Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock, Sir Alfred

Sir Alfred Hitchcock, 1899–1980, English-American film director, writer, and producer, b. London. Hitchcock began his career as a director in 1925 and became prominent with The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938). In 1940 he began working in the United States. In his suspense thrillers, Hitchcock unsettled audiences both through the use of intense set pieces and the suggestion that normality as usually defined masks humanity's true and much darker nature. Hitchcock's style is so distinctive that any filmmaker working in the suspense genre invariably risks comparison to him. His best films include Strangers on a Train (1951), in which a tennis player is invited by a fellow rail passenger to trade murders; Rear Window (1954), a thriller about voyeurism; Vertigo (1958), an obsessive romance in which a woman uncannily resembles the dead beloved; North by Northwest (1959), in which a advertising executive is chased across the United States by foreign agents as a result of a mistaken identity; and Psycho (1960), a work that has had enormous influence on film and cultural history in which a mother-obsessed transvestite murders a beautiful thief. His other films include Rebecca (1940), Notorious (1946), The Birds (1963), Frenzy (1972), and Family Plot (1977). Hitchcock had two successful television series (1955–62 and 1963–65) and was one of the best known directors of his time, often appearing in humorous cameo appearances in his own films. He was knighted in 1980.

See F. Truffaut, Hitchcock (rev. ed. 1985); biographies by J. R. Taylor (1978) and D. Spoto (1983); studies by R. Durgnat (1974), D. Spoto (1976, repr. 1992), P. Conrad (2001), and D. Thomson (2009).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Alfred Hitchcock: Selected full-text books and articles

Alfred Hitchcock: Filming Our Fears
Gene Adair.
Oxford University Press, 2002
Hitchcock: Past and Future
Richard Allen; Sam Ishii-Gonzáles.
Routledge, 2004
Hitchcock's Films Revisited
Robin Wood.
Columbia University Press, 1989
An Eye for Hitchcock
Murray Pomerance.
Rutgers University Press, 2004
After Hitchcock: Influence, Imitation, and Intertextuality
David Boyd; R. Barton Palmer.
University of Texas Press, 2006
Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics
David Baggett; William A. Drumin.
Open Court, 2007
Encounters with Filmmakers: Eight Career Studies
Jon Tuska.
Greenwood Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: "Alfred Hitchcock" begins on p. 65
Hitchcock's Terrible Mothers
Dick, Bernard F.
Literature/Film Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 4, January 1, 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Hitchcock and the Censors
Leff, Leonard J.
The World and I, Vol. 14, No. 8, August 1999
Hitchcock's Rear Window: The Well-Made Film
John Fawell.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2001
Torturing Women and Mocking Men: Hitchcock's Rear Window
Fawell, John.
The Midwest Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 1, Autumn 2002
You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet: The American Talking Film: History & Memory, 1927-1949
Andrew Sarris.
Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980)" begins on p. 235
The Men Who Knew Too Much: Henry James and Alfred Hitchcock
Susan M. Griffin; Alan Nadel.
Oxford University Press, 2012
Noir, Now and Then: Film Noir Originals and Remakes, (1944-1999)
Ronald Schwartz.
Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Alfred Hitchcock in multiple chapters
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