[WORLDKINGS] Journey to seek extraordinary record holders around the world (P.11) - Alfred Hitchcock: The master of suspense, one of the most influential and extensively studied filmmakers in the history of cinema.

05-08-2020

(WorldKings.org) Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was nicknamed the "Master of Suspense" for employing a kind of psychological suspense in his films, producing a distinct viewer experience.

Famous director and filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock worked for a short time in engineering before entering the film industry in 1920. He left for Hollywood in 1939, where his first American film, Rebecca, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Hitchcock created more than 50 films, including the classics Rear Window, The 39 Steps and Psycho. Nicknamed the "Master of Suspense," Hitchcock received the AFI's Life Achievement Award in 1979. He died in 1980.

Hitchcock attended the Jesuit school St. Ignatius College before going on to attend the University of London, taking art courses. He eventually obtained a job as a draftsman and advertising designer for the cable company Henley's. It was while working at Henley's that he began to write, submitting short articles for the in-house publication. From his very first piece, he employed themes of false accusations, conflicted emotions and twist endings with impressive skill. In 1920, Hitchcock entered the film industry with a full-time position at the Famous Players-Lasky Company designing title cards for silent films. Within a few years, he was working as an assistant director.

In 1939, Hitchcock left England for Hollywood. The first film he made in the United States, Rebecca (1940), won an Academy Award for best picture.

Some of his most famous films include Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964). His works became renowned for their depictions of violence, although many of his plots merely function as decoys meant to serve as a tool for understanding complex psychological characters.

A scene in the movie "The birds"

His cameo appearances in his own films, as well as his interviews, film trailers and the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1965), made him a cultural icon.

Hitchcock has been called by some the greatest of all directors, the most adroit, and the most admired, and the case has been made that he was all of these. His many classics are widely acknowledged—including The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Rebecca, Shadow of a Doubt, Notorious, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds—and in these films Hitchcock’s genius as both filmmaker and storyteller is abundantly evident.

Hitchcock’s films usually centre on either murder or espionage, with deception, mistaken identities, and chase sequences complicating and enlivening the plots. Wry touches of humour and occasional intrusions of the macabre complete this mixture of cinematic elements. Three main themes predominate in Hitchcock’s films. The most common is that of the innocent man who is mistakenly suspected or accused of a crime and who must then track down the real perpetrator in order to clear himself (e.g., The Lodger and North by Northwest).

Roger Thornhill (main character) played by actor Cary Grant is being chased down by a helicopter in "North by Northwest"

The second theme is that of the guilty woman who enmeshes a male protagonist and ends up either destroying him or being saved by him (e.g., Vertigo and Marnie).

The third theme is that of the (frequently psychopathic) murderer whose identity is established during the working out of the plot (e.g., Shadow of a Doubt and Psycho).

Norman Bates in "Psycho", played by actor Anthony Perkins

Hitchcock’s greatest gift was his mastery of the technical means to build and maintain suspense. To this end he used innovative camera viewpoints and movements, elaborate editing techniques, and effective soundtrack music, often supplied in his best films by Bernard Herrmann.

According to britannica.com and biography.com


Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings)

 

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