How come Hitchcock doesn't like to have his heroes kill the villains?

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I was watching quite a few Hitchcock movies as sort of a marathon, but can't watch them all perhaps. However, the ones I have seen so far, he never has the hero kill the villain in the end, or at least overpower them in the physical fight.

A lot of times in thrillers the hero is the one to do it and I think audiences prefer this, as it is a lot more common in thrillers.

At least in any of his I have seen, it's always the hero is helpless and the police or authority figures are the ones to save them, or the villain gets killed, not by the protagonist, but by convenient like in Shadow of a Doubt.

But what do you think? Is there a reason why Hitchcock seemed to prefer this type ending?



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Oftentimes Hitchcock's villain was the protagonist himself. And there weren't that many villains in his films that were killed by another character. Usually the villain is simply caught, or brought to justice in another manner.

I thought it was interesting that Hitchcock always wanted to use big name actors, but that most of them would not play a bad guy. For example in Suspicion, the only way he could get Cary Grant was to change the ending of the story to where "Johnnie" did not kill or cheat anyone, even though Hitch preferred the book's ending..

~Doc



Oh okay, but even if the main character doesn't kill the villain, they never catch the villains either. Like in movies like Dial M for Murder, or Frenzy, both main characters are framed for murder, and even go to jail, but they don't even have to do anything to prove their innocence, cause the police do it for them.



In crime dramas, I think it's more realistic when the villain is actually apprehended by the authorities. That's what usually happens in real life (unless the "villain" gets away with it, of course). I hated the ending of the remake of "The Taking of Pelham 123," in which Denzel Washington, presented as a regular guy, singlehandedly pursues the villain. It seemed totally out of character and so "Hollywood."



Oh I agree on the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123 but I think that for Hitchcock's movies, the hero is put in situations where they would naturally kill the villain. Like in North by Northwest, if you are trying to avoid falling from a mountain, and the villain is trying to knock you off, you are going to want to kill him to stop him from killing you, wouldn't you? Or same as in Rear Window, or Shadow of a Doubt. So I feel that the good guy is going to kill the villain in self defense, if pushed far enough like some of the Hitchcock good guys are.

But I agree that the Taking of Pelham 123 was not good for it, cause the hero was not in any immediate danger, yet decided to go on his own crusade anyway, which is different than self defense.



Oh I agree on the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123 but I think that for Hitchcock's movies, the hero is put in situations where they would naturally kill the villain. Like in North by Northwest, if you are trying to avoid falling from a mountain, and the villain is trying to knock you off, you are going to want to kill him to stop him from killing you, wouldn't you? Or same as in Rear Window, or Shadow of a Doubt. So I feel that the good guy is going to kill the villain in self defense, if pushed far enough like some of the Hitchcock good guys are.
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Turning a protagonist into a "self defense" killer would usually completely change Hitchcock's stories. That type of story line was not as commonplace in Hitchcock's era, nor would the use of that ploy be as interesting.

You may be trying to force a square peg into a round hole; like perhaps with a solution in search of a premise.

~Doc



Hitchcock, I believe is highly regarded as a director, I believe many film critics would place him in the top ten of all time, or perhaps higher. He was known for his highly detailed work. Every little detail is worked out to the finest detail. i say this to say that the fact that he writes his characters the way he does, and that he does not kill his protagonist is not an accident. There could be several reasons why. Maybe that fell into his formula for creating greater suspense. Hitchcock was a master of creating suspense as much by what you see, as what you don't see. It does not create a lot of suspense if his protagonist pulls an Indiana Jones and whips out a gun to take care of business. It's a good question, but I suspect Gulfport is right, a difficult to answer this far removed from the time in which he was directing. I have only seen a handful of his movies, and it is comforting to know that there are so many quality films of his to be seen.



Turning a protagonist into a "self defense" killer would usually completely change Hitchcock's stories. That type of story line was not as commonplace in Hitchcock's era, nor would the use of that ploy be as interesting.

You may be trying to force a square peg into a round hole; like perhaps with a solution in search of a premise.

~Doc



Oh okay, I guess I'm just not the biggest fan of passive protagonists, who don't have to do as much but other supporting characters solve the problem for them. But I guess that's not a bad thing.