Hitchcock on the set of Psycho

Summer Senior Seminar Focuses on Hitchcock Masterworks

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute will be offering a new Senior Seminar called Hitchcock Masterworks. The class will meet on Tuesdays, July 16 – August 13 from 3:30-6 p.m.

This course will examine five of Alfred Hitchcock’s best works:

  • The 39 Steps, 1935 – An outstanding “wrong man” film from Hitchcock’s British career
  • Notorious, 1946 – A romantic spy story starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, who is sent to spy on Nazis in South America
  • Strangers on a Train, 1951 – A thrilling version of a Patricia Highsmith novel that centers on an unlikely murder plot
  • Rear Window, 1954 – Arguably the finest film of Hitchcock’s career, a strange tale of a wheelchair-bound photographer who becomes convinced one of his neighbors has committed murder
  • Psycho, 1960 – A box-office hit that would later inspire many future horror and suspense films

In each of these films, Hitchcock showcased an uncanny ability to create popular, thrilling, yet artistic movies that are still being studied in film schools around the world. Each of these films was very successful at the box office. Some of them, like Rear Window, were among the most popular releases of the year. While a few – notably, Strangers on a Train and Psycho – initially received a lukewarm critical reception, all are recognized today as seminal works in the Hitchcock canon. It would hard to find a university film program that didn’t study at least two or three of these films.

“I imagine that most of the participants in this course will have seen all of these films,” said Jerry Jerman, instructor of the course, director of Marketing and Communication at OU Outreach and adjunct instructor for OU’s College of Liberal Studies. “However, the great thing about Hitchcock is that viewing many of his films again and paying close attention to specific key details or themes result in a whole new experience. It’s almost like seeing the film for the first time. That’s what I hope happens as we look at these classic works.”

Senior Seminars are noncredit courses in which adult learners have the chance to learn about a specific topic while discussing their life experiences with their peers. There are no exams or papers – the focus is on learning and interaction.

These seminars, led by OU professors and staff, are available to members of OLLI at OU. OLLI members are 50 or older and pay an annual membership fee to be eligible to participate in courses. For more information about membership or to become a member, visit OLLI at OU.

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