He was an English film director and producer most often associated to his original and advanced film techniques used in his psychological thrillers; resulting in the audience nicknaming him the ‘Master Of Suspense’.
History of Hitchcock:
- Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on the 13th August 1899 in Leytonstone, Essex.
- When his mother Emma Hitchcock, father William Hitchcock, brother and sister moved to East London, he joined a Catholic school after working with his brother at the age of 9 as a fishmonger.
- As his father died in 1914, he decided to leave school and get a job at Henley’s Telegraph Work Company Ltd, where his interest in art and creativity skills developed.
- In 1918 he managed to get a part time job in newly opened film studio called Famous Players Lasky, where he was a title card designer.
- He became an assistant director for the short comedy film “Always tell your wife” with Seymour Hicks as Hicks needed help to finish the film.
- Hitchcock is given the opportunity to direct his first feature from the film producer Michael Balcon in 1922 after he assisted the director Graham Cutts on his five films.
From then on Alfred Hitchcock became a success and renowned as England’s best Director for his amazing career in film that spanned 60 years, where he released over 50 films including those below shown in a timeline:
Hitchcock’s top successes:
- Psycho- his 1960 horror-thriller film, shares the most iconic scene in film history and is considered one of the greatest films of all time. The trailer below demonstrates how complex the film is, setting the audience up for a suspenseful time when watching the film. Which contains an extremely graphic element and a plot twist that left viewers in pure shock. (I have previously done a film review for this, in another blog post).
2. Vertigo- In the 2012 ‘British Film Institute’ sight and sound critic poll, it replaced “Citizen Kane” (1941) as the best film ever made. The film follows a detective who suffers from Acrophobia (dizziness), hired to investigate his friend’s wife that acts strangely; meanwhile he becomes quite obsessive over her. The “Vertigo effect” was rewarded as Hitchcock’s film due to it being the first to use the ‘dolly zoom’ creating distortion, a representation of the detective’s Acrophobia.
3. “The Birds”- is an American horror film released in 1963, one of Hitchcock’s first films for Universal Pictures; although it was ranked 7 in the list of AFI: 100 most thrilling movies, it never quite matched the success of “Psycho”. The film uncovers a series of violent bird attacks on people; making the audience begin to fear these little, yet vicious animals.
- Alfred Hitchcock was encouraged to make spy thrillers by his managment as they believed it was the best subgenre for his film making; in which he began to write the script for “The short night” but this was never released.
- In 1979 he received the Life Of Achievement at a gala event.
- Alfred Hitchcock died on 29th April 1980, two years later his wife Alma, who was his assitant director and worked with him for several films had died.
Alfred Hitchcock remains as one of the best and most well known director in film history for his employment in creating a kind of psychological suspense in his films.