The Myth of Alfred Hitchcock

Essay, 2005

10 Pages, Grade: 2,0

Abstract or Introduction

Starting out his professional career with nothing else than a knowledge of electronics, Alfred Hitchcock began his filming career very unusual. His father, having been dealing with poultry, fruits, and vegetables, sent him to the School of Engineering and Navigation, where Alfred Hitchcock started on a course which would prepare him to become an electrical engineer. Unfortunately, he had to quit his studies in order to support his family at home by working as a technical clerk in a cablemanufacturing company, but soon he rose from the lowly job to the advertising department. There, he was occupied with drawing advertisements. With regard to the further development of his professional expertise, this was the best thing that could have happened to him. Additionally, he attended an art course at the University of London. At the age of approximately 20 years, Alfred Hitchcock dreamed of being part of the film business. Thus, one day, when he heard about the fact that the American Paramount Famous Players-Lasky Company planned to establish a subsidiary in London, Hitchcock decided to develop film title cards for a film which was on the production schedule of this company. It was called ‘The Great Day’ and was screened in 1921. In those days, these films were still silent films with no additional information given, neither spoken nor written. The success of these cards was amazing, for he was employed immediately by the Famous Players-Lasky Company. This was his first step into the filming industry. Hitchcock’s talent to bring in new techniques into this branch revealed itself step by step. Over the years, he not only brought fresh air to the British film industry, but also and more importantly to Hollywood. Hitchcock topped this by finally becoming a citizen of the United States of America in 1955. Furthermore, American actors and actresses were already engaged quite early, and also Hitchcock employed several stars for his films like ‘The 39 Steps’ or ‘Secret Agent’, which had been produced in the 1930’s. These two films as well as ‘The Lady Vanishes’ will be the most focused ones in this essay, because the theme of spy organizations and sexually frustrated relationships between married and unmarried couples are most decisive for Hitchcock’s later thrillers, for whom he is so well known. Thus, this essay intends to reveal Hitchcock’s influence on American and European film-makings. [...]


The Myth of Alfred Hitchcock
University of Applied Sciences Bingen
Seminar für Englische Philologie
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This essay deals with the transatlantic influence of Alfred Hitchcock, the so-called master of suspense. He not only shaped the early film in Europe and Hollywood, but also generated a new genre, namly thrillers. Among the outlined films within this essay are The 39 Steps, Secret Agent, and The Lady Vanishes, all of them were produced in the 1930's.
Myth, Alfred, Hitchcock, Seminar, Englische, Philologie
Quote paper
Nadja Winter (Author), 2005, The Myth of Alfred Hitchcock, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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