Alfred Hitchcock entered the film industry in 1920, writing scenarios and assistant directing. In 1939 Hitchcock went to Hollywood, where his first film, Rebecca, won an Academy Award for best picture. During the next three decades Hitchcock usually made a film a year,including the classics Rear Window and Psycho. He received the AFI’s Life Achievement Award in 1979 and died in 1980.
Alfred Hitchcock was the son of East End greengrocer William Hitchcock and his wife Emma. Raised as a strict Catholic and attending Saint Ignatius College, a school run by Jesuits, Hitch had very much of a regular upbringing. His first job outside of the family business was in 1915 as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company. His interest in movies began at around this time, frequently visiting the cinema and reading US trade journals.
In 1920, Hitch learned that Lasky were to open a studio in London and managed to secure a job as a title designer. He designed the titles for all the movies made at the studio for the next two years. In 1923, he got his first chance at directing when the director of Always Tell Your Wife fell ill and Hitch completed the movie. Impressed by his work, studio chiefs gave him his first directing assignment on Number 13; however, before it could be finished, the studio closed its British operation. Hitch was then hired by Michael Balcon to work as an assistant director for the company later to be known as Gainsborough Pictures. In reality, Hitch did more than this — working as a writer, title designer and art director. After several films for the company, Hitch was given the chance to direct a British/German co-production called The Pleasure Garden. Hitchcock’s career as a director finally began. Hitchcock went on to become the most widely known and influential director in the history of world cinema with a significant body of work produced over 50 years.