Stereotyped black people in Hitchcock's Films

Black people appears as stereotyped one-dimensional characters in Hitchcock's films, except in Topaz, where Roscoe Lee Browne plays Philippe Dubois, who is both intelligent and clever. In the other films, blacks are portrayed as servants without personality.

Black people in Hitchcock's Films

Downhill

In Marseille there is a black man among the sailors who says that Roddy (Ivor Novello) is "dotty – he’s seein’ things."

The Ring

At the fair people can throw balls on a black man to make him fall down. Two boys throw an egg at him, to the crowd's amusement.

One of the members of "One-Round" Jack's team is black.

Champagne

The black servant brings a telegram to the father (Gordon Harker) who scorns him. He is extremely servile and walks around almost as a chimpanzee.

Gordon Harker Gordon Harker

A black man works as a bartender in the restaurant.

Young and Innocent

The killer (drummer man) performs in a band performing in blackface.

Shadow of a Doubt

When Charlie goes to Santa Rosa by train, the railroad porter is black.

Lifeboat

Canada Lee in Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat"

Canada Lee (1907–1952) as Joe Spencer.

Strangers on a Train

The senator's servant is black.

Marnie

After Marnie steals from Rutland, and she is descending the stairs, a black man is seen on the left.

Topaz

Philippe Dubois (Roscoe Lee Browne) takes the identity of a black journalist from Ebony, sneaks into the Cuban embassy, manages to take photos of some of the important documents and then runs away, chased by Cuban revolutionaries.

Family Plot

One of the FBI agents questioning Arthur Adamson in his jewel store.

Blackface

Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows, and later vaudeville, in which performers create a stereotyped caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and propagated American racist stereotypes. Early in the 20th century, blackface branched off from the minstrel show and became a form in its own right, until it ended in the United States with the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Blackface quickly became popular overseas, particularly so in Britain, where the tradition lasted longer than in the US. White blackface performers in the past used burnt cork and later greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips, often wearing woolly wigs, gloves, tailcoats, or ragged clothes to complete the transformation. Later, black artists also performed in blackface.