Alfred Hitchcock - The Master of Suspense WWW Page

Release: v 2.0

Last updated: October 19, 2002 14:33 PST

Written by: Patricio Lopez-Guzmán

This is the second version of the Alfred Hitchcock - The Master of Suspense WWW Page FAQ. It is intended to answer several of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to Hitchcock and my web page.


I General Information on Hitchcock and this Web Page

II Movies

III The TV Show

IV The Writing

V Buying & Selling

General Information on Hitchcock and this Web Page
Who is Alfred Hitchcock?
Alfred Hitchcock was a film director (b. 1899 d. 1980) whose most famous work include Vertigo, The Birds, Psycho, etc, etc.
Read his Biography for more info.

Is Alfred Hitchcock dead?
Yes, Hitchcock died at 9:17 April 29, 1980 of complications of kidney and heart failure.

Are you Alfred Hitchcock or do you have any connection to Hitchcock, his films, his relatives, the stars of his films, etc?
No, I'm a student I work for a tv network in Mexico (I edit this lovely webpage, please visit and have no contact whatsoever with the Hitchcock Estate, MCA, Universal or Paramount.

Did Hitchcock have a belly button?
Believe it or not but I get this question all the time. Answer: Hitchcock being a mamal had to be born with a belly button, its just how it is for us mamals. Apparently Hitchcock had several opperations in the belly area leading his doctors to sow up the bb, but I have never read this from a credible printed source. I suspect its an bizarre urban legend.


Which ones are his best films?
Here is my list of the bare bone's essential Hitchcock:

His Early Work
39 Steps
The Man who Knew too Much

Development of the McGuffin and Suspense
Strangers on a Train

Hitchcock in full form
The Man Who Knew Too Much (2nd Version)
Rear Window
North by Northwest

Beyond the thriller
The Birds

Where can I get the full Hitchcock film scripts on the Internet?
All movie scripts are copyrighted by their authors, posting copyrighted copies on the net is illegal, so I cannot, and do not know of any such scripts existing on the net.

Does Hitchcock appear on all of his movies?
Well, almost, for a complete listing please go to the cameo page.

What does the movie The Birds mean? writes:

I have just finished watching my first Hitchcock film "The Birds"
Please, can you explain the ending and why we never find out about
the reason for the birds' attacks or what happens to the characters??
I am confused.

Well, The Birds has a very interesting structure, Fellini called it a filmic poem, and since poems just end, the movie does the same, that's why there is no "THE END" credit, card at the end. If you watch the movie again, you can clearly see that the movie has some sharp divisions between scenes.

At the beginning it's like a light comedy, and as we advance into the film, the following scenes grow progressively darker. As for the fate of the characters, Hitchcock left it ambiguous because he felt that the story would have more impact, if we imagined the ending in our heads.

The bird attacks are a metaphor for loneliness and fear of abandonment, each attack, is preceded by someone speaking of fear of being left alone, or how they were abandoned as a child, or how they lost their family, etc. The film works in a very symbolic level, so the bird attacks, are the exteriorization of how the characters feel. Of course that's my opinion (based on the books The Art of Alfred Hitchcock and The Dark Side of Genious: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock by Donald Spoto) and the movie is open to any explanation.

Who do you think is best Alfred Hitchcock or Stephen King?

Alfred Hitchcock with the exception of two films (Psycho and The Birds) was not a director of horror films, he did small polite thrillers, where the main objective is to create suspense, not terror. But because of the effect that Psycho and The Birds had on Pop culture there is a general misconception about the thematic aspects of Hitchock's films. In other words you can't compare Hitchcock with SK, H.P. Lovecraft or any other horror writer.

The TV Show

What was Alfred Hitchcock presents?

Alfred Hitchcock Presents was the last really successful anthology series with the wider viewing public. Between 1955 and 1962 there were 266 episodes of the series on American television spread over seven seasons with a further 93 episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour over three seasons between 1962 and 1965. Four times the series was in the top 25 programs as measured by the Neilsen surveys. AHP is, to date, the last of the five anthology series to have made it into the one hundred most popular series since the inception of the Neilsen ratings in 1950. For the 1950-88 period AHP was ranked 93rd behind Fireside Theatre (1949-63) at 36th, General Electric Theatre (1953-62) at 42nd, Philco TV Playhouse (1948-55) at 70th, and Ford Theatre (1949-57) at 79th[2].

Although his imprimatur was absolutely central to its success, Hitchcock neither initiated the series nor did he involve himself a great deal in its production. The idea apparently came from the president of MCA, Lew Wasserman, while production was the responsibility of longtime associates, Joan Harrison and Norman Lloyd (who played the saboteur in Hitchcock's 1942 feature Saboteur). Of the 372 teleplays produced over ten years by Hitchcock's company, Shamley Productions, Hitchcock directed only twenty from scripts handpicked for him by Harrison who was familiar with his thematic interests. His main ongoing involvement was in script supervision which amounted to the selection of forty scripts for each season from the hundred or so submitted to him, a process upon which McCarty and Kelleher have commented:

In addition to having been published, the kinds of stories Hitchcock and Harrison--and later [Gordon] Hessler and Lloyd--preferred were ones about ordinary people (as opposed to the underworld, though even this was not taboo) who get involved in an extraordinary situation (like murder) that climaxes either in an ironic manner or with a unique surprise twist. Although the former was clearly an established Hitchcockian motif, evident in virtually all of the director's feature films, the latter was not. Only Vertigo and Psycho conclude in a manner that is boldly reminiscent of the television series.

Kapsis has noted that Hitchcock often highlighted the differences between the TV series and his movies[4]. However the tone of the whole series, set in Hitchcock's prologues and epilogues, was also that of certain Hitchcock movies, notably his very personal macabre comedy The Trouble with Harry (1955).

The role of the host was an integral part of anthology series and often the main unifying factor. The unique feature of AHP was the way Hitchcock's hosting of the series provided a continuity akin to that of characterisation in the episodic series. Although we know that Hitchcock delegated much of the responsibility for the production to his associates and was not creatively involved in most of the individual episodes, his psychological presence was very strong. Norman Lloyd has acknowledged that `the whole style of the series was totally influenced by [Hitchcock's] style'. In

emulating his style--the suspense, irony and quirky humour--even at times to the calling of the shots on the set as it was thought Hitchcock might call them his collaborators were, in a sense, being `more Hitchcock than Hitch himself.' The overriding impression given by the series is that of Hitchcock the creator, the dominant force behind the show, an impression which both the host and his collaborators cultivated. On the subject of Hitchcock as host, Kapsis has written that: "Hitchcock's weekly presence on the show transcended that of mere host, meaning that he also provided the series with the continuity of an episodic series. Through his intervention at the end of each program, Hitchcock saw to it that law and order were restored."

Did Hitchcock talk like he did in his show?
No, he delivered his lines in an exaggerated manner. His monologues were written by his AHP playwright James Allardrice who also wrote the great Psycho trailer.

Do you know about the AHP episode where (fill in the blanks)?
No, I have seen very few (maybe two) AHP shows and have no info whatsoever on any specific episode

Why dont you have more info on Alfred Hitchcock Presents?
Because I don't much care for television, or the series. They were way before my time, the movies have a more permanent quality to them.

The Writing

I have seen fiction books by him, where can I get them?

Short Answer:
Hitchcock didn't write anything. He directed movies.

Long Answer

The books you are thinking about are anthologies of horror stories: The Alfred Hitchcock Magazine or The Three Investigators Series. Hitchcock aside from being a great filmmaker was a great businessman, he knew that by selling his image to the printed media, TV, etc. he would become wealthy, recognizable and powerfull as a Hollywood director and producer. In this way Hitchcock became a brand name, when people went to see Psycho, North by Northwest or Rear Window, they weren't going to a James Stewart, Cary Grant or Anthony Perkins film, they went to se a Hitchcock film. Hitchcock said that writing scripts was the job of a screenwriter, not a director, he was a great text editor and his ideas are all over the scripts of his movies, but he only got a screen writing credit for 8 of his 52 movies - The Ring (1927), Champagne (1928), Blackmail (1929), Murder! (1930), Juno and the Paycock (1930), The Skin Game (1931), Rich and Strange (1932) and Number Seventeen (1932)

Why dont you have more info on the Three Investigators?
1. I haven't read the books.
2. What's the point? Hitchcock did not write the stories, and although they were very popular in their day, they have at the most a minor place in his bibliography.

Buying & Selling
Where can I get Alfred Hitchcock related products?
On the net there are a dozen of options, the most obvious ones being and Barnes & Noble. In real life try your local video store.

Can I pay you to put up a big gigantic ad in your site which will put millions of dollars in your pockets?
I don't really care about money that much, the internet is overcomercialised as it is, and besides, It would spoil my layouts.

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