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Homosexuality in Hitchcock's Movies

Homosexuality, homophobia and deviant sexuality in Hitchcock's Films

Homosexuality was never explicitly mentioned in any of Hitchcock's films, but we see the theme indirectly treated in several of his films, actually more as homophobia. Deviant sexuality, combined with misogyny often characterizes Hitchcock's villains.

According to The Motion Picture Production Code depiction or direct reference to homosexuality was forbidden. The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home should be upheld. Pictures should not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing.

As far as homosexuality is presented in Hitchcock's films, it is presented negatively. Until 1974 homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder.

The Pleasure Garden

The costume designer working for the theatre manager is extravagantly effeminate.

The Lodger

The Detective to his girlfriend and her mother: «Anyway, I’m glad he’s not keen on the girls!» (a comment also alluding to Ivor Novello's homosexuality)
The Detective to Daisy's mother: «Does this lodger of yours mean any harm to Daisy?»
The mother: «Don’t be silly, Joe, he’s not that sort. Even if he is a bit queer, he’s a gentleman.»

Murder!

The murderer Handell Fane is a transvestite (an emblem of homosexuality) and this is linked with racial impurity (Handell Fane is a a "halfcast"), an outdated viewpoint which is rather disturbing today.

Secret Agent

Madeleine Carrol to the American man in the horse wagon: "He's fond of you! – I was afraid of that!"

The Lady Vanishes

The cricket obsessed English couple sleeping in the same bed.

Rope

Philip and Brandon.
"When you translated the English dialogue, it became very homosexual – unintentionally."
(Screenplay writer Arthur Laurents)
"What was curious to me was that Rope was obviously about homosexuals. The word was never mentioned. Not by Hitch, not by anyone at Warners. It was referred to as "it". They were going to do a picture about "it" and the actors were "it"."
(Screenplay writer Arthur Laurents)
"The thing to me that is best about the picture is not the technical side. That may be called ahead of its time, but it was never used again. [...] What is extraordinary about it is its treatment of homosexuality. I mean, today it still is one of the most sophisticated movies made on that subject. [...] Hitchcock certainly knew that and it certainly attracted him. And what he liked was not that they were homosexuals, but that they were homosexual murderers."
(Screenplay writer Arthur Laurents)

Strangers on a Train

Bruno and Guy

North by Northwest

The friendship between the villain VanDamm and his jealous friend Leonard has associations towards homosexuality.

Psycho

Norman's feminine walk and mother fixation.

Excerpt of The Motion Picture Production Code

No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it.

The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing.

 

 

 

 

 

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