In his appearances on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” Hitchcock declared his contempt for the world according to 1950s television – a world in which father knows best, that morality always pays and crime never does, that marrying, raising children, and being good consumers equals living happily ever after. Hitchcock, too, claimed to know best, but what he claimed to know was that in the real world there is no guarantee that good will prevail, that faith will be rewarded.

Focusing on Vertigo, William Rothman explored the relationship of moral perfectionism to the Hitchcock thriller. By so doing, he helped chart the ambiguous place of Hitchcock’s films, which are at once inside and outside the ever-shifting constellations of genres, within American cinema as a whole.

William Rothman is Professor of Motion Pictures at the University of Miami. He has taught at Harvard University, New York University and served as Director of the International Honors Program on Film, Television and Social Change in Asia. He is the author of numerous books including "Documentary Film Classics" and "Hitchcock: The Murderous Gaze".

Co-presented with The Power Institute.