If you were ever watching a Quentin Tarantino film and thought it was a novel idea that the director would drop himself into a role or two on some of his films, then just know that he was doing it in homage to the great Alfred Hitchcock. So often is Hitchcock regarded as the pioneer of a cinematic technique that we perhaps shouldn’t be surprised.
Hitchcock has been an almost permanent feature in all of his films. Invariably offering very little beyond his iconic blank expression, Hitch’s appearances still somehow complete his films. Like a classic cinema game of ‘Where’s Wally?’ Luckily, thanks to one diligent user, we now have a running montage of every single cameo Alfred Hitchcock ever made.
Those familiar with Hitchcock will be well aware of his appearances in his films. In fact, many would consider them as important to the proposition as Hitch’s expert eye for light and dark or his camerawork of idiosyncratic editing style. Hitchcock made himself an integral part of all his pictures either as a bystander or a piece of deadpan comic relief — it’s a piece of personality that shines in every film.
Even the director’s own TV show would feature an appearance from the jowly silhouette of the great Alfred Hitchcock. From 1927’s The Lodger all the way to 1976’s Family Plot. In the former, the director actually appears twice in the film, as well as The Lodger Hitch also makes a double-appearance in Suspicion, Rope, and Under Capricorn.
In a New York Times article in 1945, Hitchcock revealed that the tradition had begun appearing in his films by accident: “It all started with the shortage of extras in my first picture. I was in for a few seconds as an editor with my back to the cameras. It wasn’t really much, but I played it to the hilt.”
“Since then I have been trying to get into every one of my pictures,” continues the great man. “It isn’t that I like the business, but it has an impelling fascination that I can’t resist. When I do, the cast, grips, and the cameramen and everyone else gather to make it as difficult as possible for me. But I can’t stop now.”
Below some genius has made a supercut of all of Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his films and it makes for one of the most enjoyable five minutes you’ll spend today.