List of Alfred Hitchcock cameo appearances

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To Catch a Thief (1955) features Hitchcock on a bus alongside Cary Grant.

English film director Alfred Hitchcock made cameo appearances in 39 of his 52 surviving major films (his second film, The Mountain Eagle, is lost). For the films in which he appeared, he would be seen for a brief moment boarding a bus, crossing in front of a building, standing in an apartment across the courtyard, or even appearing in a newspaper photograph (as seen in the film Lifeboat, which otherwise provided no other opportunity for him to appear).

This playful gesture became one of Hitchcock's signatures; and fans would make sport of trying to spot his cameos. As a recurring theme, he would carry a musical instrument — especially memorable was the double bass case that he wrestles onto the train at the beginning of Strangers on a Train. In his earliest appearances, he filled in as obscure extras in crowds or walking through scenes in long camera shots. His later appearances became more prominent, such as when he turns to see Jane Wyman's disguise as she passes him in Stage Fright, and in stark silhouette in his final film Family Plot.

His appearances became so popular that he began to make them earlier in his films so as not to distract the audience from the plot. Hitchcock confirms this in extended interviews with François Truffaut,[1] and indeed the majority of his appearances occur within the first half-hour of his films.

Hitchcock's longest cameo appearances are in his British films Blackmail and Young and Innocent.[2] He appears in all 30 features from Rebecca (his first American film) onward; before his move to Hollywood, he only occasionally performed cameos.

Cameo appearances in Hitchcock films[edit]

This is a list of Hitchcock's cameo appearances in films that he directed.

TitleYearH:M[:S]Description
The Birds19630:02:18Leaving the pet shop with two of his own Sealyham terriers, Geoffrey and Stanley, as Tippi Hedren enters.[3]
Blackmail19290:10:25Being bothered by a small boy as he reads a book on the London Underground. This cameo is 19 seconds long.
Dial M for Murder19540:13:13On the left side in the class-reunion photo.
Easy Virtue19280:21:15Walking past a tennis court carrying a walking stick.
Family Plot19760:40In silhouette through the door of the Registrar of Births and Deaths.
Foreign Correspondent19400:12:44After Joel McCrea leaves his hotel, wearing a coat and hat and reading a newspaper.
Frenzy19720:03In the center of a crowd, wearing a bowler hat; he is the only one not applauding the speaker; and a minute later, right after the victim washes ashore, standing next to a gray-haired man with a gray beard.
I Confess19530:01:33Crossing the top of a flight of steps.
The Lady Vanishes19381:32:31In Victoria Station, wearing a black coat and smoking a cigarette.
Lifeboat19440:25In the "before" and "after" pictures in the newspaper ad for "Reduco Obesity Slayer".
The Lodger19270:03At a desk in the newsroom.
1:34In the mob scene next to Detective Joe who's bearing the lodger's weight on the fence by holding his arms.
The Man Who Knew Too Much19560:25:12As the McKennas watch the acrobats in market place, Hitchcock appears at the right from behind wearing a skullcap.
The Man Who Knew Too Much19340:33:25Walking across a road in a dark trench coat as a bus passes.(Speculative).
Marnie19640:05Entering from the left of the hotel corridor after Tippi Hedren passes by.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith19410:42:57Passing Robert Montgomery in front of his building.
Murder!19300:59:45Walking past the house where the murder was committed, with a female companion, at the end of Sir John's visit to the scene with Markham and his wife Lucy.
North by Northwest19590:02:09Missing a bus, just after his credit passes off screen during the title sequence.
Notorious19461:04:44At the big party in Claude Rains's mansion, drinking champagne and then quickly departing.
Number 1719320:51:25On the bus, middle of passengers, in a dark coat and hat, facing away, he bounces up & down; approx. four seconds.
The Paradine Case19470:38:00Leaving the train at Cumberland Station, carrying a cello case.
Psycho19600:06:39Seen wearing a Stetson cowboy hat through an office window as Janet Leigh comes through the door.
Rear Window19540:25:05Winding the clock in the songwriter's apartment (Some argue that Hitchcock breaks the fourth wall in this cameo, possibly turning to look at the audience in a "What are you looking at?" sort of manner, but is actually turning to speak (lips move) to Ross Bagdasarian, who clearly turns his head in response).
Rebecca19402:06Walking near the phone booth just after George Sanders makes a call.
Rope19481:51Walking alongside a woman (to her right), and swinging a newspaper in stride from his right hand, just after the director's (his) credit towards the end of the opening sequence of the film.
Sabotage19360:09:00Right after the lights go back on and before the lady shuts the kiosk window, wearing coat & hat, he walks from center screen to the (viewer's) left, leaning back & looking upwards.
Saboteur19421:04Standing in front of "Cut Rate Drugs" as the saboteur's car stops.
Shadow of a Doubt19430:17On the train to Santa Rosa, playing cards, back to the camera.
Spellbound19450:43:15Coming out of an elevator at the Empire Hotel, carrying a violin case and smoking a cigarette.
Stage Fright19500:39:49Turning to look back at Jane Wyman in her disguise as Marlene Dietrich's maid.
Strangers on a Train19510:10:34Boarding a train with a double bass as Farley Granger gets off in his hometown.
Suspicion19410:46:54Mailing a letter at the village postbox (long shot).
0:04Walking a horse across the screen at the hunt meet.
The 39 Steps19350:06:56The man tossing a white cigarette box while the bus pulls up for Robert Donat and Lucie Mannheim to leave the theatre.
To Catch a Thief19550:09:40Sitting to the left of Cary Grant on the bus.
Topaz19690:32:27Being pushed in a wheelchair in the airport. Hitchcock gets up from the chair, shakes hands with a man, and walks off to the right.
Torn Curtain19660:08Sitting in the Hotel d'Angleterre lobby with a baby on his knee. He shifts the child from one knee to the other.
The Trouble with Harry19550:22:14Seen outside of the window—the man walking past the parked limousine of an old man who is looking at paintings.
Under Capricorn19490:03In the town square during a parade, wearing a blue coat and brown hat.
0:13One of three men on the steps of Government House.
Vertigo19580:11:40In a grey suit walking in the street with a trumpet case.
The Wrong Man19560:00:18Seen in silhouette narrating the film's prologue. Donald Spoto's biography says that Hitchcock chose to make an explicit appearance in this film (rather than a cameo) to emphasize that, unlike his other movies, The Wrong Man was a true story about an actual person.
Young and Innocent19370:16Outside the courthouse, holding a camera.

Other cameo appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Truffaut, François (1968) Hitchcock, Secker and Warburg
  2. ^ Walker, Michael (2005) Hitchcock's motifs Amsterdam University Press
  3. ^ McCarthy, Michael (5 February 2009). "Final cut for Hollywood's favourite dog". The Independent. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 

External links[edit]