Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews


Alfred Hitchcock: Some days ago, walking along in New York, I saw myself reflected in a window, and before I recognized myself, I let out a yell of fright. Then I called to my wife, “Who’s that porker on two legs?” I didn’t want to believe it when she replied, “It’s you, dear.”

I imagine you don’t often yell with fright. Practiced as you are in frightening other people, fear must be completely unknown to you.

Hitchcock: On the contrary. I’m the most fearful and cowardly man you’ll ever meet. Every night I lock myself into my room as if there were a madman on the other side of the door, waiting to slit my throat. I’m frightened of everything: burglars, policemen, crowds, darkness, Sundays…Being frightened of Sundays goes back to when I was a child and my parents used to put me to bed at six o’clock so that they could go out. I used to wake up at eight o’clock, my parents weren’t there, there was only dim light, that silence of an empty house. Brrr! It wasn’t accidental, when I married, that I said to my wife, “Every Sunday I want a fine dinner with lots of light, lots of people and lots of noise.”

Being frightened of policemen started when I was about 11…and reached home after nine. My father opened the door and didn’t say a word, not a word of reproof, nothing. He just gave me a note and said, “Take it to Watson.” Watson was a policeman, a family friend. He’d no sooner got the note that he shut me in a cell, shouting, “This is what happens to bad boys who get home after nine o’clock.” Brrr! It was 53 years ago, but every time I see a policeman, I start shaking.

And then I’m frightened of people having rows, of violence. I’ve never had a row with anyone, and I’ve no idea of how to come to blows. And then I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened; they revolt me. That round white thing without any holes, and when you break it, inside there’s that yellow thing, round, without any holes… Brrr! 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.

And then I’m frightened of my own movies. I never go to see them. I don’t know how people can bear to watch my movies.”

-Cannes, May 1963, via Alfred Hitchcock: Interviews