Once you notice the go-to detail shot for the Master of Suspense, you can't forget it.
Alfred Hitchcock had a lot of visual trademarks as a director—just look at how many times he shows characters falling. But he was also the kind of filmmaker to take something that so many directors use—shots of people’s hands—and find interesting ways to deploy them. Going back to his black and white silent films like The Lodger and Blackmail, highlighting hands may have been a way to direct audience attention onscreen. But throughout Hitchcock’s career he uses hands in silly and comic ways as well as during intensely dramatic moments. In Marnie, one scene in particular depicts hands in a way that almost no other film has ever done, as a window into a character’s mental gymnastics. Watch this video essay and get to know one of the stranger visual quirks in the directorial arsenal of the Master of Suspense.