Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock remains one of the greatest directors of all time delivering movies that will live forever.

This week sees Hitchcock hit the big screen; a movie that looks at the relationship between the director and his wife Alama Reville during the making of Psycho.

Hitchcock enjoyed a career that spanned over fifty years and saw him put his stamp on the psychological thriller genre - making some quality movies along the way.

But his directing career did not get off to the best of starts as projects such as Number 13 were lost while The Pleasure Garden struggled critically and commercially.

However in 1927 his luck changed as The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog was a hit both with the critics and at the box office.

The movie was based on a story by Marie Belloc Lowndes and a play called Who Is He? and starred Marie Ault and Arthur Chesney.

He went on to make Downhill and Easy Virtue but it was Blackmail that was considered a landmark movie as it was one of the early talkies.

By the mid to late thirties Hitchcock was a real force in British cinema with The Man Who Knew Too Much and The 30 Steps regarded as some of his best work from the early part of his career.

There have been four major film versions of The 30 Steps over the years but this is the most acclaimed as Robert Donay and Madeleine Carroll stared in the adaptation of the book by John Buchan.

In 1940 Hitchcock made the movie to Hollywood and his first U.S. project was another adaptation in the form of Rebecca.

The film saw Hitchcock under contract with David O. Selnick while Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan had penned the screenplay.

The movie was based on the Daphne du Maurier of the same name and saw Joan Fontaine and Laurence Oliver lead the cast list.

Rebecca saw Hitchcock bring his psychological thriller style to an American audience and the film was a terrific success.

It went on to nominated for eleven Oscars - winning two including Best Picture.

Hitchcock followed Rebecca with Foreign Correspondent and bagged another Best Picture Oscar nomination.

Throughout the forties Hitchcock continued to make movies such as Notorious, Lifeboat and Rope but it wasn't until the fifties when he was at the peak of his powers as a director.

Throughout this decade he made some of his most famous films including Strangers On A Train and Dial M For Murder.

By the time he released Rear Window in 1954 he had moved to Paramount Pictures and the film was a huge success.

Hitchcock kept his characters in tight surroundings and used close up of the actors to great effect.

Rear Window is widely recognised as one of Hitchcock's greatest films and he was nominated for Best Director at the Oscars for his work.

Vertigo is widely regarded as a movie classic but when it was released back in 1958 it was met with negative reviews and did poorly at the box office.

The film was based on D'entre les morts by Boileau-Narcejac and saw the director teak up with James Stewart.

Despite the poor reception when it was released the movie has gone on to become one of the greatest and most influential of Hitchcock's film.

But there was no movie that had a greater impact on horror cinema that Psycho - which was released in 1960.

Not only does it contain one of the most iconic horror scenes of all time but it also changed forever the way that movies were made.

Yes Hitchcock showed that you don't need your leading lady from beginning to end as he killed her off in the first act.

This was truly shocking for audiences back in the sixties as the character of Marion was played by one of Hollywood's biggest stars, Janet Leigh. Of course today killing of big names early in movie is something or a regularity.

The shower scene is widely regarded as one of the most terrifying horror scenes in movie history as Hitchcock wasn't afraid to show the violence.

He used never before seen editing techniques as well as a rousing score to really deliver a chilling three minutes of cinema.

Psycho is widely regarded as one of the best and most influential horror movies of all time and is Hitchcock's most famous work.

Hitchcock continued making movies until 1976 - Family Plot being his final film.

Alfred Hitchcock had a long and illustrious career and he had a huge impact on generations of filmmakers that followed.

Hitchcock is released 8th February.

Click here to buy Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection - Collectors Edition (14 Discs) on DVD

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