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DePalma or Hitch?

Who do you like more?

  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Brian DePalma

0 voters

Heres a topic to discuss the similarities and differences between the Masters of Suspense: Alfred Hitchcock (North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Frenzy etc) and Brian DePalma (Sisters, Phantom of The Paradise, Carrie, The Fury, Blow Out, Dressed To Kill, Body Double etc). I wanted to start this discussion due in large part to the continual argument that DePalma is merely just a Hitchcock rip off artist. I strongly feel that he is much more than that and throughout the years he has set himself apart from Hitch and has become a better filmmaker and visual stylist than Hitch was. Everyone who loves movies knows that all directors steal from other films and directors, (ahem) QT. Its part of the craft.

Lets discuss some of their films. We’ll begin with PSYCHO and DRESSED TO KILL.

Psycho (1960) As everyone knows its based on the novel about the serial killer Ed Gein. Hitch took that story and mixed it with elements from Touch of Evil and made the first real slasher film. Psycho is required viewing if you love movies and I saw it along with Psycho II and III when I first got a VCR in the early 80s. I still think its a good thriller with some great visual sequences (shower and staircase stabbings), but when I saw DePalma’s Dressed To Kill (1980), a reworking of Psycho, in the late 80s-early 90s I found it to be more exciting and visually exhillerating. Something about DePalma’s style and sharp humor gave me even more thrills than Hitch’s film. To me its a post modern masterpiece. I also loved the music in DTK by Pino Donaggio. A perfect mix of dreamlike sounds and stinging Hermann-esque violent stabs. DTK was really an 80s American giallo to me and preceded my love of 70s Italian giallo cinema which is a genre I got into heavily in the last 10 years.

A Good topic. Why not add a poll?

I added a poll, but I want to hear from people. Anyone can vote, Id like to have a discussion from people who can expand on their opinions. You CAN like both directors and like one more for personal reasons (DePalma for me). That IS possible. I want to hear about why you like Hitch or DePalma’s films, the good aspects, the bad aspects etc.

Personally it’s kind of difficult to pick a favorite between the two. In my eyes Hitch at his best (Vertigo in my case) blows away anything DePalma has ever done. On the other hand a Hitch misfire is something I would want to watch only once in my life. Marnie bores me to death. Family Plot bores me to death. DePalma’s got his fair share of good or even great movies, and even those movies which are considered DePalma failures I always find them enjoyable in some aspect or another. Raising Cain is quite mediocre IMO, but is it entertaining? Hell yes.

Another DePalma plus is that looking at his films he seems more versatile than Hitch and he often adds that spicy erotic touch to his films, which I always look forward to. :stuck_out_tongue:

Its very easy for me to choose DePalma because I simply love his films more than Hitch’s. Yes, we all know Hitch invented a certain language of filmmaking and he had some really great ideas, but every mentor has a student that surpasses his own work and I honestly feel DePalma is that guy. He’s a genius at mixing visual storytelling with tragedy and comedy. He’s also one of the great genre stylists. What it comes down to is which director’s films are more entertaining and rewatchable, for me its definitely DePalma. I’ll watch anything by him over any of Hitch’s stuff.

Don’t choose Hitch because you think you’re supposed to. Choose the director you truly like more.

Hitch, no discussion

edit: why? because I think De Palma never has or will have the talent to make something with the greatness of North by Northwest, Vertigo or Rear Window

Did someone delete my original DePalma or Hitch post? I went to post something in it and it dissapeared.

here it is: <LINK_TEXT text=“”>,6298.msg141084.html#msg141084</LINK_TEXT>

I think DePalma has made some incredible films that rival those, ex: Carrie, Blow Out, Body Double, The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, Mission Impossible. All masterpieces of cinema. Yes, these films excited and thrilled me just as much or more than those films you just mentioned. They have all the visual brilliance, excitement, humor and great acting that Hitch’s classics do. I believe that DePalma has surpassed Hitch over the last 30 years.

Just because Hitch was the first does not mean another director that came after him isnt as good or better. DePalma is that guy.

"Influences and accusations

As for De Palma’s appropriation of Hitchcock’s techniques, De Palma admits how deeply influenced he is by Hitchcock as well as other filmmakers. Critics versed in film history note not just one but a gamut of influences, including Orson Welles, Scorsese, Cassavetes and Kubrick. Although some dismiss any notion of a Kubrick influence on De Palma, he has invoked Kubrick frequently, as far back as 1975, and revisited Kubrick’s satires when conceptualizing Bonfire of the Vanities. De Palma has wisely left it to critics to determine whether he has surpassed his mentors or not–and some important critics believe he has realized Hitchcock’s promise by transcending its strictures and introducing important social themes–and even taboo–to the paradigm.

On the matter of De Palma’s debt to Hitchcock, Jake Horsley writes:

De Palma does not copy Hitchcock, he follows him, and his films (specifically Dressed to Kill, Blow Out and, to a much lesser extent, Obsession, Body Double, and Raising Cain) are not imitation Hitchcocks, they are rather authentic and ingenious developments of the same themes that once obsessed Hitchcock… De Palma took the threads that Hitchcock laid, and then ran with them, in the process creating a whole new tapestry, and his audacity helped to resurrect the old horrors within new forms in the American cinema."

Heres the rest of that great article on DePalma:

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OK thanks!

DePalma has disolved into a studio hack, something Hitchcock never did, even in the RKO years. Hitch and DePalma in the same breath. I think not. All the imitators thru the years, and Hitch still reigns supreme.

Haha, oh shit, Pete is 'bout to get medievil on yo ass.

I like the cock. Hitch, that is.

Yeah, cock always gives me a big Bone ®, daddy

I’m kinda Ify on this whole situation.

Oh for Pete’s sake.

A Studio Hack? WTF does that mean? I dont think Ol Bone Daddy even knows what hes talking about.

A Studio Hack? WTF does that mean? I dont think Ol Bone Daddy even knows what hes talking about.

Haha, and there it is.

I honestly dont know what he means. A “studio hack”? Thats more like a Michael Bay or Brett Ratner to me. How does Brian DePalma fit into that term? I can tell that this Bone Daddy guy probably hasnt even seen any DePalma films.

I’d like to that myself.