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Themes - stairs

Hitchcock often used stairs as settings for major events of a film. When asked about it by Truffault, Hitchcock said, "Stairs are very photogenic."

  • Number Seventeen (1932) - the first portion of the film is shot on a stairway.
  • The 39 Steps (1935) — Pamela discovers that Richard Hannay is telling the truth when she stands at the top of a stairway and overhears the crooks.
  • Suspicion (1941) - Johnnie carries the sinister glass of milk up a stairway
  • Shadow of a Doubt (1943) - Uncle Charlie tries to kill Charlie by sawing through a step. Charlie later comes down the stairs wearing the incriminating ring, causing Charlie to decide to leave.
  • Notorious (1946) - final scene
  • Strangers on a Train (1951) - Guy going up the stairway to warn Bruno's father.
  • Vertigo (1958) - the bell tower stairway is featured prominently
  • Psycho (1960) - Arbogast's murder.
  • Frenzy (1972) - the long tracking shot as the murder is being committed, finally reaching the street where the sound drowns out any screams.
  • Family Plot (1976) - the final scene

Film Frames

Selection of film frames: stairs (click image to view larger version or refresh thumbnails)...