Happy 121st Birthday Alfred Hitchcock

Today is the 121st birthday of Alfred Hitchcock.

My mother first introduced my sister and me to Alfred Hitchcock via the movies Psycho and Rear Window (we watched them after school quite often), she taught us to look for his cameos at the beginning of the films. I am not exactly sure what age, I feel like I have always known him and I went on to read a Hardy Boys type of mysteries called “Three Investigators” that Hitchcock wrote the introductions to and even loved the old reruns of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on TV. I have gone on to love both of those movies and have added The Trouble with Harry, Lifeboat, North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief, The Birds, Strangers on a Train, and The Man Who Knew Too Much to my list of favorite Hitchcock films. How can you not fall in love with North by Northwest? The color of the film, the cut of the clothes, the architecture, train travel. The Trouble with Harry is so absurdly clever and Shirley MacLaine is absolute perfection.  The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

alfred hitchcock 01

NAME: Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock
OCCUPATION: Director, Producer, Television Personality, Screenwriter
BIRTH DATE: August 13, 1899
DEATH DATE: April 29, 1980
EDUCATION: St. Ignatius College, University of London
PLACE OF BIRTH: London, United Kingdom
PLACE OF DEATH: Bel Air, California
CAUSE OF DEATH: Kidney failure
REMAINS: Cremated
EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD: Grand Master (1973)
EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD: Raven Award (1960)
OSCAR: (honorary) 1968 Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
GOLDEN GLOBE: 1958 for Alfred Hitchcock Presents
AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: 1979
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME: 7013 Hollywood Blvd. (television)
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME: 6506 Hollywood Blvd. (motion pictures)
KNIGHTHOOD: 1980

BEST KNOWN FOR: Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director known for his work in the suspense genre. He made over 60 films, nearly all commercial and critical successes.

Television has brought back murder into the home – where it belongs.

Director, producer and screenwriter Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in London, England, on August 13, 1899, and was raised by strict, Catholic parents. He described his childhood as lonely and sheltered, partly due to his obesity. He once said that he was sent by his father to the local police station with a note asking the officer to lock him away for 10 minutes as punishment for behaving badly. He also remarked that his mother would force him to stand at the foot of her bed for several hours as punishment (a scene alluded to in his film Psycho). This idea of being harshly treated or wrongfully accused would later be reflected in Hitchcock’s films.

Hitchcock attended the Jesuit school St. Ignatius College before going on to attend the University of London, taking art courses. He eventually obtained a job as a draftsman and advertising designer for the cable company Henley’s. It was while working at Henley’s that he began to write, submitting short articles for the in-house publication. From his very first piece, he employed themes of false accusations, conflicted emotions and twist endings with impressive skill. In 1920, Hitchcock entered the film industry with a full-time position at the Famous Players-Lasky Company designing title cards for silent films. Within a few years, he was working as an assistant director.

In 1925, Hitchcock directed his first film and began making the “thrillers” for which he became known the world over. His 1929 film Blackmail is said to be the first British “talkie.” In the 1930s, he directed such classic suspense films as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and The 39 Steps (1935).

In 1939, Hitchcock left England for Hollywood. The first film he made there, Rebecca (1940), won an Academy Award for best picture. Some of his most famous films include Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), and Marnie (1964). His works became renowned for their depictions of violence, although many of his plots merely function as decoys meant to serve as a tool for understanding complex psychological characters. His cameo appearances in his own films, as well as his interviews, film trailers and the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-65), made him a cultural icon.

Hitchcock directed more than 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades. He received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 1979. One year later, on April 29, 1980, Hitchcock died peacefully in his sleep in Bel Air, California. He was survived by his lifetime partner, assistant director and closest collaborator, Alma Reville, also known as “Lady Hitchcock,” who died in 1982.

Film

Year

Title

Credited as

Notes

Director

Producer

Writer

Other

1920

The Great Day

Yes

Title designer • Short film • Lost film

1921

The Call of Youth

Yes

Title designer • Short film • Lost film

1921

Appearances

Yes

Title designer • Lost film

1921

The Mystery Road

Yes

Title designer • Lost film

1921

The Princess of New York

Yes

Title designer • Lost film

1921

Dangerous Lies

Yes

Title designer • Lost film

1921

The Bonnie Brier Bush

Yes

Title designer • Lost film

1922

Three Live Ghosts

Yes

Art director, and title designer

1922

Love’s Boomerang

Yes

Title designer • Lost film

1922

The Spanish Jade

Yes

Art director, and title designer • Lost film

1922

The Man from Home

Yes

Art director, and title designer

1922

Tell Your Children

Yes

Art director, and title designer • Lost film

1922

Number 13

Yes

Lost film • Unfinished

1923

Always Tell Your Wife

Yes

Yes

Co-director (uncredited), and production manager • Short film • Partially lost film

1923

Woman to Woman

Yes

Yes

Assistant director, screenplay co-writer, and art director • Lost film

1923

The White Shadow

Yes

Yes

US title: White Shadows

Assistant director, screenplay co-writer, and art director

Partially lost film

1924

The Passionate Adventure

Yes

Yes

Assistant director, screenplay co-writer, and art director

1925

The Blackguard

Yes

Yes

German title: Die Prinzessin und der Geiger (The Princess and the Violinist)

Assistant director, screenplay writer, and art director

1925

The Pleasure Garden

Yes

German title: Irrgarten der Leidenschaft (Maze of Passion)

1925

The Prude’s Fall

Yes

Yes

US title: Dangerous Virtue

Assistant director, screenplay writer, and art director

Partially lost film

1927

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Yes

US title: The Case of Jonathan Drew

1927

The Mountain Eagle

Yes

Lost film

German title: Der Bergadler

1927

The Ring

Yes

Yes

Screenplay writer

1927

Downhill

Yes

US title: When Boys Leave Home

1928

The Farmer’s Wife

Yes

1928

Easy Virtue

Yes

1928

Champagne

Yes

Yes

Screenplay co-writer

1929

The Manxman

Yes

1929

Blackmail

Yes

Yes

Released in both silent and sound versions

1930

An Elastic Affair

Yes

Short film

Lost film

1930

Elstree Calling

Yes

Director of “sketches, and other interpolated items”

1930

Juno and the Paycock

Yes

1930

Murder!

Yes

Yes

Screenplay co-writer

1931

The Skin Game

Yes

Yes

Screenplay co-writer

1931

Mary

Yes

German language version of Murder! filmed with German actors

1931

Rich and Strange

Yes

Yes

US title: East of Shanghai

Screenplay co-writer

1932

Number Seventeen

Yes

Yes

Screenplay co-writer

1932

Lord Camber’s Ladies

Yes

1934

Waltzes from Vienna

Yes

US title: Strauss’ Great WaltzThe Strauss Waltz

1934

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Yes

1935

The 39 Steps

Yes

1936

Secret Agent

Yes

1936

Sabotage

Yes

US title: The Woman Alone

1937

Young and Innocent

Yes

US title: The Girl Was Young

1938

The Lady Vanishes

Yes

1939

Jamaica Inn

Yes

1940

Rebecca

Yes

1940

Foreign Correspondent

Yes

1941

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Yes

1941

Suspicion

Yes

1942

Saboteur

Yes

1943

Shadow of a Doubt

Yes

1944

Lifeboat

Yes

1944

The Fighting Generation

Yes

United States propaganda short

1945

Spellbound

Yes

1946

Notorious

Yes

Yes

1947

The Paradine Case

Yes

1948

Rope

Yes

Yes

Co-producer

1949

Under Capricorn

Yes

Yes

Co-producer

1950

Stage Fright

Yes

Yes

1951

Strangers on a Train

Yes

Yes

1953

I Confess

Yes

Yes

1954

Dial M for Murder

Yes

Yes

Filmed in 3D

1954

Rear Window

Yes

Yes

1955

To Catch a Thief

Yes

Yes

1955

The Trouble with Harry

Yes

Yes

1956

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Yes

Yes

1956

The Wrong Man

Yes

Yes

1958

Vertigo

Yes

Yes

1959

North by Northwest

Yes

Yes

1960

Psycho

Yes

Yes

1963

The Birds

Yes

Yes

1964

Marnie

Yes

Yes

1966

Torn Curtain

Yes

Yes

1969

Topaz

Yes

Yes

1972

Frenzy

Yes

Yes

1976

Family Plot

Yes

Yes

1993

Bon Voyage

Yes

French language propaganda short

Filmed in 1944 but only released in 1993

1993

Aventure Malgache

Yes

French language propaganda short

Filmed in 1944 but only released in 1993

2014

German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

Yes

Treatment advisor

Documentary

Filmed in 1945 but only released in 2014

Television

Year(s)

Title

Role

Notes

1955–1962

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Host

17 episodes (director)

1957

Suspicion

Episode: “Four O’Clock” (director, and producer)

1960

Startime

Episode: “Incident at a Corner” (director, and producer)

Only television show directed by Hitchcock in colour

1962

Alcoa Premiere

Episode: “The Jail” (executive producer)

1962–1965

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

Host

1 episode (director)

Got a quote you love? Got an inspirational individual to celebrate? Favorite song? Leave it below and let me know how you want to be recognized (social media, blog, etc). Thank you!

 

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