Icons of the Century

Stepping into the shower never again seemed safe after his “Psycho” ushered in a new era of modern, psychological horror films.

Cinema’s acknowledged master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock was also a master of self-promotion, and one of the few filmmakers in history whose name above the title guaranteed a hit.

With his famous bulging profile and similar girth, he was ubiquitous for decades, from his “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” TV series to film masterworks like “North by Northwest,” “Vertigo” and “The Birds.”

In a career that lasted from the silent era to the ’70s, Hitchcock created a visual vocabulary that had enormous impact on filmmakers to come, from the French New Wave to Scorsese and De Palma, and bequeathed unforgettable scenes — such as a cropduster menacing Cary Grant through a field, or a chase scene across the face of Mt. Rushmore — to the moviegoing public.

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