Achievements of Alfred Hitchcock

Topics: Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho, Film Pages: 4 (1174 words) Published: May 13, 2013
The Achievements of Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock, born in 1899 in England, remains a prominent figure in the world of cinema. Hitchcock’s passion for film began in his childhood with his first job as writer of the title cards for silent films and, later on, becoming a director. Influenced by his Catholic upbringing, Hitchcock developed a sense of guilt and sin throughout his life with which he portrays in his work (Kehoe N.P.). As the leading director in the 1930’s, Hitchcock set the standard for international intrigue with his classic thrillers. His mastery of suspense and his unprecedented technique still makes him one of the most popular and celebrated film directors of all time (Flint N.P.). Alfred Hitchcock has numerous accomplishments; the most noteworthy being his films Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), and The Birds (1963).

Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958) raises performance to such a personal level that it addresses the nature of human personality itself (Sterritt 113). The protagonist in the film is John “Scottie” Ferguson, a former police detective, who has been forced into early retirement due to vertigo and depression. Scottie is then hired as a private investigator to follow a woman, Madeleine Elster, who had been behaving peculiarly. Vertigo is a film that operates on emotions and negative feelings. Hitchcock’s use of “fade to black” illustrates his tendency to emphasize the film’s most emotionally meaningful moments with a touch of theatricality. This technique intensifies the otherworldliness that becomes Vertigo’s most significant quality (Sterritt 92). Vertigo has a clear association with insanity; Michel Foucault, a French social theorist, states that it “affords the delirious affirmation that the world is really ‘turning around,’” such delirium being “a necessary and sufficient reason for a disease to be called madness” (Sterritt 98). The repeated shot of Scottie’s troubled gaze into an abyss below solidifies the ingenuity and...

Cited: Abrash, Merritt. "Hitchcock 's Terrorists: Sources And Significance." Literature Film Quarterly 39.3 (2011): 165-173. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.
Baer, William. "Psycho (1960)." Classic American Films: Conversations with the Screenwriters. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2007. ABC-CLIO eBook Collection. Web. 22 Apr 2013.
Flint, Peter B. "Alfred Hitchcock Dies; A Master of Suspense." The New York Times. The New York Times, 30 Apr. 1980. Web. 02 May 2013.
Kehoe, John. "Alfred Hitchcock." Biography 2.10 (1998): 124. Biography Collection Complete. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.
Sterritt, David "The Films of Alfred Hitchcock." Cambridge Film Classics New York: Cambridge University Press 1999
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