time

Frantic                                            Seconds

Eyes of Laura Mars                           DaVinci Code

Crimson Rivers                                 Mirage

Day of the Jackal                              Pacific Heights

Narrow Margin                                  Klute

Black Widow                                     Masquerade

Weekend at Bernie's                         Reflections in a Golden Eye

Criminal Law

General's Daughter  

Fallen Idol                                        ...Etc.

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but I always think Hitchcock when I watch Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten. I know the film was released in 1944 during Hitchcock's time. But the intrigue, film noir, wrongly accused woman, maybe this was George Cukor's tip of the hat to Hitchcock.

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Raising Hope, Season 4, Episode 7, "Murder, She Hoped":  Primarily an homage to Rear Window when the Chances believe their new back fence neighbor murdered his wife, with a little tribute to the music of North by Northwest, a callback to Carlotta from Vertigo (the reasonable, classy lady with the guns), listen out for The Birds, and just a touch of Psycho at the end. The music, costumes, and chases all crammed into 21 minutes.

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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but I always think Hitchcock when I watch Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten. I know the film was released in 1944 during Hitchcock's time. But the intrigue, film noir, wrongly accused woman, maybe this was George Cukor's tip of the hat to Hitchcock.


I agree! There are a few movies that aren't Hitchcock that are often mistaken for Hitchcock. My favorites in this category are Charade (1963), directed by Stanley Donen; Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Billy Wilder. IMDB has a pretty long list of more examples here: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls071418428/, but some of these aren't in the time frame of Hitchcock's career.

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I can recall an episode of That 70s Show that was an homage to Hitchcock. It was called Too Old to Trick or Treat, Too Young to Die. It had several references, albeit hilarious, including Rear Window, The Birds, North By Northwest, and Psycho. 

As many of us know, Brian De Palma has made several films that paid homage to Hitch: Sisters, Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Body Double, and even Blow Out.
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One that I forgot to mention which has since been listed at least once is Woody Allen's Matchpoint. Woody referred to this in a recent live interview as one of his favorite films. I think it very much works in the Hitchcock style.


Another that I don't believe has been mentioned yet is the French film Ascenseur pour l'echafaud (Elevator To the Gallows). This is a film worth checking out.

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Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer and Hossein Amini's Two Faces of January (based on a Patricia Highsmith novel). You may recall that Strangers on a Train was also based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith.


Regarding The Ghost Writer, there is a scene where a piece of paper is being passed from person to person. During that scene, my friend whispered, "This is so Hitchcock!" And of course, the final scene (I won't give it away.) is also "so Hitchcock."


Great article by Neil Miller on filmschoolrejects.com entitled "The Ghost Writer: Polanski's Own Slice of Hitchcock." Enjoy!


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My favorite homage to Hitchcock is Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety". Mel Brooks references Vertigo, Spellbound, North by Northwest, Psycho and Birds. Brooks is pooped on by birds and is attacked in a shower scene from Psycho by the bellboy. The film lampoons many of Hitchcock's standard plots and directorial techniques, but not in a mean-spirited way.

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   As a relative novice to the films of Alfred Hitchcock I have over the course of these six weeks been noticing so many, many films and television shows which have taken bits and pieces from Alfred Hitchcock. The James Bond film series for example has more than borrowed their share of ideas from Mr. Hitchcock and Brian De Palma would not have had a film career if he hadn't stolen everything but a crop duster from Mr. Hitchcock (to say nothing of what he has purloined from Mr. Eisenstein, but that is for another message board).

   It might sound silly but I watched Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety" the other evening and I laughed out loud like I had not laughed in ages. Yes, I got all of the jokes! 


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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:



I can absolutely agree with this! It was a film that definitely kept me on the edge of my seat, something that hasn't happened for ages. I'm not usually an M. Night Shyamlan, but this was one of the best films that I had seen in a long time. 

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Notable films (that were inspired by Hitchcock, or contains Hitchcock-related montages/homages): 


Billy Wilder's "Witness For The Prosecution" (1957)

Michael Powell's "Peeping Tom" (1960)

Stanley Donen's "Charade" (1963)

Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety" (1977)

Danny DeVito's "Throw Mama From The Train" (1987)

David Lynch's "Muholloland Drive" (2001)

Brian de Palma's "Femme Fatale" (2002)


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A few more that would have been interesting with the Hitchcock touch during his prime...

Bound (1996) Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon

Red Rock West (1992) Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) Kevin Spacey, John Cusack

Tightrope (1984) Clint Eastwood, Genevieve Bujold

Identity (2003) John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet

Silent Fall (2000) Richard Dreyfuss, Linda Hamilton, John Lithgow

Original Sin (2000) Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie

The Hot Spot (1990) Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Connelly 

The Satan Bug (1965) George Maharis, Richard Basehart, Anne Francis

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One film that comes to mind for me is:


The Ring (2002).


The camera angles in the movie resemble Hitchcock's style a lot. Even the color tone to movie is something I feel he would have done. And the video that is watched in the movie is very Hitchcockian. The still shots that are used are very beautiful but creepy at the same time and the way it's put together makes it hard to look away.

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Well, this is where everyone looses me as I have just found Hitchcock as the Master of Suspense. This class has been amazing. I feel my list is questionable, so I have added an International list I researched and may watch a couple.


Thinking of things just attacking

Tremors, Gremlins, The Ghost and the Darkness


The Great MacGuffin

Usual Suspects, Pulp Fiction, Holy Grail, The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Citizen Kane of course, Maltese Falcon, Star Trek, The Hangover movies, The Book of Eli (awesome movie), Saving Private Ryan, Dogma, Gaurdian's of the Galaxy, The Tourist. Tons more. When you get to thinking about it, wow what an impact Hitchcock has made. I never knew.


Double Chase

The Fugitive, Shooter, drawing a blank on any more I've seen, possibly.... The Wizard of Oz.


I feel these are also random contributions. Game of Thrones seems to come to mind fitting all above criteria. I also really enjoy Mid Summer Murders a British series containing some Hitchcockian style. It will be exciting to see films mentioned with my new pair of Hitchcock glasses.




Shelly Isaacs


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Undoubtedly and uncontestably considered “The Master,” Alfred Hitchcock’s influence has continued to inspire directors the world over. These eight film selections bear witness to his unequaled legacy as a storyteller and cinematic craftsman.


1. Phoenix - Germany, 2015 - A disfigured Holocaust survivor undergoes plastic surgery and sets out to determine if the man she loved betrayed her trust. Without revealing herself, she becomes a pawn in a scheme to get her money.


2. Tell No One - France, 2006 - A doctor misses the wife who was murdered eight years prior when he was considered the prime suspect. Two recent murders in the same spot point to him again and he receives a message that his wife is alive.


3. About Elly - Iran, 2009 - A group of urban families travel for a short vacation to the seashore and take along a kindergarten teacher. She mysteriously disappears, leaving the couples to discover what really happened.


4. The Trap - Serbia, 2007 - In post Milosevic Serbia, an ordinary man's son is in need of a lifesaving operation. He answers an ad that thrusts him into an existential nightmare, where human life is worth little, and a normal life may be unreachable.


5. The Aura - Argentina, 2005 - A taxidermist dreams of committing the perfect crime, never intending to actually do it. Then a hunting trip changes everything.


6. Read My Lips - France, 2001 - Carla is frustrated by her hearing deficiency, feeling it is holding back her career. Then she meets Paul, an ex-con who sees her special talent as a way to make the big score.


7. Julieta - Spain, 2016 - A casual encounter with her estranged daughter's friend, forces a woman to re-evaluate her life to figure out where it all went wrong.


8. Mississippi Mermaid - France ,1969 - Francois Truffaut's film of passion, betrayal and deception, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve is a classic homage to "The Master" himself.


There are some serious Hitchcock enthusiasts in this class, it's quite the honor to be part. Thank you all for sharing and expanding my view on films.

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Firstly, thank you for this amazing course!!!

Great contributions so far on this topic. A couple that I hadn't thought of that were mentioned, Night of the Hunter and Fahrenheit 451 great movies. Also, I agree that Hitchcock would've loved Fargo. The Coen Brothers have their own magic and I don't see them borrowing that much from Hitchcock


I see so many movies that feature Hitchcock inspired elements.

But no one has been able to combine his whole catalog of ideas the way he did it.

His works will live on forever. Some movies that I feel were inspired by Hitchcock are:


The Talented Mister Ripley

cinematography, locations, letting the audience know what is going on ahead of the action, dark story complicated Psycho type character, Hitchcock prototype blonde



gripping opening scene, camera shots, innocent guy gets thrown into danger,



Brilliant musical score, great opening scene, interesting characters, nonstop action,humorous moments, camera shots

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Thank you for a wonderful course and these great posts.  Konradnv noted the movie The Talented Mr. Ripley having elements of Hitchcock and it's interesting to note the author Patricia Highsmith also wrote Strangers on a Train.


Movies that come to mind that I see influences of Hitchcock:


Match Point with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Scarlett Johansson directed by Woody Allen.


Fargo by the Coen brothers


Midnight Lace directed by David Miller


Thanks again for such an enjoyable exploration of the Master. 



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A film I thought of immediately is Frantic.


Frantic (1988) is a suspenseful thriller directed by Roman Polanski and starring Harrison Ford. Soon after arriving in Paris, a married couple checks into a hotel. Concluding that they must have picked up the wrong luggage, the husband takes a shower and soon discovers that his wife has disappeared from the room and hotel. This film is about his search for his missing wife with little help from the authorities and involves murder, spying, and blackmail. Very Hitchcockian.



It has been a great course and I‘ve learned plenty. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts.


This was my third summer with you (Dr. Edwards and members) I hope there will be a forth.



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