Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Spring 2012


At the tender age of 26, in a studio in Bavaria, Alfred Hitchcock directed his first film. In that film and the twenty-two subsequent movies he made during his British filmmaking “apprenticeship” (before departing for Hollywood in 1939), the talented young man found his footing as a filmmaker. In this course, we will examine Hitchcock’s early oeuvre, tracking down the origins of the cinematic style and thematic concerns that would win worldwide acclaim for his later American films. We’ll also consider his early upbringing as the Catholic son of a greengrocer in London; the influence of his wife, Alma Reville, on his early career; and the tremendous popularity of his films, as well as the enormous influence these movies had, particularly within the fledgling British film industry. Among the films to be screen and discussed: THE LODGER, his third effort as director and the first true Hitchcock film; BLACKMAIL, Hitchcock’s --- and England’s --- first talking film; THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, the first and best version of the story which Hitchcock later remade in Hollywood; THE 39 STEPS, the template for his later American spy thrillers; and SABOTAGE, which Hitchcock made specifically to impress Hollywood producers. We’ll view British society and culture in the critical years before World War II through the eyes of a young filmmaker as he expanded his filmmaking craft and developed his unique style.

Access course materials by linking to the appropriate handouts:

Course Syllabus

Hitchcock's Films & Cameo Appearances

Hitchcock DVDs in Class Portable Library

Alfred Hitchcock: Themes & Style

Hitchcock Websites

Hitchcock's British Films

Hitchcock's British Collaborators

Alfred Hitchcock: Chronology of His Life

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH: 1934 vs. 1956

Hitchcock's American Films with British Settings


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