In the realm of cinema, few figures loom as large as Sir Alfred Hitchcock. Born in 1899 in Leytonstone, London, Hitchcock revolutionized the suspense and psychological thriller genres with an illustrious career that spanned six decades. Known for his innovative storytelling techniques and ground-breaking production methods, Hitchcock gave us unforgettable classics like “Psycho” and “Rear Window,” earning a reputation as an architect of tension, fear, and suspense.
Not only a cinematic genius, Hitchcock was also a skilled wordsmith. His myriad of quotes, ranging from the profound to the humorous, offers insights into his perspectives on life, cinema, and the human psyche. These words, just like his films, continue to intrigue and provoke thought, long after they were first spoken.
This blog post is a journey into the intriguing world of Alfred Hitchcock, told through his own words. Whether you’re a film enthusiast, an aspiring director, or a connoisseur of eloquent quotations, prepare to explore some of most memorable Alfred Hitchcock quotes, showcasing his wisdom, wit, and profound understanding of the art of filmmaking.
Table of Contents
- Best Alfred Hitchcock Quotes
- Alfred Hitchcock Quotes on Movies
- Witty Alfred Hitchcock Quotes
- Interesting Facts about Alfred Hitchcock
Best Alfred Hitchcock Quotes
There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.
Self-plagiarism is style.
Television has brought back murder into the home – where it belongs.
There is nothing to winning, really. That is, if you happen to be blessed with a keen eye, an agile mind, and no scruples whatsoever.
I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline – production: 1: small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one.
I never said all actors are cattle; what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle.
There is something more important than logic – imagination.
I have a perfect cure for a sore throat: cut it.
I am to provide the public with beneficial shocks.
Seeing a murder on television can help work off one’s antagonisms. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.
For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.
Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.
If I won’t be myself, who will?
Never judge a country by its politicians.
Mystery is an intellectual process… but suspense is essentially an emotional process.
When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one.
Happiness is a small house, with a big kitchen.
Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.
A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality.
Our primary function is to create an emotion and our secondary function is to sustain that emotion.
In a good marriage each is the others better half.
When you can look forward, and the road is clear ahead, and now you are going to create something – that’s as happy as I’d want to be.
For me, suspense doesn’t have any value if it’s not balanced by humor.
It seems to me that television is exactly like a gun. Your enjoyment of it is determined by which end of it you’re on.
Reality is something that none of us can stand, at any time.
If you can’t do it naturally, then fake it.
Really, the novelist has the best casting since he doesn’t have to cope with the actors and all the rest.
Puns are the highest form of literature.
I can’t read fiction without visualizing every scene. The result is it becomes a series of pictures rather than a book.
I don’t understand why we have to experiment with film. I think everything should be done on paper.
It’s only a movie, and after all, we’re all grossly overpaid.
Actually, I have no regard for money. Aside from its purchasing power, it’s completely useless as far as I’m concerned.
I find too many people are interested in the content. If you were painting a still life of some apples on a plate, it’s like you’d be worrying whether the apples were sweet or sour. Who cares?
Alfred Hitchcock Quotes on Movies
The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.
In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.
A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.
The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.
I am a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.
Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.
Luck is everything… My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I’m fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn’t make a good suspense film.
To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.
The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema
I enjoy playing the audience like a piano.
One must never set up a murder. They must happen unexpectedly, as in life.
A woman who spends all day washing and cooking and ironing doesn’t want to go to the movies to watch a film about a woman who spends all day washing and cooking and ironing.
I would almost say that the best screen actor is the man who can do nothing extremely well.
Even my failures make money and become classics a year after I make them.
It has been rumored that “Psycho” is so terrifying that it will scare some people speechless. Some of my men hopefully sent their wives to a screening. The women emerged badly shaken but still vigorously vocal.
I believe in putting the horror in the minds of the audience, and not necessarily on the screen.
The Birds could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made.
I always try to tell a story in the cinematic way, through a succession of shots and bits of film in between.
In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema; they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking’.
Content, I am not interested in that at all. I don’t give a damn what the film is about. I am more interested in how to handle the material so as to create an emotion in the audience.
There is a distinct difference between suspense and surprise, and yet many pictures continually confuse the two.
Let us say, rather, that actors are a necessary evil. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t work if I weren’t on friendly terms with them; I’ll bend over backward every time.
Witty Alfred Hitchcock Quotes
When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, ‘It’s in the script.’ If he says, ‘But what’s my motivation?’ I say, ‘Your salary.’
Some of our most exquisite murders have been domestic, performed with tenderness in simple, homey places like the kitchen table.
The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.
Making a film means, first of all, to tell a story. That story can be an improbable one, but it should never be banal. It must be dramatic and human. What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out?
The paperback is very interesting but I find it will never replace the hardcover book – it makes a very poor doorstop.
In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.
Disney has the best casting. If he doesn’t like an actor, he just tears him up.
Revenge is sweet and not fattening.
Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house.
There is nothing quite so good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.
The ideal husband understands every word his wife doesn’t say.
Give them pleasure – the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.
Television is like the American toaster, you push the button and the same thing pops up everytime.
One never knows the ending. One has to die to know exactly what happens after death, although Catholics have their hopes.
Conversation is the enemy of good wine and food.
Kicking is very important in football. In fact, some of the more enthusiastic players even kick the ball, occasionally.
Interesting Facts about Alfred Hitchcock
Now it’s time to know the great man and amazing director a little bit better, as we share with you 5 interesting facts about Alfred Hitchcock. Enjoy!
- He Was a Practical Joker – It’s hard to believe that the master of suspense can be a joker, but it’s true. He always loved to pull absurd and even cruel pranks on his movie sets as well as in his private life. He used to place whoopee cushions under his coworkers’ chairs and one time even held a dinner party with all the courses had been dyed blue with food coloring. An example for a cruel prank by Hitchcock, is when he bet his crew that he wouldn’t be able to spend an entire night locked in handcuffs. The crewman accepted, but later found out that Hitchcock secretly dosed him with a laxative before putting on the handcuffs.
- You Can Spot Him in (Almost) Every Film – Hitchcock wasn’t only a famous and great director, but he often made humorous appearances in 39 of his movies. He usually appeared in the background as a pedestrian or a public transportation passenger, and eventually, he had to place his cameos in the movies early in the movie so it wouldn’t distract the audience, having them stop looking for him and concentrate on the movie and plot.
- Keeping The Twist Ending of “Psycho” a Secret – Hitchcock made everything he could to keep the twist ending of the movie “Psycho” a secret. It came to the point that he bought the rights to Robert Bloch’s novel and even told his secretary to buy up as many copies of the book she could, in order to help keep its content under wraps. He even forced the cast and crew to take an oath, and have them swear that they wouldn’t talk about the plot, and intentionally held the film out of press screenings so that critics wouldn’t spoil it. That’s not all, as the newspaper ads asked the audience not to give away the ending, as it’s the only one they have.
- He Never Won an Oscar – Hitchcock won many different accolades, but never won an Oscar. In 1980, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and was nominated for the Academy Award 5 times. In 1967, he received an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar and his speech was this: “Thank you… very much indeed.”
- He Liked Other Movies – Hitchcock loved movies that were different than the ones he was making. One of Hitchcock’s habits was to screen films in his studio lot office every Wednesday. One of his favorite films and the last movie he personally screened before he died, was the 1977 movie “Smokey and the Bandit”, featuring Burt Reynolds.