Mirrors in Hitchcock Movies
A beautifully composed shot in Vertigo.
In Hitchcock's films, mirrors can for example be used in moments of reflection (Sir John in Murder!), insight (Manny's face in the broken mirror in The Wrong Man), to show that a person has another level of his or hers personality (Marion, Norman, Sam, Lila in Psycho) or to balance the composition of the frame (see example from Vertigo and The 39 Steps).
Mirror in The Wrong Man
Henry Fonda reflected in the broken mirror at the moment of truth when he realises his wife is seriously ill (The Wrong Man).
Mirror in Murder! (1930)
Sir John in front of the mirror. "Why did I send her away?"
The 39 Steps
Marion Crane counting money in the rest room at the car dealer.
11:55 Marion in her apartement
21:28 In the ladies room at the used cars dealer
28:25 Norman's reception
30:27 Marion standing in her room talking to Norman (also 30:39 and 30:49)
33:54 Norman's face is reflected in the window outside Marion's room
1:05:51 Arbogast is reflected in the mirror as he is questioning Norman in the reception
1:29:22 Sam i reflected in the mirror as he is talking with Norman in the reception
1:37:45 Lila is scared by her own reflection in the mirror in Mother's room
1:38:07 Sam is reflected in the mirror as he he talking to Norman in the reception at the Bates Motel
Mirrors in Vertigo
When Scottie is observing Madeleine at Ernie’s, she and Gavin Elster is seen reflected in a large mirror. The restaurant was recreated in the Paramount studios.
Just before Scottie enters Ernie’s restaurant, his head is reflected in the brass sign to the left of the entrance. The exteriors of Ernie’s were filmed in the studio, according to art director Henry Bumstead (Dan Aulier: Vertigo - the Making of a Hitchcock Classic, p 107)
As Scottie spies on Madeleine in the flower shop, she is seen in a mirror.
Judy’s true identity is gradually emerging as Scottie is formin her into the Madeleine she once was.
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