According to many people who knew Hitchcock, he could not stand to even look at his wife, Alma Reville, while she was pregnant.
He once dressed up in drag for a party he threw. Footage of this was kept in his office, but after his death, his office was cleaned out and the footage not found. It is not known if the footage still exists.
According to Hitchcock himself, he was required to stand at the foot of his mother's bed, and tell her what happened to him each day.
Was close friends with 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). Actors Sean Connery, Karin Dor, Louis Jourdan and Anthony Dawson have appeared in both a Hitchcock film and a Bond film.
He appears on a 32-cent U.S. postage stamp, in the "Legends of Hollywood" series, that was released 8/3/98 in Los Angeles, California.
As a child, Hitchcock was sent to the local police station with a letter from his father. The desk sergeant read the letter and immediately locked the boy up for ten minutes. After that, the sergeant let young Alfred go, explaining, "This is what happens to people who do bad things." Hitchcock had a morbid fear of police from that day on. He also cited this phobia as the reason he never learned to drive (as a person who doesn't drive can never be pulled over and given a ticket). It was also cited as the reason for the recurring "wrong man" themes in his films.
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 cymbals 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 never won a best director Academy Award in competition, although he was awarded the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award at the 1967 Academy Awards.
In the 1980 Queen's New Year's Honours list (only a few months before his death), he was named an Honorary (as he was a United States citizen) Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
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.
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'. Hitchcock thought the touch lacked any subtlety; instead, he showed flames licking at a pillow embroidered with the letter 'R'.
First visited Hollywood in the late 1930s, but was turned down by virtually all major motion picture studios because they thought he could not make a Hollywood-style 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.
When finishing a cup of tea while on the set, he would often non-discriminatingly toss the cup and saucer over his shoulder, letting it fall (or break) wherever it may.
He delivered the shortest acceptance speech in Academy Award history: while accepting the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award at the 1967 Academy Awards, he simply said "Thank you".
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.
He was listed as the editor of a series of anthologies containing mysteries and thillers. However, he had little to do with them. Even the introductions, credited to him, were, like the introductions on his television series, written by others.
One of the most successful Hitchcock tie-ins is a pulp publication titled "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine". The publication is highly respected and has become one of the longest running mystery anthologies. It continues to be published almost a quarter century after Hitchock's death.
He allegedly refused the British honour of CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1962.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Often said that Shadow of a Doubt (1943) was his favorite film among those he had directed.
Was a supporter of West Ham United Football Club. He told colleagues in Hollywood that he subscribed to English newspapers in order to keep track of their results.
He was infamous with cast and crews for his practical jokes. While some inspired laughs, such as suddenly showing up in a dress, most were said to have been a bit more scar than funny. Usually, he found out about somebody's phobias, such as mice or spiders, and in turn sent them a box full of them.
He would work closely with screenwriters, giving them a series of scenes that he wanted in the films, thus closely controlling what he considered the most important aspect of the filmmaking process. Although the screenwriter would write the actual dialogue and blocking, many of the scripts for his films were rigidly based on his ideas.
Praised Luis Buñuel as the best director ever.
Ranked #2 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Greatest Directors Ever!" in 2005.
Education: St. Ignatius College, London, School of Engineering and Navigation (Studied mechanics, electricity, acoustics and navigation); University of London (Studied art).
Although some of the movie going public knew him, his fame really took off after 1955. That was 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 United States and overseas.
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.
Is the "voice" of the "Jaws" ride at Universal Studios.
On August 2, 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 awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6506 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Television at 7013 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
A statistical survey he did among audiences revealed that according to moviegoers the most frightening noise in films was the siren of a police patrol-car, followed by the crash of a road accident, cracklings of a burning forest, far galloping horses, howling dogs, the scream of a stabbed woman and the steps of a lame person in the dark.
Though he was Oscar-nominated five times as best director, DGA-nominated six times as best director, and received three nominations from Cannes, he never won in any of these competitive categories, a fact that surprises fans and film critics to this day.
He suggested some improvements to a scene in Gone with the Wind (1939) but the shots integrating his improvements were not used.
He was naturalized as a United States citizen in 1956.
In addition to his fear of the police, Hitchcock possessed one other phobia: eggs.
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).
As a long-time 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 British 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.
Appears on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp, issued 11 August 2009, in the Early TV Memories issue honoring Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955).
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.
He appears momentarily in a trademark/cameo role in all of his movies. In addition the neon silhouette in Rope (1948), he is seen walking down the street during the opening credits. During the movie, the characters of Mrs. Atwater and Janet are discussing a movie whose one-word title they can not remember. It was a plug for one of Hitchcock's other movies, Notorious (1946).
Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, was one day younger than him. They were born August 13 and August 14, 1899.
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) and Frenzy (1972). He favored one-word titles because he felt that it was uncluttered, clean and easily remembered by the audience.
Donald Spoto wrote that Hitchcock hid behind the door when Bernard Herrmann went to see him after Torn Curtain (1966) break up. Herrmann's third wife Norma denied this in an interview with Gunther Kogebehn in June 2006. In June 2006 interview with Kogebehn, Norma Herrmann states that she and Bernard Herrmann "together" visited Alfred Hitchcock.
(April 27, 2014) Most successful director in IMDB Top 250 movies ever made with 9 entries - Rear Window (1954) (no 31.), Psycho (1960) (no. 32), North by Northwest (1959) (no. 61), Vertigo (1958) (no. 66), Rebecca (1940) (no. 138), Dial M for Murder (1954) (no. 163), Strangers on a Train (1951) (no. 194), Notorious (1946) (no. 198) and Rope (1948) (no. 242).
His Dial M for Murder (1954) was re-released in 3D in 1980.
Deliberately shot much of the setups in Rear Window (1954) so they would appear voyeuristic.
British author Anthony Horowitz is a huge fan of Hitchcock and will often pay homage to his work.
If you watch his films closely noting the endings or portrayal of cops, you will see that if a cop is required to die, the death will be slow, gruesome or uncompromisingly grisly. If cops survive they are nearly always portrayed as baddies, though in reality they are the good guys. This is because Hitchcock had a life-long phobia of policemen.
In 1964 visited the set of Coronation Street (The longest running soap ever(55 years so far)) and had a drink at the Rovers Return, a Pub strongly featured in the soap opera.