English 498H Senior Honors Seminar: The Films of

Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese

Fall, 1999



Required Films:

All the assigned films are on reserve in the audiovisual section of the Kuhn Library. You may view them there at your convenience. With one or two exceptions, they will be easy to find in any good video rental sore. You should try to see each film twice before we take it up in class.

These titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database. Click on the titles to get cast lists, production credits, plot summaries, links to WEB sites related to the title, and much more related information.

If you have any questions concerning the films or the assignments please contact me at

Reference Materials:

Literature Sites
Film Sites
A Writer's Toolbox
Internet Search


Robert Kolker. Film, Form, and Culture. Boston: McGraw-Hill College, 1999.

Online Resources:

There are a variety of Internet sites devoted to these three directors. Click on their names on the cover page and then search the Internet: Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese.

Course Requirements:

1. A journal in which you record your responses to and comments on the assigned films.

2. A class presentation in which you present the project which will become your mid-term paper.

3. A 1200-word mid-term paper devoted to one or two of the assigned films. Topics to be assigned.

4. A final 2500-word research paper which explores some aspect of the films assigned. The topic will be one arrived at in a conference with me.

5. Active participation in the class discussions.

Click here for the Class List.

Class Assignments:

Click on the individual class dates to find study questions which should be useful in preparing for lectures and the class discussions. They can also serve as a guide for your journal entries. The Journals, critical essay, and final examination may be submitted by e-mail.

Please feel free to post messages to uou discussion list at:

Week 1: September 1st - 3rd.

Class Discussion. Introduction to the Course: Watching Movies.

Films: Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and Notorious (1946).

Reading: Kolker, "Introduction," and "Image and Reality", pp. 1-15.

Week 2: September 8th to 10th.

Class Discussion. Hitchcock and the Visual Medium.

Films: Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1952).

Reading: Formal Structures and the Hollywood Style, Kolker, pp. 16-32.

Week 3: September 13th to 17th.

Class Discussion. Hitchcock's World of Family Secrets and Murderous Desires.

Film: Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958).

Reading: The Camera Eye and Departures from the Hollywood style, Kolker, pp. 33-59.

Journals for Weeks #1 and #2. due on September 13th.

Week 4: September 20th to 24th.

Class Discussion. Hitchcock on Voyeurism, Domination, and Constructing Reality.

Films: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and North by Northwest (1959).

Reading: Film as Cultural Artifact, Kolker, pp. 60-76.

Week 5: September 27th to October 1st.

Class Discussion. On the Run from the Threatening "Other."

Films Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963).

Reading: Cultural Criticism of Films, Kolker, pp. 72-97.

Journals for Weeks #3 and #4. due on September 27th.

Week 6: October 4th to 8th.

Class Discussion. Double Trouble: Bad Mommies and Really Bad Birds.

Films: The Killing (1956) and Paths of Glory (1957).

Reading: Master Narratives and Genres, Kolker, pp. 98-130.

Week 7: October 11th to 15th.

Class Discussion. Introduction to Kubrick And Genres of the 1950s.

Films: Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964).

Reading: The Movie Makers, Kolker, pp. 144-162.

Journals for Weeks #5 and #6 due on October 11th.

Week 8: October 18th to 22nd.

Class Discussion: Strange Loves in Peace and War.

Films: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1954).

Reading: The Director as "Author," pp. 162-176.

1200-word mid-term paper due.

Week 9: October 25th to 29th.

Class Discussion: The Old Ultraviolence, from Australopithecus to Alex and Droogs.

Films: Barry Lyndon (1975) and The Shining (1980).

Reading: The Future of the Image, Kolker, pp. 177-198.

Week 10: November 1st to 5th.

Class Discussion. The Dream of Reason Breeds Monsters.

Films: Mean Streets (1973) and Italianamerican (1974).

Journals for Weeks #7 and #8. due on November 1st.

Week 11: November 8th to 12th.

Class Discussion. America Rediscovers Ethnic Identity.

Films: Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1983).

Week 12: November 15th to 19th.

Class Discussion. Angry Men: Patriarchy in Decline.

Films: King of Comedy (1983) and Cape Fear (1991).

Journals for Weeks #10 and #11 due on November 15th.

Topics for the final paper due.

Week 13: November 22nd to 24th.

Class Discussion. Popular Postmodernism, or Movies About Movies.

Films: Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995).

Week 14: November 29th to December 3rd.

Class Discussion. I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster: The Hero as Goodfella.

Films: The Last Waltz (1978) and The Age of Innocence (1993).

Journals for Weeks #12 and #13 due on November 29th.

Week 15: December 6th to 10th.

Class Discussion. Lost Worlds and Summing Up.

Week 16: December 13th to 14th.

To Be Announced. Complete your final paper.

Journals for Weeks #14 and #15 due on December 13th.

Final Paper due on December 17th.