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New York Times (03/Sep/1972) - Letters: ''Alfred Hitchcock Didn't Invent Rape''




To the Editor:

I'm sick unto death of all Women's Libbers. Victoria Sullivan, for instance.

Alfred Hitchcock hasn't invented rape, Miss Sullivan. It's an ancient and universal practice, like war and the brutalizing of children and hosts of nasty things. Hitchcock merely makes use of it in his brilliant suspense thriller, "Frenzy," as one is free, one hopes, to make use of any aspect of the human condition to display a private vision.

What Miss Sullivan is inveighing against are fundamental truths, i.e., that the strong can subdue the weak, and that the male's sexual response differs in some respects from the female's. Eh, bien. And will Women's Lib next inveigh against the eternal moods of gravity and electro-magnetic forces? I can hardly wait.

Patricia Corley
Stony Brook, L.I.


To the Editor:

This is to express my deepest thanks to Victoria Sullivan for her comments on Hitchcock's "Frenzy."

I concur absolutely; I have been waiting, in fact, with growing horror and incredulity, on reading encomium after encomium for this dreadful film, for someone to come forward and expose it for what it is — sick and pernicious, as Ms. Sullivan says.

After "Psycho," another film that should never have been made, I swore I would never see another Hitchcock. Well, the critics conned me into seeing "Frenzy," I admit. But they were wrong, wrong, wrong.

Sylvia K. Schneebaum
Baldwin, L.I.


To the Editor:

I am in almost complete agreement with Victoria Sullivan's recent article on "Frenzy." After having been misled by reviews such as Vincent Canby's, I watched the film, appalled that any thinking critic could call it good fun.

Hitchcock's "humor" consists of having the audience watch a saint-like husband endure his wife's cooking and, in another instance, of seeing the fingers of a female corpse broken and watching the nude corpse fall out of a truck directly in front of a police car. It is only a measure of what we have come to accept as entertainment that people in the theater laughed at these dehumanizing and sexist scenes.

Bravo to Ms. Sullivan for at last exposing the movie as the vicious, degrading, mean little flick it really is.

Rosemary Villanella
Brooklyn, N.Y.


To the Editor:

In her article on "Frenzy," Victoria Sullivan says she wants to see films about men getting raped by women, seeing "the look of terror in his eyes when he suddenly realizes she is bigger, stronger and far more brutal than he."

I thoroughly agree with Ms. Sullivan, particularly since I would like to see how this is accomplished. Just how does a woman rape a man? Is there a certain technique to such an act of which I am unaware? When an innocent male is violated by such a woman, should he report it to the police, or, in his shame, maintain secrecy?

Let's face it, it is far easier for a man to rape a woman than for a woman to rape a man, and until nature can manage a more equal balance, we shall have to have more films about female rape than about male rape.

Personally, I would like to see a film about a man and a woman raping each other simultaneously. Now that should sell tickets, as well as satisfy Ms. Sullivan's objections to Hitchcock's delicious way of calling a spade a spade.

Name Withheld
New York City

To the Editor:

Regarding Vincent Canby's comments on Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy": I did not know watching women being raped and then strangled could be "immense fun."

To Mr. Canby: You should read real case histories of rape victims. You'd find them hilarious — especially the ones where the women and children died directly from the sexual assault (and not the additional non-sexual criminal assault).

Mr. Canby, your thinking is warped — to say the least.

A. Andrews
White Plains, N.Y.