opinion column uk

Alfred Hitchcock : The man who changed motion picture storytelling


From the famous low flying plane in 'North By Northwest' to the psychologically tormenting 'Psycho', Alfred Hitchcock defined an era of filmmaking that set a standard for motion picture storytelling.

Within every frame, Hitchcock throughout his career, built compelling, visceral stories with psychological anticipation. The execution of his scenes built intrigue and suspense as audiences learned, frame by frame the fate of their onscreen heroes. Within that anticipation, characters were revealed, and we discovered their fragility, their innocence, and sometimes their ignorance. The British director brought so vividly into our imaginations the agonising wait of impending doom, and never quite gave us relief until we were on the edge of our seats. He was able to place audiences deep within the minds and the feelings of the people on the screen, and because it felt so real, his art was so admired.

Now, with the new 'Hitchock' release coming this February, fans of the director will be able to re-visit his life behind-the-scenes for the first time, interpreted by Sir Anthony Hopkins. Directed by Sacha Gervasi, 'Hitchcock' will follow the story of the director's relationship with wife Alma Reville as he sets out to make his iconic classic 'Psycho', but trouble starts when his controlling personality starts to erode his wife's patience, and finds a new set of challenges when he sets out to self-finance the movie. With an all-star cast including Scarlett Johansson, Helen Mirren, James D'Arcy and Jessica Biel, producers of 'Hitchcock' have combined an interesting mix of character actors, and household names to the picture.

Looking back at Alfred Hitchcock's Classics like 'Dial M for Murder' starring Grace Kelly and 'Vertigo', with James Stewart, these movies became iconic for their suspense, but it was also the director's ability to create the thrill of danger, through music and camera set ups, that really made his storytelling iconic and memorable. His style of filmmaking was also adapted and remade in several films. One of the most notable Hitchcock adaptations to screen was in the movie 'From Russia With Love' which came out in 1963. Director Terence Young shot an entire action scene that mimicked the style of Hitchcock's earlier work in 'North by North West' in the famous plane attack scene. This homage, featured in a high-paced, James Bond action scene with Sean Connery, helped propel suspense to a worldwide audience.

While Alfred Hitchcock's movie masterpieces remind us of a different period in cinematic history, his talent for storytelling lives on to this day. Many new and up and coming film directors study Hitchcock's work, and his influence continues to inspire the next generation of filmmakers.

'Hitchcock' Trailer


Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson star in HITCHCOCK - the untold story behind the film director that shocked the world. In cinemas February 8th

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by 20th Century Fox via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of (20th Century Fox/Hitchcock)

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