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Alfred Hitchcock was an English film and television director, whose more than 50 feature films, many of them made in Hollywood, won him the title "Master of Suspense." Born in London on August 13, 1899, Hitchcock had a strict Roman Catholic upbringing and studied at St. Ignatius College, London.
In 1920, Hitchcock joined the English branch of Famous Players-Lasky, an American motion picture company. After designing and writing the titles for several silent films, he became a director in 1925 with The Pleasure Garden. His other British films include The Lodger (1926), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The Thirty-Nine Steps (1935), The Secret Agent (1936), and The Lady Vanishes (1938).
In April 1939, Hitchcock went to Hollywood, where he soon became one of the leading directors in American films. His Hollywood pictures include Foreign Correspondent (1940), Suspicion (1941), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Strangers on a Train (1951), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960). In the 1950's and 1960's, he also directed two series of suspense programs for television.
Hitchcock's work reflected his particular personality and view of the world and an awareness of audience reaction to his material. While always keeping the suspense taut, he allowed carefully understated humor to permeate his work.