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How does Alfred Hitchcock Shape Audience Expectations in the Opening Scenes of Rear Window?

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Introduction

How does Alfred Hitchcock Shape Audience Expectations in the Opening Scenes of Rear Window? Prior to watching Rear Window, the expectations the audience would have would be that the film was going to be a combination of romance, comedy and thriller. This is because all of his Hitchcock's films have been in that style. The opening credits shape the audience's expectations in the following ways; as the credits are rolling, the blinds are going up on the window. This gives a kind of theatrical impression. The music is light and cheerful, reminding the audience that there is going to be romance and comedy in the film, but then 'Alfred Hitchcock' flashes up on the screen, reminding the audience of his style, therefore suggesting the film is also going to be a thriller. Out of the window, you can see the scene for the film. It is set in the city, and it is realistic, so it is going to be set at the present time (when the film was made). ...read more.

Middle

He also says; "In my neighbourhood they [wives] nag". This shows that he has a stereotype image of what he thinks a wife is. He has a very negative view on marriage, and believes that they are all bad. This shapes the audiences expectations by suggesting that his views will 'transform' by the end of the film. This is also hinted when we are introduced to the newly married couple, as it is suggesting that it is reflecting what Jeffries actually wants, even though he has not admitted it to himself. Also in the phone conversation, Jeffries says; "If you don't get me out of here I'm going to do something drastic". This hints to the audience that something drastic is going to happen later in the film. After the phone conversation, he has an itch inside his cast, so had to use a spoon to get at it. This is used to show that some of the film is going to be comic, and it is used a relief from the expectation of action. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is another suggestion that what Jeffries is doing is wrong and intrusive. She comments how she foresaw a market crash. She tries to turn it into comedy by saying that she knew a company manager's toilet problems were going to affect everyone. She says she can predict trouble, and she thinks there is going to be some soon, as people who look out of windows see things they shouldn't, and get into a lot of trouble with no excuse. In this way, Hitchcock shapes the audiences expectation that something is going to happen because Jeffries will see something he shouldn't out of the window. Also, it suggests to the audience that Jeffries can see other people's problems, but cannot see his own. Throughout the scene, the audience is shown that Jeffries is used to action and exciting events, and he has already said that he may do something drastic. This suggests to the audience that he wants something exciting to happen so he may create an exciting event in his mind due to his boredom and sudden dramatic change in lifestyle; from the best photographer in town to someone confined to a wheelchair by a window. ...read more.

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