Top Five Cameos by Alfred Hitchcock


This week’s list ended up being quite a bit longer than our usual, but it certainly is a must-read for film and Hitchcock fans!

Photo via Pretty Clever Films

Most film buffs would know that renowned filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock had this amusing practice of making brief cameos in his own films. In fact, it’s been regarded as one of his signatures. Throughout his more than 50-year career in the industry, Hitchcock was said to have made 39 cameos in all, including an “off-screen narration at the start of ‘The Wrong Man’” (1957). He was said to have appeared in all of his films from “Rebecca” (1940) up to his last oeuvre “Family Plot” (1976) – a total of 28 films in all – and in some of his earlier works, namely “The Lodger” (1927), “Easy Virtue” (1928), “Blackmail” (1929), “Murder!” (1930), “Number 17” (1932), “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1934), “The 39 Steps” (1935), “Sabotage” (1936), “Young and Innocent” (1937), “The Lady Vanishes” (1938), and “Foreign Correspondent” (1940). Hitchcock made one cameo in each of these films, with the exception of “The Lodger,” “Suspicion” (1941), “Rope” (1948), and “Under Capricorn” (1949) in which he made two appearances each.

According to Tim Dirks of AMC Filmsite, two recurring themes of Hitchcock’s cameos were that “he often carried a musical instrument” and that he “often used public transportation (buses, trains, etc.), and was seen as a casual passer-by in the crowd in the public place (train stations, at an airport, etc.).” Aside from this, Hitchcock has also appeared through a photo, an ad, and even as a silhouette! Dirks further added that his cameos were often mildly humorous and, later on, appeared early in the film (in an interview with filmmaker and film critic François Truffaut, as cited in Wikipedia, Hitchcock explained that he deliberately did this to avoid distracting his avid viewers from the plot).

Due to the huge number of his cameos, we’ve decided to consult a few Top Hitchcock film lists (i.e., by The Telegraph, What Culture!, Paste Magazine, and Alfred Hitchcock Films) to help us narrow down the five cameos that we’re presenting in this list. We simply took each of these lists’ top five and tallied the most mentioned ones and cross-checked them with the list of Hitchcock cameos in creating our own.

And so, without further ado, here they are!

Movie still via Wikipedia

5. “Notorious” (1946)

In this spy thriller that starred Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains, Hitchcock made his cameo as a guest in a party at Rain’s character Alex Sebastian’s mansion. You can see it at around the 1:04:35 mark.

Video via YouTube

4. “Vertigo” (1958)

This psychological thriller centered on a former police detective who was afflicted with acrophobia and vertigo, played by James Stewart, and was hired by an acquaintance (Tom Helmore) to investigate on his wife’s (Kim Novak) strange behavior. Here, Hitchcock can be seen for about three seconds walking from one end of the screen to the other in a gray suit and carrying a horn or trumpet case, past an office.

Video via YouTube

3. “Rear Window” (1954)

This was a suspense thriller film that was based Cornell Woolrich’s short story, “It Had to Be Murder,” and starred James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, and Thelma Ritter. Hitchcock appeared in this movie in a scene inside the Songwriter’s apartment, where he was either winding or repairing a clock.

Video via YouTube

2. “North by Northwest” (1959)

This is yet again another spy thriller that starred Carey Grant, this time alongside Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. Hitchcock’s cameo here was one of his funnier ones, with him missing the bus, seen just right after the opening credits rolled in.

Video via YouTube

1. “Psycho” (1960)

This is arguably Hitchcock’s most famous work. Even those who have yet to watch it must have seen or at least heard about that ghastly shower scene, or at the very least heard that very famous jarring, horrific musical score that accompanied it (and, in the years that followed, heard in some horror films and other shows too). Anyway, Hitchcock’s cameo here was more discrete than the others – as Janet Leigh’s character enters the office, he could be seen from the back through the window standing on the sidewalk wearing a cowboy hat.

Now, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a video we’ve stumbled upon on YouTube that collated every cameo that the legendary filmmaker has ever made in an almost 10-minute long video. See if you can spot Mr. Hitchcock – if you’re having some troubles, though, the creator of this clip has provided a guide here!

Video via YouTube

All information in this article were sourced from Alfred Hitchcock Films, Alfred Hitchcock Cameos on AMC Filmsite, and List of Alfred Hitchcock cameo appearances on Wikipedia.

Like this article? Check out our Top Five List series in the Lomography magazine!

written by chooolss on 2014-01-09 in #lifestyle #film #alfred-hitchcock #cameos #top-five-list

One Comment

  1. parabolicmuse
    parabolicmuse ·

    I've seen Notorious three times and never noticed this! So much for priding myself on catching them all.
    I think I like North By Northwest's missing the bus moment the best. For some reason, his rushing to get it and having the door shut on him gives me a smile.

More Interesting Articles

  • Top Five Artistic Collaborations

    written by chooolss on 2014-07-24 in #lifestyle
    Top Five Artistic Collaborations

    They say two heads are better than one, and these amazing collaborations between well-known artists and from different genres prove that statement quite well. Have a look at this week's Top Five installment!

  • Top Five Rediscovered Paintings

    written by chooolss on 2014-08-14 in #lifestyle
    Top Five Rediscovered Paintings

    This week's list features works of art previously believed to be either fakes or works of lesser known artists, but were eventually proven to be paintings by some of the most celebrated artists in history. Have a look!

  • The Magic Yet To Come: Part 4

    written by Lomography on 2014-09-05 in #news
    The Magic Yet To Come: Part 4

    Read on dear friend and I will weave a story for you. There may be more questions than answers raised by this peculiar tale. But if it’s clarity you seek, have no fear, things will become clear in time (they always do, don’t they?). So rub the Sandman’s dust from your sleepy eyes and take a journey with me. If you think you have an answer when we reach the end, please do share it in the comments!

  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • LomoGuru of the Week: kleinerkaries

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-03-30 in #lifestyle
    LomoGuru of the Week: kleinerkaries

    Her LomoHome name, kleinerkaries, is a combination of two German words that mean "little" and "caries." Well, sounds a bit peculiar but this has nothing to do with the state of her teeth! Read on to find out how our LomoGuru of the Week got this interesting moniker!

  • October Walks and Workshops

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-09-22 in #events
    October Walks and Workshops

    Lomography Gallery Store Soho has all the workshops you could ever want this October. Learn the basics of the Diana F+, shoot autumn colours with the Lubitel 166+, make your own redscale film, shoot creepy portraits with the Petzval lens and visit our One Must Dash Pop up store. Read on for a full line- up of events and details.

  • Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    written by tomas_bates on 2015-01-21 in #gear #tipster
    Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    Perhaps you’ve already had chance to try light painting, multiple exposures and long exposures with your Lomo’Instant, but what can you experiment with next? Well, that’s exactly the thought I had which led to giving this Tipster a go. I wanted to shoot Lomo’Instant photos which felt a bit “messier” than what I’m usually used to and to use a technique which would open up new possibilities with the kinds of images I could create with my favorite instant camera. Well, here I go!

  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • Top Five Movies Inspired by Poems

    written by chooolss on 2014-04-03 in #lifestyle
    Top Five Movies Inspired by Poems

    Movies based on literature isn’t a new concept, sure, and the last decade or so alone saw an influx of book adaptations. But have you ever pondered on just how many of these were inspired by poems? Have a look at our list for this week, and find out if you’ve already seen any of them!

  • Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-07 in #lifestyle
    Maaikel and his Weapon of Choice: Lomography Sprocket Rocket

    The Lomography Sprocket Rocket might be a bit challenging to use but it didn't hinder maaikel from traveling and shooting various film rolls with it. In this week's installment of Weapon of Choice, he graciously shared his Sprocket Rocket story plus some amazing tips on using it.

  • What to Shoot with the New Russar+ Lens

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-04-12 in #lifestyle
    What to Shoot with the New Russar+ Lens

    As the mother of all modern wide-angle lenses, the New Russar+ Lens shoots sharp wide-angle photos bursting with character. The solid yet compact ultra-wide 20mm lens can be used to photograph practically anything, and is compatible with a variety of film and digital cameras. Certainly this is a lens that delivers, but like anything, you can reap its full potential by choosing ideal subjects and shooting from a creative perspective.

  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • Trending LomoHomes of March 2015

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-27 in #world #news
    Trending LomoHomes of March 2015

    Pop the champagne and toss the confetti for these talented lomographers!

  • Trending Photos of March 2015

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-27 in #world #news
    Trending Photos of March 2015

    Marvel at this beautiful selection of wanderlust-inducing photographs that trended this month.

  • Top Shoutbox Users of March 2015

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-27 in #world #news
    Top Shoutbox Users of March 2015

    If you haven't discovered the shoutbox yet, then you're certainly missing a big chunk of your lomographic life.