Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, was one day younger than him. They were born August 13 and August 14, 1899.
Der müde Tod (1921) by Fritz Lang was his declared favorite movie.
Told François Truffaut that although he had made two films prior to The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), he considered that to be his first real film.
Directed the pilot episode of the radio series "Suspense" which aired from 1942-1962, and made a brief appearance at the end. It was an adaptation of his 1927 film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) and starred Herbert Marshall and Edmund Gwenn , who reprised his brother Arthur Chesney 's role as Mr. Bunting.
As of the 5th edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), Hitchcock is the most represented director, with 18 films. Included are his films Blackmail (1929), The 39 Steps (1935), Sabotage (1936), Rebecca (1940), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Rope (1948), Strangers on a Train (1951), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), The Wrong Man (1956), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964) and Frenzy (1972).
Many of Hitchcock's films have one-word titles: Blackmail (1929), Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), Saboteur (1942), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), Rope (1948), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), Marnie (1964), Topaz (1969), Frenzy (1972). He favored one-word titles because he felt that it was uncluttered, clean and easily remembered by the audience.
He suggested some improvements to a scene in Gone with the Wind (1939) but the shots weren't used.
His bridling under the heavy hand of producer David O. Selznick was exemplified by the final scene of Rebecca (1940). Selznick wanted his director to show smoke coming out of the burning house's chimney forming the letter 'R." Hitch thought the touch lacked any subtlety; instead, he showed flames licking at a pillow embroidered with the letter 'R.'
First visited Hollywood in 1940, but was turned down by virtually all major motion picture studios because they thought he could not make a "Hollywood" picture. He was finally offered a seven-year directing contract by producer David O. Selznick. His first project was supposed to be a film about the Titanic, but Selznick scrapped the project because he "couldn't find a boat to sink." Selznick assigned Hitch to direct Rebecca (1940) instead, which later won the Best Picture Oscar.
Directed 8 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, Albert Bassermann, Michael Chekhov, Claude Rains, Ethel Barrymore and Janet Leigh. Fontaine won an Oscar for Suspicion (1941).
Often said that Shadow of a Doubt (1943) was his favorite film that he had directed.
He had a hard time devising one of his signature walk-ons for Lifeboat (1944), a film about a small group of people trying to survive on a small boat. What he eventually came up with was to have his picture in a newspaper advertisement for weight loss that floated among some debris around the boat. He had happened to have lost a considerable amount of weight from dieting around that time, so he was seen in both the "Before" and the "After" pictures.
Alma Reville and Hitch had one daughter, Patricia Hitchcock, who appeared in several of his movies: Stage Fright (1950), Strangers on a Train (1951) and Psycho (1960)
Asked writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac to write a novel for him after Henri-Georges Clouzot had been faster in buying the rights for "Celle qui n'était plus" which became Les diaboliques (1955). The novel they wrote, "From Among the Dead", was shot as Vertigo (1958).
Was at his heaviest in the late 1930s, when he weighed over 300 pounds. Although always overweight, he dieted and lost a considerable amount of weight in the early 1950s, with pictures from sets like To Catch a Thief (1955) showing a surprisingly thin Hitchcock. His weight continued to fluctuate throughout his life.
Although some of the movie going public knew him, his fame really took off after 1955. That's when "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) started. When the show was broadcast in homes week after week it gave him a much bigger exposure in the public eye. He also became quite rich from the show when it was syndicated in the US and overseas.
During production of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) he was said to have hid from producer Joan Harrison every time there was a problem with production. His favorite hiding place was behind the couch in his office.
Appears on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued 11 August 2009, in the Early TV Memories issue honoring "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955).
On April 29, 1974, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York sponsored a gala homage to Alfred Hitchcock and his contributions to the cinema. Three hours of film excerpts were shown that night. François Truffaut who had published a book of interviews with Hitchcock a few years earlier, was there that night to present "two brilliant sequences: the clash of the symbols in the second version of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) , and the plane attack on Cary Grant in North by Northwest (1959)." After the gala, Truffaut reflected again on what made Hitchcock unique and concluded: "It was impossible not to see that the love scenes were filmed like murder scenes, and the murder scenes like love scenes...It occurred to me that in Hitchcock's cinema...to make love and to die are one and the same."
He was naturalized as an American citizen in 1956.
Was a close friend of Albert R. Broccoli, well known as the producer of the James Bond - 007 franchise. Hitchcock's North by Northwest (1959) was the influence for the helicopter scene in From Russia with Love (1963)
For Psycho (1960), he deferred his standard $250,000 salary in lieu of 60% of the film's net profits. His personal earnings from the film exceeded $15 million. Adjusted for inflation, that amount would now top $150 million in 2006 terms.
Lent his name and character to a series of adolescent books entitled "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators" (circa late 1960s-early 1970s). The premise was that main character and crime-solver Jupiter Jones won the use of Mr. Hitchcock's limousine in a contest. Hitch also wrote forewords to this series of books. After his death, his famous silhouette was taken off the spine of the books, and the forewords (obviously) stopped appearing as well.
Was voted the Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. The same magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Films of all time includes more films directed by Hitchcock than by any other director, with four. On the list were his masterworks Psycho (1960) (#11), Vertigo (1958) (#19), North by Northwest (1959) (#44) and Notorious (1946) (#66).
Walt Disney refused to allow him to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie Psycho (1960)".
He directed nine of the American Film Institute's 100 Most Heart-Pounding Movies: Psycho (1960) at #1, North by Northwest (1959) at #4, The Birds (1963) at #7, Rear Window (1954) at #14, Vertigo (1958) at #18, Strangers on a Train (1951) at #32, Notorious (1946) at #38, Dial M for Murder (1954) at #48 and Rebecca (1940) at #80.
As a longstanding friend of Sidney Bernstein (the pair had formed production company Transatlantic Pictures together in the 1940s) Hitch was the first celebrity visitor to the set of long-running UK soap opera "Coronation Street" (1960), during a June 1964 visit to the Manchester studios of Granada Television which Bernstein co-founded with his brother Cecil.
He allegedly refused the British honour of C.B.E. (Commander of the order of the British Empire) in 1962.
He never won a best director Oscar in competition, although he was awarded the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award at the 1967 Oscars.
He delivered the shortest acceptance speech in Oscar history: while accepting the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award at the 1967 Oscars, he simply said "Thank you."
On August 2nd, 1968, he visited Finland to look filming locations for his next film, "The Short Night". Of course, the film was never made. In the airport, he was interviewed by Finnish reporters. He was asked why his films were so popular. His answer was: "Everybody likes to be scared".
He was reportedly furious when Brian De Palma decided to make Obsession (1976), because he thought it was a virtual remake of Vertigo (1958). Ironically, De Palma stopped making mystery/adventure films after Hitchcock's death in 1980, with the possible exception of Body Double (1984).
From 1977 until his death, he worked with a succession of writers on a film to be known as "The Short Night". The majority of the writing was done by David Freeman, who published the final screenplay after Hitchcock's death.
He was director William Girdler's idol. Girdler made Day of the Animals (1977) borrowing elements from Hitchcock's The Birds (1963).
In a recent USC class on Hitchcock (fall of 2000), guest speaker Patricia Hitchcock revealed that two guilty pleasures of Hitch's were Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and Benji (1974)!
When he won his Lifetime Achievement award in 1979, he joked with friends that he must be about to die soon. He died a year later.
In the New Year's Honour's list of 1980 (only a few months before his death), he was named an Honorary (as he was a U.S. citizen) Knight Commander of the British Empire.
He was knighted in 1980, and died the same year.
Due to his death in 1980, he never got to see Psycho II (1983) . It remains unsure as to whether or not he was approached regarding the second movie, or any other "Psycho (1960) -Expansion" motion picture.
Ranked #2 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Greatest directors ever!"