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Alfred Hitchcock is commonly known as the ‘Master of Suspense’ - Does he achieve this in the ‘climbing frame’ scene in the film, “The Birds”?

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Alfred Hitchcock is commonly known as the 'Master of Suspense'. Does he achieve this in the 'climbing frame' scene in the film, "The Birds?" Sir Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) The British Director directed the 1963 film "The Birds". He based it on a 1952 short story by Daphne Du Maurier. This essay will focus on the climbing frame scene and will establish how suspense and tension shown in the scene. It will also show contrasts between good and evil and the contrast between Annie and Melanie. It will then make it possible to conclude if Sir Alfred Hitchcock was the "master of suspense" or not. The scene begins with Melanie in her car driving towards the Bodega Bay School. The second camera is shot at a very wide angle and this is because it was intended to have both Melanie and the name of the school (Bodega Bay School) written on a board above the entrance of the school. The camera shot includes the name of the school to set the scene for the audience; this is a way to inform the audience of where the scene is taking place. ...read more.


Despite her looking very calm, the tension is being developed with audience because only they can see the birds one by one gathering on the frame and they know that Melanie cannot see this so they feel sorry for her and wonder what is going to happen next. With every arrival of a group of birds there is always a long wide shot which has the birds and Melanie in it. This is so that we do not forget the resemblance of the birds for instance, evil (the birds) versus good (the innocent children and Melanie). At this point Melanie looks bored as is shown when she repeatedly looks around and wonders. This was very clever of Alfred Hitchcock because when the audience sees that Melanie is bored, they would become bored and quiet too which would be brilliant because if suddenly something great and drastic would happen the audience would be in great shock and surprise. Whereas if the scene was very loud and something was to happen, the audiences reaction wouldn't be as great. This stabilises Alfred Hitchcock slogan "The master of suspense". In this first scene there is no speech at all also playing a role in the audience's heightened reaction. ...read more.


She shouts out "LYDIA!" and Melanie helps her up. Melanie, Cathy and Lydia quickly get into a car. When they are in the car the children keep crying and Melanie hoots the horn very abruptly showing her anger and eagerness for the birds to leave them alone. The scene becomes a bit calmer now with the birds unexpectedly clearing away. Suddenly as there are no birds around, everyone's facial expression relaxes but this increases the suspense and tension because the audience would be confused to where the birds are and when they are to come back again. Luckily the birds do not reappear. This evidence shows that Alfred Hitchcock was the master of suspense. When the film was produced, Mr Hitchcock would have been the master of suspense because he would have been one of the few who would have conquered the art of using suspense and tension in his films, this was also due to his experience of being a successful film director. The standard of this film would not be suitable today because of the rise in technology and experience of film makers. His film is too simple to compete with the great film hits of today. Today's audience expect much higher standards of film, which include special effects, choreography, and deeper storylines like the film Titanic. 1 2,088 words Page ...read more.

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