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Ian Cooper

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325369

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325369.001.0001

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Main Course

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(p.45) Main Course

Ian Cooper

Liverpool University Press

This chapter presents an analysis of Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972). Frenzy, more than any of his previous films, reflects Hitchcock's abiding fascination with the English murder. The stereotypical notion of the city as a playground for serial killers is explicitly referenced in the dialogue more than once. However, sex and murder are not the only appetites that need satisfying in Hitchcock's film. Frenzy is stuffed full of references to food, some more glaring than others. Although the reputation of Hitchcock's penultimate film has improved considerably in recent years, it is still disliked by many. The explicit scenes of violence against women are too much for some while other commentators find the peculiarly old-fashioned setting to be risible and a clear indication of a director in decline. Hitchcock had always pushed the envelope when it came to sex and violence and, crucially, sexual violence. Ultimately, Frenzy reflects a number of trends in the British cinema of the early 1970s.

Keywords:   Alfred Hitchcock, Frenzy, English murder, serial killers, sex, food, violence, sexual violence, British cinema, 1970s British cinema

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