Born on August 13, 1899 in London, England, Alfred Joseph Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense. Hitchcock is the most widely known director in the history of cinema and has a body of work that spans over 50 years. 1920 was the year Hitchcock joined the film industry. He began drawing sets and after the director for Always Tell Your Wife in 1923 became ill, Hitchcock took over. His first job at directing a film was in 1923 when he was hired to direct Number 13. He then directed The Pleasure Garden in 1925 and made his first branded film, The Lodger in 1927. He married Alma Reville in 1927 and they had one child in 1928.
He made the Lady Vanishes in 1938 and Jamaica Inn in 1939. In 1940 the Hitchcocks moved to Hollywood where he directed Rebecca in 1940. In 1942 he directed Saboteur and in 1960 Psycho, Family Plot in 1976 and Frenzy in 1972. In 1979 Hitchcock was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award. He was very ill as he accepted his award.
He often did cameos in his films and you can see him in Young and Innocent 1937, The Girl was Young, The 39 Steps in 1935 and Murder! in 1930. He was in Dial M for Murder in 1954, Rope in 1948, and Family Plot in 1976. He created suspense by alternating between different shots. He typically alternated between the character's point of view and a close-up of others.
In 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents and in 1962 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour begins with his famous profile sketch. This came from a Christmas card Hitchcock designed. He used objects to drive the plot and these included a wedding ring in Rear Window, bottled uranium in Notorious, $40,000 in the envelope in Psycho and microfilm in North by Northwest. Hitchcock is expert in making the audience empathize with the villain. He does this in sequence where the villain is about to be caught.
Movies you should see include Blackmail, Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound, Rope, Vertigo, The Birds, and Marnie. Hitchcock died on April 29, 1980 in California of renal failure.
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