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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