Alfred Hitchcock Essay

Submitted By ryanstratton69
Words: 500
Pages: 2

Rear Window. North By Northwest. Vertigo. Psycho. Four intense, groundbreaking thrillers, released between 1954 and 1960, which both shocked and terrified audiences across the globe. Four films that redefined the thriller genre, shaping it into the riveting, emotional roller coaster we recognize today. Four films that, if not for a young, intelligent young title card designer for Paramount Pictures (London Branch), may never have been greenlit for production. Alfred Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899, in Leytonstone, London, England. He began to dabble in the arts in his early 20s, and would later go on to work as a title designer before making the jump into a successful silent film-directing career in Britain. There, he made a string of high successful silent films before making the jump to talkies, directing “Blackmail” (1929) and “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1934). In 1939, Hitchcock made his prolific move to Hollywood, directing the Gothic melodrama “Rebecca” (1940), which would then later win the academy award for Best Picture. Hitchcock directed a wide variety of films in the 40s, the most notable of which being “Notorious” (1946) and “Rope” (1948), a crime thriller known for taking place in real time and being creatively edited so as to appear as one continuous shot throughout the film. Many film aficionados consider the 1950s to be Hitchcock’s “peak years.” During this decade, Hitchcock directed three of his four most famous films: “Rear Window” (1954), “Vertigo” (1958), and “North By Northwest” (1959). These films pioneered many of Hitchcock’s trademarks, including use of a dolly zoom, a technique that mimics the effects of claustrophobia by zooming into a subject while tracking away from. This technique was used extensively in “Vertigo,” which told the story of an acrophobic detective whose infatuation with a woman borders on obsession. Although Hitchcock’s prime was widely considered to be the 1950s, no essay on the director would be complete without mentioning his most widely known film (and arguably one of the most widely known