Alfred Hitchcock


Director
Alfred Hitchcock

About

Also Known As
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, Sir Alfred Hitchcock
Birth Place
Leytonstone, England, GB
Born
August 13, 1899
Died
April 29, 1980

Biography

The acknowledged master of the thriller genre he virtually invented, director Alfred Hitchcock was also a brilliant technician who deftly blended sex, suspense and humor while creating a number of motifs and devices - most famously the MacGuffin - to advance his intricate plots. Hitchcock went through four distinct periods throughout his career, starting with his silent period where he m...

Photos & Videos

Saboteur - Lobby Card
Vertigo - Lobby Card Set (1963 reissue)
Strangers on a Train - Lobby Cards

Family & Companions

Alma Lucy Reville
Wife
Film editor, script girl. Born c. 1900; married in 1926; survived him; died on July 6, 1982.

Bibliography

"Writing with Hitchcock: The Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes"
Steven DeRosa, Faber and Faber (2001)
"Hitchcock Becomed 'Hitchcock': The British Years"
Paul M. Jensen, Midnight Marquee Press (2000)
"The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock"
Donald Spoto, Da Capo Press (1999)
"Hitchcock's Notebooks: An Authentic and Illustrated Look at the Mind of Alfred Hitchcock"
Dan Auiler, Spike (1999)

Biography

The acknowledged master of the thriller genre he virtually invented, director Alfred Hitchcock was also a brilliant technician who deftly blended sex, suspense and humor while creating a number of motifs and devices - most famously the MacGuffin - to advance his intricate plots. Hitchcock went through four distinct periods throughout his career, starting with his silent period where he made "The Lodger" (1926) and a handful of others before entering the sound era and properly beginning his so-called British period. During the 1930s, he honed his master of suspense chops with a number of acclaimed espionage films like "The 39 Steps" (1935), "The Secret Agent" (1936) and "Sabotage" (1936). He attracted the attention of Hollywood with "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) and embarked on the third phase of his career, starting with "Rebecca" (1940), "Foreign Correspondent" (1940), "Suspicion" (1941) and "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943). After "Spellbound" (1945), Hitchcock directed "Notorious" (1946), his most emotionally mature film at the time. Fond of ordinary men accused of crimes they did not commit and icy blondes in despair, Hitchcock entered the most artistically fruitful part of his career, directing "Strangers on a Train" (1951), "To Catch a Thief" (1955) and "The Wrong Man" (1956) alongside masterpieces like "Rear Window" (1954), "Vertigo" (1958), "North by Northwest" (1959) and "Psycho" (1960). Though he faltered after "The Birds" (1963), Hitchcock remained a highly influential director whose life and career retained a high level of interest decades after his death.

Born on Aug. 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, England, Hitchcock was raised one of three children by his father, William, a poultry dealer and fruit importer, and his mother, Emma. Hitchcock had a rather lonely childhood due in part to his obesity, which left him sheltered and isolated. His parents had unusual methods of discipline; his father sent him to the local jail with instructions for the police to lock him in a cell for 10 minutes for misbehaving, and his mother often forced him to stand at the foot of her bad for hours after explaining to her his indiscretions. Both experiences found their way thematically into Hitchcock's later work, particularly the idea of a wrongfully accused man being punished. When he was 14 years old, Hitchcock's father died, which was also the same time that he left St. Ignatius College in London to study engineering at the School of Engineering and Navigation. Following his graduation, Hitchcock became a draftsman and designer for W.T. Henley's Telegraph Works Company. It was there that he first delved into creative endeavors when he began publishing short stories like "Gas" (1919) and "The History of Pea Eating" (1920) for the Henley Telegraph, the company's in-house magazine.

Hitchcock began his filmmaking career in 1920 when he began working as a title card illustrator on silent films for Paramount Picture's Famous Players-Lasky studio in London. While there, he learned scripting, editing and art direction, and soon rose to become head of the title department. In 1922, he was made an assistant director when Famous Players was taken over by Michael Balcon's production company and was given his first chance at directing the short film, "No. 13/Mrs. Peabody" (1922), which was left unfinished. After making his first film as assistant director, art director and sole writer on "Woman to Woman" (1923), Hitchcock directed his first feature, "The Pleasure Garden" (1925), a tale of adultery and murder that he made on an extremely limited budget and showed flashes of his future brilliance. He next directed the rather silly comedy, "The Mountain Eagle/Fear o' God" (1925), which inaccurately portrayed life in Kentucky where the film was set, but nonetheless became a hit and allowed Hitchcock to choose his next picture.

That turned out to be "The Lodger" (1926), Hitchcock's breakthrough film and one that became the template of the classic Hitchcock-esque plot: an innocent protagonist falsely accused of a crime who becomes involved in a web of intrigue. The protagonist in this case was Jonathon Drew (Ivor Novello), a boarding house lodger who finds himself accused of being Jack the Ripper and goes on the run to prove his innocence. He directed a number of sub-part films for the remainder of his silent period; "Downhill" (1927), "Easy Virtue" (1927) and "Champagne" (1928) were all forgettable entries in the Hitchcock canon. Hitchcock displayed early technical virtuosity with his creation of subjective sound for "Blackmail" (1929), his first talkie. In this story of a woman (Joan Barry) who stabs an artist to death when he tries to seduce her, Hitchcock emphasized the young woman's anxiety by gradually distorting all but one word - "knife" - of a neighbor's dialogue the morning after the killing. He further expounded on the themes of sex and violence in "Murder" (1930), which featured the groundbreaking technique of recording a character's thoughts onto the soundtrack.

After directing a number of lesser works like "Rich and Strange" (1931), "The Skin Game" (1931) and "Number 17" (1932), Hitchcock established himself as a commercial success with "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934), a box office and critical hit that was one of the first of many of his films to explore family relationships within a suspenseful story. He made arguably his best film of his British period with "The 39 Steps" (1935), a stylish and efficiently told chase film that showcased a mature Hitchcock while also introducing the concept of the MacGuffin - a plot-driving element that compels the major characters to do anything to obtain it and remains vague and sometimes unknowable to viewers. He next adapted two W. Somerset Maugham stories into "The Secret Agent" (1936), which starred John Gielgud as a British writer whose death is faked by British intelligence in order to send him to Switzerland on a secret mission. Rounding out his unofficial espionage trilogy, the master created one of his most famous suspense sequences in "Sabotage" (1936), when a young boy unknowingly carries a package that contains a bomb onto a crowded bus that gets routinely delayed, resulting in a shocking and unexpected denouement.

Hitchcock had one of his biggest British successes with "The Lady Vanishes" (1938), a fast-paced and entertaining comedic thriller that stars Margaret Lockwood as a woman traveling Europe by train who gets caught up in a bizarre web of intrigue after the disappearance of a charming spinster (Dame May Whitty). The film garnered the attention of Hollywood, which would soon beckon for Hitchcock's services. Before crossing the pond, he directed his last British film, "Jamaica Inn" (1939), a rather dull period thriller about a group of smugglers that was muddied by star and producer Charles Laughton's heavy hand. But that mattered little when Hitchcock arrived in Hollywood and was employed by legendary producer, David. O. Selznick, who had signed the director to a seven year contract. He made an auspicious American debut with "Rebecca" (1940), an excellent gothic thriller that starred Joan Fontaine as a naïve woman newly married to urbane widower, Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier). Known only as the second Mrs. de Winter, the new bride moves into her husband's country estate, where she is psychologically harassed by the cruel Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) and eventually learns the true fate of her husband's first wife. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, "Rebecca" won for Best Picture.

Despite its somewhat muddled narrative, Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" (1940), starring his most vanilla hero, Joel McCrea, was the first of his Hollywood films to exhibit his recognizable style, while returning to the espionage plots he mastered in "The 39 Steps" and "Sabotage." With "Suspicion" (1941), Hitchcock returned to familiar territory of a marriage disintegrating under the heavy weight of deceit and murder in this thriller about a wealthy socialite (Fontaine) swept off her feet by a charming ne'er-do-well (Cary Grant), only to grow increasingly suspicious that he plans to kill her for her money. Exceptionally well acted, "Suspicion" earned Fontaine an Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the only performer male or female ever to win an Oscar for her work with Hitchcock. The master next directed his first comedy, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" - his only reason being, to work with the film's star Carole Lombard - and "Saboteur" (1942), which hit upon one of his favorite plot elements - an innocent man wrongly accused - in this suspenseful yarn about an aircraft plant worker (Robert Cummings) set up as a fall guy for a ring of Nazi spies. Hitchcock next directed one of his finest masterpieces, "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943), a disturbing film about a young woman (Teresa Wright) who learns that a favorite uncle (Joseph Cotten) is a serial killer - a sobering look at the dark underpinnings of American middle-class life that hit upon the Hitchcockean themes of the charming psychopath and family torn asunder by doubt and suspicion.

Seeking to stretch his creative muscles after years of making suspense thrillers, Hitchcock directed "Lifeboat" (1944), which was adapted from a John Steinbeck story and took place entirely on a small lifeboat carrying a small group of survivors aimlessly adrift after a U-boat attack. The diverse collection of people - including a sophisticated magazine writer (Tallulah Bankhead), a wounded Brooklynite (William Bendix), a mild-mannered radio operator (Hume Cronyn) and a half-crazed woman (Heather Angel) sheltering the dead body of her baby - struggle to work together under trying circumstances, especially when they rescue a suspected Nazi (Walter Slezak). "Lifeboat" was anchored by an exemplary performance from Bankhead and earned Hitchcock his second Oscar nomination for Best Director. Compelled by Selznick to make a film centered around psychotherapy, Hitchcock made the first of three collaborations with one of his most unforgettable leading ladies, Ingrid Bergman, with "Spellbound" (1945). Bergman played a psychoanalyst who falls for her new boss (Gregory Peck), only to learn that he is a troubled amnesiac who may also have committed murder. Hitchcock clashed repeatedly with Selznick throughout the production and had little to do with the famed dream sequence designed by surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. Still, Hitchcock's work was top-notch and earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Director.

Hitchcock would return to the feminine sacrifice-of-identity theme several times, most immediately with the masterful "Notorious" (1946), a perverse love story about a government agent (Cary Grant) who must send the woman he loves (Ingrid Bergman) into the arms of a neo-Nazi leader (Claude Raines) in order to bring down an espionage ring. "Notorious" marked a serious thematic leap forward for Hitchcock in this first real attempt at a more mature love story, while also highlighting great performances from both Grant and Bergman. He collaborated for his third and final time with Bergman on the underwhelming thriller, "The Paradine Case" (1947), widely considered to be one of the weakest efforts made during his prime years. Never one to play it safe, Hitchcock experimented with style in an attempt to create the illusion of one long continuous take that was actually several long shots cleverly edited together in "Rope" (1948), his first color film and first collaboration with James Stewart, who would vault over Cary Grant as the director's most favored actor. Stewart played a mild-mannered philosophy professor who suspects two of his students (Farley Granger and John Dall) of murder during a dinner party. Though not his greatest suspense flick, "Rope" remained Hitchcock's most technically challenging movie.

After directing Ingrid Bergman one last time in the costume thriller "Under Capricorn" (1949), Hitchcock entered into his most inspired period, which began in 1960 and continued on through the early part of the next decade. He started off with "Stage Fright" (1950), which hit upon his favorite theme of an innocent man accused of a crime he did not commit. The innocent in question was a man (Richard Todd) spotted fleeing the scene of a murder who takes refuge with his actress ex-girlfriend (Jane Wyman). Hitchcock went on to direct one of his all-time classics, "Strangers on a Train" (1951), which marked his return to form following the disappointments of the late-1940s. The complex psychological thriller followed a charismatic, but unhinged stranger (Robert Walker) who offers to kill the unfaithful wife (Laura Elliott) of a tennis pro (Farley Granger) in exchange for killing his father - two perfect crimes committed by two strangers with no apparent motivation. Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, "Strangers on a Train" was a masterfully constructed film with a number of themes and motifs expertly weaved into the plot, particularly in the famed murder scene with the stranger killing the tennis pro's wife, which is seen through the distorted viewpoint of a fallen pair of glasses. The film was a big hit with audiences and marked the start of Hitchcock's greatest stretch.

Following a number of memorable films that included minor works such as "I Confess" (1953) and the sophisticated "Dial M for Murder" (1954), starring the most alluring of his leading ladies, Grace Kelly, Hitchcock directed the first of three unassailable masterpieces, "Rear Window" (1954). The film starred James Stewart as an adventurous photojournalist taken to spying on his neighbors while on the mend from a badly broken leg. His new perch takes a startling turn when he suspects one of his tenement neighbors, Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), of killing his nagging bedridden wife, leading to a tense sequence where he hopelessly watches his fashion model girlfriend (Grace Kelly) break into the apartment to find clues. A taut and highly entertaining mediation on the theme of voyeurism, "Rear Window" was an instant classic and ranked high as one of Hitchcock's best movies. He next directed the more lighthearted romp, "To Catch a Thief" (1955), which starred Cary Grant as a retired jewel thief suspected of returning to his old tricks after a series of copycat burglaries crop up on the French Riviera. This light, breezy and deceptively simple romantic thriller featured great sexual interplay between Grant and Kelly, both of whom remained Hitchcock's most attractive leads.

Having staked his claim as the Master of Suspense, Hitchcock turned in his second comedy with "The Trouble with Harry" (1955), which starred Shirley MacLaine as a mother whose son (Jerry Mathers) discovers the body of her ex-husband in the woods, leading to a madcap effort between her and a retired sea captain (Edmund Gwenn) to hide the body since both think they are responsible. Certainly not the most notable Hitchcock effort, it remained one of the director's personal favorites. Also that year, Hitchcock stepped into the television world with the popular anthology series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS/NBC, 1955-1965), which started as a half-hour series before being expanded to a full hour and retitled "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" in 1962. The show's title sequence was almost as famous as the show itself, which featured a simple caricature of Hitchcock's profile - drawn by the man himself - which would dissolve when his silhouette would step into it while Charles Gounod's "The Funeral March of a Marionette" played over it. Hitchcock would then wish the audience a "Good Evening," before introducing the episode. Already famous for his movies, Hitchcock was vaulted into celebrity status thanks to the popular series.

Back in features, Hitchcock remade his 1934 classic, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956), this time casing James Stewart and Doris Day as the parents trying to protect their son after stumbling upon an assassination plot. After directing Henry Fonda in "The Wrong Man" (1956), a searing indictment of the American justice system, he directed his second great masterpiece of the decade, "Vertigo" (1958), a deeply personal film that was largely dismissed by critics at the time. The film starred James Stewart - in his last collaboration with the director - as Scottie Ferguson, a cop who turns private investigator after his fear of heights leads to the death of a fellow officer; he is tasked by a college friend to follow his enigmatic wife (Kim Novak), only to witness her apparent death after falling in love with her. The complex thriller was also a miss with audiences, but later grew in stature to be considered one of the best films Hitchcock ever made. Hitting upon familiar themes of lost identity and sexual obsession while echoing his finest earlier works like "Shadow of a Doubt" and "Notorious," "Vertigo" was as haunting and atmospheric a film as Hitchcock ever produced.

Immediately following "Vertigo," Hitchcock made what many would call his greatest film, "North by Northwest" (1959), certainly one of his most fully realized films. From a script by Ernest Lehman and possessing a chilling score from Bernard Herrmann, "North by Northwest" starred Cary Grant - in his last Hitchcock film - as a carefree advertising executive pulled into a web of deceit and intrigue after a case of mistaken identity leads him in a cross-country chase to shake an espionage syndicate that's after a lost microfilm - Hitchcock's most classic MacGuffin. Along the way, he engages in a romance with a seemingly innocent train passenger (Eva Marie Saint), only to learn that she's a plant meant to set him up for a fall. Full of exciting action sequences, particularly when Grant is chased down in an open field by a crop duster, "North by Northwest" was a masterfully orchestrated thriller that featured ingenious cinematography, subtle male-female give-and-take, a tense dramatic score, bright Technicolor, inside jokes, witty symbolism and a famous climatic sequence atop of Mount Rushmore..

Hitchcock went from one of his greatest artistic achievements to his most commercially successful movie with "Psycho" (1960), a groundbreaking thriller that caused a great deal of controversy for its then-explicit depiction of sexuality and violence. Both were most vividly expressed in the film's famed shower scene, where a Phoenix secretary, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), finds herself the victim of a knife-wielding psychopath who repeatedly and graphically stabs her nude frame in the shower. The shock of the violence - as well as the murder of the alleged protagonist during the first act of the film - both disturbed and delighted audiences, who remained increasingly on edge as the movie progressed, revealing that the true star was disturbed taxidermist, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), who runs the isolated Bates Motel while adopting the personality of his long-dead mother in killing hapless victims. Hitchcock's use of shock instead of suspense in the shower scene helped create one of the most famous sequences in all of cinema history, paving the way for numerous slasher flicks throughout the decades.

While "Psycho" could be seen as the last great film of his most vibrant period, Hitchcock did have one last brush with greatness in "The Birds" (1963), a horror thriller about a socialite (Tippi Hedren - yet another "Hitchcock Blonde") who finds herself trapped in a seacoast town beset by a massive flock of birds intent on attacking and killing the townsfolk. "The Birds" was the final Hitchcock film to earn both critical and financial success, as the director entered into his most disappointing phase plagued by mediocre films and increasingly poor health. He next directed "Marnie" (1964), a psychoanalytical thriller along the lines of "Spellbound" that showed how a violent, sexually tinged childhood episode turns a woman (Hedren) into a thief. After "Torn Curtain" (1966), an espionage story played against a cold war backdrop and starring Paul Newman, Hitchcock made the disappointing "Topaz" (1969), an unfocused thriller set during the Cuban missile crisis.

Hitchcock returned to England to produce "Frenzy" (1972) with his reputation as a box office success in tatters following three straight flops. The thriller was much more in the Hitchcock vein, with its plot about an innocent man (Jon Finch) suspected of being a serial killer, and became an international hit that rebuilt his Hollywood stature. But he would only make one more film, the mild comedic thriller "Family Plot" (1976), before ill health and concern for his wife, Alma, after she suffered a stroke, took center stage. Though he planned to make an espionage thriller "The Short Night," it never made it past the development stage and Universal Pictures pulled it from their slate in 1979. Hitchcock died on April 29, 1980 from kidney failure in his Bel Air home. He was 80 years old and left behind a body of work that served as inspiration for countless Hollywood artists, while maintaining a high-level of public interest even decades after his death.

By Shawn Dwyer

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Family Plot (1976)
Director
Frenzy (1972)
Director
Topaz (1969)
Director
Torn Curtain (1966)
Director
Marnie (1964)
Director
The Birds (1963)
Director
Psycho (1960)
Director
North by Northwest (1959)
Director
Vertigo (1958)
Director
The Wrong Man (1957)
Director
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Director
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
Director
To Catch a Thief (1955)
Director
Rear Window (1954)
Director
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Director
I Confess (1953)
Director
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Director
Stage Fright (1950)
Director
Under Capricorn (1949)
Director
The Paradine Case (1948)
Director
Rope (1948)
Director
Notorious (1946)
Director
Spellbound (1945)
Director
Lifeboat (1944)
Director
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Director
Saboteur (1942)
Director
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
Director
Suspicion (1941)
Director
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Director
Rebecca (1940)
Director
Jamaica Inn (1939)
Director
The Girl Was Young (1938)
Director
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Director
Sabotage (1936)
Director
Secret Agent (1936)
Director
The 39 Steps (1935)
Director
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1935)
Director
Waltzes From Vienna (1934)
Director
Rich and Strange (1932)
Director
Number Seventeen (1932)
Director
The Skin Game (1931)
Director
Elstree Calling (1930)
Director
Murder (1930)
Director
Juno and the Paycock (1930)
Director
Mary (1930)
Director
The Manxman (1929)
Director
Blackmail (1929)
Director
Champagne (1928)
Director
The Farmer's Wife (1928)
Director
The Lodger (1927)
Director
Downhill (1927)
Director
Easy Virtue (1927)
Director
The Ring (1927)
Director
The Mountain Eagle (1926)
Director
Alfred Hitchcock: Sabotage and The Lodger (1926)
Director
The Pleasure Garden (1925)
Director
Always Tell Your Wife (1923)
Director
Number 13 (1922)
Director

Assistant Direction (Feature Film)

The Prude's Fall (1924)
Assistant Director
The Passionate Adventure (1924)
Assistant Director
Woman to Woman (1923)
Assistant Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Innocent Blood (1992)
Frenzy (1972)
Bystander
Topaz (1969)
Man being pushed in wheelchair
Torn Curtain (1966)
Man with baby on lap, sitting in hotel lobby
Marnie (1964)
Man in hotel corridor
The Birds (1963)
Man at pet shop
Psycho (1960)
Man in front of real estate office
North by Northwest (1959)
Man rushing toward bus
Vertigo (1958)
Man walking past shipyard
The Wrong Man (1957)
Prologue narrator
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Man watching acrobats in Moroccan marketplace
To Catch a Thief (1955)
Passenger sitting next to woman with bird cage
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
Passer-by
Rear Window (1954)
Man winding clock in composer's apartment
I Confess (1953)
Man walking past flight of outdoor steps
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Man carrying bass violin and boarding train
Stage Fright (1950)
Man who looks at Eve on street
Under Capricorn (1949)
Man standing in front of Government House
Rope (1948)
Man walking on sidewalk
The Paradine Case (1948)
Man with cello at railway station
Notorious (1946)
Party guest by champagne table
Spellbound (1945)
Man with cigarette, coming out of elevator at hotel
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Man playing cards on train
Saboteur (1942)
Man standing in front of drugstore
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
Passer-by who tips his hat to David Smith
Suspicion (1941)
Man mailing a letter
Rebecca (1940)
Man outside phone booth
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Man with newspaper
The Girl Was Young (1938)
Photographer outside courtroom
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Man smoking cigarette in London train station
Secret Agent (1936)
Man dancing in casino nightclub
The 39 Steps (1935)
Man who litters in front of bus

Writer (Feature Film)

Notorious (1992)
Story By
Shadow of a Doubt (1991)
From Film ("Shadow Of A Doubt")
Bates Motel (1987)
Story By
Lifeboat (1944)
Original story idea
Rich and Strange (1932)
Screenplay
Rich and Strange (1932)
Adaptation
Number Seventeen (1932)
Screenwriter
The Skin Game (1931)
Screenwriter
The Skin Game (1931)
Adaptation
Murder (1930)
Adaptation
Juno and the Paycock (1930)
Screenwriter
Blackmail (1929)
Writer (Adaptation)
Blackmail (1929)
Screenplay
Champagne (1928)
Screenplay
Champagne (1928)
Writer (Adaptation)
The Farmer's Wife (1928)
Screenwriter
The Lodger (1927)
Screenwriter
The Ring (1927)
From Story
The Ring (1927)
Screenplay
The Passionate Adventure (1924)
Screenwriter
The Prude's Fall (1924)
Screenwriter
Woman to Woman (1923)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

Family Plot (1976)
Producer
Frenzy (1972)
Producer
Topaz (1969)
Producer
Torn Curtain (1966)
Producer
Marnie (1964)
Producer
The Birds (1963)
Producer
Psycho (1960)
Producer
North by Northwest (1959)
Producer
Vertigo (1958)
Producer
The Wrong Man (1957)
Producer
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Producer
The Trouble with Harry (1955)
Producer
To Catch a Thief (1955)
Producer
Rear Window (1954)
Producer
Dial M for Murder (1954)
Producer
I Confess (1953)
Producer
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Producer
Stage Fright (1950)
Producer
Under Capricorn (1949)
Producer
Rope (1948)
Producer
Notorious (1946)
Producer

Editing (Feature Film)

Woman to Woman (1923)
Editor
The White Shadow (1923)
Editor

Art Director (Feature Film)

The Prude's Fall (1924)
Art Direction
The Passionate Adventure (1924)
Art Direction
Woman to Woman (1923)
Art Direction
The White Shadow (1923)
Art Direction

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Torn Curtain (1966)
Company

Title Design (Feature Film)

Tell Your Children (1922)
Inter-Titles Designer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Psycho (1998)
Other
Heart of Midnight (1989)
Other
Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989)
Other
Going Hollywood: The War Years (1988)
Other
Made In Heaven (1987)
Other
Throw Momma From The Train (1987)
Other
The Boy Who Could Fly (1986)
Other
Psycho III (1986)
Other
Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
Other
Terror in the Aisles (1984)
Other
Marlene (1984)
Other
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
Other

Cast (Special)

L'Interview TCM: Alfred Hitchcock (2010)
Himself
Night at the Movies, A: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009)
Hollywood: The Selznick Years (1961)

Director (Short)

Aventure Malgache (1944)
Director
Bon Voyage (1944)
Director

Cast (Short)

The Master's Touch: Hitchcock's Signature Style (2009)
Himself

Life Events

1920

Began career as title designer for London branch of Famous Players-Lasky

1922

Made assistant director when Famous Players taken over by Michael Balcon's production company

1922

Short film directing debut with "Number 13/Mrs. Peabody" (never completed)

1923

First film as assistant director, art director and sole writer "Woman to Woman"

1923

Hired as assistant director by Balcon-Saville-Freedman

1925

Feature film directing debut with "The Pleasure Garden"

1927

Made the suspense thriller "The Lodger", starring Ivor Novello

1927

Co-wrote (with Alma Reville) and directed, "The Ring"

1929

Directed first British synchronous sound film "Blackmail"; also co-wrote script with Charles Bennet and Benn W. Levy

1930

Set up public relations firm Hitchcock Baker Productions

1932

Wrote and directed the comedy thriller "Number Seventeen"

1934

Helmed "The Man Who Knew Too Much"

1935

Directed the classic "The 39 Steps"

1938

Made "The Lady Vanishes"

1939

Signed by David O. Selznick, moved to Hollywood

1940

American film directing debut with "Rebecca", which won the Best Picture Oscar; received first Academy Award nomination as Best Director

1941

Directed Joan Fontaine in an Oscar-winning performance in "Suspicion"; first film with Cary Grant

1941

Made the atypical screwball comedy "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"

1943

Made "Saboteur" and "Shadow of a Doubt"

1944

Earned second Best Director Oscar nomination with "Lifeboat"

1945

Helmed "Spellbound", the first of three films with Ingrid Bergman; earned third Academy Award nomination as Best Director

1946

Made the classic "Notorious", featuring Bergman and Grant

1948

Initial collaboration with James Stewart, "Rope"

1949

Last film with Ingrid Bergman, "Under Capricorn"

1951

Made "Strangers on a Train", starring Robert Walker and Farley Granger

1953

Helmed "I Confess", starring Montgomery Clift as a priest

1954

Directed Grant and Grace Kelly in "Dial M for Murder"

1954

Teamed Kelly with James Stewart in "Rear Window"; fourth Oscar nomination for Best Director

1955

Hosted and executive produced the anthology series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS, 1955-1960; NBC, 1960-1962), also directed 17 episodes

1955

Third film with Grace Kelly, "To Catch a Thief"; also starred Cary Grant

1956

Remade "The Man Who Wasn't There" with James Stewart and Doris Day

1958

Last film with James Stewart, "Vertigo"

1959

Final collaboration with Cary Grant, "North by Northwest"

1960

Helmed the "Incident at a Corner" episode of "Ford Star Time" (CBS)

1960

Directed the classic "Psycho", featuring Anthony Perkins; earned fifth and last Best Director Oscar nomination

1963

First of two films with Tippi Hedren, "The Birds"

1964

Second movie with Hedren, "Marnie"

1966

Teamed Julie Andrews and Paul Newman in "Torn Curtain"

1969

Helmed the spy thriller "Topaz"

1972

Directed "Frenzy", about a serial killer

1976

Final feature, "Family Plot"

Photo Collections

Saboteur - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Saboteur (1942), directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Vertigo - Lobby Card Set (1963 reissue)
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from the 1963 reissue of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Strangers on a Train - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Strangers on a Train (1951). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Dial M for Murder - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Dial M for Murder (1954). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
North by Northwest - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from North by Northwest (1959). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Rebecca - Movie Poster
Here is an original-release movie poster from Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940), starring Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier.
Notorious - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a few photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of RKO's Notorious (1946), starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
To Catch a Thief - Movie Posters
Here are several original-release American movie posters for Paramount's To Catch a Thief (1955), directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.
Spellbound - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Spellbound (1945). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Psycho - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Psycho (1960). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Wrong Man - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from The Wrong Man (1957). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. This particular card is the only time a Hitchcock cameo was highlighted in the advertising for a Hitchcock movie.
Foreign Correspondent - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster for Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Coorespondent (1940), starring Joel McCrea and Laraine Day. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Suspicion - Publicity Art
Here are a couple of specialty drawings created by RKO for newspaper reproduction to publicize Suspicion (1941), starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine. To cover their bases, there is a both a humorous treatment and a serious one.
Suspicion - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion (1941). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
North by Northwest - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several behind-the-scenes photos taken during the shooting of North by Northwest (1959). Look for director Alfred Hitchcock and stars Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason.
Notorious - Movie Poster
Here is an original-release half-sheet movie poster for Notorious (1946), starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Half-sheets measured 22 x 28 inches.
The Birds - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Birds - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963), starring Tippi Hedren.

Videos

Movie Clip

Marnie (1964) - Instinctual Behavior Bachelor millionaire publisher Rutland (Sean Connery) and new secretary "Mrs. Taylor" (Tippi Hedren, the probably-deranged title character) review a typing assignment as her fear of thunder, lightning and colors comes to the fore in Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie, 1964.
To Catch A Thief (1955) - Ever Been Married? Alfred Hitchcock was likely more interested in the color than the story, as he arranges for Robie (Cary Grant) to meet Hughson (John Williams) in the flower market in Nice, in To Catch A Thief, 1955.
Sabotage (1936) - You Made London Laugh On location at the London zoo aquarium, financially motivated amateur terrorist Verloc (Oscar Homolka), having staged a blackout the night before, meets mysterious paymaster Vladimir (Austin Trevor), with a famous effect by director Alfred Hitchcock, in Sabotage, 1936.
Sabotage (1936) - If The Arsenal Lose We know grocer Ted (John Loder) is a policeman, Sylvia Sidney at the ticket box doesn't know the guys (William Dewhurst, Peter Bull, then Torin Thatcher) visiting her husband (Oscar Homolka) are terrorists, her young brother (Desmond Tester) also an innocent, in Hitchcock's Sabotage, 1936.
High Anxiety (1977) - Dedicated To The Master Writer, director and star Mel Brooks establishes from the start that his film is meant as a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, then gets busy on the airplane, then accosted after landing at LAX by a guy in a trenchcoat (Bob Ridgely), in High Anxiety, 1977.
Blackmail (1929) - Flying Squad Part of the prologue, from the shot-silent portion of the film, with sound effects added, many tricks from the director, John Longden the young cop and leading man introduced, from what is generally seen as the first British talkie, Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail, 1929.
Blackmail (1929) - Got A Real Criminal To Direct The director very much at play here, his cameo on the London underground, then protagonists Alice (Anny Ondra, voice by Joan Barry) and boyfriend policeman Frank (John Longden) feuding at tea, with witty insights about the pictures, in Alfred Hitchcok's first partial-talkie, Blackmail, 1929.
Blackmail (1929) - I'd Better Go Polish-born Anny Ondra here as straying "Alice," is lip-synching to the off-camera voice of Joan Barry, Alfred Hitchcock directing his first talkie, quite deliberate with the shadow on the face of "the artist" Cyril Ritchard, who goes a bit too far for her, in Blackmail, 1929.
Foreign Correspondent (1940) - May I Have Your Picture? Reporter "Haverstock" (Joel McCrea) is baffled when Dutch diplomat Van Meer (Albert Bassermann) doesn't know him, Charles Waggenheim as the assassin, and pursuit with friend Carol (Laraine Day) and fellow reporter ffolliott (George Sanders), in Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent, 1940.
Man Who Knew Too Much, The (1956) - Que Sera, Sera Now in Marakesh, the deliberately incidental introduction of Doris Day’s hit song (a Jay Livingston/Ray Evans original), as mom Jo, Christopher Olsen her son Hank, James Stewart as dad, doctor Ben, Daniel Gelin their mysterious new French friend, in Alfred Hitchcock’s hit re-make, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956.
Man Who Knew Too Much, The (1956) - I Am Ambrose Chappell American Dr. McKenna (James Stewart), caught up in international intrigue, confronts two taxidermists named Chappell before he realizes he's on the wrong trail, in Alfred Hitchcock's often comic remake of his own 1935 hit, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956.
Rope (1948) - Open, It's The Darkness The opening with the sole un-disguised edit in the picture, Alfred Hitchcock with his first Technicolor feature, the movie-with-no-cuts gimmick, stars John Dall and Farley Granger as New Yorkers Brandon and Philip finishing off their victim (Dick Hogan), in Rope, 1948, co-starring James Stewart.

Trailer

I Confess - (Original Trailer) Montgomery Clift plays a priest accused of murder who hears but cannot tell the confession of the actual murderer in Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess (1953).
Foreign Correspondent - (Original Trailer) A camera with gun attachment, trick windmills and a mid-ocean plane crash are some of the predicaments facing Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940).
Dial M For Murder - (Original Trailer) An unfaithful husband frames his wife for a murder in Dial M For Murder (1954), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Suspicion - (Re-issue Trailer) A wealthy wallflower (Joan Fontaine) suspects her penniless playboy husband (Cary Grant) of murder in Suspicion (1942), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Stage Fright - (Original Trailer) Much Warner Bros.' promotion for star Jane Wyman, as an acting student who goes undercover to prove a singing star killed her husband in Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright, 1950.
Frenzy - (Original Trailer) Alfred Hitchcock ties one on in this personal tour of his thriller Frenzy (1972).
Torn Curtain - (Original Trailer) U.S. scientist Paul Newman pretends to defect but is followed behind the Iron Curtain by finacee Julie Andrews in Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain (1966).
Family Plot - (Original Trailer) A phony psychic takes on a pair of kidnappers in Alfred Hitchcock's last movie Family Plot (1976).
Notorious - (Original Trailer) U.S. agent Cary Grant recruits Ingrid Bergman to infiltrate a Nazi spy ring in Brazil in Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (1946).
Saboteur - (Original Trailer) Robert Cummings is accused of sabotage and ends up on top of the Statue Of Liberty in Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942).
Rope! - (Original Trailer) Two wealthy young men try to commit the perfect crime by murdering a friend in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope! (1948) starring James Stewart.
North By Northwest - (Original Trailer) An advertising man is mistaken for a spy, triggering a deadly cross-country chase in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959) starring Cary Grant.

Promo

Family

William Hitchcock
Father
Poultry dealer, fruit importer. Catholic, died when Hitchcock was 14 on December 12, 1914.
Emma Hitchcock
Mother
Catholic.
Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell
Daughter
Born c. 1929.

Companions

Alma Lucy Reville
Wife
Film editor, script girl. Born c. 1900; married in 1926; survived him; died on July 6, 1982.

Bibliography

"Writing with Hitchcock: The Collaboration of Alfred Hitchcock and John Michael Hayes"
Steven DeRosa, Faber and Faber (2001)
"Hitchcock Becomed 'Hitchcock': The British Years"
Paul M. Jensen, Midnight Marquee Press (2000)
"The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock"
Donald Spoto, Da Capo Press (1999)
"Hitchcock's Notebooks: An Authentic and Illustrated Look at the Mind of Alfred Hitchcock"
Dan Auiler, Spike (1999)
"Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews"
edited by Sydney Gottlieb (1995)
"Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock"
John Russell Taylor, Pantheon (1978)
"Hitchcock"
Francois Truffaut, Simon & Schuster (1967)
"The Hitchcock Romance"
Leslie Brill
"Hitchcock: The Murderous Gaze"
William Rothman
"English Hitchcock"
Charles Barr, Cameron & Hollis