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The Master of Suspense / - Original drawing by Bob Orsillo
Copyright (c)Bob Orsillo / http://orsillo.com All Rights Reserved
There will never be another Alfred Hitchcock THE MASTER OF SUSPENSE. This is my way of honoring the great master with my own freehand version of his profile sketch.
In the 1955 series Alfred Hitchcock drew the caricature of himself featured in the opening credits. The "Master of Suspense" also known as "the man behind the scene" was inspired by that caricature.
Alfred Hitchcock's He began his film career as an illustrator of title cards for silent movies.
The sponsors, who had great influence regarding the presentation of the show, insisted that for the episodes ending with the perpetrator "getting away with a crime", Alfred Hitchcock provide a statement in his closing monologue that would assure audiences that justice was served.
Most people who have seen this series remember Alfred Hitchcock's opening and closing narratives for the series. However, for each episode more than one opening and closing was filmed, as Hitchcock's famous jibes at the sponsors were unappreciated in the European markets. So for each episode, Hitchcock filmed two openings and two closings: one would be for American viewings (jokes about sponsors) and the second would be for European showings (jokes about Americans and not about sponsors). For most of the third season, Hitchcock even did the opening and closings in French and German, as he spoke both languages fluently.
Alfred Hitchcock:" I hope you have enjoyed our program. Seeing a murder on television can help to work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, these commercials will give you some."
THE MASTER OF SUSPENSE was a title that came to define the work and reputation of Alfred Hitchcock. But in many ways it is a reductive definition of his brilliance, as Hitchcock was master of many things, including memorable set pieces, cinematic technique, psychological complexity as well as shameless self-promotion. The only thing he couldn't do was bore an audience.
Hitchcock planned his films right down to the smallest detail, story-boarding his iconic shots and rarely deviating from the scripts. His famous and misquoted dictum, actors are cattle he actually said actors should be treated like cattle belies the fact that many of the Hollywood greats did their best work under his skillful guidance. During his lifetime he was considered a director of limited range, a mere entertainer uninterested in serious themes. But his real skill was in turning conventional, often-far-fetched thrillers into treatises on emotional dysfunction, sexual paranoia and religious guilt. He was cinemas greatest manipulator, guiding the minds and nerves of audiences into uncomfortable places but doing so with such silky skill and technical virtuosity that audiences were happy to succumb to his miraculous sleight of hand.
The son of a poultry dealer and fruit-and vegetable importer, Alfred Hitchcock was born into a strict Roman Catholic family in Leytonstone, London, on August 13th, 1899. He started his career in the film industry as a titles designer for the British arm of Jess L. Lasky Feature Play Company. When the studio was taken over by Gainsborough, Hitchcocks services were retained and he worked his way up the chain from title designer to art director to assistant director to direct his first picture, the Anglo-German co-production The Pleasure Garden in 1925.
However Hitchcock himself considered his next film, The Lodger (U.S. title The Case of Jonathan Drew, 1926), his first true effort as a director. This is the story of a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper and the film established many of the traits and trademarks we now think of as Hitchcockian, especially the theme of an innocent accused of a crime he did not commit. The Lodger was also the first film to include a cameo appearance from the director. That same year he married film editor and script girl Alma Reville who would later become a screen writer and trusted sounding-board for Hithcocks ideas and the couple remained together until Hitchcocks death in 1980.
You can read more about Alfred Hitchcock at http://www.palzoo.net/Alfred-Hitchcock
July 20th, 2012
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