Sketchpads in Hitchcock

In my last post I connected Topaz and The Trouble with Harry via the dependable John Forsythe — but an equally linky link could also be found in their mutual use of sketchpads.



*   *   *


Not only do both movies feature sketchpads, they’re in fact pretty crucial to the respective narratives. Take Topaz, for example; scrappy journo Francois is sent to interrogate the traitorous Henri Jarre:

Then, at the end of the film, such is the quality of the likeness that another character recognises the subject of the sketch, and a key twist is revealed.

*   *   *

Next we have The Trouble with Harry. While out for a walk with his trusty sketchpad, artist Sam Marlowe decides to sketch a corpse (don’t ask):

Once again, toward the end of the movie the face depicted is recognised — but this time, it could mean trouble.

Zany, zany trouble.

*   *   *

But wait — let’s cast our net wider. Are there other works by the Master of Suspense that pivot on the work of a great artist? Are there other critical scenes in which a sketchpad can be found?

Here’s one, from Rebecca:

Joan Fontaine’s girlish protagonist meets Laurence Olivier’s Maxim de Winter and the two get romantic. Fontaine draws the object of her —

— riiiiight —


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