21 October 2010 1:30 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Few would disagree that Alfred Hitchcock was a master film-maker, but the female characters in his films range from stupid to cunning to traitorous, complains Bidisha

Alfred Hitchcock, what a ladykiller. There he is, lurking with rotund grandeur at the very forefront of film greatness, like an over-zealous restaurant manager in a PG Wodehouse novel. There are lots of reasons to love Hitchcock, of course: the style, the guile, the pace, the pitch – I realised that afresh when watching a box set of all his films, in preparation for a talk at the Southbank Centre on Sunday. Hitch knows how to frame a shot. But when it comes to the ladies, it's slim pickings. Indeed that is literally what his women do: pick their way slimly through a range of awful experiences and deceitful pathologies so extreme you'd be howling with laughter, were the art of cinema not so very serious. »

- Bidisha

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