Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Hitchcock, [Sir] Alfred

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(1899-1980) UK movie director who worked for most of his career in Hollywood. His only movie to be overtly fantasy is The Birds (1963) – one of several based on tales by Daphne Du Maurier, others being Jamaica Inn (1939) and Rebecca (1940) – but very few do not have a frisson of fantastication, even if in the event these Psychological Thrillers prove to be Rationalized Fantasies. Among many examples are: The 39 Steps (1935), based on the John Buchan novel, which in AH's hands becomes a semi-comedic yet nightmarish Night Journey; The Lady Vanishes (1938), an exemplary exploration of paranoid (though ultimately rather badly rationalized) fantasy; Spellbound (1945), another astonishingly effective psychological thriller; Rear Window (1955), playing upon urban paranoia; Vertigo (1958), in many ways the oddest of all AH's movies, concentrating obsessively on obsession; and, based on the Robert Bloch novel, Psycho (1960), a flawed but awe-inspiring work in which AH, apart from anything else, puts the notion of the Edifice to devastating use. The list could be extended. [JG]

[Sir] Alfred Joseph Hitchcock


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.