Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Stairs

Alfred Hitchcock seemed to have a thing for stairs. Staircases are featured prominently in many of his films, which stands out because a person going upstairs or downstairs, or just generally moving from one place to another, is the kind of thing that most filmmakers would skip to save time. For Hitchcock, it may have been an excuse to film actors from strange angles. Or it represents the character's journey. Or maybe it was a way to build tension. When asked about those scenes, Hitch said, "Stairs are very photogenic."

Max Tohline compiled 39 staircase sequences from Hitchcock films and named it Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Stairs. Yes, the movie The 39 Steps is in there. This video is less than three minutes long, because the compilation is shown twice. Tohline points out that Hitchcock's very first film, The Pleasure Garden from 1925, opened with a staircase scene, and his final film, Family Plot from 1976, ends with a shot of a staircase. The films used in this supercut are listed at the vimeo page. (via Kottke)

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