In Rear Window, Jefferies is scared of being seen as weak and emasculated because he has a broken camera and a broken leg. His broken leg suggests his emasculation because he is literally crippled and thus, not a whole, capable man who can do normal tasks such as go to work or make his own food. Also, the broken camera suggests his emasculation because the camera is a representation of his work and how he makes a living. Thus, without the camera, he cannot financially support himself and is seen as weak because, in a patriarchal society, a man is suppose to be the money maker of the house. Furthermore, another example of Jefferies being scared to be seen as weak and emasculated is when Jeffereies is speaking to Stella about marriage and he comments, “She’s too perfect, she’s too talented, she’s too beautiful, she’s too sophisticated. She’s too everything but what I want… If she was only ordinary ” (Rear Window 11:50 – 12:25). The audience sees that Jefferies doesn’t want to marry Lisa because she is too perfect of a woman while he considers himself a bum who lives paycheck to paycheck. Initially, it appears that Jefferies doesn’t want to marry Lisa because he thinks she is too good for him and she deserves someone better. However, there is a subliminal meaning behind his words in that he doesn’t want to marry a woman that is more powerful, have more authority, more masculinity than he does. This is because in a patriarchal society, the man is thought of as the head of the house, while the woman is submissive. If Jefferies were to marry Lisa, people would view him as the submissive and thus, emasculating him. All of which leads to Jefferies seeking for a way to take back his masculinity throughout the movie.
Strangers on a Train is a display of Hitchcock’s mastery of every aspect of the film, from scene selection to character movement. An example of this can be seen in the opening sequence of the movie where the audience is introduced to two characters through the cross cutting sequence of the characters’ walk from their cars to the train. Hitchcock decides to alternate between the two pairs of feet because it suggests that Hitchcock is deciding these two characters’ fate in meeting each other. Another example Hitchcock’s control of the movie is displayed later in sequence when the camera cuts to the front of the train and the audience is watching the train come to a cross roads as it enters the station. This suggests to the audience that Hitchcock is in complete control of the movie, and he is deciding which direction the film is going in. All of which tells the audience that Hitchcock intentionally placed everything in the movie and Stranger on a Train reflects his morals and ideal of the world.
Throughout the movie, Hitchcock conceals instances of bravado. An example of this would be the scene in the movie where Brandon is talking to Phillip after all the guests have left for the evening, and he tells Phillip, “I thought that was wonderful. Didn’t you like it?” Hitchcock is clearly showing Brandon’s confidence through his actions in this scene. He is seen smiling and laid back on the chair, joyed with throwing a successful party. However, Hitchcock is not only showing Brandon’s fearlessness with this scene. He’s also showing his own courage. Through Brandon’s actions and words, Hitchcock is speaking to the audience, asking how pleased they are with the masterpiece Hitchcock has filmed–as if we could see Hitchcock speaking to the audience instead of Brandon talking to Phillip. Concealing this instance of bravado could add to the notion that Rope, to Hitchcock, is too queer because, unlike previous movies he has directed, he doesn’t want to make a physically visible cameo.
An interesting scene in the movie is when Alicia figures out that Alex and his mother know about Alicia being an American spy. Once Alicia makes the connection, the camera zooms into Alex and his mother’s faces. This suggests that Alicia is being overwhelmed by their presence because initially, when the camera is originally zoomed out, Alicia didn’t suspect any foul play from Alex or his mother. However, when she made the connection, the camera zoomed into their faces which proposes that she finally sees the great presence they bring and the huge involvement they’ve had in her health in this point of the movie.
Another interesting sequence was when Devlin goes to his meeting with his boss with a bottle of champagne. Carrying the bottle of champagne into this meeting can be seen as a power move which establishes power. This is because he is happy with Alicia and in a “perfect world” where they can be together and love each other. However, by the time Devlin leaves the room, he forgets the champagne bottle in the office. This can be seen as loss/submission of power because he loses the argument about Alicia’s job assignment. This also leads to Devlin losing the “perfect world” he had with Alicia and proof that he loves her because he failed to fight for her when he was discussing her job assignment with his boss.
Throughout the movie, Uncle Charlie and Charlie are portrayed to be parallel to each other with similarities and differences. In the beginning of the movie, both Charlies are first seen lying in bed, being bored/sad with the world they are in now and longing for a different life. The two introductions of the characters differ in that Charlie wants to have a life of adventure and freedom; breaking the cycle of dinner, dishes, and bed. While Uncle Charlie on the other hand wants to return to his childhood life where the world was beautiful and much better than it is now due to his youthful innocence. The parallel between Uncle Charlie and Charlie can also be seen when Uncle Charlie arrives in Santa Rosa. Both Charlies are happy to see each other and be in each other’s company. However, Charlie is excited because Uncle Charlie brings a sense of adventure and a break from the daily, boring routine. While Uncle Charlie is happy because he is with his family, which reminds him of home. All of which, aid in the similarities and differences in character building between Charlie and Uncle Charlie.
In the scene where Hannay is running from the police after speaking with the sherif and he has to speak in front of a crowd about the idle rich, he says, “I’ve known what it’s like to feel lonely and helpless and have the whole world against me.” The audience he is speaking to thinks that Hannay is light heartedly trying to connect with everyone in the room. On the other hand, the audience watching the movie knowns that Hannay’s character development is becoming more sympathetic of Annabella. This scene demonstrates his development because in the beginning of the movie, Hannay is skeptical of Annabella’s roll of being a spy and thinks nothing more of her as just another woman in their patriarchal society. However, he goes through the experience of Annabella/a woman in their society by not being believed by the police, and feeling helpless because nobody is willing to believe/help him (as seen in the scene when Hannay is speaking the sherif). Thus, the audience watching the movie knows that Hannay says the aforementioned line with truth and a heavy heart.
When the second Mrs. de Winter is brainstorming a costume for the party she wants to throw, the first design the audience sees is a woman (assumed to be her) in a suit of armor. Typically, especially in a patriarchal society where the movie takes place, a man is thought of to be behind the armor of a knight, and the woman the damsel. This creates an image of the man being strong, brave, and powerful, while the woman is thought of helpless and in-need. Thus, having the second Mrs. de Winter envision herself as a night in shining armor shows that she thinks of herself as strong, brave, and powerful; something that the first Mrs. de Winter had. This illustrates the second Mrs. de Winter’s desire to become like the first Mrs. de Winter because she wants to be a figure who’s thought of as strong and independent.