... on Alfred Hitchcock:
Alfred Hitchcock was the son of East End greengrocer William Hitchcock and his wife, Emma Jane (Whelan). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. Raised as a strict Catholic and attending Saint Ignatius College, a school run by Jesuits, Hitch had very much of a regular upbringing. His first job outside of the family business was in 1915 as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company. His interest in movies began at around this time, frequently visiting the cinema and reading US trade journals.
It was around 1920 when Hitchcock joined the film industry. He started off drawing the sets (he was a very skilled artist). It was there that he met Alma Reville, though they never really spoke to each other. It was only after the director for 'Always Tell Your Wife' (1923) fell ill and Hitchcock was named director to complete the film hat he and Reville began to collaborate.
Hitchcock had his first real crack at directing a film, start to finish, in 1923 when he was hired to direct the film Number 13 (1922) , though the production wasn't completed due to the studio's closure. Hitchcock didn't give up then. He directed a film called The Pleasure Garden (1925), a British/German production, which was very popular. Hitchcock made his first trademark film, The Lodger (1927) . In the same year, on the 2nd of December, Hitchcock married Alma Reville. They had one child, _Patricia Hitchcock_ who was born on July 7th, 1928.
Was a close friend of 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)
He never won a best director Oscar in competition, although he was awarded the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award at the 1967 Oscars.
Alma Reville and Hitchcock had one daughter, Patricia Hitchcock, who appeared in several of his movies: Stage Fright (1950), Strangers on a Train (1951) and Psycho (1960).
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.
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).
Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, M. Night Shyamalan, Martin Scorsese, George A. Romero, Peter Bogdanovich, Dario Argento, William Friedkin, David Cronenberg and Quentin Tarantino have named him as an influence.
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.
In late 1979, Hitchcock was knighted, making him Sir Alfred Hitchcock. On the 29th April 1980, 9:17AM, he died peacefully in his sleep due to renal failure. His funeral was held in the Church of Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Father Thomas Sullivan led the service with over 600 people attended the service, among them were Mel Brooks (director of High Anxiety (1977), a comedy tribute to Hitchcock and his films), Louis Jourdan , Karl Malden , Tippi Hedren , Janet Leigh and François Truffaut .