History of the thriller genre timeline


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Research into the history of the thriller genre. Looking at different directors/films.

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History of the thriller genre timeline

  1. 1. History of the Thriller Genre Timeline Abbie Shuttleworth
  2. 2. Introduction By researching the history of the thriller genre I will show my awareness of how it has developed over time. I will look at key directors and films that have shaped the genre. I will also look at what they have done to the genre by releasing their films.
  3. 3. 1920’s – 1930’s Alfred Hitchcock promoted the thriller genre by creating the silent film called ‘The Lodger’. He was influenced by expressionist techniques in Germany. He then based the film on the ‘Jack The Ripper’ murders.
  4. 4. 1940’s In 1944 George Cukor created a psychological thriller called ‘Gaslight’. This was when people started making sub genres. The film is about a husband plotting to make his wife go insane to gain inheritance. In 1946 Robert Siodmak directed the film ‘The Spiral Staircase’ which is a psychological film about a serial killer.
  5. 5. 1950’s In the 1950’s Alfred Hitchcock added Technicolour to his thrillers. He then made a film called ‘Strangers on a Train’ in 1951.
  6. 6. 1960’s In the 1962 J.Lee Thompson directed ‘Cape Fear’. Michael Powell directed the tense ‘Peeping Tom’ as a psychopathic cameraman which was released in 1960 just after Hitchcock’s film ‘Psycho’.
  7. 7. 1970’s In the 1970’s thriller films started to get more violent for example Hitchcock's film ‘Frenzy’ in 1972 was given an R rating due to it explicit and vicious strangulation scenes. Francis Ford Coppola created a study/spy thriller called ‘The Conversation’ in 1974 about someone being spied on while over covering a murder.
  8. 8. 1980’s Phillip Noyce directed the film ‘Dead Calm’ in 1989 which is a film about a castaway. It contains elements of obsession – this device influenced a number of thrillers in the following years.
  9. 9. 1990’s Rob Reiner based the film ‘Misery’ which is based on the book by Stephen King in 1990. Jonathon Demme’s crime thriller ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ in 1991 is a typical thriller where the detectives/FBI hunt down a serial killer.
  10. 10. Conclusion In conclusion, looking at my research it has showed me what has changed in the genre and who changed it. My research concludes that Alfred Hitchcock played a big part in the genre. At first films were made on true stories e.g. Jack the Ripper. Sub genre’s then started to play a part in the genre, psychological thrillers were popular in the early period. The genre was then changed into technicolour. The films were still mainly based on psychological thrillers. The films then started to get more violent, sub genre’s were then used more. More an more films started to use the typical story of a detective revealing the serial killer. Thriller films then started to get more inspired by obsession.