Saturday, May 6, 2017

Alfred Hitchcock and His Blonde Muses

Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock had an affinity for casting blonde beauties in his movies. He famously had bizarre relationships with his leading ladies. His movie career spanned more than 40 years, it garnered him numerous awards and nominations both in Hollywood and in the United Kingdom. In an earlier blog post, I talked about Hitchcock never having won an Academy Award despite five nominations for Best Director.

Read: Alfred Hitchcock never won a Best Director Oscar


Ingrid Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock

Blondes in movies have been typecasted as either "dumb and clueless" or "sophisticated and icy". Hitchcock's Blondes are neither. Most of these characters were the central focus of the movies. The portrayals were classy, intelligent, and sensual.

Hitchcock had his favorites. He worked numerous times with Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, and Tippi Hedren. There were even rumors that he had a weird fascination with Hedren during the filming of her two movies with him.

I've created a list of the 8 "Blonde" actresses and their Hitchcock films. If the movie titles seem familiar especially to book readers, it's because of Hitchcock's preference of adapting novels and stories to the big screen.


1. Marlene Dietrich 

The famous German actress starred in the British thriller Stage Fright (1950).

Dietrich and Hitchcock


2. Ingrid Bergman

The multi-awarded Swedish actress was cast in two Hitchcock films: Spellbound (1945) and Notorious (1946)

Ingrid Bergman in Notorious


3. Grace Kelly

Before she married her prince, Grace Kelly starred in just eleven movies. Three of those films were Hitchcock's: Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955)

Grace Kelly in Rear Window


4. Doris Day

Who would have thought that funny lady, Doris Day, would be a Hitchcock Blonde? In 1956, Hitchcock remade his 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much with James Stewart and Day playing American Tourists in Morocco. The movie's theme song which Doris Day belted out, Que Sera Sera, won an Academy Award.

Doris day sings in The Man Who Knew Too Much


5. Kim Novak


A Blonde Bombshell of the 1950's, Kim Novak, played dual roles in the 1958 movie, Vertigo. Novak and Stewart had such great chemistry that they also were in another movie that year, Bell, Book and Candle. But it was a romantic comedy.

Kim Novak and Vertigo



6. Eva Marie Saint

A relatively successful dramatic actress, Eva Marie Saint, co-starred with Cary Grant and James Mason in Grant's last film with Alfred Hitchcock. North by Northwest (1959) featured a replica of American Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater creation. And who could forget that iconic plane chase scene with Cary Grant?

Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest


7. Janet Leigh

Just imagine that you're taking a shower when suddenly the curtain is parted and somebody started attacking you with a knife. This iconic scene from the 1960 movie, Psycho, has been reenacted countless of times in both TV and movie parodies.

Janet Leigh as Marion Crane will always be remembered because of this shower scene which was shot in black and white to avoid being censored. 

Janet Leigh before her famous shower in Psycho


8. Tippi Hedren

Hitchcock had an unhealthy obsession with the actress, Tippi Hedren. He made her filming time in both movies, Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964) miserable and frustrating.

What would you do if you were Tippi Hedren and you were attacked by Birds? 


I recommend that you start watching Alfred Hitchcock's films and try to see if you'll like the movies mentioned here.

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