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Hitchcock Blondes – The Blondes In His Movies

January 19, 2015

One thing that Alfred Hitchcock films had in common was a blonde, in each one. His films were thrillers, dark, foreboding, full of suspense, and the one thing they all had at its centre was an ice cool blonde. From Grace Kelly to Ingrid Bergman, Kim Novak to Eva Marie Saint – the blonde was essential to the plot and always at the centre of the action.

Alfred Hitchcock‘s Ice cool blondes

Why the blondes?

Alfred Hitchcock didn’t mince his words and made it clear why he chose the kinds of actresses he used for his films. He felt it was up to him to groom them and give them the sophistication they needed to portray his complex characters, little things, like leaning over while being given a light to a cigarette and looking into the man’s eyes.

 

(see Eva Marie Saint on the train in North by NorthWest with Cary Grant). The way she left the scene carefully, and the way she used her body language (see Kim Novak in the restaurant scene in Vertigo)

 

He felt that one film wasn’t enough for them to learn, the subtle facial expressions conveying sex, flirtation. He felt they were his to use for his films only and were trained to convey a particular type of woman, a particular type of blonde.

Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock

Francois Truffaut, the renowned French filmmaker, had conducted many interviews with Alfred Hitchcock in the early sixties. Hitchcock made it clear what kind of blonde he wanted to use in his films.
Hitchcock’s blondes must have an “indirect sex appeal,” Hitchcock said that “we’re after the drawing-room type, the real ladies, who become whores once they’re in the bedroom.”

 

Trauffaut asks “What intrigues you is the paradox between the inner fire and the cool surface?”

Hitchcock responds “definitely, do you know why? Because sex should not be advertised. Because without the element of surprise the scenes become meaningless. There’s no possibility to discover sex.”

The psychology behind the blonde

Now we know the psychology behind the Alfred Hitchcock blonde, how do you become one, dress like one and emulate her style, her behaviour. You may not want to go all the way, but there is a very particular style of dress that accompanies the Hitchcock blonde.

 

It does help if you’re a blonde to start with, preferably a subtle one, and a champagne blonde, nothing garish or too bright.

Conservative colour scheme

The colour scheme is conservative, so stick to colours that are classic, but strong, navy, beige, tan, black, brown and grey. It’s a clean, tidy look. The hair is bob length and can be worn in a tightly wound chignon, or worn to the shoulders, waved and slick with a side parting. Winged glasses that frame the face, and of course other accessories include a Hermes bag similar to the “Kelly” that was created for Grace Kelly, a thin wrist watch, yes I know, they’re not really used as much as they were now we have smartphones, but a wrist watch is the height of elegance.

 

Groomed red nails finish off the look perfectly with matching lipstick that’s expertly applied, look to lip pencil to give your lips definition.

 

Your behavior is flirtatious but never overly sexual or over the top. Your behavior makes someone want to get to know you, to get beneath the veneer, beneath the cool exterior.

Alfred Hitchcock – Further reading:

If you want to know more about Alfred Hitchcock and how he worked, then Francois Truffaut’s “Hitchcock: A Definitive Study” is well worth the read.

You can also listen to the interviews between Truffaut and Hitchcock in 1962 via the Internet Archives:

 

 

 

All Hitchcock’s Blondes

Eva Marie in north by northwest-1959

Kim Novak in the restaurant scene in Vertigo

Hitchcock’s blondes, from left, Kim Novak, Tippi Hendren, Janet Leigh, Eva Marie-Saint and Grace Kelly

kim novak in vertigo

Grace Kelly in ‘rear window’ 1954

eva marie saint in north by northwest

Grace Kelly in Driving Scene – To Catch a Thief

Hitchcock Blondes Kelly bag

Hitchcock Blondes wristwatch

 

 

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