Alfred Hitchcock’s early works set for musical makeover

This week comes the news that nine early silent films from legendary director Alfred Hitchcock are to be revived as part of the London 2012 Festival.

The restoration of the rare early works is to be completed by experts at the British Film Institute, and a number of British composers have been commissioned to write a new score. The films were produced during the beginning of Hitchcock‘s long and outstanding career during which his distinctive style became iconic.

The most notable to be restored includes Hitchcock‘s feature film debut, The Pleasure Garden. Released in 1925 the film follows the goings on behind the music hall curtain, focusing on one performer who plays around while her fiancé is out of the country. Another is Hitchcock‘s first suspense thriller, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, a 1927 film which focuses on the hunt for a Jack the Ripper style serial killer.

Hitchcock‘s career began in Britain where he directed silent films until the introduction of sound in 1928, after which he moved into talkies before moving to Hollywood in 1939. It was during his time there that Hitchcock established his immediately identifiable style and directed films that would go on to become great classics, such as The Birds, Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo, and North By Northwest to name a few.  

Even today Hitchcock is still regarded as one of the best director’s with a career no one has yet matched. His style was revolutionary to film production, and his films were like no other as feelings of fear, anxiety, and empathy were maximised by clever camera shots that forced audiences into a form of voyeurism. Violence, crime and murder were not uncommon in his films and these coupled with sexual undertones made for the perfect suspense thriller.  

I’m thrilled that these films will be preserved and made available with the best possible prints for audiences to enjoy” said director Martin Scorsese, who has long campaigned for the restoration. “These early works provide a wonderful glimpse into the development of his signature style.”

The films will be screened at the London 2012 Festival which is to coincide with the 2012 Olympics. The festival will be a celebration of cultures, with the restored Hitchcock films representing the best of one of Britain’s greatest directors.

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