Hitchcock’s Brunettes: Visualizing Queerness in the 1940s and 1950s
The sheer number of Hitchcock’s blonde leading ladies has given rise to the “Hitchcock blonde” as one of the perhaps most striking and well-known features of his work. While most scholars have rather uncritically adopted the director’s supposedly one-sided interest in the ‘Nordic woman’, famous Hitchcock brunettes such as Judith Anderson and Alida Valli appear to have fallen into oblivion. In this chapter, Wegner explores their villainous roles and the rather conventional ways in which Hitchcock staged brunette actresses in his early Hollywood films. Her analysis of Rebecca (1940), The Paradine Case (1947), and Strangers on a Train (1951) explores how “Hitchcock brunettes” are used to intensify the narrative rivalry between “the feminine” and “the queer”.
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