Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and producer, referred to as the “Master of Suspense”.
He pioneered many elements of the suspense and psychological thriller genres. He had a successful career in British cinema with both silent films and early talkies and became renowned as Britain’s leading filmmaker. Hitchcock moved to Hollywood in 1939 and became a U.S. citizen in 1955.
Hitchcock became a highly visible public figure through interviews, film trailers, cameo appearances in his own films, and the ten years in which he hosted the television programme Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965). He also fashioned for himself a recognisable directorial style, and the term Hitchcockian is now often used to refer to his style of filmmaking. Hitchcock’s stylistic trademarks include the use of camera movement that mimics a person’s gaze, forcing viewers to engage in a form of voyeurism. In addition, he framed shots to maximise anxiety, fear, or empathy, and used innovative forms of film editing. His work often features fugitives on the run alongside “icy blonde” female characters.
He directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades and is often regarded as one of the most influential directors in cinematic history. His first thriller, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), helped shape the thriller genre in film. His 1929 film, Blackmail, is often cited as the first British sound feature film, while Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959) and Psycho (1960) are regularly ranked among the greatest films of all time.
10, The Paradine Case (1947)
A happily married London barrister falls in love with the accused poisoner he is defending.
9, Lifeboat (1944)
Several survivors of a torpedoed ship find themselves in the same boat with one of the men who sunk it.
8, Frenzy (1972)
A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.
7, The Wrong Man (1956)
In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel “Manny” Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.
6, Saboteur (1942)
Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.
5, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.
4, Dial M For Murder (1954)
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.
3, Blackmail (1929)
After killing a man in self-defence, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing.
2, Foreign Correspondent (1938)
On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.
1, Suspicion (1941)
A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.