Women in Alfred Hitchcock’s Filmography

Katelyn Hohn

More and more, I’ve seen one charge laid against famous and talented English film director Alfred Hitchcock by modern viewers more than any other: misogyny. This label, as both a woman and a lover of classic films, saddens me.

While his films have misogynistic characters, his films do not have a misogynistic agenda, in my opinion. The ill treatment of some of his heroines comes from the purpose of the plot, the fate of the lifestyle they are living, or the actions of the men in their lives. The male characters are not treated any better in a Hitchcock film, either. As to the suffering of his female characters, I have this to say: a character suffers in the first half of a story so they can triumph in the last act.

Classic examples of that last reason can be found in “Vertigo”, “Notorious,” and “Marnie.” The men in those…

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