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Alfred Hitchcock - "Master of Suspense"

Updated on August 27, 2019
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I spent 22 years in the nursing profession. I enjoy writing, reading historical novels, gardening, and helping people live a healthier life.

Alfred Hitchcock


Troubled Childhood

Alfred Hitchcock, the "Master of Suspense,” was probably one of the most interesting and talented men that has ever produced movies. He was born August 13, 1899, and died April 29, 1980 in Bel-Air; CA. Alfred grew up with strict Catholic parents. He was a lonely child and sheltered due to his obesity.

His harsh treatment as a child was reflected in many of his films. He revealed his father sent him to the police station once as a child with a note asking the police to lock him up for 10 minutes as a punishment for bad behavior.

His mother’s punishment was to make him stand at the foot of her bed for several hours, which was reflected in a scene of Pyscho. His father died when Alfred was 15 years old.

Alfred Hitchcock attended college at St. Ignatius College, England, where he studied engineering. During his first job as a draftsman, he began writing and submitting short stories that had twisted themes and endings.

By 1920, he had entered the film industry. His first film in England was “Blackmail”, which is noted as the first British “talkie.”

London to Hollywood

In 1938, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood, and directed “Rebecca” in 1940. I watched this film on TV a couple of days ago for the first time in years, and as the movies progresses evil lurks below the surface and keeps you intrigued. The film won an Academy Award.

Some of his other well-known films nclude:

  • North by Northwest
  • Frenzy
  • Rear Window
  • Vertigo
  • Psycho
  • Dial M for Murder
  • Marnie
  • The Birds
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much
  • To Catch a Thief
  • Strangers on a Train

Many of Alfred Hitchcock’s plots worked as enticing themes that functioned as a way to understand his complicated psychological characters.

He made numerous cameo appearances in his films, did several interviews, and appeared at the start of each TV show from his “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” This TV series ran from 1962 to 1965. I remember our family watching his shows and enjoying his odd plots

Hitchcock Wrote "The Birds"

Althought Hitchcock seldom wrote the films he directed, he did write "The Birds' in Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New York. Interestingly enough, this is the same house Bram Stroker wrote the script for "Dracula."

Hitchcock had always been fascinated with birds, but the movie did not really give us an explanation as to why the birds attacked. To get the birds to fly down to the actors, they had to smear ground meat and anchovies on their hands.

"The Birds" Alfred Hitchcock


Rewards for a Lifetime of Work

Alfred Hitchcock became a U.S. citizen in 1955. He was awarded the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award in 1979, after directing over 50 feature films.

He won numerous other awards: 1961 - Best Director for Psycho and 1955 – Best Director for Rear Window. He was also nominated for six Academy Awards, four Emmy Awards, won eight Golden Laurel Awards, two Golden Globes and more than 50 other awards. He also won the Walk of Fame in 1960, for Motion Picture and Television.

The Birds


Tippi Hedren - Ruined Career

Tippi Hedren is well known for her role in “The Birds” and “Marnie.” Hedren was a model until Hitchcock discovered her, and she entered into a six year contract to act in his movies. He apparently was obsessed with this blonde and tried to control every move she made, down to what color lipstick she wore.

She did not want an affair with him, so she quit playing his games. She refused all of his orders. He told her he would ruin her career, and he succeeded. He kept her under contract for six years, paying her $600 per week, and she was not allowed to work for anyone else.

At that point he would not let her work in his movies either. Ultimately, he did ruin her career as she missed the years that counted in becoming a great film star. A director in today’s world would not get by with the shenanigans of Hitchcock.

Top 10 Alfred Hitchcock Movies

Alma Reville – Hitchcock’s Wife

He lived his life with his wife for more than 50 years, Alma Reville, who was his closest collaborator. She was born Nottinghamshire, England in 1899, and married Hitchcock in 1926. They had a daughter, Patricia Hitchcock, born in 1928. Alma became Hitchcock’s closest confidant, script editor and most trusted ally. There were rumors concerning Hitchcock’s love of blondes and infidelity, but Alma stayed by his side throughout their marriage.

“Hitchcock,” a movie made in 2012 portrays his life with Alma Reville, who is played by Helen Mirren. Anthony Hopkins played Hitchcock. In the movie Alma is portrayed as Hitchcock’s creative partner, but they also show strife in the marriage and jealousy, which many people refute. The movie is considered clever and very creative, but not particularly accurate.

North by Northwest trailer (Alfred Hitchcock)

Patricia Alma Hitchcock

Patricia was born in England on July 7, 1928, and was an only chlld. After completing high school in Los Angeles, she attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She appeared on-stage in London. She also had small roles in a few of her father's films, and she appeared in several of his TV shows. She has done numerous documentaries as well. She never achieved the level of fame that her father enjoyed.

She is happily married to Joe O'Connell and they have three daughters.


Alfred Hitchcock was surely affected by his painful childhood, but he used this experience to make some of the most intriguing films, with a great twist for the endings. He was a remarkable director and deserved the numerous awards and praise. He lived a long life with his wife. Regardless of his poor behavior at times, there marriage was solid.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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