the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

12
March

Alfred Hitchcock Day

Posted by Brittany

Alfred Hitchcock DayAlfred Hitchcock was born in London at the very end of the 19th century. In his early twenties he began designing titles for silent films, and within a few short years he began his directing career — a career that spanned six decades. With almost seventy films to his credit, Hitchcock developed a distinct directorial style aimed at manipulating his audience in order to maximize their feelings of empathy and anxiety. He is widely regarded as the greatest British filmmaker of all time and his contributions to cinema made him a Hollywood icon long before his death in 1980.

I’ve always loved Alfred Hitchcock. I remember sitting in front of the television as a kid, watching nightly reruns of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I’ve been a fan of all things dark, morbid, and creepy for as long as I can remember, so the show offered the perfect way for me to wind down for bed. My favorite part was always the black and white intro with Sir Hitchcock himself. Whatever frightening or suspenseful story awaited, there was just something playful about the grandfatherly artist. My enjoyment of Hitchcock didn’t stop at the series — I grew up watching classics like Psycho, The Birds, and Dial M for Murder.

Tonight, in celebration of National Alfred Hitchcock Day, Chris and I decided we should watch a Hitchcock movie neither of us had seen. Unfortunately, thanks to Verizon, we’re living without phone and internet for the next few days, so we weren’t able to stream movies via NetFlix. Luckily my parents were kind enough to invite us over for some movie-watching. They are huge movie buffs, and their library actually includes at least twelve Hitchcock films! At their suggestion we watched Shadow of a Doubt, a 1943 thriller starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotton. While the film seemed to me not unlike any other 1940′s suspense, it did employ some of Hitchcock’s favorite devices: a fugitive on the lam, uniquely framed shots, the “MacGuffin”, and, of course, his signature cameo. Interestingly, Hitchcock himself said that Shadow of a Doubt was his own personal favorite.

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