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Inside The Director's Chair:Alfred Hitchcock
In the last entry to Inside The Director's Chair I had to choose someone who can be named by last name alone,someone who has defined the genre he worked on for years and years and is a staple in Hollywood for the films he has made from the years of 1922 all the way to his death in 1980.Alfred Hitchcock is someone who basically films nothing but gold every time he says "Action".Now since he is the one director out of the whole group who if I were to list all of his film he might lap every director all together.So sort of bending the rules I am just going to list the highlights of his career and how they all came together and what came of them after they were released.
I start in 1934 with the film The Man Who Knew Too Much.This film is about a man and a woman who receive news about an imminent assassination and they try and stop it but then they realize that the people who sent them the news have also kidnapped their daughter to keep them quiet and to not share the information.One thing to add about all of if not most of Hitchcock's films was that he liked to appear in them in a cameo role and just either walk by on screen or either have a role where he says one line and disappears and he tried to do this for almost every film he directed.1938 brought in the film The Lady Vanishes and the story was about a girl who is traveling in Europe and then she realizes that an elderly women on the train has disappeared and then the story starts to unravel from there.1945 brought along the film Spellbound which was about a psychiatrist who hides the identity of an amnesia patient who is accused of murder and at the same time he is also trying to recover his own memory.This film did end up winning 1 Oscar during the award season that year and was well deserved since Hitchcock was already a well known director by then.
1951 was time for Strangers On A Train.This film was about a socialite with psychotic tendencies and an all star tennis player who meet on a train and try and concoct a plan to get away with the perfect murder.This film was nominated for 1 Oscar during the awards season and this one is remembered by fans of his and is still watched to this day because of how rich and unique the story is and how well Hitchcock directed the film.1954 was the film Dial M For Murder.The story behind that film was an ex tennis pro goes along with his plan to murder his wife and when things start to go off the rails for him then he decides to carry out plan B and it works out magnificently.One of the big starring roles in this film was that of Grace Kelly who played the character of Margot Mary Wendice and this film is another one that stands out in his very memorable resume of films.During awards season it was also nominated for 1 BAFTA award during the season and had several other nominations as well.
1954 was again another film that he worked with Grace Kelly again on the film Rear Window.This film was about a man who is a photographer but is bound to his wheelchair and while watching windows in his apartment he is almost assured that after looking for so long he is guaranteed that he sees someone get murdered while he is stuck in his home.This film and its storyline have been used in many cases before in movies and TV shows nowadays like the show Castle based an episode off of this film for the entire episode and it was one of the highlight episodes of the season.1955 would be the third time Hitchcock worked with Grace Kelly but at the same time he added a big name to the casting list as well when he added Carey Grant to one of the starring roles as well.This film was about a jewel thief who is accused of going back to his normal heists and he must now find out who the real thief is before its too late and he gets blamed for the whole entire thing.During the award season this film ended up winning 1 Oscar which is great for Hitchcock because in his whole career having him win 5 total Oscars he won this many now.
1958 showed the film Vertigo.The films plot was about a retired San Fransico detective who has a phobia of heights and while investigating an old friends wife he starts to slowly become obsessed with her and then the situation starts to get dangerous.During award season the film got nominated for 2 Oscars and this is one of Hitchcock's landmark films in his career since he has made so many but this is by far one that people will remember for a long time all the way to this day.1959 was North By Northwest which starred Carey Grant as an ad executive who is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies and he gets chased all around the country trying to stay alive and shows one of the most memorable scenes ever created in cinema with Grant running away from the plane and ducking under it and it is still today one of the best scenes to ever watch because of the way that Hitchcock shot it.During that awards season the film was nominated for 3 Oscars and it is a surprise that it didn't win any Oscars during the big show because it is one of his bigger films as well that goes on his resume of films that he has made.1960 gave the world Hitchcock's best and most memorable film to date and this film has spawned a remake and even a TV Series on the film itself in Psycho.
The story behind this film is about a secretary who steals a large sum of money from her work and goes on the run and ends up staying overnight in a motel to only find out that the nice man working the counter is the one man is plotting her death.The starring roles in the film were Anthony Perkins,Janet Leigh and Vera Miles in the starring roles and this film is sheer perfection from the start of the credits to the ending of the film itself and it keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout the whole entire thing and for it coming out in 1960 no one would have even thought or have considered what Hitchcock did while directing the film and it changed everything that was done for his films moving on and horror and suspense films in the future.During the awards season the film was nominated for a whopping 4 Oscars which nowadays means like nothing but back then that film was most likely taking over the show and is a surprise it didn't even win once since it was such a groundbreaking film that still stands the test of time.
In 1963 it brought in the last hallmark film for Hitchcock with it being The Birds.A film about a girl from San Fransico who goes to visit her boyfriend only to find out that the further she gets into the trip she sees that every type of bird flying around in the sky starts to turn deadly and starts to kill every person on the street and every person out and about is no longer safe.During award season this film was nominated for 1 Oscar and is a good second film for it being a thriller and another one to have after his ultimate landmark that was Psycho.
Now since Alfred Hitchcock has passed away at the age of 80 in Bel Air,California there is no doubt that his name and everything he has done even the things that I didn't mention are going down in history as some of the best works in cinema and will forever be remembered by movie fans and everyone in Hollywood alike.