Xerjoff Magazine

Alfred Hitchcock: Backstage Shivers


The masterpieces directed by Alfred Hitchcock for Universal Pictures are celebrated through an exhibition in Pisa, showcasing a collection of images shot on the sets and backstage of films ranging from Psycho to Rear Window, from The Birds to Vertigo

The Graphics Museum in Pisa (Palazzo Lanfranchi, Lungarno Galileo Galilei, 9) dedicates an exhibition to Alfred Hitchcock, one of the most influential and innovative filmmakers in the history of cinema. On display 70 photographs and special contents from Universal Pictures archives introducing the viewers to the backstage, unveiling details on the realization of the most famous scenes, the use of the first special effects, the actors and on Hitchcock’s private life.

The exhibition analyses Hitchcock’s main masterpieces produced by the famous American film studio. It opens with Psycho, one of his most unsettling works that managed to break all the box office records and made the audience escape from the movie theatres in a panic. An opportunity to discover the behind-the-scenes of the metaphysical Bates Motel, learn about the disquieting character of Norman, the dual personality of Marion and relive the disturbing shower scene.

A room is dedicated to The Birds (1963), a film in which the director introduced numerous innovations in the field of sound and special effects; with 370 filming tricks, the film took almost three years of preparation due to its technical complexity. The exhibition also shows masterpieces such as Rear Window (1954), interpreted by James Steward and Grace Kelly and Vertigo (1958) which tells one of the most mysterious love stories in the history of cinema, narrated through an infinite number of angles and original shots in the most famous locations in San Francisco. A section of the exhibition is also dedicated to the soundtracks that characterized Hitchcock’s movies, including those of Bernard Hermann, an American composer author, among others, of the famous soundtracks for Vertigo and Psycho, which played a fundamental role in creating suspense. Ideally, the exhibition closes with the famous and fleeting appearances of Hitchcock on the scene. “Alfred Hitchcock nei film della Universal Pictures”, curated by film critic Gianni Canova, is on show until September 1st.

Above: Tippi Hedren in The Birds, 1963 © Universal Pictures