Alfred Hitchcock

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Alfred Hitchcock (photographed by Jack Mitchell , ca.1972)

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (born August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone , England , † April 29, 1980 in Los Angeles ) was a British film director , screenwriter , producer and film editor . He moved to the USA in 1939 and on April 20, 1955, he also took on the US citizenship . He became known through films such as Rebecca (1940), Das Fenster zum Hof (1954), Vertigo (1958),The Invisible Third (1959), Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963).

Hitchcock is still considered one of the most influential film directors in terms of style. He established the terms Suspense and MacGuffin . His genre was the thriller , the tension of which he combined with humor. The recurring motifs in his films were fear, guilt and loss of identity. He varied the subject of the innocent persecuted several times.

Hitchcock placed great emphasis on artistic control over the author's work. His oeuvre comprises 53 feature films and is one of the most important in film history - measured by audience success as well as reception by criticism and science. Thanks in part to his conscious self-marketing, Hitchcock is one of the most famous contemporary personalities today . It is attributable to the author's film .

On January 3, 1980, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II .

life and work

Childhood, youth and education

Alfred Hitchcock was the youngest son of the greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862-1914) and his wife Emma Jane Whelan (1863-1942). Due to the age difference of seven or nine years to his siblings, due to his Roman Catholic upbringing in a country shaped by the Anglican Church and not least due to his appearance - he was small and corpulent even as a child - he had a lonely childhood. Between 1910 and 1913 he was a student at St. Ignatius College, a London Jesuit school . He left college at the age of just 14 and instead attended evening classes at London University, various craft courses and, a few months later, the School of Engineering and Navigation . He also took courses in technical drawing and art history at the London Art Academy. He spent most of his free time reading timetables and studying city maps and maps. As he got older, he took refuge in novels, attended theater performances and often went to the cinema . He also pursued murder trials in the court of the Old Bailey , and liked to visit the Black Museum of Scotland Yard . The death of his father in late 1914, to which he was not closely related, bound Hitchcock even closer to his mother.

In 1915 he took a job as a technical assistant at the WT Henley Telegraph Company , which manufactured electrical cables. Because of his drawing talent, he was soon transferred to the advertising department. He published his first creepy short stories in the company magazine under his nickname "Hitch", which was used until recently.

Employment in film

In the spring of 1920 Hitchcock heard about the establishment of a studio for the American production company Paramount Famous Players-Lasky in the London borough of Islington . He applied with a portfolio of illustrations and was hired as a draftsman for subtitles . In 1921 and 1922 he drew the titles for at least twelve films. In addition, he designed costumes, decorations and sets. He also drew attention to himself by revising scripts. On two films he worked with George Fitzmaurice , whose exact production planning influenced him greatly.

In 1922, Hitchcock got the opportunity to try his hand at directing. He completed the final scenes of Always Tell Your Wife with writer Seymour Hicks after the original director was fired. Soon after, he was able to make his own film, Number 13 (in some sources Mrs. Peabody ), which however remained unfinished as Famous Players-Lasky had to close the studio due to financial difficulties in the course of filming. The vacant site was rented to independent producers, including Michael Balcon , who finally bought the studio in 1924. He hired Hitchcock as assistant director and (on his recommendation) the film editor Alma Reville . The two had known each other since 1921, ever since they'd worked on the same films on occasion. By 1925, five films were made in which Hitchcock assisted director Graham Cutts and, to Cutts' growing displeasure, gained more and more artistic influence. In addition to the script, he also took care of the buildings, the production design, the cast, the costumes and the equipment, and over time he took on the duties of a production manager .

Hitchcock's last collaboration with Graham Cutts took him to Germany in 1924/25. The film The Princess and the Violinist , produced with the participation of the German UFA , was made in the Babelsberg film studios - at that time the most modern in the world. Hitchcock had the opportunity to watch Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau working on The Last Man ; Impressed by this, he adopted some of Murnau's techniques for the sets of his current production. Through this and other visits, Hitchcock could speak fluent German ; later, for example, he spoke some of the trailers of his films himself.

Back in England Michael Balcon gave him the direction of his own film in 1925. The project brought the young Hitchcock back to Germany. Only Münchner Lichtspielkunst (Emelka) agreed to co-produce the film by the unknown debut director. For the melodrama Maze of Passion (1925), Balcon hired expensive Hollywood stars. Alma Reville, now Hitchcock's fiancé, was a member of the very small film team as assistant director and editor. Balcon was satisfied with Hitchcock's ambitious work and entrusted him with another German-English co-production: The Bergadler was shot that same year, this time in Tyrol. However, both films, which were shown in German cinemas in 1925 and 1926, were initially not released in England. In contrast to Balcon, the English lender and financier C. M. Woolf was not convinced of Hitchcock's emphatically expressionist style. The mountain eagle is the only one of Hitchcock's films that has not survived.

Career in England

Life and work in England

With the film The Tenant, shot in 1926, about a lonely guest who is suspected of being a serial killer, Hitchcock had found his subject. But not least because of its expressionist image design, Woolf again refused to publish the film. Balcon then brought in the young Ivor Montagu , who had experience with film revisions; some changes were made with Hitchcock. The overwhelming success at a press screening then paved the way for the publication of his first two films. The tenant came to the cinemas in 1927 in quick succession with Maze of Passion and Der Bergadler and marked Hitchcock's breakthrough as a director.

For Balcons Gainsborough Pictures , Hitchcock shot the two melodramas Abwärts and Easy Virtue in 1927 . Both films were unsuccessful. He had already decided beforehand to switch to the newly founded company British International Pictures (BIP) of producer John Maxwell with a significantly higher salary . There, the boxer drama Der Weltmeister was his first film based on an original script. The press reacted extremely positively. Although the following three silent films, The Farmer's Wife , Champagne and The Man from the Isle of Man, apart from individual scenes, are considered finger exercises, Hitchcock had made a name for himself in Great Britain within a short time: The young British film industry, very keen to stand out from the American to take off was only too happy to celebrate him as the upcoming star director.

In December 1926, Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville married , who converted to Catholicism for the wedding. Their daughter Patricia was born in 1928 . Professionally, Alma remained his closest collaborator and advisor until the end.

Many directors believed that the rise of the sound film was the end of their art form. Hitchcock, on the other hand, used the potential of the new technology. Blackmail (1929) was originally produced as a silent film. However, the producers allowed Hitchcock to re-shoot a film roll with sound material. He then provided individual key scenes with effective sound effects and spoken dialogue, with the Czech actress Anny Ondra , who had to play her role in silence, was simultaneously dubbed by the English actress Joan Barry. Blackmail was the first British sound film and became a huge success. Hitchcock used the popularity he had gained and founded Hitchcock Baker Productions Ltd. a company to market his person.

At the behest of his studio, he shot Juno and the Paycock (1930) and some scenes for the music revue Elstree Calling . With murder - Sir John intervenes! he found his way back to his topic and back to Germany: In Berlin he produced the German language version of the film under the title Mary . Three films followed, of which Hitchcock was only really interested in the comedy We're getting rich at last : In the script, written together with his wife and Val Valentine, he processed, among other things, the experiences of his young marriage. Hitchcock decided to sabotage the forced thriller number seventeen in protest and turn it into a confused, silly parody. The turbulent connection between humor and tension makes number seventeen appear from today's perspective as a forerunner of later classics of the genre. Hitchcock's contract with British International Pictures ended after six years with a job as a producer ( Lord Camber's Ladies ) . The collaboration had increasingly suffered from the conflict between Hitchcock's pursuit of artistic control and the studio's rules. But he also shot the following film, Waltzes from Vienna , a “ musical without music” (Hitchcock) for the independent producer Tom Arnold, emphatically listless: “I hate this stuff. Melodrama is the only thing I can really do. "

English masterpieces

Immediately after Waltzes from Vienna , he resumed the fruitful collaboration with producer Michael Balcon. The first film for Gaumont British was the thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). Hitchcock mainly worked on the script with his wife Alma and screenwriter Charles Bennett . The film received an enthusiastic response from both critics and audiences. The humorous spy thriller The 39 Steps (1935, screenplay: Charles Bennett) is considered a blueprint for later persecution thrillers . One turbulent scene follows the next, there are no transitions and hardly any time for the viewer to think about the sometimes missing logic. Hitchcock, by his own admission, put everything under the pace. The overwhelming success of the film should prove him right. This was followed by Secret Agent (1936) and Sabotage (1936), which fell in particular in Hitchcock's own later evaluation compared to the two previous films. But the psychologically complex treatment of the subject of “guilt” already points to later works.

After sabotage , the second successful phase of cooperation with Michael Balcon ended abruptly when the production company Gaumont British was closed by its owners and Balcon was dismissed. Hitchcock shot the following two films again for Gainsborough Pictures - but this time without his former sponsor. Young and Innocent (1937) was another carefree variation on the story of the innocent persecuted. The acclaimed thriller A Lady Disappears (1938) is set mainly in a moving train. However, the filming took place exclusively in a small London studio, which was made possible thanks to technically demanding rear projections .

With these six films, Hitchcock consolidated his exceptional position within British cinema. At the end of the 1930s, he hired the Selznick-Joyce agency , whose co-owner Myron Selznick, the older brother of Hollywood mogul David O. Selznick , was to look after his interests. Hitchcock, whose reputation had reached Hollywood in the meantime , finally signed a contract in 1938 for the production company of David O. Selznick, who was then busy with the preproduction of Gone With the Wind . Already in Hollywood thoughts, Hitchcock shot one last film in England for the production company of German producer Erich Pommer, who emigrated to England . But the costume film Riff Piraten was consistently panned by the press .

Hollywood and World War II

In his early years in Hollywood, Hitchcock encountered unexpected difficulties. David O. Selznick exercised strong control over the films in his studio and made sure that the freedom-loving Hitchcock adhered as closely as possible to the literary model of his first Hollywood film. Despite these tensions, Rebecca made a successful debut in Hollywood for the British director: the psychologically dense and darkly romantic melodrama was nominated eleven times for an Oscar in 1940 and ultimately won two of the trophies ( camera and production ).

Over the next several years, Selznick made his money with Hitchcock by loaning him to other studios for sizeable sums. The war in Europe expanded when the independent producer Walter Wanger hired Hitchcock for a topical war drama. According to Hitchcock's nature, the foreign correspondent remained a largely apolitical espionage thriller. Only the post-rolled final monologue, addressed to the still neutral USA, had a startling effect. Shortly after the film was completed, England was bombed by Germany. Hitchcock, who emigrated in good time, had to put up with harsh criticism from former British colleagues, especially Michael Balcon.

With Suspicion (1941, RKO ), his first collaboration with Cary Grant , and Saboteurs (1942, Universal ), Hitchcock stuck to his classic themes. Between these productions he shot his only screwball comedy , which he and others are unfamiliar with . Although it was well received at the time, he was not satisfied with Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941, RKO). Far more important to him was the work on the drama In the Shadow of Doubt (1943, Universal). Hitchcock's films are generally considered to be strongly influenced by his character. This family melodrama is described as one of his most personal films: All of the main characters reflect the characteristics and fears of Hitchcock. When Hitchcock's mother died in London while filming, it reinforced the autobiographical tendencies.

Like many British directors, Hitchcock made his contributions to war propaganda and, among other things, made short films in support of the French Resistance . He also worked strongly propagandistic tones into his next Hollywood production, but his always deliberately irritating handling of clichés caused controversy this time: In a small lifeboat, English and American shipwrecked people face an intellectually superior Nazi. Nevertheless, the formalistically strict psychological thriller The Lifeboat (1943, 20th Century Fox ) was nominated three times for an Oscar (screenplay, camera and direction).

Psychology, an important component of his work, was at the center of Ich kkampf um dich (1945), which was created again for Selznick after a long time. He was quickly enthusiastic about the subject of psychoanalysis and gave Hitchcock an unusually large amount of free rein, but after the first test screening he shortened the film by around twenty minutes. The successful collaboration with Ingrid Bergman in the lead role was continued in the following production, Notorious (1946), which Selznick, however, sold again to RKO. The story of a spy (Bergman) who, out of a sense of duty, is urged by her lover (Cary Grant) to sleep with the enemy, provided a wide projection screen for Hitchcock's obsessions.

With the court drama The Paradin Case (1947), Hitchcock's contract with Selznick expired. Starting with the choice of fabrics, Selznick retained the upper hand in this relatively chaotic production. The fact that Hitchcock was preparing for his own production company in the meantime increased tensions between the power-conscious men. Nevertheless, Selznick Hitchcock - unsuccessfully - offered a contract extension.


Alfred Hitchcock, 1956

As early as April 1946, around two years before the contract with Selznick was due to expire, Hitchcock founded the production company Transatlantic Pictures with his friend, cinema chain owner Sidney Bernstein , for which he directed his first color film, Cocktail for a Corpse (1948) with James Stewart in one of the Leading roles. However, the film was remembered mainly for another Hitchcock experiment; each shot of the chamber play-like film lasts as long as the footage in the camera allowed, around ten minutes. Clever transitions should create the impression that the story happened in real time and filmed by just one camera.

Sklavin des Herzens (1949), a melodramatic costume film atypical for Hitchcock, was above all a vehicle for Ingrid Bergman. Despite the star cast and technical sophistication, it became a commercial failure similar to Cocktail for a Corpse - Transatlantic went bankrupt.

After his adviser and agent Myron Selznick died in 1944, Hitchcock's interests were taken care of by several other people before he met Lew Wasserman in 1948 . Wasserman was president of the world's largest artist agency Music Corporation of America (MCA) since 1946 , which Hitchcock joined in 1948. A close and extremely rewarding collaboration began.

Warner Brothers

Hitchcock signed a lucrative contract for four films with Warner Bros. , in which he had a completely free hand as director and producer, starting with the selection of the material. The first of these films was the thriller The Red Lola (1950) with Marlene Dietrich , who played in the London theater environment. He turned one of his favorite motifs upside down; in the end the “innocent persecuted” turns out to be the real murderer. Hitchcock turned in his homeland, but felt again the old resentment that had arisen after his emigration. The film itself was not particularly successful.

In April 1950, Hitchcock began to hold regular colloquiums at the universities of California and Southern California, in which, among other things, previews of his current films were shown. He would keep this tradition for the next 20 years.

The Stranger on the Train (1951, based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith ) finally brought another outstanding success after five years of downturn. With this film began the thirteen-year collaboration with the cameraman Robert Burks . As in The Red Lola , Hitchcock's daughter Patricia played a supporting role. In 1952 I confess the clearest cinematic reference to Hitchcock's strong Catholic character. Although it was highly rated by the critics,the film flopped at the box office, which Hitchcock mainly blamed for the audience's lack of humor.

When television found its way into living rooms at the beginning of the 1950s , the cinema industry tried to use new technical processes such as the widescreen format Cinemascope or the 3D process to halt the decline in viewers. So Warner Bros. urged Hitchcock to make his next film in 3D . Hitchcock was not happy about this decision, which restricted the camera's freedom of movement; he also only used a few explicit 3-D effects. When Calling Murder (1954) is the film adaptation of a play that was very popular at the time by Frederick Knott , who also wrote the screenplay. Hitchcock made two more films with leading actress Grace Kelly before she retired from the film business.


The experience with the forced 3D process showed Hitchcock the limits at Warner Brothers. He therefore signed a contract with Paramount in 1953 , which guaranteed him complete artistic freedom. The most successful period for Hitchcock began in 1954 with Das Fenster zum Hof . James Stewart can be seen again alongside Grace Kelly. The main character sits in a wheelchair throughout the film and watches through a telephoto lens what is happening in the apartments opposite - so to speak, representing the viewer, but also representing Hitchcock himself, who shows the voyeuristic aspect of filmmaking in this film. Above the Roofs of Nice (1955) is a light, romantic thriller in which Cary Grant again played alongside Grace Kelly - after a two-year film break. Probably to counter the glamor of this film set on the Côte d'Azur , Hitchcock shot the inexpensive black comedy Always Trouble with Harry that same year , in which Shirley MacLaine made her first film appearance alongside John Forsythe . Edmund Gwenn , who had appeared in previous Hitchcock films, played one of his few leading roles when he was almost eighty. Although Hitchcock has incorporated black humor into many of his films, it is one of the few real comedies of his.

In 1955, about five years after his wife, Hitchcock took American citizenship. In the same year he began filming with Doris Day and James Stewart on The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), the only remake of one of his films in his career. Also in 1955 started the weekly television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (from 1962 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour ). Hitchcock was a producer, appeared on many episodes as a presenter and directed a total of 18 episodes. He also sat in the director's chair for one episode of the television series Suspicion and Startime . After ten years he ended his television work, in which he had increasingly lost interest. In addition, the production became too expensive for the clients and the time for series with completed episodes, so-called “anthologies”, was coming to an end.

With The Wrong Man in 1956, he was unfaithful to one of his basic principles, the strict separation of life and fiction. The black and white film with Henry Fonda and Vera Miles tells the factual story of an unjustly convicted man in authentic locations. The film was made again for Warner Bros., because Hitchcock had promised the studio a film without a director's license when he left. However, The Wrong Man , which has many of the stylistic elements of film noir and a bleak ending, was a commercial flop.

Climax and turning point

In 1957, Hitchcock made his last Paramount film: Vertigo (released in 1958). The screenplay was the result of intensive joint work by Hitchcock and Samuel A. Taylor . In few of his film characters, Hitchcock projected as much of his own personality as in Scottie Ferguson, played by James Stewart , who tries to shape a woman according to his ideas. Not particularly successful at the time it was made, the film is now - like the following The Invisible Third  - one of Hitchcock's most important works. Hitchcock and his screenwriter Ernest Lehman conceived The Invisible Third (1959, MGM ) as a series of adventures in which an innocent man (Cary Grant in his last Hitchcock film) fights for his reputation and his life. The elegant lightness of the narrative influenced many subsequent adventure and agent films, which u. a. in the James Bond films of the following years. For Hitchcock himself it was the last predominantly cheerful film for a long time.

The subsequently prepared project with Audrey Hepburn in the lead role was stopped by Hitchcock when Hepburn canceled because of a planned rape scene. Hitchcock's most famous film followed with his deliberately inexpensive production Psycho (1960): The “shower scene”, which was shot in one week, is one of his most analyzed film scenes today. The death of a main character after only a third of the film was also unusual. Contemporary reviews were unexpectedly harsh, but audiences made Psycho Hitchcock's greatest commercial success.

After two planned projects failed - among other things because Walt Disney refused the psycho- director permission to film in Disneyland - Hitchcock did not tackle his next film until mid-1961: The Birds (1963), another horror film that was not least due to its dramaturgy and the trick technology used - such as the sodium vapor process  - had a style-forming effect. The German composer Oskar Sala used electronically generated noises instead of film music . Hitchcock discovered his leading actress, Tippi Hedren , on television advertising. Although she had no film experience, he signed her for the next seven years.

Die Vögel was created for Universal, which had recently been partially taken over by MCA and for which Hitchcock was to direct all of his films from now on. Lew Wasserman, until then Agent Hitchcocks, became President of Universal and resigned as an agent. Hitchcock himself ceded his rights to Psycho and its television series and in return became the third largest shareholder in MCA.

After The Birds there is a break in Hitchcock's work. The following three films of the 1960s lagged behind the previous successes commercially. Conflicts with his leading actress Tippi Hedren shaped the filming so much that he seemed to deliberately sabotage the success of his next film Marnie (1964). The film failed the professional film reviews. It was criticized that the psychogram of a disturbed, traumatized woman makes use of psychological explanatory models that seem outdated and undifferentiated, and that the film, untypically for Hitchcock, contains many technical errors. The quality and rank of the film in Hitchcock's work was only recognized in retrospect after François Truffaut's detailed analysis of the film. This first commercial failure in some fifteen years was a turning point in Hitchcock's career in several ways. Tippi Hedren was the last typical “Hitchcock blonde” and Marnie was the last film that Hitchcock's long-time cameraman Robert Burks made. Shortly after filming was completed, Hitchcock's film editor George Tomasini , with whom he had worked for ten years, died, and for Bernard Herrmann, who had been Hitchcock's preferred film composer since 1955, Marnie was the last collaboration with Hitchcock.

The late work

Success and a return home

Film productions became more and more complex, success at the box office more and more important. Various projects that appealed to Hitchcock and that he planned more or less intensively did not materialize because of the fear of the producers - for example Mary Rose , the planned film adaptation of a bizarre play. Years after The Invisible Third , with RRRR , a script with numerous entanglements about an Italian crook family in New York, he wanted to shoot another comic thriller and thus surpass all imitators ( Charade , Topkapi and others). The far advanced project finally failed due to insurmountable linguistic and cultural problems with the Italian employees.

On March 7, 1965, Hitchcock received the Milestone Award from the Producers Guild Of America for his "historic contribution to American cinema"  - the first of many honors for his life's work.

With The Torn Curtain (1966), Hitchcock finally returned to the genre of the spy film, in which he had already enjoyed great success in England in the 1930s. The premiere of this 50th Hitchcock film was to be accompanied by a large-scale marketing campaign. Not only for this reason, Universal pushed the current stars Paul Newman and Julie Andrews through against Hitchcock's resistance as leading actors. In addition, there was a break with the composer Bernard Herrmann when he did not present the light music that Universal wanted, which was also suitable for record sales. Hitchcock also had to do without familiar employees in other important positions on his staff. The torn curtain falls significantly in terms of craftsmanship and dramaturgically compared to Hitchcock's last films and was consistently panned by the critics.

Universal demanded more contemporary topics from him. When the script about a homosexual woman murderer, which he and Howard Fast had worked out in detail, was rejected, he retired into private life for a year. In early 1968, under the pressure of the long break since the last film and the even longer period of time since the last success, he decided to film the spy novel Topas by Leon Uris , the rights of which Universal had recently acquired. Topas was then almost exclusively cast with European actors and completely without Hollywood stars. In Europe the French women Dany Robin and Claude Jade were stars like their compatriots Michel Piccoli and Philippe Noiret and the German actress Karin Dor ; the most famous faces for American viewers were the television actor John Forsythe and the Canadian native John Vernon . The final script was only written while filming was in progress, and the ending was improvised after a catastrophic preview. Audiences and critics reacted by rejecting Hitchcock's most expensive film to date, but he was confident: “I have not yet made my last film. Topaz is my 51st film, but when I will make my last film has not yet been decided by me, my financiers and God. "

In the late summer of 1970, Hitchcock tackled his next project and traveled back to his homeland, where he was enthusiastically received this time. Frenzy (1972) is set in London, to whom Hitchcock pays a loving homage, and is in his words "the story of a man who is impotent and therefore expresses himself through murder". At first the script work and also the shooting, which Hitchcock took more seriously than it has been in a long time, went largely smoothly. But when his wife Alma had a heart attack , Hitchcock became tired and inactive; the crew was, similar to the three previous films, largely on their own again. Nevertheless, Frenzy , a brutal, sometimes bitter, film permeated with deep black British humor, was a great success. Only in England was they disappointed and particularly criticized the anachronistic depiction of London and British life.

The last film

In the spring of 1973 Hitchcock decided to film the novel The Rainbird Pattern by Victor Canning . But the work on the script with Ernest Lehman (The Invisible Third) didn't go as smoothly this time: Hitchcock had become noticeably tired, and he was increasingly numbing his physical pain with alcohol. It took two years to complete the script, longer than ever in his career.

With Familiengrab , as the film was finally called, Hitchcock returned to the apparently cheerful, but this time morbidly accentuated entertainment thriller. As always, he attached great importance to a sophisticated imagery, which was again developed with the help of storyboards. The shooting went smoothly and in a relaxed atmosphere. Hitchcock, who, within the scope of his health possibilities, got involved in the filming with a vigor that had not been shown for a long time, was ready for innovations: He was open to improvisations by his actors and made changes to the process while the film was being shot. He had to leave the supervision of the editing work largely to his staff, Peggy Robertson and Suzanne Gauthier , as his health deteriorated significantly. Alma also suffered a second stroke.

After its premiere in the spring of 1976, Familiengrab was largely received in a friendly manner, and Hitchcock drew strength from the sympathy that greeted him for a short time to take up new film ideas. His project, which was only started in early 1978, the film adaptation of the novel The Short Night by Ronald Kirkbride , was stopped by Universal about a year later due to his deteriorating health. In March 1979 he was honored for his life's work by the American Film Institute . Two months later he closed his office on the premises of the Universal Studios. On January 3, 1980, Hitchcock was raised to the British nobility.

On the morning of April 29, 1980, Alfred Hitchcock died of kidney failure at his Los Angeles home. His body was cremated and the ashes scattered in an unknown location.

Contents and forms

“Hitchcock is one of the greatest inventors of shapes in the history of film. The only directors who can be compared with him in this respect are at best Murnau and Eisenstein . [...] With them, the form not only beautifies the content, it creates it in the first place. "

- Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol (1957)

In around fifty years, Alfred Hitchcock has started and finished fifty-three feature films as a director. The vast majority of these films belong to the thriller genre and have similar narrative patterns and motifs, recurring elements, visual stylistic devices and effects that run like a red thread through his oeuvre.



The basic motif in Hitchcock's films is usually the protagonists' fear of their (bourgeois) existence being destroyed. This fear does not only apply to murderers, gangsters or spies who attack the civil order; the main characters often find themselves in a position to be threatened even by representatives of the law.

In addition to this motive of fear - corresponding to Hitchcock's Catholic character - there is that of guilt and atonement. The innocent persecuted in his films is "innocent, but only in relation to what you accuse him of." That means that the character is punished for other deficits or offenses by what happens to her in the course of the film: In On Call Murder, for example, the main character is suspected of murder; in fact, she had to kill in self-defense. However, the following calamity can be viewed as punishment for the adultery she committed.

A variation on this theme is the transfer of guilt onto another person. Innocents become guilty (or complicit) in the crimes of others because they cannot solve the problem for personal reasons. Central to this are the two films I confess and The Stranger on the Train , in which the respective protagonists benefit from murders that others have committed and, having come under suspicion themselves, have no opportunity to exonerate themselves. In Vertigo , the real murderer makes the main character initially apparently guilty of the death of the person entrusted to her through a plot. Later, the victim of the intrigue is actually guilty of the death of the woman he loves.

False suspicions, but also pronounced guilt complexes, go hand in hand with a threat to identity in Hitchcock's films. His traumatized or persecuted characters take on false names themselves or - for unknown reasons - are mistaken for someone else. Hitchcock played through the motif of loss of identity, from his first to his last film, in the most varied of variations, particularly memorable in Vertigo : the female main character is first transformed into another person (who is then murdered) as part of a murder plot and then takes on regains their real identity, only to be transformed back into the other person afterwards.

Often guilt and threat are related to sexual aspects. In The Paradin Case , the thought of adultery is enough to endanger the protagonist's life. The connection between sex, guilt and threat is a central topic in Notorious . Hitchcock's connection between sex and violence becomes clear in murder scenes, which he often stages like rape, such as the final battle between uncle and niece Charlie in In the Shadow of Doubt , the scissors scene in Murder On Call and the shower scene in Psycho . In addition, sexuality plays a major role in his work, especially in manifestations that are perceived as abnormal. Due to the requirements of the censorship, however, homosexuality , which occurs regularly in connection with guilt and ruin, or necrophilia (in vertigo ) are only hinted at in individual gestures or key scenes. Also fetishism ( extortion , Vertigo , Psycho ) and voyeurism ( Rear Window , Psycho ) play a certain role in his films. In several films, an erotic relationship between the main male characters and their mothers is suggested, for example in Psycho and The Birds . Central in this context is notorious . Here Claude Rains and Leopoldine Konstantin behave like a married couple in some key scenes. This impression is reinforced by the small age difference between the actors of just four years.

Among the symbols used in Hitchcock's imagery are birds as harbingers of bad luck (for example in blackmail , later as the dominant theme in The Birds ), stairs that can mean loss or freedom ( notorious , psycho , vertigo and others), as well as handcuffs and others Shackles to express dependency and exposure, mostly in a sexual context (for example in Der Mieter ). Mirrors also appear regularly at Hitchcock - in connection with the loss or the realization of one's own personality or as a general symbol for deceptions (memorable examples: vertigo and psycho ).


Most of the protagonists in Hitchcock's thrillers are ordinary people who generally have nothing to do with criminal machinations at the beginning of the story. They are usually drawn into mysterious and threatening processes by chance or unknown circumstances. The viewer is given the unsettling feeling that he, too, could get into such situations at any time. Professional agents or spies, on the other hand, are rarely found among the main characters, although Hitchcock made many films that are set in an agent environment. With one exception ( Blackmail , 1929), Hitchcock never made a film that focused on the work of the police; Active police officers only appear as secondary characters and usually as an obstacle.

Male antiheroes

The prototype of the antihero at Hitchcock are the characters played by James Stewart : In Cocktail for a Corpse , the teacher portrayed by Stewart has to recognize that two of his students took one of his theories as an opportunity to commit a murder and to justify it with his theses; in the end he stands helplessly before this human abyss into which he was not only drawn, but which he even conjured up. In Das Fenster zum Hof , Stewart portrays a character who is reluctant to commit, physically impaired and voyeuristic, and thus gets into trouble.

There are few positive, unbroken heroes at Hitchcock. An actor who embodied this rare type of role was Cary Grant in Above the Rooftops of Nice and in The Invisible Third . These characters master the challenges with charm and ease, but they are suspected of being criminals or lose control at times, which means that even they cannot be completely inviolable heroes. But even Cary Grant played characters in two of his Hitchcock films whose downsides temporarily override their positive characteristics.

In the course of Hitchcock's career, ambivalent or even negatively drawn main characters gain in importance. These antiheroes have physical or psychological problems, are loser types or are unsympathetic. Their obsessive misconduct makes them appear weak and can cause harm. These figures hardly serve as a role model, but their ambivalent personality should contribute to the viewer being able to find themselves in them.

Strong women

In many films, Hitchcock uses the classic motif of the weak woman to be protected at first sight. But while the cliché demands that the shining hero save her, with Hitchcock she is often on her own. In some cases, the supposed protector is weak or too self-absorbed to help the threatened woman, such as Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Notorious . In other cases, the main male character (usually the husband) even poses an actual or perceived threat potential. Classic examples: Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant in Suspicion and Grace Kelly and Ray Milland in Murder On Call .

In some films, Hitchcock completely reverses the distribution of roles between man and woman: the woman is superior to the man, who is becoming increasingly passive, and turns things around for the better. Examples are young and innocent (the police chief's daughter helps a suspect escape and ultimately solves the case), I fight for you (a psychologist penetrates the suspect's subconscious and saves him from certain conviction) and The Man Who Too Much knew (the wife first prevents a planned murder and then saves her own child from the criminals).

The type that emerged over time is that of the young, beautiful, cool, enigmatic and opaque blonde . However, the Hitchcock blonde's superficial coolness hides a highly developed sexuality. This becomes particularly clear in The Invisible Third , when Eva Marie Saint initially makes ambiguous remarks to Cary Grant, then suddenly kisses the completely surprised stranger and puts him in her sleeping car compartment without hesitation. It is not the man, but the (blonde) woman who plays the active part and thus shows the fragility of the male, bourgeois worldview.

Sympathetic villains

"The more successful the villain, the more successful the film."

- Alfred Hitchcock

With his design of characters and dramaturgy, Hitchcock suggests that the audience identify with the villain. His antagonists sometimes seem conspicuously sympathetic and sometimes exceed the charisma of the main characters. Often the hero and villain compete for the same woman; the love of the opponent appears deeper and more sincere than that of the hero. This is particularly noticeable in Infamous ( Claude Rains versus Cary Grant) and in The Invisible Third ( James Mason, in turn, versus Cary Grant). Even a downright insidious villain like Ray Milland in When Calling Murder seems more personable to the clumsy Robert Cummings in individual moments , but in any case more trustworthy to the police. Often they are the actual main characters, like Joseph Cotten as the charming widow murderer in In the Shadow of Doubt or Anthony Perkins as the awkward murderer in Psycho, tormented by his mother .

Dominant mothers

In many of his films - regularly from the mid-1940s - dominant mothers appear who exert a disturbing influence on their mostly grown-up children and are in some cases the trigger or cause of dramatic events. For the first time, the mother appears unreservedly malicious in Notorious (1946), who drives her son to murder the woman he loves. The most extreme case comes to light in Psycho (1960), where the dead mother still takes possession of her son and lets him become her murderous tool. There are also a multitude of less demonic variations, although all mother types have in common: In Die Vögel (1963), Mitch's mother ( Jessica Tandy ) cannot bear that her adult son ( Rod Taylor ) is interested in another woman . In Marnie (1964) the daughter's life is almost destroyed by a guilt complex transferred from the mother.

Hitchcock varies this role model in two films: In Rebecca and Slave of the Heart , housekeepers take on the role of the demonic mother.

Shady or gullible officials

Usually positive figures such as police officers, judges or other representatives of the state often appear ambivalent: They are not able to protect the heroes, or even pose a threat to them. Police twist the law, they act out of personal motives, they believe in first appearances and protect the actually guilty party because of their superficially impeccable appearance, they are clumsy or work sloppily. This role model runs through Hitchcock's entire work, from The Tenant (1927) to Frenzy (1972).

In addition, there are isolated secret service employees among the minor characters who reveal themselves as opponents (the Drayton couple in The Man Who Knew Too Much , 1956) or as helpers, although the latter can also cause difficulties - for example the "General" ( Peter Lorre ) in Secret agent or Leo G. Carroll as a CIA employee in The Invisible Third Party . By blurring the firm dividing line between good and bad, the viewer's feeling of insecurity is increased.

Formal elements


“For me, making films means first and foremost telling a story. This story may be improbable, but it must never be banal. It should be dramatic and human. The drama is a life from which the boring moments have been cut out. "

- Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock's credo was: "For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake." (For example: "For me the cinema is not a piece of life, it is child's play.") For him, film was an artificial art form. Only once - in The Wrong Man  - did he deviate from this principle. But here, too, the emphasis is on those elements that are not documentary - such as the subjective perspective of the innocent suspect and his helpless wife. Some of his other films are based on real events ( The Torn Curtain , The Window to the Courtyard , The Foreign Correspondent or Cocktail for a Corpse ), but these are fictionalized to such an extent that apart from the basic motif, there is no reference to the original story.

An unrealized idea for The Invisible Third , which the director mentions in an interview with Truffaut, illustrates Hitchcock's ideas of transcending reality : he wanted to show how, under the eyes of Cary Grant, a car is assembled on an assembly line and then from the finished one A corpse falls in a car - impossible by realistic standards. But Hitchcock's justification for rejecting the idea shows that he did not orientate himself on probability in such questions: "We have not been able to fit the idea into the story correctly, and even an arbitrary scene cannot be carried out without a motive." He consciously accepted disregarding the laws of plausibility: “If you wanted to analyze everything and construct everything according to considerations of credibility and probability, then no fictional film plot would withstand this analysis, and there would only be one thing left: to make documentaries. “Hitchcock trusted that viewers would accept improbable details as he was only using them to dramatize, move forward, or streamline the plot.

Hitchcock's play with clichés typical of films also caused deliberate irritation. For example, he avoided casting actors according to specific types, especially in the supporting roles. Hitchcock also evaded genre laws when it came to choosing his venues. So he often did not let crimes and threatening scenes take place in eerie, dark rooms, but in bright daylight and in seemingly harmless places such as a marketplace littered with people ( The man who knew too much [1956] and The foreign correspondent ), in a deserted landscape , at a public auction and in a hotel lobby (The Invisible Third) , on an idyllic mountain road (Above the Roofs of Nice) , at a party ( Notorious and Young and Innocent ) in a packed concert hall (both The Man Who Knew Too Much ) or in a train full of friendly people (a lady disappears) .


“In the usual form of suspense, it is imperative that the audience is fully informed of the specifics that are involved. Otherwise there is no suspense "

- Alfred Hitchcock

The classic form of the crime film based on the element of surprise is the Whodunit . With a few exceptions, however, Hitchcock used a different form of tension build-up, the so-called suspense: From a certain point in time, the viewer is aware of certain information or circumstances that the people involved are not aware of. He has a special fever for the heroes, he sees events coming, wants to help the characters, but can't. In some films the classic suspense is varied in such a way that characters take on the role of the viewer. An example of many: In Das Fenster zum Hof , Lisa breaks into the suspicious neighbor's apartment to look for evidence of a possible murder. Her partner Jeff is watching from the apartment across the street and sees the neighbors return early. He suspects her life is in danger, but cannot help her.

For some striking scenes, Hitchcock also deliberately created a suspense situation in order to be able to shock the viewer with an even more powerful surprise effect. A famous example can be found in Psycho : On the one hand, Marion Crane is equipped with various insignia of a typical main character in a Hitchcock film, so that hardly anyone expects her to die in the first half of the film. On the other hand, Hitchcock added a suspense moment to the shower scene himself. Norman Bates watches Marion Crane undress through a hole in the wall. She goes into the shower. The viewer will not fear a murder, but in the worst case, a rape by Norman. The bestial murder is therefore completely surprising and thus a reason for the celebrity of the scene.


A device that Hitchcock used very often in his thrillers was the so-called MacGuffin : an element that drives or even initiates the plot, although it is completely meaningless for the development of the characters and for the viewer in terms of content, almost interchangeable. The MacGuffin in The Invisible Third are simply "government secrets" about which the hero or the viewer does not learn anything further during the entire plot. In Psycho , Hitchcock uses embezzled money that drives the secretary to flee and thus leads to "Bates Motel" in order to initially deliberately mislead the audience and to interest them in a criminal case that is only marginally related to the actual plot . The mysterious "39 ​​steps" in the film of the same name are a secret organization about which nothing is known until shortly before the end of the film, except that it is dangerous. A particularly unusual MacGuffin is the secret service information from A Lady Disappears, disguised as a folk song melody .

Cinematic means

“The film technology allows you to get everything you want, to realize all the pictures you had in mind. So there is no reason to forego something or to compromise between the desired and the achieved image. If not all films are really flawless, it is because there are too many people in our industry who do not understand anything about the imagery. "

- Alfred Hitchcock

Influenced by silent films, Hitchcock's understanding of film was based on the requirement to express everything important in his films visually and as little as possible through dialogue. His typical camera settings reproduce exactly what is essential for understanding the scene - also so that the viewer does not have the opportunity to be distracted by insignificant details. For example, kissing scenes with Hitchcock always seem very intimate, as he usually drives the camera very close to the two kissing people and makes the viewer the third person to hug, so to speak. Some of the most famous examples of this visual narrative are the shower scene from Psycho , the plane attack on Cary Grant and the hunt for Mount Rushmore in The Invisible Third , the gathering of birds on the jungle gym in The Birds or the ten-minute concert scene at the Royal Albert Hall in Der Man who knew too much about 1956.

Hitchcock's visual working style is expressed, among other things, in the exposures of many of his films. He brings the characters and the circumstances of the following action close to the audience without the use of dialogue. The length of these introductions varies from a few seconds to several minutes. Hitchcock first pursued this technique in 1929 in his first sound film Blackmail .

In addition, unusual cinematic operations appear again and again in Hitchcock's films in order to consciously intensify the mood and tension, for example a counter-rotating zoom movement in vertigo (later also referred to as the " vertigo effect "), long tracking shots like that from a long shot of a large one Space down to the close-up of a key in one hand (in Notorious ) or a twitching eye (in Young and Innocent ) as well as the forty-five second murder scene in the shower in Psycho , consisting of about seventy shots , immediately followed by a one-minute tracking shot without a single cut. The production designer Robert Boyle, collaborated with Hitchcock in five films, said: "None of the directors with whom I have ever worked with, knew so much about film as he did. A lot of the directors I've worked with knew a lot, but they didn't have the technical skills that he had. He was always looking for visual expression, and there was no such thing as a random setting with him. "

Only once did Hitchcock fall back on a technical film trick out of the joy of experimentation, which did not result directly from the dramaturgy. In Cocktail für eine Leiche (1948), he shot shots of up to ten minutes, most of which he even blended into one another through invisible cuts. He wanted to document the unity of time and space in this theater film. He later admitted that it was a mistake to have given the editing as an essential creative instrument of the dramaturgy at the same time.

Light and colors

Inspired by American and German filmmakers, Hitchcock used light and shadow effects in his first films. Lines and stripes in the form of shadows (caused by bars, blinds or the like) that fall mainly on faces and are intended to reinforce an ominous atmosphere are typical for Hitchcock. In addition, he uses very strong, sometimes unnatural contrasts in individual scenes in order to visualize an external or internal contrast between good and evil.

Hitchcock supported this play of light and dark with the costumes of the characters. So he had Ingrid Bergman wear striped clothing at the beginning of Notorious to underline her inner conflict. In The Tenant , Ivor Novello wore black at the beginning, later, to make his innocence clear to the outside world, white. The method of emphasizing the emotional state of the characters through the coloring of the costumes was also retained by Hitchcock for the color films. In On Call Murder , Grace Kelly's costumes grew dreary and grayer as the film went on, according to her state of mind. Regarding Hitchcock's choice of colors for Grace Kelly's clothes in The Window to the Courtyard , costume designer Edith Head said: “There was a reason for every color and style; he was absolutely certain of his whole decision. In one scene he saw her in pale green, in another in white chiffon, in another in gold. He actually put together a dream in the studio. ”In his later films, especially Marnie and Vertigo , there was a sophisticated color dramaturgy that encompassed the costumes, the decorations and the lighting.

Trick technique

According to Hitchcock's understanding of film, the film creates its own reality and should or must not be a reflection of real life. The use of all possibilities to reproduce exactly what the director imagines is, according to this understanding, not only legitimate, but necessary. Hitchcock carefully observed the development of trick technology and very early on - occasionally to the displeasure of his producers - used new trick processes, for example the Schüfftan process (in blackmail ) or matte painting . In his English thrillers, especially Number Seventeen and Young and Innocent , Hitchcock often and recognizably worked with models on car chases. In A Lady Disappears, however , the rear projections during the train journey are already so mature that they are still convincing decades later. The same applies to the final scene of Der Fremde im Zug , in which two men fight on a carousel that is turning ever faster - in a virtuoso combination of real settings, models and rear projections. Die Vögel (1963) contains around four hundred trick shots, for which Hitchcock used all the trick techniques available at the time, including the rotoscopy method otherwise used for animation films .

Sound and music

Hitchcock has used music and sound effects since the advent of the sound film to consciously support the dramaturgy. Actress Teresa Wright (In the Shadow of Doubt) described Hitchcock's approach to the medium of sound as follows: “When an actor drummed his fingers, it wasn't a pointless drumming, it had a rhythm, a musical pattern - it was like a sound -Refrain. Whether someone was walking or rustling paper or tearing an envelope or whistling to himself, whether it was the flapping of birds or a sound from outside, everything was carefully orchestrated by him. He composed the sound effects like a musician instrument parts. ”Hitchcock told Truffaut that after the final cut of a film, he dictated a“ sound script ”to his secretary that contained all the sounds he wanted.

In murder - Sir John intervenes! (1930) Hitchcock even hid a complete orchestra behind the scenes, since subsequent editing of the soundtrack was technically not possible at this point in time, in order to provide musical accompaniment to the corresponding passages. Other classic examples of Hitchcock's dramaturgical use of music are Secret Agent (1936, the permanent chord of the dead organist in the church), A Lady Disappears (1938, the melody with the secret code and the “folk dance”), In the shadow of doubt (1943, the “Merry -Widow “-Walzer), The Stranger on the Train (1951, the scenes on the fairground) and The Window to the Courtyard (1954, the piano player's composition during the course of the film). Finally, in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), music, both orchestral and sung, is actively staged and dramaturgically integrated: It plays an essential role in the overall dramaturgy of the film.

The music of the films from the late 1950s and early 1960s, the time when Hitchcock worked with the composer Bernard Herrmann , is a key element of the respective films. Critics attest the music of the films Vertigo , The Invisible Third and Psycho as well as the sound effects of Oskar Sala to The Birds to contribute significantly to the respective overall impression of the film.

Formative influences

role models

Hitchcock was impressed by the films he saw in his youth and in his early years in the film industry, such as those of DW Griffith , Charlie Chaplin , Buster Keaton and senior Douglas Fairbanks . As a silent film director in England, he took over from the US film, among other things, the technique of creating depth with the help of lighting effects and separating the foreground from the background, which was unusual in British film until the 1930s. He was also taken with the German silent film directors such as Fritz Lang and Ernst Lubitsch . FW Murnau's The Last Man , whose filming Hitchcock observed in Munich in 1922, he later described as the almost perfect film: “He told his story without a title; from beginning to end he trusted his pictures completely. That had a tremendous influence on my work at the time. ” The Cabinet of Drs also had an influence on Hitchcock's work. Caligari , which Robert Wiene shot in 1919. The emphasis on the visual in German Expressionism shaped his own handling of cinematic means.

Apart from these stylistic influences, however, Hitchcock avoided citing scenes or settings from well-known films. Battleship Potemkin (1925) by Soviet director Eisenstein can be seen as an exception . In The 39 Steps , Above the Roofs of Nice and a few other films, the women screaming in horror are reminiscent of shots from the famous and often cited scene on the harbor steps in Odessa .

There is also some motivic and visual overlap in Hitchcock's work from the 1940s and 1950s with the genre of film noir that dominated American crime films at the time, for example in In the Shadow of Doubt and Notorious , and especially in The Wrong Man Where the motif of the ubiquitous threat of the main characters plays a role. In addition, he liked to make use of a similarly high-contrast image design, which he had, however, already acquired in the main in the 1920s. Vertigo , too , in its basic constellation and the nightmarish compulsiveness of the events, is reminiscent of some films in the genre, such as Woman Without a Conscience , but stands out formally and stylistically clearly from film noir. In any case, Hitchcock cannot be regarded as a typical representative of the genre.

Obsessions and allegations of sexual harassment

"I was never particularly keen on women who wore their sex like trinkets around their necks."

- Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock explained his preference for blondes to Truffaut as follows: “I think the English women, the Swedes, the North Germans and the Scandinavians are more interesting than the Romance, the Italian and the French. The sex shouldn't catch the eye right away. A young English woman may look like a teacher, but when you get into a taxi with her, she surprises you by grabbing your fly. ”He made a similar statement to Look in 1969 about Truffaut actress Claude Jade , who at had played him in Topaz : "Claude Jade is a rather calm young lady, but I would not guarantee her behavior in the back seat of a taxi".

It was known early on that Hitchcock had a special relationship with his young blonde actresses and paid more attention to them than anyone else. The care with which Hitchcock staged Madeleine Carroll , Carole Lombard, and especially Ingrid Bergman in the 1930s and 1940s , developed over time into an increasing amalgamation of private and professional interests that expanded into an obsession . With Vera Miles he rehearsed the nervous breakdowns that she was supposed to portray in The Wrong Man for several hours a day for weeks. For both her and Kim Novak , he had the costume designer tailor a complete wardrobe that was intended for her private life. He even had Tippi Hedren (The Birds) shadowed by two crew members and began to dictate their behavior in private life. In her 2016 biography, Hedren accused Hitchcock of having sexually molested her several times and called him a pervert. He wanted to take her in completely, threw himself on her and groped. He also threatened to ruin her career if she did not cooperate. This appropriation culminated in pictures of real birds falling on them, which lasted for days. After a clear, unsuccessful approach while working on Marnie , it finally broke. The previously openly expressed affection turned into the opposite, and Hitchcock never missed an opportunity to belittle Tippi Hedren in others. She remained the last typical "Hitchcock blonde". Although Hitchcock was always extremely cautious about it, it is certain that the director could not recover from these difficulties for a long time and was impaired in his creative powers. Films such as Vertigo and Notorious , but also Marnie or Im Schatten des Zweifel , which deal with neurotic men who manipulate women, are considered to be strongly autobiographical.

Hitchcock was also fascinated by the connection between sex and violence, something that became increasingly evident in his later works. Several times he staged completed or attempted rape (early in blackmail , later in Marnie and Frenzy ). In three unrealized projects, rapists or rape should play a central role. Several times he staged murders as rape, with the knife as a phallic symbol. But death by strangulation or strangulation also exerted a certain fascination on him. Some choking scenes are among the most notable murder scenes of his career, for example in Cocktail for a Corpse , Murder On Call , The Torn Curtain and Frenzy . He often had himself photographed in "strangler poses".

Hitchcock was equally openly flirting with his panic of the police throughout his life. Hitchcock liked to say that when he was five, after doing something wrong, his father sent him to the nearby police station with a slip of paper. The policeman read the note and locked Alfred in a cell for five or ten minutes with the comment that the police would do this to naughty boys. In his films, police officers always pose a latent danger.

When asked to what extent the image of the possessive mother conveyed by Hitchcock in his films is shaped by his own mother, there were no statements from him. However, what little one knows from childhood suggests autobiographical origins. Hitchcock's mother died after a long illness in August 1942 while filming In the Shadow of Doubt . This film, which was already strongly autobiographical from the outset, clearly refers to Hitchcock's relationship to her: the name Emma does not seem to be the only thing in common between her and the dominant mother figure in the film. The film also mentions another authoritative but sick mother - that of the crime-obsessed Herb Hawkins, who in turn is considered a self-projection of Hitchcock.

It is striking that toilets can be seen or heard in Hitchcock's films in which conspiratorial things of some kind take place. According to his biographer Donald Spoto, he had an "adolescent fixation" that was rooted in his Victorian upbringing. Hitchcock often and happily spoke about human body functions, but wanted to create the impression that he had nothing to do with such things himself. With reference to his body, however, Hitchcock indicated several times that for him eating was a kind of substitute satisfaction. In some Hitchcock films there is a symbolic connection between food, sex and death.


In the USA between 1934 and 1967 the Hays Code , also known as the Production Code , was a collection of guidelines on compliance with common moral standards and on the permissibility of depicting crime, violence and sexuality in films.

For example, Hitchcock had to drop the planned ending on suspicion because it was not possible to show the suicide of a pregnant woman in the early 1940s. Until shortly before the end of the shooting, he hadn't found a suitable ending for the film. In Notorious , Hitchcock had to cross out a dialogue in which a representative of the US government spoke positively about the possibility of a divorce. In the case of saboteurs , he alternatively shot politically sensitive passages in defused versions for safety reasons.

In many cases, however, he was able to creatively circumvent the restrictions imposed by the censorship. Among other things, it was not allowed to show a toilet at the time. So in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Hitchcock distorted the unambiguous noises of a toilet in such a way that they could be mistaken for steam heating. In Psycho he showed a toilet in which a piece of paper was flushed down. By giving the image of the toilet a dramatic function - the disappearance of an item of evidence had to be explained - he prevented the scene from being cut. A toilet was never shown more explicitly in the days of the Hays Code.

Since the length of kisses in the film was limited to three seconds at the time, Hitchcock staged the kiss between Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Notorious as a series of individual kisses interrupted by short dialogue sentences. Hitchcock's biggest win against censorship was the final scene of The Invisible Third : Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint are in a sleeping car. He pulls her up to him on the upper bed and they kiss. There is a cut and a train can be seen racing into a tunnel - one of the most explicit allusions to the sexual act in a US film at the time of the Production Code .

Working method

One of the most important aspects of Alfred Hitchcock's way of working was that, ideally, he left nothing to chance, from the choice of material to the final cut, but instead claimed complete control over the production of the film.

If Hitchcock used existing templates, such as novels or plays, he only took over individual basic motifs of the plot and often developed a completely new story from them together with the respective scriptwriter. High-quality, complex literature resisted this approach and Hitchcock therefore shied away from filming it - also out of respect for the work. Hitchcock was mostly involved in the writing of the script, but was not officially mentioned as an author in any of his films after 1932: “I never want a title as a producer or author. I wrote the design of the film. In other words, I sit down with the writer and design the whole film from start to finish. ”Writer Samuel A. Taylor:“ Working with him meant writing with him, which very few directors do. Hitchcock never claimed to be a writer himself, but the truth was that he was writing his own scripts because he could clearly see every scene in his head and had a very clear idea of ​​how it should play out. I realized that I only had to make the characters more personal and human and develop them further. ”Occasionally, Hitchcock changed the dialogues of entire scenes afterwards, for example to improve the tension dramaturgy (example: The lifeboat ) or to add autobiographical ones Incorporate references (example: I confess ). Even if polished dialogues were important to him, Hitchcock always placed his main focus on the expressiveness of the images. Ideally, every single shot of the film was defined in storyboards before shooting began .

Since the beginning of his directorial activities, he pursued the goal of avoiding any improvisation as much as possible. He told Truffaut: “I was afraid to improvise in the studio because, even if you have ideas at the moment, there is certainly no time to check what they are good for. [... other directors] keep a whole team waiting and sit down to think about it. No, I couldn't. "

According to his own statements, planning a project was more fun for Hitchcock than actually shooting it: Too many influences - producers, technology, actors, time pressure - threatened the desired control over his work. In addition, ideally, he saw the creative work on the film as finished when filming began: “I'm making a pre-cut film. In other words, every piece of film is designed to perform a function. "

However, these principles were more of an ideal of Hitchcock. In fact, by 1948 at the latest, it became his habit to try out alternatives when shooting. But here, too, he tried to plan ahead as precisely as possible: An example of this is the siege of the house by the birds in Die Vögel . Opposite Truffaut, Hitchcock described how he rewrote the originally planned scene directly at the location and sketched it down to the smallest detail so that it could be shot shortly afterwards according to these new designs. In addition, in the course of his career, Hitchcock became more and more free to deviate from the set script, even at short notice. Contrary to his habits, he even allowed the actors to improvise, even if only for rather unimportant scenes. In 1999, Bill Krohn went into detail in Hitchcock at Work on Hitchcock's way of working. On the basis of original documents such as script versions, scripts, storyboards, memos, production notes etc. and with the help of those involved, he reconstructed the production history of various films (including Hitchcock's most famous) and refutes Hitchcock's commitment to "pre-cut films": This is how it happened in many films that Hitchcock shot decisive key scenes in different variations and usually only decided on the final form of individual scenes in the editing room.


Over the years, a particularly creative collaboration has developed with various authors. Of particular note are Eliot Stannard , Angus MacPhail , Charles Bennett , Ben Hecht and John Michael Hayes . Although Samuel A. Taylor (Vertigo) and Ernest Lehman (The Invisible Third) each wrote only two scripts for films actually made, they were among the few employees who worked with him regularly in the last few years of his career and until shortly before his Death had contact. But Hitchcock also worked several times with well-known playwrights and novelists on the creation of scripts, smoothly with Thornton Wilder and George Tabori , conflict-laden with John Steinbeck , Raymond Chandler and Leon Uris . The cult that Hitchcock liked to cultivate around himself, and his sometimes dictatorial style, also led to conflicts with author friends. John Michael Hayes, who divorced Hitchcock in the dispute: “I did for him what every other writer did for him - I wrote! But if you read Hitchcock's interviews, you can get the impression that he wrote the script, developed the characters, provided the motivation. ”If Hitchcock was dissatisfied with a writer's work, or if he felt his authority was under attack, then he replaced Authors without further ado by others.

Cary Grant and James Stewart became Hitchcock's alter ego within the four films they each made for Hitchcock . Grant became "what Hitchcock would have liked to be", as Hitchcock's biographer Donald Spoto put it, while Stewart would be much "that Hitchcock thought was himself." Hitchcock had a long-standing personal friendship with some of his actors, especially Grace Kelly. In addition, the neurotic relationships with his blonde leading actresses - especially with Tippi Hedren - are known. At the beginning of Hitchcock's career, film was seen as entertainment for the lower classes in England. From this time comes Hitchcock's often quoted saying "All actors are cattle", which referred to those theater actors who only worked with reluctance and because of the money as a film actor. The statement later became independent and was often viewed as a general expression of disdain for Hitchcock's actors. In fact, later on he often had problems with actors who wanted to enforce their own ideas instead of fitting into the director's prepared plans. Method acting fans like Montgomery Clift and Paul Newman were just as annoying to Hitchcock as eccentrics or egomaniacs. Hitchcock, on the other hand, had great respect for actors who shared his understanding of film or at least adapted to his way of working, and granted Joseph Cotten and Marlene Dietrich , for example, great artistic freedom. However, it was often the producers who decided who would cast the leading roles. All the more, Hitchcock used his greater freedom in the supporting roles to be filled, whereby he liked to fall back on theater actors whom he still fondly remembered from his time in London, for example Leo G. Carroll in a total of six films or Cedric Hardwicke in Suspicion and Cocktail for a corpse .

Well-known costume designer Edith Head , with whom he worked on almost all films from Das Fenster zum Hof , said: “Loyalty was particularly important to Hitchcock. He was as loyal to employees as he expected them to be. "

Robert F. Boyle was responsible for production design for five films ; he was one of his closest collaborators until Hitchcock's death. He also relied on Albert Whitlock as a production designer in the course of his career . Hitchcock, to whom the expressiveness of the images was always important, was also extremely satisfied with the art director Henry Bumstead . The title designer Saul Bass not only designed some film titles for the opening credits and posters, but was also significantly involved in the work on many storyboards.

The main cameraman in his early years with British International Pictures was John J. Cox . Of Hitchcock, cameraman Robert Burks , who was involved in all films except Psycho between 1951 and 1964, said: “You never got into trouble with him as long as you knew something about his work and did it. Hitchcock insisted on perfection. “With Leonard J. South , former assistant to Burks, Hitchcock worked for a total of 35 years.

One of the composers of the film scores is Louis Levy , who provided the soundtracks for the early English films of The Man Who Knew Too Much Until A Lady Disappears . Bernard Herrmann is considered to be the Hitchcock composer par excellence , who composed all the film scores for Hitchcock from Immer Ärger mit Harry up to and including Marnie (1964).

The film editor George Tomasini was a close associate of Hitchcock for a decade until his death in 1964. At the beginning of his career, his wife Alma worked as an editor on his films; she remained one of the most influential employees to the end.


“We directors make a film successful. In the mind of the audience, the name of the director should be equated with the quality of a product. Actors come and go, but the name of the director should remain clearly in the mind of the audience. "

- Alfred Hitchcock

Even at the beginning of his career, Hitchcock was aware of the importance of marketing himself: Many of his later activities are part of a strategy to establish himself and his name as a brand. As early as 1927, Hitchcock made a stylized self-portrait as a logo that is still known today. In the early 1930s, when he became popular with the success of his films in England, he founded Hitchcock Baker Productions Ltd. a company that until his move to America was solely responsible for doing public relations work for him and with himself . These tasks were then carried out by the Selznick-Joyce artist agency, then by the Music Corporation of America (MCA), with the president of the MCA, Lew Wasserman , becoming his personal agent. In 1962 a new company was founded under Herman Citron, which represented Hitchcock's interests and marketed his name. This self-marketing also served to gain a position of power in the production process of his films, and was thus part of his struggle for artistic independence.


For lack of extras in his first British films, Hitchcock was seen repeatedly appearing in the background. From this he developed one of his most famous trademarks: Hitchcock's obligatory cameo . Since the audience paid less and less attention to the plot over time, rather than lurking on Hitchcock, he put this running gag as far as possible at the beginning of the film in later films .

In three of the films, Hitchcock did not have an actual cameo. He appeared in photos in two of these films: The lifeboat is set exclusively in a small lifeboat at sea. He can therefore be seen in a newspaper that happened to be in the boat in an advertisement for a diet on a “before and after photo”. It was also not possible to appear in On Call Murder . Instead, Hitchcock appears in a photo hanging on the wall of a college graduate reunion. In The Wrong Man finally he comes early in the film personally and speaks the prologue . This is also his only speaking role in one of his films.


While the film companies usually commission their own departments or external agencies for marketing , the advertising campaigns of Hitchcock's films clearly bore the director's signature. His movie trailers were often not only compilations of the announced film: With increasing recognition of his person Hitchcock put in the role of "Master of Ceremony" his own films before and led the audience humorous by the scenes. Often he also recorded the German-language trailers himself.

watch TV

On the advice of his agent Lew Wasserman, Hitchcock got into the television business in 1955. Hitchcock founded the television production company Shamley Productions and produced his own weekly television series until 1965. At the beginning of many episodes, Hitchcock greeted the audience by speaking macabre announcements with an unmoved expression. The moderations that made him a national celebrity were written by the playwright James D. Allardice , who from then on worked for Hitchcock as a speechwriter until his death in 1966. As theme music for the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series, Hitchcock used the main theme of Charles Gounod's Marche funèbre d'une marionette (funeral march of a marionette), which subsequently developed into a signature tune for Hitchcock's public relations work.

Books and magazines

In 1956, Hitchcock signed a license agreement with HSD Publications, which included the transfer of his name to the crime magazine Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine . The magazine contains mystery and crime stories, book reviews and puzzles and is still published today. Introductions and forewords that were signed with his name were always written by ghostwriters.

From 1964 to 1987 the youth crime series "The Three Investigators" appeared in the USA, in German since 1968 Die drei ??? . The journalist and author Robert Arthur knew Alfred Hitchcock personally and asked him if he could use his name to market this planned series of books. Finally, he built the character "Alfred Hitchcock" into the plot. Unlike in Europe , the success of the books in the USA was limited. In Germany, where the books were particularly popular, the radio play series of the same name was created . This radio play production, which is still the most successful in the world today, made the name Hitchcock known to many who were not familiar with his cinematic work.


Many elements from his work have now entered the standard repertoire of cinema without being consciously or directly associated with Hitchcock, in particular the use of suspense as a means of creating tension or the use of MacGuffins as an element that drives action. In addition, there have been countless examples of thrillers or dramas since the 1940s, some by very well-known directors, in which typical motifs of Hitchcock or his style elements are deliberately copied or varied. Some of these films are to be understood as a homage of the respective director to Hitchcock, in other cases Hitchcock's style has been adopted because it has proven to be successful and effective.

United States

In particular, Hitchcock's successful films from the 1950s to the early 1960s inspired Hollywood productions in the following years, which are often associated with Hitchcock in terms of content or style.

Brian De Palma is one of the many Hollywood directors whom Alfred Hitchcock influenced more or less directly , who works with many references and quotations to Hitchcock's work. In addition, he adopted basic structures from his films in some films. In Dressed to Kill (1980) he developed the basic motif from Psycho and quotes from other Hitchcock films. In 1976, Schwarzer Engel leaned heavily on Vertigo . In 1984 de Palma plays in Death Comes twice with clear references to Das Fenster zum Hof and Vertigo .

Even if Steven Spielberg rarely copies or adapts stylistic motifs directly and only a few of his films show thematic parallels, Jaws (1975) is reminiscent of The Birds in terms of tension and dramaturgy and the Indiana Jones film series (1981–1989) is strongly reminiscent of Der Invisible Third Parties (1959). Even a film like Schindler's List (1993) would not have been possible in this form without Hitchcock's influence. The vertigo effect developed by Hitchcock's cameraman Irmin Roberts is sometimes also referred to as the “Jaws Effect”, as Spielberg was one of the first prominent directors 16 years after Vertigo to use this relatively difficult camera setting in the Great White Shark (original title: Jaws ) . This emotionally very effective camera trick has now become part of the standard repertoire of Hollywood cinema.

Other American directors who were recognizably influenced by Hitchcock or refer to his work are John Carpenter , David Fincher , David Mamet , Quentin Tarantino , Martin Scorsese , David Lynch and M. Night Shyamalan .


As early as the mid-1950s, Hitchcock was highly regarded by representatives of the Nouvelle Vague, especially in France . 1957 published the then film critics and later directors Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol the first book about him. In 1956 a special edition of the Cahiers du cinéma appeared, which contributed significantly to Hitchcock's popularity in France. When he traveled to a film festival that the Cinémathèque française held in Paris in his honor in May 1960 , he was frenetically celebrated by dozens of young filmmakers. The international edition of the Herald Tribune wrote that Hitchcock had "become the idol of the French avant-garde" this week.

In August 1962, Hitchcock gave the then thirty-year-old French film critic and director François Truffaut a fifty-hour interview. Truffaut asked Hitchcock chronologically about his forty-eight films to date. The interview appeared in 1966 as Mr. Hitchcock, how did you do that? in book form and is considered a standard work in film literature. Individual films by Truffaut clearly show Hitchcock's influence, such as The Bride Wore Black (1968) or The Secret of the False Bride (1969), the story of a man who falls for a cheater and murderer and cannot let go of her when she admits him tried to kill. The film is heavily influenced by various content and stylistic motifs from Vertigo , Marnie and Suspicion . His last film Auf Liebe und Tod (1983), in which an innocent man is accused of murder, is full of Hitchcockian motifs and allusions to his work. Other films Truffaut himself saw in the Hitchcock tradition were The Sweet Skin and Fahrenheit 451 . In 1968-69, Hitchcock cast Truffaut's preferred actress, Claude Jade , for his film Topas .

In many of Claude Chabrol's films, an apparently ideal bourgeois world is attacked and mixed up. The main Hitchcock motifs of transferring guilt as well as double or split personality appear again and again in Chabrol. Some examples are Scream If You Can (1959), The Eye of Evil (1962), The Butcher (1970), and Masks (1987). In addition to Chabrol and Truffaut, Henri-Georges Clouzot and René Clément also used the Hitchcock repertoire in France.

Rest of Europe

Outside of France, Hitchcock's direct influence on other filmmakers was significantly less in Europe. However, some European or European-born directors have made individual films that have a similar style or that are directly intended as an homage to Hitchcock, for example Ministry of Fear by Fritz Lang (1943), The Third Man by Carol Reed (1949), Witness of the Indictment by Billy Wilder (1957), Frantic by Roman Polański (1988) and Shadows of the Past by Kenneth Branagh (1991).


All films Hitchcock was involved in, in the order of their production:

  • Year: the year of the premiere, in the case of films not listed or listed later, the last year of production
  • Participation: R = director; (R) = Hitchcock only shot individual scenes as a director and is not mentioned in the credits; R (TV) = directing work for television;
    B = book (only if named; however, Hitchcock worked on almost all the scripts of his films and in many cases provided scenes or individual dialogues);
    P = production; D = actor ( extra ); TA = Treatment Advisor; TD = title designer; RA = assistant director; AD = Art Director; * = without naming
  • No .: Position in the 53 films directed by Hitchcock himself
  • World premiere: for the movies according to the Internet Movie Database , for the television films according to Donald Spoto


(Silent films; in black and white)

year country Participation No. Title (Notes) premiere
1920 to 1922 GB TD - The Great Day , The Call of Youth (shorts; both directed by Hugh Ford ); Appearances , The Princess of New York , The Bonnie Brier Bush , Tell Your Children * (all directed by Donald Crisp ); The Mystery Road , Dangerous Lies (Director: Paul Powell ); Three Live Ghosts , The Man from Home (Director: George Fitzmaurice ); Love's Boomerang , The Spanish Jade (Director: John S. Robertson ; all films from this phase are lost ) March 1921 to April 1922
* = not listed
1923 GB (R) - Always Tell Your Wife (short film; Hitchcock finished the film with the author Seymour Hicks for the fired director Hugh Croise ) February 1923
1923 GB B, RA, AD - Woman against Woman ( Woman to Woman ; Director: Graham Cutts ; lost) November 12, 1923
1923 GB B, RA, AD - The White Shadow (Director: Graham Cutts ) February 15, 1924
1924 GB B, RA, AD - Marriage at Risk ( The Passionate Adventure ; Directed by Graham Cutts ) August 14, 1924
1925 GB B, RA, AD - His Second Wife ( The Prude's Fall ; Directed by Graham Cutts ) November 23, 1925
1925 D / GB B, (R), RA, AD - The Princess and the Violinist ( The Blackguard ; Director: Graham Cutts ) September 4, 1925


(up to and including no.9 silent films, from no.10 sound films; all films in black and white)

year country Participation No. Title (Notes) premiere
1925 D / GB R. 1 The Pleasure Garden (The Pleasure Garden) November 3, 1925 (D)
March 1, 1926 (GB)
1926 D / GB R. 2 Der Bergadler ( The Mountain Eagle ; lost) May 1926 (D)
October 1926 (GB)
1927 GB R, B *, D * 3 The tenant (The Lodger) February 14, 1927
1927 GB R. 4th Downhill (downhill) October 24, 1927
1927 GB R, D * 5 Leichtlebig (Easy Virtue) (was shot before Der Weltmeister , but released afterwards) March 5, 1928
1927 GB R, B 6th The World Champion (The Ring) October 1, 1927
1928 GB R, B * 7th The Farmer's Wife March 2, 1928
1928 GB R, B 8th Champagne (champagne) August 20, 1928
1929 GB R. 9 The Manxman (The Manxman) December 6, 1929
1929 GB R, B, D * 10 Blackmail ( Blackmail ; there are two different versions of the film: a silent version, which was shown in most cinemas at the time due to a lack of technical equipment, and an audio version, which is now generally used as a reference version) June 30, 1929
1930 GB R, B 11 Juno and the Paycock June 29, 1930
1930 GB (R) - Elstree Calling (Hitchcock is one of four directors) 1930
1930 GB R, B, D * 12 Murder - Sir John intervenes! (Murder!) July 31, 1930
1930 D / GB R, B (12) Mary (German version of Murder ! , shot on the same set at the same time as German actors) March 2, 1931
1931 GB R, B 13 Up to the Knife (The Skin Game) December 26, 1931
1931 GB R, B 14th Number Seventeen ( Number Seventeen ; was filmed before We're Rich at Last , but released after) July 18, 1932
1931 GB R, B 15th Finally we're rich (Rich and Strange) December 10, 1931
1932 GB P - Lord Camber's Ladies (Director: Benn W. Levy ) October 28, 1932
1933 GB R. 16 Waltzes from Vienna March 1934
1934 GB R, D * 17th The man who knew too much (The Man Who Knew Too Much) December 9, 1934
1935 GB R, D * 18th The 39 Steps (The 39 Steps) June 6, 1935
1936 GB R. 19th Secret Agent (Secret Agent) May 1936
1936 GB R, D * 20th Sabotage (sabotage) December 2, 1936
1937 GB R, D * 21st Young and Innocent (Young and Innocent) November 1937
1938 GB R, D * 22nd A Lady Vanishes (The Lady Vanishes) November 1, 1938
1939 GB R. 23 Reef Pirates (Jamaica Inn) May 15, 1939


(all films in black and white)

year country Participation No. Title (Notes) premiere
1940 United States (R) - The House Across the Bay (Director: Archie Mayo ; Hitchcock only shot individual scenes at the request of producer Walter Wanger ) March 1, 1940
1940 United States R, D * 24 Rebecca (Rebecca) March 27, 1940
1940 United States R, D * 25th The Foreign Correspondent , also Mord (Foreign Correspondent) August 16, 1940
1941 United States R, D * 26th Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Mr. & Mrs. Smith) January 31, 1941
1941 United States P, R, D * 27 Suspicion (Suspicion) November 14, 1941
1942 United States R, B *, D * 28 Saboteurs (saboteurs) April 22, 1942
1943 United States R, D * 29 Shadow of a Doubt (Shadow of a Doubt) January 12, 1943
1943 United States B * - Forever and three days ( Forever and a Day ; Hitchcock wrote only one scene, then by René Clair was filmed) January 21, 1943
1944 GB R. - Have a good trip ( Bon Voyage ; short film that was shown in France at the time, but not in England) Late 1944
1944 GB R. - Aventure Malgache ( Aventure malgache ; short film that was never shown publicly at the time and only came into cinemas and television decades later) later
1945 GB TA - Memory of the Camps - Night Will Fall  - German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (Director: Sidney Bernstein ; Documentary about the liberation of the German concentration camps, first broadcast in 1985 as part of the US TV documentary series Frontline ) May 7, 1985
1944 United States R. 30th The lifeboat January 14, 1944
1945 United States (R) - Watchtower Over Tomorrow (15-minute documentary short; Hitchcock was one of four directors) March 29, 1945
1945 United States R, D * 31 I fight for you (Spellbound) October 31, 1945
1946 United States P, R, D * 32 Notorious , also white poison (Notorious) August 15, 1946
1947 United States R, D * 33 The Paradin case , also guilty or not guilty? (The Paradine Case) December 31, 1947

Hitchcock's only collaboration on a longer documentary film (German Concentration Camps Factual Survey) from May to July 1945 in London also fell into this phase . He later referred to this in the interview as his contribution to the war. The film was not completed.


(Films No. 36, 37, 38 and 44 in black and white, all others in color)

year country Participation No. Title (Notes) premiere
1948 United States P, R, D * 34 Cocktail for a corpse (Rope) August 23, 1948
1949 GB P, R, D * 35 Slave of the Heart (Under Capricorn) September 8, 1949
1950 GB / USA P, R, D * 36 The Red Lola ( Stage Fright ; listed as a British film in some sources due to its location in England) February 23, 1950
1951 United States P, R, D * 37 The stranger on the train , also a conspiracy in the Nordexpress (Strangers on a Train) June 30, 1951
1953 United States P, R, D * 38 I confess , also condemned to silence (I Confess) March 22, 1953
1954 United States P, R 39 Dial M for Murder (Dial M for Murder) May 29, 1954
1954 United States P, R, D * 40 The rear window 4th August 1954
1955 United States P, R, D * 41 Above the roofs of Nice (To Catch a Thief) 5th August 1955
1955 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents : Revenge (Revenge) October 2, 1955
1955 United States P, R, D * 42 The Trouble with Harry (The Trouble with Harry) 3rd October 1955
1955 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: collapse , also seemingly dead (breakdown) November 13, 1955
1955 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Double , or A Double for Mr. Pelham (The Case of Mr. Pelham) 4th December 1955
1956 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Customization (Back for Christmas) March 4th 1956
1956 United States P, R, D * 43 The man who knew too much (The Man Who Knew Too Much) April 30, 1956
1956 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Wet Saturday September 30, 1956
1956 United States P, R, D * 44 The Wrong Man (The Wrong Man) December 22, 1956
1956 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Mr. Blanchard's Secret , also The Secret Neighbor (Mr. Blanchard's Secret) December 23, 1956
1957 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Corpse in the Trunk , Also Just One More Mile to Go April 7, 1957
1957 United States R (TV) - Suspicion : The bomb in the basement , the bomb is ticking too (Four O'Clock) September 30, 1957
1957 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Perfect Crime October 20, 1957

Between 1955 and 1965, the director appeared in a total of 360 episodes of the television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (267 episodes) and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (93 episodes) in the role of host.


(Film No. 47 in black and white, all others in color)

year country Participation No. Title (Notes) premiere
1958 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Murder Weapon: Lamb to the Slaughter April 13, 1958
1958 United States P, R, D * 45 Vertigo - From the realm of the dead (Vertigo) May 9, 1958
1958 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A dip in the pond , also a risky dip (Dip in the Pool) September 14, 1958
1958 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Snake in Bed (Poison) 5th October 1958
1959 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Banquo's Chair May 3, 1959
1959 United States P, R, D * 46 The Invisible Third (North by Northwest) July 28, 1959
1959 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Meal for the Chickens (Arthur) September 27, 1959
1959 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Crystal Trench 4th October 1959
1960 United States R (TV) - Ford Startime : Incident at a Corner April 5, 1960
1960 United States P, R, D * 47 Psycho (psycho) June 16, 1960
1960 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Loyalty for Loyalty (Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat) September 27, 1960
1961 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Horseplayer January 14, 1961
1961 United States R (TV) - Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Bang! You are dead! (Bang! You're Dead) 17th October 1961
1962 United States R (TV) - The Alfred Hitchcock Hour : The Last Witness (I Saw the Whole Thing) October 11, 1962
1963 United States P, R, D * 48 The birds (The Birds) March 28, 1963
1964 United States P, R, D * 49 Marnie (Marnie) July 22, 1964


(all films in color)

year country Participation No. Title (Notes) premiere
1966 United States P, R, D * 50 The Torn Curtain July 14, 1966
1969 United States P, R, D * 51 Topaz (topaz) 17th December 1969
1972 GB P, R, D * 52 Frenzy (frenzy) June 21, 1972
1976 United States P, R, D * 53 Family grave (Family Plot) April 9, 1976

Unrealized film projects

Year / s title Remarks
1922 Number 13 ,
also Mrs. Peabody
This was to be Hitchcock's directorial debut, having previously worked on twelve films as title designer, but significant budget issues prevented filming from continuing after only a few scenes had been shot.
1933-1934 Forbidden Territory British writer Dennis Wheatley had starred on the set of many early Hitchcock films and when his novel The Forbidden Territory was published in January 1933 he gave the director a copy. Hitchcock enjoyed the book so much that he wanted to turn it into a film, but he was just about to move to Gaumont-British Studios to work for Michael Balcon. He asked Wheatley to hold on to his rights until he could persuade his new employer. When the time came, however, Balcon was not interested and instead insisted that Hitchcock stage the musical Waltzes from Vienna . Hitchcock then turned to American producer Richard Wainwright. The former head of UFA in Germany, who had recently moved to the UK, was eager to take up a promising topic for his first British film and immediately bought the rights. He asked Hitchcock to direct, but Balcon did not agree, as he wanted to start producing The Man Who Knew Too Much . Wainwright had no choice but to continue without him and put the film in the hands of German-American director Philip Rosen .
1939-1942 Greenmantle Hitchcock wanted a sequel to The 39 Steps stage, and he held the amendment Greenmantle of John Buchan for adequate and appropriate literature template. He already suggested that Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman play the leading roles, but the rights proved to be too expensive.
1939 Titanic In an interview with a British film journal shortly before leaving for Hollywood, Hitchcock announced that he hoped to make a film about the tragic accident of the RMS Titanic , as he was very interested in it. The Titanic project was dropped and instead he shot Rebecca .
1945-1949 Hamlet In the late 1940s, Hitchcock had plans to direct a modernized version of Shakespeare's story. His vision was a "psychological melodrama" with Cary Grant in the lead role. The project was scrapped when Hitchcock learned of a possible lawsuit from a professor who had already written a modern version of Hamlet.
1951-1953 The Bramble Bush The Bramble Bush would have been an adaptation of a 1948 novel by David Duncan about a disaffected communist agitator who is on the run from the police and is forced to assume the identity of a murder suspect. The story would be adapted to take place in Mexico and San Francisco. The project, which was originally planned as Transatlantic Pictures - Warner Bros. Production after Ich confess (1953) , had too high a budget. Instead, Hitchcock shot Murder on the Call (1954).

The theme of the hero assuming a dangerous new identity became the core of the script for The Invisible Third (1959). Michelangelo Antonioni's 1975 film Profession: Reporter tells a similar story but is not based on Duncan's book. The 1960 released film The Bramble Bush with Richard Burton and Barbara Rush is based on a novel by Charles Mergendahl and was unrelated to Duncan's book.

1956 Flamingo Feather This was supposed to be an adaptation of Laurens van der Post's novella about political intrigues in southern Africa. James Stewart and Grace Kelly were to star in the discovery of a concentration camp for communist agents. After a disappointing research trip to South Africa, during which Hitchcock concluded that he would have difficulty filming, Hitchcock abandoned the project and directed Stewart to film The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).
1958-1961 No bail for the judge No Bail for the Judge was to be an adaptation of a thriller novel by Henry Cecil about a London lawyer who, with the help of a gentleman thief, has to defend her father, a High Court judge , who is accused of murdering a prostitute. Audrey Hepburn was to play the lawyer, Laurence Harvey the thief, and John Williams the father of the Hepburn character. Some sources, including writing with Steven DeRosa, state that Hitchcock showed interest as early as the summer of 1954 while filming Above the Rooftops of Nice . He hoped John Michael Hayes would want to write the script. Hepburn, who was a great admirer of Hitchcock's work, had long wanted to work with him; Samuel A. Taylor ( Vertigo and Topaz ) had written the script after Ernest Lehman turned it down, but it contained a scene in which the heroine herself disguised as a prostitute and fending off a rapist who was not in the original novel. Hepburn left the film, partly because of the rape scene, but mostly because of her upcoming pregnancy. (Hepburn suffered a miscarriage while filming the Unforgivable 1960 film and did not give birth to a son until July 1960.) Hitchcock felt that the project would not have the same appeal without Hepburn.
1959 The Wreck of the Mary Deare Hitchcock was commissioned by MGM to take over the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Hammond Innes . Gary Cooper was to play the lead role because Hitchcock had always wanted to work with him. Ernest Lehman had been working on the script for a few weeks before the studio began to worry that the film was turning into a "boring judicial drama". Hitchcock was thus able to finish shooting The Invisible Third and so the film was shown in cinemas that same year. The film was made despite the difficult circumstances and was released in Germany under the name Die nicht die Tod fear . The screenplay was written by Eric Ambler and directed by Michael Anderson .
1960 The Blind Man After Psycho , Hitchcock teamed up with Ernest Lehman again to come up with an original script idea: A blind pianist, Jimmy Shearing (played by James Stewart ), regains his eyesight after receiving the eyes of a deceased person. When Shearing and his family are watching a Wild West show at Disneyland, he gets visions of being shot. He notes that the deceased was murdered and the image of the murderer is still imprinted on the retina of his eyes. Allegedly, Walt Disney didn't want Hitchcock to shoot at Disneyland. Stewart left the project, Lehman and Hitchcock fell out, and so the project was abandoned. Lehman's unfinished script was later completed as a radio play by Mark Gatiss and presented on BBC Radio 4 in 2015 .
1962 Village of Stars Hitchcock bought the rights to the 1960 novel by David Beaty (written under the pen name Paul Stanton) after The Blind Man project was canceled. The story revolves around a V-bombers of the Royal Air Force , which has been ordered to drop an atomic bomb. It is not known why the project failed.
1963 Trap for a Solitary Man Trap for a Solitary Man was to be staged by Hitchcock in widescreen format for 20th Century Fox . The story is based on the French-language piece Piege Pour un Homme Seul by M. Robert Thomas and revolves around a young couple on vacation in the Alps. The woman disappears and after a long search the police find a person who claims to be the man's wife. The man, however, is certain that he has never seen her. The play was later adapted as a television film three times: Honeymoon With a Stranger ( ABC , 1969), One of My Wives Is Missing (ABC, 1976) and Vanishing Act ( CBS , 1986)
1964 Mary Rose Hitchcock had long wanted JM Barrie's play Mary Rose to be made into a film. After working on Marnie in 1964, Hitchcock asked Jay Presson Allen to write the script. Hitchcock later said in interviews that his contract with Universal allowed him to make any film as long as it cost less than $ 3 million and it wasn't Mary Rose . Whether or not this was actually the case, Lew Wasserman was not enthusiastic about the project. However, Hitchcock never gave up hope of filming the play one day and when he traveled to Scotland in August 1971, the desire to make a film of Mary Rose arose again. He looked for studios in Scotland that were ready, but again nothing came of it.
1964 The Three Hostages In 1964, Hitchcock read another Richard Hannay novel by John Buchan, The Three Hostages , in which he was very interested. As with Greenmantle a quarter of a century ago, rights were hard to come by. The story, set in the 1930s, revolves around a villain whose blind mother hypnotizes the hero. In interviews, Hitchcock later said that he believed that the portrayal of hypnosis in the film did not work and that he believed that films that attempted this portrayal turned out badly. In 1977 the BBC aired an 85-minute adaptation of The Three Hostages , directed by Clive Donner .
1964-1967 Frenzy
(aka Kaleidoscope)
Although Hitchcock made a film called Frenzy in 1972 , the title of that film and some plot points came from an idea Hitchcock had a few years earlier for a prequel to In the Shadow of Doubt . Hitchcock turned to many screenwriters, including Samuel A. Taylor , Alec Coppel, and Robert Bloch , but ended up hiring an old friend, Benn Levy, to flesh out his sketchy idea.

The story (inspired by the English serial killers Neville Heath and John Haigh ) would have centered on a young, handsome bodybuilder who lures young women to their deaths. The New York police set a trap for him and a policewoman poses as a potential victim. Hitchcock showed his script to his friend François Truffaut . Although Truffaut admired the script, he criticized that, unlike Psycho , the murderer was the main character and had all the eyes of the audience on him. Universal eventually vetoed the film.

1965 RRRR Hitchcock turned to Italian comedy-thriller writers Agenore Incrocci and Furio Scarpelli , who worked hard on Thiefs, to write a screenplay for an original idea that Hitchcock had on his mind since the late 1930s. The story illuminates the life of an Italian immigrant who runs a hotel in New York City but is unaware that his family is using the hotel as cover for crimes, including stealing a valuable coin that belonged to a hotel guest. The Italian screenwriters struggled with the story and Universal Pictures was not enthusiastic about the idea and persuaded Hitchcock to move on to another topic.
1976-1979 The short night Hitchcock's last unfinished project was The Short Night , an adaptation of the Ronald Kirkbride spy thriller of the same name. A British double agent (loosely based on George Blake ) escapes prison and flees via Finland to Moscow, where his wife and children are waiting. An American agent - whose brother was one of the traitor's victims - travels to Finland to intercept him, but falls in love with the woman. It was Hitchcock's third attempt - after The Torn Curtain and Topaz - to produce a "realistic Bond film". Clint Eastwood and Sean Connery were possible male leads, Liv Ullmann and Catherine Deneuve as the double agent's wife. Walter Matthau was considered for the villain role and Ed Lauter as one of Matthau's prison colleagues.

As a screenwriter, James Costigan was the first favorite, but he quarreled with Hitchcock. As a result, Ernest Lehman would work on the script, who in turn believed that the story should focus more on the American spy. Because of these and other differences, Lehman also left the project. Hitchcock then resolved to do the writing of the script himself and asked his old friend Norman Lloyd to help him. Lloyd was concerned about Hitchcock's health, which is why he advised the director against the project. So Hitchcock was still looking for a scriptwriter and Universal suggested David Freeman. Freeman agreed and so the two wrote the script together. Hitchcock's health deteriorated and by the summer of 1979 he had difficulty walking without a stick, forcing Universal to stop the project.


Alfred Hitchcock's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Films in the top 250 of the IMDb 2012 and 2020
Place 2012 Place 2020 Movie
28 51 The window to the courtyard
30th 40 Psycho
40 100 the invisible third
49 91 Vertigo - From the realm of the dead
124 231 Rebecca
136 - The stranger on the train
151 - Notorious
174 153 Murder on call
205 - Cocktail for a corpse
229 - In the shadow of doubt

Hitchcock was nominated six times for an Oscar : five times for Best Director , once for Best Picture (as a producer). All six times he came away empty-handed, which led him to comment: "Always only the bridesmaid, never the bride". Nevertheless, he did not go without an Oscar, because in 1968 he won the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award as a special Oscar for particularly creative film producers. In addition, Rebecca was awarded the Oscar for best film in 1941, which was not accepted by Hitchcock but by producer David O. Selznick .

He was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . One in the Film category can be found at 6506 Hollywood Blvd., the other in the Television category at 7013 Hollywood Blvd.

Biographical feature films about Hitchcock

  • The Girl (TV feature film, 2012)

Director: Julian Jarrold ; Cast: Toby Jones (Alfred Hitchcock), Sienna Miller ( Tippi Hedren ), Imelda Staunton ( Alma Reville Hitchcock ), Conrad Kemp ( Evan Hunter ), Penelope Wilton ( Peggy Robertson )

Director: Sacha Gervasi ; Cast: Anthony Hopkins (Alfred Hitchcock), Helen Mirren ( Alma Reville Hitchcock ), Scarlett Johansson ( Janet Leigh ), Danny Huston ( Whitfield Cook ), Toni Collette ( Peggy Robertson ), Michael Stuhlbarg ( Lew Wasserman ), Michael Wincott ( Ed Gein ), Jessica Biel ( Vera Miles ), James D'Arcy ( Anthony Perkins )




  • Laurent Bouzereau: Alfred Hitchcock. Knesebeck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-86873-250-4 (with a foreword by Patricia Hitchcock O'Connell and previously unpublished images and removable facsimiles of storyboards and handwritten notes).
  • Charlotte Chandler: It's Only a Movie: Alfred Hitchcock - A Personal Biography. Simon & Schuster, New York 2005, ISBN 0-7432-3970-9 .
  • Thomas Koebner : Alfred Hitchcock. In the S. (Ed.): Film directors. Biographies, work description, filmographies. 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2008 [1. Ed. 1999], ISBN 978-3-15-010662-4 , pp. 324-331.
  • Patrick McGilligan: Alfred Hitchcock. A Life in Darkness and Light. Wiley, Chichester 2003, ISBN 0-470-86972-0 .
  • Enno Patalas : Hitchcock. dtv, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-423-31020-0 .
  • Donald Spoto: Alfred Hitchcock - The dark side of genius. Translated into German by Bodo Fründt. Heyne, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-453-55146-X .
  • John Russel Taylor: The Hitchcock Biography. Fischer Cinema, Frankfurt am Main 1982, ISBN 3-596-23680-0 .
  • Thilo Wydra : Alfred Hitchcock. Life - work - effect. Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-518-18243-7 .

Factory shows

Sorted in the chronological order of the respective original edition.

Web links

Commons : Alfred Hitchcock  - Collection of Images


The main sources are the two biographies of Taylor and Spoto and the books by Truffaut and Krohn.

  1. Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock biography / curriculum vitae ( memento from January 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (accessed on September 15, 2009)
  2. the biographical data are usually taken from the biographies of Spoto and Taylor
  3. According to Spoto (there p. 34) St. Ignatius was never a boarding school, as other sources often claim
  4. on the traces provoked in this regard in the director's work cf. Henry Keazor (Ed.): Hitchcock and the Arts . Marburg: Schüren 2013, here in particular the introduction, pp. 9–32
  5. Cf. u. a. Taylor , pp. 57f
  8. He himself later described The Tenant as his actually "first film" Cf. Duncan , p. 28
  9. See Spoto, p. 113ff.
  10. See Spoto , p. 120
  11. Cf. u. a. Duncan , p. 45
  12. Different language versions were common in the early sound films.
  13. See Duncan , p. 57
  14. See Taylor , p. 54
  15. See Spoto , p. 342
  16. See Spoto , p. 369
  17. See Spoto , p. 374
  18. See Truffaut (1966) , p. 196ff
  19. See Spoto , pp. 461-471.
  20. See Spoto , p. 489ff.
  21. See Taylor , p. 310.
  22. See Spoto , p. 559.
  23. Now, we come to Marnie. Excerpt from Truffaut's interview with Hitchcock, 1964
  24. Hans-C. Blumenberg: Hitchcock Archipelago. Zeitonline, August 10, 1979 , accessed August 3, 2019
  25. See Taylor , pp. 323f.
  26. See Spoto , pp. 579f.
  27. Hitchcock in September 1969, see Spoto , p. 589.
  28. See Spoto , p. 597.
  29. See Spoto , pp. 598ff.
  30. See Donald Spoto: The Art of Alfred Hitchcock. Fifty Years of Motion Pictures . New York, London etc .: Doubleday 1992; Pp. 393-428.
  31. Éric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol, Hitchcock . Paris 1957; cited in Truffaut, 1966, German 1973, p. 14
  32. See Truffaut (1966), p. 308.
  33. See Truffaut (1966), p. 238.
  34. In Psycho , in which the mother takes possession of her son after her death and murders “rivals”. In Birds , the mother is unable to let go of her adult son. Hitchcock himself said, "She had her son replace her husband." See Spoto , p. 528.
  35. Significantly, Hitchcock's first film Maze of Passion begins with a staircase scene, and his last film Family Grave ends with one.
  36. Hitchcock explained the use of this symbolism: “From a psychological point of view, of course, the handcuffs have a deeper meaning. Somehow it has something to do with fetishism and also has sexual undertones. When I was visiting the Crime Museum in Paris, I noticed that sexual abnormalities were very often linked to bondage. "See Spoto , p. 117.
  37. See Spoto , pp. 506f.
  38. In suspicion is Grant, wanting to kill her an impostor and seducer who will indebted to his ears, his wife lied and suspected by her. In Infamous , as a secret service employee , he expects the woman with whom he has a love affair that she sleeps with another man out of a sense of civic duty. When she does this and even marries the other, he overlooks in his jealousy for a long time that she is about to be poisoned.
  39. The blonde appears primarily in Hitchcock's most famous and successful films of the 1950s and 1960s, played by Grace Kelly , Eva Marie Saint , Kim Novak , Janet Leigh and Tippi Hedren . In previous films, Anny Ondra , Madeleine Carroll , Joan Fontaine, and especially Ingrid Bergman stood for this type, and even in his very early films, blonde leading women appeared.
  40. See Truffaut (1966) , p. 187
  41. Corey K. Creekmur, Alexander Doty: Out in Culture: Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Essays on Popular Culture. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1995, p. 249; Shohini Chaudhuri: Feminist Film Theorists: Laura Mulvey , Kaja Silverman , Teresa de Lauretis , Barbara Creed. Taylor & Francis, 2006, p. 73.
  42. a b See Truffaut (1966) , p. 91
  43. See Truffaut (1966) , p. 250.
  44. See Truffaut (1966) , p. 89.
  45. See Truffaut (1966) , p. 62.
  46. See Spoto , p. 470.
  47. See Spoto , p. 487.
  48. Compared to Truffaut, he described this as "idiotic" and a "forgivable attempt"; he saw, however, as a far greater mistake, namely as an “unforgivable error”, that a year later he repeated the same method in Slave of the Heart and shot up to seven minutes long uncut shots for which there was no need. See Truffaut (1966) , pp. 174, 178.
  49. See Spoto , p. 410.
  50. See Spoto , p. 530.
  51. See Spoto , p. 299.
  52. See Truffaut (1966) , p. 289.
  53. See Spoto , p. 90.
  54. See Spoto , pp. 88, 443.
  55. There are over a dozen films with such settings. The "silent scream" by Lydia Brenner (Jessica Tandy) in The Birds is very impressive . See also Duncan , p. 53.
  56. See Foster Hirsch, The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir . Da Capo Press, Boston 2008, unpaginated ( excerpt ).
  57. See Spoto , p. 182.
  58. See Truffaut (1966) , p. 220.
  59. Donald Spoto: Alfred Hitchcock - The dark side of genius , p. 586.
  60. Cf. u. a. Spoto , pp. 439, 447f.
  64. See Spoto , pp. 530ff.
  65. In the film No Bail for the Judge , which he wanted to direct with Audrey Hepburn in 1960, in a film called Frenzy about a psychopathic female murderer that he wanted to direct in 1966 (and which has nothing to do with the 1972 film of the same name) and in his last project The Short Night , which he pursued from 1978 and was no longer able to finish.
  66. See Spoto , p. 389.
  67. See Spoto , p. 26ff.
  68. See Spoto , pp. 301ff.
  69. See Spoto , pp. 455, 503.
  70. See Spoto , pp. 334, 611.
  71. See Krohn , p. 91f.
  72. See Krohn , p. 42ff.
  73. See Krohn , p. 215ff. Hitchcock himself called it the "most impertinent final setting I've ever made": p. Truffaut (1966) , p. 137.
  74. See Spoto , p. 571
  75. Taylor on the collaboration at Vertigo , see Spoto , p. 459.
  76. See Truffaut (1966), p. 281
  77. see Spoto, 1984, pp. 596f
  78. See Truffaut (1966), pp. 281ff
  79. One example is the dialogue in the three-minute "kissing scene" between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious , which connects the individual kisses.
  80. See Spoto , pp. 308f, 596
  81. John Michael Hayes on the collaboration on Das Fenster zum Hof in Spoto , p. 407
  82. So it happened with Evan Hunter, Ernest Lehman or Anthony Shaffer - three authors with whom Hitchcock had previously worked successfully. See Spoto , pp. 550, 614f and 632
  83. See Spoto , pp. 487f
  84. He also maintained good contacts with Tallulah Bankhead , Ingrid Bergman , Anny Ondra and Carole Lombard .
  85. So Joseph Cotten was allowed to choose his own wardrobe for Im Schatten des Zweifels , while Marlene Dietrich in Die Rote Lola was even allowed to give the cameraman and the lighting technician instructions on how best to illuminate and record it. See Spoto , p. 371
  86. Cf. u. a. Truffaut (1966) , pp. 95f, 135, 186, 293.
  87. See Duncan , p. 10
  88. See Spoto , p. 382
  89. Sound samples and extensive information on the collaboration between Hitchcock and Herrmann can be found in the article Hitchcock's court composer: Bernard Herrmann (
  90. See Duncan , p. 9
  91. See picture ( Memento from June 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  92. See Spoto , pp. 156, 368, 500
  93. Cf. u. a. Harris / Lasky, p. 256
  94. According to Hitchcock's statement in a later interview, the first idea was to let him drift past the lifeboat as a corpse, but this was rejected because Hitchcock said he was too afraid of drowning.
  95. ^ Suspicion (1941) - Hitchcock's cameo - The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki. Retrieved September 6, 2019 .
  96. Hitchcock received $ 129,000 per episode and all re-use rights after the first broadcast - an unprecedented contract at the time. Cf. u. a. Spoto , p. 434ff
  97. See Spoto , pp. 437ff, 577; Taylor , pp. 269ff
  98. See .
  99. See Duncan , p. 46.
  100. Hitchcock enjoyed this recognition, although he did not fully understand the extent of the enthusiasm - he never saw himself as an auteur filmmaker. Joseph Stefano, with whom Hitchcock was working at the time, later said, “[Hitchcock] loved the attention and the fuss and the fame, and if he didn't understand why the fuss was being made then he was under no obligation to do it to fathom. It was good for business and it was good for ego. ”See Spoto , p. 516
  101. cf. de Baecque / Toubiana, p. 374
  102. Further examples: The spiral staircase by Robert Siodmak (1945), It happened in broad daylight by Ladislao Vajda (1958) and Do You Like Hitchcock? by Dario Argento (2005)
  103. After this film was considered lost for a long time, three of the six film roles were rediscovered in New Zealand in 2011 (see Spiegel-Online from August 3, 2011: Archivists discover early Hitchcock film ).
  104. ^ [1] from the Dennis Wheatley Project
  105. a b [2] from Ordinary Least Square
  106. [3] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  107. [4] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  108. [5] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  109. [6] from Sensesofcinema
  110. [7] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  111. [8] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  112. Patrick McGilligan, Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), pp. 543, 548-549
  113. [9] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  114. [10] from goodreads
  115. ^ Chris Gore, The 50 Greatest Movies Never Made (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), 36
  116. [11] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  117. ^ Donald Spoto, The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (Boston: Little, Brown, 1983 ISBN 0-316-80723-0 ), page 445
  118. Sidney Gottlieb, "Unknown Hitchcock: the Unrealized Projects;" featured in Hitchcock: Past and Future (London: Routledge, 2004 ISBN 0-415-27525-3 ), 92
  119. [12] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  120. ^ François Truffaut Hitchcock Revisited (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985)
  121. [13] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  122. ^ The Three Hostages (1977) ( en ) Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  123. Frenzy from
  124. ^ Nicholas Barber: Why Hitchcock's Kaleidoscope was too shocking to be made ( en ) BBC. June 21, 2018. Accessed June 23, 2018.
  125. ^ The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock by Donald Spoto (1983, ISBN 0-316-80723-0 ; 1999 paperback reprint, ISBN 0-306-80932-X ).
  126. [14] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  127. [15] from The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki
  128. The Top 250 of the IMDb (user rating). ( Memento from July 19, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). In: IMDb , as of September 25, 2012.
  129. The Top 250 of the IMDb (user rating). ( Memento from July 15, 2018 in the Internet Archive ). In: IMDb , as of July 6, 2020.
  130. See Spoto , p. 522.
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 29, 2007 .