Bio On Hitchcock Essay, Research Paper
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in the East London area of Leytonstone. He was the youngest son of William and Emma Whelan Hitchcock. His strict Irish Catholic upbringing and education at the Jesuits St. Iganatius College is apparent in many of his films. At the young age of 16, he left to study engineering and navigation at the University of London. Three years later he was hired as an estimator at Henley Telegraph Company. Hitchcock began to study art in the evenings and eventually transferred to the advertising department at the company.
Hitchcock was always drawn to the silver screen. He read every technical film magazine he could get his hands on. Upon learning that Famous Players Lasky (Paramount) was opening a studio in London, Hitchcock submitted a portfolio of his work. He was hired as a title designer for the silent films. His passion for films and eagerness to learn led him to apply for the job of Assistant Director which gave him the experience of film making from every angle. His directorial debut was in 1922 on the film Number 13. The two-reeler, was never completed. Hitchcock met his future wife Alma Reville, who also worked for the company, during the making of the film. They were married in December 1926 at Brompton Oratory. Alma s keen sense to detail made a creative partnership made in heaven. She oversaw initial script development through final post-production. It was Alma who noticed Janet Leigh s dead body twitch in Psycho, which was immediately corrected. In 1928 their daughter Patricia was born. She later appeared in three of her father s films, Stage Fright (1950), Strangers on a Train (1951) and Psycho (1960).
The first film to bear the mark Directed by Alfred Hitchcock was The Pleasure Garden (1925). The young Hitchcock s uncanning wit and cinematic flare comes forth in this film. In 1926 his second film, The Mountain Eagle (released as Fear O God) was released. Hitchcock called this film very bad and in fact no existence of this film is to be found. His third film, The Lodger, is what many consider to be the first authentic Hitchcock film. It also marked his first cameo appearance, which later became a trademark of his films. The theme of the film is simple, a man wrongly accused of a crime. It is the moral ambiguity that frames the film, marking it with true Hitchcock style. Hitchcock went on to direct 6 more feature length silent films: Downhill (1927), Easy Virtue (1927), The Ring (1927), The Farmer s Wife (1928), Champagne (1928), and The Manxman (1929). With each and every film his natural talent grew more and more.
It was at this time that the film industry introduced sound to the cinema. The first film was the American film The Jazz Singer (1929). Later that same year, Hitchcock s Blackmail made history marking it as the first British talkie. The film had originally begun as a silent film. When Hitch learned of the availability of sound, he immediately re- shot certain portions.
Hitchcock released two films in 1930, Juno and the Paycock and Murder. Both were received well by audiences. Murder is by far one of the more interesting Hitchcock who-dun-its. The plot, as in previous Hitchcock films, involves a woman wrongly accused of murdering her friend. The guilty person turns out to be a transvestite circus performer. The film was quite daring for its time, as were many Hitchcock films to follow.
Immediately following Murder was The Skin Game (1931) which Hitchcock did not make by choice and showed very little affection for. His next work was an original script by his wife Alma, Rich and Strange (1932). The film involves a married couple a bit bored with their everyday routine. To their surprise they are left an inheritance in which they use to travel around the world. After many entanglements and deceptive affairs they return to their same home life.