Hitchcock's American films

Course Dates: 01/11/23 - 29/11/23
Time: 19:45 - 21:30
Location: Online
Hitchcock's American period saw his most spectacular work, a body of films that cemented his reputation not only as the 'master of suspense' but as a major filmmaker, one whose work includes some of cinema's most popular and critically admired films. This course explores Hitchcock's Hollywood career, the films, their production and their reception, while also assessing his critical reputation.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00

This course has now finished

Course Code: HF102

Finished Wed, eve, 01 Nov - 29 Nov '23

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online film studies course looks at Hitchcock's American films and considers his reputation (established in Britain) as a gifted filmmaker who, as a result of his Hollywood output, became a household name and major figure in post-war film culture, and later for film studies itself. We will consider Hitchcock's move to Hollywood at the end of the 1930s and his films with producer David O. Selznick in the early 1940s, his films subsequently as an independent producer and his developing style in the 1950s, a 'golden decade' for Hitchcock, with larger, upscale productions, particularly those at Paramount, and later in the 1960s, at Universal. We will also consider his involvement with television in the 1950s and 1960s, a development which helped to establish his reputation as the 'master of suspense', and later in the decade, and early 1960s, his exalted status for key critics whose veneration of Hitchcock had the effect of sealing his reputation and authorial style as one which would become a benchmark for studies in authorship.

Films featured on the course will include:
Rebecca (1940), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Suspicion (1941), Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Rope (1948), Strangers on a Train (1951), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), The Trouble with Harry (1956), The Wrong Man (1957), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), Torn Curtain (1966), Family Plot (1976).

Prior viewing and reading is not required. The tutor will provide notes for each session and suggest further reading and viewing.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• Hitchcock's work with producer David O. Selznick in the 1940s
• Hitchcock as independent producer and experiments in style in the 1940s/1950s
• Hitchcock's 'golden decade' at Paramount in the 1950s and its reception
• Hitchcock's television work in the 1950s/1960s
• Hitchcock work at Universal in the 1960s/1970s and its reception
• Hitchcock's critical reputation in the 1950s
• Hitchcock, authorship and his shifting critical reputation after 1960
• Hitchcock's legacy.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Assess Hitchcock's work with Selznick in the 1940s
• Assess Hitchcock's as an independent producer in the 1940s/50s, and identify key experiments with style during this period
• Assess Hitchcock's work at Paramount in the 1950s and its reception
• Assess Hitchcock's television career
• Assess Hitchcock's work at Universal in the 1960s/1970s and its reception
• Assess Hitchcock's critical reputation in the 1950s
• Hitchcock, authorship and his shifting critical reputation after 1960
• Assess Hitchcock's legacy.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for all levels and you do not require any particular skills - just an enthusiasm for film and discussing film. The course will provide an introduction to the subject but will also be useful for those wishing to build on existing knowledge in the subject area.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Screenings of extracts from films, talks by the tutor, reading materials, small and large group discussions. It might also be a good idea to see what you can find out about the subject in advance of the class but this is not essential.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will require a pen and paper (or laptop/device) but the tutor will provide all other materials such as handouts. The tutor will show extracts from films and you do not have to obtain them.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

For other film studies courses please visit our website at www.citylit.ac.uk/History, Culture and Writing/Film Studies.

Jon Wisbey

Jon Wisbey teaches film at City Lit and Morley College. He was for many years a committee member and vice-chair of Chelmsford Film Club, screening contemporary and classic world cinema releases. He has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. His teaching focuses on classical and post-classical Hollywood, European cinema, British cinema, film noir and horror cinema.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.