Film & Theater Personalities » Directors » ALFRED HITCHCOCK
|Full name||: Alfred Hitchcock|
|Alias||: Alfred Hitchcock|
|Address||: Leytonstone, England|
|Animals||: The Pig|
|Father||: William Hitchcock|
|Mother||: Emma Jane Hitchcock|
|Siblings||: William Hitchcock, Eileen Hitchcock|
|Wife||: Alma Reville (m. 1926–1980)|
|Children||: Patricia Hitchcock|
|Education||: Saint Ignatius College St Ignatius' College Salesian College|
Sir Alfred Hitchcock was an English movie director, famously dubbed as the ‘The Master of Suspense’. He was an extraordinary director who entertained his audience with his engaging and captivating suspense thrillers. His fascination with crime and its consequences began at an early age, when he was punished by his father and he spent several minutes inside a prison for his mischief. Hence his movies are symbolic of the guilt and innocence of a victim. He possessed a knack for creating stories that consisted of deceit, fraud, murder, blackmail and other criminal offences with incredible plot twists in the storyline. The protagonists in his movies were the common people most of the time, caught in unwanted and unavoidable critical situations. He had the sense of spellbinding the people and engaging them as a part of his suspense thrillers. He was a prolific story-teller with a fine sense of judgment about his body of work which is considered to be engrossing and enthralling by the critics. Most of his movies have stood the test of time and are considered to be masterpieces. He is remembered by other filmmakers for he inspired them to be passionate about their work, and by the people around the world for his entertaining and thrilling stories.
His first job was that of a draftsman and advertising designer at a local cable company, Henley’s. After the company opened its in-house publication in 1919, The Henley Telegraph, he started writing short stories for it and became a contributor in its success.
He wrote short stories, often suspense thrillers, for the publication including ‘Gas’ (1919), ‘The Woman’s Part’ (1919), ‘What’s Who’ (1920) and ‘Fedora’ (1921).
When a Hollywood company, Famous Players-Lasky, opened a new film studio near London, he was appointed as a title card designer in the Islington Studio. Gradually, he started working as a screenwriter, art director and assistant director in movies such as ‘Woman to Woman’ (1923), ‘The White Shadow’ (1924), ‘The Blackguard’ (1925), and ‘The Prude’s Fall’ (1925).
In 1922, he got an opportunity to direct a movie titled ‘Number 13’, but the project was later shelved because of financial problems. He got his next venture as a director in 1925 with a movie called ‘The Pleasure Garden’, which was a commercial flop.
In 1926, he directed his first successful suspense thriller movie ‘The Lodger’, based on the subject of serial killings in London. Initially, the producer shelved the project but it was released in 1927, becoming a major critical and commercial success. It opened the gates for his triumph and was followed by many box-office hits in the following years.
In 1929, he made the first British talkie film ‘Blackmail’ which was a huge hit and later directed the successful suspense thrillers, ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ (1934), ’The 39 Steps’ (1935) and ‘The Lady Vanishes’ (1938). In 1939, he signed a seven-year contract deal and moved to Hollywood.
In Hollywood, he continued his streak of psychological and suspense thrillers with movies such as ‘Spellbound’ (1945), ‘Notorious’ (1946), ‘Strangers on a Train’ (1951), ‘Dial M for Murder’ (1954), ‘Rear Window’ (1954), ‘Vertigo’ (1958), ‘North by Northwest’ (1959), ‘Psycho’ (1960), ‘The Birds’ (1963) and many other such classics.
His 1929 movie ‘Blackmail’ is considered to be a significant milestone in British filmmaking as it was the first British talkie movie. The film is about a London woman who is blackmailed after killing a man who tries to rape her.
His 1960 classic ‘Psycho’, a psychological suspense drama, is considered one of the greatest works of all time. It received four Academy Awards and was selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.
He was born on August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, England to William Hitchcock, a greengrocer and poultry salesman and Emma Jane Hitchcock. He was named after his father’s brother.
He was the youngest of the three children in his family. He had a brother, William and a sister, Eileen. He was raised as a Roman Catholic.
One of the incidents that took place in his childhood was imbibed in his mind for the rest of the life. Once he was sent to the police station by his father with a note, requesting the policeman to lock Alfred in the prison for several minutes, as he had misbehaved in his house. He remembered this humiliation, the guilt of being a criminal and the fear of police for his entire life.
He received his education from the Salesian college and the Jesuit School St. Ignatius College in Stamford Hill, London. Later he enrolled at London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation in Poplar, London to pursue a career in electrical engineering.
He met Alma Reville while working as the director of a film titled, ‘Number 13’, which was abruptly shelved due to lack of funds. Later they got married in 1926.
They were blessed with a girl, Patricia Hitchcock in 1928. She acted in some of his films such as ‘Strangers on a Train’ (1951) and ‘Psycho’ (1960).
He died on April 29, 1980 in California due to kidney failure. His remains were cremated and scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
He won two Golden Globe Awards and eight Laurel Awards for his work. He received five nominations as the ‘Best Director’ in Academy Awards and also received the ‘Irving Thalberg Memorial Award’ at the 1968 Oscars.
He was honored with five ‘Lifetime Achievement Awards’ including the one by the ‘American Film Institute’ in 1979 and the first ‘BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award’.
In 1980, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II and he was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE).