Masters of Cinema : Alfred Hitchcock

                                    Alfred Hitchcock was the most well-known director to the general public, as "Master of Suspense," but he is also considered one of the greatest film directors in the history of cinema. He himself was as mysterious, as the plot of his movies. He was born in 1899 in Leyonstone, London. Raised as a strict Catholic, Hitch had very much of a regular upbringing.
  • Originally trained at a technical school, he started out in British productions as a title and set designer, working his way up to the position of screenwriter and director by the mid-1920s.
  • He had his first major success in 1926 with The Lodger, a thriller loosely based on Jack the Ripper.
  • His early work with these, including Blackmail (1929) and Murder (1930), seem primitive by modern standards, but have many of the essential elements of Hitchcock's subsequent successes, and finally took him to Hollywood in 1939
  • In the '40s Hitchcock began making movies in the United States, hits such as Rebecca (1940), Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and Spellbound(1945) etc, successful and  technically daring films.
  •  He made critically acclaimed Psycho in 1960, the shock masterpiece. Walt Disney refused to allow him to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie Psycho."
  •  Ranked #2 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Greatest directors ever!", and voted the Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • Trademark: Dark humor and dry wit, especially regarding murder, Often makes the audience empathizes with the villain's plight, usually in a sequence where the villain is in danger of being caught, and many more.
  • He almost never socialized when not shooting films, with most of his evenings spent quietly at home. 
  • A statistical survey he did among audiences revealed that according to moviegoers the most frightening noise in films was the siren of a police patrol-car, followed by the crash of a road accident, howling dogs, and the scream of a stabbed woman .
  • He directed nine of the American Film Institute's 100 Most Heart-Pounding Movies. He appears in all of his movies, for just a few seconds.
  • Though he was Oscar-nominated 5 times as Best Director, and received 3 nominations from Cannes, he has never won in any of these competitive categories, a fact that surprises fans and film critics to this day.
  • On the 29th April 1980, he died peacefully in his sleep.
 Hitchcock Quotes:
  "Even my failures make money and become classics a year after I make them."
    "There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it."
    "The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder."
      "Disney has the best casting. If he doesn't like an actor he just tears him up, with scissors."

    "This paperback is very interesting, but I find it will never replace a hardcover book -- it makes a very poor doorstop."
   "I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline-production: 1: small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one. "
                                                  Hitchcock is a creative genius, inspired the adjective "Hitchcockian" for suspense thrillers. Throughout his long career, Hitchcock made 53 feature-length films. Yet he frequently complained about his loneliness and his fear of death, even as he was hailed, even in the last moments of his life, as one of the film industry's greatest directors of all time. Perhaps the darkness of his nature not only led Alfred Hitchcock to attain worldwide acclaim, but also prevented him from enjoying it. 


Kumaran said...

Woow..great post about the great..thanks.

vinay said...

He was the best...
The fact that the great master of suspense never got any oscars surprises me.