By R. Barton Palmer, David Boyd
Considers the ways that Alfred Hitchcock tailored and remodeled numerous literary works--novels, performs, and brief stories--into film.
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Additional resources for Hitchcock at the Source: The Auteur As Adapter
Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn (1936), for example, is a third-person novel that remains consistently close to the consciousness of its heroine, Mary Yellan. But despite occasional suggestions of moral or psychological complexity—for example, her sense that Francis Davey, the vicar of Altarnun who will turn out to be her uncle’s partner in murder and robbery, has “something about him that made her untrue to herself” (177)—Mary is not an especially interesting character, simply a spirited young woman placed in an extraordinary situation.
Later Hitchcock characters will not be so fortunate in their experiences of love’s vertigo and the magical but also punishing exchange of one woman for another. The kiss is witnessed by Levet, and Hitchcock uses this moment as a kind of fuse that sets off a concluding sequence that is far more Hitchcock and the Three Pleasure Gardens 43 threatening and exciting than what Sandys envisions. Patsy lights a candle in Levet’s room, and while this dispels the darkness, it also contributes to a kind of magic lantern effect.
And Mrs. Verloc, who are called “that man” or “Mr. Verloc” and “his wife” or “that armed lunatic” rather than by their Hitchcock from Stage to Page 29 ﬁrst names, emphasizes their alienation from each other and ultimately from themselves ultimately expressed by the death blow, into which Winnie Verloc “put all the inheritance of her immemorial and obscure descent, the simple ferocity of the age of caverns, and the unbalanced nervous fury of the age of bar-rooms” (263). Hitchcock begins ﬁlming this climactic episode by cutting between a midshot of Mrs.