It was the era of short silent films that were backed by organists who could play a variety of famous composers such as Beethoven, and Sousa, and who mastered other sound affects for further enhancement of the movie. It was a time when movies came and went quickly and films that had no pretense of being art were made in mass. Nobody ever expected a movie to have an afterlife. They were made only for entertainment and to make money, and were considered disposable back then. It took decades to develop movies as a concept of art. During this time of rapid change in the film making business, a certain aspiring director began his dream of working with cinema.
Eventually, the talented and mysterious director, Alfred Hitchcock, played a huge part in establishing his and others' masterpieces as an art. Born on August 13th, 1899, in London, England, Hitchcock's childhood was that of a lower class Roman Catholic child who attended church regularly. His parents were greengrocers, William and Emma Hitchcock. A strict man, William once told a five year old Albert to go to the police station with a note from his father after some mischief making. Upon reading the note, a sergeant put young Alfred in a cell and left him there for ten minutes.
The policeman returned only to tell him, "This is what happens to naughty boys." This story and Hitchcock's Roman Catholic background encompassed all the themes Hitchcock would later put in is his work such as terror inflicted upon the unknowing, and sometimes innocent victim; guilt, both real and the appearance of it; and fear and redemption. He grew up with his older siblings, William and Ellen Kathleen in Leytonstone, part of London's East End. Fascinated by numbers and technology, Hitchcock was educated at the Jesuits' St. Ignatius College, a day school for boys. He loved maps and times tables. He is said to have memorized the schedules of the English train lines. Most of his adolescence was spent working to help support his family.
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