[[caption-width-right:350:[[CatchPhrase "Good evening. I'm Alfred Hitchcock."]]]]

-> ''“People believe that the cinema has to, by necessity, be horizontal in its form. That is, go to a great many places and locales. That is not so. It should be possible to make an interesting film in a closet with the door shut. The idea is to reveal human nature and behavior with your camera moves. This presupposes, of course, an interesting story and characters worth revealing.”''
-->-- '''Alfred Hitchcock'''

The acknowledged master of cinematic [[{{DramaticIrony}} suspense]], '''Alfred Joseph Hitchcock''' (August 13, 1899 – April 29, 1980) is one of the most famous directors of all time, if not ''the'' most famous. Most people have probably seen at least one of his films at some time or another.

He also produced and hosted the television anthology series ''AlfredHitchcockPresents'' from 1955 to 1965, although he actually only directed a handful of the show's episodes. Many of his films are adaptations of novels or short stories.

Although "Hitch" is now considered one of the greatest directors of all time, for much of his life he was regarded as a [[UnderestimatingBadassery mere entertainer]] rather than a serious artist. The FrenchNewWave critics, especially Creator/FrancoisTruffaut, played a major role in correcting this by propounding the "auteur theory", which holds up the director (rather than the producer, screenwriter, actors, etc.) as the key artist on a film. Hitchcock was regarded as the major exemplar as this.

Most people consider either ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'' or ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' to be his MagnumOpus, although Hitchcock himself regarded ''Film/ShadowOfADoubt'' as his personal favorite. ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'', ''Film/RearWindow'', and ''Film/TheBirds'' are also frequently cited as favorites among fans. ''Film/RearWindow'' in particular is often used as a [[RearWindowHomage plot template]] in other media.

The Hitchcock style went on to typify a certain kind of thriller, one which was copied by others over time. The Stanley Donen-directed ''Film/{{Charade}}'', for instance, was referred to by one reviewer as "the best Hitchcock film that Hitchcock never made". Also, the Italian {{Giallo}} film movement essentially stemmed from the Hickcockian style. Hitchcock was also known for his frequent use of the 'MacGuffin' (a term he popularized) in his films.

To see a list of all of his movies, [[FilmsByAlfredHitchcock click here]].

Hitchcock was [[KnightFever knighted]] a brief four months prior to his death. He's also somewhat well known for making the shortest-ever acceptance speech at the UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s (on receiving the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1968): "Thank you very much, indeed."

!!Works featuring fictional portrayals of Alfred Hitchcock
* Played by Creator/AnthonyHopkins in ''Film/{{Hitchcock}}'', about the making of ''Film/{{Psycho}}''.
* Played by Toby Jones in ''Film/TheGirl'', about Hitchcock's relationship with Tippi Hedren.
* Played by Roger Ashton-Griffiths in ''Film/GraceOfMonaco''

!!Tropes in the films of Alfred Hitchcock:

* AbsurdPhobia: According to interviews, he was afraid of eggs.
-->''"I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes [...] have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I've never tasted it."''
* ActionSurvivor: There is a Hitchcockian pattern of an ordinary man or woman, through one bad turn, falling into extraordinary circumstances and fighting his or her way out: ''Film/ShadowOfADoubt'', ''Film/StrangersOnATrain'', ''Film/TheWrongMan'', ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'', ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'', ''Film/TheManWhoKnewTooMuch''.
* AllThereInTheManual: The book-length interviews Francois Truffaut did with Hitchcock, generally known as ''Hitchcock/Truffaut'' was the first in-depth study on a film-maker pertaining to craft and technique and style. Several critics and film-makers like Steven Soderbergh consider it among the greatest books on films. It remains the starting point for all kinds of Hitchcock information, though later generations have tried to correct some of Hitchcock's tendencies for [[UnreliableNarrator obfuscation]].
* AmbiguouslyGay: Numerous villains, henchmen, thugs, goons and mooks in his films fall into this category, bearing in mind that these films were made in a different era of Hollywood and American culture. Cases in point: ''Theatre/{{Rope}}'', ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'', ''Film/StrangersOnATrain''.
* AuteurLicense: Hitchcock was one of the few who achieved this in UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood, though he had to struggle for it in his early years. Even in England, ''Film/TheLodger'' had its ending change because of its dark story. In America, ''Suspicion'' where he hoped to cast Cary Grant in an unconventional role resulted in ExecutiveMeddling. From ''Notorious'' onwards, Hitchcock served as his own producer even if he never actually took credit as producer, always favoring ''Directed by Alfred Hitchcock'' as his mantle.
* AuthorAppeal: Most female main characters will be blondes, though this feature only comes in his 50s-60s films, where earlier actresses like Joan Fontaine, Teresa Wright, Ingrid Bergman, Sylvia Sidney tending to be BrainyBrunette. Hitchcock himself pointed out that his films were subversions and critique of the DumbBlonde stereotype popular in the 50s, actresses like Grace Kelly, Eva Marie Saint, Janet Leigh and Tippi Hedren had vastly more complex motivations and HiddenDepths than other films of that time.
* BlackComedy: Lots of darkly comic moments among the blood. Hitchcock himself considered ''Psycho'' a comedy.
* {{Claustrophobia}}: ''Lifeboat'', ''Film/{{Rope}}''.
* CreatorCameo: He appears in every film in a nonspeaking role. This habit became so famous that he confined his appearances to the first fifteen minutes of his films so that audiences would not be distracted watching for him among the extras. In ''Film/TheWrongMan'', he appears personally in silhouette and introduces the film, apparently because it was based on a true story. In ''Lifeboat'', since it's set entirely within the titular lifeboat, he appears in a weight-loss advert in a newspaper - he had recently lost a substantial amount of weight and was the model for both the before and after shots. In ''Family Plot'', his last film, he isn't (technically) on screen at all - only his silhouette appears, cast on frosted glass, in a fashion reminiscent of the opening of ''Presents''.
* DepravedHomosexual: Mrs. Danvers in ''Literature/{{Rebecca}}'', the Leopold and Loeb stand-ins in ''Film/{{Rope}}'', Bruno in ''Film/StrangersOnATrain'', and Martin Landau's character in ''Film/NorthByNorthwest''.
* DramaticIrony: He was the master of "suspense", this was his chief weapon in capturing and keeping the attention of the audience. Almost all of his films contain a situation where the viewer knows more than (some of) the characters, or can see something or someone coming that a character is unaware of. He also stated in interviews that he generally did not like "plot twists" (''Film/{{Psycho}} being one of the exceptions) and he regretted some of the gimmicks like the "lying flashback" in ''Stage Fright'' which he felt rested on fooling and deceiving the audience, and as such tended [[ItWasHisSled to get dated very fast]]
** ''Rope'' for example is real time evening of an entire dinner party, held in the same room where there is a dead body in a cupboard. The guests are completely oblivious. Only the viewers and the two men who murdered him (their hosts) know it, which makes the seemingly normal conversation that takes place meaningful for us and them.
** Hitchcock explained this trope during an filmed interview by describing a situation where he and the interviewer are talking about baseball while the audience can see that there is a bomb hidden beneath the table.
* EnforcedMethodActing: Ironic because Hitchcock actually disliked MethodActing or what was then known [[{{Flanderization}} as Method Acting]]. He made more than fifty films over several decades, and generally did not make this a practice but some examples stand out.
** In the attic scene in ''Film/TheBirds'', Hitchcock had crew guys hurling real gulls and crows at Tippi Hedren...for five straight days of shooting. As a result, she was plagued by dreams of flapping wings. The birds themselves had been fed whiskey to make them more aggressive. Needless to say, this was ''long'' before the NoAnimalsWereHarmed certificates.
** The story of ''Literature/{{Rebecca}}'' called for Joan Fontaine to be nervous around the other actors, so Hitchcock told her that no one else on set liked her. LaurenceOlivier did hate her, repeatedly telling Hitch, [[JerkAss "She can't act, old boy!"]]. This was more because of Joan Fontaine's inexperience at the time than anything else. For ''Suspicion'', for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress, he relied on her more. Fontaine enjoyed working with Hitchcock on the whole.
** For ''Vertigo'', Kim Novak was not his first choice, and most of the costumes were selected for Vera Miles(she appeared in ''The Wrong Man'' and played Marion Crane's sister later in ''Psycho''). So Kim Novak's stiffness and discomfort as Madeleine emphasized by costumes for another actress actually helped her in that role.
** Hitchcock was a notorious practical joker and was never tired of making jokes and shocking his cast and crew. When filming ''Literature/TheThirtyNineSteps'' he needed a shocked reaction from Madeline Carroll. He achieved this by pretending to pull his cock out.
* FreudianExcuse: Hitchcock was heavily influenced by Freud and probably defined a lot of popular conceptions about it. His films abound in visual gags and cues that are incredible, vulgar, Freudian jokes. That said, his genuine interest in psychoanalysis was sparked by his conversations with Joseph Stefano, the screenwriter of ''Psycho'', who had undergone analysis and who later collaborated on ''Marnie'' one of the most sophisticated and interesting explorations of psychoanalysis in film history and truer to the source than most movies.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Examples are too numerous to list.
* InfoDump: Some of his American films, since it still labored under UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode was filled with heavy exposition scenes. Most famously, the psychologist's monologue at the end of ''{{Psycho}}''.
* MacGuffin: He was the TropeNamer and TropeCodifier. According to him, the screenwriter Angus [=MacPhail=] coined the term. He said in interviews that a MacGuffin was any object of interest all parties wanted but are actually not all that important to the characters. Some examples are ''Literature/TheThirtyNineSteps'', ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' (the money stolen from the office which becomes a nonissue midway into the film) and ''Film/TheManWhoKnewTooMuch''.
** ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'' was regarded by Hitchcock as the ultimate MacGuffin. The hero is accused to be a spy by the villains but it turns out that not only is the hero not the spy but the spy ''does not exist'' but is in fact the product of a government disinformation campaign, and that the entire plot is fought for a pile of nothing.[[note]]Hitchcock noted that this was based on a real-life WorldWar2 disinformation campaign conducted by British Intelligence. They successfully decieved the Nazis for several months to chase after a top-secret British spy who didn't exist. Hitchcock was fascinated with what could happen if someone were mistaken for that fake identity[[/note]]
* MissingEpisode:
** Hitchcock's first film, a 1923 release called ''The White Shadow'', was thought lost for more than 80 years--until its first three reels were [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/8781253/Lost-Alfred-Hitchcock-classic-shown-after-80-years.html found]] as part of a private collection in New Zealand.
** 1927's ''The Mountain Eagle'' is not known to survive in any form, despite exhaustive searches of film archives. Check your attic. In his interviews with Truffaut, Hitchcock was dismissive of the film, insisting that it was not a very good film and that the succeeding film, ''Film/TheLodger'' was his first major work.
* MyBelovedSmother: A common theme among his bad guys (and sometimes his heroes as well) is highly domineering mothers. Taken up to eleven in ''{{Psycho}}'' which defined this trope for all time.
* TheOner: ''Film/{{Notorious}}'', ''Film/{{Rope}}'', ''Young And Innocent''.
* ThePeepingTom: ''Film/TheLodger'', ''Film/{{Notorious}}'', ''Film/RearWindow'', ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'', ''Film/{{Psycho}}''.
* PigeonholedDirector: Perhaps the most famous tone, even today he is associated with the suspense thriller genre and all its tropes. This was a problem on some of the few films which departed on the formula. ''Under Capricorn'' was a 19th Century romance set in Australia (albeit filled with dark passion and emotional trauma), starring Creator/IngridBergman, ''The Wrong Man'' was a RippedFromTheHeadlines story about a real case and was more a working class drama, while ''The Trouble With Harry'' was a genuine comedy (with some macabre and grotesque touches). All these films were box-office failures.
-->''"I'm a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be [[JustHereForGodzilla looking for a body]] in the coach."''
* PoliceAreUseless: A traumatic childhood incident when his father used the local police to teach him a lesson worthy of [[Series/ArrestedDevelopment J. Walter Wetherman]] caused him to enact revenge in all his films. Though ''Film/DialMForMurder'' and ''Film/{{Frenzy}}'' are notable exceptions.
* ProductionPosse: Amassed a sizable one over his long career.
** His wife Alma Reville served as script supervisor on his first film and played a key role in all his films,
** Joan Harrison was another important producer and was in charge of ''Alfred Hitchcock Presents''.
** Robert Boyle was his preferred Production Designer
** Robert Burks was his most common cinematographer (certainly in the 1950s)
** George Tomassini was his editor until he died after ''Marnie''
** Most famously BernardHerrmann and Saul Bass.
** Actors to appear frequently in his films include Creator/JamesStewart, Creator/CaryGrant, Creator/IngridBergman, Creator/GraceKelly and several other actors of course.
** Several of the actors had UndyingLoyalty to Hitchcock. A prime example of this is actor Norman Lloyd, who later went on to play Dr. Daniel Auschlander on ''Series/StElsewhere'' and Dr. Isaac Mentnor on ''Series/SevenDays'', who worked for Hitchcock as an associate producer and director on ''Alfred Hitchcock Presents''. At the time, Hitchcock was the only person willing to give him any type of gainful employment. Other than that, he had been blacklisted in the entertainment industry for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and identify suspected communists and as a result, had been branded as a communist himself.
** Screenwriter Angus Mac Phail (who he credited for coining the McGuffin) had trouble with alcoholism and Hitchcock arranged him to work on ''The Wrong Man'' to help his friend out.
* SceneryPorn:
** MonumentalBattle: The UsefulNotes/StatueOfLiberty in ''Film/{{Saboteur}}'', the British Museum in ''Film/{{Blackmail}}'', and Mount Rushmore in ''Film/NorthByNorthwest''.
** The Golden Gate Bridge and other San-Francisco-area locations in ''Film/{{Vertigo}}''.
** The French Riviera in ''Film/ToCatchAThief''.
** The autumn countryside of Vermont in ''Film/TheTroubleWithHarry''.
* SignatureStyle: No film director has a more recognizable and identifiable style than Hitchcock. His films were so unique that it was said you could tell it even if you missed the credits and promos.
* SilenceIsGolden: Even movies Hitchcock directed after the silent era occasionally manage to create drama without dialogue. Hitchcock was a painter and was very interested in visuals, almost to the point of expressing disdain for acting and dialogue.
* ThatsWhatSheSaid: Yes, even Hitch wasn't above them. Possibly has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z8mSwzSQQk the first FILMED instance]] of a "That's What She Said" joke.
* TropeNamer: MacGuffin (via one of his screenwriters) and helped popularize "FridgeLogic" when describing a scene in ''Film/{{Vertigo}}''. [[note]]See [[Trivia/{{Vertigo}} that page's Trivia]] for more info[[/note]]
* VertigoEffect: He basically invented the Tracking Zoom technique.
* WronglyAccused: ''Film/TheWrongMan''. Also ''Film/TheLodger'', ''Literature/TheThirtyNineSteps'', ''Film/StrangersOnATrain'', ''IConfess'', ''Film/DialMForMurder,'' ''Film/ToCatchAThief'', ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'', and ''Film/{{Frenzy}}''. Subverted in ''Film/StageFright'' and averted in ''Film/ShadowOfADoubt''.