Alfred Hitchcock

"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it."

About Hitchcock…
• Born 13th August 1899 , Leytonstone, London and died, 29th April 1980, Bel Air, California. • Attended St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill, London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation in Poplar. After graduating he became a draftsman and advertising designer for Henley‟s. • His childhood experiences are reflected in some of his films, his father, once sent him to a local police with a note asking the officer to lock him away for 10 minutes as a punishment for bad behaviour. His mother, made Hitchcock stand at the end of her bed for hours for behaving badly, this was later used for the portrayal of Norman Bates in Psycho.

Early Career
Whilst working at Henley‟s Hitchcock began to write for the in-house newspaper, The Henley Telegraph in 1919. • His first piece was Gas, published in the first issue of the paper, it featured a young woman who imagined that she is being assaulted one night in Paris – only for the twist to reveal that it was all just a hallucination in the dentist‟s chair, induced by anaesthetic. And his last piece was Fedora , 1921, it was his shortest and most enigmatic article. • During this Hitchcock became intrigued by photography and started working in film production in London working as a titlecard designer for the London branch of what would become Paramount Pictures. • 1920, he received a full-time position at Islington Studios designing titles for silent movies. • His journey from title designer to film director took 5 years. •

British Career

• •

With his first few films being disregarded , from 1922 to 1925 his luck was very bad. In 1926 his luck changed with his film „The Lodger‟ becoming a major success in the UK. Some commentators regard this piece as the first truly „Hitchcockian‟ film. After the success of this film, Hitchcock hired a publicist to help his growing reputation. 1929, Hitchcock started working on his tenth film „Blackmail‟. Whilst the film was in production, British International Pictures, decided to convert it into sound. It is frequently cited by historians as a landmark film and is often considered the first British sound feature film. „Blackmail‟ began Hitchcock‟s tradition of using famous landmarks as backdrops for suspense sequences. Began working at Gaumont-British Picture Corp., his second film for the company, „The 39 Steps‟ 1935, is often considered one of the best films from his early period. This film was also the first to introduce the „Macguffin‟ concept, a plot device around which a whole story revolves, but ultimately has nothing to do with the true meaning or ending of the story.

“Actors are cattle”
• By 1938, Hitchcock had become known for the alleged remark, “Actors are cattle.” This was in connection with stage actors snobbish about motion pictures. • This phrase would haunt him for years and it resulted in an incident during the filming of „Mr. & Mrs. Smith‟ where Carole Lombard brought some heifers onto the set with the name tags of Lombard.

• Hitchcock claims he was misquoted and he said “Actors should be treated like cattle.”

Hollywood – The 40‟s
„Rebecca‟ in 1940 was Hitchcock‟s first American movie, although it was set in England. It was a gothic melodrama which won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1940. • Hitchcock‟s films during the 1940‟s were a range of genres from the rom-com „Mr. & Mrs. Smith‟ to a courtroom drama, „The Paradine Gase‟. • „Suspicion‟ 1941, marked Hitchcock‟s first film as a producer as well as a director • „Shadow Of Doubt‟ 1943, was Hitchcock‟s favourite of all his films and the second of the early Universal films. He showcased his own personal fascination with crime and criminals when he had two of his characters discuss various ways of killing people. • 1945 Hitchcock was the film editor for a Holocaust documentary produced by the British Army. It was recorded during the liberation of Nazi concentration camps and remained unreleased until 1985. • Hitchcock‟s first colour film was „Rope‟ in 1948. • „Under Capricorn‟ was the last colour film Hitchcock done before returning to black and white for a few years. •

Hollywood – The 50‟s
• Hitchcock‟s first production for Warner Bros was „Stage Fright‟. • „Dial M for Murder‟ 1954, was Hitchcock‟s first experiment with 3D cinematography, however it was not released in this format until the 1980‟s. • „To Catch A Thief‟ 1955, was the third and last film he shot with Grace Kelly. • He remade his own 1934 film, „The Man Who Knew Too Much‟ in 1956. • „The Wrong Man‟ 1957, was a lowkey black-and-white film, Hitchcock‟s last for Warner Bros.

Hollywood – Psycho 1960
• Hitchcock‟s most well known film. • Budget of $800,000 • It was shot in black-and-white on a spare set. • The unprecedented violence in the shower scene, early demise of the heroine, innocent lives being lost, these were all hallmarks of Hitchcock, copied in many subsequent horror films. • After completing Psycho, he moved to Universal where he made the remainder of his films

Hollywood – The Birds 1963
• Inspired by a short story and by an actual news story of a mysterious infestation of birds in California. • It was Hitchcock‟s 49th film. • The scenes for the birds attacking included hundreds of shots mixing actual and animated footage. • The cause of the birds‟ attack is left unanswered, “perhaps highlighting the mystery of forces unknown”.

Hollywood – The 70‟s
• „Frenzy‟ 1972Hitchcock‟s last major triumph. The story recycles his earlier film „The Lodger‟. • „Family Plot‟ 1976 – Was Hitchcock‟s last film. It was the only Hitchcock film scored by John Williams.

Last Works
Worked on the script for a projected spy thriller, „the short night‟, collaborating with screenwriters James Costigan and Ernest Lehman. Despite the work, the story was never filmed. This was due to Hitchcock‟s failing health concerns and his concerns over his wife who had suffered a stroke. The script was published in a book, after his death.

His Death
• Died peacefully in his sleep on 29th April 1980 due to renal failure in his Bel Air, Los Angeles, California home at the age of 80. • His funeral service was held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Beverly Hills. • His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

Why He Inspires Me
Alfred Hitchcock inspires me because of the way he has come from nothing to the man he was is amazing. He has worked his way up and achieved what he always wanted to be. Even when his attempts fail he carried on trying and didn‟t give up. He inspires me to make an exciting and interesting trailer and to aim high when creating it and use my resources well.

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