|Born||in Leytonstone, London, England, UK|
|Died||in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, USA (renal failure)|
|Birth Name||Alfred Joseph Hitchcock|
The Master of Suspense
|Height||5' 7" (1.7 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and Eileen Hitchcock (born 1892). Raised as a strict Catholic and attending Saint Ignatius College, a school run by Jesuits, Hitch had very much of a regular upbringing. His first job outside of the family business was in 1915 as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company. His interest in movies began at around this time, frequently visiting the cinema and reading US trade journals.
Hitchcock entering the film industry in 1919 as a title card designer. It was there that he met Alma Reville, though they never really spoke to each other. It was only after the director for Always Tell Your Wife (1923) fell ill and Hitchcock was named director to complete the film that he and Reville began to collaborate. Hitchcock had his first real crack at directing a film, start to finish, in 1923 when he was hired to direct the film Number 13 (1922), though the production wasn't completed due to the studio's closure (he later remade it as a sound film). Hitchcock didn't give up then. He directed The Pleasure Garden (1925), a British/German production, which was very popular. Hitchcock made his first trademark film in 1927, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) . In the same year, on the 2nd of December, Hitchcock married Alma Reville. They had one child, Patricia Hitchcock who was born on July 7th, 1928. His success followed when he made a number of films in Britain such as The Lady Vanishes (1938) and Jamaica Inn (1939), some of which also gained him fame in the USA.
In 1940, the Hitchcock family moved to Hollywood, where the producer David O. Selznick had hired him to direct an adaptation of 'Daphne du Maurier''s Rebecca (1940). After Saboteur (1942), as his fame as a director grew, film companies began to refer to his films as 'Alfred Hitchcock's', for example Alfred Hitcock's Psycho (1960), Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot (1976), Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972).
Hitchcock was a master of pure cinema who almost never failed to reconcile aesthetics with the demands of the box-office.
During the making of Frenzy (1972), Hitchcock's wife Alma suffered a paralyzing stroke which made her unable to walk very well. On March 7, 1979, Hitchcock was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award, where he said: "I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat, and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen and their names are Alma Reville." By this time, he was ill with angina and his kidneys had already started to fail. He had started to write a screenplay with Ernest Lehman called The Short Night but he fired Lehman and hired young writer David Freeman to rewrite the script. Due to Hitchcock's failing health the film was never made, but Freeman published the script after Hitchcock's death. In late 1979, Hitchcock was knighted, making him Sir Alfred Hitchcock. On the 29th April 1980, 9:17AM, he died peacefully in his sleep due to renal failure. His funeral was held in the Church of Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Father Thomas Sullivan led the service with over 600 people attended the service, among them were Mel Brooks (director of High Anxiety (1977), a comedy tribute to Hitchcock and his films), Louis Jourdan, Karl Malden, Tippi Hedren, Janet Leigh and François Truffaut.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Col Needham <email@example.com> and Samtroy
|Spouse||Alma Reville (2 December 1926 - 29 April 1980) (his death) (1 child)|
Emma Jane Hitchcock (Whelan)
Eileen Hitchcock (sibling)
Mary Stone (grandchild)
Tere Carrubba (grandchild)
Katie Fiala (grandchild)
Trade Mark (20)
Hitchcock and Lehman made an appearance before MGM executives telling the story of North by Northwest (1959), and said that MGM would get two films out of Hitchcock under his contract with MGM. However, eventually Hitchcock abandoned the idea of Mary Deare and went ahead with that film instead.
After a disappointing research trip to South Africa where he concluded that he would have difficulty filming, especially on a budget - and with confusion of the story's politics and the seeming impossibility of casting Kelly, Hitchcock deferred the project and instead cast Stewart in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). Hitchcock travelled to Livingstone at The Victoria Falls and was a guest of Harry Sossen one of the prominent inhabitants of this pioneer town. Hitchcock and Sossen were photographed together at the newly opened Livingstone Airport and the event was recorded in the local papers. Sossen was also in communication with Lourens van der Post who gave him a signed copy of the book Flamingo Feather during a visit to the Falls (staying at the Victoria Falls Hotel). Sossen's daughter Marion is in possession of the book today and a number of letters between her father and van der Post.
The first writer assigned to the picture, James Costigan, quarreled with the director, who asked for him to be paid off. Then Ernest Lehman agreed to work on the script. Lehman felt the story should focus on the American spy, and left out the double agent's jailbreak. Lehman left the film too, and Hitchcock asked old friend Norman Lloyd to help him write a long treatment. Lloyd, like Universal, was concerned that Hitchcock's failing health meant that the movie might not get made. When Hitchcock suggested moving straight on to the screenplay, Lloyd objected saying they were unprepared. Hitchcock reacted angrily, fired Lloyd, and worked on the treatment himself.
After a while, Hitchcock accepted that he needed another writer to work with him, and Universal suggested Dave Freeman, helped Hitchcock complete the treatment and wrote the screenplay. He wrote about his experiences in the 1999 book The Last Days of Alfred Hitchcock, which includes his completed screenplay. The circumstances surrounding Hitchcock's retirement were given by producer Hilton A. Green during the documentary Plotting "Family Plot". According to Green, during pre-production for The Short Night Hitchcock met Green to tell him that his poor health would prevent him from making the film that was to be the follow-up to Family Plot. After trying to talk Hitchcock out of his decision, Green agreed to Hitchcock's request to bring the news of his decision to retire to studio head Lew Wasserman, a long-time friend of Hitchcock.
Samuel A. Taylor, scenarist for Vertigo (1958) and Topaz (1969), wrote the screenplay after Ernest Lehman rejected it. The Taylor screenplay included a scene, not in the original novel, where the heroine disguises herself as a prostitute and has to fend off a rapist. Hepburn left the film, partly because of the near-rape scene, but primarily due to a pregnancy. (Hepburn suffered a miscarriage during the filming of The Unforgiven (1960) then gave birth to son Sean Ferrer in July 1960.) Harvey still ended up working with Hitchcock in 1959, however, on an episode that Hitchcock directed of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955).
Without Hepburn, the project didn't have the same appeal for Hitchcock. Changes in British law concerning prostitution and entrapment - changes which took place after the novel was published - made some aspects of the screenplay implausible. Hitchcock told Paramount Pictures it was better to write off $200,000 already spent on the film's development than to spend another $3 million for a film he no longer cared for. In the fall of 1959, a Paramount publicity brochure titled "Success in the Sixties!" had touted No Bail for the Judge as an upcoming feature film starring Hepburn, to be filmed in Technicolor and VistaVision.
The story would have revolved around a young, handsome bodybuilder (inspired by Neville Heath) who lures young women to their deaths, a version of the character known as 'Merry Widow Murderer' in Shadow of a Doubt (1943). The New York police set a trap for him, with a policewoman posing as a potential victim. The script was based around three crescendos dictated by Hitchcock: the first was a murder by a waterfall; the second murder would take place on a mothballed warship; and the finale, which would take place at an oil refinery with brightly coloured drums.
Hitchcock showed his script to his friend François Truffaut. Though Truffaut admired the script, he felt uneasy about its relentless sex and violence. Unlike Psycho (1960), these elements would not be hidden behind the respectable veneer of murder mystery and psychological suspense, and the killer would be the main character, the hero, the eyes of the audience.
Universal vetoed the film, despite Hitchcock's assurances that he would make the film for under $1 million with a cast of unknowns, although David Hemmings, Robert Redford, and Michael Caine had all been suggested as leads. The film - alternatively known as Frenzy or the more "sixties"-esque Kaleidoscope - was not made.
The Italian screenwriters struggled with the story, and were not helped by the language barrier. Universal Studios were not keen on the idea and persuaded Hitchcock to move on to something else.
However, a reconstruction of the film was aired as Memory of the Camps in 1984-85 in the UK and the US. The US version was shown on the PBS series Frontline (1983) on May 7, 1985. In October 2014, a new documentary about the unfinished film, Night Will Fall (2014), premiered at the BFI London Film Festival.
Personal Quotes (64)
|The Lady Vanishes (1938)||$50,000|
|Suspicion (1941)||$2,500 /week|
|Spellbound (1945)||$150 .000|
|Notorious (1946)||$7,000 /week|
|Rear Window (1954)||$150,000 + 10% of the profits +film negative ownership|
|The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)||$150,000 + 10% of the profits +film negative ownership|
|Vertigo (1958)||$150,000 + 10% of the profits +film negative ownership|
|North by Northwest (1959)||$250,000 + 10% of the net profits.|
|Psycho (1960)||60% of the net profits (salary deferred)|