123 Facts About Alfred Hitchcock


Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was an English filmmaker.


Alfred Hitchcock is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of cinema.


Alfred Hitchcock's films garnered 46 Academy Award nominations, including six wins, although he never won the award for Best Director despite five nominations.


Rebecca won the Academy Award for Best Picture, with Alfred Hitchcock nominated as Best Director; he was nominated for Lifeboat and Spellbound.


Alfred Hitchcock received the BAFTA Fellowship in 1971, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1979, and was knighted in December of that year, four months before his death on 29 April 1980.


Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born on 13 August 1899 in the flat above his parents' leased greengrocer's shop at 517 High Road, Leytonstone, on the outskirts of east London, the youngest of three children of Emma Jane and William Edgar Hitchcock, with a brother, William Daniel, and a sister, Ellen Kathleen.


Alfred Hitchcock's parents were both Roman Catholics, with partial roots in Ireland; Alfred Hitchcock's father was a greengrocer, as his grandfather had been.


Alfred Hitchcock said that he first became class-conscious there, noticing the differences between tourists and locals.


Alfred Hitchcock attended his first school, the Howrah House Convent in Poplar, which he entered in 1907, at age 7.


Alfred Hitchcock attended a convent school, the Wode Street School "for the daughters of gentlemen and little boys", run by the Faithful Companions of Jesus.


Alfred Hitchcock then attended a primary school near his home and was for a short time a boarder at Salesian College in Battersea.


The family moved again when he was 11, this time to Stepney, and on 5 October 1910 Alfred Hitchcock was sent to St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill, Tottenham, a Jesuit grammar school with a reputation for discipline.


Alfred Hitchcock later said that this is where he developed his sense of fear.


Alfred Hitchcock told his parents that he wanted to be an engineer, and on 25 July 1913, he left St Ignatius and enrolled in night classes at the London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation in Poplar.


Alfred Hitchcock continued night classes, this time in art history, painting, economics, and political science.


Alfred Hitchcock joined a cadet regiment of the Royal Engineers and took part in theoretical briefings, weekend drills, and exercises.


John Russell Taylor wrote that, in one session of practical exercises in Hyde Park, Alfred Hitchcock was required to wear puttees.


Alfred Hitchcock enjoyed the job and would stay late at the office to examine the proofs; he told Truffaut that this was his "first step toward cinema".


Donald Spoto wrote that most of the staff were Americans with strict job specifications, but the English workers were encouraged to try their hand at anything, which meant that Alfred Hitchcock gained experience as a co-writer, art director and production manager on at least 18 silent films.


When Paramount pulled out of London in 1922, Alfred Hitchcock was hired as an assistant director by a new firm run in the same location by Michael Balcon, later known as Gainsborough Pictures.


Alfred Hitchcock worked on Woman to Woman with the director Graham Cutts, designing the set, writing the script and producing.


Alfred Hitchcock worked as an assistant to Cutts on The White Shadow, The Passionate Adventure, The Blackguard, and The Prude's Fall.


Alfred Hitchcock was impressed with Murnau's work and later used many of his techniques for the set design in his own productions.


Alfred Hitchcock needed a translator to give instructions to the cast and crew.


In Germany, Alfred Hitchcock observed the nuances of German cinema and filmmaking which had a big influence on him.


Alfred Hitchcock would meet with actors, writers, and producers to build connections.


The film is lost, and Alfred Hitchcock called it "a very bad movie".


When he returned to England, Alfred Hitchcock was one of the early members of the London Film Society, newly formed in 1925.


Visually, it was extraordinarily imaginative for the time, most notably in the scene in which Alfred Hitchcock installed a glass floor so that he could show the lodger pacing up and down in his room from below, as though overheard by his landlady.


Alfred Hitchcock established himself as a name director with his first thriller, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog.


Alfred Hitchcock had wanted the leading man to be guilty, or for the film at least to end ambiguously, but the star was Ivor Novello, a matinee idol, and the "star system" meant that Novello could not be the villain.


On 2 December 1926, Alfred Hitchcock married the English screenwriter Alma Reville at the Brompton Oratory in South Kensington.


Reville, who was born just hours after Alfred Hitchcock, converted from Protestantism to Catholicism, apparently at the insistence of Alfred Hitchcock's mother; she was baptised on 31 May 1927 and confirmed at Westminster Cathedral by Cardinal Francis Bourne on 5 June.


Alfred Hitchcock began work on his tenth film, Blackmail, when its production company, British International Pictures, converted its Elstree studios to sound.


In 1933, Alfred Hitchcock signed a multi-film contract with Gaumont-British, working for Michael Balcon.


Alfred Hitchcock's first film for the company, The Man Who Knew Too Much, was a success; his second, The 39 Steps, was acclaimed in the UK and gained him recognition in the United States.


John Buchan, author of The Thirty-Nine Steps on which the film is loosely based, met with Alfred Hitchcock on set and attended the high-profile premiere at the New Gallery Cinema in London.


Alfred Hitchcock had a horse delivered to the dressing room of his friend, actor Gerald du Maurier.


Alfred Hitchcock followed up with Young and Innocent in 1937, a crime thriller based on the 1936 novel A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey.


The film saw Alfred Hitchcock receive the 1938 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director.


Alfred Hitchcock had received numerous offers from producers in the United States, but he turned them all down because he disliked the contractual obligations or thought the projects were repellent.


In July 1938, Alfred Hitchcock flew to New York, and found that he was already a celebrity; he was featured in magazines and gave interviews to radio stations.


Alfred Hitchcock discovered his taste for fine food in West Hollywood, but still carried on his way of life from England.


Alfred Hitchcock was impressed with Hollywood's filmmaking culture, expansive budgets and efficiency, compared to the limits that he had often faced in Britain.


Selznick suffered from constant financial problems, and Alfred Hitchcock was often unhappy about Selznick's creative control and interference over his films.


Alfred Hitchcock approached American cinema cautiously; his first American film was set in England in which the "Americanness" of the characters was incidental: Rebecca was set in a Hollywood version of England's Cornwall and based on a novel by English novelist Daphne du Maurier.


Alfred Hitchcock received his first nomination for Best Director, his first of five such nominations.


Alfred Hitchcock felt uneasy living and working in Hollywood while Britain was at war; his concern resulted in a film that overtly supported the British war effort.


In one scene, Alfred Hitchcock placed a light inside a glass of milk, perhaps poisoned, that Grant is bringing to his wife; the light ensures that the audience's attention is on the glass.


Alfred Hitchcock therefore settled for an ambiguous finale, although he would have preferred to end with the wife's murder.


Saboteur is the first of two films that Alfred Hitchcock made for Universal Studios during the decade.


Alfred Hitchcock wanted Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck or Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney to star, but was forced by Universal to use Universal contract player Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane, a freelancer who signed a one-picture deal with the studio, both known for their work in comedies and light dramas.


Alfred Hitchcock took a three-day tour of New York City to scout for Saboteurs filming locations.


In 1943, he wrote a mystery story for Look magazine, "The Murder of Monty Woolley", a sequence of captioned photographs inviting the reader to find clues to the murderer's identity; Alfred Hitchcock cast the performers as themselves, such as Woolley, Doris Merrick, and make-up man Guy Pearce.


Alfred Hitchcock never spoke publicly about his mother, but his assistant said that he admired her.


Alfred Hitchcock was not very close to William, but his death made Alfred Hitchcock conscious about his own eating and drinking habits.


Alfred Hitchcock filmed extensively on location, this time in the Northern California city of Santa Rosa.


At 20th Century Fox, Alfred Hitchcock approached John Steinbeck with an idea for a film, which recorded the experiences of the survivors of a German U-boat attack.


Alfred Hitchcock returned to the UK for an extended visit in late 1943 and early 1944.


In June and July 1945, Alfred Hitchcock served as "treatment advisor" on a Holocaust documentary that used Allied Forces footage of the liberation of Nazi concentration camps.


Alfred Hitchcock worked for David Selznick again when he directed Spellbound, which explores psychoanalysis and features a dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali.


Alfred Hitchcock told Francois Truffaut that Selznick sold him, Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, and Ben Hecht's screenplay, to RKO Radio Pictures as a "package" for $500,000 because of cost overruns on Selznick's Duel in the Sun.


Alfred Hitchcock formed an independent production company, Transatlantic Pictures, with his friend Sidney Bernstein.


Alfred Hitchcock made two films with Transatlantic, one of which was his first colour film.


Alfred Hitchcock used those points to hide the cut, and began the next take with the camera in the same place.


Alfred Hitchcock again used Technicolor in this production, then returned to black-and-white for several years.


Alfred Hitchcock filmed Stage Fright at Elstree Studios in England, where he had worked during his British International Pictures contract many years before.


Alfred Hitchcock approached Dashiell Hammett to write the dialogue, but Raymond Chandler took over, then left over disagreements with the director.


Alfred Hitchcock kills the hired assassin in self-defence, so Milland manipulates the evidence to make it look like murder.


Alfred Hitchcock experimented with 3D cinematography for Dial M for Murder.


Alfred Hitchcock moved to Paramount Pictures and filmed Rear Window, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, as well as Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr.


Alfred Hitchcock uses close-ups of Stewart's face to show his character's reactions, "from the comic voyeurism directed at his neighbours to his helpless terror watching Kelly and Burr in the villain's apartment".


Alfred Hitchcock then remade his own 1934 film The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1956.


Alfred Hitchcock told Truffaut that his lifelong fear of the police attracted him to the subject and was embedded in many scenes.


Alfred Hitchcock had wanted Vera Miles to play the lead, but she was pregnant.


Scottie's obsession leads to tragedy, and this time Alfred Hitchcock did not opt for a happy ending.


The film premiered at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, and Alfred Hitchcock won the Silver Seashell prize.


Alma underwent surgery and made a full recovery, but it caused Alfred Hitchcock to imagine, for the first time, life without her.


Alfred Hitchcock followed up with three more successful films, which are recognised as among his best: North by Northwest, Psycho and The Birds.


Alfred Hitchcock is pursued across the United States by enemy agents, including Eve Kendall.


Alfred Hitchcock subsequently swapped his rights to Psycho and his TV anthology for 150,000 shares of MCA, making him the third largest shareholder and his own boss at Universal, in theory at least, although that did not stop studio interference.


Truffaut sought the interview because it was clear to him that Alfred Hitchcock was not simply the mass-market entertainer the American media made him out to be.


Alfred Hitchcock compared the interview to "Oedipus' consultation of the oracle".


Alfred Hitchcock had intended to film Marnie first, and in March 1962 it was announced that Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco since 1956, would come out of retirement to star in it.


When Kelly asked Alfred Hitchcock to postpone Marnie until 1963 or 1964, he recruited Evan Hunter, author of The Blackboard Jungle, to develop a screenplay based on a Daphne du Maurier short story, "The Birds", which Alfred Hitchcock had republished in his My Favorites in Suspense.


Alfred Hitchcock hired Tippi Hedren to play the lead role.


Alfred Hitchcock said it was his most technically challenging film, using a combination of trained and mechanical birds against a backdrop of wild ones.


Alfred Hitchcock broke down after a bird cut her lower eyelid, and filming was halted on doctor's orders.


Alfred Hitchcock applies for a job at Mark Rutland's company in Philadelphia and steals from there too.


Alfred Hitchcock told cinematographer Robert Burks that the camera had to be placed as close as possible to Hedren when he filmed her face.


Alfred Hitchcock was unhappy with Herrmann's score and replaced him with John Addison, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.


Alfred Hitchcock returned to Britain to make his penultimate film, Frenzy, based on the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square.


Biographers have noted that Alfred Hitchcock had always pushed the limits of film censorship, often managing to fool Joseph Breen, the head of the Motion Picture Production Code.


Alfred Hitchcock would add subtle hints of improprieties forbidden by censorship until the mid-1960s.


Yet Patrick McGilligan wrote that Breen and others often realised that Alfred Hitchcock was inserting such material and were actually amused, as well as alarmed by Alfred Hitchcock's "inescapable inferences".


Toward the end of his life, Alfred Hitchcock was working on the script for a spy thriller, The Short Night, collaborating with James Costigan, Ernest Lehman and David Freeman.


Alfred Hitchcock's health was declining and he was worried about his wife, who had suffered a stroke.


Donald Spoto, one of Alfred Hitchcock's biographers, wrote that Alfred Hitchcock had declined to see a priest, but according to Jesuit priest Mark Henninger, he and another priest, Tom Sullivan, celebrated Mass at the filmmaker's home, and Sullivan heard his confession.


Alfred Hitchcock's remains were scattered over the Pacific Ocean on 10 May 1980.


Whilst visual storytelling was pertinent during the silent era, even after the arrival of sound, Alfred Hitchcock still relied on visuals in cinema; he referred to this emphasis on visual storytelling as "pure cinema".


Alfred Hitchcock later said that his British work was the "sensation of cinema", whereas the American phase was when his "ideas were fertilised".


Raymond Durgnat opined that Alfred Hitchcock's films were carefully and intelligently constructed, but thought they can be shallow and rarely present a "coherent worldview".


Alfred Hitchcock's films explored audience as a voyeur, notably in Rear Window, Marnie and Psycho.


Alfred Hitchcock understood that human beings enjoy voyeuristic activities and made the audience participate in it through the character's actions.


Alfred Hitchcock became known for having remarked that "actors should be treated like cattle".


Alfred Hitchcock responded by saying that, at one time, he had been accused of calling actors cattle.


Alfred Hitchcock believed that actors should concentrate on their performances and leave work on script and character to the directors and screenwriters.


Alfred Hitchcock used the same actors in many of his films; Cary Grant and James Stewart both worked with Hitchcock four times, and Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly three.


James Mason said that Alfred Hitchcock regarded actors as "animated props".


Alfred Hitchcock should be willing to be used and wholly integrated into the picture by the director and the camera.


Alfred Hitchcock must allow the camera to determine the proper emphasis and the most effective dramatic highlights.


Alfred Hitchcock was reported to have never even bothered looking through the viewfinder, since he did not need to, although in publicity photos he was shown doing so.


Alfred Hitchcock used this as an excuse to never have to change his films from his initial vision.


Alfred Hitchcock noted that the myth of storyboards in relation to Hitchcock, often regurgitated by generations of commentators on his films, was to a great degree perpetuated by Hitchcock himself or the publicity arm of the studios.


Alfred Hitchcock was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 8 February 1960 with two stars: one for television and a second for his motion pictures.


Alfred Hitchcock's flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else.


Alfred Hitchcock was voted the "Greatest Director of 20th Century" in a poll conducted by Japanese film magazine kinema Junpo.


Alfred Hitchcock was ranked at No 2 on Empire magazine's "Top 40 Greatest Directors of All-Time" list in 2005.


Alfred Hitchcock won two Golden Globes, eight Laurel Awards, and five lifetime achievement awards, including the first BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award and, in 1979, an AFI Life Achievement Award.


Alfred Hitchcock was nominated five times for an Academy Award for Best Director.


In 2012, Alfred Hitchcock was selected by artist Sir Peter Blake, author of the Beatles' Sgt.


The Alfred Hitchcock Collection is housed at the Academy Film Archive in Hollywood, California.


The Alfred Hitchcock Papers are housed at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.