1920s – 1930sAlfred Hitchcock first ever thriller was his 3rd silent film, The Lodger (1926), his next thrillerwas Blackmail (1929), this was his first sound film.From 1935 on, Hitchcock carried on making thriller films only.German Film M (1931), which was directed by Fritz Lang was a thriller based the life of aserial killer.Other British directors, such as Walter Forde (9 thrillers), Victor Saville (7 thrillers), GeorgeA. Cooper (6 thrillers) and Michael Powell (6 thrillers) made more thrillers in this period oftime. Hitchcock was following the tradition of these directors by creating thrillers.Hitchcocks early British thriller films were The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), his firstromantic thriller, The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938).
1940sHitchcock continued directing thriller films in the 1940s by directing ForeignCorrespondent (1940), Rebecca which was an Oscar winning movie (1940) and Shadowof a Doubt which was his favourite and was based on a true story (1943).George Cukor, who is also a famous director known mostly for his psychosocial thrillerfilms, including Gas Light (1944) and Laura (1944).The Spiral Staircase (1946) was a film about a house terrorized by a serial killer.The Lady From Shanghai (1948) was about a murder scheme involving lots of suspects.Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) was about a woman who overheard a murder plot on thephone, against herself.
1950sHitchcock added colour to his thrillers, instead of having it in black and white, in the1950s.Some of Hitchcock’s thrillers which had colour in it are, Strangers on a Train (1951)which was about two passengers on a train who traded murders with each other, DialM For Murder (1954) which was about a husband who tried killing his rich wife and ToCatch a Thief (1955).Other thrillers that were made in the 1950s were Niagara (1953) which starred MarilynMonroe, Kiss Me Deadly (1955) which includes a nuclear apocalypse and The Night ofthe Hunter (1955).
1960sOne of the most famous thrillers in the 1960s was Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) whichwas about a loner mother-fixated motel owner and taxidermist.Cape Fear (1962) directed by J. Lee Thompson, was a film about an ex-con seekingrevenge at a attorneyCharade is a romantic thriller (1963) which had lots of plot twists and identity changes.Roman Polanski’s first ever film in English was Repulsion (1965) and it was about a womanwho goes mad.Another very famous thriller film in the 1960s was Wait Until Dark (1967) directed byTerence Young and it was about a victimized blind woman in her apartment and a man asthe evil, sadistic con man searching for drugs.
1970s and 1980sThe very famous thriller, Frenzy (1972) was Hitchcock’s first British film in two decades, andit was given an R rating for its vicious and explicit strangulation scene.This was the period of time in which we first saw Steven Spielberg, his film Duel (1971) wasabout road rage between a traveling salesman and the unseen, relentless driver of a truck.One of the first films about a fan being disturbingly obsessed with their idol was ClintEastwood’s film Play Misty For Me (1971).Director Nicola Roeg’s puzzling film, Don’t Look Now (1973), was about a couple grievingthe drowning death of their daughter.Brian De Palma usually had themes of guilt, paranoia and obsession in his films. Some ofhis films include killing off a main character early on, switching points of view, anddream like sequences.His films include, the psycho-thriller Sisters (1973), a film about dualpersonalities, Dressed to Kill (1980) and Body Double (1984).Sam Peckinpah, a director, created his final film, plot twisting spy filmThe Osterman Weekend (1983).
1990s to now.The decade started with Rob Reiner’s thriller film, Misery (1990).Other films that were made in the 1900s were The Hand That Rocks the Cradle(1992), Unlawful Entry (1992) and the psychological thriller The Talented Mr Ripley(1999).There was an obsession with thriller films in this decade, and they’re still continuing tobe an obsession now.Some recent thrillers are Eden Lake (2008), The Last House on the Left (2009), P2(2007), Captivity (2007) and Funny Games (2008).
I needed to research the history of the genre, Thriller, so that I can seehow it has changed over the years and what types of films became veryfamous in those times.It’ll help me plan my own work because it gives me an idea of what kindsof plots and schemes are involved in thriller films and what attracts thepublic and makes it interesting to them, so that I can attract my targetaudience and make my film scary and intense for them.
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