Alfred Hitchcock (UK, 1899-1980) is undeniably the world's most famous film director. His name has become synonymous with the cinema, and each new generation takes the same pleasure in rediscovering his films, which are now treasures of our artistic heritage. Hitchcock started out in the British silent cinema of the 1920s, which reached its peak with successful thrillers such as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), Sabotage (1936) and The Lady Vanishes (1938). Recognized as a `young genius', Hitchcock moved to Hollywood and set about reinventing cinematic tradition, combining the modern with the classic in films such as Vertigo (1957), North by Northwest (1959) and The Birds (1963). Hitchcock gave talented actors such as James Stewart and Cary Grant the chance to play enduring antiheroes and imprinted the public imagination with the myth of the `blonde', as embodied by Grace Kelly, Kim Novak and Tippi Hedren.