Alfred Hitchcock

Sidney Gottlieb

in Cinema and Media Studies

ISBN: 9780199791286
Published online October 2011 | | DOI:
Alfred Hitchcock

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Alfred Hitchcock (b. 1899–d. 1980) is unquestionably one of the most well-known and important filmmakers to date. His career spanned the silent and sound eras, and although he was known primarily as a maker of suspenseful thrillers, his works also include distinctive elements of comedy, romance, melodrama, documentary, and expressionism, and reflect his lifelong interest in experimental and avant-garde filmmaking. He made over fifty feature films and hosted the long-running television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962), expanded to the Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962–65). The series established him as a household name and an instantly recognizable figure: droll and macabre, menacing yet enchanting. He also directed twenty films for television. He was and remains one of the most influential of all filmmakers. To name only a few individual examples, The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), and North by Northwest (1959) are often-imitated spy thrillers mixing intrigue and romance; Vertigo (1958) is a model study of obsessive love and deception; and Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963) have left a lasting imprint on contemporary horror films. More generally, Hitchcock is widely considered to be the archetypal auteur, popular at the box office, critically successful, and in many ways a filmmaker’s filmmaker, a model of how one could be dedicated to what he called “pure cinema,” even while working in a studio system primarily geared toward profit and entertainment.

Article.  15399 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies ; Film ; Radio ; Television

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