Hitchcock, Wilcox and the
Yellow Canary (continued)


Formal Similarities in These 2 Films (continued)


II) A disturbing image in Notorious is the Mother lighting a cigarette, dangling from her mouth in a coarse and masculine way, or in the manner of a streetwalker.   Again, this Mother imagery can be found in both films and plays in both instances with the notion of 'mother.'  As with the staircase sequence, scripts and rewrites of 1945 for Notorious, the script directions simply state the Mother "lights a cigarette."

III) In both Notorious and Yellow Canary, the heroine is driven to a mansion on the outskirts of the city, where she is introduced one by one to a room full of Nazis.   Both films use the Point of View (POV) shot where the camera takes the point of view of the character.   After a shot of the heroine being led into the room, the POV sequence begins.  This places the viewer within the perceptive awareness that the character is experiencing in real time.  Hitchcock, in his film, integrates the leading lady into the POV shot by having her white glove appear in the lower right part of the frame as each gentleman kisses her hand.

IV)  Another comparison of imagery, albeit a trope that has been used in many dramatic and even comedic circumstances by a variety of directors, is the situation where the heroine is almost discovered with incriminating evidence in her hand.   Sally Maitland is holding a taxedermied canary in her hand when a romantic intrusion interrupts her. Alicia Hubermann is holding the wine cellar key when her husband Alex appears.