Alfred Joseph Hitchcock
August 13, 1899 - April 29, 1980
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was an English film director, producer, and screenwriter. He is one of the most influential and widely studied filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as the "Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well-known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–65). His films garnered 46 Academy Award nominations including six wins, although he never won for Best Director despite having had five nominations. In 1955, Hitchcock became an American citizen.
made his directorial debut with the British-German silent film The Pleasure Garden (1925). His first successful film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), helped to shape the thriller genre, while his 1929 film, Blackmail, was the first British "talkie". Two of his 1930s thrillers, The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938), are ranked among the greatest British films of the 20th century. By 1939, Hitchcock was a filmmaker of international importance.
The "Hitchcockian" style includes the use of camera movement to mimic a person's gaze, thereby turning viewers into voyeurs, and framing shots to maximise anxiety and fear. Hitchcock made multiple films with some of the biggest stars of Hollywood, including four with Cary Grant in the 1940s and 50s, three with Ingrid Bergman in the last half of the 1940s, four with James Stewart over a ten-year span commencing in 1948, and three with Grace Kelly in the mid-1950s. Between 1954 and 1960, Hitchcock directed four films often ranked among the greatest of all time: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960), the first and last of these garnering him Best Director nominations. In 2012, his psychological thriller Vertigo, starring Stewart, displaced Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941) as the British Film Institute's greatest film ever made based on its world-wide poll of hundreds of film critics.
Between 1954 and 1960, Hitchcock directed four films often ranked among the best of all time: “Rear Window” (1954), “Vertigo” (1958), “North by Northwest” (1959) and “Psycho” (1960), the first and last of them won "Best Director" nominations.
In 2012, his psychological thriller “Vertigo,” starring Stewart, replaced Orson Welles's “Citizen Kane” (1941) as the greatest British Film Institute film ever made, based on a worldwide survey of hundreds of film critics.