From his famous profile to his distinctive voice, Hitchcock remains one of Hollywood's most influential directors. Born in London on Aug. 13, 1899, he worked for a couple of years in the 1920s at German film studios, where he directed silent melodramas.
As his career developed, Hitchcock put his suspense techniques to the service of crime and adventure films. No one understood better than the filmmaker himself that no image is more powerful than the one conjured up in the imagination.
In the classic shower scene from Psycho, for example, you never actually see a knife stabbing actress Janet Leigh, but that doesn't stop your imagination from working overtime.
Says Tippi Hedren, another of Hitchcock's leading ladies: "He would let the audience in on things that the characters in the film don't know. And that's what would build the suspense."
As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of HitchcockÂ's birth, Leigh and Hedren helped unveil a monument to pay tribute to the filmmaker's legacy.
Hedren was the unsuspecting victim in another of Hitchcock's terrifying films, The Birds. And she received a birds broach as a gift from him, lest she forget the scene that remains horrifying to watch even after 36 years.
"I've had those things happen where I'm talking and all of a sudden a bird will come in and land," says Hedren laughing. "But unlike Janet, who says she can't ever take a shower again, I really have no fear of the birds," she adds.
Hitchcock was also known as quite a prankster. While making Psycho, he tested the fear factor of a corpse for the film by leaving it in Leigh's dressing room. When she screamed quite loud, he was sure it would work for audiences.
The Hitchcock collection also contains such films as Marnie, Torn Curtain, Rope and Vertigo.
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