Mastering Psychotic: Hitchcock Influences On Directors And Their Films: Part 1

30 May

2nd. article in our 7 week series on Psychological Thrillers.

By  Parisienne

Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, created over fifty films including Psycho, Rear Window and Vertigo.  The plots of his films meant to serve as decoys in order to better understand the psychosis of his characters.1 His influences have stayed with us long after his death.  Many directors pay homage to him in their films, but they are not always apparent. Let’s take a look at who they are!

Steven Spielberg

  • Steven Speilberg makes allusions to Hitchcock in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.  When the boulder is chasing Indy it is an allusion to the film North by Northwest starring Carey Grant.2
  • He also used the same camera shot in Jaws that was used in Vertigo. (zoom/shrinking depth of field)

Gus Van Sant

  • Gus Van Sant chose to remake Psycho almost frame by frame.

Martin Scorcese

  • The opening credits of GoodFellas is influenced by the opening credits of Psycho.3

Brian DePalma

  • DePalma used the spilt screen technique in his movie Sisters that Hitchcock used in The Boston Strangler and Grand Prix.  He also used Hitchcock’s musical director Bernard Hermann to underline the score for Sisters.4

There are many more directors that have used Hitchcock influences in their films.  Who are your favorites and what scenes in their films allude to Hitchcock?

Please join us for an open discussion Wednesday: 5/30/2012-Friday 6/1/2012.

5 Responses to “Mastering Psychotic: Hitchcock Influences On Directors And Their Films: Part 1”

  1. littlebells May 31, 2012 at 2:09 PM #


    What were Hitchcock’s trademarks? What got him interested in film? What were his directing skills like?

  2. littlebells May 31, 2012 at 2:10 PM #

    Also, why did each of these directors pay homage to Hitchock in their own way? Why was Hitchcock influential to them?

  3. parisienne May 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM #


    You are wonderful to talk to. 🙂 I haven’t found much on Hitchcock’s directing skills yet but in the first reference in my article, The one from Biography, it talks about how he got intrested in film and also how some of his punishments from his parents shaped the way he made films.

    As far as homage to Hitchcock, here’s a cute story about the time Spielberg tried to meet him in 1976.–alfred-hitchcock-and-steven-spielberg-1796069.html

  4. littlebells June 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM #

    Thanks Paris!

    Why do films like Vertigo, NbyNW, Rear Window, Psycho, etc…continue to be classics? I know Psycho and NbyNW were remade, but no one refers to those remakes when they talk about the films. What do you think Hitchcock’s films are so successful?

  5. ozzie20 June 2, 2012 at 6:38 PM #

    I didn’t even know Psycho or North By North West had been remade! I can’t think of any other directors at the moment but I will keep thinking. 🙂

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