- NAME: Alfred Hitchcock
- OCCUPATION: Director, Producer, Television Personality, Screenwriter
- BIRTH DATE: August 13, 1899
- DEATH DATE: April 29, 1980
- EDUCATION: St. Ignatius College, University of London
- PLACE OF BIRTH: London, United Kingdom
- PLACE OF DEATH: Bel Air, California
- Full Name: Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock
- Nickname: The Master of Suspense
- AKA: Hitchcock
- AKA: Alfred Hitchcock
- AKA: Alfred Joseph Hitchcock
Best Known For
Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was nicknamed the "Master of Suspense" for employing a kind of psychological suspense in his films, producing a distinct viewer experience.
Sean Connery - Marnie (3:18)
Stephen Rebello, author of "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho," describes his reaction the first time he saw "Psycho" and the cultural impact of Alfred Hitchock's film. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
Known as "The Master of Suspense," Alfred Hitchcock is most famous for his voyeuristic style, twist endings, and cameo appearances in his films.
While working in the art department of a film company, Alfred Hitchcock learned all about the film industry. His wife, Alma, often advised him and supported him while he created his films.
Although Alfred Hitchcock's "Marnie" would end up ruining the career of its leading lady, Tippi Hedren, it propelled Sean Connery to stardom.
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Born in London on August 13, 1899, Alfred Hitchcock worked for a short time in engineering before entering the film industry in 1920. He left for Hollywood in 1939, where his first American film, Rebecca, won an Academy Award for best picture. Hitchcock created more than 50 films, including the classics Rear Window, The 39 Steps and Psycho. Nicknamed the "Master of Suspense," Hitchcock received the AFI's Life Achievement Award in 1979. He died in 1980.
"I never said all actors are cattle; what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle."
"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them."
"Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday."
"Give them pleasure. The same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.”"
Director, producer and screenwriter Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in London, England, on August 13, 1899, and was raised by strict, Catholic parents. He described his childhood as lonely and sheltered, partly due to his obesity. He once said that he was sent by his father to the local police station with a note asking the officer to lock him away for 10 minutes as punishment for behaving badly. He also remarked that his mother would force him to stand at the foot of her bed for several hours as punishment (a scene alluded to in his film Psycho). This idea of being harshly treated or wrongfully accused would later be reflected in Hitchcock's films.
Hitchcock studied engineering at St. Ignatius College in London and quickly obtained a job as a draftsman and advertising designer for the cable company Henley's. It was while working at Henley's that he began to write, submitting short articles for the in-house publication. From his very first piece, he employed themes of false accusations, conflicted emotions and twist endings with impressive skill. In 1920, Hitchcock entered the film industry with a full-time position at the Famous Players-Lasky Company designing title cards for silent films. Within a few years, he was working as an assistant director.
In 1925, Hitchcock directed his first film and began making the "thrillers" for which he became known the world over. His 1929 film Blackmail is said to be the first British "talkie." In the 1930s, he directed such classic suspense films as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and The 39 Steps (1935).
In 1939, Hitchcock left England for Hollywood. The first film he made there, Rebecca (1940), won an Academy Award for best picture. Some of his most famous films include Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964). His works became renowned for their depictions of violence, although many of his plots merely function as decoys meant to serve as a tool for understanding complex psychological characters. His cameo appearances in his own films, as well as his interviews, film trailers and the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1962-65), made him a cultural icon.
Hitchcock directed more than 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades. He received the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 1979. One year later, on April 29, 1980, Hitchcock died peacefully in his sleep in Bel Air, California. He was survived by his lifetime partner, assistant director and closest collaborator, Alma Reville, also known as "Lady Hitchcock," who died in 1982.
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