Alfred Hitchcock's body of cinematic work is considerably varied. His most famous film, Psycho, established the style of slasher films and other forms of so-called "realistic" horror. Films like North By Northwest are rousing comedy-adventures, while a film like Notorious is an old-fashioned romantic thriller, complete with spies, deception, and elegant romance. Even more challenging is the cinematic tricks involved in Rope and Rear Window, where the visual and technical style are at least as important to the story as the lines the actors are given to say. .
The common denominator for the vast majority of these pictures is their association with the thriller genre. This association goes without saying, as almost every film has something to do with criminal activity, most often murder. Another common element is the romance depicted in the storylines. Like many a film from the Golden Age and later, Hitchcock`s films used romance as a very important element to the plots. Performers such as Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, James Stewart, Kim Novak, Grace Kelly and others were called upon to play these romantic parts, which give the films an exterior appearance of larger-than-life romance, just as in many other pictures. However, what is interesting in Hitchcock`s films, once one think about it, is how he puts an often disturbing spin on most of his romantic pairings. .
Study at least a few of Hitchcock`s major pictures and you will find that, in most cases, psychological and physical bondage, as well as other sinister attributes, are defining features of the depicted romances. Certainly, the best examples of this are Notorious and Vertigo, two fairly different types of films, but with a similar bent toward harshness toward and confinement of the woman. .
Notorious, from 1946, is a fairly old-fashioned spy thriller, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, depicting such time-honoured characters such as debonair, charming spies and dastardly Nazi criminals.