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Alfred Hitchcock - Essay Example

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Alfred Hitchcock

After attending the London County School of Engineering and Navigation, he tried to participate in World War I but was rejected by the military because of his obesity. Undaunted, Hitchcock joined the cadet regimen of the Royal Engineers in 1917. Although he did his part during training, he still did not make it to active military service. Eventually, the man who had previously worked as a draftsman and advertising engineer at Henley's would go on to become one of the most prolific writers of the in-house The Telegraph where he began to dabble in stories rooted in suspense and twist endings. As a writer, he tried his hand at writing various genres including the satirical disquisition “The History of Pea Eating” and Fedora, which is considered as his shortest and most enigmatic contribution to the literary world (“Alfred Hitchcock”). Finding work as a title designer led Hitchcock to discover photography, which in turn led to his working as Islington Studios as a silent film title card designer. Hitchcock began a steady 5 years ascent to film director from the moment he began working for Islington Studios. Working steadily in Germany as a collaborator of acclaimed film director Graham Cutts in 1924, the length of time that he spent living and working there influenced his “seminal” and expressionist film making style. Just like any other film maker just starting out, his career was plagued by budget constrictions, canceled films due to lack of budget, and lackluster ticket sales. Yet Hitchcock soldiered on and became one of the most notable film directors in England for his early films. The most notable of his early work was “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog”, which was released in 1929. A majority of film historians believe that this movie in particular set the style for the future films of the director. It was in describing this film that the term “Hitchockian” was first used as there seemed no better or fitting term with which to describe the story he told on film (“Alfred Hitchcock”). Most of Hitchcock's early films made in Britain are silent films. His tenth film however, titled “Blackmail” which was shot in 1929, is considered to be an early British “talkie” considered by many to be the first ever British sound feature film. This film is also notable for having the longest appearance by the director in the movie, as was Hitchcock's signature in all his films. More importantly, this film set the trend by the director of using important landmarks in the country as backdrops for the highlights of his movies. By the 1930's his name was becoming well known far and wide thanks to the success of his films “The Man Who Knew Too Much” and “The 39 Steps”. This resulted in the American film producer David O. Selznick actively bidding for his services, winning a 7 year contract with the soon to be highly acclaimed film director. Hitchcock left England for a new career in the colonies in March, 1939. (“Alfred Hitchcock”), believing that he had reached the limits of the British film industry. The golden age of Alfred Hitchcock as a film director occurred during his stint in Hollywood where, unhampered by budget issues, he was able to tell the story that he wanted, regardless of how much film footage it took to do so. The audience lapped up ...Show more

Summary

Alfred Hitchcock: The King of Modern Suspense Thrillers When Alfred Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899 to Emma and William Hitchcock, becoming a legendary film director was not in the cards for him. Growing up as the son of a green grocer and poulterer, his father was a disciplinarian who once sent a young Alfred with a note to the local police station, requesting them to put him in jail for 5 minutes due to bad behavior…
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