Hitchcock, Wilcox and the
Yellow Canary (continued)



 

Representations of Women

Equally as important as the visual parallels are these films' theoretical and conceptual similarities.

 

Regarding female representation in Yellow Canary and Notorious, both directors articulate a moral split between the interiority and exteriority of the female leads' characters. 

 

Yellow Canary deals, as does the Hitchcock film, with a moral duality in the lead female character:  a woman publicly scorned for degrees of immorality (both sexual and political), while the private motivators for this tainted public image are exceedingly moral (in both films, the female leads are undercover spies for the Allies). They are women who are willingly/voluntarily trapped in a false identity:  a public face of social immorality motivated by a moral sacrifice for a greater cause. [As I progress, I'll draw comparisons and put forth theories on how this subject matter reflects on the directors' personalities. Also I will discuss the binary opposite of this:  Wilcox's relationship with a woman with a publicly moral façade while living a private life of questionable virtue.]

 

Continuing in comparingdualities of women, the role of the domineering, duplicitous and yet socially polite mother is dramatized in both works.  In Wilcox's, the mother is revealed to be a top Nazi agent posing a mother, but in Hitchcock's (true to a motif in many of his films) the relationship between mother and son is a true biological one, with the duplicity having far more layers of reading and psychology.

 

 

Direction of Inquiry

My research does not begin and end with comparing two films from the same era.  I wish to examine what has been written about the personalities and proclivities of the two directors and of how there could be emblematic psychological interplay to investigate, both through historical research and via their film work.

 

 

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