Jump to: navigation, search

The Times (04/Jun/1980) - Tribute to a master of the macabre

(c) The Times (04/Jun/1980)

Tribute to a master of the macabre

Sir Alfred Hitchcock was the central figure in Westminster Cathedral yesterday, 40 years after he sat in the sidelines in the same building directing a film.

And death was once again the central theme for the master of the macabre. In 1940, in the film Foreign Correspondent, he depicted a murder attempt in the bell tower in which the would-be assassin plunged to his death.

Yesterday several hundred people paid tribute to a man who had teased and terrified them through a career which spanned 50 years and included more than 80 films.

Before he died on April 29 in Los Angeles, Sir Alfred had asked for a memorial requiem Mass in the cathedral where he had worshipped before taking the path to Hollywood and international fame.

Dilys Powell, the film critic, who delivered an address at the service, said: "He did not make thrillers. What he did was make the thriller. He created a classic; it was never brutal; it was never sadistic; behind everything there was always a delicate moral sense. He saw the jokes and he enjoyed the jokes.

"Now that he is no longer with us, how wonderful to go from this life leaving to the world so much, such great, such lasting pleasure.

"He created the cinema and made it great and was himself truly great."

The celebrant at the service was Canon Oliver Kelly, and Sir John Mills read the lesson.

Among those present were :

Mr and Mrs J. Lee. Mrs M. Kay. Mr Bunker. Father J. Scholes. Mrs L. Tansoy. Mrs N. Albert. Mr and Mrs C. Albert. Miss N. Clarke. Mr W. Clarke. Mrs Jack Saunders. Mr Jeremy Saunders. Mrs W. Curtis. Mr Thawley, Miss D. T. Thawley. Lord Bernstein (chairman, Granada Group) and Lady Bernstein. Lord Zuckerman. Lady Mills. Dame Anna Neagle. Sir John and Lady Woolf. Sir Denis and Lady Forman. Miss Ingrid Bergman. Mr Lionel Jeffries. Miss Ann Todd. Mr and Mrs Cecil Bernstein. Mr and Mrs Alex Bernstein. Mr Nat Cohen. Mr Barry Foster. Miss Brenda de Banzi. Mrs Eric Ambler. Mr Rupert Marsh. Mr and Mrs Leslie Mitchell. Mr John Penrose. Mr Percy Livingstone. Mr Alexander Walker. Miss Betty Baskcomb. Miss Elsie Randolph. Mr Robert Stilwell. Mr Marcel Hellman. Mrs E. M. Headman (Bedford Film Society). Mr Sidney Booker (London region, British Federation of Film Societies). Mr George Barnes (Variety Artists Federation). Mrs Monica Foot (British Actors' Equity Association;. Mr Cyril Conway and Mrs Nessa Hughes Smith (Catholic Stage Guild). Mr Gerry O'Halloran (British Film Institute). Mr Peter Lendrum (representing the President of the Rank Organisation). Miss Maryvonne Butcher (The Tablet). Mr Dore Silverman (editor, The Critic). Miss Freda Bruce Lockhart (Catholic Herald). Mr Donald Gillate (British Council). Mr George Elvin (Association of Cinematograph, Television and Allied Technicians) with Mr Sidney Cole and Mr Ralph Bond; Mr Peter Halllday. Mr R. Shelton. Mr George Perry. Mr Donald Harker and Mr and Mrs Laurence Evans.

1980 Jun 04b.jpg
Miss Ann Todd, Dame Anna Neagle and Miss Ingrid Bergman after the requiem Mass for Sir Alfred Hitchcock yesterday