Alfred Hitchcock, the London-born master of suspense, directed over 50 films including classics like “Psycho” and “Vertigo.” He was known for his innovative camera techniques, suspenseful music, and trademark cameo appearances. Hitchcock won numerous awards and is widely regarded as one of the greatest directors in cinema history. Here are some things you may not known about him…
Facts about Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense
- Before becoming a film director, Alfred Hitchcock worked as a draftsman, a designer and an advertising copywriter. He also worked as a title card designer for silent films, where he developed his visual storytelling skills.
- Hitchcock earned the nickname “The Master of Suspense” for his ability to create tension and suspense in his films. He was known for using creative camera angles, music and editing to build a sense of unease in his audience.
- Hitchcock was known for making cameo appearances in his films. He appeared in 39 of his 52 surviving films, often in humorous roles or as an extra in a crowd scene.
- Hitchcock was a pioneer of several film techniques, including the use of the “MacGuffin,” a plot device that drives the story forward but is ultimately unimportant to the overall story. He also popularised the technique of the “vertigo shot,” where the camera appears to zoom in while moving away, creating a disorienting effect.
- The Birds (1963) was a groundbreaking film for Hitchcock, as it was one of the first to feature extensive use of special effects. The film’s birds were created using a combination of live birds, mechanical birds and a process known as “Rear Projection.”
- Psycho (1960) was another groundbreaking film for Hitchcock, as it was one of the first to feature a shower scene. The shower scene was shot in such a way that it was considered too violent for its time, and it shocked audiences when it was released.
- Hitchcock was married to Alma Reville, a film editor, for over 50 years. The couple had one daughter, Patricia, who appeared in several of Hitchcock’s films.
- Hitchcock was known to have a love of food, particularly “fowl” dishes. He once said that he was “born with a love of food,” and that he “ate his way through life.”
- Despite his success, Hitchcock had a lifelong fear of the police, which he believed was a result of a traumatic childhood experience. This fear can be seen in several of his films, where the police are often portrayed as oppressive or ineffective.
- In the 1950s, Hitchcock hosted and directed a television show called “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” which was a series of suspenseful and often macabre stories. The show was a hit, and it established Hitchcock as a household name.
- Hitchcock directed over 50 films in his career, including such classics as “Rear Window,” “North by Northwest,” “Vertigo” and “Psycho.” He was nominated for five Academy Awards and was inducted into the American Film Institute’s Hall of Fame in 1979.
- In 1980, Hitchcock was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, making him the first film director to receive this honour. He died shortly afterwards on 29 April 1980.
- Today, Hitchcock is widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His influence can be seen in many contemporary filmmakers, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers.
Here is a list of Alfred Hitchcock films set in London:
- The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)
- The Ring (1927)
- Blackmail (1929)
- Number Seventeen (1932)
- The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
- Sabotage (1936)
- The Paradine Case (1947)
- Stage Fright (1950)
- Dial M for Murder (1954)
- The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
- Frenzy (1972)
What’s your favourite Alfred Hitchcock film? Tell us in the comments section below!