Since the very beginnings of cinema, few individuals have become as synonymous with the art form as legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. One of the few titans of the industry, perhaps best known for his work in suspense and terror, the sheer number of quality films Hitchcock oversaw is daunting. Responsible for multiple masterpieces, perhaps most famously Rear Window (1954) and Psycho (1960), Hitchcock remains one of the most influential filmmakers to have entered the industry. But it is his 1958 work, Vertigo, arguably the most personal of his films, that has emerged for many as the influential director’s masterwork.
Hitchcock began as a director of silent films with the 1922 film No. 13. Over the six decades he remained working in cinema he directed over fifty-five feature works, the last of which was Family Plot (1976), released four years before his death. He was a pioneer of many influential film techniques, particularly interested in using the camera from a character’s point of view to suggest voyeuristic tendencies. In Vertigo he created the push/pull smash zoom to suggest dizziness, apparently inspired by an incident in which Hitchcock himself fainted at a party.
He is also one of the few directors to have remade their own film, having filmed and released two versions of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934/1936), although Gus Van Sant controversially released a colour shot for shot remake of Psycho in 1998, which perhaps missed some of the key intentions of the original.