All About Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock is undeniably one of the world’s most famous and influential directors of all time. From Birds to Psycho to Vertigo, it is hard to find someone who hasn’t seen at least one of ‘The Master of Suspense’s films. As we approach the anniversary of the legendary director’s death, nearly 40 years ago on April 29th 1980, we take a look back on all things Alfred Hitchcock.

He was celebrated throughout the cinematic world for his distinctly recognisable directorial style, with shots framed to maximise the feeling of unease within his viewers, creating a sense of fear, dread or anxiety in his innovative forms of film editing.

It was this iconic style that earned him his ‘Master of Suspense’ title and paved the way for Hitchcock’s pioneering evolution of the thriller genre.

Alfred Hitchcock

The Early Life of an Icon

Born to a William Hitchcock, a greengrocer in Leytonstone in 1899, Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was the second son and youngest of three children. Often found drawing and inventing games in his spare time, he was quiet and described as a bit of a loner – a trait that was mainly due to his size, which was large even as a child.

A story often told about Hitchcock’s upbringing, and the subsequent influence on his life and career is the story of Hitchcock’s time spent in prison.

When he was five years old, Hitchcock’s very strict, Catholic father punished the young boy for being naughty by sending him to the local police station with a note, asking the officers to lock him away for several minutes. This was Hitchcock’s only brush with the law, thanks to a deep-seated fear of authority because of this very moment.

After graduating from London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation, with fantastic draftsmanship skills under his belt, Hitchcock took a job at Henley Telegraph Company as an estimator for their manufacture of electric cable.

With a job he saw as mind-numbing, Hitchcock used his free time to attend the cinema (often by himself0, read cinema trade papers and take drawing classes at London University. This creative side shone through in Henley’s Social Club magazine, where his short stories with twist endings and caricatures were published. These published works got Hitchcock promoted to the advertising department, as a creative advertising illustrator.

The Birth of a Director

Hitchcock’s first endeavour into film was a job as a title card designer (the text in silent movies that explains actions or shows dialogue) for Famous Players-Lasky (which later became Paramount). He used this job to get his foot in the door for screenwriting, assistant director, set designer and all other aspects of filmmaking.

After a few failed attempts at directing while at Famous Players-Lasky, during which he met his future wife, Alma, Hitchcock scored a hit with The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog in 1927. The film was a major success in the United Kingdom and is regarded as the first ‘Hitchcockian’ film, heavily influenced by expressionist techniques that Hitchcock witnessed while directing The Pleasure Garden in Germany in 1926.

The 1930s saw Hitchcock make film after film, with many becoming a success both on home soil and across the Atlantic in America. His 1938 film The Lady Vanishes, won the New York Critics’ Award for Best Film, which helped catch the attention of American film producer and studio owner David O. Selznick, who extended a contract offer of three motion picture films. Hitchcock accepted and moved his now wife Alma, and ten-year-old daughter Patricia, to Hollywood.

Alfred Hitchcock and David O. Selznick

Iconic Films

Hitchcock was one of the first directors to which the ‘auteur theory was applied, a theory which stresses the artistic authority of the director in the filmmaking process. Such artistry is what contributed to so many of Hitchcock’s films being regarded with such icon status.

Perhaps the most well-known film from Hitchcock didn’t come until later in his career, Psycho, released in 1960, was the most shocking film of its time. With twists and disturbing themes that thrilled moviegoers across the world. The cheap budget ($800,000) gave Hitchcock motivation to be creative with his filming techniques, to such an extent that the now iconic shower scene, where the heroine is brutally murdered, is composed of more than 90 shots and 70 different angles. The scene is revered as one of the most thrilling pieces of work of all time.

Janet Leigh in Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock

Keeping with his later fashion of one-word titles and suspenseful thrillers, Hitchcock’s other most memorable films, which hold permanent places on the majority of ‘Top Films’ lists, includes Birds (1963), where a town is attacked by menacing flocks of birds, and Vertigo (1958), a story of obsession, manipulation and fear and a cycle of madness and lies.

The endless list of classics produced by the Master of Suspense is one of the many reasons he is considered to be one of, if not the, best directors of all time.

Hidden Gems

Not to be ignored are Hitchcock’s lesser known films, iconic in their own right, but often overshadowed by is creative giants. Early works such as Notorious (1946), Spellbound (1945) and The 39 Steps (1935) all have their place in film history for their technical ingenuity.

With more than 50 feature films under his belt throughout his career, there is a plethora of hidden and niche Hitchcock films that document his development to the style he was admired for.

Aesthetic

Often cited as a pioneer and auteur, Hitchcock’s filming style is what places him in the director’s hall of fame, with signature filming techniques and styles that help identify any of his films as distinctly Hitchcockian.

He appears as a cameo in 39 of his films, often with no lines and as a brief background character in early scenes. The tradition began When filming his first major success, The Lodger (1927), when there weren’t enough extras to fill the newsroom in the opening scene.

Alfred Hitchock's cameo in Rear Window

Certain camera angles and techniques have become associated with the director’s feature films, as he creates a feel of voyeurism for the audience, with point of view shots and roving tracking to guide the audience to the subject at hand.

Hitchcock also gained a reputation for using ‘icy blondes’ as his chosen heroines, from Grace Kelly to Janet Leigh to Ingrid Bergman. He once said that blondes are thought to be innocent and glamorous – the perfect recipe for a victim. The icy attitude was for added suspense, and to confuse the audience with their lack of empathy for the poor femme fatale.

He was also noted for his rigorous planning of his productions, with every detail of every scene meticulously storyboarded, with every camera angle, sound effect and movement accounted for and unchanged throughout the filming process.

Personal Life

Hitchcock met his wife, Alma, while working at his first studio, Famous Players-Lasky. She worked on continuity and editing for several of his early works and the two were married in 1926 and she became his chief collaborator on all films. Alma took a backseat to the limelight as she did not want the public attention that came with her husband’s rise to fame.

The couple welcomed their first and only child, a girl named Patricia, in 1928, and the entire family moved to Hollywood when David O. Selznick offered Hitchcock a three-film contract in March 1939.

hitchcock behind the scenes

Awards, Honours and Death

Being one of the most well-noted directors in history comes with a string of awards and honours across a lifetime of hard work and dedication to the industry. Along with innumerable Oscar, Golden Globes and BAFTA nominations and awards, Hitchcock also received five lifetime achievement awards, eight Laurel Awards and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hitchcock became Sir Alfred Hitchcock after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the 1980 New Year Honours.

In the first few months after his knighthood, Hitchcock worked on a script for a new spy thriller, The Short Night, but the project never came to fruition due to the director’s rapidly declining health. In April of 1980, he passed away in his home of renal failure at 80 years old.

The Hitchcock Floor at Arthouse Hotel

Arthouse Hotel, close to Liverpool’s city centre and just minutes walk to the vibrant and ever-growing nightlife, pay special homage to Hitchcock’s legacy and the impact he left on the cinematic world with an entire floor dedicated to his most iconic films.

Choose from eight Hitchcock themed rooms, sleeping between four and six guests, and indulge in the luxury of a bygone era of cinema.

Spellbound room at Arthouse Hotel

Experience an elegant take on Bates Motel in Pyscho, or indulge in Notorious, there’s glamour in Suspicion and dark decadence in The Birds.

Be enchanted in Spellbound or experience life on the run in Stage Fright, there’s also the mystifying magnetism of Vertigo and a 1920s vibe in Easy Virtue.

There’s stylish accommodation for everyone whatever your favourite Hitchcock film, and with an amazing location in the heart of cultural Liverpool, there is no better place for group accommodation that the Arthouse Hotel.

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk to book your stay at Liverpool’s best movie theme hotel.

The Ultimate Movie Lovers Valentines Date at Arthouse Hotel

Treat the ultimate movie buff to the perfect Valentines date at Arthouse Hotel.

Book your film fanatic partner an evening of luxury in a hotel room themed around the most romantic movies of our time.

Check out our collection of luxury hotel rooms inspired by romantic films including musicals, thrillers and works of art.

Pick your favourite then book the most unique Valentines date in Liverpool at Arthouse hotel for just the two of you.

Lips

Lips - accommodation for a Valentines date

Warhol’s 1959 Lips print is one of his most famous artistic creations.

Warhol himself stated;

“I really don’t care that much about “Beauties”. What I really like are talkers. To me, good talkers are beautiful because good talk is what I love”.

Simplistic and beautiful our Lips room at Arthouse Hotel links to some of the most romantic human things we get up to when in love such as kissing and talking.

Spend some time admiring Warhol’s Lips and enjoying each other’s on your Valentines date at Arthouse Hotel.

Grease

Grease - accommodation for a Valentines date

The ultimate love story, good girl meets bad boy, Grease is one of the most well-loved musicals of a generation.

Our Grease themed hotel room has plenty of comfortable bed space and movie inspired décor with a mural of the happy couple, Danny and Sandy on the ceiling.

If you are “hopelessly devoted” to someone special, then book what is sure to be an “electrifying” Valentines date night at Arthouse Hotel with “the one that you want”.

Kiss

Kiss - accommodation for a Valentines date

Need we say more about our Kiss themed Arthouse Hotel room?

Another of Warhol’s lips related projects, Kiss was a 1963 movie depicting various couples kissing for a 50-minute period.

The film portrayed many couples and included the kisses of mixed race and same sex pairs.

The Kiss room at Arthouse has a romantic lavish décor complete with stills from the intimate experimental movie displayed across the ceiling.

So, pucker up on your Valentines date in the Kiss room at Arthouse Hotel.

Easy Virtue

Easy Virtue - accommodation for a Valentines date

An early one from the Hitchcock archives, Easy Virtue is a romantic movie first but of course has a heavy dose of drama to spice it up.

The film portrays a whirlwind romance blossoming in the romantic surroundings of the French Riviera.

Never one for a happy ending Hitchcock can’t help himself and runs a thread of suspicion throughout the entire movie.

Our Easy Virtue room is darkly decadent and has an interesting vintage décor that is synonymous with the 1920’s when the movie was made.

The perfect place for a virtuous Valentines date in Liverpool.

Phantom of The Opera

The Phantom of the Opera- accommodation for a Valentines date

The longest running show in Broadway history and the most powerful love story ever written; The Phantom of the Opera has captured hearts and minds for over a century.

The story paints a picture of how powerful love is and how easily it can turn into obsession and you will be obsessed with the luxurious Phantom of the Opera room at Arthouse Hotel.

This large city centre hotel room has comfortable double beds and an extravagant décor. The famous Phantom mask adorns the ceiling with quotes and lyrics from the movie.

Where better to spend your Valentines date than in Arthouse Hotel’s Phantom of the Opera room.

Suspicion

Suspicion - accommodation for a Valentines date

Love was never simple with Hitchcock.

Suspicion tells a twisted tale of love, mystery, betrayal and suspicion. As usual our lead female is a stunning blonde and the gent a charismatic charmer.

The Suspicion room at Arthouse Hotel is the ideal Valentines date accommodation with luxurious padded leather and ruby red walls.

Guests are overlooked by the handsome Cary Grant and the beautiful Joan Fontaine from the larger than life movie mural on the ceiling.

For those couples who simply adore the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Suspicion is the perfect hotel room for an unforgettable Valentines date in Liverpool.

Valentines date at Arthouse Hotel

Lips room - accommodation for a Valentines date

Not your average hotel, Arthouse has a unique movie themed room to suit everyone.

For the most memorable Valentines date in Liverpool book your movie lover a night in Arthouse Hotel in any of our romantic love inspire movie themed hotel rooms.

Call 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk

How to Throw a Haunted House Party Alfred Hitchcock Style

Book a stay on the Alfred Hitchcock floor at Arthouse Hotel and have a scream this Halloween in Liverpool with all your friends.

Halloween is just around the corner so we’ve taken a look at how the master of macabre, Alfred Hitchcock, chose to celebrate his love of horror and haunting. The bash he threw for the Warner Brother top brass in March 1956 showed that Halloween must have surely been his favourite time of year.

7 East 80th Street haunted house party

source: LIFE

Our Hitchcock movie-themed hotel rooms are dedicated to the great director and his work, to help our guests celebrate all things spooky in style.

Check out this amazing account of the spookiest party in town during 1956 at Alfred’s own horrifying New York Haunted House Party.

The perfect party location

In true Hitchcock fashion, it was all about location, location, location when it came to planning his grand New York Haunted House Party.

Hitchcock Haunted House Party search

source: The Splendid Table

He sent out his team, Young and Rubicam, to track down a Hitchcock appropriate venue to host his hotly anticipated house party.

  • The stipulation was that the venue should;
  • Be able to cater to a number of VIP guests
  • Have a glamorous yet chilling interior
  • And most importantly have its very own supernatural presence

The task at hand seemed daunting at first when the team first attempts to secure out a genuine haunted house in New York.

The Wine Cellars of Brooklyn Bridge

They came up trumps with Hitchcock’s first two criteria but were stumped time and time again when it came to finding a real live haunted house.

Luckily a tip came in that the wine cellars under the Brooklyn Bridge ticked all the boxes on Hitchcock’s list.

Together Young and Rubicam and an excited Mr Hitchcock took a tour of the cellars and discovered, at last, the ideal space in which to host Hitchcock’s epic Halloween bash.

Brooklyn Bridge Wine Cellars

source: The Cave Wine Storage

The walls were dripping, dank and dark and even the whispers of the team members echoed around the cavernous space creating ghostly whispers.

Sadly a Hitch presented itself.

There was no plumbing throughout the cellars and Hitchcock’s most distinguished guests could not expect to go without washrooms for the entire shindig. Prices for temporary fixtures were assembled totalling $800.

The wine cellars were a no go and the search continued.

The Old Merchants House

The people of New York all began to get involved in the search and tips kept rolling in about supposedly haunted buildings that were ideal for Hitchcock’s house of horrors.

The Old Merchant House was scouted as another possible venue. The perfectly preserved period home was ideally spooky and was rumoured to have ghosts of its very own.

The Old Merchant House

source; NY Adventure Club

Those who inherited The Old Merchant House told stories of ghostly happenings. Convinced that nine members of the Treadwell family who lived and died on the property continued to haunt it they opened the home up as a museum.

Hitchcock, upon visiting the house was overjoyed with the preservation of the home and believed it would make a smashing venue for his VIP haunted house party.

The Old Merchant House 2

source: landmarkinteriorsAgain, it was not to be as the kin of the Treadwell family could not consider a party being held inside their historical landmark giving Hitchcock and his team a blunt no when the idea was suggested.

The search went on.

Today The Old Merchant House is still perfectly preserved and receives regular visitors with a keen interest in the history of the home and its haunting past.

Last resorts

Taking matters into his own hand Hitchcock reached out to the American Psychic Research Society who responded that New York had become too modern a city to host any sort of supernatural spirit.

Hitchcock then placed an advert in The Times real estate section asking for people to call in with any ideas. Young and Rubicam were bombarded with over 100 telephone calls a day but none of the leads could conjure evidence or even stories of ghostly presences in their proposed properties.

Hitchcock's The Times Real Estate Ad

source: Reddit

There were suggestions of homes in Jackson Heights with real graves in the garden, a place in Englewood for sale with reports of a poltergeist but Hitchcock preferred to stay in the city centre.

On Staten Island, there was an agent trying to rent his property to Hitchcock for $5000 because it had nightly spiritual torments which gave Hitchcock chills but not because of the ghosts.

The Winning Location

7 East 80th Street

source: LIFE

After his short but exhaustive search for the most haunted house in New York Hitchcock and his team settled on the towering townhouse on 7 East 80TH Street.

The abandoned cobweb-laden mansion was sans spirits but Hitchcock’s patience was spent and he settled for a venue that looked haunted but wasn’t.

7 East 80th Street stairs

source: LIFE

This was no problem for the master of suspense and horror as he and his crew set to work stirring up the dusty corners of the extensive property and adding some eerie extra touches here and there.

Hitchcock placed coffin shaped bars around the home, and well placed hidden speakers provided spooky moans and groans of fictional ghoulies throughout the building.

7 East 80th Street house party host

source: LIFE

Using the ancient furnishings to his benefit Hitchcock accentuated the decay of century-old paintings, elaborate antique chandeliers and thick dusty drapes. The perfect mood lighting was installed and Hitchcock’s haunted house party was finally taking shape.

The Monstrous Menu

A stickler for the finer details Hitchcock ensured that if he couldn’t frighten his guests with real ghosts he would try instead with his party menu.

Inside the carefully crafted Tombstone Shaped invitations guests received a copy of this cleverly conceived menu of the macabre;

Carte de Morte

Aperitifs

Morbid Morgue Mussels, Suicide Suzettes avec Crepe, Consommé de Cobra, Vicious-Soisse

Entree

Home-Fried Homicide, Ragout of Reptile, Charcoal-broiled Same-Witch Legs, Corpse Croquettes, Barbecued Banshee au Gratin, Opium Omelette en Brochette, Stuffed Stiffs with Hard Sauce, Gibbeted Giblets, Monster Thermidor, Tormented Tortillas, Ghoulish Goulash, Blind Bats en casserole

Dessert

Fromage d’Abbatoir, Python Pudding, Morphine Meringue Glace, Fresh cut Lady Fingers (in season)

The Liqueurs

 Bloody Marys, Anisette d’Arsenic, Hennessy’s Heroin, Dead Grand-dad, Formaldehyde Frappe

Guests came dressed to impress in all manners of upper-class attire, and photos show that the drinks were flowing as the spookfest played out.

7 East 80th Street Party cake - LIFE

source: LIFE

On top of all the extravagant food, there was also a detailed party cake made to resemble a church and graveyard, complete with inedible cobwebs draped across so that it almost looked a part of the house.

Not to leave things to chance Hitchcock utilised his movie know how to give his guests an extra fright in the night.

7 East 80th Street man in bed

source: LIFE

One of his cheeky tricks included a decrepit old man left in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Clever makeup and special effects made this character seem like he could have been left to pass away in the house and forgotten.

This was not the only haunting house party Hitchcock threw during his years as master of suspense. Other notorious party rumours circulate about the director hosting events in LA where guests were handed shovels and asked to exhume several buried skulls bureid around the property garden.

Hitchcock and Shovel

source: theretroset

If we could attend any Halloween party we think Hitchcock’s soirées might have been the most terrifying ones of all time.

Staying with Arthouse Hotel on the Hitchcock floor

We know that any party might pale in comparison to Hitchcock’s fright fests but there are plenty of spooky happenings going on during Halloween in Liverpool 2017.

Hitchcock Arthouse Hotel room

Book to stay in one of our Hitchcock hotel rooms at Arthouse Hotel this Halloween and prepare to be dazzled by the décor and enticed by the exquisite ensuite bathrooms.

Arthouse Hotel is right in the middle of all the best Halloween action taking place in Liverpool. Make sure you get yourselves booked into one of our Hitchcock themed suites or our other movie-themed hotel rooms and have yourself a scream this Halloween.

Call 0151 601 8801, email info@sigantureliving.co.uk or check out some of our best accommodation offers here and book direct.

Top Themed Hotel Rooms for Fans of Thriller Movies

When you’re picking your Friday night film which genre do you lean toward? Comedy, fantasy, action? If the answer is a good old-fashioned thriller then why not spend a Friday night one of our Hitchcock movie themed hotel rooms in Liverpool.

At Arthouse Hotel, our second floor has been entirely dedicated to the work of one man who knew how to shock and thrill his audience; Alfred Hitchcock.

Here we count down our Hitchcock themed hotel rooms based on his most thrilling pieces of work.

#5 Notorious 1935

One of Hitchcock’s favourite leading ladies plays the Notorious Alicia Huberman in this masterful love story turned spy thriller.

thriller themed hotel room - Notorious

source: www.sky.com

Deep undercover, Alicia becomes entangled in increasingly more dangerous situations.

The entire movie is rife with the cinematic mastery that Hitchcock became famous for and draws viewers into the seemingly hopeless love affair, spiced with a risky espionage plot line.

The Notorious themed hotel room at Arthouse sleeps up to four guests and is swathed in decadent red leather walls complemented by glistening gold furnishings.

All the top modern facilities are to hand as well with a huge flat screen TV and small kitchenette.

Perfect for a small group of horror fans looking for a thrilling stay in Liverpool.

#4 Suspicion 1941

Suspicion is a classic story of boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy lies to girl and girl suspects boy of plotting to murder her!

Leading man Cary Grant fills the role of playboy Johnnie wins over everyday girl Lina, whom he suspects has access to inheritance from her wealthy father but it’s not long before the truths come out.

thriller themed hotel room - Suspicion

source: www.dealshut.com

Throughout the rest of the movie Lina’s suspicion of her new husband begin to mount and Hitchcock manages to engage the audience and succeeds in matching their suspicions to hers.

A famous scene is when Johnnie is ascending the stairs with a glass of milk for Lina. The audience’s suspicions heighten without verbal prompting because the glass is illuminated.

thriller themed hotel room - Suspission

source: www.bfi.org

At Arthouse Hotel, the Suspicion themed hotel room has been matched to Hitchcock’s classic style black leather finishes mimicking his perfectly tailored trademark black suits, splashes of red to add some drama.

The Suspicion hotel room sleeps up to six guests with a functional kitchenette and stunning ensuite bathroom.

#3 Vertigo 1958

Perhaps the defining movie moment of his illustrious career Hitchcock uses Vertigo to explore the fragility of the human mind and the ease at which it can be manipulated.

thriller themed hotel rooms - Vertigo

source: www.theimaginativeconservative.org

It has been recognised as the best film ever made and ranks as the ninth-greatest American movie of all time.

Thanks to special camera tricks such as the infamous dolly zoom, and Hitchcock’s fondness for French literature, Vertigo is a movie masterpiece with a dark theme at its core.

Plenty of theories have been drawn up as to what the movie signifies some include portrayals of male aggression, the deconstruction of femininity and the most modern perhaps is that the movie is the all in the imagination of the main male lead.

Our Vertigo themed hotel room can sleep up to four guests in utter luxury.

Located in Liverpool’s most popular nightlife district, Vertigo provides perfect group accommodation in Liverpool for those who enjoy a spooky movie.

#2 Psycho 1960

A movie with the most iconic scene in cinema history, Psycho most defiantly deserves the runner up spot in our countdown to most thrilling Hitchcock movies.

This amazing movie plot has been at the core of so many popular thrillers and set the benchmark for acceptable levels of on screen violence.

Typical of Hitchcock our leading lady Janet Leigh is stranded in a secluded motel after stealing from her boss. Hitchcock often made his victims seem as though they somehow deserved their fate, another directorial technique adopted by modern movie makers.

thriller themed hotel rooms - Psycho

source: www.indiewire.com

Leigh’s character eventually succumbs to the evils of Norman Bates, and one of the most terrifying and disturbing movies follows.

Our stunning Psycho themed hotel room sleeps up to four guests and in the city centre of Liverpool. There are full modern facilities available to guests including a huge flat screen TV and stunning ensuite bathrooms.

thriller themed hotel rooms - Psycho

source: www.awardsdaily.com

Worlds apart from the accommodation experience at Bates Motel for sure.

#1 The Birds 1963

Our number one movie in our countdown to the most thrilling pieces of Hitchcock’s work is, of course, The Birds.

Starting the movie with a clever bit of movie trickery, Hitchcock lulls the audience into a false sense of security with playful comedy technique known as screwball comedy.

After setting the comedic tone of a love story Hitchcock then plunges his audiences into unimaginable terror and new realms of bird related fear.

thriller themed hotel rooms - Alfred Hitchcock

Tippi Hendren who played the lead role in The Birds was said to have been shaken after scenes filmed with Hitchcock due to these little-known facts from the filming of The Birds.

The famed telephone box scene where Hitchcock threw in a realistic looking bird prop smashing the glass was not scripted, neither was there meant to be live birds in the attic scene towards the end of the movie.

It was Hitchcock’s style to shock and amaze; his talent was clear and he captivated his audiences by leaving them wanting more.

The Birds room at Arthouse Hotel will do just the opposite, giving you everything you could need or want during a stay in Liverpool.

thriller themed hotel room - The Birds

This stunning movie themed hotel room is exceptionally outfitted with stunning décor and the latest modern facilities. Sleeping up to four guests The Birds room is our top choice for a group of thriller movie fans looking to stay in Liverpool in style.

Staying at Arthouse Hotel

movie themed hotel rooms at Arthouse Hotel

Call and book your stay today on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk.

Come along and see how Alfred Hitchcock’s genius has helped us make stunning themed hotel rooms that, like the great director, never fail to impress.

Spooky Facts You Didn’t Know About Hitchcock’s The Birds

Unquestionably one of the world’s most renowned and influential directors of all time, Alfred Hitchcock is famous for his unique directorial style that earned him his ‘Master of Suspense’ title and paved the way for Hitchcock’s pioneering evolution of the thriller genre.

One of his most famous films was of course The Birds, a disturbing tale of a pristine city woman who comes undone in a rustic northern California seaside town by an onslaught of seemingly unexplained, arbitrary and chaotic attacks of birds.

The Birds

With shots framed to maximise the feeling of suspense and claustrophobia in his audience, this film has become one of the most eerie and terrifying in Hitchcock’s repertoire.

At the Arthouse Hotel we are huge Hitchcock fans, which is way we’ve dedicated many of our rooms to the directing legend and one of the most popular is The Birds room.

To celebrate this classic we’ve decided to delve into the spooky facts and secrets that surround the filming of The Birds.

It was Loosely Based on a Daphne Du Maurier Book 

The title of the film and the plot came from the short story called The Birds written in 1952 by Du Maurier.

The Birds

Hitchcock Was Inspired By a Spooky Incident He Saw in the Paper

In 1961 Hitchcock read a newspaper article about hordes of dead birds washing up onto the streets in the seaside California town of Capitola and a story about flocks of frenzied, dying birds flying into the windows of homes in Monterey Bay.

Leading Lady Tippi Hedren Had Never Acted Before

Hitchcock spotted her in a TV commercial for a diet drink during NBC’s Today show. He would eventually groom her into one of his classic icy blondes, choosing her clothes, hairstyle, and even her lipstick for her role as Melanie Daniels.

Hedren Met With Executives About a ‘Secret Film’ on Friday the 13th

She had several meetings with executives and an agent, with no one willing to divulge the director or film for which she was being considered. She was finally told it was Hitchcock and met with the director for dinner; they didn’t discuss film, but rather food, travel and wine.

The Film is Full of Suspense But There is no Musical Score 

Hitchcock hired his long time musical partner and favourite composer Bernard Herrmann for ‘The Birds,’ but he didn’t write a single piece of music for the film. Instead, Hitchcock wanted him to focus on sounds to make the entire film infinitely creepier by using the chirping and flapping of the birds’ wings just before they attacked.

The Bird Noises Were Made Using Electronic Sound Machines

They were created on the mixtrautonium, an early electronic musical instrument, by Oskar Sala.

The Schoolhouse That Was Used For Filming Was Haunted 

Tippi Hedren said the entire cast was spooked to be there, they had a feeling like it was full of people when it was completely empty. When Hitchcock was told about this, he was even more encouraged to film there.

Raw Meat and Fish Were Used to Attract The Birds

The actors often had ground meat or anchovies smeared on their hands and raw meat was hung from the cameras.

Not All of The Feathered Friends Were Real

Hammers with fake bird heads were used to peck through the wooden doors and give the effect of birds breaking through.

The Birds Were Fed a Mixture of Wheat and Whiskey

During filming the crew needed to keep the birds standing and flying for hours, so they were fed this combination to keep them going.

The Birds Were Not Allowed to be Released or Kept as Pets

Ray Berwick was head bird trainer on set and later admitted that the birds were too dangerous to be released after filming had finished as they had been trained to attack.

Live Birds Were Attached to Hedren’s Clothes During Filming

They were attached using long nylon threads so they couldn’t get away and to give the scene more of a manic feel.

Hedren Really Slaps Doreen Lang who Played Her Hysterical Mother

Hedren was hesitant, having never slapped anyone before, but Lang convinced her to do it.

The Post-Attack Makeup Was Too Horrifying for Hedren

She looked at herself in a mirror and had to go outside to throw up.

The Leading Lady was actually cut in the face by a bird in one of the shots

On the last day of shooting, a bird clawed Hedren’s face just below her eye, and she broke down in tears.

One Scene Took Seven Days To Shoot 

The intense scene where Hedren’s character is attacked in the attic was filmed over seven long days, even though it only runs about a minute on scree. Hedren has spoken often about how hard the harrowing scene was to film, Hitchcock insisted on having real trained gulls attack her.

Following This Scene Hedren Was Admitted to Hospital for a Week

She said it was the worst week of her life and took a physical and emotional toll on her well-being.

Hitchcock Was Known For Playing Sick Practical Jokes 

Hedren’s daughter Melanie Griffith was given a present by Alfred Hitchcock during the filming, it was an eerily accurate doll of her mother wearing a dress from The Birds and lying in a miniature coffin.

Hitchcock Had A Trick Up His Sleeve For When The Film Was Over

When audiences left the film’s UK premiere at the Odeon in Leicester Square, London, they were greeted by the sound of screeching and flapping birds from loudspeakers hidden in the trees to scare them further.

The Birds Created an Unending Terror for the Audience 

The film does not finish with the usual “THE END” title because Alfred Hitchcock didn’t want the horror to end once the film was over.

Something Spooky Happened To Daphne Du Maurier’s Son 

In May 2001, Du Maurier’s son reported that he and his wife were being terrorised by seagulls nesting outside their cottage in Cornwall, England.

It Was Voted the Seventh Scariest Film of All Time

By a poll carried out on the British public by Channel 5 and “The Times” in 2006.

The Birds Themed Hotel Room

If you’re a Hitchcock fan, why not book a stay in one of our eight different themed rooms, on a floor that is dedicated to this iconic director.

Sleeping between four and six guests, indulge in the luxury of a bygone era of cinema in our fabulously opulent room dedicated to The Birds.

The Birds room at the Arthouse Hotel is dark and decadent, transporting you into the mind of one of the world’s greatest filmmakers with a glorious image from the film, crushed velvet fixtures and luxurious unique features.

The Arthouse Hotel is in a perfect location in the heart of Liverpool’s centre and just minutes walk to the vibrant and ever-growing nightlife.

There is no better place for group accommodation that the Arthouse Hotel.

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk to book your stay at Liverpool’s best movie-themed hotel.

Marvellous Movie Midweek Liverpool Offer at Arthouse

Have you been looking for a special way to treat yourself in Liverpool during the week? Look no further than Arthouse Hotel. Liverpool’s newest movie-themed hotel been designed to accommodate visitors to the city who awant to enjoy a great night out on the town.

Come and experience the UK’s favourite party city destination when it’s a little less crowded and you can take advantage of the amazing mid-week offers in Liverpool’s best bars.

Choose Your Movie

Arthouse hotel reception

At Arthouse Hotel, there are three fabulous floors each designed with a movie themed concept in mind.

The first floor has a choice of iconic musical movies such as Grease, Yellow Submarine and Chicago. So, if you enjoy singing along to the toe-tapping songs from these tuneful classics then chose a movie themed room from the first floor.

Up to the next floor which is one for the horror fans among you. Welcome to our thrilling Hitchcock themed floor where a selection of the celebrated director’s most memorable movies has inspired each of our second-floor rooms.

Enjoy a dizzying night in Vertigo, a terrifying night with The Birds or even spend a night in Suspicion on our Hitchcock movie themed floor.

Finally, the third-floor accommodation was inspired by the iconic master of mixed media, Andy Warhol. Not instantly known for his movie making skills, Warhol’s movies were controversial of course, which gave them their underground appeal.

Choose a room inspired by the well-known portraits of Marilyn Monroe or his recreation of classical Renaissance paintings. Perhaps treat yourself in Liverpool to a night spent in a room inspired by The Chelsea Girls. A controversial film about life in a hotel that earned 10x its filming budget within the first 19 weeks of screening in New York.

Whether you enjoy a sweet singalong, a thrilling horror or something a little more provocative, Arthouse Hotel has the room for you.

Pick your restaurant

The Bastion at the Shankly Hotel, where a Fab Four and Shanks tour operates from

During your overnight stay, we have two fabulous restaurants where you can choose to dine for your evening meal.

The Bastion Bar and Restaurant is located within the award-winning Shankly Hotel and provides a delicious varied menu created by talented chefs. They use locally sourced seasonal ingredients to design dishes that are special and can be enjoyed by everybody. Book your evening meal here and enjoy the family friendly atmosphere and stunningly chic décor.

Our Carpathia Champagne Bar and Restaurant can be found atop Liverpool’s exquisite Titanic themed hotel 30 James Street. The perfect location provides visitors with stunning views of Albert Dock and the World Heritage Waterfront from the elegant rooftop terrace. Once seated you can treat yourself in Liverpool from a delightful menu of fine dining quality dishes served with a twist.

No matter which of our city centre restaurants you choose to dine from on the evening of your stay, both are ideally located to continue into Liverpool and enjoy a night experiencing the stylish city-centre nightlife.

Stay and dine for £99

Stay and Dine at Arthouse hotel

This amazing overnight midweek offer in Arthouse Hotel is just £99. The offer includes an overnight stay from Sunday to Thursday in one of the marvellous movie themed Liverpool hotel rooms and a delicious meal in either the Carpathia or the Bastion Bar and Restaurant.

What better way to treat yourself in Liverpool than spending an evening in a marvellous movie themed room with an evening meal included from Arthouse hotel?

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk to book your stay today.

Stay with Arthouse Hotel for National Alfred Hitchcock Day

A director so talented and there’s even a national day to celebrate his impact on the filming industry and the methods of his truly amazing talent. Visit Liverpool on the 12th of March and celebrate National Alfred Hitchcock Day at Arthouse hotel.

We looked into the reasons Hitchcock is still such a celebrated talent today.

A master of suspense

It’s one thing to create realistic gory scenes, or play on the fears and insecurities of your audience but without suspense or a connection to the characters, it’s all just for show.

After watching any of Hitchcock’s creations his audience is left with a sense of foreboding, and terror that doesn’t stop when the movie does.

It is Hitchcock’s method is to imply terror rather than portray it. In turn, we, the audience, fill in the details he intentionally left out with our imagination.

As with modern day films of today, the less we see the more we are scared. Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity and even found footage sci-fi/horror Cloverfield, keep us hooked by shielding us from the very thing that is terrifying the cast.

It’s not many directors who were able to achieve this level of audience captivation without exhibiting something for them to be scared by. This is where the talents of Hitchcock’s casting and filming techniques come into play.

Father of modern filmmaking

Using unique camera angles and motion technique was a pioneering move from Hitchcock that gave audiences a sense of being inside the movie.

In Vertigo the audience shares a paralysing sense of fear experienced by the main character through the use of a camera trick called the “Dolly technique”. The camera stays focused on one point and zooms out whilst physically moving towards the focus at the same time.

 

Simplicity is often the best policy when it comes to filming and Hitchcock’s uncomplicated use of lighting in Suspicion is ingenious.

Simply by placing a light in the glass of milk, Cary Grant is bringing to Joan Fontaine, the audience’s eye is drawn to the glass. Without explicitly saying so, or even implying with action, the audience comes to suspects the milk is poisoned.

These are just a few of the ways in which Hitchcock created his own visual dialect, one that was instantly understood and admired by his audience.

Those memorable leading ladies

It is said that Hitchcock picked his leading ladies out of Freudian interest, whilst he himself believed his choices were made for the effect of the film.

Hitchcock felt that blondes made the best victims because they were like fresh snow that showed up the blood more effectively. A lot of sceptics say that Hitchcock modelled the leading roles around his own mother and then went on to punish them in his films.

Joan Fontaine appeared in two of Hitchcock’s movies, one of which she won an Oscar for. Surprisingly Joan Fontaine was the only actor to ever win an academy award for their work with Hitchcock.

Grace Kelly was Hitchcock’s most elegant leading lady, after becoming Princess of Monaco, Hitchcock tried time and again to get her to portray another of his lead roles. Hitchcock’s well-known foot fetish even saw him spend half an hour directing close ups of Grace Kelly’s shoes without ever using the footage.

Ingrid Bergman was one actress whose work with Hitchcock is among the most celebrated in her career. She affectionately referred to Hitchcock as an “adorable genius” something I’m sure other leading ladies of his would heavily dispute. Not the genius but certainly the adorable.

Tippi Hendren, in particular, has recounted stories of Hitchcock’s maniacal methodology when attempting to provoke emotional responses from his actors. According to Tippi, she recalls Hitchcock surprising her with live birds that were meant to be mechanical in the chilling attic scene from The Birds.

Tippi even alluded to Hitchcock making advances towards her during filming and said he punished her as a result with other cruel or callous methods, all said to be done in the name of the film.

Hitchcock certainly showed his leading ladies a great deal of attention, whether praise, affection or simply by tormenting them. It seems whatever his relationship was with each actress it paid off by producing some of the most memorable film footage of all time.

37 clever cameos

Ever the showman Hitchcock couldn’t help but appear in scenes of his movies. A great way to spend National Alfred Hitchcock Day would be to sit and try and spot each of his 37 cameos.

We’ve listed a few here to get you going;

The Birds – Hitchcock exits the pet shop in the opening scenes with two dogs, both of which are his own.

Psycho – Hitchcock appears outside an office under a Stetson-style cowboy hat.

Rear Window – Hitchcock can be seen winding a clock in the background of one apartment being spied into.

Spellbound – spot the director coming out of a lift holding a violin case.

Lifeboat – he even shows up on the back of a newspaper ad in a before and after shot for weight loss.

Why did Hitchcock enjoy appearing in his movies so?

It seems that his intentions were mixed. Whilst in some movies he appears moments before a particular action or plot scene, sometimes his cameo is merely for kicks. An example can be found in his intention to appear as a deaf-mute in Notorious who gets slapped for signing something lude to a pretty girl but was never used being banned by producers.

Other times his appearance in movies or trailers was to increase audience awareness of his creation. His movie trailers were done with a particular creative genius that mocked his audience at the same time as endearing them to him.

Hitchcock knew how to engage people’s interest. By showcasing himself, he quickly ensured he was the most recognised director of his time. So much so that just a profile shot of Hitchcock today is enough to recognise the great man.

Manipulating marketing methods

Today the power of social media and advertising has reached new heights. Back in Hitchcock’s day, however, there wasn’t the ability to engage the masses with a clever Facebook campaign or viral video release.

Hitchcock took matters into his own hands and utilised his ability to manipulate the audience with clever suggestion and implication.

Psycho, for example, was screened at theatres with a strict rule from the director preventing late seating. This stopped anybody entering showing once it had started, resulting in creating an uninterrupted atmosphere for the seated audience and a feeling of suspense for those too late to watch. The queues that formed at ticket booths also gave the impression that this was a must-see movie.

Another fabulous trick Hitchcock adopted was mocking his audience’s usual choice of summer holiday in a trailer for North by Northwest. Hitchcock playfully offered an alternative holiday based on the route of his character in the movie he takes his audience on a tour across the country. His use of dry humour to added punch to his delivery and showed his audience how witty his new movie was sure to be. The trailer endeared his audience with his playfulness, and again manipulated their response to his movie.

Because Hitchcock’s audience could relate to him, they found it easier to then relate to his work. In turn, because Hitchcock’s characters are said to be based upon his own inner characters, his audience relate to each character as well.

Hitchcock employed much more than what we can physically see on screen to make his movie great, a master of his craft and why we celebrate National Alfred Hitchcock Day on the 12th of March each year.

Stay with us on Alfred Hitchcock day

Book your stay in one of our Hitchcock themed suites at Arthouse hotel, and step into our luxury Liverpool hotel rooms that are representations of the marvellous movies made by the master of suspense.

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk and we guarantee you a great night spent at the heart of Liverpool’s most exciting nightlife district.

The Ultimate Movie Themed Hotel in Liverpool

Fan of the flicks or mad for movies? If the answer is yes then a visit to Signature Living’s newest hotel is definitely on the cards. Book to stay at Arthouse hotel and spend the night in style in a spectacular movie themed hotel room, each inspired by the most iconic classic movies of our time.

But what is it that makes Arthouse hotel so different from any other accommodation in Liverpool?

Opening Scene: Take #1

Arthouse hotel - reception

As soon as you enter Arthouse hotel reception you will find yourself skipping down the Yellow Brick Road with the Emerald city in the distance and the whole Wizard of Oz Crew.

Join Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion on a journey into the unknown and amazing.

You know you’ve arrived in Liverpool’s most spectacular movie themed hotel as soon as you take that first step into Arthouse. You and your party are in for the Liverpool hotel break of a lifetime.

Mad for musicals

Our first floor is perfect for those of us who have enjoyed singing along to musicals since childhood.

Your favourite song filled classic is bound to be among the selection of top musical movies we’ve used to theme our luxury group hotel rooms. In fact, five of the room titles made in into the top 10 musical movies of all time.

Hop on board the mother ship and “slip into a time warp” on route to planet transsexual in the Rocky Horror room.

Or recreate “those summer nights” and pack your leather biker jacket and skin-tight trousers to enjoy a night in our Grease room.

Wherever your theatrical tastes take you Arthouse hotel have the perfect musical movie themed room for you to enjoy during a visit to Liverpool.

The Horrors of Hitchcock

Suspicion - Hitchcock floor- Arthouse hotel

One of the world’s greatest movie directors of all time, Alfred Hitchcock, was well known for providing the shock factor in his psychologically thrilling movies.

As he once said;

there is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation”.

Well, sorry Alfred but we brought a big “bang” to our Hitchcock themed rooms that far exceeds any anticipation.

The enchanting mystery of thrilling movie Spellbound has been brought to life in the Spellbound room. Decadently dark décor and a ceiling embellished with quotes from the movie make for an interesting hotel visit.

Or instead, enjoy a stay in our Suspicion suite where you and your guests will be sleeping under the intent gaze of leading lady Joan Fontaine and her opposite playboy Carry Grant.

Each of the Hitchcock themed rooms has been uniquely styled to reflect the most exhilarating films from Hitchcock’s vast catalogue of creations.

If you are a true movie buff, then a stay on the Hitchcock floor at Arthouse hotel will be a thrilling way to stay in Liverpool.

What about the Warhol floor?

Marilyn Monroe room - Arthouse hotel

Andy Warhol was the father of popular culture. He masterfully mixed the art world with celebrity lifestyle and corporate advertising and was a talented artist who became a figurehead in many avenues of artistic expression.

His coined phrase “15 Minutes of Fame” has been adapted into a stunning hotel room on our Warhol floor.

Warhol himself famously prophesied that;

“everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”

A prediction that has been realised today through reality TV shows that give everyday people the chance to be famous for at least 15 minutes.

Perhaps his most commercially successful movie directed was Chelsea Girls. A theme we chose to apply to our very own luxury hotel room. The Chelsea Girl’s movie depicts the lives of young socialites living at the Chelsea hotel in New York.

Cast members of the film included some of those dubbed Warhol’s Superstars. These individuals formed a select social circle of Warhol’s muses and served as his inspiration. Musicians, models actresses and socialites, who were basically the cool kids of the 60’s and 70’s.

If you wish that you could be like the cool kids, then why not chose the Warhol floor for your stay at Arthouse hotel.

Let’s go to the movies

Arthouse hotel

Book to stay in Arthouse hotel today and enjoy Liverpool accommodation that has been uniquely styled around the most classic and iconic films of our time.

Arthouse hotel has it’s very own funky bar and pizzeria that is popular among residents of Liverpool as well as visitors. The space has a fun movie theme all of its own, screening snippets of slivers screen masterpieces on the walls. For a little playfulness, guests can even enjoy a game of PING-PONG along with their Charlie Chapgin cocktails.

Located in the heart of Liverpool’s most exciting nightlife district, a stay at Arthouse hotel will give you and your party a memorable experience of Liverpool you won’t find anywhere else.

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@sigantureliving.co.uk and book your stay today.