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THE HITCHCOCK PAGE
Hitchcock has been overpraised and underrated. His best work has richly textured emotions which impel and strengthen suspense, not the other way around. James Stewart's voyeurism in Rear Window has as much to do with his photographer's natural curiosity as with his aversion to Grace Kelly's efforts to domesticate him; Ingrid Bergman makes her decision to spy on an ex-Nazis in Notorious because of her love for an uncaring Cary Grant even though Claude Rains, the object of her spying, genuinely loves her; Psycho gains its power to disturb because we genuinely feel for Anthony Perkins' character more than for those who pursue him; Strangers on a Train fascinates because of Robert Walker's devilishly complex and compelling Bruno Anthony.
Taking into account both the breath and quality of his films some consider Hitchcock the greatest director in the English language. I cannot go this far: if I had to choose, Michael Powell would get my vote. But there is no denying Hitchcock's ability to manipulate, to force us to ponder the nature of evil, and to come to terms with our own propensities.
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