ALFRED HITCHCOCK (1899-1980)
Alfred Hitchcock was born in London in 1899 and became the most influential and successful British film director. He directed his first film The Pleasure Garden in 1925, and proceeded to make a number of impressive and important films between 1925 and 1934, most notably Blackmail (1929) which was also the first British talkie. His reputation was enhanced in the late 1930s by a number of superb suspence films including The 39 Steps (1935), lots 284 and 285, and The Lady Vanishes (1938), lot 286. In 1940 after directing his last British film Jamaica Inn (1939), lot 287, he went to America to direct Rebecca (1940), lot 288, the only Hitchcock film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. In the 1940s Hitchcock also demonstrated his technical wizardry by restricting the entire action of a film to the confines of a tiny boat in Lifeboat (194), lot 290. Rope (1948), lot 292, was an experiment in continuous shooting in which unusually long takes were interrupted only when the camera had to be reloaded. It is the 1950s however which are regarded by many as Hitchcock's finest period, his art reaching its full maturity with thrillers such as Strangers On A Train (1951), lot 295, Rear Window (1954), lot 297, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), lot 295, Vertigo (1958), lot 302, North by Northwest (1959), lot 303, and Psycho (1960), lot 304.
Film poster collectors generally seek material related to their favourite stars, films or designers. As a legendary director, Hitchcock embodies the exception to this and posters for his films are more sought after than any other director, hence he has come to be known as 'The Star Director'.