hitchcock was a great director.
I am currently just within a week of finishing my University dissertation, I have found it very hard to accept Hitchcock as an Auteur, I spend a large amount of my dissertation arguing why he can’t be.
To put my views in a nutshell: Although I respect his work as a director, and appreciate some of the technical skill in the shots he took (e.g. Rope, Vertigo, Psycho), but I feel people give Hitchcock too much credit and praise for the film’s he directed, it’s not like he wrote the screenplay, or even came up with the original idea for film’s he directed, or created the music. He was given, later choose which scripts to direct, but even then the studios he worked for (1942 onwards: Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal) had final say on casting and editing, and what was allowed on screen was still governed by Hays Code until film ratings were instituted November 1st 1968 I also get annoyed when trailer’s and openings to film’s contain the words: Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Title of Film’
Usually, as I discuss in my dissertation from the mid-50s till his death, the text size of Alfred Hitchcock is the same size, sometimes larger (e.g. Psycho) than the Film title itself.
I discuss this use of ‘brand’ Hitchcock to promote and advertise films he directed, and theorise this may go some of the way to explaining how so much credit is given to him.
That and of course François Truffaut’s book Hitchcock/Truffaut declaring Hitchcock an Auteur, a title he seemed more than happy to accept. Even though it’s interesting to note that Hitchcock himself said in an interview in Nov 1937 that:
‘the director was becoming less important and that the producer was really the man on whom pictures relied’
’the producer must be the man in control … the producer must be the man with this flair’ I also test whether Hitchcock fits all the requirements of an Auteur laid out by Andrew Sarris,
in brief they are: 1 – Does the Director of the film have any technical skill?
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