Master of Arts (MA)
Primary Subject Area
Alfred Hitchcock, British Ministry of Information, Narrative Paradigm, Propaganda, Rhetoric of Film, Rhetorical Criticism
Alfred Hitchcock is a well known filmmaker whose work has been often studied by English, communication, and film scholars. However, those examining Hitchcock seem to have pet favorites of films they deem worthy of study. This thesis examines the lesser-known propaganda films of Alfred Hitchcock made for the British Ministry of Information in 1944. Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache each tell a story of intrigue and adventure in French territory during the German occupation and Vichy government of World War II. However, after the MOI waited almost the entire war to have propaganda made by Alfred Hitchcock, the films were not circulated to the extent expected (Aventure Malgache was never released at all). In this paper, the Narrative Paradigm proposed by Walter Fisher is used to rhetorically analyze the films. Using Fisher's concepts of coherence and fidelity, as well as an investigation into the themes and values of the films, the narratives are critiqued for clues as to the MOI's less than enthusiastic reaction.