Sir Alfred Hitchcock

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Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock

1899Alfred Joseph Hitchcock is born in Leytonstone, London,England on August 13th, to two hardworking Catholic, middle-class parents.

1920He begins working in the film industry.

1925Hitchcock directs his first film, The Pleasure Garden.

1929He directs the first successful Brith talking film, Blackmail.

1940Hitchcock's film, Rebecca, wins an Academy Award for Best Picture.

1948Hitchcock becomes his own producer.

1963Hitchcock releases his terrofying thriller, The Birds, starring Tippi Hedren.

1979Hitchcock receives the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.

January 1980Queen Elizabeth II knights Alfred Hitchcock. Henceforth known as Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

April 1980Sir Alfred Hitchcock dies in his sleep at the age of 80 of severe renal failure in his home in Bel Air, California, on April 29th.

In Memoriam of Alfred HitchcockToday is a sad day.April 29th, 1980 marks the date the world of suspenseful cinema lost its most emblematic leader. Today, we mourn the death of Hollywood’s most admired film director, Alfred Hitchcock, who died in his sleep at the age of 80 in his home in Bel Air in Los Angeles, California of severe renal failure.With the terrible sadness this tragic news has inflicted upon the motion picture industry, we, as the staff of this newspaper, feel the need to celebrate the director’s most memorable moments and the legacy he left us. Alfred Hitchcock redefined what people understood by terror and suspense; he made his audience rejoice the anticipation of the dreadful moment rather than the carrying-out of the crime or the climax itself. Hitchcock gave the audience subtle hints about the climax, so the audience would question the characters’ ignorance about the fact, and feel their hearts race with every slow step or with the glint of a kitchen knife. He also went to new lengths to recreate horror scenes. The famous shower scene in his film Psycho (1960) had 78 different short films in a short span of 45 seconds, and for his movie The Birds (1963), the director locked his blonde leading lady, Tippi Hedren, in a room with live birds because he believed the mechanical birds looked fake and did not produce true, passionate fear. Even though the actress suffered some degree of psychological trauma, the desired effect was achieved and The Birds is remembered as one of Hitchcock’s most chilling motion pictures.Although Psycho and The Birds were remarkably frightening, Hitchcock’s technical expertise really shone through in his film Rebecca (1940), which won what could be considered Hitchcock’s only Academy Award in the whole of his 50-year career; however, Rebecca won the Oscar for Best Picture rather than Hitchcock for Best Director. The famous director, however, was awarded the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award last year for his all-around expertise in the movie production industry. Let us remember that Hitchcock served both as director and as his own producer for his motion pictures; most of the work done for his films, he developed, but let us also remember the joy he shared while working with his wife, Alma Reville, on countless scripts and scene assemblies. Hitchcock will undoubtedly be remembered for his uniquely perverse movie-making genius. Queen Elizabeth II also recognized Hitchcock for his impeccable work and knighted him just a few months ago and he henceforth became known as Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock. It was an honor for the British to have such an exquisite talent in their country.Alfred Hitchcock became his own film genre, and as this “Hitchcockian” era of psychological thrillers, terror and suspense comes to a relative end, future movie directors have very large shoes to fill. * Article written in 1980. Hitchcock’s Psycho was remade in 1998 and it starred Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore. Undoubtedly, this film and its script has undergone many other adaptations and alterations as well.


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