17 Quotes From The Master, Alfred Hitchcock

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17 Quotes From The Master, Alfred Hitchcock

17 Quotes From The Master, Alfred Hitchcock

Despite being the master of suspense, of unnerving thrillers and psychological masterpieces, Alfred Hitchcock had a pretty good sense of humor. He was also well known for torturing his blonde female actresses and being difficult for many people on set.

Here are some of the funnier, more interesting things Hitchcock said throughout his life.

1. “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.'”

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2. “I never said all actors are cattle; what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle.”

3. “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.”

4. “Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”

5. “A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it.”

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6. “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.”

7. “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.”

8. If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.”

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9. “I’ve never been very keen on women who hang their sex round their neck like baubles. I think it should be discovered. It’s more interesting to discover the sex in a woman than it is to have it thrown at you, like a Marilyn Monroe or those types. To me they are rather vulgar and obvious.”

10. “We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin. My time capsule is set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like.”

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11. “Suspense is like a woman. The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement. … The conventional big-bosomed blonde is not mysterious. And what could be more obvious than the old black velvet and pearls type? The perfect ‘woman of mystery’ is one who is blonde, subtle and Nordic. … Although I do not profess to be an authority on women, I fear that the perfect title [for a movie], like the perfect woman is difficult to find.”

12. “In feature films, the director is God; in documentary films, God is the director.”

13. “There is nothing so good as a burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.”

14. “T.V. has brought murder back into the home where it belongs.”

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15. “I’m a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.”

16. “The paperback is very interesting, but I find it will never replace the hardcover book — it makes a very poor doorstop.”

17. “There is a distinct difference between “suspense” and “surprise,” and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I’ll explain what I mean:

We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let’s suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, “Boom!” There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!”

In the first case, we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.”

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