ENG 2400 Films from Literature, Spring 2020

Essay 2                   Comparing two stories to their films, both     

                                     directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


Please write about how the two stories and their film versions differ.  Explain at least three areas that were changed for each film.  You may do these *one story at a time or point-by-point (characters, plot, setting, and so forth).

Look again at the instructions used for essay 1.


*If you do one story at a time, let’s say the first half about “Rear Window” and the second half about Psycho, you may and should connect them with transitionals.  You may download a list of transitions from our class website.


Do not suddenly start writing about Psycho once you finish writing about Rear Window.  Gracefully switch films by using something like “On the other hand.” or “In contrast….”

PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING POINTS along with your comparisons:

  1.  Do you feel the changes were effective or ineffective?
  2. Try to link the two somehow, like Hitchcock’s propensity for casting blonde actresses, the women’s desire to be married, the suspense scenes, scenes of voyeurism, the comic relief, the music.  Be creative.

Note:  Film titles and novels are Underlined or Italicized.    Short story titles are “In Quotation Marks.” 

Refer to the director and each story author by name.

 3)  Also, explain which strategy of translation was used for “Rear Window”:


The short story is a brief fiction written in prose that includes the same narrative elements found in the novel and the novella. Typically, the short story has fewer scenes and fewer characters than either the novel or the novella. Filmmakers intent on adapting a short story to a feature film face a unique challenge. They must add narrative elements or expand already existing ones to develop and lengthen the story to fit the average running time of the feature film. The filmmaker can expand the story using one or more of the following three strategies:


  1. The concentration strategy, in which the filmmakers keep most of the narrative elements from the short story but concentrate them at the beginning, middle, or end of the film and then add a new story.


  1. The interweaving strategy, in which the filmmakers keep most of the elements of narrative from the short story, disperse them throughout the film (although not necessarily in their original order), and interweave either new elements or expansions of existing ones.


  1. The point-of-departure strategy, in which the filmmakers drop most of the narrative elements from the short story; keep perhaps the plot premise, a character’s name, or just the title; and use these elements as a point of departure.


(Since Psycho, is a novel the above three strategies are irrelevant.)


Please do not joust find info on Wikipedia and call the director “Sir Alfred” or worse “Albert.”   He is referred to as Hitchcock or Alfred Hitchcock and he is being discussed as a DIRECTOR, not a producer.


Since the blonde characters used in these films were described or nonexistent in the source stories, the use of blonde actresses actually is a “thing” with Hitchcock worth including.


Before you write this essay, please go back and reread the above instructions.  You should have–at a minimum–one full page for each film.