How we used to be portrayed on film – by Hitchcock



Alfred Hitchcock | 1920s | Uncredited/Daily Telegraph | 14341

James Waygood writes in SoSoGay about Hitchcock’s treatment of gay characters in his films. The British Film Institute held a retrospective of one of the greatest film directors to emerge from the UK, in 2011.

The book released to coincide with the retrospective, “The 39 Steps to the Genius of Hitchcock” has step 19 called ‘Queer Window’. It “sets out various examples of LGBT characters, from the manipulative obsessions of the de Winter’s housekeeper in Rebecca, to the more subtle suggestion of a homosexual relationship between Brandon and Phillip in Rope. But what impact does Hitchcock’s silver screen image of gay men and women have? But more importantly, should we be bothered?”

The films were made during the period of repression. Had Hitchcock dared to put in positive role models of gay men and lesbians, his films would probably have not been distributed widely. “Hitchcock’s LGBT characters are jealous manipulators, murderers, or dangerous, mentally ill people.”

Updated 20 November 2014: Corrupted html code corrected.


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