Nine of Alfred Hitchcock's films are restored; 30 years since his death

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Alfred Hitchcock.
James Stewart and Kim Novak in Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

At least nine of Alfred Hitchcock's rare silent films, made at the beginning of his career, will be staged in 2012 in many public screenings, The Independent has reported.

These forgotten silent films made by a young Hitchcock are said to feature elements that characterize his later Hollywood works. These footages are going to be released in 2012 and expected to be aired as part of the Cultural Olympiad, although it still needs to be officially confirmed.

Robin Baker, the British Film Institute's head curator, calls Hitchcock's silent movie The Mountain Eagle the "holy grail" of lost British films. "It was made in 1926 and was his last silent film featuring a sexually vulnerable young woman and a case of miscarriage of justice," he said to The Independent.

Three of Hitchcock's restored silent films are The Pleasure Garden (1925), The Lodger (1927) and The Farmer's Wife (1928).

30 years since his death

Thursday marked the 30th anniversary since Alfred Hitchcock's death. Hitchcock was an English filmmaker and producer, who produced several films in a career of sixty years.

Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, London, United Kingdom on August 13, 1899. He described his childhood as being very lonely and sheltered, a situation aggravated by his obesity. His father died when he was 14. After he graduated, he became intrigued by photography and started working in film production in London on a branch of what would become Paramount Pictures. After a successful career with silent movies and the early talkie ones in the United Kingdom, in March 1939, David O. Selznick signed Hitchcock onto a seven-year contract beginning in March 1939 as the Hitchcock family was moving to Hollywood, United States. He was nominated for five Academy Awards as a best director but never took home the prize, and one of his most succesful movies during his Hollywood stay was the 1958 film Vertigo, featuring James Stewart and Kim Novak. Hitchcock became a United States citizen in 1956 while retaining his British citizenship.

Hitchcock's last successful production was the 1972 film Frenzy. The 1976 film Family Plot was his last film. Hitchcock died from kidney failure in his home at Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, at 80. His body was cremated and his ashes were thrown in the Pacific Ocean.

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