This is an excellent point:  it's crucial not to forget that the whole
car/license plate/new car/stolen money thing is a red herring.

Thus the very fact of trying to adduce meaning to such a detail  itself
demonstrates how well the distraction has actually worked.

--Edward R. O'Neill

> I think the reason that the camera holds on the numberplate has most to
> do with Hitchcock's adage that the more you go into detail the more an
> audience is drawn into the scene; and with how the camera has a
> holding-power of its own provided that such power isn't vitiated by
> pointless cutaways, etc.

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