Biography of Alfred Hitchcock | Undisputed figure of the cinema of mystery and intrigue.

The master of suspense enriched the language of film with his great contributions and bequeathed an extraordinary and influential filmography.
Undisputed figure of the cinema of mystery and intrigue, the capacity of filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock to apply innovative narrative resources at the service of the thriller had a fundamental importance for the development of the modern film language. With an exceptional mastery of cinematic techniques, he produced films keep the viewer in a constant state of tension until the end of the projection and that lead him to live passionately as told on the screen. The Wizard of suspense knew join frames of solid with images of exceptional expressive force, reconciled the quality with commercial success and gave one of the most brilliant and influential history filmographies: their mark would be perceived in numerous imitations and the work of filmmakers as different as French François Truffaut or Americans Brian de Palma and David Lynch.
Alfred Hitchcock was born on 13 August 1899 in Leytonstone, a town so near the foggy London of Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper and Scotland Yard, and that today is a district of the East End of the British capital. His parents, William Hitchcock and Intertec components Jane Emma, owners of a grocery business, already had two sons, William (1890) and Ellen Kathleen (1892), and enjoyed a certain economic stability, but also lived in an overly loose way.

Alfred Hitchcock
The figure of his father intervened in a very special way in the formation of the character and the personality of the boy. When I was four or five years old, his father sent him to the police station with a letter. The Commissioner read it and locked him in a cell for a few minutes, saying: "This is what is done with the bad children." Never understood the reason for this sinister joke, because his father called it his "sheep without blemish", and lived a disciplined child, although somewhat eccentric, solitary, always peering from his corner, with wide open eyes, everything what had happened to her around.
For Hitchcock, his father was the typical merchant of the East End, who had the order, discipline and austerity on the top of its scale of values to face life. Thus, authoritarianism and moral rigidity presided over the education of the young Alfred. From here starts the interest of the director for the issue of guilt, omnipresent in all his films and common schema of the deep plot of his stories, usually as an allegory about sin and redemption. Hitchcock rarely talk about his mother, and, however, most tried to always keep it on your side.
The impact of Catholicism in his personality increased during their school years, since their first school was the Conventual House Howrah, in Poplar. The family had moved is in 1906 to this other population from Leytonstone to open a new store. After two years, Alfred left the convent House because they again moved, this time to Stepney. There the boy entered the Colegio de San Ignacio, founded by the Jesuits in 1894 and especially known for his discipline, his rigor and his strict Catholic sense.
This Jesuit center left a deep mark on Hitchcock by the way were treated there guilt and forgiveness. The same Hitchcock would explain it later: "the method of punishment, of course, was highly dramatic. The Ward had to decide when you call the punishment that is imposed. You should refer to the special room where was the cure or the lay brother in charge of administering it. Something like go to your performance. I think it was a bad thing. They did not use the same type of belt that whipped the boys at other schools. It was a rubber strap. This practice emphasized the fear of the small Alfred to the forbidden and perhaps discovered him the most exciting seasonings of suspense, that murky sadomasochistic confusion blooming before the imminent and fatal.
Until the age of fourteen he stayed in school. In its first year it stood out for its application and was awarded one of the six honorable mentions the address of the center attached. She got the qualification of excellent in latin, French, English and religious formation: the subjects which, according to the criterion of their teachers, were of greater importance.
However, the last year in San Ignacio is uncovered side naughty, Joker and transgressive of the young Alfred, or better, of the young Cocky, in accordance with the nickname with which classmates knew him. He devoted himself to steal eggs from the henhouse of the Jesuits to throw them against the windows of the rooms of the priests; or, helped by cronies, it maniataba some of their classmates and lit firecrackers placed in their rear. Also this aspect, ironic and by other cross-country, violating the law and even gamberra, would then appear as one of the typical features of his filmography. It was a fun and indirect way to overcome guilt, always on the lookout complex unconsciously.

Hitchcock in a promotional image of the birds
Hitchcock remembered those years with bitterness and, at the same time, as a major influence on his work: 'if they have been educated at the Jesuits as I was, these elements are important. I felt terrorized by the police, by the Jesuit fathers, by physical punishment, by a lot of things. These are the roots of my work.» It is easy to relate these years lived in the Colegio de San Ignacio in the interest of Hitchcock by the macabre and criminal. Those years date also from the visits of the young to the black Museum of Scotland Yard to contemplate his criminal relics collection, and to the Court of Assize in London, where he attended trials for murder and taking notes by the way of Dickens, one of its writers preferred at that time, along with Walter Scott and Shakespeare.
In 1913, he left school and tried to guide their professional future. He began studies at the School of Engineering and Navigation engineer and followed courses of drawing in the section of fine arts of the University of London. at the same time it helped their parents shop. It was then when he discovered a new hobby for their leisure time: cinema, which was beginning to assert itself as one of London's most important leisure activities. In the capital had more than four hundred projection devices, often installed in rinks.

Of cinephile Director

Hitchcock, reading cinema magazines avidly, since sixteen was not lost films of Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. You could admire, when silent films were a true revelation of the unlimited possibilities of the film, the birth of a nation (1915) and intolerance (1916), overwhelming success and dismal failure, respectively, of the great Griffith. Years later impressed him vividly directed by Fritz Lang, Der müde Tod (all three lights, 1921), history fantastic that develops the romantic theme of the struggle between love and death through three episodes that occur in China, Baghdad, and Venice, and decided also that the film vocation of the Spanish Luis Buñuel. At the same time maintaining his fondness for reading. «Most likely to be by the impression that caused me the stories of Poe by what I devoted myself to shoot films of suspense. I don't want to seem immodest, but I can't help but compare what I have tried to put in my films with what Poe put in his narratives, I would say years later.

In the shooting
His father died in December 1914. Alfred was deeply affected and had to rebuild their lives with his mother. Older siblings did not live in the House and, in addition, had exploded the first world war. They had to leave the business and return to Leytonstone, because there were more friends. Boy found work within very little time in the offices of the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company. For fifteen shillings a week reviewing or estimated sizes and voltages of electric wires. However, as this occupation didn't like, a few months after succeeded they transferred him to the advertising department. That creative work was fashioned some prestige, despite his youth. He was fought recruitment thanks to his work at a company that collaborated with the war and to their obesity.
In 1920, at the age of twenty-one, that young man whose love of cinema had grown read in a magazine that an American film company, the Famous Players-Lasky, would install a few studies in London. It did not think it was twice and was presented at the offices of the Famous with some sketches of decoration for silent films he had designed with the help of his boss in the Department of publicity of the Henley. Immediately, the company hired him as a designer of signs and decorations and, insofar as allowed by the salary of the Famous, abandoned the Henley. The first year worked as a Letterer in several films, and the following year got that scenarios and dialogues under the new films were commissioned him. He wrote them under the direction of Georges Fitzmaurice, who also started him in the techniques of filming.
In 1923 the actor-writer-producer Seymour Hicks offered him that he codirigiera one lesser film, Always tell your wife, and later collaborated on the set of an unfinished film by lack of budget, Mrs. Peabody. They were his first cinematographic experiences of truth. In studies, Hitchcock had met one such Alma Reville, a girl of the same age, born in Nottingham, extremely small and thin (opposite to it) and great fan of cinema, which had worked in the studios of a London company since the age of 16, the Film Company, and who then moved on to the Famous. Alma Hitchcock collaborated on several films directed by Cutts and Graham, and in 1923 he traveled to Germany to locate the exterior of a film whose screenplay was written Hitchcock, The prude completo fall. On the ship's return to England, Hitchcock said, and began a long courtship.
The first years worked together in films from the production company of Michel balcony, the Gainsbouroug Pictures Ltd., such as The blackguard, a film for which the equipment had to be moved several months to Germany, circumstance that Hitchcock took the opportunity to learn about the work of the great German directors of the era, such as Fritz Lang and Erich von Stroheim. In 1925, balcony he proposed to direct an anglo-alemana co-production titled the garden of joy (The pleasure garden). It was his first opportunity as a director. The result, apparently pleased managers, because that year he directed two other films, Eagle Mountain (The mountain eagle) and the enemy of blondes (The lodger). The three estrenarían in 1927.

Frame of the enemy of blondes (1927)
On December 2, 1926 he married soul according to the Catholic rite and settled on Cromwell Road in London. Brand new, the films obtained welcomed by part of the public and critics. In them, the director appeared marginally, without being included in the distribution: was your way to sign their films, which then would become so popular. Taking advantage of the success, he changed his producer, and at the end of 1927 rolled the ring (The ring), a film based on an own script with the British International Pictures. With this film became one of the most sought-after directors in England and started his brilliant way to international fame.


With the international success it considerably increased their income, and bought a summer home in Shamley Green, on the outskirts of London, close to where his mother would be installed shortly after. In 1928 was born his daughter Patricia soul; Apparently, the director had never gone so many nerves as during childbirth. By then, the Hitchcock had an intense social life, and the evenings with friends of the producer, the British, were common in the House of Cromwell Road, which sometimes offered to friends one of his specific comic numbers: Hitchcock, which weighed over one hundred and thirty pounds, appeared naked from the waist up, with a sailor painted in huge belly It ruffled rhythmically as she whistled. On one occasion she dressed woman and recorded her performance. The tape, which retained all his life, would be exhibited in 1976 in a private session at the Universal Studios.
In 1928 he shot his last silent films, The farmer's wife, Champagne and The maxman, and the following year released his first sound film, London girl (Blackmail), based on a play that was having a great success in the capital. For the first time a British film featured a soundtrack, from the American RCA technology.
Other spoken films like Juno and the Paycock (1930), Murder (1930) and The Skin game (1931), without achieving a great success of public and critics, confirmed him as one of the smartest and most creative British Directors and that was adding more innovations and technical ideas to the world of cinema. His concern was to find a narrative style, for which discovered new expressive possibilities in Assembly, camera movements and the use of light. Theirs was the art of the camera: its huge domain of the image, persuasive and sentimental level, was that the public was identified with their stories and their characters and turned into plausible fantasy and mystery, strange situations and original with that dressed the reality. Its extraordinary cinematic narrative to the public carried live passionately what was happening on the screen.
In 1932, by imposition of the British, had to shoot a comedy of entanglements and persecutions, number 17 (Number Seventeen), and then rolled is better bad known (Rich and Strange, 1932), a film whose plot happened to marriage Hitchcock during a cruise along the Atlantic and the Caribbean they did with his daughter in 1931: a modest London couple , thanks to an unexpected inheritance, made a cruise around the world, during which become joy fears, sorrows and infidelities, to recover, after a shipwreck, his loyalty. After Waltzes from Vienna (Waltzes from Vienna, 1933), a biography of the composer Richard Strauss made to order, Hitchcock returned to working for Michel balcony, who had founded the production company Gaumont-British.
Master of suspense
Then begins the great Hitchcock film era, the era of the big titles in his filmography, a golden period of uninterrupted creation that would last almost until the end of his days. The first movie that made with the new producer was the man who knew too much (The man who knew too much, 1934), a work of art of the cinema of suspense that was chosen by the critics as the film of the year in England.
It was followed by other titles of the fundamental of his filmography: 39 steps (The thirty-nine steps, 1935), secret agent (The secret agent, 1936) and sabotage (Sabotage, 1936), all them films classics in which the plot and intrigue were able to create a psychological as never before tension had already been in cinematic art, and in which the expressive images mixed with great wisdom action and psychological character notes. All this was often surrounded by a metafisico-existencial background in which are conceived in a way romantic and redemptive love, and in which the boundary between good and evil and the consciousness of Sin were not exempt from certain fascination fun by the evil. Hitchcock was humanist and satirist at the same time, sadistic and with a particular sense of humor.

39 steps (1935)
In each new film he perfected the technique of intrigue, which became hardly surmountable peaks throughout his career. His latest British film was Jamaica Inn (Jamaica Inn, 1938), who didn't get much success despite being starring Charles Laugthon, already famous, along with a young Maureen O'Hara. In March 1939, months before the outbreak of the second world war, Hitchcock departed with his wife, his daughter and his personal Secretary, Joan Harrison, New York.

In Hollywood

The trip was responding to an offer of David O. Selznick, the powerful American producer, that on a trip to the United States carried out the previous year had proposed directing in Hollywood. The resulting film was Rebecca (Rebecca, 1940), one of his most famous films, which meant an Oscar for the protagonist, Joan Fontaine. The following movie was conditioned by historical circumstances: the war stretched, looked long and complicated, and in Special Envoy (Foreing Correspondent, 1940), a work of warmongering content, made a plea for the allies.

With Joan Fontaine in the presentation of Rebecca (1940)
Hitchcock had reached an agreement with Selznick that would produce you two films a year by a 2,750 dollar weekly salary and a bonus of 15,000 dollars a year. A special provision allowed him in 1941 to shoot two films with another producer, the RKO It was original marriage (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and suspicion (Suspicion), another of the classic titles of his career. Director remained in its improvement of the film's intrigue line, providing in each film new technical discoveries, occurrences narrative and cool tricks that created school in the history of cinema.
Shortly after coming to Hollywood in 1941, the Hitchcock moved to the apartment of Carole Lombard in Bel Air; the actress had decided to live with his partner, Clark Gable. The same year, given complicating the global conflagration is increasingly soul travelled to England and brought with him to his mother. Alfred also went to London to pick up yours and take it to the United States, but her mother refused. Hitchcock, whose return to Los Angeles coincided with the first Nazi bombings of England, had to settle for thinking that his mother lived full-time in Shamley Green and had the protection of his brother William.
The following year, Carole Lombard died and had to change House; they moved to Bellagio Road, also in Bel Air. His next film was sabotage (Saboteur, 1942), produced by the Universal Pictures despite opposition from Selznick, causing great tension over the shooting. Since then he decided to not make more than one film per year. In 1943 he became the shadow of a doubt (Shadow of a doubt). That year her mother in London, died on September 26, because of an acute polionefritis. Hitchcock barely could withstand the blow: he was emotionally shattered and sick forty kilos in a few months.

The dreamlike sets remembers (1945)
they were made by Dali
The following films series also contained titles of the first order; Some are among his most important works: shipwrecked (Lifeboat, 1943); Remember (Spellbound, 1945); Chained (Notorious, 1946), with Ingrid Bergman; The Paradine process (The Paradine Case, 1947), with Gregory Peck in the lead role; and the rope (Rope, 1948), his first film in colour, with James Stewart's character, an actor who was to become one of your favourites and with whom he would work on many other famous films. In recalls, regarded as one of the peaks of the Hitchcock films, working for the first time with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, who launched to fame, and counted with the collaboration of Salvador Dali for the decorations of oneiric type. Some of the sequences with the two protagonists are, according to many specialists, among the best scenes of romantic love of the history of cinema.

Glorious fifties

At the beginning of the 1950s, with its cinematic reputation by clouds and a strong economic position, premiered films that confirmed his reputation around the world as Atormentada (Under Capricorn, 1949), panic in the scene (Stage Frigth, 1950), and strangers on a train (Strangers on a train, 1951), a critical and public success. The radio version of the film, released by CBS, broke all audience records.

Strangers on a train (1951)
In 1951, marriage Hitchcock took a trip of pleasure in Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Norway. During the trip, the daughter of Hitchcock promised himself with Joseph O'Conell, a senior official of a corporation, whom he married in the Cathedral of St. Patrick in New York the following year. The father did not see with good eyes this wedding of his daughter, since until then the girl had collaborated with him in some movies (years later would work in psychosis) and studying Theatre; He had wanted a son-in-law related with the world of cinema. In return, he tried to attract or ' Conell to the film industry, without much success.
I confess (I confess, 1953), the next film, was filmed in the middle of a difficult relationship between the director and the star, Montgomery Clift in a State of psychological destruction and rather worrying alcoholism. It seems that one night, during the filming, Hitchcock became drunk deliberately to Clift to leave out the limits of its imbalance.
Then appeared a new star that snapped his attention for a few years in the cinematic firmament of Hitchcock: Grace Kelly. With her, the actress who more fascination was never in his career, shot a perfect crime (Dial M for murder, 1953), rear window (Rear window, 1954), along with James Stewart, and to catch a thief (To catch a thief, 1955), next to Cary Grant. They are some of the best-known films from the master of intrigue. Their worship by Grace reached its highest point in the last of the three, whose filming dragged on because the director insisted on the actress to dance with a spectacular costume gold in the last scene.

Rear window (1954)
In 1955 he released but who killed Harry?, which gave his first opportunity and launched to fame a twenty Shirley MacLaine. It was a brilliant experiment in which the mystery and intrigue brilliantly mixed with comedy, a combination of comedy and suspense film. As a result of his new U.S. citizenship, obtained in 1955, signed a contract with CBS television producer for a weekly series of half-hour titled Alfred Hitchcock presents, which from 1960 to 1965 followed by performing for NBC.
A second version of the man who knew too much (1956), with James Stewart and Doris Day, falsely convicted (The Wrong Man, 1957), with a star Henry Fonda, Vertigo (Vertigo, 1958), again with Stewart, now with a debutant Kim Novak, and with death in heels (North by Northwest, 1959) with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint were famous in the second half of the 1950s films series. All the female protagonists of Hitchcock began to respond to a same prototype: Kelly, Novak or Saint were Platinum blond, thin, sweet, beautiful, delicate, angelic, fine; all a proposal of female archetype.

The final stage

In 1960 became psycho (Psycho), one of his hits over his strident and controversial. Beating his previous works, the film shocked the mentality of the time and inaugurated the psychiatric theme, called psychological thriller thriller genre. A young Anthony Perkins (interpreting the double personality of Norman Bates), Vera Miles and Janet Leigh formed the famous trio protagonist. Filming had been very expensive, but the collection was such that Hitchcock, with the benefits obtained, was able to buy as many shares of Universal to become the third shareholder in the company.

Frames of psycho (1960)
and the birds (1963)
The following films were marked by the discovery of a new star and particular Muse, Tippi Hedren. With her shot two films fundamental in the evolution of his work, the birds (The Birds, 1963) and Marnie, the thief (Marnie, 1964). It seems that the interest personally of the director by actress came to such an extent of insistence, as it failed to verify whole team shooting, that relationship ended cut completely, because Hitchcock could not bear the rejection of Hedren and decided not to return to work with her. In his following films he subordinated their creativity and their baggage accumulated to certain commercial criteria and the collaboration of established stars. Thus, filmed torn curtain (Torn Curtain, 1966) with Paul Newman and Julie Andrews and Topaz (1969), movies both greatly marked by the context of the cold war, in which a clearly pro-Western and anti-Soviet propaganda message was given.
In 1968, the Academy of Arts and cinematographic Sciences awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial, in compensation for the error tremendous not having granted never an Oscar, while it had been nominated five times (by Rebeca, castaways, recalls, rear window and psycho). Once again, one of the best directors in the history of cinema had run out the figurine. At the ceremony the director was limited to thank. Meanwhile, in Europe, the work of Hitchcock had become reference and guide to a whole new generation of Directors, including highlight Truffaut, whose talks with the teacher did a long book in which filmmaker spoke extensively of his life, the film and his work.
In 1971, at the time of the filming of frenzy (Frenzy, 1972), remained in Europe a season, during which were added difficulties: his health began to worsen and soul suffered an attack of apoplexy which affected her speech. The possibility of losing his wife increased Hitchcock predisposition towards alcohol. In 1975 when his wife underwent an improvement, recovered part of its old vigor and rolled the plot (Family Plot, 1976), his last film.

The plot (1976)
But, seventy-six-year-old Hitchcock suffered from arthritis and his heart was delicate. In 1976 the director suffered a collapse, and soul a new attack of apoplexy. During the following years his collaborators tried to keep you high mood and visited him frequently, trying to move away from newspaper rumours about his alcoholism and his progressive aging. The tributes were raining down: in 1978 received the award for the work of the American Film Institute life. in 1979 he was awarded the man of the year by the British-American Chamber of Commerce; the same year was appointed by Royal Decree Knight Commander of the British Empire.
A few months later, the morning of the 29 April 1980, died the master and the genius of horror, suspense and mystery movies, a man who created a style and a world like few Directors managed throughout the history of cinema. It was preparing anxiously, with usual rigour and thoroughness, a new dash of iron for its fifty-four number film, adapted from the novel by Ronald Kirkbride entitled The short night. But Hitchcock, who had said "my love for the film is stronger than any moral", could no longer do cinema.

Chronology of Alfred Hitchcock

1899Born in Leytonstone, near London, on 13 August.
1908He moved with his family to Stepney. He entered the Colegio de San Ignacio, of strict Jesuit discipline.
1913He began drawing and engineering studies. Wakes up your love cinema and reading.
1914Death of his father. The family returns to Leytonstone. He works in the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company, first as a technician and later a publicist.
1920Famous Players-Lasky as Letterer for silent films is hired by the film company.
1923First works as Assistant Director. Meets his future wife, Alma Reville, co-worker in the Famous.
1925Directed his first movies, still silent: the garden of joy, the Mountain Eagle and the enemy of blondes, which estrenarían in 1927 with good reception.
1926He married Alma Reville.
1927He directed the ring, a film with own script that launched him to fame.
1928His daughter Patricia soul is born. He directed his last silent films.
1929Opens his first sound film, the girl from London.
1934Begins, with the film's thriller the man who knew too much, his most characteristic and masterful production.
1939Hired by the producer David O. Selznick, is set in Hollywood.
1940Premieres Rebeca.
1943He directs the shadow of a doubt. Death of his mother.
1945Remember, directs with Ingrid Bergman.
1948Wheel rope, his first film in colour.
1951Premieres strangers on a train, one of his greatest hits from public and critics.
1953-55Wheel with Grace Kelly perfect crime, rear window and to catch a thief.
1955It starts the realization of the television series Alfred Hitchcock presents, subsequently followed by the Alfred Hitchcock hour.
1956Make a second version of the man who knew too much (1956), with James Stewart.
1958Wheel Vertigo, one of his most outstanding films.
1960He directs psychosis, its most controversial success.
1963-64Wheel with Tippi Hedren, the birds and Marnie, the thief.
1968He received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial.
1972Premieres frenzy. It starts to deteriorate their health and that of his wife.
1975He directs the plot, his latest film.
1980He died in Los Angeles on April 29.

Alfred Hitchcock filmography

It seemed impossible that could squeeze more cinematographic language, filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was able to once again revolutionize art with its vertiginous scripts and their juggling of camera. The British director, creator of her own universe, got to submit to the public at least improvised emotions in the history of cinema.
In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock directed one of his most perfect movies, somehow the quintessence of his films: the death on the heels. In it, Cary Grant (one of the actores-fetiche of the director) is the innocent man pursued by something that has not, submerged in a Kafkaesque Web of intrigue that drag the Viewer to the very center of his mystery. No one like Hitchcock dominated the art of manipulating the Viewer, thanks not only to a film like no other sense, but also a perfect design of the structure, always under a single concept, which led to unimaginable efficiency limits: suspense.

With the death in heels (1959)
Probably the best film book ever written François Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock, the first composed it together cleverly asking the master of suspense by the details of his long career and the second bequeathing to posterity with their answers not only the keys to their own work, but also a priceless lesson, full of grace and common sense , on how to make interesting a story, that art for which no one as it was perhaps better equipped in the already centuries-old existence of the film. Although Alfred Hitchcock did not invent the suspense, nobody could handle it with more skill. To explain it, he began a very clarifying example that appears in the book cited:
"We are talking about, is there a bomb under the table and our conversation is very bland; does not happen anything special and suddenly: boom, bang. The public was surprised, but before it has been a scene of bland, devoid of interest. Now let's look at suspense. The pump is under the table, and the public knows it, probably because it has been an anarchist put it. The public knows that the bomb will explode at one and is the one least fourth (there is a clock in the decor); the same anodyne conversation suddenly becomes very interesting because the public participates in the scene. She wants to say to the characters that are on display: should not count as trivial things; There is a bomb under the table and soon going to explode. In the first case has offered the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the time of the explosion. In the second case we gave him fifteen minutes of suspense."

Alfred Hitchcock
Gets the same effect when you suddenly explode a bomb in the middle of a meeting previously announcing their existence: the viewer wondered what will happen then, begins to project their wishes on the screen, suffers by the protagonists and actively participates in it. Hitchcock knew perfectly the public emotional mechanisms and knew how to play with it to put it in his fist and not to release it.
Hitchcock illustrated one of the elements that characterized his narrative art, the Mac Guffin, with an anecdote. On one occasion, on a train, a traveler was carrying a strange baggage. Out of curiosity, his companion of compartment asked: "What is this package that has placed the network?" The other replied: "Oh, it's a Mac Guffin". Of course, that required an explanation. "What is a Mac Guffin?" The answer was blunt: "as a device to catch the Lions in the Adirondaks mountains". The passenger fell into account immediately that there were Lions in the Adirondaks, but, then, what was in the package? He decided to finally inquire again about the contents of the package. "But if there are no Lions in the Adirondaks!" he exclaimed. To which the caller replied, unmoved: "in this case is not a Mac Guffin. ""
With this anecdote put highlight the emptiness, nothing of the Mac Guffin; and, however, the director built most of his films around the secret clause, that something: a bottle containing uranium, private documents, a microfilm, a nonexistent spyware, a mathematical formula, any mystery that had to have an enormous importance for the characters in the movie, but that was just a trick, a mere pretext that completely lacked the interest to the infallible Narrator Alfred Hitchcock. In fact, what lies behind his work is the labyrinthine and ironic world of human passions, the deceptive appearances, guilt, love, the identity of the man in crisis. And, above all, cinema, large doses of cinema.
Since his early films made in his native England, Hitchcock was distinguished by his interest in extracting the maximum expressiveness of the language of film, both visual and sound. In 1926, a silent film as The lodger (premiered in the Spanish-speaking area as the enemy of blondes) was the most outstanding merits of Hitchcock. It said repeatedly that silent films were the purest form of cinema and that this was his first personal film. It is narrated from the point of view of a woman who rented a furnished room a mysterious character, who suspected that is the sordid "Avenger", a sort of Jack the Ripper who are imputed horrific crimes ever perpetrated against young blondes.
In this threatening climate, numerous false evidence accused tenant, and the plot, progressively more dramatic, reaches its climax in an attempted lynching of innocent. The subject is therefore that of others of his films: the man wrongfully accused of a crime that has not committed, which produces a greater sense of danger in the spectators would be if this were guilty and allows an exciting identification with the protagonist. It is the case of innocence and youth (1937), suspicion (1941), false guilty (1957) or frenzy (1972), although in the shadow of a doubt (1953), Charlie Oakley (Joseph Cotten), the charming guy of the ingenuous Charlie Newton (Teresa Wright), is actually a ruthless murderer of rich widows, which testifies that you no trust is never malicious Hitchcock.

Suspicion (1941)
Shadow of a doubt (1953)
In 1929 he directed his first sound film Blackmail (London girl), which included a famous Chase faked by the British Museum; in Murder, 1930 scripted by his wife film, used for the first time, simultaneously to L' âge d'or de Buñuel, off as inside a character monologue. A girl is found guilty of having murdered one of her friends, but one of the members of the jury, sir John (Herbert Marhsall), believes in his innocence. He is a typical movie with enigma, what the English call a whodunit (who made it?), cold puzzle to the Agatha Christie always based on who is the murderer, which Hitchcock never you interested because I thought that they lacked emotion. Concerning the filmmaker told an anecdote: "when he began television there were two rival chains competing. The first announced the issuance of a whodunit. "And just before this broadcast, an announcer of the rival chain announced: we can tell you is in the whodunit to be issued by the rival chain the guilty servant."
When he came to the United States, the director was already a guarantee of fun among the public as it could be one of the stars of the firmament of Hollywood. His first American film was Rebecca (1940), a morbid history which occurred in the old mansion of Manderley, which threatened Lady Winter (Joan Fontaine), who had taken the place of the first wife of lord Winter (Laurence Olivier), called Rebecca and dead in dark circumstances, wore a characteristic Cardigan since then was called Cardigan.

Frames in Rebecca (1940)
and shipwrecked (1943)
After the successful premiere of Rebecca ("an English movie", as he himself asserted), held true technical prowess as the of castaways (1943), whose action takes place entirely in a boat life, or the rope (1948), film shot in a single plano-secuencia. His belligerent attitude against the atrocities of the nazis, who were putting at risk the safety of its British homeland, was notorious in shipwrecked, film that was a challenge, because it unfolded entirely in a claustrophobic environment and in a strictly limited space that recreated a sort of microcosm of the war: a lifeboat where eight characters, one of them the captain of the German submarine aggressor fighting desperately to survive the shipwreck. Hitchcock carried out his usual fleeting appearance on the screen through the photograph of a newspaper that a miraculous coincidence, is one of the few objects saved from the catastrophe.
Some innovations of the noose, on the other hand, had technical and economic roots. Freed from the agreement that bound him to Selznick, Hitchcock founded his own production company with Sidney Bernstein, opulent film distributor in England, and immediately tried with earliness anticipatory what would later become the classic style of filming on television, and was called T.M.T. (Ten minute Take). It consists of exhausting the three hundred meters from the coil of a camera (about ten minutes long) in one shot, which requires a rigidly scheduled filming and a style characterized by the plano-secuencia. This technical innovation had intended to cut costs and get the most industrial, but with this method produced a remarkable although very discussed masterpiece, rope, told in real time and technically conceived (because the truth is that you had to resort to tricks to change coils) as a single plano-secuencia of eighty minutes.

The rope (1948)
But these technical fanfare would not have any value if it were not for the ability to Hitchcock to dramatize them, to turn them into unique forms of expression of the feeling. When, for example, that Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman Kiss long through a suite of hotel in notorious (1946), is displayed in a unique plano-secuencia of the faces of the two while walking embraced by the scenery: the technique is virtuous, but what matters most is the extraordinary sensation of intimacy aroused by the scene in the Viewer who truly "take part" of what you are seeing.
During the 1950s Hitchcock made some of his most famous films: strangers on a train (1951), on a Patricia Highsmith novel and screenplay by Raymond Chandler, where a sinister Pact takes place to Exchange two murders and resulting crimes unpunished; I confess (1952), which describes the drama of conscience of the father Michel Logan, splendidly played by Montgomery Clift; Rear window (1954), priceless reflection on the place of the film spectator; Catch a thief (1955), latest film with his favorite actress, Grace Kelly, who after playing Frances Stevens devilishly driving along winding roads of the French Riviera, abandoned him to marry the Prince of Monaco and later to find death in a car accident in the same place; But who killed Harry? (1956), extranisima comedy with corpse where it unveiled Shirley MacLaine and that is disconcerting by absurdly logical; and, in end, guilty false, dizziness or death in heels, all maintain an unusual freshness over the years and which are still endorsing it as the undisputed Wizard of suspense stories.
With psychosis (1961), Hitchcock managed to convert what on paper was a banal horror story with references psychological in one of the most stunning cinematic experiences of history: the meticulous planning of the murder of Janet Leigh in the shower scene is, at the same time, one of the most poetic moments in the career of the director, with the sublime chained culminating with the image of the drain where the bloody water is drained and the open eye of the victim, empty of life, while the camera rotates coiled to its around.

James Stewart in rear window (1954)
and in Vertigo. From the dead (1958)
But the sum of his aesthetic, and poetic spirit celebration of his overwhelming erotico-satanica sensitivity is undoubtedly Vertigo. From the dead (1958), where his plastic obsessions reach one of more abstract, lyrical career dimensions: a true point and apart in the vision that cinema has given love fou, a bleak surrealist poem about life and death with James Stewart and Kim Novak cast in hypnotic passionate choreography unparalleled in the history of the cinema.
At his side, extraordinary rear window (1954), brilliant adaptation of a story by Cornel Woolrich, remains as one of its peaks, apart from being one of the most personal visions of mankind which has left us a very personal as creator. The voyeurism of the character of James Stewart, that assets in your room with a broken leg, is precipitated by simple curiosity from the everyday world until the discovery of a murder, which will attempt to resolve with the help of his girlfriend, Lisa, and his nurse, Stella, perfectly defines the particular refinement, cynicism and willingness poetry of one of the most singular creators of the seventh art.


1925The garden of joy
1926The Mountain Eagle
The enemy of Blondes
Easy Virtue
The ring
1928The Farmer's Wife
1929The Manxman
London girl
1930Elstree Calling
Juno and the Paycock
1931Foul play
1932Better known/rich and strange is bad
Number 17
1934Waltzes from Vienna
The man who knew too much
193539 steps
1936The secret agent
1937Innocence and youth
1938Alarm on the express
1939Jamaica Inn
Special Envoy
1941Original marriage
1943Shadow of a doubt
1947The Paradine process
1948The rope
1950Panic in the scene
1951Strangers on a train
1952I confess
1954Perfect crime
Rear window
1955Catch a thief
But who killed Harry?
1956The man who knew too much
1957False guilty
1958Vertigo / from the dead
1959With the death in heels
1963The birds
1964Marnie, the thief
1966Torn curtain
1976The plot
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities

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