Want a Lesson in Hitchcockian Suspense? Look to Mr. Bean.

*Insert Alfred Hitchcock and Mr. Bean handshake meme here*
Mr Bean Hitchcock

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that looks at why Mr. Bean is actually a masterpiece of Hitchcockian suspense.

Alfred Hitchcock and Mr. Bean’s names don’t tend to appear in the same sentence. The former is one of the biggest names in Western cinema, the director of such genre-epitomizing films as Psycho, Rear Window, and North by Northwest. And the latter is a fictional character who famously once wore a turkey over his head.

However, as the video essay below astutely argues, both Hitchcock and the wordless funny man (portrayed by Rowan Atkinson) are deserving of the title of “master of suspense.”Alfred Hitchcock lets the audience in on the secret that there’s a bomb under the table. Meanwhile, Mr. Bean is the bomb. Case in point: the following scene breakdown from 1997’s Mr. Bean, which sees our titular walking disaster waltz into an art gallery with disastrous results.

As the video essay below astutely notes, the film is full of overarching nods to Hitch, but no scene epitomizes a Hitchcockian sense of suspense better than the sequence that opens the film: Mr. Bean versus James McNeill Whistler’s 1871 portrait of his mother. While we’re sure you can guess which of the pair survives the encounter, it’s worth breaking down the exchange to appreciate how Mr. Bean is, in fact, the epitome of Hitchcockian suspense.

Watch “Mr. Bean Is A Masterpiece Of Hitchcockian Suspense”

Who made this?

This video on Paul Schrader’s thoughts on the audience’s role in redemption is hosted by the folks at Little White Lies, a film-obsessed magazine based in the United Kingdom. Lara Callaghan wrote and edited this video. You can follow Little White Lies on Twitter here. And you can check out their official website here. You can subscribe to their YouTube account here.

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Meg Shields: Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.