Alfred Hitchcock: Filming Our Fears

Alfred Hitchcock: Filming Our Fears

Alfred Hitchcock: Filming Our Fears

Alfred Hitchcock: Filming Our Fears

Synopsis

Alfred Hitchcock is a fascinating look at the life of one of the most influential filmmakers in the world -- a man known for his portly profile and distinct, leery voice almost as much as for his groundbreaking movies. From Hitchcock's first film, Blackmail -- the first British movie with sound -- to his blockbuster Hollywood successes, Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, and Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock chronicles the Master of Suspense's close working relationship with his wife, Alma, who was an integral part of his filmmaking process, and the struggle to gain full artistic control over his work. With illustrations throughout and sidebars showcasing Hitchcocks techniques and directing style, Alfred Hitchcock reveals how some of the greatest films ever created came to be through the life and work of one of the most admired filmmakers ever.

Excerpt

It is a warm evening in the late spring of 1960. Film fans across America flock into theaters and settle into their seats, munching popcorn as they wait for the lights to dim. In each of these movie houses the ritual is the same. The main feature does not begin right away. Instead, an assortment of [trailers]—short promotional films touting the theater's [coming attractions]—fill the screen. These trailers consist mostly of brief snippets from whatever movie is being advertised. The bits of action and dialogue are usually combined with some breathless narration from an unseen announcer, while an array of boldly lettered phrases appear over the images, emphasizing adjectives like [exciting,] [romantic,] or [spectacular.]

On this particular evening, however, one trailer stands out as different from the others. Filmed in black and white, it begins with a wide view of a small, drab motel. A portly man, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie, stands in front of the building. Words are superimposed: [The fabulous Mr. Alfred Hitchcock is about to escort you on a tour of the location of his new motion picture, 'PSYCHO.'] But even without this information, the audience would have no trouble recognizing Hitchcock. His round frame, balding head, and distinctive British-accented drawl are instantly familiar from the television mystery series that he hosts every week on the CBS network. Besides, he has long enjoyed a reputation as the movies' [Master of Suspense]— the director of many elegantly crafted thrillers dating back to the 1920s.

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