Reputations: Season 6, Episode 4

Alfred Hitchcock (May 1999)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary
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Life and films from Alfred Hitchcock in two parts: Alfred, the Great and Alfred, the Auteur.


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Title: Alfred Hitchcock (May 1999)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dan Auiler ...
Roy Ward Baker ...
Drew Casper ...
Herbert Coleman ...
Himself (as Herb Coleman)
Himself (as Hume Cronin)
Georgine Darcy ...
David Freeman ...
Sidney Gottlieb ...
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (as Pat Hitchcock)


Life and films from Alfred Hitchcock in two parts: Alfred, the Great and Alfred, the Auteur.

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May 1999 (UK)  »

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Above Average Biography.
14 September 2014 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Alfred Hitchcock was born a greengrocer's son in a London suburb. He entered the movie business, married a film editor, Alma Reville, and went on to become a famous director -- probably the most easily recognized movie direct ever.

There have been continuing arguments over whether he was a genuine artist or a commercial hack, as if it were impossible to be somewhere in between.

But this is a biography, not a history of the movies. We follow Hitchock, his family, and his career from its humble beginning in London, through his British successes like "The 39 Steps", and his emmigration to Hollywood in 1939, where he was simply instrumentalized during a seven-year contract with the pill-popping, workaholic, egomaniacal boss, David O. Selznick.

There were, let's say, creative differences between the two. Yet Hitchock produced some of his most powerful films under Selznick's rule. "Shadow of a Doubt," for instance. Not one of Hitchcock's blockbusters but compare it to what else was being shown on the screen in 1943. It's conspicuously subtle.

Finally, the indentured servitude ended and Hitchcock was on his own. He made two films according to his wonts at the time -- one in which there were very few cuts and another in which there were no cuts at all -- and both promptly flopped.

Time to move on, showing a bit more respect for the commercial director and a little less attention to the experimental artist within.

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