Name: Alfred Hitchcock
Birthday: August 13, 1899
Place of Birth: Leightonstone, Great Britain
Date of death: April 29 1980 (80 years old)
Cause of death: find out renal failure
Place of burial: find out cremated, dust scattered over the Pacific Ocean
Height: 170 cm
Career: Directors 10 place
The early years, childhood and family of Alfred Hitchcock
His family was distinguished by a rather rigid way of life, and was also very clerical. At the insistence of the parents, the future director began attending the Jesuit College of St. Ignatius, where, in fact, he received his basic education. During this period, he studied not only basic subjects, but also many optional disciplines, among which were the French language, singing and the art of behavior in society.
According to some researchers, it was in the early years that many of his mental illnesses began to occur in Hitchcock’s soul. So, already in childhood, he began to manifest an obsessive craving for cleanliness, as well as a rare disease of ovophobia, which is a fear of oval objects. In addition, in early childhood, for a minor misconduct, Alfred Hitchcock landed in a police cell for ten minutes. Fear of the police, as well as an unjust punishment, lived in the soul of the great master until the end of his days. That is why, as is commonly believed, the topic of the subconscious fear of persecution is so strong in the director's work.
However, we will not dwell too much on the consideration of these points. In 1914, Alfred Hitchcock entered the London School of Engineering and Navigation, where he studied mechanics and navigation for a whole year. In parallel with this, our today's hero also attended art studies courses at the University of London.
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in a suburb of London (Leightstone) in the family of a greengrocer, where he became the 3rd child.
One day, a father decided to punish his son for a petty misconduct in a very original way: he took little Alfred to the police station, where he asked to be kept for several hours in a cell. He could not have thought that later, because of this incident, Alfred would be afraid of the police for his whole life. read more
At age 11, parents, like true Catholics, sent their youngest son to study at the Jesuit College of St. Ignatius. Alfred studied very well and, having graduated from college in 1913, even received a certificate of merit.
In the years 1914-1915. Hitchcock is studying navigational engineering at the University of London. And then begins to work as an electrician in a telegraph company, while attending evening courses in drawing, economics and politics. His penchant for drawing was noticed by his superiors, and Alfred was transferred by the artist to the advertising department, where he worked until 1920. At the same time, interest in cinema awakens in Hitchcock: he often goes to the movies and reads in a professional magazine about this new art form.
In 1920, Alfred got a job as a caption designer at the London-based studio of the Famous Players-Lasky Hollywood film company. Thanks to his hard work and passionate love for cinema, Hitchcock quickly grew to the head of the department, and soon to the assistant director.
For the first time, Alfred Hitchcock tried himself as a director in 1922, when he was entrusted with making the film "Number 13". Unfortunately, he was not able to finish filming his first film, as the studio closed. However, soon she was rented by a successful producer Michael Belkom, and Hitchcock began working with him.
In the same studio, Alma Reville worked as an editor, which very attracted the young Alfred. In 1923, he finally proposed to her. Subsequently, they got married, and their only child was born - the girl Patricia.
Belcom quickly noticed the talent of the novice director and after a while entrusted Hitchcock with his own film "The Garden of Delights" (1925), which was the debut for Alfred. This was followed by a series of successful paintings that brought Hitchcock the fame of a master: “Resident” (1926), “Ring” (1927), “Blackmail” (1929) - the first sound picture.
Then, after a short period of unsuccessful work, Hitchcock makes some of his best films: “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1934), “39 Steps” (1935), “Sabotage” (1936).
In 1939, after breaking the contract with producer Michael Belcom, Hitchcock and his family moved to the United States, where his most famous films were shot, such as Shadow of Doubt (1943), Rope (1948), and I Confess (1953), “Vertigo” (1958), “Psycho” (1960) - a film that made Hitchcock a millionaire, “Birds” (1963), “Marnie” (1964).
By the way, Alfred Hitchcock is still considered an unsurpassed master of the thriller. Almost all of his films - excellent examples of suspense - keep the viewer in constant tension until the very end.
In 1979, Hitchcock was awarded the American Film Institute's Prize "For Outstanding Contribution to the Arts." And just a year later, on April 29, 1980, the outstanding film director was gone. But his legacy continues to live.
Cinema career, filmography of Alfred Hitchcock
In 1920, Alfred Hitchcock got a job as an electrician in the film company Famous Players-Lasky. However, in this capacity, our today's hero worked for a relatively short time. Just six months later, he received the position of an artist in the advertising department and began to create titles for various films. But the talented Englishman was undoubtedly created for more, and therefore already in 1921, the employees of the film company in which he worked began to attract him to the shooting of films. First, our today's hero worked as an assistant director, and then began to help other authors in writing scripts.
In 1922, Hitchcock first began working as a co-director. During this period, he makes several films, among which the most famous picture is "Always tell your wife." This experience turned out to be quite successful, and later Alfred Hitchcock often collaborated with other film directors.
The first "solo" work of our today's hero - the painting "Garden of Delights" - was released only in 1925. The film became quite popular and brought its creator several new contracts. And the great director took full advantage of them. Already in 1926, the talented Briton removed the tape "Resident", which became very popular in Europe. It is noteworthy that it is this picture that is still considered by many critics to be the first real thriller in world cinema.
In the period from 1927 to 1929, Alfred Hitchcock makes ten more (!) Films, each of which becomes bright and interesting in its own way. Thanks to many popular films, in the mid-thirties a talented native of England became one of the most popular authors of the Old World.
During this period, Alfred makes plans for new projects, however, due to the outbreak of World War II, he is almost alone at the previous film studio. During this period, the production of films in Britain and throughout Europe was virtually curtailed, and therefore in 1939, our today's hero decides to move to the United States. In 1940, having just settled in Hollywood, Hitchcock made the film Rebecca, which subsequently received an Academy Award and was named the first classic film in the horror genre. The picture was a huge success at the box office. At this moment, real hysteria began around the work of Alfred Hitchcock.
In the forties and fifties, our today's hero makes more than one picture annually. The most popular films of this period are the films “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “Window into the Courtyard,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Dizziness,” “North through the Northwest,” and many others. Many of the films of that period were subsequently included in the golden fund of world cinema.
Moreover, as some critics noted, over the years, Hitchcock’s paintings only became more interesting and talented. A vivid confirmation of this are the films that the great director made at the end of his career. The paintings “Dizziness”, “Psycho”, “Frenzy”, “Family Conspiracy”, as well as the legendary “Birds” are still considered one of the best works of the director.
For his outstanding contribution to world cinema, Alfred Hitchcock was awarded special awards by the Oscars, Saturn, as well as several state awards. Among them was the Order of the British Empire, as well as the title of Cavalier of the Order of Arts and Literature. In the early seventies, the Queen of Great Britain knighted Alfred Hitchcock.
In 1920, the guy got a job as an electrician in a film studio, but months later he moved to the advertising department, where he worked as an artist and a title designer at the movie company Famous Players-Lasky.
Alfred Hitchcock in his youth
Drawing cards with the names of actors for the credits is Alfred's main task at the initial stage of his career, but later the capable young man himself began to compose scripts and assist directors.
Work at Famous Players-Lasky changed the fate of Hitchcock, because in 1921, Alma Reville, the future wife of the filmmaker, received the position of editor in the company.
In 1922, Alfred Hitchcock made his film debut as a co-director. Together with his colleague, Hugh Kreuz made two films: “Always Tell Your Wife”, which appeared on the screens, as well as “Number 13”, the shooting of which was never completed.
Alfred Hitchcock on set
The directorial biography of Alfred Hitchcock began in 1925 after filming the picture “Garden of Enjoyment”, but the first film in the thriller genre appeared in 1926. The painting was called "Resident". Hitchcock also owns the first British sound film "Blackmail", which appeared on the screen in 1929.
In the future, Hitchcock makes several more films. The film "The Man Who Knew Too Much", which was released in 1934, became a well-known work of the director.
The outbreak of World War II did not allow Hitchcock to devote time to directing in Britain, as he went to Hollywood. The master in Beverly Hills settled down, having come to work to the famous producer David Selznik. Their cooperation cannot be called cloudless, as Selznik, although he provided funding for the filming process and positive media coverage, intervened in Hitchcock’s work. However, Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock's first Hollywood film, was voted Best of the Year and won an Oscar.
Alfred Hitchcock in Hollywood
In 1948, Hitchcock's first film in color appeared. The tape came out under the name "Rope." Viewers and critics noted the director’s addiction to attracting "cold" blondes to the shooting, among which were the legendary actresses Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak and Vera Miles.
The fifties of the twentieth century, when the director is at the zenith of popularity, are recognized as the peak of the film career In 1953, the movie "I Confess" appeared, and in April 1955 he accepted US citizenship. During this period, the paintings “Window to the Courtyard” and “Dizziness” appeared, which were included in the golden fund of the classics of world cinema. Soon, Hitchcock presented the sensational thrillers “Psycho” and “Birds”, as well as the novel “Man from the South”.
Alfred Hitchcock and Janet Lee on the set of the film "Psycho"
Starting with the picture “Marnie”, films by the Hollywood master of thrillers and “horror films” are perceived coolly by both viewers and critics from the USA. But in France, Hitchcock is an idol and a legend. French critics idolize him, the audience stands in long lines to watch new paintings, and the directors Truffaut, Chabrol and De Palma even imitate him.
In 1976, Alfred Hitchcock's latest film, The Family Conspiracy, was released. After 3 years, the American Institute of Motion Picture Arts awarded the director the award "For the Achievements of a Lifetime".
Hitchcock's parents raised their children in a very harsh manner. Once Alfred was closed by his father in a police station cell for a little prank. Moreover, the child did not know that he would be released in 10 minutes and was sure that it was forever. The consequence of this punishment, according to psychologists and researchers of the biography of the great director, was his lifelong fear of the police. In the future, Hitchcock never drove a car, afraid to get to the police station.
The subconscious fear of persecution and unfair punishment is very often present in the paintings of a brilliant director. Contemporaries said that only at first glance did he appear to be a pleasant person, but this impression vanished during a protracted conversation.
Alfred Hitchcock had a heavy character
In his early youth, Alfred's hobby was visiting London courts, where he, fascinated, sat for hours at meetings, listening to trials on the most terrible crimes. With pleasure I visited the forensic museum, carefully examining the instruments of torture. Already at an advanced age, Hitchcock told friends that he had invented a way to strangle a woman with one hand. I also read to my friends a short course of necrophilia.
In addition, the director also revealed other mental deviations over the years: a rare ovophobia - fear of objects in the shape of an egg and a love of purity that goes to extravagance.
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock had a peculiar humor. He could give the actress, who could not stand the smell of fish, several hundred smoked herrings. When actress Melanie Griffith was a 5-year-old girl, Hitchcock presented her with a doll in a toy coffin for her birthday, and the toy had the face of her mother, Melanie, with whom he scandalized on the set. Sir Alfred also liked to make fun of his guests, placing pillows on them on chairs that made indecent sounds.
Alfred Hitchcock loved strange pranks
In 1953, the guests who came to Hitchcock's dinner party were horrified to see dishes called “Jeanne on the coals”, “freshly cut ladies fingers” and “stuffed corpses in a spicy sauce”.
Most of all, the beauties-actresses, whom he easily brought to nervous breakdowns, got from the brilliant extravagance. More than once, the director frankly lied that the actress Ingrid Bergman, who starred in the film "Notoriety", was madly in love with him.
And Vera Miles, who appeared in his film “The Wrong Man,” for several months he sent bouquets and crazy letters that she burned without reading at all. And this is when the actress was going to get married. The actress Tippy Hedren Hitchcock organized surveillance. Moreover, due to the refusal of reciprocity, a woman fell threats to ruin and let her family go around the world.
Alfred Hitchcock had a peculiar sense of humor
Hitchcock biographers argue that the only person who managed to put in place the presumptuous foul language and scraper was Grace Kelly. On obscenity from the director’s lips, she replied that she had already heard these words, because she also studied at a religious school.
Hitchcock said about himself that the paintings that are presented to him are the embodiment of horror.
“If I were shooting Cinderella, the audience would have expected a corpse to be found under her bed,” the director repeatedly said in an interview.
Nevertheless, not all the works of the Masters of Suspense are terrifying, reminding the audience of terrible dreams. The director’s filmography includes about 60 full-length films, but among the creations there are even tapes that belong to the comedy genre, and this is not an atypical phenomenon in the works of a celebrity.
Alfred Hitchcock with birds
The director’s range of thinking is wide and varied. Critics and experts have repeatedly argued that the most interesting element in Hitchcock's work is the personality of the director himself.
Contribution to the cinema
The filmmaker presented to the world a truly huge collection of diverse thrillers, and the film adaptation of some novels is considered the best in history. Hitchcock demonstrated his talent and ability to create a psychedelic tense situation, which in a peculiar way turns into rage, with political and ironic overtones.
The film "Rope" is considered the peak in Hitchcock's creative career. The existential thriller, the psychoanalysis of two young killer guys, is becoming an example, followed by other modern filmmakers.
In 1951, the noir film “Strangers on the Train” was released, which behind its name hides a large number of genres, and it is simply impossible to identify a specific one. Alfred returned to the black and white style, but this time only to indicate a full-fledged atmosphere of darkness, hopelessness and fear.
The director’s fans also remembered the book “Murders I Am in Love with”. The creator presented a collection of scary stories that have become very popular in America.
“Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Detectives” is another series of detective books and films that fans of the work of a genius have repeatedly noted. Here, the main characters were three teenage boys, as well as the director himself, who recorded their investigations.
The personal life of Alfred Hitchcock is associated with the only woman - Alma Reville, with whom he lived 55 years. This was not an alliance of people in love, rather, two filmmakers who loved filming thrillers. Alma - a nondescript blonde who worked with Alfred, at a glance she understood her brilliant husband.
Alfred Hitchcock with his wife
Many biographers considered Hitchcock to be a woman hater, paying attention to the cinematic heritage, which was convincing evidence of this. How many beauties with particular cruelty and sophistication were "killed" by the director - not to count.
Alfred Hitchcock with Alma Reville
In a marriage with Alma Reville, the daughter of Patricia appeared. They say that father and daughter did not have love and mutual understanding. In communication with her, as with all others, he did not limit himself to profanity. Sometimes it seemed that he simply did not know how to express feelings in a different way.
It is known that Patricia got married and gave birth to two children.
Alfred Hitchcock died in April 1980 in his own home. The cause of death of the 80-year-old director is renal failure. According to Hitchcock's will, his body was cremated, and the ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
Alfred Hitchcock's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
In 1979, the Queen of England awarded the director the title of nobleman. On the Hollywood Walk of Stars is his personalized star. The result of the life of Alfred Hitchcock are 55 paintings, many of which are classics of world cinema.
It is known that Alfred Hitchcock's great-grandfather Charles Hitchcock lived in Stratford, a suburb of London, and was engaged in fishing. His son Joseph, along with his father, uncles and comrades, at first also obtained a piece of bread for himself by fishing, but having married in 1851 the Irish Anne Mahoney, he soon abandoned this occupation and became a greengrocer.
Joseph and Ann had nine children. William, the future father of Alfred Hitchcock, choosing his life field, decided to follow in his father's footsteps. In 1887, he married. Three years later, in 1890, he had a son, named in his honor, William, and two years later (in 1892) - a daughter, Ellen Kathleen.
In 1896, the family moved to Leightonstone, where Hitchcockey rented a small house. At that time, Leightonstone was a small suburb of Essex County in London, located 5 miles north of central London near the Lee River, which flows into the Thames.
Alfred Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899, at 517 High Street, Leightstone, becoming the third child in a Catholic family of grocer William Hitchcock (1862–1914) and Emma Jane Whelan (1863–1942).
From 1910 to 1913, Alfred studied at the Jesuit College of St. Ignatius in London. In 1914, Hitchcock entered the Navigation Engineering School. In parallel, he attended lectures on art criticism at the University of London.
On December 12, 1914, his father died. In 1915, during the First World War, Hitchcock enlisted as a volunteer in the army, but because of overweight, he was refused, recording in the reserve, where he studied subversive business.
Since 1920, Hitchcock began working at a film studio as an electrician. Soon he became an artist in the advertising department. In the same 1920, Alfred arranged to work as a designer of captions for the film company Famous Players-Lasky. Initially, his tasks included drawing cards with the names of actors for the credits, then he began to compose scripts and assist directors.
In 1921, Famous Players-Lasky joined Alma Reville, Alfred's future wife, as an editor.
In 1922, Hitchcock, in the role of co-director, directed the film “Always Tell Your Wife” and the film “Number 13,” which was not finished.
In 1923, the film "Woman to Woman" was filmed. In these shootings, Hitchcock works as a co-author of the script, production designer and assistant director. In the same year, Alfred proposes to Alme.
In the role of director Alfred Hitchcock in 1925, shot his first film, The Pleasure Garden, which was shot in Munich and is a film of Anglo-German production.
In 1926, he shot the first thriller "Resident". In 1926 he shot the film “Mountain Eagle”, which has not survived and is listed as the 75 most sought-after films by the British Film Institute (it is in first place in importance), and on the website of the British Film Institute it is noted: “This is something like the Holy Grail for historians cinema ".
UNESCO included nine silent films on the World Heritage List, which Hitchcock made from 1925 to 1929: “In Hitchcock’s early films, many of his characteristic motives and mania are already visible,” explained the significance of these films by the director in UNESCO.
He owns the first British sound film, which was successful at the box office, - "Blackmail" (1929). According to Georges Sadoule: “In this production, he showed a special passion for both a well-made detective story and technical innovation in the field of shooting (moving the“ angle of view ”, editing, sound counterpoint, etc.), which affected undoubtedly the influence of the new achievements of the continental masters. ”
On December 2, 1926, Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville got married and lived together until Hitchcock's death in 1980. On July 7, 1928, Alma Reville gave birth to his only child - the daughter of Patricia Hitchcock, who became an actress.
It is believed that the origins of Hitchcock's sophistication in the indirect display of murders and scenes of violence were largely due to the conservatism of the British Board of Film Censors, which assigned all horror films the category “A”. Often, in order to ensure the release of their films on a wide screen, the directors were forced to refuse to show violence scenes in general, using various tricks: “scary” music, the cries of the victims, etc.: letting the viewer know what was behind the scenes in some details a murder is being committed.
In 1934, Hitchcock made the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” which was the first of six known films.
With the outbreak of World War II, film production in the UK ceased, and Hitchcock went to Hollywood (1939), where he settled in Beverly Hills. He began working for star producer David Selznik, who often intervened in the creative process, but at the same time provided funding and a good press. Thanks to his connections, Hitchcock's first American film, Rebecca, won an Oscar as the best film of the year. However, the production of the film resulted in war. Hitchcock did not quite understand why the producer should be at the helm. Moreover, Selznik was playing for a fall, insisting on clear, simple solutions. The quarrel arose over the letter R in the finale of Rebecca. Selznik wanted the letter to be read in a cloud of smoke rising from the ashes. Hitchcock insisted on a pillow. The final editing of Rebecca was done by the producer.
On September 26, 1942, Hitchcock's mother, Emma Jane, dies in London.
In 1948, Hitchcock made his first color film, Rope.
In the 1940s, Hitchcock made about the film a year, and since 1948 he himself produced them. His favorite actors were Cary Grant, James Stewart, Grace Kelly. Hitchcock reached the peak of his career in the 1950s with large-budget tech-color projects - sometimes purely comedic (Troubles with Harry, Catching a Thief), sometimes foreshadowing the aesthetics of Bondiana (North to Northwest). Since the 1950s, the director has been actively working on television (the series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”).
On January 17, 1952, Hitchcock’s daughter married Joseph O’Connell, from whom she gave birth to three daughters: Mary, Teresa and Kathleen.
Alfred assumed American citizenship on April 20, 1955, becoming a full-fledged US citizen.
After the films “Window to the Courtyard” (1954) and “Dizziness” (1958), which influenced the European art house with their non-standard narrative decisions and deep psychologism, the director began to apply even more experimental, even shocking techniques. The sensational paintings "Psycho" (1960) and "Birds" (1963) stand out in Hitchcock’s work, sometimes they are defined as horror films.
Starting with the movie “Marnie” (1964), Hitchcock’s work was accepted with great restraint by the public and critics. Despite a critical attitude towards commercial Hollywood cinema, Hitchcock was idolized by critics of the French “new wave”. In 1957, Eric Romer and Claude Chabrol published a study of Hitchcock's work in France. Future directors explored his first forty-four films, paying particular attention to Catholicism and such repetitive motives as the “distribution of guilt” between the “innocent” hero and the “less innocent” anti-hero or heroine. Francois Truffaut not only noticed the author’s look behind the shell of an entertaining movie, he made several films in imitation of Hitchcock and published an interview book with his idol. The films of Chabrol and Brian De Palma were also marked by a strong influence of Hitchcock. The latter, speaking of his film “Vertigo”, noted: “Hitchcock is the one who extracted the very essence of the film. I used a lot of his grammar. ”
According to American researcher Paula Maranz Cohen, who wrote in 2008: “Hitchcock’s attractiveness to film theorists and historians is hard to exaggerate. The study of his work is the most practical way to study the entire history of cinema. ”
End of life
In 1976, the last film shot by Hitchcock, Family Conspiracy, was released. In 1979, the American Institute of Motion Picture Arts awarded Hitchcock the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The director refused to participate in any preparations due to his state of health. “It seemed that he was present while reading his own obituary and did not want to be at the funeral,” said one of his colleagues. His wife Alma was able to attend despite partial paralysis. Hitchcock’s response was recorded in advance, as they were afraid that he would be insane and would not be able to say anything. Shortly before his death, Hitchcock was elevated to the noble rank of the Queen of England. The British consul presented his credentials in a festive atmosphere. In March, Hitchcock was able to tape an opening speech for an evening in memory of James Stewart at the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts.
At the end of his life, Hitchcock, along with screenwriters James Costigan and Ernest Lehman, worked on the script for the short night spy thriller. However, the film was never made. This was mainly caused by the director's deteriorating health and the problems associated with the health of his wife Alma, who had a stroke. The script was printed posthumously.
Hitchcock died at the age of 80 at his home in Los Angeles from kidney failure at 9:17 a.m. on April 29, 1980. His funeral was held at the Catholic Church in Beverly Hills. Hitchcock's body was cremated, and the dust was scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
Hitchcock's contemporaries say that at first he seemed like a nice person, but for a long time it was impossible to endure him as an interlocutor. As a child, Hitchcock was unsociable, estranged from other children. The author of The Dark Side of Genius, Hitchcock's biographer Donald Spoto, shows him as a cruel, cowardly person.
Ingrid Bergman, who had maintained friendly relations with him for a long time, wrote about him: “His humor, his keen mind are admired. I think he loves very real people. If on the set someone annoyed him, he began a conversation with him in the ambiguous manner peculiar to him. It seems like a normal conversation actually turned into complete nonsense. In this way he got rid of uninvited guests". Marlene Dietrich, who was struck by his calmness and authority in Hitchcock, distinguished his following qualities: “He fascinates, delights, always controls himself, bewitches, without making any effort to this. And at the same time he is a shy person» .
Hitchcock was a pedant: for example, he developed biographies of heroes in films with special care, without missing a single small detail. Hitchcock was obsessed with cleanliness. After using the sink, he wiped the sink itself and the tap with three towels.
Alfred loved puns and greasy jokes, had a rather specific sense of humor. For example, he could present four hundred smoked fish to a man who was disgusted by the smell of fish. When shooting the film “39 Steps”, the main characters had to go handcuffed all day, because the director, according to him, lost the key to them. There is also a known case when Hitchcock gave Melanie Griffith, when she was five years old, a doll with the face of her mother, actress Tippy Hedren, who was lying in a toy coffin. The reason for this gift was the conflict on the set between Hedren and Hitchcock. Hitchcock also liked to seat guests on special pillows that made indecent sounds. Once he joked with the father of the writer Daphne du Maurier - actor Gerald du Maurier, inviting him to visit a masquerade. He told all other guests that it would be an official evening. As a result, Morje spent the whole evening among tuxedos in the costume of the Turkish Sultan. Hitchcock sent actress Vera Miles bouquets of black roses and letters written supposedly by a maniac fan. It is noted that friends and colleagues of Hitchcock are accustomed to his mischievous, pompous rhetorical questions, which he asked exclusively for his own fun.
Even on the set of the film “The Lady Is Disappearing,” actress Margaret Lockwood noticed that after tea, morning or afternoon, Hitchcock threw the cup over his shoulder and waited for it to break. He kept this habit for his whole life, and he said that it was “good for nerves. Relieves stress. Much better than scolding actors. ” Throughout his life, Hitchcock was afraid of policemen, and he never sat behind the wheel of a car due to the fact that in childhood he was locked up for ten minutes in a police station cell for a small misconduct on the advice of his father. After he was released, the policeman told him that bad people were punished in this way. Subsequently, due to the fear of the police, many of his films were built on a subconscious fear of unfair accusation and persecution.
Hitchcock suffered from ovophobia (or ovophobia) - a fear of oval-shaped objects. Hitchcock was very nervous at the sight of a chicken served by a waiter.
Alfred Hitchcock knew by heart the names and location of New York streets, as well as the train schedules in most states.
When Hitchcock’s wife had a stroke, he spent the whole time while his wife was undergoing medical procedures in a restaurant opposite.In the future, he never came close to this restaurant, as he remembered all those feelings that he experienced when his wife went to the hospital.
Alfred Hitchcock was afraid to watch his films. “My own films scare me,” he said. “I never go to see them.” I don’t know how people can endure watching my films. ”
Hitchcock's directorial style was influenced by German expressionists and Russian (Soviet) cinema; his 1940s films intersect with noir. Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Murnau (Hitchcock even wrote an article about him) and David Wark Griffith influenced his work. He carefully read the book, V. I. Pudovkin, published in 1929, “Technique and Filming,” which included the most famous articles of the Russian director in the English translation at that time.
He worked very carefully with sound, using unexpected effects to enhance what is shown on the screen. Original music, usually written by Bernard Herrmann, serves the same purpose.
The director was distinguished by pedantic preparatory work, a detailed study of the plot, characters, decoration, etc. Ingrid Bergman, describing his working methods, wrote:
— «His directorial splendor lies in the ability to prepare everything in advance. There is nothing that he would not know about his film before he even started making it. He first prepares every stroke, every element of the decoration in a miniature at home, and then he recreates it in the studio. He doesn’t always have to look into the lens, he says: “I know how it looks.” I don’t know a single director who would work like him". Janet Lee recalling the work on the film "Psycho" said:
— «Everything was carefully thought out: a wardrobe, a suitcase, what I put in this suitcase, leaving work. He showed me the mock-ups of the mise-en-scenes, especially the hotel at the beginning of the film, and said exactly how the movie camera will go into the window and how it will follow the heroes - and all this for the sake of concise effects».
Hitchcock's favorite heroes are people trapped in circumstances. Story situations, as a rule, fall into three categories:
- Mistakenly suspected of a crime that they did not commit, they are forced to conduct their own investigation to prove their innocence (“Resident”, “39 steps”, “Saboteur”, “Strangers in a train”, “I confess”, “Catch a thief”, “ Wrong person ”,“ To the north through the northwest ”,“ Enrage ”).
- The fatal woman leads the lover astray, as a rule, in order to die with him (Blackmail, Sabotage, Rebecca, Bad Glory, Dizziness, Marnie).
- Classic detective: investigation of a murder, often committed by a mentally abnormal (Shadow of Doubt, Rope, Window on the Courtyard, Psycho, Frenzy).
Among Hitchcock’s favorite cinematic techniques, it is worth noting the shooting from the point of view of the character, that is, shooting with the camera from such an aspect that the viewer sees the scene as if through the eyes of the character. Camera movements and camera angles are generally unpredictable and original. Hitchcock is credited with the invention of a very quick and fractional installation, vividly demonstrated in the famous scene of a murder in the soul in the film Psycho.
Hitchcock is also famous for its cameo. He liked to appear in episodes in his films: either in the image of a casual passer-by, or in the image of a street onlooker. He starred in almost all of his later films. In general, Hitchcock, especially in his later years, sought to create a mystical atmosphere around him, surrounded himself with a halo of mystery.
Donald Spoto, the author of a major work on his life and work, considered mature Hitchcock's films “personal exorcism”, an attempt to therapeutic projection of existential confusion (“duty, sex, food and annihilation”) arising from the tension between two typical women of their life and their time - Mother Wife (mother, his wife Alma) and Movie Star (from Grace Kelly to Tippi Hedren).
Considering Hitchcock’s work from the perspective of Lacanian psychoanalysis, Slava Zizek shares his most famous films into thematic trilogies:
- “That Wrong Man” (1956), “Dizziness” (1958), “North through Northwest” (1959) are three films in which the main characters are mistaken for who they really are.
- “Vertigo”, “North through the northwest” and “Psycho” (1960) - the main characters are trying to artificially fill the void caused by the death of the beloved woman (“Vertigo”), the mysterious figure of a non-existent person (“North through the northwest” ) and the death of the mother ("Psycho"), and in the latter case, Norman Bates tries to resurrect his mother, taking her place in reality.
- “North through northwest”, “Psycho” and “Birds” (1963) form a trilogy about emptiness and imbalance in family relationships: the absence of a father’s figure is compensated by the painfully swollen maternal superego. The imperious mother of the protagonist in all three films treats him as his property and interferes with his attempts to build a full-fledged relationship with other women.
The result of Hitchcock's career is 55 full-length films, many of which have become classics of world cinema. In addition, Alfred Hitchcock also shot 21 television films for the series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and two documentaries (both in 1944), and another 2 films were left unfinished.
Hitchcock bought the rights to the adaptation of David Baty’s novel "The Village of Stars", after his previous film ("Blind") was canceled. The plot told how pilots of the air force transporting an atomic bomb, after the breakdown of the explosive mechanism, become suicide bombers to complete the mission. But the film was not produced and was canceled in 1962.
Hitchcock’s filmography can be divided into several periods: Quiet years, British classics, Vintage Hollywood, War years, Style improvement, Fourth decade, Suspense master, Great old man, Homecoming.
- On the wall of the Leightstone metro station, 17 mosaics were laid out that represent fragments from Hitchcock films
- In 1993, a sign with the following inscription was installed near the place where Hitchcock’s ancestral home was located:
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, a well-known filmmaker, was born not far from this place at 517 High Road, Leighton on August 13, 1899. Died April 29, 1980