All the essential documentaries on Alfred Hitchcock, including ‘Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius’ (1999), ‘The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock’ (1973), ‘Reputations: Alfred Hitchcock’ (1999), ‘In the Master’s Shadow: Hitchcock’s Legacy’ (2008), ‘American Masters: Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood’ (1999), Alfred Hitchcock Directs ‘Frenzy’ in 1972, ‘Hitchcock: Alfred the Great’ (1994), Alfred Hitchcock — Masters of Cinema (Complete Interview in 1972), ‘A Talk with Hitchcock’ (1964), and The Making of ‘Psycho’ (1997).
This documentary is a fascinating look at the cinematic genius of Alfred Hitchcock. Briefly covering much of his early British works, the film primarily focuses on his American classics, such as ‘Shadow of a Doubt,’ ‘Notorious,’ ‘Rear Window,’ ‘Vertigo,’ ‘Psycho’ and ‘The Birds.’ The movie also covers his television years and neatly examines the Hitchcock signature touches, from his inevitable brief cameo to his famous MacGuffin. Kevin Spacey narrates, and there are interviews with his delightful daughter Pat as well as such film directors as Brian De Palma, Jonathan Demme, Curtis Hanson, Robert Altman, Ronald Neame and Peter Bogdanovich, along with cast and crew members Tippi Hedren, Joseph Stefano, Norman Lloyd, Robert F. Boyle, Teresa Wright and Janet Leigh.
A look at Alfred Hitchcock’s films. The Master of Suspense himself, who is interviewed extensively here, shares stories including his deep-seated fear of policemen, elaborates on the difference between shock and suspense, defines the meaning of MacGuffin, and discusses his use of storyboarding in designing a film. Clips from many of his greatest films (including ‘North by Northwest,’ ‘Shadow of a Doubt,’ ‘The Birds,’ and the legendary shower scene from ‘Psycho’) illustrate his points, often to Hitchcock’s own voice-over observations, with narrator Cliff Robertson offering other critical insights.
This BBC documentary was broadcast in two parts in 1999: Alfred, the Great and Alfred, the Auteur, and focuses on the important parts of Hitchcock’s career. It starts off with his early life and work experience at the German studio UFA, which moves into his first features such as ‘The Lodger,’ ‘Sabotage,’ and ‘The 39 Steps.’ It then moves into his initial Hollywood work, with classics such as ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Rope.’ There’s also a look into his failed production company Transatlantic Pictures, who made ‘Rope’ and ‘Under Capricorn.’
A further 2 part version, with some scenes removed and others added, was broadcast in 2009 on BBC4.
In the Master’s Shadow — Hitchcock’s Legacy. Documentary about Hitchcock’s influence on other directors and films.
“Once you’ve sort of mined the classics and they become like logos that you see everywhere, the beauty of Hitchcock’s work is that the more subtle moments are even more powerful and more lasting, I think, ultimately, in the less bravura scenes in pictures like ‘Psycho.’ In ‘Psycho’ we have two or three very strong bravura moments which, of course, are the shower scene, the killing of Martin Balsam, the shocking ending… But the sequences that continually give me inspiration are the sequences in which she’s driving. The camera is very, very dead center on her, it’s very precise. And when you see her point of view, it’s dead center. It isn’t slightly off, that’s a big difference. These are very specific shots and they exist in almost an abstract way. You know, here it’s stripped down black and white. It’s like a dream, and yet you’re still awake. And you know with that music, too, that something terrible is going to happen to her. But it can’t because she’s the lead of the film. Come on, she stole 40,000 dollars, she’s on the lam, she’s running away, that’s the plot of the picture, let’s see what happens. So I was one of the ones who bought that completely. We were up there that night at the Mayfair Theater, it was called. And that was one of the first films I ever saw that said, Please do not reveal the ending. We were yelling at people as they were coming out of the theater, saying, What happens, what happens? Don’t ask, don’t ask, we’re not saying. We were all laughing and running. It was like a circus… a circus.” —Martin Scorsese, In the Master’s Shadow — transcript
Documentary profiling the tempestuous association between two of the greatest figures in Hollywood history, producer David O. Selznick and director Alfred Hitchcock, whose clashes played out dramatically against the backdrop of the disintegrating institution of the Hollywood studio system.
Incredible behind-the-scenes footage of Alfred Hitchcock directing ‘Frenzy’ from 1972.
Documentary profile of director Alfred Hitchcock. Includes interviews with acquaintances and clips from many of his movies.
An interview with Alfred Hitchcock around the time of ‘Frenzy’ (1972) provides a useful overview of his career. What makes this programme particularly interesting is that the first part of the interview is conducted by Pia Lindström, the daughter of Ingrid Bergman. Note that when she asks about ‘Spellbound’ (1945) and ‘Notorious’ (1946), she’s asking about films which starred her mother, which gives her questions an interesting subtext. —Ambrose Heron
Alfred Hitchcock takes us inside his creative process in this fascinating 1964 program from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. ‘A Talk with Alfred Hitchcock’ is part interview, part master class in the craft of telling stories on film. This 1964 interview of Alfred Hitchcock was part of the CBC television series Telescope with host-director Fletcher Markle. It was conducted during or immediately after the filming of Marnie and also contains interesting stories and comments from Alfred Hitchcock and his associates Norman Lloyd, Joan Harrison and Bernard Herrmann. There are clips from and during the making of several Hitchcock movies. While some of the recollections are part of Hitch’s standard interview material others are unique.
The Making of ‘Psycho’ (1997). A retrospective on the entire film, from start to finish. There are interviews with many of the principle cast and crew (including Janet Leigh and Joseph Stefano), who all talk openly and lovingly about entire process of making the film. The sessions with Janet Leigh are particularly involving, and she talks a great deal about shooting the now infamous shower scene.
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