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Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock filmed The Birds

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Alfred Hitchcock was arguably one of the most influential filmmakers in history and the unquestioned master of suspense. Born to English parents on the outskirts of London in 1988, he was persuaded by US movie producers to move to Hollywood in 1939, soon after the success of his initial films in England.

In the US, he would go on to win fame by producing movies such as Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Rear Window. In 1980, just a few months before he died, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the knighthood upon him.

Hitchcock, in his own words, capitalised on the fact that, “We all like putting our toe in the cold water of fear.” At another time, he said the secret ingredient in his films involved making “the most innocent member of the cast the murderer” and “making the next-door neighbour a dangerous spy.”

Psycho is regarded as his best production. A young man at the Bates Motel is the agent at the front desk. He is as nondescript as any agent, totally harmless at first glance. But strange things keep happening at the motel for which there is no obvious explanation. The audience is at the edge of their seats when the music builds up into a crescendo and then a woman’s primeval scream is heard coming out of a shower. The agent has stabbed her.

We are left bewildered. Later, we see the agent explaining his actions dutifully to his mother who is sitting in a rocking chair. And then, camera turns on her and reveals to us the corpse of an old woman. She has been dead for years. The killer is a psychologically disturbed young man who has preserved her body, kept her alive in his mind, and takes orders from........

© Daily Times