The Curious Life and Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday 3 April 2024 at 2.00 pm at the Lowther Pavilion.  Guests may attend the lecture – £10 pp (pay on door)


The lecture notes leaflet can be downloaded/printed here


Lecturer: Colin Shindler

This is Colin’s first visit to The Arts Society Fylde. Colin Shindler has been lecturing on American and British social and cultural history for over 20 years. He was awarded his PhD at Cambridge University and subsequently lectured on film for their History Faculty between 1998 and 2019 exploring its relationship to modern British and American social and cultural history. He also teaches a variety of adult education courses at Madingley and Higham Hall in Cumbria and has lectured on cruises.

Between 1975 and 1999 he pursued a wide-ranging career as a writer and producer in television, radio and film. He won a BAFTA award for his production of A Little Princess. His production of Young Charlie Chaplin was nominated for a US Prime Time Emmy. He wrote the screenplay for the feature film Buster and was the producer of various television dramas such as Lovejoy and Wish Me Luck. He has written three novels as well as numerous television scripts and radio plays but regards his greatest cultural contribution as choosing the title music for the police series Juliet Bravo.

His most recent radio play Leni Goes to Hollywood, about the German film director Leni Riefenstahl, was broadcast on Radio 4 in August 2021. Other radio plays for R4 included How To Be An Internee (about PG Wodehouse) and one on Private Eye & The Profumo Affair (Rumours). Both were selected by the BBC as Drama Podcast of the Week

He is the author of Barbed Wire and Cucumber Sandwiches: The Controversial South Africa Cricket Tour of 1970 which was short listed for the MCC/Wisden Cricket Book of the Year in 2021. He is best known for his childhood memoir Manchester United Ruined My Life which was short listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

His other publications include Hollywood Goes To War: Films & American Society 1939-1952 and Hollywood in Crisis: Films & American Society 1929-1939I’m Sure I speak for Thousands of Others (2017) was a history of unpublished letters written to the BBC and his non-fiction novel Garbo & Gilbert in Love was an imaginative reconstruction of the infamous relationship of the two MGM stars. He is currently working on the television adaptation of his novel Hollywood Nazis. His next book is titled Granada Land: Coronation Street and the Emergence of the North 1960-1970.


The Lecture

Alfred Hitchcock directed more than 50 films. His career began in the silent era and ended in the age of cable and satellite television. He was an innovator with a distinctive individual style. There have been many directors who have tried to emulate Hitchcock but none have surpassed him in the genre of suspense which he defined. This lecture will analyse his films in the context of his life and attempt to discover just why Hitchcock’s films have endured so successfully for so long. It will start with his British films The Lodgerand The Lady Vanishes, move through his Hollywood triumphs of Rebecca, Notorious, Rear Window and Vertigo and conclude with Psycho and the slow decline that began thereafter.


Caption: Alfred Hitchcock, Madame Tussauds London. Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)