1000 Frames of Hitchcock: See Each of Alfred Hitchcock’s 52 Films Reduced to 1,000 Artistic Frames

psycho frames

Some directors like John Cassavetes and Wong Kar-wai like to discover the movie as they are making it. Others filmmakers have a very clear conception of the movie right from the beginning. Alfred Hitchcock was very much in that latter category. “Once the screenplay is finished, I’d just as soon not make the film at all,” he once told Roger Ebert. “I have a strongly visual mind. I visualise a picture right down to the final cuts.” And that is very much evident in the final product. From the famous Psycho shower scene to a wild-eyed Jimmy Stewart dangling from a ledge in Vertigo to Cary Grant being menaced by a crop duster in North By Northwest, Hitchcock has produced some of the most memorable, arresting images of the 20th Century.

British artist Dave Pattern set out to highlight Hitch’s visual genius with his 1000 Frames of Hitchcock series, which compresses each of Hitchcock’s 52 major movies down to a mere 1000 frames. That’s about six seconds of running time.

“It all started when in 2003 I made a website that tries to gather information about Hitchcock DVD releases over the world,” Pattern told Danish movie magazine Echo. “The quality of the publications are very different from country to country. It sort of snowballed from there.”

the birds

What’s amazing about this project is just how much of the movie comes through in this greatly abbreviated, soundless version. You completely understand that Tippi Hedren is getting terrorized by an implacable enemy in The Birds. You don’t even need to see that malevolent murder of crows. You can see it just in her face. At the beginning of the movie, she’s elegant, aloof and perfectly composed. At the end of the film, she’s unkempt, bloody and broken. Hitchcock’s creepy sexual politics and his famously unwholesome obsession with blondes shines through here.

north by northwest frames

What is utterly apparent in this project – and something you might miss while watching the movie — is Hitchcock’s complete control of color. The palette of The Birds (middle image) is dominated by the color green, from Hedren’s outfit to the color of a pickup truck to the hue of the hills. North By Northwest (bottom), by contrast, is composed mostly of beige and slate blue. Click on the images to view them in a larger format.

Below, you can check out all the movies, each distilled down to 1,000 frames. And, if you’re inspired to dive deep into the works of the Master of Suspense, you can watch 23 of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies for free here.


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