Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hitchcock: The Blondes

Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)
This weekend I watched Hitchcock's Vertigo for the first time, and it got me thinking. Isn't it interesting that the main heroines in his most popular films were all blonde? It is no secret that Grace Kelly was a muse for Hitchcock, but could the colour of her hair have also contributed to the popularity of his films? We all know the phrases "blondes have more fun" and "gentlemen prefer blondes"; should we also add "blondes make a blockbuster" to the list? Perhaps not. Maybe Hitchcock's personal preference for blonde leading ladies has changed our perception of movie heroines, making us more attracted to films with platinum haired stars.
Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954)
In Hitchcock's films, the blonde characters often deceive us by appearing innocent and pure while presenting a mischievous or even villainous nature later on. The men in the films often become enchanted or obsessed with these blondes, making them more vulnerable to their wiles. This does not mean that they are dull, however, for Hitchcock's blondes are always witty and intelligent (not to mention beautiful and with great fashion sense) - heroines that girls daydream about being like.
Janet Leigh in Psycho (1960)
So whether or not Hitchcock was the originator of these fair characters, his films often make me want to reach for the bleach.
Tippi Hedron in The Birds (1963)