Alfred Hitchcock

Primary Author: Manpreet Kaur

The primary authors are the individuals who drafted the first version of the material which could have been different than the currently published version.

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, England on 13 August 1899. He was raised in a strict Catholic home and when he was 15 years old his father died. He was a talented director and though he often got credit for being a little insane, his work proved to show that he put his crazy to good work.

Often known as Hitch or the master of suspense, he was known to be very odd, from the way he looked and to just the way he talked or acted. He was known for many films including North by Northwest (1959), Rear Window (1954), The Birds (1963), Spellbound (1945), Psycho (1960), Vertigo (1958), Rebecca (1940), and To Catch A Thief (1955). He was most known for thrillers and high suspense films.

Hitchcock's influences were F.W. Murnau, Michelangelo Antonioni, and D.W. Griffith. He was influenced by F.W. Murnau because of his purely visual storytelling approach. He was influenced by Michelangelo Antonioni because of his use of suspense and use of sexuality, which led Hitch to more freedom to use more graphic and nudity inspired scenes. D.W. Griffith used last minute rescues, which Hitchcock really liked and which can be seen in many of his films.

Hitchcock attended Saint Ignatius for engineering and navigation. His first job was in 1915 as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company. This led to his interest in movies, which led to going to the cinema a lot and reading US trade journals. There was a studio opening in London called Lasky were he obtained a job as a tile designer. He ended up doing all the tile designs for the movies for the next two years. In 1923, he got his first chance at directing when a director got sick and he completed the movie Always Tell Your Wife (1923). The studio gave him his first directing assignment on Number 13 (1922).

After Lasky closed, Hitchcock was hired by Michael Balcon to work as an assistant director for Gainsborough Pictures. He was given the chance to direct a British/German co-production called The Pleasure Garden (1925). That was just the start of him mastering his techniques and his method of film. He was often seen making small appearances in his films.

Hitchcock received many awards: AFI Life Achievement Award (1979), Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award (1972), BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award (1971), Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, Edgar Grand Master Award (1973), Raven (1960), DGA Lifetime Achievement Award, and many more. He had over 49 nominations, he won 35.

Hitchcock was known for his shape and figure, which ultimately was the cause of him dying. He had arthritis, heart issues, and other medical problems. He was supposed to receive a Knighthood by the Queen Elizabeth II, but because of his declining health, Thomas W. Aston , the British consul general, presented it to him at Universal Studios. He died on 29 April 1980 in Bel Air from renal failure.

Works Consulted

Alfred Hitchcock is known for having a cameo in each of his films. For a college project, Morgan T. Rhys complied Every Alfred Hitchcock Cameo (2012).