75 Alfred Hitchcock Quotes That Aren’t For The Birds

Aflred Hitchcock was a master of horror and suspense — so it makes sense that his quotes are both inspiring and creepy. While the famed British director was known for his terrifying films, he was at times known for sharing a good joke or two. The director of The Birds and Vertigo was also known for being cruel to his actors (and sexist, too!), and some of these Hitchcock quotes definitely showcase that dark side of the television and film genius.

1. “Seeing a murder on television can help work off one’s antagonisms. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.”

2. “Someone once told me that every minute a murder occurs, so I don’t want to waste your time, I know you want to go back to work.”

3. “Disney has the best casting. If he doesn’t like an actor he just tears him up.”

4. “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.”

5. “If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.”

6. “The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.”

7. “For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.”

8. “If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.”

9. “Luck is everything… My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I’m fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn’t make a good suspense film.”

10. “Give them pleasure – the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.”

11. “Self-plagiarism is style.”

12. “When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, ‘It’s in the script.’ If he says, ‘But what’s my motivation?, ‘ I say, ‘Your salary.’”

13. “Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house.”

14. “Some of our most exquisite murders have been domestic, performed with tenderness in simple, homey places like the kitchen table.”

15. “Dialogue should simply be a sound among other sounds, just something that comes out of the mouths of people whose eyes tell the story in visual terms.”

Related: 19 Dirty Jokes To Tell Your Friends That You Can’t Help But Laugh At

16. “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”

17. “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”

18. “Revenge is sweet and not fattening.”

19. “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.”

20. “In films murders are always very clean. I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man.”

21. “Television has brought back murder into the home – where it belongs.”

22. “A lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake.”

23. “I never said all actors are cattle; what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle.”

24. “The paperback is very interesting but I find it will never replace the hardcover book – it makes a very poor doorstop.”

25. “Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.”

26. “I have a perfect cure for a sore throat: cut it.”

27. “I’m full of fears and I do my best to avoid difficulties and any kind of complications. I like everything around me to be clear as crystal and completely calm.”

28. “What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out.”

29. “Television is like the American toaster, you push the button and the same thing pops up everytime.”

30. “Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”

31. “I am to provide the public with beneficial shocks.”

32. “I am a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.”

33. “A good film is when the price of the dinner, the theatre admission and the babysitter were worth it. ”

34. “In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director. ”

35. “This award is meaningful because it comes from my fellow dealers in celluloid.”

36. “We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like. ”

37. “These are bagpipes. I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the man-made sound never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.”

38. “There is nothing quite so good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.”

39. “I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline – production: 1: small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one.”

40. “Someone once told me that every minute a murder occurs, so I don’t want to waste your time, I know you want to go back to work.”

41. “I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them.”

42. “This paperback is very interesting, but I find it will never replace a hardcover book – it makes a very poor doorstop.”

43. “Puns are the highest form of literature.”

44. “Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.”

45. “Ideas come from everything”

46. “There is a distinct difference between “suspense” and “surprise,” and yet many pictures continually confuse the two.”

47. “If I won’t be myself, who will?”

48. “I’ve never been very keen on women who hang their sex round their neck like baubles. I think it should be discovered. It’s more interesting to discover the sex in a woman than it is to have it thrown at you, like a Marilyn Monroe or those types. To me they are rather vulgar and obvious.”

49. “I’m a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character.”

50. “Seeing a murder on television… can help work off one’s antagonisms. And if you haven’t any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.”

51. “I can’t read fiction without visualizing every scene. The result is it becomes a series of pictures rather than a book.”

52. “I have a feeling that inside you somewhere,there’s somebody nobody knows about”

53. “A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality.”

54. “We seem to have a compulsion these days to bury time capsules in order to give those people living in the next century or so some idea of what we are like. I have prepared one of my own. I have placed some rather large samples of dynamite, gunpowder, and nitroglycerin. My time capsule is set to go off in the year 3000. It will show them what we are really like.”

55. “In feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.”

56. “Suspense is like a woman. The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement. … The conventional big-bosomed blonde is not mysterious. And what could be more obvious than the old black velvet and pearls type? The perfect ‘woman of mystery’ is one who is blonde, subtle and Nordic. … Although I do not profess to be an authority on women, I fear that the perfect title [for a movie], like the perfect woman is difficult to find.”

57. “There is nothing so good as a burial at sea. It is simple, tidy, and not very incriminating.”

58. “I’m sure anyone who likes a good crime, provided it is not the victim.”

59. “It seems to me that television is exactly like a gun. Your enjoyment of it is determined by which end of it you’re on.”

60. “There is nothing to winning, really. That is, if you happen to be blessed with a keen eye, an agile mind, and no scruples whatsoever.”

61. “The picture’s over. Now I have to go and put it on film.”

62. “Really, the novelist has the best casting since he doesn’t have to cope with the actors and all the rest.”

63. “In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’ When we tell a story in cinema we should resort to dialogue only when it’s impossible to do otherwise. I always try to tell a story in the cinematic way, through a succession of shots and bits of film in between.”

64. “A clear horizon — nothing to worry about on your plate, only things that are creative and not destructive… I can’t bear quarreling, I can’t bear feelings between people — I think hatred is wasted energy, and it’s all non-productive. I’m very sensitive — a sharp word, said by a person, say, who has a temper, if they’re close to me, hurts me for days. I know we’re only human, we do go in for these various emotions, call them negative emotions, but when all these are removed and you can look forward and the road is clear ahead, and now you’re going to create something — I think that’s as happy as I’ll ever want to be.”

65. “I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes … have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it.”

66. “If you can’t do it naturally, then fake it.”

67. “I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn’t stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?”

68. “Love those wrongdoers, they need it more than you.”

69. “Logic is dull.”

70. “Weren’t you ever booed at by your mother?!”

71. “Content, I am not interested in that at all. I don’t give a damn what the film is about. I am more interested in how to handle the material so as to create an emotion in the audience. I find too many people are interested in the content. If you were painting a still life of some apples on a plate, it’s like you’d be worrying whether the apples were sweet or sour. Who cares?”

72. “Once the screenplay is finished, I’d just as soon not make the film at all … I have a strongly visual mind. I visualise a picture right down to the final cuts. I write all this out in the greatest detail in the script, and then I don’t look at the script while I’m shooting. I know it off by heart, just as an orchestra conductor needs not look at the score … When you finish the script, the film is perfect. But in shooting it you lose perhaps 40 percent of your original conception”

73. “By and large, I feel that the more interesting work in the field of murder is done by amateurs. They are people who perform their work with dignity and good taste, leavened with a sense of the grotesque. There is polite and wholesome mayhem, practiced by civilized people, and I personally enjoy it.”

74. “I don’t want to appear disloyal to television, but I think reading will be good for you.”

75. “I’m frightened of my own movies.”

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