Alfred Joseph Hitchcock on August 13th 1899 in London's East End, no
one would have ever guessed that this shy young man would eventually
become the visual genius he's known to be today. Hitchcock was well
educated and excelled at Math and Science. He was transfixed by film
though, and entered the world of film production in the 1920s. He
learned the trade from the inside out, by doing just about
everything from production design to opening credits.
It was while working as a low-end production member that he met his
wife, Alma Reville, who at the time was a celebrated editor and
script supervisor. If asked, most in the British film industry would
have said that Alma was the one who would go on to become the famous
filmmaker. But love is a funny thing. After Hitch and Alma fell in
love, she exclusively worked with Hitchcock on all of his projects,
steering them from start to finish.
When Hitch was asked to step in for another director, who had taken
ill, his own directing career took off. He went on to work
extensively in Britain, as well as in Germany, using the time for
training and toiling. It was during this time that Hitchcock found
exciting ways to tell his stories. In 1926, while a few smaller
films he'd produced awaited release, he made a silent film called
The Lodger, which became a
huge success and made him a force to be reckoned with. From there,
Hitchcock released several more classic silent films, and moved on
to sound filmmaking with no problems whatsoever.
Eventually, of course, Hollywood called. In 1940, producer David O.
Selznick asked Hitch to make a film about the Titanic, but he passed
on the project. Hitchcock finally made his American debut that same
year, directing on Selznick's Rebecca.
From there, he took Hollywood by storm, directing some of cinema's
greatest thrillers, chillers and odd-ball dramas. He was immediately
hailed as a master of cinema and continued to work up until 1975
(his final film was Family Plot).
Hitchcock died April 29th, 1980 in Los Angeles.
We're focusing on here on Hitchcock's American career. The reason
is that while most of his early European films are out on DVD,
they're very sub par in terms of quality (save for the two Criterion
releases). Note that shortly after his American career began,
Hitchcock went back to Europe for a brief time. During WWII he
worked with the British Ministry of Information (on the Why
We Fight propaganda series) and filmed two films for the
Free French (Bon Voyage and
Aventure Malgache). These are
not included in this filmography for obvious reasons.
With that, we present you with our look at the American films of
the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock. Each one of these great titles
is a true classic and definitely deserves your attention. Enjoy!