Re-Occuring Iconography in Classic Noir, Suspense & Horror: Stairs…

Battleship Potemkin 1925- Sergei Eisenstein known for his montage framing and editing offers up the epic dramatization of social uprising in Russia, which brought about a grim massacre with an iconic scene of the baby carriage plummeting down the great stone steps.

Dr. Caligari’s somnambulist, Cesare (Conrad Veidt) ascends the abstraction of a stairway to nowhere…in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

F.W.Murnau’s 1922 masterpiece of shadow and light. With subtle prominence, the silhouette of the stair rails makes cogent the sinister outline of Max Schreck’s Nosferatu all the more.

Alfred Hitchcock’s crime thriller Blackmail (1929)

She 1935 Irving Pichel and Lansing C Holden’s fantastical saga based on H. Rider Haggard’s novel about an ancient esoteric civilization reigned over by the cruel high priestess She who must be obeyed, upon the steps by the secret eternal flame of everlasting youth! with an intoxicating score by Max Steiner

Again from 1935s SHE released in both B&W and a gorgeous colorized version. I’ll be doing a larger overview of the film very soon. Using images from both.
Steps upon steps, leading to divinity, or leading to death?

Thorold Dickinson’s hauntingly sinister fable- The Queen of Spades 1949- See the intricate network of elaborate stairs that wind within the vast manor house, which lead to the infamous lady who bet her soul away to the devil in order to win at a game of cards.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946) Cary Grant carries Ingrid Bergman to safety down the moonlit stone steps.

Notorious (1946) Claude Rains stands alone facing his fate up those moonlit stone steps…the end scene.

MORE TO COME!!!!!!!

I’ll be heading back up the ‘steps’ here at the drive-in, be well- MonsterGirl!


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