Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock


8/13/1899, Leytonstone, London, England



Birth Name

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock



Also Known As

Sir Alfred Hitchcock, The Estate of Alfred Hitchcock
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Alfred Hitchcock was born in England in 1899 to Emma Hitchcock and her husband William, a greengrocer in London's East End. In 1920, Alfred got the chance to work in the film industry when he became a title designer for Islington Studios. For two years he worked there,…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Alfred Hitchcock appeared on the cover of Life Magazine February 1, 1963.

    • After graduating from the London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation, Alfred Hitchcock became a draftsman and advertising designer with a cable company.

    • Between 1956 and 1964, Alfred Hitchcock appeared on the cover of TV Guide five times.

    • Alfred Hitchcock has been parodied by Family Guy on several occasions. One of the plots of 'North By North Quahog' is inspired by North By Northwest and pastiches the end of the movie on Mount Rushmore and the crop-duster sequence. In 'The Perfect Castaway', the Hitchcock shadow can be briefly seen, accompanied by 'Funeral March For A Marionette'.

    • Alfred Hitchcock worked with certain actors on several occasions; he directed Cary Grant and James Stewart four times each, Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman three times each and Leo G. Carroll six times.

    • Of the 270 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Hitchcock directed 17 of them.

    • When Alfred Hitchcock accepted the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, he delivered the shortest acceptance speech in Oscar history: he simply said "Thank you."

    • Alfred Hitchcock has been pastiched several times in The Simpsons. For instance, the 1992 Halloween episode 'Treehouse Of Horror III' uses the opening sequence of Alfred Hitchcock Presents but substitutes Homer for Hitchcock. In the 1992 episode 'A Streetcar Named Marge' there is a recreation of Hitchcock's cameo from The Birds.

    • The five films for which Alfred Hitchcock was nominated for a Best Director Oscar are Rebecca (1940), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rear Window (1954) and Psycho (1960).

    • It is rumoured that Raymond Burr was cast as the murderer Lars Thorwald in Rear Window because he resembled Alfred Hitchcock's former producer, David O. Selznick, with whom Hitchcock had a somewhat strained working relationship.

    • As a child, after he had misbehaved, Alfred Hitchcock was sent to the local police station with a letter from his father. The desk sergeant read the letter and immediately locked the boy up for ten minutes. After that, the sergeant let young Alfred go, explaining, 'This is what we do to bad little boys.'

    • Alfred Hitchcock had a serious fear of the police, which reportedly was the reason he never learned to drive. His reasoning was that if one never drove, then one would never have an opportunity to be pulled over by the police and issued a ticket.

    • Alfred Hitchcock had an extreme fear of eggs, known as ovophobia.

    • Alfred Hitchcock often described his childhood as being very lonely and sheltered, which was undoubtedly compounded by his weight issues.

    • Alfred Hitchcock loved the number seven. He often placed numbers that added up to seven in his movies.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was a pioneer in using camera movement, camera set ups, and montage to explore the outer reaches of cinematic art.

    • Alfred Hitchcock has been called The Tusitala of Movies. Tusitala means storyteller.

    • Alfred Hitchcock inspired the adjective "Hitchcockian" for suspense thrillers.

    • Alfred Hitchcock's grandchildren are Mary Stone, Tere Carrubba, and Katie Fiala.

    • Alfred Hitchcock hated to shoot on location. He preferred to shoot at the studio where he could have full control of lighting and other factors. This is why even his later films contain special effects composite and rear screen shots.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was ranked #2 in Empire Magazine's "The Greatest Directors Ever!" in 2005.

    • As with W.C. Fields and Arthur Godfrey before him, Alfred Hitchcock was legendary for gently tweaking his sponsors during the run of his TV show. One typical example runs, "We now interrupt our story for an important announcement. I needn't tell you to whom it will be most important of all."

    • Alfred Hitchcock praised Luis Buñuel as the best director ever.

    • Alfred Hitchcock directed eight different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, Albert Bassermann, Michael Chekhov, Claude Rains, Ethel Barrymore and Janet Leigh.

    • Alfred Hitchcock almost never socialized when not shooting films. Most of his evenings were spent quietly at home with his wife Alma Reville.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was infamous with cast and crews for his "practical jokes." While some inspired laughs, such as suddenly showing up in a dress, most were said to have been more cruel than funny. Usually he found out about somebody's phobias, such as mice or spiders, and in turn sent them a box full of them.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was voted the Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. The same magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Films of all time includes more films directed by Hitchcock than by any other director, with four. On the list were his masterworks Psycho (#11), Vertigo (#19), North by Northwest (#44) and Notorious (#66).

    • When Alfred Hitchcock won his Lifetime Achievement Award in 1979, he joked with friends that he must be about to die soon. He died a year later.

    • One of the most successful Hitchcock tie-ins is a pulp publication titled Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The publication is highly respected and has become one of the longest running mystery anthologies. It continues to be published over a quarter century after Hitchock's death.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was listed as the editor of a series of anthologies containing mysteries and thillers. However, he had little to do with them. Even the introductions, credited to him, were, like the introductions on his television series, written by others.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was director William Girdler's idol. Girdler made Day of the Animals borrowing elements from Hitchcock's The Birds.

    • When finishing a cup of tea while on the set, Alfred Hitchcock would often non-discriminatingly toss the cup and saucer over his shoulder, letting it fall (or break) wherever it may.

    • Alfred Hitchcock's bridling under the heavy hand of producer David O. Selznick was exemplified by the final scene of Rebecca. Selznick wanted his director to show smoke coming out of the burning house's chimney forming the letter "R." Hitchcock thought the touch lacked any subtlety. Instead, he showed flames licking at a pillow embroidered with the letter 'R.'

    • Alfred Hitchcock made his cameos at the beginning of his films because he knew viewers were watching for him and he didn't want to divert their attention away from the story's plot.

    • From 1977 until his death, Alfred Hitchcock worked with a succession of writers on a film to be known as The Short Night. The majority of the writing was done by David Freeman, who published the final screenplay after Hitchcock's death.

    • In the New Year's Honour's list of 1980 (only a few months before his death), Alfred Hitchcock was named an Honorary (as he was a U.S. citizen) Knight Commander of the British Empire.

    • Alfred Hitchcock made a cameo appearance in all of his movies beginning with The Lodger except for Lifeboat, in which he appeared in a newspaper advertisement.

    • Alfred Hitchcock had one daughter with Alma Reville, Patricia Hitchcock, who appeared in several of his movies: Stage Fright, Strangers on a Train and Psycho.

    • Alfree Hitchcock was a close friend of Albert R. Broccoli, well known as the producer of the James Bond - 007 franchise. Hitchcock's North by Northwest was the influence for the helicopter scene in From Russia with Love.

    • Alfred Hitchcock dressed up in drag for a party he hosted. Footage of this was in his office, but after his death his office was cleaned out and it is not known if the footage still exists.

    • Alfred Hitchcock has been spoofed by the famous sketch show Saturday Night Live.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was one of the first 100 persons to have his name set into the pavement in London's Avenue of the Stars in Convent Garden.

    • Being a true British gentleman, Alfred Hitchcock usually wore a suit on his film sets.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was born one day before his wife.

    • Alfred Hitchcock appeared on a 32 cent U.S. postage stamp, in The Legends of Hollywood series that debuted 8/3/98 in Los Angeles, California.

    • It was reported that Alfred Hitchcock couldn't stand to look at his wife, Alma Reville, while she was pregnant.

    • Alfred Hitchcock usually preferred blondes as the lead actress in his films. The most famous actresses in his filmography were Anny Ondra, Madeleine Carroll, Joan Fontaine, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh and Tippi Hedren.

    • Alfred Hitchcock often used the "wrong man" or "mistaken identity" theme in his films.

    • In 1967 Alfred Hitchcock was awarded 'The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.' This made him the 20th recipient of this prestigious award.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was at his heaviest in the late 1930s, when he weighed over 300 pounds. Although always overweight, he dieted and lost a considerable amount of weight in the early 50s, with pictures from sets like To Catch a Thief showing a surprisingly thin Hitchcock. His weight continued to fluctuate throughout his life.

    • Alfred Hitchcock declared Der Müde Tod as his declared favourite movie.

    • Alfred Hitchcock was married to writer and film editor Alma Reville from 2 December 1926 until his death on 29 April 1980.

    • According to Alfred Hitchcock himself, he was required to stand at the foot of his mother's bed, and tell her what happened to him each day. This explains Anthony Perkins in Psycho standing at the foot of his mother's bed.

  • Quotes

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Disney has the best casting. If he doesn't like an actor he just tears him up.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (In a 1969 interview with Roger Ebert) Once the screenplay is finished, I'd just as soon not make the film at all...I have a strongly visual mind. I visualize a picture right down to the final cuts. I write all this out in the greatest detail in the script, and then I don't look at the script while I'm shooting. I know it off by heart, just as an orchestra conductor needs not look at the score...When you finish the script, the film is perfect. But in shooting it you lose perhaps 40 per cent of your original conception.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the manmade sound never equaled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn't change people's habits. It just kept them inside the house.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Television is like the American toaster, you push the button and the same thing pops up every time.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Self-plagiarism is style.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: 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.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (Commenting on why people loved his films) They like to put their toe in the cold water of fear.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (Responding to a mother who complained that her daughter would no longer use the shower) Then Madam I suggest you have her dry cleaned.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (Regarding his mission in life): …to simply scare the hell out of people.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: There are several differences between a football game and a revolution. For one thing, a football game usually lasts longer and the participants wear uniforms. Also there are more injuries at a football game.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Some of our most exquisite murders have been domestic, performed with tenderness in simple, homey places like the kitchen table.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Seeing a murder on television can help work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Revenge is sweet and not fattening.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (when receiving the American Film Institute Life Achievement award in 1979) I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat, and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen. And their names are Alma Reville.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: I'm frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes - have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I've never tasted it.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (On his habit of appearing in a cameo in most every film he directed) The indignity of being a ham is thrust upon me.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Actors are cattle.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: I was an uncommonly unattractive young man.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Drama is life with the dull bits left out.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, 'It's in the script.' If he says, 'But what's my motivation?,' I say, 'Your salary.'

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Even my failures make money and become classics a year after I make them.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: To me Psycho was a big comedy. Had to be.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Television has brought murder back into the home - where it belongs.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: There is a dreadful story that I hate actors. Imagine anyone hating Jimmy Stewart, or Jack Warner. I can't imagine how such a rumor began. Of course it may possibly be because I was once quoted as saying that actors are cattle. My actor friends know I would never be capable of such a thoughtless, rude and unfeeling remark, that I would never call them cattle. What I probably said was that actors should be treated like cattle.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Cary Grant is the only actor I ever loved in my whole life.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: If it's a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: I am a typed director. If I made "Cinderella," the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Film your murders like love scenes, and film your love scenes like murders.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: The paperback is very interesting but I find it will never replace the hardcover book- it makes a very poor doorstop.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Man does not live by murder alone. He needs affection, approval, encouragement and, occasionally, a hearty meal.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: There is nothing quite so good as a burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: It's only a movie, and, after all, we're all grossly overpaid.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: I enjoy playing the audience like a piano.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Some films are slices of life, mine are slices of cake.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.

  • a man that made tons of classics

    i think alfred was one of the best movie directors ever . he made tons of good movies that had really interesting stories too them. he always made you be at the edge of you seat in suspence. such movies as rear window and the birds and others. he even made his own tv show which was really good also. and he was know for being in his own movies which is very famous . people were always tring to find him. which is thing copied by stan lee . even though i was not live when he was making movies i still have watched them and own them and still apricate the time and effor he put into making movies.moreless
  • The Master of Suspense in film and television.

    The greatest director who ever lived! From his brilliant films to his wonderful TV show, Hitch has come up with all sorts of things that define mystery and suspense. His early British film work of the thirties is entertaining, and really acts as a precursor to what was coming in Hollywood. His televison show also had its incredible moments and was extremely successful for many years. But today, he is best remembered for his work in Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s. He churned out classics such as "Psycho", "Rear Window", "North by Northwest", and "Vertigo." His directional talents, such as use of McGuffins and shadows will never be equaled by others.moreless