Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and producer, referred to as the "Master of Suspense". He pioneered many elements of the macabre and psychological thriller genres. Hitchcock had a successful career in British cinema with silent films and early talkies, and became renowned as Britain's leading filmmaker. He is considered to be among the foremost filmmakers of the 20th century, and one of the most influential directors in the history of cinema for his innovation and originality.
Hitchcock became a highly visible public figure through interviews, film trailers, cameo appearances in his own films, and his ten years of hosting the Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965) television programme. He also fashioned a recognisable directorial style, and the term Hitchcockian is now often used to refer to his filmmaking style. Hitchcock's stylistic trademarks include the use of camera movement that mimics a person's gaze, forcing viewers to engage in a form of voyeurism. In addition, he framed shots to maximise anxiety, fear, or empathy, and used innovative forms of film editing. His work often features fugitives on the run alongside alluring blonde female characters. He directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades, and is often regarded as one of the most influential directors in cinematic history. His first thriller, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), helped shape the thriller genre in film. His 1929 film, Blackmail, is often cited as the first British sound feature film. Two of his 1930's thrillers, The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938), are ranked by the British Film Institute (BFI) as being among the greatest British films of the 20th century.
By 1939, Hitchcock had become recognised as a filmmaker of international rank in merit and importance. Before the start of 1940, film producer David O. Selznick began to successfully court Hitchcock to accept an offer to direct films in Hollywood and move to the United States. A string of successful Hollywood films followed including Rebecca (1940), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and The Paradine Case (1947), which secured his reputation as a director of American films capable of securing nominations and winning Academy Awards for his films. By the end of the 1950s, Hitchcock had directed all four of his canonical films: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959) and Psycho (1960), which are regularly ranked among the greatest films of all time. Hitchcock became a United States citizen in 1955.
The influence of Hitchcock upon filmmakers of his own generation and the generations since his death has been established by many leading filmmakers, including such directors as Francois Truffaut and Martin Scorsese. Several of Hitchcock's films have been recognised in full-length documentaries of his work and book-length studies of several of his individual films. In a 2012 survey, his film Vertigo replaced Citizen Kane as the British Film Institute's best film ever made....LESS