Prof Richard Allen of NYU film school conducts a  workshop at the Casaurina Hall, India Habitat Centre  on “Hindi Cinema meets Hitchcock”

A Report by

Divya Raina

Kim Novak and James Stewart in Vertigo

The film club of the IHC seems to be taking the lead in organizing screenings and workshops on the films of Alfred Hitchcock and also his influence. Professor Richard Allen of NYU is becoming a familiar presence here and quite a devoted bunch of film buffs and scholars showed up at this recent weekend workshop.

The first day had a screening of Hitchcock’s Vertigo starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, even with reported viewings, this film disturbs one greatly and is resonant with layers of meaning. The afternoon session had Allen give his insightful analysis about the major films of Hitchcock and this was illustrated with relevant clips, the evening session was a screening of Woh Kaun Thi (1964), and the following morning was a riveting analysis of how Hindi films reflect Hitchcock’s influence and this was followed by a screening of Jewel Thief (1967) and then an interactive session with the workshop participants.

What was eminently useful was the re-look of so many Hindi films that have not been so keenly analyzed before by Indian scholars and researchers and bringing the tools of deconstruction to so much of popular commercial work considered too lowbrow and “of –the-people” by the cultural elite in India


Director:          Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:           Alec Coppel  & Samuel A. Taylor

Release Date: USA 9 May 1958


John "Scottie" Ferguson is a retired San Francisco police detective who suffers from acrophobia and Madeleine is the lady who leads him to high places. A wealthy shipbuilder who is an acquaintance from college days approaches Scottie and asks him to follow his beautiful wife, Madeleine. He fears she is going insane, maybe even contemplating suicide, because she believes she is possessed by a dead ancestor. Scottie is skeptical, but agrees after he sees the beautiful Madeleine.
Awards:Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations more


Cast (Complete credited cast)

James Stewart .......... Det. John 'Scottie' Ferguson
Kim Novak ................. Madeleine Elster / Judy Barton
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Marjorie 'Midge' Wood
Tom Helmore ............. Gavin Elster
Henry Jones .............. Coroner
Raymond Bailey ......... Scottie's doctor
Ellen Corby ................ Manager of McKittrick Hotel
Konstantin Shayne ..... Pop Leibel
Lee Patrick ................ Car owner mistaken for Madeleine



Editor: Manohar Khushalani

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