Alfred Hitchcock, the 'master of suspense' was born in London on August 13, 1899. During his career , he revolutionised movies with psychological thriller classics like Psycho, Rear Window and Vertigo that redefined our feelings of fear.
To celebrate his birthday, catch up on some interesting facts about this man whose personality and life are as intriguing as his films.
He never won an Oscar: Yes, that's true. It is impossible to believe a prolific director like Hitchcock never bagged an Oscar for Best Director. He was nominated for the Oscars five times for his works Rebecca, Lifeboat, Rear Window and Psycho. But the award always eluded him. When Hitchcock finally received an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 1967, he gave one of the shortest acceptance speeches in the history of the Academy awards. He said: “Thank you…very much indeed.”
He was afraid of his own movies: If you thought only you would shudder watching his stories of suspense and death or freak out at the sheer memory of Psycho's haunting soundtrack , you are wrong. Hitchcock himself dared not watch his own work. He once said in an interview: “I’m frightened of my own movies. I never go to see them. I don’t know how people can bear to watch my movies.” Besides this, Hitchcock had a rather peculiar phobia—of eggs. Opening up about this irrational phobia in an interview, Hitchcock has said: "I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes… Have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it."
He was known for his practical jokes: He was infamous for his pranks, some funny, others not so. He once placed a bet with one of his crew members to spend the night in a spooky film set, chained to a camera set. But before Hitchcock left him there to brave it out for himself, he served the poor chap a glass of brandy to help him relax. Only, the drink was mixed with laxatives! This may sound the meanest of practical jokes, but wait till you hear this. He once gifted actress Tippi Hedren's daughter Melanie Griffith a doll, eerily similar to her mother, wearing a dress and lying in a miniature coffin.
He would go to any extent to protect his work: He once tried to buy up all copies of the original Psycho novel ahead of the film’s release, so that hardly anyone would know how the movie ended. He is said to have filmed on a closed set and forced cast and crew to sign an agreement promising not to mention the ending to anyone.