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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Alfred Hitchcock

by Cynthia Lugo

Always remember to signal: Hitch at Cannes.

From the cool blonde to the wrong man, Hitchcock's influence on culture is inescapable. With the recent biopic Hitchcock, the television series Bates Motel, and Vertigo overtaking Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time, Hitchcock fever has reached an all-time high.  Yet much of the public is unaware of his prolific silent output, and these films have lapsed in relative obscurity compared to his later work.

With The Hitchcock 9, the British Film Institute gives these films their rightful due. The series boasts all nine of Hitchcock’s surviving silents, painstakingly restored with newly commissioned scores. For film lovers, this series offers the chance to analyze the artistic development of one of world's most important directors.

In honor of The Hitchcock 9, here are nine things you may not have known about the Master of Suspense.

1. He started working in the film industry as a title designer on silent films in 1919—ironically at an American film studio that would later become the London branch of Paramount pictures.

2. He made the first British talkie, Blackmail, in 1929. You can watch a hilarious sound test with Hitch and the leading lady here.

Just because it's awesome: Hitch with three children in sleigh.

3. Hitch made cameo appearances in almost all of his films, but the practice started with his very first cameo was in The Lodger. He plays a reporter sitting at a desk in a newsroom.

4. He was morbidly afraid of the police because he was sent to the local police station with a letter from his father. Upon reading the letter, the sergeant locked a young, unsuspecting Hitch in a cell for 10 minutes. After that, the sergeant let him go.

5. Fritz Lang’s Destiny, a silent film from 1921, was supposedly his favorite movie. However, he declared that surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel was the best director ever.

6. Hitch himself drew the famous profile of himself that appears at the beginning of each episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

7. Walt Disney did not allow Hitch to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie Psycho."

8. He was afraid of eggs. No joke.

Alma Hitchcock with a replica of Hitch's head in the fridge. 
9. Many Hitchcock films have one-word titles: Blackmail, Downhill, Vertigo, Champagne, Lifeboat, Rebecca, Marnie, Topaz, Suspicion, Saboteur, Spellbound, Notorious, Rope, Frenzy, Psycho. He favored one-word titles because he felt that they were easier for the audience to remember.

1 comment:

  1. He was born in a flat above a general hardware shop in Leytonstone, London.