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"Rear Window" and "Notorious" notes

I need help with comparing and analyzing the reoccurring underlying themes and motifs in two of Hitchcock's films ("Rear Window" and "Notorious").

I am looking for examples from both on the following themes:

1) How Hitchcock manipulates the audience
2) Mistaken identity
3) Use of the staircase as a symbol (in the final sequence in "Notorious" and the nonfunctional staircase in James Stewart's apartment in "Rear Window").
4) Ordinary person thrust into an extraordinary situation.
5) Bumbling authorities

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Other themes within Notorious that you can explore involve pattern of alcoholism, sensuality and sexuality, male/female relationships, the question of love, and inner guilt. Other themes for you to dissect in the film might be the conflict between love and duty, love and lust, etc. Ethical and morality issues also prevail in both films thematically.

In Notorious, mother/son conflict/control issues also permeate.

Research also shows that "A recurring psychological theme in Hitchcock's films is voyeurism-deriving pleasure,
particularly sexual pleasure, from watching rather than doing-and this theme is more overt in Rear Window than in other Hitchcock films. At one point, Jeff says to Lisa, "I wonder if it's ethical to watch a man with binoculars and a long-focus lens. Do you suppose it's ethical even if you prove he didn't commit a crime" (

1) How Hitchcock manipulates the audience

I feel that manipulation of the audience definitely manifests in the film, Notorious, in terms of Hitchcock's use of deception vs. appearances. By giving us the emotional perspectives Devlin and Alicia, as well as the perspectives of Captain Prescott, ...

Solution Summary

Two Alfred Hitchcock films are briefly compared in terms of thematic parallels.